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The Merciful King

A short story by SirTimothyCedar

King Richard was a good, honorable, and fair king. One day, the king was told by his most valiant knight Sir Lancelot, that Edmond (the king's cup bearer) was guilty of stealing one of the king's royal robes, food prepared for the king's table, and his finest sword. Sir Lancelot had Edmond thrown into the dungeon. When King Richard heard this terrible news, he was very angry. But after a few days the king's anger had passed, and it was replaced with compassion. The king remembered what a good servant Edmond had been for many years, and the king wanted to show him mercy for his service. King Richard called to his servants, and ordered Edmond to be brought before him. Edmond fell at the king's feet and with many tears cried, "Please forgive me, oh great king." King Richard explained why he was upset to Edmond, and the seriousness of betraying the king. But also that he had compassion for him, and wanted to show him mercy by setting him free of the dungeon, but banished from the castle.

Later that evening, upon Edmund's returning home, he found one of his servants sitting at his table, eating his meager bread, and wearing one of Edmond's worn out robes. When Edmond saw this, he grabbed the servant by the throat and said "You will pay for your thievery". The servant fell at Edmond's feet and with many tears cried "Please forgive me, oh great master". But Edmond ordered his servant to be beaten and put into the stocks.

A few days later the king's men heard of what Edmund did to his servant, and told King Richard. The king was furious and ordered the arrest of Edmund at once! Immediately Edmund was brought before the king. Edmund with many tears cried "Please forgive me, oh great king". King Richard said "I have shown you mercy for stealing my royal kingly robe, my finest food prepared for a king, and my gold sword. And when your servant eats your moldy bread, and wears your moth eaten clothes, you DARE to beat him, and throw him into the stocks! I have shown you mercy on so much, and you could not show mercy on your servant for so little. Your former job and all of your possessions will be given to your servant, and you will be thrown into the dark dungeon where you will never see the open sky or the light of day again!"