Two transfers of protein from new knights, two more sessions of bone smoosh and sweep, and the nobleman wasn’t recognizable form the twisted, defeated creature I’d first met in the temple.
He literally jumped for joy, watching his own legs in fascination.
“This is what it’s like to not feel pain,” he said, jumping again. “This…so this is what it’s like? Oh my…oh my…”
And when his teary gaze met mine, the only thing stopping him from sweeping me up into a hug was probably the scowling teenager that had stepped in front of me. But his happiness didn’t wilt, and for a second there I thought he’d just settle for hugging Gus instead.
“Thank you for my sight too, young man. Thank you, a million times over to the both of you, thank you! This is a miracle. Blessed be the name of Nehcor!”
The knight he had brought for the last transfusion wasn’t his usual, but he looked teary eyed as well.
Priest Miurian watched from the corner from his chair, smiling blissfully like the angel Nehcor made him sound, looking in on the happy people.
“Please, my lady, is there anything I can give to repay you? Not that I can every fully repay you for giving me my life back.”
“Not sure about the legalities of that, seeing as Nehcor is the one that called me to heal you,” I said. “And gave me the magic to begin with.”
Before Gus could retort to exactly what he thought about that, Miurian beat him to the punch.
“But it was your effort and, well, blood that was given. God fully believes in paying for ones labors given, even if it was under his orders.”
I wrinkled my nose. Still, it made me feel weird, even if I had hoped it would turn out this way.
But a tiring god’s words in my mind helped ease my worries.
‘He’s right. Poor pacing aside, you did work hard. Milk him for what he’s worth.’
I did wince at his word choice though. Knowing him, he had probably said it that way just to torque me.
Weird when the moment finally came to get that cottage in the countryside, I found myself getting second thoughts. Was it really what Gus needed? Would it really help him to become the strong man he wanted to become? I didn’t know a lick of farming, what if I screwed it up and we ended up starving to death anyways? And we did have a good family dynamic with Hal and Milly, threats aside. And what about all the things I could buy in town? What if Gus needed something? Wouldn’t it be better to ask for an education for Gus? Maybe even a way to become a knight, since the only thing I had to go off of was that he wanted to be ‘buff’?
“You don’t have to answer me right away,” said the nobleman, who then put a hand to his heart and folded an arm behind him. “Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am Romanian Lee Dostuve, first son of Duke Dostuve, the lord of this territory. My identity is the least you deserve.” He bent forward in a graceful, movie-perfect bow.
I blinked and couldn’t help but give him another once over. Huh. A duke’s son. First born at that. So this is what duke material looked like.
Gus, on the other hand, visibly stiffened. I could feel his elbows brushing against my stomach.
Even so, the kid was beginning to get ridiculous. I squeezed his shoulder and pushed him aside, to which he gave way to reluctantly.
“I’m Lillian Maybeth Strobelt.” I gave an awkward attempt at a curtsy, though I wasn’t sure they did that here and instantly felt myself growing red. “Yeah, that was my attempt at a…yeah, I’m making a fool of myself now, please excuse me.”
“Nonesense,” he managed to swipe my hand, somehow doing so by only touching the barest tips of my fingers. “Your grace and beauty shine through regardless, and there is no need to display something as paltry as a perfect bow. Ever be yourself to me, dear Lillian.” And then he kissed the back of my palm, just like the perfect storybook prince.
Goosebumps prickled up to my scalp and down to my toes.
I hoped Gus wouldn’t do anything weird.
The goosebumps just rose higher as the duke’s son smiled up at me from the back of my hand, a deep seated warmth and affection visible for anyone to see.
“My life is yours, my lady. Truly. I will ever be at your beck and call.”
“That’s…that’s a little…”
My hope came to naught as Gus came him, slapping up at the duke’s wrist hard enough to make everyone in the room flinch.
“You’re making her uncomfortable,” he all but growled.
A hiss of metal I didn’t recognize came as the knight just behind the nobleman drew his sword, expression hard.
Priest Miurian jumped to his feet. “Brethren—“
But Romanian just lifted a hand, shooting his knight a look. The sword was put away and the duke’s son straightened, his beautiful face not betraying any offense.
“I apologize, I did get ahead of myself. Your apprentice makes a very brave knight. I don’t know many who’d be willing to smack a noble’s hand away like such, let alone that of the duke’s son.” He gave a nod to Gus.
Gus didn’t nod back.
I wanted to smack him. Seriously, this kid. It’s like he thought I was on my merry way to getting molested or something, I mean, good crap.
“Thanks for your understanding,” I said, truly meaning it. “Gus really is a great kid, we’re just working a bit on his social skills.”
I could practically hear his thoughts screaming at me that his social skills were perfectly fine, it was mine that were lacking—oh, and that the wasn’t a kid. Can’t forget that last part.
“Is there any chance I could get back to you on that favor?” I asked, trying to convey the politeness that would make up for Gus’s fail.
The duke’s son seemed to like this idea very much and, after arranging a way we could send letters to each other, very elegantly left with his knight.
2 thoughts on “Raising a Hero–chapter 47”
Oh a Duke’s son…that’s really gonna make this story more fun I’m sure. Will he be her future husband and father to all her kids? 😉 Gus is funny! He is protecting her in his eyes but did her it’s more aggravating. Teenager’s! 🤦 And now they will be writing to each other, I can see a friendship brewing maybe even a courtship… Or am I wrong? Love your writing 🤩