10. Rightful Owner

Balin arrived at Lady Viviane’s house after a long and hurried run. He was excited to show off his new sword to her. He ran past her house to the woods behind, and then found the Lady of the Lake taming a wild squirrel with magic.

“Lady Viviane,” Balin said to the Lady as he approached her.

She hushed him without making eye-contact and continued to wave her hands about, mesmerising the small furry creature and guiding it towards her tiny peninsula filled with rodents. When she had successfully swayed the squirrel into entering one of her miniature houses in the tiny town, she sighed with relief. Then, she turned to Balin.

“What’s happening, Balin?” she asked.

“Look!” Balin said, holding up Tyrfing in his hands. “I got this piping hot sword out from a magic scabbard. Maybe, I can remove that other sword too. The one in the boulder!”

Lady Viviane scoffed as she folded her arms.

“Yeah, right,” she said. “What makes you think that?”

“I mean, if I was able to remove one magic sword, then maybe I can remove another!”

“You couldn’t remove it just yesterday!”

“Yes, but maybe something’s changed now,” he said as he carefully replaced Tyrfing back into the trick scabbard he had mounted upon his back and stared at his hands. “Yes, something’s changed. I can feel it in the air. I can feel it in my body.”

“Right,” Lady Viviane said sarcastically. “Overnight.”

“Yes, overnight! I’m telling you!” he insisted. “Here, watch me!”

Balin mounted the great boulder and tried his best to free the sword, but it did not budge.

Then, Lady Viviane heard the sword call to her. She was drawn to it. She clambered up the boulder, pushing Balin aside, and approached the sword. Then, she placed both hands on the handle, and freed it from the stone with ease.

The blade glinted in the light. Inscribed upon its pommel, the following words were written:

Whoever draws this magic sword out of the stone, would be king of Logris.

The two of them read the words, then looked at each other with astonishment.

“But you cannot be King,” Balin said in astonishment. “You’re a lady!”

She paused to think.

“You are right,” Lady Viviane said. “I shall give it to Arthur. This land is his, and rightfully, the sword should be his too.”

And so, they went to King Arthur’s court together, and brought Excalibur to the king.

“It is… but how can this be?” the king asked, bewildered. “The Excalibur broke when I dueled with him!”

King Arthur pointed at King Pellinore, who nodded in response.

“Aye,” King Pellinore concurred. “That I did. And what a duel it was!”

“I know not, my lord,” Lady Vivivane said. “But I do know that the sword rightfully belongs to you.”

“But, I did not draw the sword,” King Arthur replied. “You did!”

“Yes, but I am under your protection, and these are your lands,” Lady Viviane cleverly replied. “A sword this great belongs in your hands.”

King Arthur hesitated, then rose from his throne. His entire court knelt.

“For this gift, I shall grant you, most valiant and fair lady, a gift as well,” King Arthur said as he approached Lady Viviane, gently placing a finger under her chin with a gentle touch. “I grant you a favour, any favour.”

Sir Kay, the seneschal, grumbled under his breath.

‘Well, that seems a bit rash of the King,’ the petulant knight, who was also the king’s seneschal, thought to himself.

“I, as King of Logris,” King Arthur vowed. “Will see that favour done through… and through.”

He lifted Lady Viviane’s head to find a very uncomfortable look upon her face.

“Thank you, sire,” she said, before backing up slightly, leaving Excalibur still extended towards the king. “I’ll… uh… sleep on it. In the interim, here is your sword.”

The king beamed as he picked up the sword from the Lady’s hands.

The court applauded. “It appears the Excalibur has once again found its way to the hands of its rightful wielder!” King Arthur said as he reached for the magical scabbard that he kept upon his belt at all times, and slipped the magical sword back into its original place.

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