‘Feeling better now, Father Andreas?’
‘A-aye. Much better. One more gulp of this water and I’ll be as fresh as juvenile, thanks Vadis,’ says Andreas softly.
‘Very well, then. I guess we can arrive in Myrcalia very soon. But…’
Bernides cuts in abruptly, ‘But what, Your Highness? You don’t seem too happy with this prospect. You are going home to safety under the wings of the Great Eagle of Arcadia!’
‘Going home. Back to the life full of restrictions and protocols I always tried to avoid. For me, that’s not a good prospect. I’d rather live simple and free, with adventures, monster-hunting, treasure-finding and all.’
‘Hmmm… I must admit it’s a good life, my prince. Exciting and carefree. But life is more meaningful if you do things for the sake of your country, not just for yourself.’
Andreas adds, ‘He’s right, my prince. You don’t have to look very far for examples. Our guards, for instance, they are willing to leave their homes and families, even their own pleasures to escort you, risking their lives every minute, every day.’
Chris responds, ‘Ah, so, you mean as a prince I can do more for my country than killing monstrous threats?’
Bernides takes his turn to answer, ‘Yes. You have the gift, opportunity and privilege to reach out and help people in need – in a wider scope. The burden of the throne is not yours, right, but you can still serve as a marshal or a lord of a principality. Either way, the greatest mission in your life is to prove that not all lords are tyrannical, and walk on the path lay by the great Sage the Fireheart.’
Andreas concludes, ‘Your training is complete now, and you are ready to undertake your greatest challenge that is waiting for you a few miles ahead. Take it, and your name will be in the history books and songs of praise for countless generations to come. Run away from it and you’ll waste the gift, the privilege Vadis has given you.’
‘Well, in that case,’ says Cristophe spiritedly, ‘Let us prepare and waste no time. Just you see, whatever I’ll do, I won’t give the House of Deveraux a bad name.’
I’m back, father, brother. Back to the greatest challenge in a place I call home. To Lourdes Palace and the all the politics within. No matter how hard I must suffer, I will survive.