In the middle of the day, the town market was as crowded and loud as it can get. It's almost an hour afternoon and almost everyone in town is in the market.
Children playing and pulling pranks on merchants. Adults buying or selling goods.
Some of the king's guards monitoring the situation and getting ready to interfere to solve any commercial disputes which usually end up in favor of whoever offers the better bribe.
Despite the constant movement in the market which made it look like a beehive, it got much quieter when this old man approached.
More and more people stopped what they were doing and turned to him in anticipation. The few people who didn't notice him immediately did after he said his first sentence.
"The knight is coming!"
Everyone including the guards immediately knew what's about to happen. The old man has been coming to the market for a month now every few days to always tell the same story.
The story of the knight.
"The knight is coming and he'll make sure to end injustice. I have seen him take a vow to set us all free. Believe me."
"It was over a month ago. Right after the king decided to raise the taxes."
The guards immediately turned their attention to the old man with their hands reaching for their swords in an instinct move.
The people started to switch their eyes back and forth between the guards and the old man thinking about the many ways this can go.
"I was passing by the castle that day" The old man continued while walking through the market, "I saw the knight fighting with the commander"
"I saw the mighty knight stand up for all of us when we were all too afraid to object to the king"
The guards started to nervously move holding on to their weapons more tightly.
"He said the people cannot take it anymore. He said the king has no right to steal the wealth the people worked so hard to collect. He said everything we wanted to say and more"
One of the merchants got too nervous and threw a fruit on the old man saying "Go away,
we don't want to hear your stories" One of the guards turned to the merchant and smiled to him in satisfaction but the old man didn't care and continued while getting nearer to the market exit.
"His commander ordered the guards to capture him but he took down four of them before riding his horse and storming out of the castle. I have seen him. I have heard him."
"He vowed to return with an army to set us free. He promised to come back and take down the corrupt king. Believe me. He will set us free. The knight will grant us salvation if you just wait."
By then, the old man was already exiting the market and the guards started to relax.
"The court's clown is here your majesty"
"Send him in right away, I can't wait to hear from him"
Seconds later the old man from the market walked into the king's court and bowed in front of the king saying "My king, I came to report on what happened today at the market"
"Come closer, clown. I'm glad you still have this face on. I enjoy watching you transform. Take it off before me and tell me how it went today"
"As you wish your majesty"
The old man began to remove his white beard which was attached to his face with some type of glue saying "I told the usual story of the brave knight.
The entire market was as silent as a cemetery by the time I was in my second sentence"
The king laughed and said "Most amusing my clown, what else? Tell me more."
"Halfway through the story, one of the merchants got so scared that he threw a bad apple at me." The clown said taking some materials off his face that looked like wrinkled skin.
"Oh, that's so funny!
" The king burst into laughter and added after a few seconds "Your idea to dress like an old man and walk around the street giving the people hope of future salvation by the hands of
this mysterious knight was brilliant. It killed all unrest in the town after the new tax. I have to say I didn't believe this could work until I've seen you in this fake old man face"
"I'm nothing but your loyal servant my king and my only hope is to please you." The clown said bowing to the king as he finished revealing his actual face.
The king smiled and said, "I know, but a few gold coins won't hurt." The king threw 5 coins at the clown.
The clown picked the coins off the ground "I've always been blessed by my king's great generosity"
The king started to turn his attention to one of his beautiful maidens surrounding him and the clown started retreating out of the king's court.
Next week, he'll probably add details about rumors of the knight's new army already gaining some recruits. This will ensure his story remains exciting and fresh.