Twice Upon A Sword

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Chapter 28- In My Time

--Vincenzo POV--

I leaned down towards her and she leaned back a bit.

“You sound like a puppy craving the love of its owner,” At her words, I couldn’t help but burst out into a fit of laughter.

“I’ve been called animal names before but this is the first time that I’ve been called a puppy. It’s quite a hit to my reputation,” She rolled her eyes at me and I leaned down once more but this time she didn’t move away.

“Do you like me?” She asked and I paused.

“I don’t dislike you,” I replied and a smile crept onto her lips.

“I don’t dislike you either, Vince,”

My heart skipped a beat. Or rather, it felt as if it completely stopped for a second before picking up its pace tenfold. The fact that I was still alive urged me to move forward and I placed a hand on her cheek, leaning down to land my lips on hers.

“Your majesty! Your majesty!”

What fool came shouting for a death wish!?

With an angry growl, I moved my hand away from Nora’s cheek and stood up to go beat the pest up but stopped when I saw Don running down the steps and halting in front of me.

He leaned down, resting his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.

“Your timing is impeccable,” I glowered at the man with crossed arms and an irritated glare on my face, making my displeased self very noticeable.

“Thanks,” He panted.

I could still feel the shiver of her body under mine, her warm breath on my lips... but this annoying brat just had to ruin it before I could feel her lips on mine!

How truly infuriating was this situation!? I just wanted to pull my hair out and his along with mine if possible, then I wanted to give him a nice good punch to the gut then make him sleep out in the cold.

“What? This better be important,” I turned around to look at Nora and she was putting everything she got out back into the chest. I’ll have to move that somewhere safer.

“We have a problem,” He stood back up to his full height with a serious look on his face.

Everything I was planning on doing to make him regret interrupting the moment was put on pause and I waited for him to tell me the news.

“The men that we sent to keep an eye on Alpheus have been killed,”

“What?...” I replied after a moment, my crossed arms sagging to land beside me.

“It seems that Alpheus hired an assassin and when the men had their guard down, they were stabbed to death. He’s planning something... and it’s not something good,”

What was Alpheus’s goal? To be the King of Lysandra no matter the cost. He had killed my grandmother from my father’s side and he’s willing to kill anyone else in order to achieve his dream.

I thought he had enough of being King. When will he get it through his head that he can’t be King anymore, not after everything he’s done and even if he did become King, his reign won’t last long since the people are sure to rebel.

So what was he doing!?

I groaned, walking back and forth in the small space, running my fingers through my hair in an attempt to think up a good enough idea.

“Revenge,”

I paused and turned to look at Nora who had finished tidying everything up and now she sat on top of the chest with a look on her face that told me she was sure.

“That makes sense,” Don nodded in agreement to her theory.

It does. Alpheus wasn’t dumb enough to know that he can’t be King anymore, he knew that but he didn’t want to leave us in peace after we locked him up so he wanted revenge on us.

A smirk slowly made its way onto my lips, a plan to get rid of that wretch already forming in my head. Alpheus made a mistake by thinking he could get revenge on me, the pathetic loser.

He was pitiful.

It’s disgusting to think that I’m even related to him. I shivered at the thought.

“His motive is to get rid of the royal family, he couldn’t care less about what becomes of the Kingdom,” Don stated the most believable fact.

“Question is, how will he do that?” Placing a hand on his chin, he thought about it.

“It won’t matter since we’ll catch him before he has the chance to carry out his stupid revenge plan,” I said.

“Would you like me to locate him again?” I nodded my head to Nora’s question and she stood up already whispering out a few unrecognisable, breathy words through her lips.

With a click of her fingers, she created a flame of fire and controlled it to draw a circle onto the ground, stepping in the centre of it as words began inscribing around her on the ground.

She waved her hand and the flame was gone but like last time, she raised her hands and closed her eyes, whispering again as the circle began glowing

“How long do you think it’ll take this time?” Don asked me but his eyes were on Nora.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as we find him in the end,” I mumbled with crossed arms and eyes penetrating into the mage who was oblivious to my gaze as she had her eyes closed and was busy concentrating on locating Alpheus.

“Go get me a cup of tea... and get yourself one while you’re at it,” I instructed and Don left. I took that chance to sit on the chest that Nora had been sat on for a bit and got as comfortable as I could get while I waited for Don to bring me my cup of tea.

As expected, it took longer than wanted but it was less than last time so I was grateful for that.

“Found him,”

“Where?”

“A small city north-east of here,”

“Do you know the name? Is it located in Lysandra or is it in another Kingdom’s territory?” I asked, desperate for answers.

“Wait,” She closed her eyes again, furrowing her brows.

“Asteria. He’s in a pub with the same old man as before,” She mumbled.

Asteria.

“Contact Alistair and have him lock down the area. I don’t want anyone leaving or entering,” I pointed at Don, the three of us rushing back up the stairs.

If I leave now, I’ll be able to reach the city in two days time but still, that seemed too far away. I stopped at the top of the stairs and looked down at Nora.

“Will you be able to transport us there?” I asked.

“If you wish for it,” She replied and I froze.

Oh yes, I had a single wish that I could use to either set her free or quench my greed. I seem to always forget.

“Can you not do it if I don’t wish it?” I asked, hoping for a good answer.

“When you make a wish, I’m given a lot of energy to make it come true. Without the wish, I only have the energy that’s residing in me. Currently, the amount of energy I’ll need to transport you to Asteria is not enough,”

“How long will it take you to have enough energy?”

“Two days,” Ugh. That didn’t make any difference and it’ll only wear her out more, leaving her with no energy if anything else is to happen.

“Let’s go. We’ll leave now on horseback. Don, call someone to get my horse ready,” Don ran ahead of us and Nora kept up with my quick strides.

“I’m sorry for not being of much help,” I halted in my tracks and turned to look at Nora who looked disappointed in herself.

Smiling at her, I raised my hand and placed it on her cheek as she snapped her head up to meet my warm gaze.

“You’ve been a big help. Without you here, it would have taken me a good few weeks to even find him,” I assured her, not looking or moving away from her until I was sure the disappointment was all gone.

“Thank you,” She smiled at me.

I gulped, feeling the adam’s apple bob up and down.

“I’m the one that’s thankful,” With that, I leaned down and planted my lips on her forehead. Not moving away even after I felt her hiccup in surprise.

“Let’s go,” I smirked at her red face but paused once more and turned to look at her, my eyes scanning the clothes she was wearing.

“We’ll get you changed into some riding clothes first,” I nodded at my smart thinking.

Half an hour later, Don and I were outside the palace by the fountain, waiting for Nora and while I was dressed in my own riding clothes with a cloak on top with the hood down, all the other men, including Don, wore their armour.

Silas, my older brother and my first-in-command who never did his duty decided to finally start doing his job today and he was preparing his horse for the long journey a few feet away from me, dressed in his own armour.

Five other men were with us and they animatedly chatted with each other atop their horses, waiting for my signal to leave.

I made sure to keep Achilles on the side of my saddle, placed safely in its golden scabbard.

“She’s here,” Don said and I turned my head to see her running down the steps and gulped at the sight. She really does look good in anything.

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