So, um, it’s been a while since I wrote The Green Knight and I had to reread it in order to remember what I was doing there. Maybe I’ll resume it after I watch the sequel (or maybe it’ll joss me terribly) so this was an interesting writing exercise. So thanks, anon!
Merlin is old enough to remember the last time Kingsman interacted with Vongola. He hadn’t been Merlin then, just one of many technicians with the unfortunate luck to be Harry’s–Galahad’s–friend.
Which means he was as much on the field as Harry, as much witness to the bloody wreckage that Vongola had wrought.
Arthur–Chester–hadn’t wanted to do anything. Hadn’t wanted to talk, much less fight, with Italy’s most powerful famiglia–had let that terrible crime go uncontested, unavenged.
Merlin had never met Vongola’s Nono, but he had heard of his reputation: a kind smile hiding a merciless, cutthroat mind.
He thinks–hopes, more like–that Vongola’s Decimo is not the same.
He walks away from the meeting bewildered, but tentatively optimistic.
“They’re children,” says Harry–Arthur, now, and how strange that is to think–and he’s not wrong, Kingsman is much reduced from Chester’s and Valentine’s actions. Merlin and Harry are the only ones left from the old guard, and they’re scrabbling to fill in the rest of the ranks as quickly as they can, but even still…
Vongola’s tenth generation are younger even than Galahad and Lancelot.
“Young does not mean easily led,” Merlin cautions, “or inexperienced.”
From what he’s heard Vongola has only become more powerful since the Decimo’s inheritance.
Galahad–Eggsy, that is–is the one who brings up the idea.
The knights that remain are being run ragged, Kingsman is long overdue to begin trials for more knights, but there aren’t enough knights to propose enough candidates. Without more candidates, trials can’t be held to get more knights.
A vicious cycle.
Even worse, if the current knights propose single candidates, the pool of competitors is less which means the quality goes down. If they propose multiple candidates, then in future trials their proposals won’t be their top picks… meaning their quality goes down.
They need knight quality competitors who don’t actually want to be knights.
“Vongola didn’t seem too bad,” Galahad says, when Merlin brings up the issue. Arthur favors the boy, but Merlin isn’t exempt of that either, “Isn’t that what alliances are for?”
He’s not wrong.
The Fulmine that Merlin first met was, in one word, sharp.
The Vongola cohort had been undeniably powerful despite their age and lack of professionalism, their uniform suits which they wore almost reluctantly. But while the gentlemen had been earnest and engaged, Fulmine looked every bit as lethal as her confirmed hit count and ready to attack if needed.
The Fulmine–the Azuma-san–that Merlin meets for the Gawain trials is both the same and nothing at all like that.
If there is a message being sent, he is not sure what it is.
After he’s sent the candidates away, Merlin takes a closer look at the punching bag Azuma-san punctured.
It wasn’t worn out, bulletproof fabric still new, and yet she hadn’t had a weapon with her. Just her bare hands.
He thinks he is on the edge of understanding something terribly dangerous.
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