The last few of the dragon-drawn carriages that brought the refugees had finally arrived at the capital. Emilia and the children are among of them who finally arrived at the capital with the other knights. Along with them were Subaru, Wilhem and Julius who were riding at the back of Ketty's carriage.
The streets were filled with the citizens expecting their arrival. They cheers and celebrate the victory of the battle, both the whale and the cult. Subaru's heartbeat races and pumps his blood as fast as it can to withstand the nervous feelings he feels right now. He sweats from almost every limb on his body. The Nervous feelings surround his body making him a bit shaky.
"What's wrong, Subaru-Dono?" asked Wilhem at a sudden from behind him. Subaru doesn't have the energy to respond but he forced himself to do so.
"I-I-m a bit-bit nervous," said Subaru replying Wilhem's question. He looked the old man from the corner of his eyes, didn't want to start another question from him.
"What for? It is your victory, Subaru-Dono. No need to feel that anxious," Wilhem tried to calm Subaru despite the circumstances around. Subaru didn't reply and he keep his eyes on the cobblestone road.
Just ahead of them was the castle's gate. One by one the carriages passed it and got into the square of the castle. The refugees soon leave their carriages and stay at square where they were supplied with foods and water by the guards. Subaru and Wilhem were the last to pass the gate. Subaru was a bit calm now and his nervous feelings had already leaved him.
He saw Emilia departed from her carriage and immediately went inside the castle running along with the guards. Why did she was in a hurry? Is there something important? That was the questions that passed in Subaru's mind. His mind could not process both questions and curiosity at the same time. His sweat started to came out again. A soft touch on his left shoulder stopped his curiosity. It was Wilhem that was staring at Subaru right now with a wrinkled face, probably of curiousness.
"You do sweat a lot, right?" said Wilhem while patting Subaru's left shoulder.
"What happened, Subaru-Dono?"
Subaru sweats a lot right now giving his back extra wet. Wilhem's question making it worse. He can't explain a single thing but as he keep thinks about it, his heart was like being squeezed. He can't bear the pain so all he could do is to make the thing right by concealing it.
"I-I'm fine. As I said earlier, I am a bit nervous," Subaru lifts Wilhem's hand from his shoulder and bend his head, looking downwards. Thinks again why he could feel such pain. Did the witch angry with him? Did the witch ever plan this? He couldn't straightly think as the pain surging through his chest, pulsing and squeezing.
Wilhem dismount from his red ground dragon and went in front of Subaru waiting for him to get down along. Wilhem could see Subaru's eye was in pain, surging pain but he could not think of why. Subaru couldn't calm himself from thinking of such nonsense thoughts yet it makes him hurt so much if he didn't stop thinking about it.
Looked at the clear blue sky trying to calm himself down from being overwhelmed by his fear and nervous plus painful feelings, he did even thought that the skies of Lugunica was that… beautiful and peaceful. His heartbeat slows down and keeps his nervous out from his body, for a moment. The sun was at the middle between afternoon and evening and there's also some dragon flying above at the distance. He managed to calm himself down as he exhaled a huge amount of breath.
"Subaru-Dono? Are you coming or not?" said Wilhem waiting for him just in front of Patrasche. Wilhem directly stared at his eyes sensed something bad happened to him.
"Are you really fine, Subaru-Dono? It seems that something had struck you," asked Wilhem with an absolute confusion. As Wilhem asked the question, his heart was in real pain. He couldn't bear it even how calm he is but to make the pain loosen, he must lied and don't tell anyone about it.
"Yes, yes, I-I-I'm fine," he couldn't catch his breath as the pain keeps grabbing his heart. All he can do is to conceal it from everybody and resist its surging, squeezing pain.
Soon, he went down from Patrasche while resisting the pain by closing his eyes and walked along Wilhem going to the castle's front door. It is a huge double red door with a metallic door protection acts like a trimming of it. The guards on both side of the door were standing still as it was their only order. They wield huge, long pikes acts as their only weapon. The guards opened the door for both of them to pass.
The door was fully opened inwards revealing its beautiful interior. The red carpet was soft and it relaxes the feet that stepped on them. On both left and right side were decorated with pretty vases and flowers also with some paintings along the walls of the hallway.
Subaru squeezed his left chest with his left hand trying to calm from the painful pain he is feeling now. His tears slowly flow through his cheeks and the trails of the tear were visible on his face. He wiped his tears and keeps concealing the feel that he has got now. Why does the witch this angry with him? Or this is another end to him or perhaps, the last to him? These questions making the things worse. He didn't just feel the pain surging in his chest but also he feels the pain he got in his mind too, aching as soon as a thought pass by. A never ending, endless pain.
They've reached the door that leads them to the main throne of the castle where the royal selection was made before. There were another two guards but this time, they were heavily armored not knowing why. The guards approached Wilhem and bowed to him in order to respect him.
"Wilhem-Sama, you and your guest are waited inside," the sudden bow ends and the guard opens the door for both of them.
