The unthinkable happened, the falling debris that was just a few feet from above moved in slow motion. We passed thru just in time before the huge debris fell on the ground blocking the path from behind.
"Whoa..." Regaleon and the rest have slowed down the pace of the horses and looked back at the building debris blocking the road.
All of the people around me were dumbstruck as to what had just happened. Even I can’t seem to comprehend how the debris slowed down when it was just on top of us, waiting to flatten us to death. I looked back at Regaleon with the same dumbfounded face the rest of the people are having.
Regaleon was looking at the pile of debris and looked at me after. It was like he was saying ’I know it was you who did that’ while gazing into my eyes.
"How did that just happened?" William was the one to word out the question all of the people present was thinking.
"I am not sure but this isn’t the time to ponder over it." Regaleon said with a calm demeanor. "We need to make haste. This area is not safe. Sir William, please lead the way."
"Yes." William still had that dumbfounded look but it was replaced with a serious look in no time. He resumed leading the way.
Regaleon pulled Midnight’s reigns and resumed in following William on his chosen path. As before, the knights that were left followed us from behind. The horses were running in full speed while navigating the streets of the capital.
I noticed that the road we were taking now leads to the east gate of the capital. Just one turn and we will reach the road where the east gate was just a few kilometers ahead. As we take that turn, the building located just at the corner of that turn exploded. Fire started to spread like wild fire before our eyes, blocking our path.
"William!" I shout while I see William was flown out from his horse from the impact of the explosion.
"Whoa..." Regaleon was able to stop Midnight just before the fire spread in front of us.
Then dozen upon dozen of arrows started to rain from above us.
"Men, take cover!" Regaleon ordered.
I quickly came down from Midnight and ran towards William who was lying unconscious on the ground.
"Alicia!" I heard Regaleon call out to me but my worries are with William who was lying on the ground while arrows are raining down.
"William...Will!" I got down on my knees beside William. "Please talk to me, William!" My heart was pounding hard inside my ribcage that I thought it will fly out any second.
William was facing down the ground. I can see his clothes were tattered and are stained with some blood.
Then I hear him cough. This made my pounding heart slow down a few notches. William tried to get up and so I helped him sit up. When he sat up I saw blood trailing from his forehead, he might have hit his head when he fell from his horse. His body was filled with scratches and wounds but thankfully I can’t see any major bleeding besides the wound from his forehead.
"Will, are you okay? Can you get up?" I asked him urgently. "The enemies are raining arrows overhead. We need to find cover."
"I...guess so." William said with a grunt.
I lifted his arm up and draped it on my shoulder to help him up.
"Ahh...!" William flinched in pain. He held the side of his ribs. "I think I have broken a few ribs."
"I’m sorry." I looked at him apologetic. Then I slowly lifted him up and supported him.
When we started to walk I scanned the vicinity we were in. The knights that were guarding us are parrying the incoming arrows from above and finding cover in nearby buildings. Regaleon was just a few feet from us.
"How is he?" Regaleon walked towards us and exchanged with me in supporting William.
"His head is bleeding and I think his ribs are broken. Aside from that and some scratches, I think there are no other major wounds in his body."
Regaleon led us inside a deserted shop. Thankfully there are in civilians in the vicinity when the explosion happened. The people might have evacuated beforehand thanks to Regaleon’s men. He laid down William on the floor carefully. I can see William flinch in pain.
"I...I’m sorry. I am of no help to you now." William said with his eyebrows squinted in pain.
"It’s alright. Just lie down and rest for a while." Regaleon took of his over coat ripped it apart. He used the ripped cloth and pressed it on William’s wound in the forehead to stop the bleeding. "Lili hold this down for me."
I took Regaleon’s place and pressed the cloth on William’s forehead.
"Who are they? What are they after?" I asked in a frantic tone. The knights outside were defending us from the attackers. For sure after the arrow attack, the ambushers will go down to subdue us personally.
"I am afraid they are after you?" Regaleon said with anger in his eyes.
"Me?" I looked at him dumbfounded.
"When the arrows were raining from above us, I realized that they were not firing on your position." Regaleon said.
With this reason I know Regaleon deduced that the ambushers are after me and they want me alive.
"But why me?" I asked. "What could they possibly want with me?"
"There is only one man I can think of that has the audacity to challenge me." Regaleon unsheathed his sword. "The crown prince of Jennova, Gladiolus." Rage was written all over Regaleon’s face.
Once Regaleon mentioned Gladiolus, it dawned to me. The past few days that he visited me and tried to persuade me to go to his country. I never thought he would go this far to get me, even hurt innocent people.
"Then this fire that was spreading..." I wondered about how the fire spread so fast on the few blocks of the street and stop us from advancing. This fire was not normal and like it has a life of its own.
"They are magic users I presume. They are surely under prince Gladiolus." Regaleon also deduced.
Regaleon was right. Apart from Grandcrest where Regaleon fought to give political amnesty to the refugees of Atlantia, for sure the surviving royal family of Atlantia who is my aunt and her son also have loyal Atlantian survivors working for them.
"Let me talk to them. I am also of Atlantian royal blood. Maybe I can persuade them to..." I was telling Regaleon my opinion when he cut me off.
"Lili, I am afraid that won’t do any good!" Regaleon said with anger. "They are after YOU. What they want is obtaining you. I am sure they only take orders from that prince of theirs. And I am sure they are blinded by their loyalty to the royal family. They still think that having to continue the Atlantian royal pureblood and produce an heir will help their nation rise from the ashes. That just makes me sick!"
Regaleon was raging in anger. This was the second time I saw him like this, like a demon burning with fury.
"Stay here and guard Sir William." Regaleon said.
"Where are you going?" I was startled with Regaleon’s decision. I don’t want him to go away from my sight. I held his hand before he got up and gripped it tight. I know that he is strong but still, I can’t push away my worries that he might get hurt. Especially now, that he is up against magic users.
"I need to give Dimitri a signal where we are. With the enemy knowing you are here, for sure they will swarm here in no time. We will need reinforcements." Regaleon said. "Don’t worry, I will be fine." He saw the worry in my face. He pulled his hand gently away from my grip and caressed my cheek.
Regaleon pulled in closer to my face and planted a kiss on my trembling lips. I closed my eyes savoring the heat of his lips that gave comfort to my worried heart.
"Be careful." I said when we parted lips.
"I always am." Regaleon smiled my favorite smile. "Because someone is waiting for me to return."