He sighed. "Yes father." He said, bowing slightly to his father. They discussed the situation of the war for a while before he took his leave. He soon found Reina as she headed out to the market. He smiled to her. "I am going to accompany you today on your errands." He told her simply with a nod, giving her no room for argument. He had his sword still at his waist and he looked happy to get out of the castle and walk around.
The King dismissed his son after some time of talking of the war. The King wished to finish his own thought process on the battle plans, and told his son to find the servant girl. As the man left, a knowing smile crossed the elderly man's face, and he settled back in his chair. He turned to a servant next to him. "Remind me to make wedding arrangements for him. He'll need it soon enough," he chuckled, the servant just blinking at him in a confused manner.
Reina was gathering sacks to fill with food when the Prince appeared in the kitchen. The other servents were hovering behind the table, bowing as he entered. Reina looked over at him with a confused expression for a moment, before her face lit up. "Aye, my lord! I'm afraid going to market won't be the most interesting thing you do in life, but I promise you the people will love to see you!" Her face was alight as she left the castle grounds, being followed by the Prince. She talked to him as they walked down the path to the village, obviously not knowing her place to be a little more...cordial with him. She was extremely friendly, though forgettign her servanthood in his presence.
Ryuji smiled to her as they walked. He didn't say anything about her not acting like a servant. It wasn't something that bothered him at the moment. Once they got to the market, he helped her look for things, having her help him figure out what they needed and what was good and what wasn't. After some time he was looking for some fruit a little ways away from her, leaving her unprotected momentarily. At that moment a man came up behind Reina and stabbed her in the back. He was wearing all black and seemed to have blended into the background.
Reina was extremely outgoing with the Prince, her training in her own land having taught her to converse with her own class a lot more easily than others. As they approached the market, Reina explained to the Prince about different fruits, which were the best for herbs and for cooking. He got a lesson that day on what the best flavors were, and what he liked to eat. It was when he left to go to a fruit stand when all Hell broke loose. Reina was rumaging through a flock of chickens, trying to find the best one for dinner that night. It was then that she heard someone behind her. Turning too slowly, she felt the cold steel blade of a knife run in the lower part of her back.
Her eyes opened wide as she lunged forward, no sound escaping her lips as she fell forward. Staggering to keep herself upright, she was unaware of the figure that was now towering over her. All she was aware of was that wound that burned in her back.
There were several screams in the crowd as the commoners realized what was happening. Once he heard the screams and saw what was happening, he came and started attacking the man who had attacked her. The man had gotten a few more stabs at her by the time Ryuji got to her aid. Though as he killed the man who had attacked her, about three more attacked him. After a large fight, Ryuji ended up killing the three assassins.
Though the wounds to him were many, he hurried over to Reina. The other commoners were seeing to her wounds. Ryuji's left arm was covered in blood and limp at his side. Blood was still flowing from a wound in his right side that he had received from the fight. There was blood flowing from the side of his face as well. His clothes were in tatters, and he had received several stab wounds as well as other slash wounds.
"Reina!" He said, kneeling down next to her. "Reina answer me!" he said, sounding freaked out, ignoring his won wounds.
Reina could not have recalled the fight even if she tried. She could feel hands around her, trying to stop her bleeding, but she couldn't see the bodies above her. Even with her eyes open, they were clouded and almost unblinking. Through her haze, she heard her name being called by a familiar voice. It took her several more moments before she allowed herself to come out of the dream-like state she was in.
Her eyes rested on Ryuji, and her mind had to wrap itself around why he was bleeding. She couldn't figure out why there was blood, why she could no longer feel the places she had been stabbed, and most important, why there were dead bodies laying around them. The only sound that escaped her lips was a whimper, though she did try to stubbornly sit up. A few of the men around her shoved her back to the ground, telling her the wounds they had stopped bleeding would reopen if she tried getting up just yet.
