Really?" Shiro asked. "Then who is he?"
"That man is the King of Argonia, a country in the western continent," Alistair answered. His eyes stayed glued to the man that he was talking to. "King Clavius."
"A King?!" The boys all asked, surprised.
"Are you sure?" Shiro asked. "When I met him he seemed so... down to earth... normal..."
"You mean not as snobby as most members of nobility?" Angelo asked with a snort. All of the friends looked at the boy. "What?" the light haired boy asked defensively. "Most nobles and aristocrats I have met have acted like total asses."
Jessica and Alistair gave him a cold look. "What?" Angelo asked, "It's not like I was talking about you."
"King Trode doesn't act like an ass either," Henry pointed out defensively.
"Neither does Medea," Shiro agreed.
"I didn't mean them either," Angelo said, annoyed. "It's just in my experience, most nobles and aristocrats are only nice to others that have the same kind of status. Everyone else that is below them they will treat like dirt. You can't tell me that you have never met people like that."
The rest of the group looked at the boy for a moment before all nodding their heads. As much as they didn't want to admit it, it was true. Some of the other nobles or people that come from wealth and old bloodlines could be quite cruel to others they feel are below them. None of them could really say they never met anyone like that.
But they could definitely say that they met the exceptions.
"Well that mystery has been solved," Angelo answered lightly, successfully changing the subject. "So what exactly do we do with that information now?"
"What do you mean?" Shiro asked.
"I mean that, while it helps that we know King Clavius' identity," Angelo explained. "It still doesn't help us with the other question. Who is Eltrio?"
"Wait a moment...," Alistair started thoughtfully. "That name sounds... so familiar..."
"You know who we're talking about then?" Henry asked excitedly.
"I've never heard of the name," Jessica said.
"I remember hearing that name. I just can't remember in what context. I suppose that it'll come back to me..."
King Clavius next to his son, Charmless, who was trying so hard to gain Princess Medea's attention, and across from King Trodain. He continued to think about the events that had taken place earlier, and the boy he had met, wondering how he should even ask the questions that were forming into his mind.
"Is there something that troubles you old friend?" A voice asked. Clavius closed his eyes and smiled.
"You know me too well," Clavius stated. "There has been something I wanted to ask you."
Trodain looked curious. "Yes?"
"It's about one of your young guards," Clavius began. "I believe that one of his friends called him Shiro."
Trodain stayed silent as he waited for Clavius to explain. Medea listened as the older men talked about her friend, wondering exactly the conversation was about.
"I was actually wondering if you could tell me a little more about him," Clavius asked. Trodain thought about it. Not seeing the harm in it, he decided to answer.
"Shiro is, as far as I know, an orphan. He was discovered four years ago, outside of the kingdom gate by the current captain of the palace guards when he was making his nightly rounds. The boy was not recognized as a subject of Trodain; no one remembered him living in the area before then. We have tried to find his family, but the boy had no memory of them. All he could tell anyone was his name. I have sent messengers to the nearby areas, hoping that someone would recognize the description of this boy, but no one has ever came forward. Shiro has been living in my kingdom since."
King Clavius stayed silent as he considered the facts that Trodain had laid out in front of him. 'Sounds like a mystery indeed,' Clavius thought.
Trodain raised a stubby eyebrow. "Is there a reason that you became interested in that story?"
"I am not exactly sure," King Clavius answered honestly. "The boy just reminds me of a person that was once important to me. A person that I have not seen in a very long time."
Trodain's interest piqued. 'Maybe we will find Shiro's family after all,' Trodain thought hopefully. "Do you know if this person had any relation to a child that would have been Shiro's age?"
"I don't know for sure," Clavius said. "All I know is the person I am talking about, ran away to be with the woman he loved." He laughed bitterly. "And decided to forsake his title and people for someone that was below his rank. I do not know if any children were made from that union."
Trodain studied the man across from him. From the way he talked about this person, Trodain could tell that Clavius had been hurt by this person. Badly. That meant he may have to tread lightly.
"Is there a reason you thought Shiro would be connected to this person you mentioned?" Trodain asked hesitantly.
Clavius stayed silent for a long while. Trodain was beginning to think that he had miscalculated by asking that question.
"I looked at him." Clavius eyes became alight with determination. "I looked at that boy's face and I saw El- that person."
Trodain looked at him. The man wondered who exactly this person was that we were talking about? After inferring from what Clavius had told him, Trodain assumed that this man was a noble of some sort. He doubted that Clavius was ready to share this person's identity. And if this person had known Shiro, what was the reason that he was left in Trodain the way he was? He wasn't sure if he would ever find out these answers.
Medea continued to ignore Charmless' attempts at gaining her favor so that she may listen to her father's conversation. She knew that the two Kings were talking about Shiro, but who was the other person that they kept mentioning? She had no idea, but she definitely knew that when this was over, she had to tell Shiro about this. This had to help him somehow.
