Part 02 – How Do You Do?
“Princess, could it be that you’re shivering?” Marietta was indeed shaking, and her reliable lady-in-waiting was quick to say something. “It is a bit chilly inside the carriage. Shall I prepare another blanket for you?”
“Oh my, I am quite all right, Sierra. I assure you, it is not because I am cold.” Marietta was on board the carriage to Oltaire. The carriage rocked everyday for 10 days, and it had only been 4 days since they crossed the border into Oltaire. It was a royal carriage of fine make, but even so it was a bit of a rough journey for a young lady’s body. Still, beneath her bottom were plenty of cushions, and between her curiosity and energy, Marietta was even able to enjoy sleeping outdoors. After all, her husband awaited her at the end of the journey.
She even had the portrait of General Belvant Fergus packed amongst her things. She really wanted to have it displayed inside the carriage to gaze upon until she got her fill, but as she was not alone, it would have been too embarrassing of a deed. Thus she had not. Still, just remembering his visage made her unintentionally giddy with thoughts about her still-unseen husband, but when she came back to her senses, she was so embarrassed she began to shake.
Even so, her very capable lady-in-waiting was scarier than a demon, and had already collected considerable intel on General Fergus. Oh my poor, dear, Princess. By all rights, you should have been married off to a more kind and wonderful gentlemen from a royal family. You shouldn’t have to become the bride of such a vulgar and fearsome man. I’m aware you’re trying to not worry anybody by hiding behind a mask of eagerness, but from time to time your shivering body belies your fears, of that I have no doubt. Sierra was quietly moved to tears. Though I may be lacking in ability, I must protect my princess as much as I am able.
Unaware of Sierra’s new resolve, Marietta gazed at the scenery outside of the small window before saying, “My, it looks as though different plants grow in the forests of Oltaire. I wonder if different animals also live here? I’m looking forward to living in this new land.”
“……So it would appear. It would be wonderful to find beautiful flowers or adorable animals to put you at ease, My Princess.”
“Yes, that would be nice……kyaaa!” The carriage suddenly lurched, causing Marietta scream.
“What’s going on?” Hearing the unusual clamor occurring outside, Sierra concluded they must be in a state of emergency, and hid the princess under a blanket.
“Enemy attack! We’re under attack!”
The carriage was apparently under attack by an unknown assailant. The guards brandished their swords, and the ear-splitting sounds of metallic clangs rang out.
“She should be in the carriage, drag her out!”
Sierra took out her self-defence knife, and readied herself for intruders at the carriage’s entrance. The assailants were most likely after Marietta.
“There’s no need to fear, My Princess, I will protect you.” Despite their peril, Sierra smiled sweetly as she normally did.
The carriage door wrenched open, and the moment the man appeared, Sierra’s boots connected with his face. “Gwaa!” With a kick strong enough to fracture bones, the man fell back right where he stood.
“Fuck, you shitty little…” From behind, another man raised his sword, aiming for Sierra, when suddenly—
“Gwaaaa!!” The man’s eyes widened as he let out a last dying scream before disappearing from Marietta’s sight.
“What happened?” Peeking out from beneath the blanket to see what was going on, the sight outside the carriage made Marietta catch her breath.
“You sure have some guts, going after my future wife.” There stood General Belvant Fergus, holding a bloodied sword in his right hand, fearsomely showered in the blood of his enemies.
“Ah……” Without it even having to be said, Marietta knew she was looking at her future husband, Belvant.
“Princess Marietta, are you injured?”
“……No, I haven’t been wounded, but My Lord Fergus, there’s blood……” Her betrothed covered in so much blood, he must surely be injured somewhere! Was he okay?!
Thinking such thoughts, the very smell of blood caused Marietta to choke, her face grew pale very quickly, and she soon collapsed onto Sierra.
“My Princess! Don’t force yourself!” While caring for Marietta, Sierra glared at the General. Sierra mistakenly thought that seeing his frightening blood-soaked appearance had caused Marietta to feel unwell.
“……Did I frighten you? My apologies.” Belvant should have been the hero, saving his wife from such a crisis, but instead he spoke quietly, turned back, and mounted his horse. “I’ll head back ahead of you. I need two groups, one to guard and one to cleanup this mess, then follow after me.”
Belvant’s brow furrowed deeply as he found Marietta even more fragile and lovely than in her portrait. “……This won’t do. Someone like me marrying a princess, it’s absurd.” Then why does my chest feel as if it’s in pain? Belvant knew that all the women in the world were frightened by him, yet being rejected by Marietta had unknowingly damaged him.
Around the time Belvant was fiercely spurring his horse into action, Marietta was taking a strong alcohol as a tonic, and the gallant figure of her future husband in her memories became stained with red.
He appeared out of nowhere like the wind to save me, rounded up all the ruffians, and just like the wind disappeared again. Yes, he had nary a wound for me to sooth, he was that strong and sturdy of a man. Yes, just like a knight in a fairytale……Ah, My Lord Belvant, you are too dreamy! Even more dreamy than your portrait……Oh, how I hope to see you again soon.
Once again, Marietta fell in love with her tall and strong future husband.