Chapter Eight

Zeal had come to check on Sir Therius after his day was over. All of the papers and decisions would wait for another day, and the new Count knocked at Therius's door.

"Yes?"

"It's me Therius," Zeal replied, and the door was opened for him. "You look pretty beaten. What happened out there?"

"Didn't Mirania tell you?" he asked, walking slowly back to the bed.

"No, she just came to tell us about the water supply," Zeal said. "I wanted to ask you how the battle went."

"Two knights are dead. Next time, I'm bringing more mages," Therius replied. "Otherwise, I thought we were successful in keeping them back."

"Good to know," he said. "You look like you're injured. I'll have Mirania come in to-"

"That's all right," the knight refuted. "I appreciate your concern but that won't be necessary. I'm sure you have problems of your own."

"I do, but that doesn't mean I stop caring about everyone else," Zeal said with a smirk. "Good night, Therius."

"Good night."


Mirania watched Zeal step away from Therius's door, and she waited until he was completely out of sight. Gently, she tapped on the door. When there was no sign of movement, she tapped again, but this time a little bit louder.

"Therius," she spoke calmly and rather quiet. "I know you're injured. Your left shoulder is aching with a burning sensation and your right foot was caught by a sea Reptid. It sank right through your armor, I saw it. Please open the door."

"Miss Mirania, I...I'd rather you didn't." She opened the door anyway, walking in and shutting the door swiftly behind her.

"I don't leave anyone injured." Casting her healing magic, the mage noticed something underneath his clothing, but when she pulled it back she found that the injury he'd sustained would cause any healing mage quite the process.

"This needs to be-"

"It's fine," Therius said. "I know someone back in the Empire who does this sort of thing. Do not concern yourself."

"That won't last into next week looking like that."

The shared a few moments of silence, and finally Mirania gave in. Pulling a needle from her hair and an elixir from her pocket, she sat down next to him. Therius waited in silence.

"Normally I would scold people for this kind of carelessness," she said. "But I'm making an exception this time. Reptids are a species and there are many different types. You couldn't have known all the types just by looking at them, and you haven't had too much experience with them before coming here I'd assume."

"Mostly Gurak," Therius replied, not even twitching as she cleared the wound of any visible infection. The area began to puss and his arm had swollen a bit as the mage let the infection drop into a bowl at her side.

"Miss Mirania," he began. "Do you really think that I should not go back to the Empire?"

She sighed at his question. "Well, I would not especially like to see you go, but my opinion might not be the best as of late."

"And why not?"

"Because it's...well it's being influenced, by many different things. If you want a real answer, I'd ask Zeal," the mage said.

"I was hoping for your answer," Therius said.

"All right, then I don't want you to leave," she replied. "I'd much rather you stay here and train only the best knights. Yurick is planning to reopen the Tower of Trials."

"Mirania, why did you kiss me?" Therius asked. She laughed a little to gather herself to answer his random question.

"Like I said, I would be especially sad to see you go." She stitched up the wound and wrapped it with a cloth, just as a coverup. As she was about to reach for his shoulder, his hand came to clutch her wrist.

They stared at each other for a long while before Mirania broke her gaze, reaching again for his should and casting more of her healing magic.

"The General would laugh if he saw this," Therius said with a deep breath. She smirked.

"I know, he always said you were difficult," she said.

"What?!"

Mirania smiled again as she finished with his shoulder. "Nothing. Now about that Reptid mark-"

"You spoke to the General about me?" Therius asked as she knelt down.

"I may have, amongst other things," she replied. "Wow. He got you good, didn't he?"

Therius pried, he wanted to know what Asthar had said about him, but Mirania chose to be rather vague, asking him why he wanted to know so badly. She told him it was nothing unfavorable about himself, so he needn't worry. The mage finished her work, ready to leave him alone now, as he usually wanted to be, but Therius stood up.

"Miss Mirania, I will have you know that I do not plan to return to the Empire until I feel that Zeal has everything under control," he said.

"And I would expect nothing less from you, Therius," she said.

"Thank you," he said, walking up to her. "You've proven yourself most helpful." Without any warning, he pulled her into a hug.

"Oh," she sighed quietly to herself.

"But I must ask," he said. "Can we start over?"

"Start over?" she asked. He released her.

"That is what I asked. I did not act in a manner befitting my emotions or my status," he said.

"All right, I suppose we can start over then, but what does that mean exactly?" Mirania asked. Therius looked down at her, unsure if he as ready to do this, but he could already see Asthar's face if he didn't follow through.

He took her by the shoulders, forcing her up a few inches and he leaned in as quickly as possible, capturing her mouth with his own. Nervous enough, the knight hoped that this would not deter her or scare her off. Mirania did not reject his advancement, she responded by wrapping her arms around his neck to help herself balance. It still felt more uncomfortable then he anticipated, but Therius found that the closer he came to her, the better he felt about the situation.

His hands rested along her waistline until their kiss finally broke.

"Why did you want to start over?" she asked quietly, bringing herself down from the balls of her feet.

"Because," he rested his head on top of hers. "I should have been the one to kiss you first."

Mirania let out a small laugh. "This is so unlike you."

"I do not normally act this way," he admitted. "But I do believe this is an acceptable exception."