Enter Beatrice! Malory calls her “a damosel that was cousin to the Earl of Pace,” but I say she merits a name. Beatrice arrives at Castle Prettyview, which belongs to her cousin Morgan le Fay. Since Morgan is the daughter of Gorlas and Igraine (you might remember them from Book I, Chapter 1), Arthur is Igraine’s son with Uther, and Beatrice doesn’t have an explicit familial link to Arthur, my guess is that one of Beatrice’s parents was a sibling of Gorlas’s. And her other parent had one of the Earl of Pace’s parent as a sibling, probably. Anyway.
Beatrice meets Alisander while he loiters around the outskirts of Castle Prettyview, sulking. “You look bummed,” she says by way of introduction.
“Whatever,” says Alisander.
“Sir knight, an ye would be merry I could tell you good tidings,” she continues. “Cheer up and I’ll fill you in on a little secret.”
“Cheer up? Cheer up?” Alisander does that overly dramatic teenager thing where he throws his head back and groans. “I know, you told me to cheer up and so I should cheer up, but it’s not that easy! I’m a prisoner! I can’t leave Castle Prettyview, because I promised I wouldn’t, and now I’m stuck here just because I said I would stay. It’s so unfair!”
“Cousin Morgan tricked you into promising to stay here? You know she’s just setting you up to seduce you, don’t you?”
Alisander looks disgusted. “Gag! She’s all old and stuff. I had liefer cut away my hangers than I would do her such pleasure. And I think we all know what I mean by hangers.”
Malory: right in there with the testicles jokes!
“Tell you what,” says Beatrice. “Let me seduce you instead, and then I’ll figure you a way out of this.”
“Sounds reasonable,” says Alisander. “But what’s the play?”
“My uncle, the Earl of Pace —”
“Whoa,” I say to Malory. “Uncle? You just said, you just said cousin.”
“Shut up,” explains Malory.
“My uncle, the Earl of Pace, hates Morgan. Hates her. So much, it’s like, flames, coming out of the side of his face. All I need to do is tell him that there are vile shenanigans a-transpiring here in Castle Prettyview, and would he please lay siege to this place and tear it all down? He’s spared it up to now only because we all know this castle is rightfully mine.”
“So once the whole castle is burning, just, fire all over the place, massive inferno, then we go out the back door and ride off and live happily ever after!”
“Sounds like a plan!” If there’s one thing Alisander is into, it’s going along with other people’s plans.
“Wait, no. You promised to stay here for a year, right?”
“I did.” Alisander is crestfallen. “It’s only been three weeks.”
“No, it’s cool. Here’s what we do. I get the castle burned down, and then you spend a year hanging out in the ruins.”
“…how is that better for me?”
“Let’s have sex,” suggests Beatrice. And they do! Alisander does to her pleasaunce as it pleased them both at times and leisures, which is as saucy as Malory gets. Afterwards Alisander has entirely forgotten about his objection to the plan.