Mike is concerned. So are April, Don, Allie, and the guards. What, in particular, are they concerned about?
They've all witnessed my visits. When April first saw it happen, she was walking to the stables (yes, the stables are next to the prison door) and she dropped all the horse food.
"Elizabeth!," she exclaimed. "What on earth-- are you two friends?!"
I sighed. "My dear April," I said ever so politely, "This is the one and only Black King Leo." Leo, now wearing a black sleeveless turtleneck and black baggy pants smiled sheepishly and waved, causing me to follow suit.
"Pleasure to meet you," he bowed at April.
"I thought...," she said speechless, then simply took her bucket and walked back to her original destination.
I stared at her up until I heard Leo making a choking sound. Turning, I found his eyes glossy and red.
"Leo," I said softly. "Have you ever met her? She doesn't even fight in the wars."
"No," he said, wiping his eyes.
I dug and dug through my thoughts about what I knew about this man. He's only the SECOND black king. The first king was disintegrated, trying to attack my Great great great great (and maybe even another great) grandfather after a war. For the past MILLENIA Leonardo II, the Great Black King, has existed, with many of his stories were rather brutal after a new king succeeds him...which would be never.
"You killed him, didn't you?" I asked in a quiet tone. "Her father.."
"INTRIGUED him, actually," he replied, sitting down. "You see, the wars were different. If we won, let's say, ten victories in a row, we'd be able to raid a city without rejection. We took what we wanted. We drunk there up to the point where wine almost didn't exist. And we killed.
"Garth was a strong man. He protected his daughter when he came into the room, trying to take her belongings. I was drunk at this point. He tried stabbing me, but when he realized his mistake, it was too late."
Next came Don, who was a guard and my brother's most trusted advisor. He also had a thing for April, which lead to the part where he knew her every move. Soon enough, he found out I visited the king, and was curious enough to go and see things for himself.
"So," he said, unexpectedly entering one day as Leo and I played miniature chess (we both had a liking to irony). "How are you two... Friends doing this fine day?"
"Nothing much," I smiled brightly at my brother's friend. "Just beating my dear prisoner in an unbelievably ironic chess game."
"Really?" Don raised an eyebrow. "Well, then, we should be doing SPLENDIDLY on our next war, shouldn't we, Madame?"
My bright smile faded as it turned a little awkward. "Yes," I said. "We should.
As for Allie and the guards, they only did so much as to glance. One guard asked me if I were okay, whilst another drew a sword when Leo made a joke.
My main point is that over the span of history, Leo has been a mean, ferocious dictator, but there was a side to him that he showed NO living player but me. He showed kindness. Mercy. Many things that made you feel like you were floating in the clouds and happily living like there was no tomorrow.