Holy Mother Lavina Ungur glanced over the altar upon hearing the chapel doors. Though the candles were lit, ready for the night's prayer, it would still be several hours before the townsfolk would arrive. Who could possibly be early to the service?
As the figure neared, Lavina's mouth curved into a small smile. "Mihail." Dusting herself off as she stood from her previous kneeling position, she walked down the steps that lead to the altar. Her blonde hair flowed gently behind her. "It's been a long time since I've seen you here."
"I'm sorry for not visiting sooner, Lady Lavina." The redheaded guard bowed his respects. "I just… Didn't know where else to go."
Lavina offered yet another comforting smile. "Alas, that is what the chapel is here for. These walls hear much, but tell not a word. There is nothing you can say here that will earn you judgement. Is that not what I'm here for?"
"Lavi, it's…" Mihail gasped at the use of Lavina's childhood nickname. "I'm sorry, my Lady, that was rude of me."
"Mihail." The blonde placed a hand on Mihail's rugged shoulder. "We have been friends for a very long time. You need not feel so ashamed of using a name you gave me. What is troubling you?"
The Royal Guard let out a hefty sigh. "It's… It's this talk of war."
"What about it?"
"The old Kingsguard said that if your king declares war, you must be ready to fight. But what do you do when you no longer believe in what you're fighting for?"
Lavina frowned. "What is it that you no longer believe in?"
"King Razvan has changed, and I fear it's not to benefit the people of Gwynt."
"And what do you see that has changed?"
Mihail looked into her comforting green eyes. "He no longer consults me or Sorin about anything, but instead chooses to speak privately with Sage Rau. Sorin is his advisor; surely that must raise an eyebrow."
"As to be expected when a King falls under the grace of an Andal Sage." But Lavina's face never changed. "Do you believe that Rau has influenced him in a negative way?"
"I'm not sure what to believe."
"And there's nothing wrong with that." The blonde female smiled once more. "You are only human, Mihail. You are only capable of handling so many things at a time. But I'll tell you what I do know." Once she was sure Mihail was paying attention, she continued. "You are a strong, brave soldier who fought valiantly on your way to the top. Your loyalty to Gwynt has never been in question, and that stands even now."
Mihail glanced at her in confusion. "And what makes you so sure of yourself?"
"You said yourself that your concern was for Gwynt. You have served King Razvan well in the years you've been at the top, but your service to our king has not swayed you from seeking the truth. You seek to find the best possible path for our kingdom, even if the problem was to lie on the throne."
"But my duty is to-"
"Is to ensure the safety of the Kingdom from any threat." Her eyes narrowed. "Even if that threat is our ruler. You cannot tell me I'm wrong."
"To accuse a direct descendant of the Creationists of lying would be a greater crime than theft." But Mihail offered a smile in place of the weary frown he wore moments ago. "King Razvan used to be a great king. The best in Andal. But now, with Rau's arrival…" He shook his head. "I'm afraid we've bitten off more than we can chew."
Lavina nodded. "Perhaps. But you are strong. Sorin is strong, even if he believes otherwise. Your Kingsguard follows you, not King Razvan. They take your orders with pride. As Danau's former Queen Mari once said, 'Have pride in yourself, and your Guard will follow you. Lose faith in what you hold dear, and they will stray.' You must believe in yourself."
"I will do my best. Thank you, Lavi." Mihail smiled at her. "I'm sorry to have taken so much of your time. I will depart and allow you to finish preparing for the service."
"It's always nice to see you, Mihail. You should come by again soon." She nodded. "What is your plan?"
"I'm unsure, but I promise that you and Sorin will be the first ones to know." Mihail turned around, breaking eye contact, before nodding to himself. "I won't let you down. I won't let Gwynt down. Whatever happens next, I will not fail."
"You have done well, Mihail."
As if summoned, the blonde appeared from the sky above. With her newfound power as the Sage of Light, she glowed with a mysterious aura. "Not only have you helped me discover my true nature as the Sage of Light, but you have slain Razvan Lupei, and Gwynt is safe."
Mihail nodded. "I promised you that I would do everything in my power to save Gwynt Kingdom, and I have done just that. But Razvan Lupei did not have an heir, and Gwynt cannot go without a king."
"You are correct." A new voice broke the scene, and out emerged a much shorter blonde. "Well done, Mihail Sala. You have grown considerably."
"I'm sorry, but who are you?"
The female chuckled. "Of course, how rude of me. My name is Hazel L'Brour. I'm the Lord of the Sages. You might remember me as the late Paduri's apprentice."
"The forest child?" Regardless of their meeting, Mihail bowed. "I apologize for the disrespect, Lady L'Brour."
"You meant none, so no offense was taken." Hazel nodded back to him. "I'm afraid I've only dropped by to discuss business with you, as I have rebuilding to do in other parts of Andal."
Mihail nodded. "To what do I owe the pleasure of our meeting?"
"I did not watch you fight, but Lavina did. You were willing to risk everything to destroy Razvan Lupei. You were willing to give your life to ensure the safety of Gwynt. None other could have hoped to achieve such a thing."
