ATTENTION readers! I am posting this chapter immediately after chapters twenty and twenty-one. So if you haven't read those chapters yet, please do so before reading this one! This will make more sense after you read them. Thank you! :D
Now that the river was trying to sweep him away and drown him, Leo finally had time to think.
He realized, first of all, that it wasn't normal for the river to sweep across this particular place on this particular field. He then remembered that someone had said Donnie had gone down to the river. So as he was struggling to keep his head above water, Leo realized with pride that it was his brother who had done this.
The soldier who had grabbed ahold of Leo and kept him in place was still holding on, and at the same time, he was keeping masterful control over his horse. Leo suddenly wondered what had happened to his own horse, but he guessed it had made it to safety. He hoped so, anyway.
The water subsided, and the soldier let Leo down to the ground. Saki was lying on the ground, weighed down by all his armor and sputtering out water, his own horse gone. Most of the carnage from the battle had disappeared with the river.
The soldiers who had been guarding Leo surrounded his fallen uncle and aimed their weapons at him. When Saki finally stood up, it was only to be captured.
Leo took several deep breaths, and slowly got up. A few horses nearby whinnied, and Leo noticed with relief that one of them was the one who had carried him into battle.
"Steward Saki," one of the King's soldiers said, "You are under arrest for treason."
Saki only scowled.
"Are you alright?" A voice asked, and Leo turned to see Usagi standing next to him.
"I think so," he said, still trying to catch his breath.
"Here comes the King." Someone announced, and Leo turned to see several horses galloping towards them from the direction of the river-that is, the place where the river normally was.
The soldiers all around Leo got off their horses, and everyone who wasn't guarding Saki knelt. Leo and Usagi followed their example.
"Dad!" Shouted another voice, and Raph galloped up to them from the direction of the encampment.
"I see that my brother has been captured." Leo heard the voice before he looked up to see the speaker, but he knew by the first word who it was; this was Splinter, his Father the King.
When he did look up, he saw his father, Leatherhead, Don, Mikey, April and Casey. And coming up to meet them was Raph.
"Yeah, we got him," Raph said, "Wow, you guys were great! Don and Mikey, you should come up with plans together all the time!"
"I still can't believe that worked," April said, getting off her horse.
"I knew it would!" Casey said.
"Hey, look guys!" Mikey said, pointing to Leo, "He did make it out!"
"You did well here," Splinter said, looking at the soldiers, Leo, Usagi and Raph, "You distracted him long enough for the plan to take effect."
Then Splinter walked towards Saki, who was still making himself look miserable.
"The battle is over," Splinter announced, "Your armies are disbanded. The Daimyo's soldiers are tracking down your ninja, the Castle surrendered itself to me before the battle was finished, and the Purple Dragons have left you."
"Hello to you too." Saki scowled.
"Saki," Splinter said, "I am ashamed of you, brother. You have forgotten your promise."
Leo thought that sounded familiar for some reason, but he had no time to think about it.
"Father," Donnie said, "Now that the battle is over, there's something I have to tell you."
"And I have something to tell you as well," Usagi said, "With permission, I believe this is important."
"Speak, Warrior." Splinter said, looking at Saki.
"It is about what the false steward called this loyal servant during battle." Usagi said.
"I heard it too." One of the soldiers next to Leo said, "He recognized the boy and addressed him by a name."
Leo almost jumped.
"I thought the child had no name." Leatherhead said.
"What was it you called the child, brother?" Splinter asked.
But Saki wouldn't answer.
"I know what he said." Donnie interrupted, "He called him Leonardo. Didn't you, Uncle Saki?"
Saki looked at Donnie with anger in his eyes.
"How did you know that?" Usagi asked.
"Because I found out myself, not too long ago." Donnie said, looking at Leo, "That's what happened, isn't it? You sent word that the High Prince was coming. We heard about it all the way at the river. But when Saki arrived, he thought it was Raphael. When he learned it was you, he thought...well, he thought we all knew. Didn't he, Leo?"
