Passage Chapter 10


“Your Majesty!” Miakis called frantically as she ran through the open doors. “Oh...” She covered her mouth with her hands as Kyle and Galleon caught up with her.

“Your Majesty,” Galleon repeated, shocked by the sight before him. The floor of the audience chamber was littered with the blood and corpses of four Nether Gate assassins and one royal guard, and presumably Richard’s blood.

“Richard!” called Wilhelm’s voice. He appeared a moment later with Mueller; both had been contemplating the state of their subordinate, but neither was truly prepared for what either beheld.

A tearful Lymsleia turned her head as they all approached. “Miakis, Galleon, Kyle,” she said, choking back a sob. “I’m so glad you’re all right. You too, Wilhelm, Mueller. But...” She sniffled, turning back to Richard. “I wish I could say the same for him...”

Galleon hurried over to Richard’s other side and knelt down, examining the teenager. “He’s not dead,” the older knight eventually stated with relief. “He’ a very deep sleep, but he’s losing a lot of blood, too.”

Mueller scowled, turning his head. “That damn fool,” he rasped. “Can’t even protect a young girl without nearly getting himself killed...”

“What?” Lymsleia demanded as she looked up in Mueller’s direction. “I can’t believe you. Do you even know what Richard went through tonight? He had to fight four assassins on his own, and two of them were using that...that stuff!”

“No!” Miakis gasped.

“Ugh!” Kyle was equally appalled. “Not the Raging Nostrum again?”

“Yes,” Lymsleia told them, then brought her icy gaze back to Mueller. “But in spite of that, he fought bravely. He insisted on fulfilling his oath, and...and that’s exactly what he did!”

“He’s not supposed to get himself killed!” Mueller declared, much to everyone’s surprise. “That’s been embedded in his mind since he was little! If anything, I would think...that’s the one thing he would’ve held on to...”

“What do you mean?” Lymsleia asked.

Mueller simply groaned and turned away.

“Mueller,” Lymsleia started to say, but was cut off by Wilhelm.

“The important thing is that Richard recovers,” Wilhelm said, then looked at Galleon. “How’s it lookin’, man?”

“Not too well,” Galleon responded. “I’ve only managed to slow the bleeding. Slow it, but not stop it. If we don’t get him to a doctor soon...” He lowered his head solemnly. “...then it’ll be over for him.”


Miakis turned to the one who had uttered the protest. “Your Majesty...”

Lymsleia shook her head. “That’s not fair...” she continued tearfully. “Is that supposed to be his reward, after everything he’s done?”

“He is a soldier, Your Majesty,” Galleon pointed out calmly. “One must accept this way of life if he is to commit himself to the battlefield.”

“That’s not good enough!” the girl shot back. “I can’t...I won’t...” A familiar humming then brought her out of her nearly hysterical state, and she lifted her hand as a blue light emanated from it.

Miakis gaped, wide-eyed. “Your Majesty...?! that...?”

Lymsleia gazed at the rune as it transferred some of its light to the one deeply slumbering before her. “Yes...the Dawn Rune...” she said as if in a trance. “I...I must...” She then closed her eyes, trying to focus the rune’s power. Just when she believed to have had any kind of grasp on it, however...

“Wh-what...?” The girl opened her eyes, realizing the rune was leaving her. It completely separated itself from her hand and rose higher and higher until it disappeared from view. “No, w-wait...!”

“Your Majesty,” Galleon said, stopping her. “The bleeding has stopped. It would appear...the rune has saved this young man.”

“Just like that time with Lyon,” Miakis commented, awed by the events before her. She then breathed a sigh. “Oh, thank goodness. Can we take him to the infirmary?”

The older man nodded. “I think so. But we have to be careful. He’s still badly injured.”

* * * * *

Some time later, the group had all gathered outside the door to the infirmary. Richard was inside, being observed by Silva and Murad.

“I just can’t believe this,” Lymsleia said, though more to herself.

“Your Majesty?” Miakis asked. “Don’t worry. I’m sure he’ll be all right...”

