Part 3 - The Chosen Knight
“Your Highness …?”
Elian turned back and smiled at the Knight that had called him and now bowed respectfully. For an instant he thought that things like that bow should be banned. He hated all those meaningless curtsies. But then he remembered he no longer wore the Knights' uniform, since Adira had made sure he was ready to welcome that night’s guests. And that was the rule. The Knights were supposed to address him according to the clothes he wore. Ridiculous!, he thought. But that had been the sole condition placed by his father, when he had stated his desire to supervise all matters related to the Orders. And if that was all it took, Elian was willing to comply with that small demand.
“Kai! I’m glad you came,” he told the Knight, crossing the room to place a hand on his shoulder. “I need to ask you a favor.”
“I’m at your disposal, Your Highness.”
“I believe it’s nothing too hard, for someone like you. You’re one of our best Knights and you’re good both in combat and with strategy. I’m sure you know that the foundation of the White Knight’s teachings comes from the Temple of Solara, in Nar. We have received a visit from an Emissary from the Temple, asking our help on their quest. Apparently they’ve found out about the existence of a powerful object and want to find it and keep it from falling into the wrong hands. From what this Emissary has told me, the Tower of Magic is also searching for this object and they believe that terrible things will come to pass, should this … thing find its way into the hands of the Lord of Morianor. Be it as it may, we have a debt towards Nar and we can’t simply refuse their request for help. This is a mission that can take some time, and that’s also why I thought of you. You have no family in Mithir, no one depending on you, and you know the surrounding territories better than most. So, although it may not be fair, I’d like to ask you to …”
“It will be my honor, Your Highness! When shall I leave?” Kai cut in and Elian smiled, pleased with his answer.
“Tomorrow, by the end of the day. Tonight is party night, and I know all too well that mornings after nights such as these are never auspicious. And, since this object can be anywhere, why don’t you start your search on the outskirts of Mádon? News from the Armies of the North are of the most importance to us, right now.”
Kai nodded with a serious expression and bowed again.
“Understood. And now, if you’ll excuse me.”
Elian gave him permission to leave and Kai raised his head, trotting out the door.
Elian took a deep breath and tugged at his dark-read cloak that seemed about to choke him.
“Elian!!” Denar stormed into the room and stopped to regain his breath. “Please explain to me, in a way I’m able to understand, why is that girl downstairs, with the rest of the Knights!”
Elian forced a smile towards the service boy that, by the door, peered inside, unsure of what to do before that storming invasion, and, excusing himself, closed the door.
“Will you please calm down? If you continue to act like this everyone is going to find out she’s here!” he whispered but Denar didn’t even bother to listen, grabbing him by the collar of his white shirt.
“Are you insane?!”
“I promised her she could choose to be whoever she wants. This was her choice. What difference does it make? As long as she’s happy …”
“She’s a Princess!”
“And? I’m a Prince. So what?”
“So what?! It’s entirely different! She’s a girl. Not even a girl! More like a child! And she’s not used to this kind of life!”
“Child or no child, she knows her way around a sword better than many when they first come to us. Just let her be …”
“What if she gets hurt or something? This is no joke!”
“You said it yourself. She’s not made of glass. Besides, she has Elipson looking out for her. She’ll be fine!”
“Oh! Of course! As long as Elipson’s looking out for her, no harm will come to her!” the Knight mocked ironically, releasing him at last, although he seemed even angrier than before. “If you only knew what she puts those kids through …!”
“Yes, yes … alright. I know already.” Elian sighed, straightening his shirt, noticing the change of subject. “And I thought we had agreed you wouldn’t interfere with each other’s groups, remember? As for Darna, really … for someone who openly stated that he didn’t want anything to do with this, you’re quite worried about her safety, aren’t you?” he asked, provoking him, and he couldn’t help laugh as a sudden blush came upon the Knight’s cheeks.
“What the … Who’s worried?!” Denar retorted, frowning, and Elian pushed him towards the door.
“Okay, Okay. No need to get angry! And let’s go, or Adira is bound to come and get me. And that’s never a pleasant experience.”