The doors opened and revealed the interior of the throne room. Knights, both imperial and retired were lined up at both left and right side of the huge throne room. The throne was visible from the distance they were at and the wise men were sitting waiting for their presence.
As Subaru walked along the red carpet passing the lines of knights, he continued to feel the surging pain he have in his heart. Didn't want to reveal that he is in pain, he covered his face with the palm of his hand while walking along the red carpet following Wilhem to the throne in front of the wise men.
His feelings of anxiety started fill himself. Is he going to die and start again from the circle where they have a meeting before they going to launch their attack? Or will he die and never… came back? Questions after questions passed and he didn't realized that he was already in front of the wise men.
The wise man dressed in a dark robe with the appearance of white hair and a wrinkled face filled with wisdom. He stands up from his sitting position on the chair and approaches Subaru. His face was not rather smiling nor angry or sad; it was a face of a person educated with wisdom, filled with serious emotions. He suddenly bowed, leaned his head forward Subaru and backed up again no more than five seconds of bowing.
"Behold! Our greatest commander of the Subjugation of the White Whale!" the wise man shouted and cheered. The knights below cheered along and shouted as much as they can. Subaru was shocked rather than happy or proud. He didn't know that he could receive such a huge honor for just a single battle that he didn't even suppose to suit in but indeed, he got the honor from the wise man… perhaps the 'men' themselves. It is maybe seems unfair for the other person that worked the battle as well.
"Plus, we thanked you for the early warning about the Witch's Cult's attack. If not, all people in the Mather's Domain had already being slaughter now. Very much thank you to you, Subaru-sama," the wise man thanked Subaru. Subaru didn't talk even a word. He is very confused right now. Why did he deserved the honor besides, Crusch deserves the honor more? Without a warning, the wise man talked again.
"Subaru-sama. These are the rewards for your honor and reward for your hard work. I hope this will help us to thank you," the big red door slowly pushed inward as three men walks in. Each of them brought a wide, silver colored plate with the reward on top of it, covered by a red, silk-like cloth. Step after step, the reward approaches Subaru and his heart was in pain again. He didn't care about the reward that's approaching him from the other side of the room.
The men were right next to the wise man, handling their rewards. They were dressed in white, orange trimmings robe like the Anastasia's armies uniform robe. The wise man looked at Subaru and continued his speech.
"As here we are, I will give our hero the rewards myself as the honor from the kingdom!" the wise man reaches the first covered plate. Thus he removes the cover and reveals the prize. It's a bag of coins with golden trimmings around it and the neck of the sack was tied with a red ribbon. It seems as it was heavy and probably has a lot of coins in it. The wise man carries it with both of his hands; the left hand is grabbing the butt of the sack to support it while his right hand grabbed the neck of the sack. He hands the sack to Subaru but not yet giving to him.
"Our hero, Subaru-sama. This bag has 500 holy coins plus 100 additional golden coins. Please, accept our gift," the wise man lowered his head looking the floor while handing it over to Subaru who is fighting a great pain right now. Subaru bites his lower lips trying to withstand the pain but instead, he tried to conceal it. His shaky hands grabbed the bag that was handed to him and quickly hugged it at his chest with his all strength to bear the pain. The sound of coins echoing through the throne room and the wise man was already in a complete mess. He couldn't think what is going on with Subaru.
"Subaru-sama, are you alright?" the wise man asked bending his head forward to see Subaru's face that was in complete pain. He didn't respond but instead, he shockingly was on his knees and falls to the ground feeling the pain while touching his left chest, squeezing it. The shocking, traumatic event shocked everybody in the throne room. Everyone were rushing to look what's going on, what is happening and why did he fell? The questions were heard by Subaru on his half conscious state. He could see but couldn't hear and focus well. The last that he can remember was Ferris, rushing pushing the crowds to the side and immediately cast the healing spell while saying "Don't give up!" Until then, he couldn't remember a thing.
"He's awake!" The sweet sound of Emilia's voice penetrates through Subaru's half-conscious state. He tried to open his heavy eyelids and he managed to. The bright sunlight flashes on his eyes through the windows next to him. He realized he was on a bed with a white blanket that covers him from the toes to his neck and a comfort, soft mattress than making him feels as he was floating. He couldn't feel his lower body or his hands but he can still move his head and eyes.
"What…H-hap-pened?" his voice was like a lion lost its voice. He couldn't talk louder than a little girl. Emilia and Ferris were sitting at the left side of Subaru's bed, facing the large window.
"Don't worry, Subaru-kyun. Nyothing to worry about. You just nyeed to rest," said Ferris to Subaru. All Subaru can do is to move his eyes while his head was too painful to move. He could see Ferris dressed in a knight's robe and Emilia at his side smiling at him.
"Subaru…" Emilia lowered her head and gave a big sigh. She backed up again and locked her eyes on Subaru's face.