“I know,” the girl responded softly. “I’ll...just never be able to get that image out of my mind. The way he fought and fought on, and...” Her expression turned sorrowful. “...the way he tried to hide his pain. He tried so hard to protect me...and he put on a brave, gentle face. No matter what was done to him, he just...smiled back and...showed his appreciation.” She shook her head. “But...that’s abnormal. It’s wrong. There’s no way anyone can endure as he did. Keeping the pain locked away, it’s almost like...almost like...”

“ looking into a mirror?” Miakis finished.


“Oh, nothing. I just seem to remember a certain princess vowing not to cry for as long the Godwins were in power. All she did was keep it together for the sake of all of us. She considered it her duty...just like he considered protecting you his duty.” The female knight tilted her head at the girl. “So...why do you think what he did is so strange?”

“Ah... I...I see what you mean...” Lymsleia turned away, her face turning slightly red. “But...seeing him fight...made me remember how you all fought for Brother fought for me. And because so many were willing to fight for many died senseless deaths. I mean, don’t misunderstand...” She looked up at Miakis. “I’m not blaming myself. I know there would have been senseless deaths regardless. I just...hated feeling helpless.”

“Oh...Lym, you’re not helpless. You’ve accomplished more at your age than...than...just about every child I can think of!”

“Maybe, but I wasn’t always in control of those, uh, accomplishments. But other times, I wanted to be of some help. I’m not some...fierce warrior, but I want to be able to do something. Miakis...we all know I’ll have a husband eventually. But...I don’t want a repeat of what happened tonight...”

“Your Majesty...” Miakis’ eyes narrowed sorrowfully, and she drew the girl into a hug. “I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have left you! That was so stupid of me!”

“Huh?” Lymsleia was surprised by the outburst. “ can’t apologize for something like that. You couldn’t have known. Besides, we received official reports of a retreat. Anyone else would’ve thought it safe to leave.”

Letting out a few sobs, the female knight released Lymsleia and moved back. “I’m...I’m just so glad you’re safe,” she said, wiping her eyes. “Richard...he really came through. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a true knight.”

Kyle, who had been leaning against the wall, showed a smirk. “You won’t hear any arguments from me,” he said, then turned to Wilhelm and Mueller. “Hey, if you ever get tired of the guy, send him our way, won’t you?”

“Hmph.” Mueller folded his arms and simply turned away.

Wilhelm looked at his first officer for a moment, and then at Kyle. “That’s not a bad idea...but really, it’s the kid’s decision, and I doubt he’ll be trading positions anytime soon. Besides, I don’t think the Lindwurm Mercenaries would appreciate it much if I just let ‘the Blademaster’ go...”

“Oh...!” Lymsleia cried as Murad appeared. “Dr. is he?”

“Nearly comatose, according to Silva,” the man replied. His angled face seemed paler than usual. “He’s very weak, but somehow, he’s holding on.”

“Could we see him?” Miakis asked.

Murad nodded. “Yes, but keep it down. He’s not in any condition to take any more stress.”

* * * * *

One by one, the group entered the room, slowly gathering by Richard’s bedside. Richard himself laid still, the blanket pulled up nearly to his chest. He was shirtless, bandages circling his shoulder, as well as around his chest...most likely to treat the wound on his back. The group studied him with a sense of wonder; it was a rare time he was seen without a smile.

“He’ fragile,” Lymsleia commented sadly. “Back in the throne room, he was a nearly unstoppable swordsman. But now, lying there, you would never suspect...”

Miakis looked at her sympathetically. “Your Majesty, if this is too much for you, why not rest in your bedroom? We’ll all watch over you.”

The girl shook her head. “No. I want to be here. It’s not much, but it’s what I can do right now. I’m sorry, but...could I just have one moment alone with him?”

Miakis looked at the other knights, and then at Mueller and Wilhelm, as though to seek their approval. When they all nodded in some way, she turned back to Lymsleia. “Of course...Your Majesty. We’ll just be outside the room. And we won’t go anywhere this time.”

“Thank you,” Lymsleia said with a glum smile. When everyone was gone, she moved closer to Richard. “Richard, I...”

“I’m so glad you’re alive. I was would prove yourself honorable and be cruelly rewarded for it. I-I mean...I know that’s silly. probably wouldn’t mind anyway.” Her smile began to sag. “That’s...just the kind of person you are. You’re strong, in many ways.”

“I stay that way...”

Chapter 11

All That Glitters Is Cold 3 Fanfic Competition

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