Breaking apart once again, they got back on track.
"Anyway, I got some dinner from Lailah. Let's share." Sorey smiled.
"You went to see Lailah?"
"Yea, I was hoping she'd know where you were, she didn't, but surprise! I found you anyway."
"Are her and Edna okay?"
"They're both fine, they're turning your castle into what you drew up."
"I wish I was there to see it."
"Heldalf said you were the key. What does that even mean?" Sorey asked.
"I have no idea, he seemed really angry that he let it slip though." Mikleo mentioned.
"Prince! Heldalf had lots of personal notes and books in his house, maybe one tells what he meant." Atack said.
"You think?" Mikleo asked.
"You don't mean we have to go back in there do you?" Kiya said.
"Woah, woah, woah! You guys can talk?" Sorey asked.
"We most certainly can. Pleased to meet cha!" Attack said.
"So you could have told me Mikleo was here, instead you just took me on a secret walk?" Sorey asked.
The Normin's all gasped.
"I...I guess it slipped our mind...sorry." Kiya said.
"Nevermind that, do you think Heldalf had info in there?" Mikleo said, looking at the house.
"There's one way to find out. We must investigate." Atack said.
"But how? He probably locked the door." Mikleo said.
Sorey looked at the house, he noticed some details.
"There's a chimney." He said.
"That could work." Mikleo said.
"How though? It's on the roof." Sorey asked.
Mikleo and the Normin all looked at each other and smirked.
"Prince here has wings remember? Last time we went over there, he carried us, should be easy to do it again." Atack said.
"We might need a few extra hands, he had lots of papers and books. The 3 of us can't go through all those in a day." Mikleo said.
"If you can take multiple trips, all of us can help." A green one said.
"I want to help too." Sorey cut in.
"This time Sorey, this is something only we can do. I'm sorry." Mikleo frowned.
"Don't worry yourself Sorey. We can give you a task." A blue one said.
"What kind?" Sorey asked.
"All this digging and moving around is lots of work...it would be nice to have some energy replenishment." An orange Normin said.
"You guys. Don't be rude." Mikleo cut in.
"Oh just food? I can go get some." Sorey chuckled.
"Sorey! You don't have to listen to them."
Sorey cupped Mikleo's cheeks squishing them in.
"Mikleo….you're doing the most work and for what...this loaf of dirty bread? I'll go get some food, and I'll come right back okay?" Sorey said.
"I….I don't want you to go." Mikleo frowned.
"Then why don't you come with me? My castle is only a half an hour max from here on horseback."
"I….don't want to be seen really Sorey. The kingdom would notice, and there's no telling what Heldalf would do if he found out." Mikleo said.
"We'll go with you Sorey. Let us join, that way you don't get lost, and Mikleo will know you're coming back." A purple Normin said.
"Yea, take us with you." An orange one smiled.
"Does that work for you Mikleo? I'll go right now, we'll be back in an hour, or so." Sorey said.
"While you guys do that. Prince Mikleo and the rest of us, can discuss what we need to look for." Atack said.
Mikleo looked to Sorey, then to the Normin's.
"Okay fine….but you'll come back right?" Mikleo asked.
"I'll be back soon, I swear." Sorey kissed Mikleo's forehead.
After some time they went to work doing the tasks at hand.
"This is your castle? It's lovely." The purple Normin said.
"Thank you, the kitchen is too the left." Sorey said. He dropped his horse off, and put the Normin on his shoulders heading to the kitchen. Hopefully not being seen by…
"Sorey!" Rose said.
"You were supposed to be back a lot earlier. What did you do?" Rose began walking up to him.
"I..uh...got sidetracked." Sorey sheepishly rubbed his neck.
Rose was about to tell again when she saw the creatures on his shoulders.
"Are those Normin?"
"Uh yea….I met them on the way back...they needed my help."
Sorey began backing up quickly. Just trying to get to the kitchen.
"Sorey, don't you walk away from me. What are you doing?" Rose just followed behind.
"Sorry Rose….they need my help, once I get some supplies I'm heading out again." Sorey chuckled.
Rose gasped, Sorey hasn't chuckled in months.
"Did something happen? You just laughed." Rose asked. "You haven't done that in a while."
"I...these Normin are really kind. They uh….BYE!" Sorey ran away from Rose and headed to the kitchen.
"Was that Sorey just running away?" Dezel came out.
"He...he smiled for a little bit. Something's up." Rose said.
"He smiled? Did Lailah help him do you think?" Dezel asked.
"If she did he wouldn't be acting so suspicious. He would have told us."
