Passage Chapter 13
Well, I wouldnt say its been a real picnic, but it definitely doesnt hurt as much as I thought it would, Richard, who was sitting up in bed, told Wilhelm. I thought by now that Id be in a lot of pain, or...just not as lucky. Ha ha.
Yeah, Wilhelm said, looking contemplative. I thought the same. But, uh...theres a very good reason for that from what Ive heard.
Seeing the mans expression, Richard deduced that the reason was not so simple. Are you saying Dr. Silva isnt...?
Oh, she definitely took care of you. But something else happened back in the throne room before we brought you here. And...if I remember correctly, something similar happened with that bangin bodyguard.
Huh? Richard was confused for a moment, but managed to put two and two together. Oh. You mean when that girl, Lyon, was stabbed? I heard that the Dawn Rune healed her. His face became full of shock as it hit him. Are you saying thats what happened to me? But the rune was in possession of...
The man nodded, his grin spreading. Thats right. Her Majesty the Queen.
Ah... The teenager felt his face grow warm, and he lowered his head. Thats twice I owe her.
What do you mean?
Richard recapped the event of fighting the final assassin, who had taken the Raging Nostrum. He watched Wilhelms expression change as he explained how Lymsleia struck down the assassin with the power of the Dawn Rune. I was surprised to see the rune, Richard continued. I was sure Her Majesty said the runes werent reacting to her.
Well, lucky for you, one of them did! Wilhelm remarked.
Richard smiled. You mean, lucky for the Lindwurm Mercenaries. What would you do without your Blademaster?
Heh, well, listen to you. The older man raked a hand through his own scruffy hair, shaking his head. Who wouldve thought you had an ego?
Richard laughed in response at this, and soon, Wilhelm joined in.
Whats so funny? a familiar voice asked.
The two mercenaries turned as Miakis entered the room, followed by Kyle and Galleon.
Oh, hello, Richard greeted them politely. And hello again, Lady Miakis. Glad to see youre all okay.
Then its true! called another familiar voice. The girl pushed past the knights and hurried to the teenagers bedside. You are awake. Thats good news.
Richard stared at the girl, not recognizing her at first. Before he could inquire about her identity, it hit him. Your Majesty? Is that you?
Of course its me! Dont tell me youve-- Lymsleia stopped as she saw Miakis giving her a strange look. She then looked down, realizing Richard had every right to be confused. Instead of her royal robes and crown, she was dressed in black, an outfit suited more to a spy than to a queen. Oh. Uh...I was in the middle of something when we got the good news.
Yeah, we were trying to teach her how to handle a sword, Kyle said.
Really? asked Richard with genuine interest.
I just want to be able to help once in a while, Lymsleia quickly explained, somehow embarrassed that he now knew. I still rely on the Queens Knights and the commander more than ever, but Id also like to rely on my strength, too, instead of on some rune.
Richards expression softened. Well, its good to know the knights wont be out of a job, he said, lowering his head with a smile. And speaking of runes, Your Majesty...I wanted to thank you for saving my life...twice.
Oh... Lymsleias cheeks reddened. Its...its no big deal. Anyone wouldve done the same if they had the rune. A-and besides, youre forgetting that you saved my life a few times, too.
I havent forgotten. It was my duty, Your Majesty.
Wilhelm snickered. Listen to him. Two minutes ago, he was the Blademaster. Now hes Mr. Modest in front of the ladies. Good thing Mueller aint here to set you straight, eh?
Where is he, anyway? Galleon asked.
Hell be back, Wilhelm replied. He just went to tell the other mercenaries the news about Richard.
Ill bet theyll be glad to hear it, Kyle said, then looked at the teenager. I talked to a few of them, and they were really impressed with the way you handled things here. Sounds like a lot of them really look up to you.
Wilhelm nodded. They sure do. One of the best fighters in the Lindwurm Mercenaries turned Sacred Games participant turned Commander of the Queens Knights. The kid is going places; who can blame them? He then turned to Richard with a mixed, though fully non-serious, expression. Knock it off, would ya? The ladies are starting to take notice, and I cant pick up any if theyre too busy drooling over you.
Richard was blushing. You make it sound as though Im relentless. But thats not true! Muellers the reason I even got this far.
Yeah, but Mueller didnt force you to be a mercenary, a tournament fighter, or a commander. He just suggested those things. You made the decision to become all of that. I mean, hey, I know youre grateful to the guy, but the truth is, youre the one making all the effort.
Maybe, the teenager replied, though he seemed reluctant to believe it. I just believe in giving credit where its due.
And so do the rest of us, Wilhelm said, and then turned to the knights. What about you guys?
Of course! Miakis exclaimed. And Richard deserves most of the credit for ensuring Her Majestys safety!
Kyle nodded. I wouldnt have minded seeing that fight. You mustve been really pumped, man.
All I did was fulfill my oath, Richard insisted. Her Majesty was in danger, and it was my sworn duty to protect her. I have no regrets about the way things turned out, and...Id do it all over again.
Lymsleias eyes widened briefly at these words, but she said nothing, knowing he meant it only in its very basic context.
So how do you feel? Miakis asked.
Im fine, Miakis, Richard told her. Im still physically exhausted, and my body aches a little, but Ill live.
Exhausted? Lymsleia asked, looking concerned. Oh, maybe we should let you rest.
No, I meant...I wont be picking up a sword for a few days. Otherwise, Im okay.
Thats when Miakis saw her chance. In that case, how about telling us all about the fight?
Uh, Miakis... Kyle started. Im pretty sure Richard isnt in the mood to--
Sure! Richard replied happily, immediately going into the tale. He began with the wounded guard staggering into the audience chamber, recounting the battles with vibrancy. Lymsleia made the occasional contribution, her voice the perfect complement to the young swordsmans story.
Outside the door, out of plain view, the fully attentive Mueller stood. He had heard most of the conversation, and was now letting Richards tale sink in. Though he would never admit it to Richard or anyone else, he could not help but possess a sense of pride whenever it came to the teenage boy. It was different from what he felt for the rest of his soldiers, and not because Richard was better at his skill than most of them. Mueller equated this feeling with the sort of pride a father might have for his son, and it had only grown stronger through the years. Perhaps he would never reveal this to anyone, but there was certainly no hiding it from himself.
As Richard continued his tale animatedly, Mueller decided to return at a later time. Theres no mistake, he whispered as he quietly moved away. No mistake at all.
You truly are worthy... Blademaster.
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