“No way that short stuff is one of those beings! He doesn’t look like he can protect himself much less the chief.”
“The chief is a Prince, Zapp, and I can see why it would cause some concerns but sadly it’s not up to you.”
“You can’t be serious, Steven!”
“I am. Leonardo the Watcher is going to be Prince Klaus’s right hand man.”
Leo knew he was different when he was born. His family was human but thanks to his ancestor who he had forgotten the name of, he was a part of this great linage of some sort. Or so he was told.
During his childhood, he was bullied because of his stature or lack thereof. When his sister was born though, he became her knight. Well a slow knight in her eyes, that of a tortoise, but a brave one nonetheless.
Other than that, his life was relatively normal. He and his family were merchants and trying to get by every day. He even taken some work at a pub so his family would have something extra.
That is, until the day the royal carriage came.
“Brother, have you heard?”
“Mm? What is it, Michella?”
His sister ran to his bed and sat down next to him. “The royal family is coming!”
“Well passing by but it’s still amazing. We almost never get to see anyone that amazing.”
Looking down at his old toy, a ball, he hummed. “That’s true. Though if they buy anything from our store, that’d be cool too.”
Michella giggled. “You think we might see the prince?”
“I doubt it but it would be nice if we did.” Leo smiled.
The town was buzzing with excitement when the news came to them in the form of a messenger. They started cleaning up and making the area so pretty or at least decent when the carriage arrives. Leo was excited of course but he just assumed that it’ll just pass by them completely. After all, the royal family wouldn’t have any business coming to their town specifically.
Oh, how wrong he was.
When that day came, Leo was at the front of the store. He was sweeping and yawning every so often. He didn’t get much sleep the night before, which was odd considering he never had a problem before. It must have been that dream he had.
He wished he can remember what it was.
“It’s coming! The royal carriage is coming!”
Leo gasped as he looked over and sure enough the color of gold entered his sight. “O-Oh boy…” He opened the door and poked his head in. “Mother, father, Michella! It’s coming!”
Soon enough, the rest of the family ran out of the shop, as did other people as they awaited to see the Royal carriage.
The reason why seeing the carriage is a huge deal was that the royal family of the country rarely travel outside of their estate. Normally, they would have their servants or their knights go out so for a royal family member to be outside and traveling was something that only a handful of people or so would see in their lifetime.
Not much is known about the royal family apart from the basic facts. The family was huge with extended relatives throughout the country. The main family was a king, queen and their children. Three princes and a princess. And to top it off, they were the last of the three rulers after the Great war centuries before.
Leo heard about the Great war. No one knows how it started but the royal family of this country, along with the two other ruling families, managed to win and bring peace to world. He was glad that the country was ruled by some valiant people. He wished he can be like them.
“Brother! It’s coming towards us.”
The young man looked over with his sister and parents and sure enough, it was very close. It just passed the town limits and now entering. He then gasped in awe as he finally saw the carriage up close.
It was huge, white with gold lining, and had the Royal family marking on the side. The Von Reinherz cross.
It was amazing and a bit intimidating, if Leo was completely honest. He smiled though as it started passing the family shop.
A figure looked out at all the nice townsfolk before their eyes landed on a certain person. They gasped. “I-It’s….” They then knocked on the ceiling. “S-Stop the carriage! Please!”
Leo was confused and nervous when the carriage suddenly stopped in front of their shop. He can hear his sister squealing as quietly as humanly possible next to him.
“Oh my stars…..!” Michella whispered in excitement.
The stars indeed.
The driver stepped down from his place and went up to the door. When the driver opened it, the townspeople, including Leo were stunned.
Out came one of the princes, who was tall and broad with red hair and green eyes. He had side burns and glasses that graced his face. What really made him stood out was his underbite, those fangs.
Leo found himself blushing at the prince.
“Got a little crush, brother~?” Michella nudged him with a smirk.
Startled, he huffed. “N-No way.”
“You two, behave.” Their mother whispered hastily.
The children clammed up as the prince stepped onto the patted soil and looked around a bit.
Leo wondered what the prince wanted. Food, clothes, maybe something from their shop. His guess was as good as any but when he and the prince made eye contact, something happened.
The prince, of the Reinherz Family, up and went towards him.
