Part 03 – Just From Remembering It
“So you mean to say it was the dissenters, the ones that didn’t of approve of strengthening our bond with another country, and thus my marriage with Princess Marietta? What fools.” Belvant got the assailants to spit out what information they knew. It would seem that the political investment in the marriage caused those who felt it was worthless to act.
Trivial things like political power and privileges caused people to attack my bride-to-be. Did they think they’d grab ahold of some kind of weakness? So annoying. If that’s how it’s going to be, I’ll just investigate them myself, and give them a little taste of hell on earth. For whoever decided to become my enemy, I’ll carefully drive them into a corner. They won’t dare think of trying such a thing again, Belvant thought, and his expression turned downright demonic. Obviously, the people that didn’t know him well shuddered in his presence, but even those that knew his true disposition were trembling.
“Calm down, Belvant. We’ll capture the perpetrator soon.”
“Of course we will. As if I would let off anyone who chooses to antagonize the likes of me.” When he first heard that the king of Oltaire had betrothed him to a princess of a foreign country, his face had warped at the superfluousness of it all, but this was a political marriage for the sake of the country. Because this was the reality of the situation, he had reluctantly agreed. Thinking that this was just something that came with the prestigious position of a General, he had chosen to stifle his feelings on the matter, and was prepared to accept a minor inconvenience. Even when he received notice of the enemy attack, he only thought that they mustn’t lose such an important political pawn, and quickly headed out to exterminate the rabble. And yet……
Her lovely face, frightened by the bloodshed. Her eyes suddenly closed as she fainted without warning; such a delicate girl.
The princess was already 12 years his junior, and in order to protect her country, she offered herself up to a man with a terrifying reputation. Still, he couldn’t see her as anything but a young girl. I don’t like this. Just about everything is aggravating.
“Too scary! Your face is at the level that I’ll be frightened in my dreams tonight!” Belvant had known his good-humored friend Adran from an early age. Bevant’s face sent a chill up Adran’s spine, turning his face pale, and practically made him scream. “Settle down, and calm yourself. Anyway, no matter how much more you torture those thugs, keep in mind it won’t heal the princess’ emotional scars. Instead, you should be thinking about how to soothe the princess’ heart.”
Adran had always acted as Belvant’s support, from the time when they were both squires all through their rise in the ranks, and yet Adran’s words made Belvant’s brow furrow. “Soothe her heart? Why must I be the one to do that?”
“Wha-, but, she’s going to be your wife, right? She came all this way to marry you. Can you imagine how forlorn this young lady must feel? Seeing that terrible gaze of yours, why, if you’re not the one to soothe her, who will be?”
“So you’re saying that it’s part of my duty to her?”
“Now look here……yes, yes, that’s exactly it, it’s your duty as a General. It’s for the sake of the country even!” Adran was this close to sighing, he had no idea when his friend had strayed so far from the path of a gentleman.
“……I see, so it’s like that. Well then, shall I present her with the heads of her attackers?”
Adran immediately screamed “NO!” as Belvant’s thought process went in the total opposite direction. “What are you going to do if you frighten her even more?! No, no, you have to soothe her gently. Look you, there’s a limit to how much you can not know about a woman’s heart.”
“Soothe her heart……just, how exactly do I do that?”
“How do you do that? You’re a General, aren’t you? Isn’t thinking up strategies your main job?! Plus, this is about your own bride! What are you gonna do if you always have to ask other people for help, isn’t the most sincere way to think of something yourself?”
“Is…that how is it……?” The thick arms of his large body folded together as he nodded. He nodded, but……for the first time, Belvant couldn’t think of anything to follow up with. Agreeing and tilting his head to the side to contemplate was the most he could manage.
“……Um, but well, if someone as inexperienced with women as you were to ask, I wouldn’t be reluctant to offering some advice.” Worried about the unusually meek-looking Belvant, Adran went back on his words and tossed a lifeline to his friend. “First, getting her a present might be nice. Finding something you think the Princess might like and giving it to her would be nice, don’t you think? If you were going to get a present, what would you want?”
“What I want right now is a new whetstone for my sword.”
“That isn’t something normal people want! ……No, no, it was my fault for asking. What would a young princess desire to make her feel welcomed……?”
“What would you give a woman when you want to court her?”
“For a fling, maybe something like flowers, if I’m serious, then jewelry.”
“It’s better than a whetstone. For now, let’s focus on jewels.”
“I understand. Then go pick out something appropriate for me.”
“It’s fine, I’ll be the one paying for it.”
“Damn right you are!”
‘If you keep up that kind of attitude you’ll be dumped before the wedding even happens!’ Belvant heard Adran say as he quickly left to make a full report to the king.
“Oo, you were simply too amazing, My Lord Belvant……” Invited to the royal palace as the guest of honor during her betrothal period and tired from the long journey, Marietta let out a sweet sigh while washing in the bath. She soaked in the grandiose bath surrounded by the beautiful fragrance of flower petals, courtesy of Oltaire, and gently floated about the scented water. Afterwards, she changed into a dress that was easy to move in, and let herself sink into the cushions of the sofa. Then, she sighed again as she repeatedly replayed her very brief meeting with Belvant in her mind. Her face turned a bright shade of red in a very unladylike fashion, and Marietta buried her head in the cushions.
Keeping watch over Marietta, the lady-in-waiting Sierra scowled. She’s so exhausted, she’s done nothing but sigh……and it’s no wonder, she’s going to have to marry that terrible General. Just thinking about him makes me shiver, when it comes to that blood-soaked man……Aah, now she’s hiding her face from the world. Surely, she’s trying to not worry me. Not only is my princess lovely, but also wise and kind. So why, why, must she be with such a savage man……
At that moment, there was a knock at the door and someone spoke. The lone lady-in-waiting dealt with the matter, and soon returned carrying a small box and a bouquet of roses.
“I present gifts for the Princess from General Belvant Fergus.”
“Oh my, for me, from My Lord Belvant?” Marietta accepted the gifts with an enthusiastic,beaming expression. “Oh, how lovely. This is the first time I’ve seen such dark roses turn pink on the tips of the petals.”
“I shall arrange them in a vase.”
Marietta handed the bouquet to Sierra, and then undid the ribbon wrapped around the small box. What could be inside? My Lord Belvant gave something to me……I’m so happy! Even though he must be so busy, he was still worried about me.
With the extent of Belvant’s thoughtfulness and simple-mindedness unknown to Marietta, she happily opened the box.