Chapter 45- Complicated Things
“You sure took your time, Donatello,” I pushed myself off the wall that I had been leaning against and crossed my arms as the man approached me on the back of his white mare.
“I told you to call me Don,” He mumbled, jumping off the animal.
“Why? Donatello is such a pretty name,” He grabbed my waist and picked me up before setting me down on the horse and climbing on behind me.
“It’s too long and sounds fancy, I don’t like it,” He grumbled, whipping the reigns of the horse and starting on a small trot to the entryway of the palace.
“Are you in a bad mood?” I questioned.
“How did you know?”
“You’re talking with emotion,”
“What is that supposed to mean,”
“Nothing,” I chuckled, turning my head back to face forward.
“I heard Maria’s coming to visit? When is she coming?” It seems that was the cause of his foul mood when I sensed him freeze at the mention of that name and bit back a smirk.
“Next week,” He answered anyway. “The both of you had gotten close during your festival, isn’t that right?” He asked but it came out as a statement and I nodded in answer.
“Yes... she’s a really easy-to-approach person but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked when she said that she was supposed to marry Vince,”
“How did you feel about that?” He curiously asked.
“Not good... But it’s okay since I like Vince and I think he likes me too,” Don’s mood felt like it was finally beginning to lift when his chest vibrated with a deep chuckle.
“You think?” He said and I nodded once more.
“He’s always kissing me, hugging me and patting my head. He doesn’t do that with others, only me... but then again he’s never said that he loved me,” I sighed, frustrated.
“I don’t think you need to worry about that,” Don assured with certainty.
“If you say so... but other than that, what’s your relationship with Maria?” His mood which had steadily began to rise crashed back down and I bit my tongue, damn me and my curiosity.
“It’s a complicated relationship,” He sighed and I hummed.
“I think you’re the one making it complicated,” I turned to look at him for a moment before turning back ahead.
“Why would you think that?” He confusingly asked.
“Because you like her and she likes you. You’re just afraid of the consequences of stealing the King’s supposed-to-be woman when you have nothing to be afraid of,”
We were enveloped in silence for the rest of the journey to the entrance of the palace and Don’s horse came to a pause in front of the black gates. We waited for the man to begin pulling it up and I hummed a small tune to myself to get rid of the silence.
“It seems that when it comes to someone else’s love life, you’re awfully smart... but when it comes to your own love life then you become a naive person,” I blushed at his words and turned to glare at him before whipping my head back, making sure that my hair would flick against his face. A satisfied smirk made its way to my face when I heard him hiss in pain.
“The gates up. Let’s go, Don. You can itch your face later, we have an injured eagle to save,” I pointed at the road ahead of us and practically felt his glare radiating through the back of my head.
“Exactly whose fault is it that I’m itching my face?” He mumbled and whipped the reigns once more but before we had the chance to trot forward, the shout of someone behind us stopped us abruptly.
Curiously, I turned my head back and peered over Don’s large frame to see who it was.
“Who is that?” I heard myself ask.
“That would be Tobias Lockheart, the previous first-in-command of the knights of Lysandra,” Don didn’t seem too happy about that. I heard the galloping of another horses feet that were fast approaching our waiting horse.
“Can I help you?” Don started up a conversation.
“Take me with you, please! Wherever you’re going. I can’t be here right... now... Oh? Hello, I didn’t see you there since Donatello was blocking you,” Tobias Lockheart greeted me with a friendly grin but the surprise and curiosity on his face didn’t go unnoticed by me.
“Hello,” I greeted back politely.
“Who are you? You’re very pretty,” I smiled at the compliment and he froze up even more.
“Thank you,” I said.
“Mr Lockheart, this is Eleanora. I believe Vincenzo has already told you about her,” Don said.
“The mage! So it was all real!” He screamed, surprising all of us and probably his horse too.
“Yes, it is,” I nodded, guessing that what Vince told him was that I was a mage.
“Greeting aside, what do you want?” Don pushed back the subject and asked Tobias.
“Ah, yes. Well, I came to visit Valentino today and decided to have a little fun and played a prank on him with the help of his wife but we all know that he loves Alexa more than me-”
“Will you get to the point?” Don pushed.
“So I’m currently on the run and desperate to get away from him but I can’t just randomly run away or I’ll look like a wimp so I’ll help you with whatever you’re about to go do now and kill two birds with one stone,” Don didn’t react. Let alone say anything and his glare only seemed to be hardening too.
“So... Can I come with you?”
“Sure,” Don and I said at the same time and the man turned to glare at me but I only brushed it off with a fake smile that I had learnt from none other than Vince.
“Great. Let’s go,” Tobias gave me a high-five and pulled his horse into a trot, walking slightly ahead of us. Don took a moment to compose himself before following the ex-knight.
“So... Where exactly are we headed?” Tobias eventually asked.
“To retrieve an injured eagle,” I answered. “He was out surveying the area for me but crashed into a lampost and injured his wing. That way-” I stopped with my speech and pointed in the direction that we should go.
“His name’s Yoshi, he’s really clumsy,” I said, thinking about the eagle.
“Ah yes. I know him. He’s Ryder’s child,”
“That’s the eagle that grew up with Alexa on Marlowe Island. He passed away a few years ago though but his child is still here and it seems that he’s still as clumsy as ever,” Tobis explained with a light laugh.
“Are you close with the previous Queen?” I asked and he didn’t hesitate to nod.
“I’m best friends with her husband so yes. There was a short period of time where I had a crush on her too but that’s all gone now. I’m happy with my wife right now, even though we can’t have children,” He sighed.
“Why not?” I curiously asked.
“She’s infertile. We found out after getting married. It’s sad but it’ll be okay. We’re going to adopt a little girl from the orphanage soon,” He explained and I hummed.
“Go that way. It’s not far from here,” I pointed and Don flicked the reigns, speeding up a bit. It took another minute and I could finally see the struggling silhouette of the eagle.
“Yoshi,” I called. Jumping off the white mare, I rushed to the animal’s side and sat on the ground beside it, picking him up in my arms and taking a look at his wing.
“You’ll be fine,” I smiled, running my hands over the wings and watched as it began to lightly glow, repairing the broken area.
“There. Good as new,” Don peered down at the animal from behind me.
“I can never get used to it,” I heard him mumble.
“Should we head back now?” He asked and I nodded.
“Wait... Where did Tobias wander off to?...” Don groaned to himself, running his hands through his hair in frustration as I looked around the area in search of the said man but came up empty. “Seriously. He’s like a child that’ll wander off the moment you take your eyes off,” He cussed.
“Would you like me to locate him?” I asked.
“No. Vince said we should save up as much of your energy as possible. I don’t think he’ll appreciate you wasting it on his father’s best friend who acts like an annoying teenager,” Don glared at the area in front of him, scaring the few curious people away.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” I chuckled but Don shook his head.
“No. You go sit over there and stay there while I go find him,” He pointed to a bench that was situated around a large water fountain along with a few other benches.
“Okay, be careful,” He didn’t leave until he had made sure that I was sat on the bench and I waved him off to which he awkwardly waved back before running off.
“In some ways, he kind of reminds me of Arturo,” Yoshi squawked at me from his sitting position on my lap and I chuckled at him, running my hands through his hair.
Barely a minute had passed and people had already begun giving me curious looks. That time on the day of the festival washed passed my memory when Vince and I had gotten caught and chased by everyone and I shivered at the thought of it happening again.
I pulled the hood of my cloak up and covered as much of my face as possible, keeping my head tilted down to Yoshi who was sat on my thighs.