Maybe it was a mistake, maybe the prince wanted to go to the shop or ask his father for directions to the nearest pub. No, in front of the deities and everyone around them now, the prince went up to him.
And by the stars, it was near frightening.
They were facing each other, he and the prince. Leo was stunned about the whole thing before he remembered something and blushed. “A-Ah, hello your grace! Welcome to our town!” He bowed his head; very embarrassed. Why did he stare at the prince like some fish in a river!?
At first there was silence, no one dared said a word.
Finally, it was the prince that broke it.
“Young man, please raise your head.”
Leo looked up and was surprised to see a smile on the prince’s face. It’s almost as if the other was…happy? Surely not.
“Thank you for greeting me.” The prince continued. “I am Prince Klaus Von Reinherz of the Von Reinherz family. May I ask for your name?”
“U-Um, Leo. I’m Leo, y-your grace.” He nodded. “W-What brings you to this town?” Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw something move.
“Ah, I’m actually just returning from another city.” The prince replied. “The flowers there were amazing, so much so that I hope to return there soon.”
“So, you like flowers?”
“All kinds of plant life, yes.”
It was so weird, it was as if they were having a normal conversation. They were total strangers and yet he felt comfortable. He wondered why.
The driver glanced at the side and suddenly he was knocked to the ground hard.
There was a gasp and everyone turned to see what happened. There was an unruly man with a knife in his hands, glaring at the prince.
“You….you and that family….are nothing! If only…if only you all perished!” The man sprinted towards the prince with the intent to hurt, even murder.
It happened so quickly, no one saw it coming but Michella…she gasped as she saw Leo run to the prince and moved in front of him. “Brother!”
The unruly man was knocked to the ground and when he looked up, all he saw was blue flames….and a pair of glowing blue eyes to match.
Leo had his arms spread wide as if to shield the prince from the attacker. His body was covered in blue flames and his eyes were glowing. He glared at the other and looked like he was going to fight back. “Don’t…don’t hurt him!” He wasn’t going to let anyone hurt the prince or his family.
“Esmeralda Blood freeze.”
Instantly the attacker was frozen as ice. Another figure jumped from the trees and sighed out, icy breath escaping his lips. “Frozen needles.” He was dressed as a warlock, he even had a huge staff in his hand. He walked up to the frozen block of a person. “Hm, made it just in time.”
“W-Who are you?” One person asked.
“Eh, you don’t know? That’s Sir Steven. He hails from the north and is known for his magic. He’s the royal adviser for the family!”
Just as things were dying down, there was a pained groan and Leo swayed before he passed out; his body falling forward.
Michella gasped. “Brother!” She ran to get him but someone else beat her to the punch.
Prince Klaus caught Leo easily and gently moved him to his arms. His eyes were filled with worry as he saw the slightly dark circles under those eyes.
“You had me worried there for a second, Prince.” Steven walked up to the kneeling prince. “We wouldn’t want the family to fret, now do we?” He slightly joked before he looked at the young man. “So, is that lad what I think it is?”
“Yes. Your assumption is correct.” Klaus cradled the young man in his arms as he stood up. “He was right. There was one here. And the description was on point.”
Steven nodded before looking at the shocked family. He gave them a disarming smile. “Pardon us, may we ask you a few questions over a cup of tea?”
Leo groaned as he felt a headache come on when he started waking up. He moved his head to the side and slowly realized that he was in his room and in his bed. He wondered if all of that was a dream. Maybe the prince didn’t come to the town, maybe he was still sweeping and something hit his head.
Why else did he see blue all around him.
“Brother? You awake?”
Leo blinked as he heard his sister along with a gently knock on the door. “Michella?”
The door opened to reveal her. “Oh, thank the stars, you’re awake.” She had a tray of food with her as she entered the room.
“W-What happened?” He asked as he slowly sat up.
Michella looked hesitant as she placed the tray on his lap. “It’s…complicated.”
“What do you mean?”
She sighed before she looked fully at him. “The prince and his advisor are talking to our parents about taking you with him.”
“Absolutely not. I will not allow it!”
“Watcher, if you would please calm down…”
“Out of the question! He’s barely an adult!”
Klaus looked very nervous as Leo’s father and Steven were talking about Leo and the current situation. He wanted nothing more than to make peace between them but it might do more harm than good.
“….He’s our child.”
The prince looked at the mother who up until now hadn’t said a word.