Complying only because she didn't want to upset the Prince anymore, she looked up at him with a weak smile. "They sure took me by surprise. I guess I'm not honed in on my defense skills," she stated softly, her eyes sparkling despite the pain. "You got hurt, too, didn't you? I'm sorry. We need to get you home. Your father would kill me if he found out I let you take on assissans by yourself."
Wincing as she sat up again, she barked a sharp order to get a wagon to carry the Prince home. Some of the commoners scrambled around and retrieved what she had asked for, placing the Prince inside. The lifted Reina up beside him, and she told him to lay down. She was sitting up as the wagon bumped along the road, and she tore some of the bottom off her dress to wrap his wounds. "Next time," she teased, "refrain from being the macho hero. You don't have to take blows to be a superstar."
Ryuji looked at Reina, worried. He refused to lay down. "No." He said. "We need to worry about you." He said to her. He refused her help, even though he was starting to feel light headed with blood loss. "Why are assassins after you?" He asked her. He really looked freaked out. When she tried to force him to lay down again he groaned. "I'm fine!" He grumbled. "Leave me be! I've had worse!" He lied. When they got to the palace, he got out and had the servants hurry her into the castle.
"I'm fine." He said the servants who were starting to fuss over him. They got Reina to a room to fix up her wounds and laid her down on the bed. Another servant went to get Ryuji's father. Ryuji shook his head at Reina. "Father will have to know what happened." He said simply. His father entered the room just in time to see his son's eyes roll into the back of his head and his feet collapse underneath him, still covered in blood from the battle.
Reina was trying to protest the Prince, slapping his hands away each time he would try to refuse her help. She was going to wrap up those wounds if it killed her. But he had fought too hard, and she hadn't accomplished anything by the time they reached the castle. Reina was whisked away first, and lain on one of the servant beds in the servant quarters. She was trying to protest that the Prince needed more hlep than she, but she was quickly silenced by Ryuji's warning glances.
The King entered quickly, having heard of the attack. He entered the room just as his son's legs buckled and he collapsed to the floor. With no fear in his voice, he ordered Reina's eyes to be closed so she wouldn't freak out over the Prince falling. While a servant covered her eyes, the King went to his son and ordered several servants to pick him up and carry him to his room. The doctor on staff would be around shortly to address his wounds, while the King went to Reina's side.
She had been thrashing to see what was going on, but at the King's soft voice, she lay still. The King ordered all but some maidens out of the room, knowing better than to be left alone with a female servant. He touched the girls' hand lightly. "It's all right, my dear. You're in safe hands here. Ryuji will be fine. He's just suffered more blood loss than he thought he would. You need to rest, my dear. It'll all be okay." When Reina tried to protest, the King shook his head. "I'll send for you when you are well," was all he said as he stood up and left the room.
Ryuji's wounds were not just small wounds. They were bad enough that the healer needed to open him up to close some of the more graver wounds to his internal organs.They soon stopped all the bleeding and patched him up by the end of the night. He was still unresponsive though.
Once Reina was up and able to walk again she was able to overhear a conversation between the king and Elizabeth. "What if he never wakes up?" She asked, sounding like she had been crying. Ryuji was in the room where his mother was constantly watching over him. He was laying in his bed, covered in bandages. His left arm was resting on his body, tied to a straight board. Through the bandages you could see that his arm was black and blue, having been broken in the fight. His eyes were shut and he looked like he was sleeping, but he still had yet to gain consciousness. "What do we do? I can't live without my son." She said, looking like she was about to cry again.
Trying to console his wife, the King was hugging her and rocking her gently. "No, my love, he'll awaken. There's not much that can break him. He's merely resting to regain his strength, but you know him, love. He won't die without a fight, and he's like you; too stubborn to leave this Earth until he's married and lived a full life. He'll be okay."
Reina knocked once and opened the door, carrying a tray of tea. She curtsied as she set the tray down on the table, and asked if there as anything else. When the Queen said 'no', Reina turned to leave. The King, however, stopped her. "Reina, sit down, child. We need to talk." Obeying without hesitation, Reina sat down where she was. The King gave a slight chuckle. "No, now what I meant. Sit in the chair over there. We need to talk about you."