"And let me guess because of it, we have a few more days of extra work." Dezel huffed.
"I guess so...come on Dezel. We'll deal with it in the morning. It's getting late." Rose yawned.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Sorey and the Normin's were packing a large bag full of various treats and snacks.
After prepping a different horse, Sorey rode back out to where Mikleo was.
"I can carry probably 3 of you at a time. All we need to do is look for anything that mentions me, or my mother Muse. That should be enough." Mikleo said.
"Heldalf could be back in 2 or 3 days. So we better move fast." Kiya said.
"We have to also be careful. We have to put whatever we borrow back right where we found it. There's no telling what he might do to me, you guys, or even Sorey and his kingdom if he finds out we did this." Mikleo frowned.
"If that's the case. Why risk it?" A Normin asked.
"Because this could be the only chance to set things right. If we can find something, anything to explain why he hasn't killed me. Or even how to break this spell. I'll try anything." Mikleo said.
"Then we'll help in anyway we can." The Normin all cheered.
"Now we just have to wait till the sun comes up…." Mikleo frowned.
"Turn there Prince Sorey." The Normin smiled.
"That trip took a little longer than expected. The sun is beginning to rise." Sorey yawned.
"Sorry about stalling time. I didn't mean to fall off and get trapped." The orange one frowned.
"It's no trouble, just try to hang on next time okay." Sorey said. He turned down the hidden pathway towards Mikleo.
Mikleo perked up a few minutes later hearing the horse coming.
"I'm back Mikleo. Just like I promised." Sorey smiled, getting off the horse.
"What took so long?" Mikleo asked.
"Sorry Prince Mikleo, it was my fault. I fell off Sorey's shoulder and got tangled up."
"Are you alright?"
"I am thanks to Sorey." He smiled.
"Then I'm glad." Mikleo gave him a small pat.
"Did you guys come up with a plan?" Sorey asked.
"We sure did." The other Normin cheered.
"Sorey you're tired aren't you?" Why don't you come rest?" Mikleo asked, noticing Sorey yawn again.
"Just a little, I don't pull all nighters much, but I don't want to sleep just yet." Sorey pulled Mikleo into a hug.
Mikleo relaxed into the hug, he missed this so much. Sorey's warm arms and broad chest were right where he wanted to be. However their time was cut a bit short as the sun began rising faster.
Sorey gasped in mild shock as Mikleo glowed brightly, and shrunk from his arms.
He stared down at the swan form of Mikleo.
Mikleo frowned and tilted his head down.
"Don't worry Mikleo. We'll fix this spell on you. I promise." Sorey brought Mikleo's head up to make eye contact.
"Come on Prince Mikleo. Times a wasting." Atack said.
Mikleo nodded and they began the plan of action. He flew several Normin over and even began searching himself. While Sorey and the few Normin that stayed behind waited for their return.
After nearly an hour, a tired Normin leaned back on a table knocking a small book onto the floor.
"Watch out, we can't break anything." One said from the floor.
"Sorry, I'm just getting so tired." He whined.
"Well just a little longer….Prince Mikleo! We need help!"
Mikleo flew into the room and looked at the book on the ground. He opened it with him beak, just checking.
He gasped, it was writing of Heldalf's. Various spells and things. This might help. Mikleo grabbed it, and he gestured for the retreating.
Sorey watched with tired eyes as he saw Mikleo's swan outline coming back. He dropped off a few Normin and gave the book to Sorey.
Sorey gave the Normin who were coming back in sets, grabbing some snacks, and then Mikleo was done. He flew right into Sorey's chest and just fell asleep.
"You did good. I'm so proud of you. We'll break this soon." Sorey smiled. With Mikleo and the other Normin sleeping now, he fell asleep himself.
Sorey woke up, which he assumed was early afternoon, the sun was bright, and he sat up and stretched. The Normin were all in a pile still asleep.
He turned and saw Mikleo on his lap. He frowned slightly. This curse, this...spell. He was determined to break it, they just had to figure out how.
After several hours it was nearing sunset. The Normin were all awake and just playing around and eating. Mikleo was still out though.
Sorey took this time to really inspect his love. Even in swan form Sorey could see some dark around Mikleo's eyes, and quite the tiny structure for a swan.
"You know Prince Mikleo doesn't get treated all that nicely. He's pretty skinny, and he's tired all the time." Atack said.
"Does he get nightmares still?" Sorey asked.
"If that's what he flops around and whines in his sleep are, then yes." Kiya mentioned.
"Heldalf asks everyday for Prince Mikleo to accept him as King. Yet everyday is dismissed. Mikleo tells him to take it, but Heldalf always says he can't without Mikleo saying yes." The blue Normin said.