“We knew he was something different, something more. But he was still our child. He couldn’t be…” She placed her face in her hands in dismay. “He just couldn’t be….”
Klaus looked at her with a sad frown as he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Madam Watcher….there is nothing that I hate more than separating someone from their family. However, there is no denying what your son is. The whole town saw what he was, you saw what he is. His safety is our concern at the moment.”
The mother sniffled as she nodded. “Thank you. At least you understand. I just hate the thought of not seeing my son anymore.”
“I know. However, if he stays, there’s no telling what will happen.”
“What do you mean?”
Everyone stopped as they turned their heads to see Leo. He was leaning on Michella since he didn’t regain much of his energy back.
“Don’t worry, Leo.” His father held his hand up. “No one is going anywhere.” He glared at Steven who smiled nervously back.
The young man looked at Prince Klaus. “Prince, what do you mean about what you said before?”
“Father, hush.” Michella shushed with a frown.
Looking at the young man, Klaus stood up and walked over to the siblings. “Leo the Watcher. You are something that is rare in this day and age. I have obtained information about the being that I seek. Never in my lifetime that I would want to rip you apart from your family but after what has happened, I’m afraid things have gotten complicated.”
Leo sighed. So, all of that wasn’t a dream. “And if I refuse to come with you?”
“Lad,” It was Steven who spoke up next. “We won’t force you to come with us. But if you were to stay, enemies from all sorts will come here and wreck or possibly even destroy this place. Word already spread about what has happened. Even if you try to hide, it will come to light.”
Michella looked at her brother before looking back at the warlock. “If you were to take my brother away, can you really promise that he will be safe?”
“Of course.” The warlock nodded.
“You have our word that we will keep him safe.” Klaus bowed his head.
After a beat of silence, Michella looked at her brother. “It’s up to you.”
Leo looked around the room. His distressed father, his worried mother, the kind prince, the stern warlock and finally, his supportive sister. After a minute of silence, he sighed. “I’m going.”
“Leo…” His mother gasped a bit.
“Are you sure?” Michella asked.
“I’m sure. I really don’t know what’s going on but, if I really am in trouble then it’s best if I go with them.” Leo explained. “I don’t want anyone else to get hurt.”
Steven glanced at Klaus with an amused look on his face before turning his attention to Leo. “Then it’s settled. Worry not, when the driver is well from that bump on his head then we will leave.”
That meant he had until tomorrow to get things in order. “Okay.” Leo nodded.
“Well then, in that case, how about you two stay with us for dinner?” Michella beamed happily.
Everyone stopped and stared at her as if she spoke another language.
“T-That is not necessary.” Steven had to say. “We can just go to a pub.”
“Nonsense! You two deserve good wholesome food.” The sister pouted before she took Steven’s hand. “Please~?”
Leo chuckled as he managed to get back on his feet.
The warlock blinked before he chuckled. “Well, I can’t say no to that. Klaus?”
“We’d be happy to stay for dinner, thank you.”
Though it might have been his imagination, but Leo thought he saw petals on the floor for a second.
“We have a huge deal on our hands, Klaus.” Steven said, the morning after as Leo was saying goodbye to his family. “I hope this won’t end badly.”
“Worry not, Steven.” Klaus replied. “Even if it does, we will be prepared.”
“Well, let’s hope the lad will be too.”
“You better write to us as much as you can, brother.” Michella hugged him. “And please be careful.”
“I will.” Leo nodded. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back before you know it.”
“I have no doubt about that, my tortoise knight.”
Leo blushed. “Not that nickname again.” Though he smiled as his sister giggled.
“Okay, lad! Let’s head out!” Steven called out.
“Right!” Leo then turned his family. “Okay, I’ll be going now.” Grabbed his bag, he ran to the carriage.
“You better be good to my brother!” Michella called out to the prince and the warlock.
“We will.” Klaus called out as Steven waved goodbye to the family with a smile.
The carriage started pulling forward and Leo’s sister watched as the carriage vanished from her sight. “….Good luck, brother.” She can only have faith in Klaus’s promise. And the words he spoke to her the night before.
A figure watched as the carriage left the town. He clicked his tongue. “I had hoped they would stay a little longer. Oh well, that man did his part.” He grinned as he sank into the shadows.
“I look forward to meeting you, Leo the Watcher."