Shiro, Angelo and Henry walked into their rooms. Angelo immediately collapsed on his bed, while Henry got on his bed in a more patient, dignified manner. Shiro fed Munchie some of his lunch. At that moment, Princess Medea came storming into their rooms, causing all three boys to jump and stay standing.
"Medea, what's wrong?" Shiro asked.
Medea wore a severe frown on her countenance. "I was sitting with King Clavius and my father during supper time and they were having the weirdest conversation." Medea then began to tell them about the questions that Clavius has asked regarding Shiro and where he had come from. In exchange, Shiro and the other's told her of their earlier meeting with King Clavius.
"It was strange," Medea said. "I couldn't understand what he was trying to find out by asking those questions. The conversation was just so peculiar."
"That man's behavior is strange," Henry conceded. "But he has been very nice so far; is this really something any of us should worry about?" Everyone shared a look with each other.
"I don't really think so," Alistair answered. "He just sounds curious."
"There's also nothing particularly odd about the questions he has been asking about Shiro." Jessica pointed it. "They are a little probing, but hardly strange. It could be that he's just curious."
Angelo nodded as he looked at Shiro. "She's correct about that. These questions are the same questions all of Trodain have probably been asking King Trode about you."
Shiro groaned. "I know that," Shiro said in frustration. "But he seems to be the only one that has at least some idea that may be linked to my past. I just want to ask him about this Eltrio person that he kept mentioning."
"I really don't think you should," Medea said. "Whoever Eltrio is, Clavius is obviously trying to forget about him. He only slipped up once when speaking with my father, and then he did his best never to mention him again."
"Sounds like Eltrio is someone Clavius would much rather not speak about," Alister said in thought. "Could mean that they used to be very close, maybe friends, and they had some sort of falling out. It's probably best that no one confront him about any of it; he hasn't really done anything we should be worried about."
Shiro wanted to argue the point, but he realized that all of his friends were right. Clavius so far as been a nice man, who is just curious that's all. But this could be some sort of lead that really has to do with his past.
Angelo got up from his bed. "Now that we're all done talking," Angelo said as he stretched like a lazy cat. "The Captains have they to give Shiro and I our prize for winning that race. We have to meet them right now actually."
Henry nodded, remembering the race that had really made them all friends. "Alright, but come back soon so we can all see this prize. I'm curious to see what it might be."
Jessica nodded enthusiastically. "So am I! Especially since we all helped you win it. Come back and tell us what it is after your meeting is done."
Medea nodded. "I want to see this prize as well. Even I don't know what it is., so I must admit that I am rather curious about it."
Shiro laughed at their excitement. "Alright! We promised already!" He was just as curious to see what it may be as well. Both his waved to their friends before they finally left. After a few moments, the boys made it towards the correct room. Because of the amount of people on the ship, both captains had decided that both Trodanian guards and Templars needed to share rooms to lower the cost. Even the captains were sharing a room between them. Eight slowly knocked on the door.
" Come in," one of the captains called. The boys recognized the voice as belonging to Captain Marcello. Angelo opened the door and they both walked into the room. The saluted their respective captains and stood at attention, waiting.
"At ease." Captain Tobin said. Both boys took it as a signal to relax their posture.
"Now that you are both here," Marcello said, stood from his seat. "Congratulations are in order."
Tobin got up from his seat as well. "Now there is a matter of the prizes that you have earned."
Both boys shared impatient looks with each other. They just wished that their respective superiors would just tell them what the prizes were already. "What are they?" Angelo asked. Marcello seemed to glare harder at Angelo when he asked the question, as if he were offended that the boy even had the nerve to talk to him.
"As recognition for victory," Marcello growled out. "We have decided that you will all get first choice on new weapons that have been required."
"And because there were others that helped you reach victory," Tobin explained, " we decided that they shall all receive and weapons of their choosing."
Angelo and Shiro grinned from ear to ear. They were ecstatic about their prizes and were glad that their friends were included. Shiro became serious when he realized something.
"Sirs... Does that include Henry?"
Both Captains shared a look. "Should it?" Tobin asked, curious to hear the boy's answer.
"I know that Henry was competing against us," Angelo said quickly, "but he was in a position to take credit for winning the race as well, but he was honest. When Greg lied- Henry was so afraid of him… but he still decided to go against him and be honest. That should be recognized." Shiro nodded.
Tobin and Marcello looked very thoughtful. Angelo studied his' half- brother, realizing that this was probably one of the few moments the older man was not annoyed with something Angelo had said. The realization made him both happy and sad. Happy because he was finally managed to get his brother's attention without his hatred and sad because he knew that this wouldn't last too long.
"I can't help but to agree," Marcello said. "The boy is one of your guards Tobin, so it is ultimately your decision."
Tobin nodded. "I agree with the boys. Henry will be able to get some of his own choosing. Now boys, please go get the others that aided you and come back to this room. We will be waiting."
