The Hero's Apprentice

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Ch. 13 The Promise

The tavern where Walter and Drey had had their wedding dinner was also an inn. Cro assured Walter he would stand watch with the guards, and that he could be alone with Drey till morning when they met up with the king and queen. Walter was contemplating his married status. His family had no idea where he was and what had happened. And even if he did go back, they wouldn’t recognize him, and his entire existence would only confuse everyone. At the same time though Walter realized just how happy the past nine days had been. He had everything he had ever wanted. A life that was exciting, a friend, and now a wife that was truly in love with him. The entire chain of events hadn’t fazed him all that time, and now it was starting to weigh on him. He was going to live here. And somewhere along the way he had to teach Cro and prove his love for Drey. But of course, everything had a price in the world. That was why it was the first law of thermodynamics. Walter soon saw that he had paid a price to get here. And now he would pay an even bigger one if he wanted to stay, to keep what he had obtained. What he would never give up because he’d sacrifice everything else to have it, even if just for one more day.

Walter was nervous about going back in time too. He was scared that he would do it again, and it would be unintentional or something. He wanted to stay here with Cro and Drey. But Cro had insisted that things would happen and Walter needed to be ready. Drey had said the same thing, and that was why she had married him. It was assurance that she trusted him, and that she believed he would honor everything that was now entrusted to him. He had been entrusted with magic, and a princess who was now coming to him on his wedding night. Walter didn’t feel right about it. Drey had loved him the moment she knew he was her love from years ago. But Walter had not proven anything yet. He had not earned Dreys’ love or respect. How could he ever expect to be in love if his love hadn’t even been tested against something? Drey looked lovely and Walter couldn’t help but sob at that moment. Drey cuddled next to him on the bed as he cried onto his arm.

“You fear this is wrong because you haven’t known me long.”

Walter clasped her hand and nodded. Drey came closer pushing herself against Walter who was still wearing his shirt and cargo pants. The window of the room was opened a crack, and a nice breeze almost like a fan was gently blowing on the princess and her husband. Drey had on a white gown. But beneath it Walter felt her. He wanted to deserve her, to really be her chosen because that was the only way in Walters mind.

“This happened before you know.”

Walter turned to look at her, and she continued. She told him about how they met, how he had been in the forest, and how she had been attacked. She kept the story vague so Walter couldn’t guess what he had done and what exactly had happened. Just a classic tale of love, adventure, hardships, culminating in a circumstance like this where Walter was there beside her. She had her doubts about being able to love a stranger, and Walter had done as she had done for Walter now. He had told her that love was a choice above all else. And that even if she chose not to be his beloved, he would always protect her.

Drey then went on telling Walter all of her secrets. Her childhood, her likes and dislikes. Walter listened and when he tried to add his own, Drey guessed them all perfectly. Saying there was no need because Walter had shared it all with her back then. Walter wanted to be this other Walter who knew Drey so well. But Drey reminded him that she had been in his situation so there was a commonality between them that made their relationship so special. They were brought together by desire and by chance. And even though they came from different lands and times, their love would overcome it all. And tonight Drey was choosing to give Walter a supreme declaration that she wanted him. That when he vanished to go on the journey that would bring them together again for him and the first time for her. She would be here waiting for him to come back. She had longed for him, and knew that Walter had waited a long time to have his deepest wishes granted.

“I want to grant your wish tonight. And then you must promise me you will find me. Promise that you will not leave me unless it is to prevent losing me. I don’t know why Walter. I don’t know what is going to happen. I just know you are going to get your chance to earn what you’ve always strived for. Even if tonight seems like it isn’t meant to occur. Know this, you will earn it if you haven’t already. I believe that whatever happens, you will not take it and give nothing back. You will love me eventually, even if you can’t do it tonight.”

Walter pressed his forehead against hers. He listened to her emotions, and then let his own enter into her mind. She breathed heavily. He wanted to read her thoughts, see the entire story of their lives together and how it ended. But that all depended on what he did now, even if tomorrow he was years in the future, or centuries in the past. Carpe Diem, seize the day. Walter had waited a long time for a moment like this. And he finally admitted to himself that the rest of his unpredictable existence was worth this one moment. Walter stroked the long golden hair of his wife. Gazed into her blue eyes till their smiles matched perfectly. Closed his eyes to maximize the feeling of kissing her again and again. And then Walter finally spoke aloud his commitment to Drey.

“I will always be your husband, even if you aren’t my wife after this.”

“Then as my husband, I want you to give me all of you now, and then more when and if one or both of us don’t remember each other.”

Walter didn’t know how they would do that if they both forgot. So Walter made one more promise.

“I wont forget, even if I have to lose everything else to retain it.”

“And I will believe you, somehow some way you’ll find me. And you wont leave me after tonight?”

“If I vanish after tonight, I’ll come back to you. Wherever and whenever that is.”

“You told me that once before.”

“Did I keep that promise?”

“I believe you will if you haven’t already.”

“And I believe I do want to give you all of me.”

That night Walters’ feelings charged everything around him. The forest spent hours discussing how they would keep Drey safe. Cro was seated when he felt the aura and knew that what was happening was sure to awake Rye. And sure enough, in the dormitory academy, Rye awoke sensing the enormous power. Rye could not locate the source because the energy was unfamiliar. But he awoke from slumber and began a spell that would slowly bind the energy and make it his prisoner. And while he slowly crafted the spell, he would study legends, stories, tales about the yellow, orange, and red class wizards. If what Rye had just sensed wasn’t a red class wizard, then nothing was. He would capture this energy source, and make it do his bidding. And there were only three things Rye wanted to use it for. Make Cro disappear like the wizards of old, Walter gone with no memory of Ando, and Drey his trophy to remind him of the victory for all time.

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