Welcome to the last chapter of Noemi’s Dragon! We’ve finally made it 🙂 If you need a refresher on previous chapters, or if you’re just now discovering this story, please look here.
Captain Harbin wasn’t much for thinking about the past; he was a man of action. Before this, the worse moments of his life had been his first battle and his wife’s death. He had grieved her with sincere affection—she was his color match, after all—but had continued with life.
As he watched his only son’s shallow breathing, Captain Harbin felt in his bones that Garrin’s death would change him. He already felt a decade older. Garren had tossed listlessly, sweated and shivered, and murmured in delirium. Through it all, Captain Harbin held his son’s hand. He held it still, now that the boy slept in apparent peace. Was it the peace of recovery, or the peace of impending death? He wished his touch could anchor Garrin to life.
“How did this happen?” he wondered aloud, the question of a heart perplexed at unexpected calamity.
The Princess whispered, “He was protecting me.”
Of course, that made sense. He had raised Garrin right, to defend his monarchs with his life. But something in her voice was different than the Captain expected. He looked up at the girl who had not strayed from his son’s side the past two days, keeping silent vigil with him. Her face was pale, her features drawan in fear and sorrow. The bowl of soup at her side sat untouched and cold.
This was more than the concern of a friend, Captain Harbin thought. He decided he needed to know. “Your Highness, Princess Noemi, why are you here?”
Her eyes met his—brown eyes rimmed in red. “I love him.” It was simple, soft.
“Forgive me…but do you see…” Did she see color?
Her eyes flicked to Garrin, where white bandages hid half of his face. “I hate red,” she said, a new ferrocity in her voice. “It is the cruelest color. Even with the bandages over his burn, I can’t stop seeing it.”
His Princess was in love with his son! “But how—how is this possible? You’ve seen each other every day for your whole lives.”
She ran a hand over the uncovered skin of Garrin’s forehead. “I think I never truly saw him. He was just an idea—another boy, the son of the Captain, a friend, a fixture of life—until in one moment, I was about to lose him and saw he is so much more.”
The look on her face changed. It drew Captain Harbin’s eyes back to Garrin. His son’s breathing had also changed. It was deeper, if still uneasy. What was more, Garrin’s one good eye was open.
“Garrin!” Princess Noemi exclaimed. “Can you hear me?” Her hand framed his cheek.
Captain Harbin leaned forward. Garrin’s eye focused on the Princess. He tried to speak, but only a wheeze came out.
The Captain lifted Garrin’s head and held a cup of water to his mouth. The boy drank.
The physician entered the Keep then, just in time to hear Garrin rasp out, “Noemi. You’re alive.”
Tears filled the Princess’s eyes, but Captain Harbin could hardly tell through the dampness in his own eyes. “Yes,” the girl confirmed, “and so are you.”
“And it appears, against all hope, that you shall live many mor years,” the physician declared after a thorough examination.
Captain Harbin was sure he would remember the joy of this day for many long years. He watched his son and his beloved as the Princess whispered and tended to him, and the Captain felt like he could do a jig. His son would recover. Garrin and Princess Noemi were well matched. He knew their happiness would only increase.
No sooner was Garrin on the mend than Trace, Verrel, and Leala found their way back to the castle. It was a happy reunion for all, and Verrel’s injuries were well-tended.
Garrin healed slowly. Though his broken bones knit back together, he was left with a serious scar over his face. All who saw him were told the tale of the cursed princess and the captain’s son, and of their treacherous journey in which true love’s sight saved them both.
The castle was rebuilt, more magnificent than before. The survirors of the dragon’s attack celebrated for a week. Then they celebrated more at the wedding of their beloved princess.
Captain Harbin convinced Sir Ancel and Lady Leala to remain at the castle, where Ancel acted as the captain’s advisor (Leala, of course, did quite as much advising as her husband). In consolation for the loss of their cottage in the wilderlands, the princess gifted them with a library as large as their original cottage.
The kingdom of Jerret moved out of the dark days when the vagrant seer’s prophesy hung as a shadow over their happy lives. Knights returned home, only occassionally venturing out to deal with the most troublesome of normal dragons.
Never again was a Lull Wyrm heard of in all the land.
And Noemi and Garrin lived happily for many long years full of color.
Let me know what you think! I hope you enjoyed this story.