Deimena led Jonathan through the castle, back to the medical bay. A few guards and servants trailed after them. Jonathan was going to talk more to Deimena when they weren’t in the hall. Unfortunately, the queen was passed a message and had to leave.
A young maid left the queen’s entourage and guided Jonathan the rest of the way.
Jonathan muttered thanks to the maid and went into the med bay.
The place was a weird mix of familiar and unfamiliar to the transmigrator.
Shelves were full of herbs, and some plants were hung up from the rafters to dry. A small pile of mana stones were locked up in a box on the top of one bookshelf. Cots and chairs were set up in a smart yet chaotic manner.
The two medical staff on duty greeted him. According to the tall man with cracked glasses and the broad shouldered woman, Tam had taken the antidote without any further complications. It would just take a bit of time for her to recover fully.
“Until when?” Tam interrupted.
“Fall, or so,” the man with glasses estimated.
“You’re awake,” Jonathan noted. “How are you feeling?”
Tam had regained some color, no longer white as paper. She bowed her head and said, in a small voice, “Thank you.”
Oceton perched on the side of Tam’s bed. He wasn’t distressed, but he seemed upset. The bird ruffled his wings and started preening himself.
The two working went about their business. The woman left to go stock up on their supplies and the man was counting their inventory.
Jonathan nodded. He had a question bugging him. “Why were you out that early?”
“I usually start hunting later, but I wanted to give you a present, a thank you for everything.” Tam’s expression was embarrassment. It was a rather hard feat to try to thank someone and only end up owing them more.
“Will it spoil or die, or something?”
Jonathan curled his fingers into Oceton’s feathers, and started petting the bird. “I don’t need a gift, but if you want to, then give it to me when you’re better.”
Tam smiled and agreed.
Jonathan stood for a few moments and thought. He didn’t want to scold the girl, a near death experience was enough punishment. “I’m still willing to have you visit, as long as you’re careful. Night time is too dangerous for people travelling alone, especially if they go to the forest.”
“I do know the forest though,” Tam muttered. Her voice held a hint of dimmed pride.
“Repeat that again, slowly,” Jonathan deadpanned. His eyes were sharp, expression vaguely disappointed.
Tam picked at her blanket. “I thought I knew the forest.” She had thought she knew the forest well enough. She had not realized the danger; she had never been there when it was dark.
“You don’t, not when it’s dark.”
They were silent for another few seconds.
Tam picked up the conversation while she watched Oceton. She didn’t really feel brave enough to look Jonathan in the eyes right now. “Oceton can use fire magic?”
“Hm? What do you mean?” Jonathan questioned. “I use fire magic, but I’m not a contracted elemental user if that’s what you’re asking.”
Tam switched tactics. She was pretty sure of what she had seen. “What type of bird is Oceton?”
“Oceton is red.”
Tam puffed up her cheeks in frustration.
“Ah, your horse is in the village still,” Jonathan remembered. “You’ll need someone to pick him up.” He glanced at the clock on the wall.
It was getting late. If he wanted to get home by noon tomorrow, he should leave now.
“You’ll come back while I’m still stuck here, right?”
Jonathan hesitated. He didn’t really want to deal with taking to more royalty than he already did. Deimena and Chadwick seemed to be fine, but that didn’t mean much.
“Okay. I’ll visit . . . some.” Jonathan reached out a hand and pet the girl on the head. He hadn’t taken the oath that seriously, yet he would feel terrible not visiting Tam at all.
Tam held out her thumb, and smiled when Jonathan’s pressed his thumb against hers. “Promised. Now you have to keep it.”
With another look at the clock, Jonathan left the medical bay.
Along the way out to the main courtyard, he was briefly accosted by Deimena. The run in was short, but he essentially informed her that he would be back to visit occasionally. Deimena was incredibly pleased and wanted to catch up more soon.
Jonathan was appreciative that Deimena had been understanding and was not going to force him to reveal the identity of Prince Roscoe. He was choosing to trust her some, but he was fully aware that—similar to her husband, Chadwick—her cleverness and ruthlessness should not be understated. To usurp the crown of a kingdom was not a small matter, especially with no help from the empire she was born in.
Jonathan said goodbye to Deimena and picked up Biscuit from the castle stables. He camped when night fell and slept in late.
He was exhausted. Jonathan had fought, rode, and verbally sparred to save the life of a girl he had come to see as some sort of younger sister. The man had even risked some of his secrets and his quiet life.
When he woke up in the morning, he got to the village he lived near, bought paper from young Todd, and penned a letter.
It was sparse and directly to the point. Even then it was smudged from Jonathan’s speed and impatience, trying to dry the ink as soon as possible. He attached the letter to Oceton’s leg, sent the bird off to Maskiff in the hopes of finding Emlyn or Millan, and decided to take a shower.
In the following weeks, Jonathan took several trips to the capital. He visited Tam, as well as Deimena and Chadwick. Overall, his time in the castle was quite nice.
He still would always go by Jonathan, but he would play the part of family for those who were wanting it.
Character development? In my main character? It’s more likely than you think. Get a free pc check.
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