The boys saluted and all but ran out of the room. Once they were out, they began to whoop in joy. The prize was just ridiculously generous.
"I never expected that the prize would be something so good!" Angelo exclaimed. "I wonder what our choice of weapons are?"
"I bet it'll be good," Shiro said. "Now we just need to find the others." The boys ran into the room that their friends were still waiting. When they barged into the room, everyone looked very expectantly at them. Both boys stopped to catch their breaths.
"Well?" Jessica asked impatiently, "What did you get already?"
"What was it?" Henry asked. "Was it a good prize?"
Both boys grinned. "It's was more than good," Angelo explained boastfully. "It's a wonderful prize that is wonderful."
"So tell us then!" Jessica yelled.
"We get the first pick of some new weapons that both the Templars and the Trodainian Guards managed to procure," Shiro quickly explained. "And because all of you helped us with our victory in one way or another, both Captains Tobin and Marcello has decided that you all get to take your pick of these new weapons as well."
Alaistair gasped. "That is quite generous of them." Jessica gave a little cheer while Henry stayed silent.
Angelo nodded. "So hurry up now." Everyone got up and ran towards the door. Shiro, being the last one to walk out the door, realized that Henry never joined the rest of the group. Shiro went to where Henry was seated.
"Henry aren't you going to join us?" Shiro asked.
Henry sighed. "I didn't win," he said. "I don't deserve to take any prize."
Shiro frowned. "Well both captains disagreed," Shiro told him. "We specifically asked. They're so impressed with the fact that you told the truth. If you didn't tell the truth, then we wouldn't have gotten this reward anyway."
"But I was such a coward," Henry said. "If I hadn't allowed myself to-." A resounding slap could be heard, just before Henry felt pain in his cheek. Henry became numb with shock. He touched his aching cheek with his hand.
"Stop doing that to yourself," Shiro ordered. "What Greg did to you was not your fault. None of us blame you, so why do you keep blaming yourself? You told the truth even though you were scared. That sounds like a pretty brave to me." Shiro smiled and held out the same hand he smacked Henry with. "Now how about we go and check out those weapons?"
Henry stared at the hand for a moment, then he looked up at Shiro's expectant face. Henry slowly smiled and grabbed the hand. Shiro grinned. "Good. Then let's go already!" Shiro ran towards the captains' shared room, leading Henry by the hand. They got there just as Captain Marcello was in mid-speech.
Captain Marcello noticed their presence. "Now that everyone is finally here," Marcello drawled, "we can finally get started." At that moment, Captain Tobin came back into the room, dragging two very large cases with him.
Captain Tobin gave a tired sigh. "Now go right ahead and choose." Tobin and Marcello opened the cases. "You are allowed only two new weapons. No more, no less. Now hurry up and choose."
The group did not have to be told twice. They all rushed into the cases, each of them studying the weapons and picking the weapons they wanted. At the end of it all, everyone picked the two weapons they wanted.
Angelo picked out a Mercury's rapier, and a Cheiron's Bow, which was known for healing comrades everyone time an enemy was hit. Jessica picked a Sword Breaker, since Alister was still trying to teach her how to use a real sword, and a Dragon Tail whip in order to have the edge when attacking enemies. Alister managed to pick up a Steel Scythe and an Über Falcon, in order to be quicker when attacking his enemies. Henry managed to find a Sledgehammer, which everyone else was surprised by, and a Dream Blade. Shiro grabbed an Über Double- Edge sword and Partisan spear. After thanking both captains, the group left the room and went out on deck. They wanted to train with their new weapons, but an announcement was made before they could.
"Attention all passengers!" The members of the group could see that the captain of the ship was out in the middle of the deck. Every passenger seemed to be paying him close attention.
"We are now close to Savella Cathedral. It is only a matter of time before the ship docks. Everyone please get ready to make port as soon as possible!" The Captain started yelling orders to his crew. The group of friends ran towards the portside of the ship.
"So we're finally here," Jessica gasped in awe. The Cathedral could be seen from the ship. To say that it was a beautiful sight would have been an understatement- awe-inspiring would have been more accurate.
Alister nodded. "It seems so."
Nothing more could be said. Everyone continued to look on as the Cathedral came closer and closer. Everyone continued to look at the site, many with different ideas on their mind.
A rough looking couple- man and woman- couldn't help but smirk at the Cathedral. "Looky 'ere," The woman said.
"Cor Blimey Red," the portly man gasped. "So much loot for the takin'. These nob'les won't know nuthin."
The woman, Red smirked. "An' will be takin' it soon Yangus." The couple laughed, as they considered all the money they could grab from these people.
Another presence thought something more ominous as he looked at the beautiful architecture. Blood eyes considered the violence that would be committed and the blood that would be spilt. Soon they would all pay for what was done. The blood eyes smirked maliciously. 'Soon.'