Jake spotted Rebecca, who was leaning on the rail of the ship. She didn't seem ill, but he knew that something was troubling her. Whatever it was, it must have happened when Luke was within the castle walls. She had apparently disobeyed Luke's orders and followed him into the castle. Two days had passed since then, and she still seemed a bit depressed.
He walked over to the purple-haired woman and placed his right arm across her back.
She immediately looked up, her forest green eyes troubled. Then she pressed against his side, and the two cuddled for a moment.
"What's wrong?" he asked softly. "You and Luke have been acting very odd since the castle attack." 'Though they're both acting completely different.' He thought, remembering how grumpy and anti-social the teenager had been.
Rebecca looked around, as if checking for anyone who could hear them. Then she stepped away and faced him. "The queen died." She muttered, avoiding his eye.
"That's it?" he blurted. "I mean, that's sad news, yes, but
"It's how she died, Jake!" The woman sounded desperate. "She shielded Luke from an attack!" She stared downward. "I'm his bodyguard. That should have been me!"
'That explains Luke's grumpy behavior.' Jake thought. "You were obeying orders." He stated, hoping to comfort the woman he loved.
"And why did Luke give me those orders?" Rebecca asked, looking up at him sternly.
He hesitated. Did she know that he had influenced the teen's decision?
"It's because I was being emotionally incompetent!" She answered her own question. "If I hadn't been letting my emotions get in the way of my duty, she would still be alive!"
'Whew!' "Would you rather be dead instead?" he asked, his tone unintentionally bitter.
"As his bodyguard, I'm supposed to protect him even at the cost of my own life!" She replied, sounding defensive. She then turned away and leaned on the rail again.
" he said, making his tone as kind as he could. "Just stop and think about it for a moment. What would have happened if it had been you?"
She didn't respond.
From another part of the boat, Luke's angered voice rose above the sounds of the ocean. "GET OUT OF MY WAY!"
Jake walked up to Rebecca. "If this is how Luke reacted to his mother's death
I shudder to think what he would be like if it had been you."
She seemed to realize where he was going with that statement, and she lifted her head. For some reason, she glanced at the scar on his left arm. Luke's attack after the boat battle had permanently damaged the muscles in Jake's upper arm, and he was no longer able to move it freely.
"You're right." She admitted, taking her lean off of the rail. "When king Jothar sentenced me to death, Luke showed signs of going insane
" she said, her voice soft. She turned and looked him in the eye. "Thank you, Jake." She said, her forest green eyes showing affection.
He shook his head. "I don't like seeing you upset." He stated. "And I don't think Luke does either."
"He doesn't like seeing me do this, either." She remarked with a smile, before stepping forwards and kissing him.
8 days had passed since the boat's departure from Aquatos. Now the ship was docked at a Demetrian port, and everyone was excitedly disembarking the ship. "Come on, Luke." Rebecca said, placing her hand behind the teen and trying to guide him forwards.
"Get off of me!" Luke snapped, breaking away from her and spinning around to stare at her defiantly. Then he spun around and stormed onto dry land.
She wasn't surprised by his near-violent response. He had been like this ever since boarding the ship in Aquatos. She knew his anger was due to grief. She had tried a few times to get him to speak about what was bothering him, but he was unwilling. 'He'll tell me when he's ready, I guess
Once on land, she looked around at the people within the crowd.. Kanetathe orange-haired teenager who had followed Luke from the castlewas looking around the port town in awe. Jake was with the Demetrian soldiers. The commander's speech reminded her that Luke had a report to give to King Damon.
'But I'm not so sure he can do it.' She thought, warily glancing at the teenager. He was several feet away from everyone else, and his lowered head and crossed arms still displayed his bad attitude. 'Still, His Majesty will be expecting him.'
"Luke?" she called as she approached him. "Luke, we should be going to the capitol now. His Majesty will be waiting for our report."
"Do we have to?" The sandy-haired teen grumbled.
"You're the leader of this troop, Luke. The leader always reports to the king."
Luke snorted. "Fine. Whatever."