Ryuji became slightly lucid as the King told Reina to sit down. However to him it felt like a dream. His eye lids were heavy, like lead and he didn't have the strength to move his limbs. He was in a considerable amount of pain though, considering he felt like he was just sleeping. He wondered about why he was in so much pain for a while before he remembered that he had been injured saving Reina. The chair that the King had directed her to sit down at was one next to Ryuji's bedside. She could tell that he was still alive by the gentle rise and fall of his chest with his breathing.
Elizabeth dabbed her eyes gently, and detached herself from her husband so that he could talk with the girl. "I shall leave you two." She said with a small smile. She leaned over and kissed her husband gently. "Fetch me if he wakes up." She said quietly to her husband before leaving the room quietly, leaving Reina alone with the King and Ryuji. Ryuji could hear the conversation, but he didn't fully understand what was going on. Though at the moment his brain wasn't comprehending the language, his first language being that of his father's. Reina and the Queen's language was his second language.
The King merely nodded to his wife, and watched her with tired eyes as she left the room. The man sat in a chair across from the fearful girl, and looked at her for a few moments before speaking. "Reina, you need to tell him why you're here," he stated, glancing over to his son. "He can hear you, I'm almost sure of it. Tell him what you're here. Who you are. The servants are gone. I sent them to prepare for the ball this evening. But he needs to know."
Reina's eyes misted at the thought, and she shook her head quietly. His words replayed in her mind, the promises to her father in a long ago past. Reina twisted her hair in her fingers for comfort, looking over to the Prince who was motionless on his bed. "You just want me to tell him of my bloodline, your Majistey?" The king shook his head.
"I want you to tell him your full name. He'll understand everything when he hears you. You needn't say your title. He's a smart boy, he'll know." Reina shut her eyes for a moment. The name she had been running from for years escaped her lips before she even realized it. So much for safety. "Reina Kira Whitley..." she whispered, opening her eyes to look at the Prince's unmoving body. "But why must he know? Papa said you'd only be the one to kn-" "I told you, my dear, that he would have to know sometime. He cannot protect you if he merely thinks your own of the servent girls. But, I do give you credit. For the rough treatment you get around here, compared to the lifestyle you knew, you're doing rather well keeping your bloodline a secret."
Ryuji's brows furrowed when she said her name. He gulped and started to come to. He worked on opening his eyes, even though the act of doing so was tiresome in itself. Within a few minutes he actually did manage to open his eyes. The first person he saw was his father. "<<Father.....>>" He muttered. "<<Where am I?>>" He muttered weakly. He then saw Reina. "<<I don't understand....>>" He managed to say. His mind was slow and having a hard time comprehending what they were saying.
The King gave his son a slight smile, Reina's eyes widening. She looked poised to run out of the room, but a gentle command to stay was all that was said to her. The King shook his head to his son, knowing Reina wasn't understanding what was being said. "<<You're in bed, my child. You do understand. But rest. Gather your strength, for the battle you know you will fight is not a physical one. You told me once you wanted to rescue a princess from a tower and save her. Well, you have that chance should you take on that quest. But you cannot win a heart while you're laying on your back and crippled.>>"
He turned to Reina, who was hovering by the door, but not leaving. "Come, my dear," he said, reaching his hand out for the girl to take. Reina approached timidly, and touched the man's hand with her own as she was led to Ryuji's bedside. She didn't look him in the eye, unsure exactly if she wanted to stay or risk running.
He weakly blinked his eyes. "<<Father.... My body hurts......>>" He mumbled, his eyes half open, about to fall asleep again. His brain was starting to wrap his mind around who Reina was. "<<I thought.... I thought Reina was dead....>>" He said quietly. "<<The whole family was killed... Weren't they?>>" His mind was obviously still foggy.