"Without a king, Gwynt will fall, but not just anyone can be king. For generations, the royal Lupei bloodline ruled Gwynt with an iron fist. Until now, every Lupei had an heir before their passing. But, as Razvan showed us, royal blood is not always pure. That is why I come to you. I have given Lavina my blessing. Lavina, take it from here."
Lavina nodded and stepped forward. In her hands she held Razvan's golden crown. It was no longer stained with blood. "Mihail Sala, you have proven today that you are wise, strong, confident, and trustworthy. It is at this moment that I, Lavina Ungur of the Creationists, would like to praise you for your achievements and name you as the next king of Gwynt Kingdom."
The redhead stared on in disbelief. "But Lady Lavina, surely there is someone more worthy than I?"
"Don't be foolish."
"There is no one else I would rather stand beside than you, Mihail." Though battle-weary, Sorin looked confident with his choice of words. "You helped us all see the truth when we would have rather have been blind. Surely that says something about who you are. There are many men that can become the head of a Kingsguard, but there are no others that would go to the lengths that you did to ensure the safety of a kingdom."
Mihail nodded. "Thank you, Sorin. Not just for saying what you did, but for staying beside me as everything fell apart. As the next king of Gwynt, I look forward to having you stay at my side through thick and thin."
"And I look forward to being there."
"As do I." Lavina smiled at them. "Now that Andal is no longer in danger, I am free to return to the chapel, and I have every intention of doing so. You will need your Holy Mother in these trying times, as your people seek answers to questions they thought they'd never have to ask."
"I couldn't ask for a better woman for the job." Mihail smiled softly and met Lavina halfway, pressing his forehead against hers. "You've been wonderful."
Hazel giggled, unintentionally breaking the moment. "Well, now that that's settled, I'm afraid I must take my leave. I will pass my blessing to the other Sages of Andal as well as the other Kings. Farewell, Mihail Sala. Take pride in yourself."
The redhead gave her a respectful bow. "Travel safely, my Lady."
"He's holding that sword all wrong."
Halis Sala raised an eyebrow, glancing at the speaker. "What are you on about, Vinnicia?"
"He looks like a child holding a fishing net." Vinnicia crossed her arms. "Mihail is the true heir of the Sala family bloodline. He is to succeed you and take your place as head of the Gwynt Kingsguard. How is he to do such a thing when he cannot even hold a proper stance?"
"Nici, he's five." Halis shook his head. "This is the first he's ever held a sword."
Vinnicia glared at Halis. "And the last, if he doesn't shape himself up. Do you want the Sala name to go down in flames?"
"You're not even a Sala, what are you worried about? You're only a part of this family due to my marriage with Lady Micca."
"How dare you speak to me that way, you heathen?"
"Oh, Nici. Settle."
The hotheaded male breathed a sigh of relief. "Father. What a pleasure."
Serus Sala laughed. "Likewise." He turned to Vinnicia. "A Sala is bred to be a warrior, but they are not born with those skills. They are trained. Perfected. For Mihail's first time holding a sword that is near his size, he is doing very well."
The female turned away. "I bet Halis was never that clumsy with a sword."
"You sure you'd like to make that bet?" Serus blinked. "Very well."
"Father…" Halis' face paled. "Please don't."
"It was many years ago," he continued, as if Halis had not spoken. "Halis was only seven at the time, and he had perfected his training with the wooden sword, much like the one Mihail has been given. But he was eager to learn more, and asked me to face him with a lance."
Vinnicia looked interested. "And what happened after that?"
Serus laughed. "He didn't even make it five steps. He took a step, tripped, and impaled himself with the thin lance where the scar on his abdomen sits. He was not fatally injured, as he is here, but if you think that Sala men are born into perfection, you are mistaken."
"Father!" The other male turned a deep shade of red. "Nici had no need to know that!"
But Vinnicia looked amused. "Now that was worth waiting for!" She turned to Mihail, who had taken to sitting on the floor, staring at the sword. "Maybe Mihail does have a chance."
Mihail glanced up at Halis with wide eyes. "Where are we goin', Daddy?"
"We're going to the Chapel," Halis explained. "Now that you are getting older, you must meet those who will assist you in your Knighthood. Holy Mother Alis Ungur would like to introduce you to your future Holy Mother, Sister Lavina."
"Oh. Is she pretty?"
"Her looks matter not, Mihail." Halis' eyes were devoid of emotion. "Your relationship with the Chapel is strictly for guidance and support of your people, and nothing more. You must-"
Mihail stopped in his tracks and stared Halis down. "I'm not gonna meet someone and not be friends with them, Daddy!"
The elder Sala hid an irate look. "You won't have time for friends-"
"Then I don't wanna uphold the stupid tradition." The fiery redhead crossed his arms. "You can't be lonely all the time, Daddy. Mommy said so."
"I don't have many friends, Mihail."
"And that's why you're always so sad!" Mihail glanced at him again. "You only talk to King Andras, Prince Razvan, and Advisor Elliad. You need friends, too. Mommy says you need people to support you!"
Though Halis wished to reprimand his son, he couldn't find the willpower to do so. Instead, he simply nodded. "You're far too intelligent for your own good, Mihail." With a sigh, he continued on the path to the chapel. "Very well. If Sister Lavina wishes to befriend you, I won't stop you."
Continue reading this role play by signing up to Roleplay.cloud Roleplay Now ! No email required!