But during their travel to the capitol, Rebecca had second thoughts about the situation. Luke's new attitude would be easily mistaken as violent rage. She knew that his anger was only to hide the way he really felt, but others wouldn't. Even Kaneta had learned to keep her distance from the boy during the boat trip
and she seemed to love picking fights with him.
would you mind if I speak to the king before you give your report?" she ventured.
"Whatever." The sandy-haired teen shrugged.
She sighed with relief. This would make things easier.
Rebecca was surprised when she entered the throne room to see King Morton near the throne. She froze and wondered if she had interrupted something
though the servants had not told her he was busy.
"Come in." King Damon called. "Do not mind my guest." When she got to the base of the stairs, he spoke again. "Whatever you have to say must be important if it had to be said before Luke's report."
" She wasn't sure how important this may appear to be to the two kings, but it was too late for second thoughts now. "King Jothar wasn't the only one to die, sire. Queen Liana received a mortal injury when she shielded her son from an attack."
King Damon seemed sympathetic, but King Morton had unreadable expressions.
"I'm telling you this more to warn you than to inform you, Your Majesty." Rebecca admitted. "Though he won't admit it, he's grieving, so he'll be exceedingly edgy."
King Damon nodded as if he understood.
But King Morton had a grim look in his eyes. Perhaps he had guessed that Luke was potentially violent? Then she remembered that he was the one who had warned Luke about the dark state.
"Sire, perhaps you should bring in the other guards." The bodyguard next to the throne suggested.
"I-it's not like that!" Rebecca replied in the teen's defense. "He's just really grumpy
"Very well then. If you are done with your warning, you may bring him in." King Damon said.
She nodded and returned to the throne room door. "Luke, come on and give your report." She called.
When the sandy-haired teen entered, he displayed no emotion on his face, and said absolutely nothing until he reached the bottom of the staircase. He didn't look either king in the eye, instead his eyes seemed to be focused on the floor around the throne. "Our mission was successful." He stated emotionlessly. "King Jothar is dead, and we received no further hostility from Aquatos army on our return trip. Our only fatality was a Demetrian knight. One of the other men received an injury that maimed his left arm, but he's still capable of fighting."
"Is there anything else to report?" King Damon asked.
"No." Luke replied bitterly.
"Tell me, young warrior: Did you happen upon the legendary weapon of your kin while you were there?" King Morton asked, his voice sounding optimistic.
"No, but I did hear Jothar stating that he had given the Aquatic Sphere to Volston already." The teen replied flatly.
King Damon gasped. "No! Isn't that the only weapon capable of defeating the fire beast?" he asked the other king.
King Morton made no response. The steel blue-haired king was staring at Luke, but he seemed as if he were in a daze. His greenish-brown eyes appeared to be sightless for a long moment.
"Fire beast?" Rebecca echoed curiously.
Damon turned to the woman. "Yes. It's a fearsome beast that the Heroes of old fought with all their might. It was said to be so powerful that one of the heroes died in the battle, even with their elemental powers and legendary weapons. I have heard reports that the Fire Beast was resurrected within the Volston Empire."
Rebecca gasped and turned to King Morton, hoping that he would deny what Damon had said. Yet the Devidric king still seemed sightless and dazed.
Then he blinked and focused his eyes. "There is one other
" he said, turning to Damon. "The blizzard blade."
"Blizzard Blade?" The Demetrian king echoed. "Wasn't that the weapon of the hero who died?"
"Possibly." Morton replied, still seeming distant.
"One of my spies told me this morning that Volston was sending troops out to claim the weapon."
"That cannot happen!" The blue-haired king exclaimed. "That weapon must not fall into the enemies' grasps! We must send forces out to fetch the item immediately!"
Rebecca wasn't quite sure why King Morton had suddenly reacted like that, but the two kings were obviously speaking to each-other. If she asked, she would be intruding into their conversation.
"But what if our troops don't make it in time?" Damon asked.
"Then they must be prepared to take it back by force! Volston is on the opposite side of the continent from the Wasteland of Ice. They should not have gotten too far by the time our troop gets there!" Morton faced Luke. "You will be needed in this. You have to be part of the troop."
"Sure." Luke shrugged, his voice sounding unusually optimistic. "But I'm not taking orders from anyone." He added sternly.
"Of course, of course." The blue-haired king said, before turning to Damon. "We must make haste!"