“Are you sure about this your Highness.” The squire asked as the King donned the rough clothes.
“I do not want my queen loving me for my title, or riches.” He declared.
The squire looked at him questioningly. He did not approve of the Kings plans at all, it was far too dangerous.
“Everything will be fine.” He assured his squire with a firm pat on the back. He walked out of the room. His squire followed close behind him.
“Now Sire, it’s a little different out there.”
“I know!” He shouted, “Let’s get on with this search.”
“Don’t call me anything royal out there.”
“What shall I call you My Lord?”
The King was deep in thought, “What about Ennis?”
“As you wish Ennis.”
They walked out of the palace, the squire sped up to walk next to his King.
“What are you doing?” The King asked pointedly.
“Out here, we would be equals.” The squire squeaked falling back a bit.
“Oh, okay…” The King said uncertainly.
They walked through the square to the markets. The King looked over all the young maidens with a critical eye. On occasion he would nudge his squire and ask a few questions about the woman before them.
Once he got his confidence up the King went up to a young lady.
“Hello, you are the most beautiful maiden I have seen all day.” He smiled charmingly. The woman ignored him. “My name is Ennis, would you be willing to accompany me to the tavern for a drink tonight?”
She reached past him to get some bread. “Sorry Ennis I’m busy tonight.”
“Busy doing what?” He asked. She didn’t respond and pushed past him. He returned to his squire. “Why didn’t she say yes?”
“Sir. I mean Ennis, if I may be so bold, you were a little forward with that young lady.”
“What do you mean?”
“You scared her off. I can show you the art of seduction.” The squire said. He departed from his lord’s side and approached the young lady who had just rejected the King. He reached for the same piece of fruit as she was, they bumped fingers. He apologized, and laughed. She smiled brightly, the King watched in awe as his squire got the girl who paid no attention to him to agree to meet his lowly squire again.
“How did you do that?” The King asked when his squire returned.
“You have to be nice.”
“I was nice.”
“You were being Kingly. Think of her like a princess you are willing to do anything for.”
“I would do anything for her.”
The squire sighed. “Pretend you are a servant and she is your queen.”
“But I am….” The squire shushed him.
“Until you find your queen, if you want them to like you without your power, you must not use it.”
The King sighed, “I guess you’re right.”
“Lets try again.” The squire prodded the King to try with another beautiful woman. His attempt to make the woman swoon failed. They tried again, another rejection. The whole day was full of rejections. The King was getting sick of it at the end.
“How can you be so charming?” He asked his squire.
His squire shrugged. “Lets try a less difficult target. Lets try that homely girl over there.”
The King walked up and tried to be charming. The girl seemed flattered by his attentions and agreed to meet him again.
“I did it!” He said triumphantly. “I’m not sure I want to meet her again, she isn’t exactly my ideal queen.”
“Lets just see if we can make it through the meet up.” His squire said. “We should end this day on a high note.”
The next day went worse when they met the second time. She stormed away from him obviously upset.
“What did you say to her?”
“I was just being myself.”
“Sir you have a mark on your face.”
“I told her she wasn’t exactly my usual type.”
His squire rubbed the bridge of his nose. “We’re back to the beginning then.”
It took three more days before he got another woman to go out with him, this one was a humble scullery maid, not one of the beautiful doted on girls the King wanted.
The King sighed into his tankard at the local tavern, “Maybe I should just host a ball and have them all come to me.”
“I thought you wanted a girl to love you for you.”
“None of the pretty ones seem to like me…”
The squire sighed. The pretty ones he was referring to were the ladies groomed from birth to attract wealthy men for marriage, men exactly like the King. The problem was they didn’t want anything to do with a knight. They could be flattered but would never consider anything serious.
“That scullery made seemed really interested in you as a person.” The squire consoled.
“I have to wait till tomorrow to know for sure.”
The date with the scullery maid went well enough, she had agreed to see him again if he approached her father.
“I don’t even want to see her again.” The King complained.
“She’s the only one who has seemed to like you.” The squire told him bluntly.
“Boy that was too far.”
“Sir, if I do not tell you things honestly you will be chasing your tail with the wrong women. Those who are pretty are looking for money.”
“Then I should tell them I am the King right?” The King slurred drunkenly.
“Sir what is the point of us being out here at all if that’s what you’re going to do?”
“Right, right. Love me for me.” He slammed his tankard on the table.
“Lets get you home.” The squire said slinging the King’s arms over his shoulder and leading him back to the castle.
The squire dragged the hungover King out of bed the next day. They needed to talk to the girls father about continuing the courtship. They jumped through more hoops. She seemed to really like him, and she was growing on him. She was cleaned up and dressed simply but she looked moderately pretty.
A few more outings together and the king confided that he may love the girl, who was lucky to have a knight even glance her way.
“Its about time you asked for her hand in marriage.” The squire told him.
“How do I do that?”
“You get a ring, and say will you marry me?”
“What sort of ring should I get?”
“If you get something fancy she will know you are wealthy, if you get something simple you will maintain your ruse.” The squire said. “At this point I think she loves you for you.”
“Maybe something moderate.” The King fretted.
When he finally asked she said yes.
“How do I tell her I am the King?”
“Bring her to the palace and have the wedding there.” The squire suggested.
“We should start planning.” The King planned everything, there was an announcement throughout the kingdom that the King had found a bride. He brought her to the palace on their wedding day.
“Isn’t it a bit rude to have our wedding the same day as the King’s” She asked nervously.
“I don’t think he minds.”
Her father trailed behind them to sign papers, the squire walked beside him. The King threw open the doors and led her down the main hall to the throne.
“Where is the King?” His bride asked looking anxious.
“My dear, I am the King.” He said grandly sitting down on the throne.
“Honey get down from there I don’t want you beheaded.” She nearly giggled.
The squire produced the papers for everyone to sign, making the marriage legal. Servants rushed out with food, and musicians appeared and started playing.
“Let the celebration begin!” He announced clapping his hands then taking his new brides hand.
“You really are the King…” She stuttered as he lead her to the head of a long table.
“I wanted you to love me for who I was.” He said kissing her hand.
“I don’t have the right to be queen…” She whimpered. “I’m just a servant.”
“A servant who fell for me without my riches or power.” He said excitedly.”And I fell for you too my love.”
“This isn’t what I wanted…” She sobbed. “I wanted a simple life in the country…”
“It’s okay, I have a country estate that we can go to.”
“Who will look after my father?”
“He can stay here with us. I can take care of your every need. You will get use to the luxury. Give it a chance.”
She cried through the whole wedding.