"So if we find out why he needs Mikleo? Maybe this spell can be broken?" Sorey began to think.
The sun was setting further now, the moon barely showing in the distance. That's when Mikleo shook gently awake.
"Welcome back." Sorey smiled.
Mikleo stretched and ruffled his feathers. The moon shone just barely on the lake and Mikleo swam over it, morphing back into a human.
"So to be human you need moonlight?" Sorey asked.
"Heldalf said I must be on this lake to turn back. If I turn human and leave, wherever I am when the sun comes up, poof."
Mikleo began walking back towards dry land and staggered. Sorey ran forward and caught him.
Mikleo stood up slowly, just rubbing his head.
"Let's maybe sit down, we don't need you fainting." Sorey walked them over and they sat.
"Sorry...I just felt dizzy for a second."
"Are you still tired?" Sorey asked.
Instead of words answering him, it was Mikleo's stomach. He blushed and wrapped two arms around his abdomen.
"Prince Mikleo. You made a funny noise." The Normin began swarming him.
"It….It's just my stomach, I guess I'm hungry." Mikleo blushed more.
Sorey just let out a laugh.
"That's right, you didn't eat yesterday. Let's get you something." He continued to chuckle.
Sorey grabbed a few things and sat back down.
"Dig in." Sorey just held out a few things.
Mikleo grabbed some and ate slowly.
The Normin's walked the book they found earlier to the two Prince's.
"This is what you found?" Sorey asked.
Mikleo nodded and continued to eat.
Sorey opened it, and began flipping through pages, and in the middle of the book found something interesting, he began reading.
"The barrier is still standing, it seems that Muse's magic was stronger than I thought. Her son remains in the protected walls."
"Muse? She had magic?" Kiya asked.
"Muse was my mother, she had some magic, never used it in front of me though." Mikleo grabbed another snack to eat.
"Let's see….blah, blah, he wants the castle. Oh! Interesting!" Sorey yelled.
"What did you find?" Mikleo asked.
"I can't go through the barrier with my magic alone, Muse was quite the crafty one. However, she left one important clue. That boy of hers. The barrier can break if he….." Sorey read the rest in his head and made a confused face.
"What? What is it?" Mikleo asked.
"The only way he can get through the barrier is if you took him as King….but I'm still having trouble wondering Why."
"He mentions that a lot, and he said I was the key. The key to what though?" Mikleo asked.
"Let's see, if he has any other details about it.." Sorey went through a few more pages. He found another entry.
"It appears that your mom made it pretty hard for him to get passed that barrier. He needs you because……" Sorey frowned.
Mikleo leaned forward reading the bottom text.
*That brat Mikleo is the only person to get me through that barrier, if he accepts me as king that damn castle will be mine at last, given he's the only heir, but the stubborn idiot keeps refusing me. No matter he'll get tired of being a swan someday, and then I'll get my reward.*
"I….I'm a key…that's why he's so pushy. I'm the only current Prince, without me he can't take the castle. I have to basically give him the title of King." Mikleo said.
"And so far you haven't, this curse he put under...it must have a breaking point somewhere." Sorey flipped through more pages.
"Mikleo...An act of undying love, announced to the world. It appears that it breaks the curse. Even Heldalf has a gap in his magic."
"Undying love? But I don't love him, he's terrible." Mikleo winced.
"No, no, yea he's gross, but do you know what this mean?" Sorey asked getting giddy. "If I can manage to share that I love you to the world, your curse will break!"
Mikleo went wide eyed and blushed.
"B-but...Even if we manage that, Heldalf is still out there, he can take me again, and just redo the spell, then What? Give me that book." Mikleo asked.
"The spell is a one time deal Sorey. Heldalf is powerful, or he takes me again….I..that's it for me….for us…" Mikleo frowned.
"Then I must make this count. I'll throw a ball, invite people from all over. Mikleo I won't give up on you." Sorey smiled.
Mikleo felt relief, Sorey's words touched his heart.
"Then I trust you." Mikleo smiled.
"Then I must prepare, I've got to head back for now. Okay? 3 days. Come to the palace. We'll break this curse." Sorey kissed Mikleo's forehead.
"That's so long...and h-how do I get there?" Mikleo asked.
"I'm gonna think of it as 3 days closer to a lifetime, and your little friends know the way." Sorey looked down.
"That's right Prince, we will take you!" The Normin danced.
"Then...let's do it. Sorey, I love you." Mikleo hugged him.
"We can do this together." Sorey hugged back.
"Together." They engaged in one last kiss.