Launcelot figures he’s obliged to rescue Breunor, if the kid’s been captured by these jerk knights of Castle Pendragon. He rides up to the castle where a half-dozen knights make to capture him, just as they did Breunor. However they did not reckon on Launcelot being the best knight ever! He whups all six of them, in a splendid scene, humiliating them until they flee back into the castle and call upon their lord to save them.
Their lord, oddly enough, is Sir Brian of the Isles, last mentioned way, way back in Book III Chapter XIII as Sir Meliot’s old frat brother. For no reason Malory bothers to explain, Sir Brian is both a noble man and a great enemy unto King Arthur. When he and Launcelot meet, naturally there’s a joust. And naturally Launcelot wins, because Launcelot always wins, Launcelot is the best. Sir Brian surrenders eventually, which surrender Launcelot accepts.
“Let’s see all your prisoners, then,” says Launcelot.
Brian empties out Castle Pendragon, freeing not just Breunor and Marcie, but also thirty other knights in Arthur’s service, plus forty ladies. It’s a big complex scene, lots of jostling and knights arguing over whose lady is whose, and in the confusion Launcelot rides away. He’s just too knightly to stick around and accept thanks, you know.
While Breunor and Marcie collect their things and piece together what exactly happened, Sir Nerovens’s damosel Loretta rides up. “It was Launcelot!” she explains. “He’s the best and he saved you all!”
“Launcelot sure is the best,” everyone agrees.
“I didn’t realize that was Sir Launcelot!” cries Marcie. “Last chapter he was defending the knightliness of Sir Ill-Fitting Suit here, and I argued with him! I actually argued with Sir Launcelot, the best knight, about someone’s knightliness! I’m so ashamed. Come on, Sir Ill-Fitting Suit, let’s catch up to him so I can apologize!”
Breunor and Marcie ride after Launcelot at speed, and catch up to him in just a couple of miles. Immediately Marcie apologizes: “For now I know the flower of all knighthood is departed even between Sir Tristram and you. My eyes are finally open! I have sought you for so long, so long my lord!” She wails and points. “Once I met Sir Tristram, and he rescued this shield, which had been taken from me by Pitiless Bruce, and now I have met you, Sir Launcelot, the best knight.”
Launcelot bites his lip. He really doesn’t like this kind of fawning; it’s why he travels incognito so much. ”Who told you I’m Sir Launcelot?”
“Curse that Loretta, and curse Sir Nerovens for telling her. But okay, listen, I’ll travel with you both, provided you don’t make a big deal out of me being Sir Launcelot, okay?”
“And I hope this will finally shut you up about Sir Ill-Fitting Suit here being a bad knight, Ill-Speaker,” adds Launcelot.
“Oh, I’ve learned my lesson,” she responds. “Also secretly I’ve been in love with him this whole time. I was trying to talk him out of being a knight, because I thought it would get him killed. That sounds plausible, right?”
“Extremely plausible!” cries Launcelot. “Let you no more be nicknamed Ill-Speaker! Now I shall call you Clear-Sighted!”
“Whatever,” says Marcie.
Scene shift, new scene, here we go. Breunor and Marcie and Launcelot ride until they come to a village built around a fortified bridge, over a big river. The folks who operate the bridge see Marcie’s black shield, and declare that because of the shield, they will be allowed over the bridge only one at a time.
“I’m not saying we’re doing this to separate you for ambush,” say the villagers. “I’m just saying, we’re going to ambush you.”
Launcelot volunteers to go first, but Breunor asks to be allowed to go first instead, what with this being his first strange adventure and all. Launcelot is okay with it.
Inside the bridge, sure enough, three knights attack Breunor. Brothers, named Sir Plaine the Forceful, Sir Plaine the Lusty, and Sir Plenorius. Breunor fights them two at a time, all three, finally it’s just him and Plenorius battering one another for hours. Marcie and Launcelot watch.
“I’m worried he’ll hurt himself,” says Marcie.
“He’s Sir Ill-Fitting Suit! He’s got this,” says Launcelot. “He’s got this right proper.”