"Your mana was… depleted. If you can't be saved at the ceremony, you could have been died there," Subaru couldn't express his confused feelings right now but all he can do is to widen his eyes, expressing the confusion. His mouth wanted to speak but it was too hard for him just move his lips.
"Something had sucked all your mana, Subaru-kyun," Ferris cut through the talk. The sphere healing ball was between his both hands while he heals Subaru. The amber eyes looked directly at the sphere focusing on the healing ritual. At last, he done the healing process and the sphere gradually fades until it was fully invisible.
"There, Subaru-kyun. Try to get up," Subaru's body feels lighter and he can move his head and hands again to the left and to the right without a single pain or numbness but he still can't feel his lower body especially his feet. He tried to get up by pushing his body using both of his hands as the support. Worried of the numb feel at his feet, he removes the blanket and looked at his feet. Nothing changed rather than a light pairs of feet. No cracks, wounds or dismembered limbs. All are healthy but cannot be moved even a slight shake.
"I-I-I can't fe-feel my-my le-legs," Subaru tried to spoke as he touched both of his feet trying to feel a touch but instead, a complete numbness.
"Don't worry, your mana didn't fully restore, yet. That's why you cannyot feel your legs. Once your mana was restored, you can move it whenever you want," explained the highest healer in the capital. A few knocks were heard from the door and it was pushed by someone. The door came to life and gives a slight 'squeak' sound as it slowly opens. It is Rem, bringing a white bowl filled with purple colored soup. She closed the door behind her before entering further into the room and putted the soup on the lamp table just next to the windows.
"Oh, you're awake, Subaru-kun," said Rem just realized it as she was putting the soup at the table. Subaru's attention went on her then back on Emilia and Ferris.
"S-s-since when did-did I… fainted?" asked Subaru looking at the two faces; Emilia and Ferris. Both of them looked at each other trying to answer the question. Emilia touched her chin with her index finger acting as she was thinking and Ferris bended his head down doing the same as Emilia.
"One month," instead, Rem answered it. The three of them turned their head to look at Rem who is pouring the tea in a cup. The blobbing sound it made was the only sound filled the little room.
"I-It wa-was that l-long?" Subaru leaned forward pushing body on his hurt stomach. His left hand set loose to stroke his painful stomach. The sunlight shines at Subaru's right cheek and his glazing eyes directly stared at Rem's gloomy face. Rem sighed and grabbed a chair next to the lamp table, dragging it near the single-sized bed to sit on.
"Yes, Subaru-kun. You had fainted for one month straight. Lucky we have a loyal healer here," she looked at Ferris who is confused right now. Ferris realized the compliment from Rem. He leaned forward and stands on his feet, standing in pride.
"Nyo problem! I owe you once, Subaru-kyun," said Ferris proudly giving his stance and respect by putting his right palm on his left chest while closing his eyes. Emilia and Rem smiled looking at his honoring behavior while Subaru bended his head looking down with his gloomy face. He observed both of his palms while thinking why did he feel the pain back at the ceremony. Where did his mana gone to? And who or what had sucked his mana? The questions taking roles in his head reminding him how the pain does feels like until Rem disturbed his daydream.
"Here, Subaru-kun," Rem handed him the bowl of purple soup she brought earlier. Subaru observed it before taking it with his hands. It was kind of weird looking at a purple soup with pieces of fruits or maybe vegetables in it.
"It is Bocco fruit soup. Try it. It will restore your mana," explained Rem cutting Subaru's confusion. Subaru reached the spoon and shoved its soup. He holds his breath while he slowly sipped the soup. The taste of the fruit, a bit refreshing and spicy was tasted in his long dried mouth, giving him energy every sip he takes.
"Well, Subaru…" all of them turned their attention to Emilia, where the voice came from.
"Your reward were saved for you and you will be back at the mansion tomorrow since you're already wake up," said Emilia locking her violet eyes onto Subaru's brown eyes. Ferris is the only person there who gives a face.
"Leaving already? Why can't you stay here a bit longer?" Ferris stood up asking his question.
"We can't, unfortunately. We must get back for the royal selection preparation. Though, Subaru here need to rest after what he went through," explained Emilia while looking directly at Ferris then turned to look at Subaru. Her reaction looking at Subaru was just like she was looking at her baby. Her eyelids turned soft and her smiled shined the gloomy, dim room. The dusk soon will pass and the sunshine will brighten the room again as it does everyday to a normal, alive room.
Author's Note: Hey guys, I just wanted you to know that this is my opinion of what will happen next after the episode 25 of the Anime series. Sorry if I did something wrong such as grammar and spelling mistake. It is barely my mistake and I will improve my skills if I caught with it. Anyway, please leave a review if you want something to happen next chapter. I will look forward to consider it as an idea and will add it if it doesn't change the story plot. Also, this story fully belongs to the original trademark owner since I used the trademark in my story. Next chapter will be set at the Roswaal's Mansion.