Festuscato, Bran, Julius, King Ban, Cador of Cornwall, and the Welshmen, Hywel and Ogryvan, walked the battlefield, remembering and honoring the dead. Constans walked with them and tried to pay attention, but Vortigen sounded like a fly in his ear and kept distracting him. Gaius and Seamus, along with two local priests, and a host of monks and nuns from the nearest monastery, also walked the battlefield, but they were giving the last rites and directing the soldiers to cart off those who had a chance of survival.
Festuscato kept one eye out for Gorund, but the Saxon was not to be found. All the same, he imagined Gorund would not be a problem after this slaughter. In fact, the Saxons overall should be quiet for a number of years. There would be peace for a time, and Festuscato felt the need to point that out over supper. He stood to speak.
“Take the time of peace to strengthen the ties between you. Do not go back to your isolation and personal problems. Visit one another, now that you have gotten to know each other, and support each other as you support the Pendragon and this place of sanctuary. The Irish, the Saxons, the Picts and the rest want to keep you weak and divided, but united you can beat back the tide of chaos that is overwhelming Rome. With apologies to Constantine, I say use the Pendragon. He is not there for any one of you, but for all of you together. It is in his own best interests to judge fairly and not show favoritism. The judgment might not go in your favor, but it is not his desire to piss you off.”
The chiefs and lords around the table understood well enough, so Festuscato added a last note. “And do not fail to send your men out when the call comes. Do not think they keep fighting far away from home, for other lords in other lands, because they will be fighting to keep the border secure, and that will keep your land secure even if you do not live on the border. Also, if the day comes when the call goes out because your lands are in danger, there will be plenty of fighters loyal to other lords and from other lands who will come and fight for you.” Point made, Festuscato sat down, and in the morning at dawn, he and his friends left town.
“I won’t see you again,” Constantine surmised.
“To be honest, the longer I stay in Greater Britain at this point, the more I risk screwing up history.” Festuscato spoke straight forward, but only Mirowen understood because of years of long conversations when Festuscato was young. “But I tell you what. Give Ivy a kiss when she has another son.”
“Ivy is pregnant? Why would Constans not tell me?”
“Oh, I don’t know if she is pregnant, but given those two being so much in love, I figure it is only a matter of time.” Constantine smiled, and as Festuscato pulled away to ride off, Mirowen at his side, he whispered to her. “I like to leave them smiling.”