Leo looked up at his brother, who was still seated on his horse.
"Yes, that's what happened." He said.
"Knew about what?" Mikey asked.
"I get it," Raph said, looking at Leo, "I should have figured it out earlier!"
"Figured out what?" Mikey asked.
"Are these hints true?" Leatherhead asked, looking at Saki.
Saki still refused to answer.
"Child," Splinter said, looking at Leo, "When I first met you, I thought that you and Michelangelo were brothers."
"Dad, he remembers stuff." Raph said, looking at Splinter, "He's the one who reminded me about the Token, when we needed to contact the Daimyo."
"How can we be certain that this is true?" Usagi asked, thinking out loud.
"That what is true?" Mikey asked.
"Brave one," Splinter said, looking at Leonardo, "What is your name?"
"My name?" Leo asked, "I-I'm not sure I have one anymore."
"Come on!" Donnie said, "You know your name, Leo. Why do you want to hide it, after all Saki did to you?"
"Because I don't belong in that world anymore." Leo said, "I spent my life watching you Princes, because I wanted to make sure you came to your rightful place despite our wicked uncle. I am but a humble servant, and now that the King is back, I would like to ask to continue serving you."
"Child," Splinter said, once more addressing Leonardo, "Many years ago, my own brother handed me over to the Purple Dragons as part of a plot to take my wealth and kingdom. Now I have both my kingdom and wealth back. If you know, as I think you do, what happened to my eldest son, I beg you to tell me."
Kings do not beg. That was the first thought that entered Leo's head.
"Highness," Leo bowed, "I-I am not sure what to say."
"Tell me the truth." The King demanded.
What could he say? Leo thought hard, then opened his mouth.
"Many years ago," he said, "The Steward entered the High Prince's bedchamber, and announced that the youngest was feeling ill."
"The youngest? That's me, right?" Mikey asked, "Gee Raph, I don't remember that."
"Not me, dummy. Leo is the High Prince." Raph said.
"The High Prince got up and followed," Leo said, his face getting red, "But it was a trap. The Prince was...taken. There was a funeral for him, but he was not dead. I can say no more. That's what happened to your son, Highness." He bowed again.
"Wait, so Leo's alive?" Mikey asked.
"Father," Donnie began.
"Silence please, my son." Splinter said, "Leonardo, please continue with your story."
"That's all I have to say," Leo said.
"Tell me about your mother." The King said.
"Highness," Leo said, bowing his head, "My mother was the most beautiful flower in the Kingdom, and the kindest. She loved all her children, and any child who wasn't her own, she loved just as much."
"Don't forget the cherries." Raph said.
"Right," Leo said, "She loved cherries! She used to say that a cherry a day is good for the soul. No one could refuse her anything, not even the King."
"That's very true," the King nodded, "She could be very persuasive."
"Sire, is this enough proof?" one of the soldiers asked.
"The Steward himself acknowledged it," Usagi pointed out, "And the Prince Donatello discovered it separately. I believe it is safe to say that we have most certainly discovered the lost Prince."
"What do you think?" Splinter asked, turning to Raphael.
"I'll tell you what I think," Raph said, getting off his horse, "I think I'm no longer High Prince, and I'm glad because that means I've got my brother back. Get it now, Mikey?"
"Really?" Mikey asked, grinning, "It's true that you're really my brother?"
Leo smiled. "Yes." He said.
Donnie and Mikey got off their horses, and together with Raph they all rushed Leo.
"I think we all can see the family resemblance," Casey pointed out.
"Be quiet, Casey." April said, "Let them hug in peace!"
"My son," Splinter said, coming up to hug all four of them at once, "You are now reunited with your family. Now tell me, what is your name?"
Leo looked up at his father.
"My name is Leonardo, and I am a son of the King." He said proudly.