CHAPTER 30 - HER HERO AND HIS LOVE

Someone slapped him.

"Wake up!" Wilson slapped him again but Fayte was too dazed to realise what was happening. "Come on, Fayte, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake--"

"--by the LIGHT! STOP SLAPPING ME!"

He glared at his friend who only laughed. Wilson pulled him up and Fayte nearly fell again when Whitesong came over and nuzzled him with a whinny. He stroke her head and patted her on the back, making sure she was fine before he looked around him. A great force had erupted from Ra'gelor, knocking all of them to the ground. Fayte prayed that those bodies he saw laying around were just people knocked unconscious. Wilson guided him and pointed him at someone.

Surrounding Kamille's body were two priests and standing by her head was Kestel, looking at her like she was an item of curiosity.

"I prayed to Sera," Wilson told him, watching the priests pour energy into Kamille's body, "that if she too wished for peace between our nations, that she would grant me the strength to revive her."

Fayte heard her coughing and the priests helped her up to let her retch. Clumps of clotted blood were coughed out before Kamille fell unconscious again. Her face was pale and much of her weight was taken from her, leaving her bony and gaunt. He saw Kestel muttering words to them and the two priests carried her off. Thank you, Sera, and you as well, Kamille. As he watched them leave the area, a great sight behind them caught his eyes.

Ra'gelor was still standing.

The demon was bent over with chains of ice and fire, earth and thunder binding him. He mounted Whitesong and together with Wilson, they rode to the bounded demon where his father and the others were.

"FATHER!" Fayte got off Whitesong and slid to the ground next to his father. Two priests were attending to him but neither one of them was healing him. "Why are you just watching? HEAL HIM!"

"We cannot do that," the priest said. "The Lord Bishop has poured too much energy into him. Any more and we will do more harm than good."

Fayte looked at his father. The man was barely breathing. "Just heal him! I won't have my father die like this, you hear me? HEAL HIM-"

"By the light," his father said, pushing his face away. "I thought… I told you… to leave…"

"Father?"

"Do I look like your mother?" He waved Fayte off. "Go away… I will not die so easily. Just… just very… very sleepy…"

For a while Fayte wondered if his father had spoken his last words… then the man started snoring. The priests both let slip a smile and even Fayte allowed himself to relax a little. They took his father away to recuperate while Fayte went and searched for Wilson. He found his friend kneeling beside a body in front of Rhastior. The injuries on the white dragon were terrible. Fayte had wondered how Rhastior could possibly survive this, and he was right, Rhastior did not survive.

"Find peace with Sera, Bishop…" Wilson said, kneeling next to the Bishop's body. "Rest well…"

The fight was too much for the old Bishop and Rhastior suffered fatal injuries fighting Ra'gelor. That one last lunge at the demon helped save the whole of Hylan. That was how they were going to remember the great white dragon, friend of Bishop Tydon and the silent protector of Hylan.

Wilson would want to spend some time alone praying with the rest of them from the White Rose. Fayte left him and approached Commander Reyner. The Commander of the Whiteguard was just as beat, lying on the grass with a priestess attending to him. Fayte realised that the priestess was also Commander Reyner's lady wife, so he went away and found a knight.

The battle to the south was almost lost if Ra'gelor had not been defeated. It was a standstill. The animations came in great unending numbers but they were slow and weak. Losses were minimal but the Orders would have lost eventually if the animations had not suddenly just crumbled to dirt. Ra'gelor's binding ended the life of the horde. It seemed that the animations had come from the slavers' camp, just a few leagues south from their position here. And the very thought of the slave camp reminded him.

"Emily?" Fayte called, searching around with Whitesong. "Has anyone seen the Princess?"

Mainly followers of the White Rose were here with some knights walking about. Most of them ignored him until Fayte came upon Captain Teynier who was sitting on the grass with Sir Jaylen of the Whiteguards. Both of them were equally dirty and their armour as dented and ruined as the other. Sir Jaylen even took off his chest piece, leaving the broken armour beside his sword. Only his shield seemed to have survived the fight, though horribly dented.

"The Princess is over there," Captain Teynier pointed. "She was- hey!"

Fayte had ridden off already. There was a crowd of priests and knights up ahead. He leaped off from Whitesong and hurried forward. Right above him was Ra'gelor, looking exhausted and powerless with Archimage Lasandra levitating in front of his face. Fayte pushed his way through the crowd until he found-

"Emily!"

He found her. At long last Fayte had found her. After almost a week of searching and fighting and the endless worrying. Traveling from one end of the kingdom to the other and back again, so many times he had wondered what he would do if he had lost her. Fayte just kept believing and he never gave up, because Emily was his best friend and the girl he loved with all his heart. Now that the demon was subdued, Hylan was no longer in danger and the Princess was safe. He had found her at last.

But Fayte found his Princess in the arms of the Saldarian Prince.

Their lips locked together.