Part IX: Found!
The young lady’s question threw him off. Yor did not know what to say. He stared at her with an outright blank expression on his face, blinking naïvely.
When he finally found his tongue, he uttered, “What?”
Elmeida opened her mouth and the soft, lilting voice of her laughter echoed around the small house. Immediately, a sense of tranquillity filled him and he relaxed, almost forgetting the topic of their discussion and concentrating only on her smile.
“Well,” she said, once her laughter subsided, “you do remember the story of Merlin and Lady Celia, don’t you?” Her eyes peered at his face with a humorous glint.
“Oh, that I do,” he responded, mentally chiding himself. “Yes. Well, no, actually. After containing the Darkness, Lady Celia’s essence went into a coma, while Merlin simply vanished from the face of the world. His disappearance was quite unnerving to the people, so they made it that he died with the exhaustion of using too much Magic.
“But, in reality, he was just in a coma himself – hidden from all civilisation – trying to regain the strength he lost. He awoke about two decades ago in my land, the Kingdom of Grant – his homeland – and took to teachin Magic. My own father was one of his students. Then, when I was nine years of age, my parents left me with him and never came back. Merlin told me that they went on a journey to seek their fortune. However, when three years passed by and I stopped hearing from them, I realised they were never going to come back.”
Elmeida opened her mouth to speak, when a loud scream was heard in the distance, outside the house.
Elmeida and Yor glanced at one-another. Without wasting a moment, they rushed towards the front door. Yor motioned her to stay quiet and went to peer out the window.
To his utter horror, he saw an army of black-clad soldiers running towards them, crushing everyone that stood in their way!
Yor turned to Elmeida, wondering how the young lady would take the news. But, the determined look she gave him changed his mind and he told her what he saw. At this, a gasp escaped her throat.
“What’s the matter?” he asked her, now frightened for his new friend. He knew that something occurred to her, something that she hesitated revealing to him. “What is it, Elmeida? Perhaps I can help you.”
She adamantly shook her head. “No, you won’t be able to,” she told him. Then, she opened the door and walked out – just like that!
Yor, unable to remain in the dark any longer, followed her outside, just so he could keep a close eye on her. He felt around his hips for his prized belt and was glad to find that it was still clinging to him. He felt equipped enough to face any sort of emergency now.
Elmeida, in the meantime, took a few steps towards the approaching army and stopped. “Hey, you Jermian fatheads! Your target is right here!”
’Jermian?’ Yor thought, incredulously. ’Oh no… have they found her already?!’
He did not have time think more, as Elmeida went on:
“Why don’t you take me now and leave this peaceful kingdom alone?!”
Yor was startled at her words. He wanted to demand if she was out of her mind, but nevertheless, he stood his ground. He wanted to see how this would turn out.
The Head of the Jermian Royal Army, a mortal wearing the same black clothing with the only addition of a single gold band across his torso, held up a hand. At once, the army behind him stopped in its tracks. The Head stepped forward and walked towards Elmeida.
Every sensible cell in Yor’s body was telling him to protect the young lady, but he held back such thoughts. Instead, he concentrated on getting ready to whisk her away at a moment’s notice.
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