CHAPTER 91: THE TREATY
Last night was our first night and Arial handle me smoothly and graciously. We kiss and hug, and make love until morning.
We used to make love even before marriage but it felt different now that we joined in holy matrimony
Arial is still sleeping soundly; his bare chest invites me to stroke it. I trace my hand around his chest, stroking it slowly and lean my head and place my head on his chest.
There are the scars that he received when he was speared by Lord Alderam.
Area around the scars seems to be blackish and I have remarked upon this last night but he said, it is just some rash because of the poison that once affects him.
I know the story. Or at least the stories that the troops know.
He was poisoned by the spear but was healing after the healer came and cures his ailments.
The story is always talked about in the military barracks; talk about by those who present during the final battle.
Though their stories mostly is about how my husband survives.
And thankfully he does.
I lectured him heavily when he return back both him and Kyle, him for not telling, Kyle for hiding it.
I moved my hand to his chin and slowly kiss him on his cheek and trace my finger around his face
And I giggled by myself.
I must have looked stupid and silly but I couldn’t help it. People might smile and make fun of my silliness but lovers in love are always silly.
Who would have thought I would be married to him?
I always thought that my father would find me a match from Vangua or betrothed me to the House of Palais which I so objected and become a point for contention between my father and me.
Then I met him, first in the form of a friend and then lover and now husband.
We were friends for a long time, braving dangers, solving quest, sharing laughter and tears, and naturally bonds are formed, at first attachment for each other and then pride for knowing them, all honourable and kind, friends and then lovers.
My friendship with Lisa and Kyle is one that I cherished and appreciate, and with Arial it goes beyond that.
Now I’m his wife, duchess of his region, and as such comes the responsibilities for such titles.
Now that I am the duchess, I am well aware of the duties expected of his wife for I know the anxiousness of Arial vassal for they have never hide their concerns and his council who have been talking about his match since he was appointed Duke.
Principal among my duty is need for diplomacy.
In a society dominated by violence and warfare, women as my nurse taught me, are looked to as peacemakers and mediators.
Many books, a collection of many scholars literature, praise the grace and good manners of aristocratic wives as an antidote to their brutish husbands.
Though I could see no brutishness from my lovely husband.
But I must admit to myself that his indomitable will and his calculating strategies might make people view him as a brute. But his family reputation as patron of the kindly arts covered the brutishness of him, if it exists.
One of the passages in one of these books comes to mind.
“The woman must excel as one cherished among her people and be buoyant of mood, keep confidences, be open-heartedly generous with horses and with treasures, in deliberation over the mead, in the presence of the troop of companions, she must always and everywhere greet first the chief of those princes and instantly offer the chalice to her lord’s hand, and she must know what is prudent for them both as rulers of the hall.”
Another is bearing him children as heirs to his duchy. To be honest, this could even be put as the priority, a son to succeed the father, daughters to cool off his tempered heart.
With this I will win my husband heart.
But of course I know he doesn’t mind these things, for he is unconventional both in thoughts and behavior.
Diplomacy, he is adept enough. Sons he wanted, but is not his primary concern for he is young.
But his council does not think so.
Owing to his vigorous activity on the battlefield many of his vassal fear him to fall in battle and surely then with Lord Aries who is now old, there will come enemies claiming such prosperous region.
He loved me and that is the reason why he married me but his council still watch me carefully.
‘You awoke already?’
‘Yes” he said squinting his eyes as the sunlight shone into the room. He then looks at me, smile and kisses me.
‘Will you go to the council today?’ I asked.
He shakes his head.
‘Yesterday was my wedding. If I am not present they will understand’ and he laughed.
And I blushed.
‘What will they say, then about me?’ I said my cheek red with embarrassment.
‘What will they dare say? You are my wife, duchess of Arrandy, wife of the Dragon. You will fear no one, and bow to no one. This is what I promised your father and I intend to make good of my promise.’
I quickly tried to change the subject of our conversation because it seems the conversation is veering toward another embarrassing conversation.
‘I heard the Dark Prince will come here.’
He said while getting up and washing his face in the basins. HE gargles a bit and continued.
‘Their expected arrivals are a few days from now. Silas will also return home, which will take a load of my burdens. All the Kings are staying here not only to celebrate our union but to see the treaty being signed while the Dark Prince brought all the 8 Kings to also watch us sign the treaty. Tension on both sides I tell you. Such is the matter of Kings and nobles.’
‘8 kings?’ I asked puzzled.
‘Yes. 8 Kings representing the 8 races of the dark Lands. All of them are all King of their race and they all swear fealty to the throne of Arakath who have always been a Mournstar.’
‘This will surely be happy news for Arianna. She has told me her stories of her fiancé and by my estimation the Dark Prince seems to be a nice person.’
‘Hopefully so’ Arial said.
Then he hurled himself into the bed back again.
‘Today I will spend time with my dear Helia’ he said smiling a naughty smile.
My spirits soon rising to playfulness seeing that Arial will no sooner leave this bed then at night. I smiled and he began tickling me.
I laughed and took the pillow and try to hit him.
He dodged playfully and hugs me.
I struggle coyly to escape and let him plant a kiss on my lips as I blushed profusely. I took to hide my happy heart and distance myself.
I began asking question, to hold him in his spot.
‘Then my love, please account for however you have fallen in love with me? How could you begin?’
He stopped and looked at me a grin is forming on his mouth
‘Hmm…’he contemplated and then he nodded to himself.
‘At that lake. I don’t know what it is called, but we were resting at this lake, a beautiful lake, with tall trees and clear waters, while Kyle and Lisa were playing around the water, after a quest and exhausted, I rest my head at your lap. You then kiss me so suddenly and I felt amazement and surprise and felt something tingle. It might have been that moment when I first fell for you’ he said earnestly.
I approached him and with a blushing face, I give him a kiss in the cheek, fully knowing what I imply to my dear lord.
‘What is that for?’ he said surprised
‘For saying the right things… at the right time.’
‘Well, I prefer it on the lips’ he said teasing me.
‘Then you have to answer more questions’ I reply.
‘So be it!’ He said and we both laughed.
That day, my husband did not leave my side. We spend the day asking about each other, confirming feelings, resolving misunderstandings and at night we make love like we never did before.
This is before he left me for a year in a quest that only I would later understand.
From the wall, Commander Brooke has sent me a letter.
As the ravens brings the letter, my council quickly sent messengers to Kings, nobles, churchmen as I prepare my selves to meet them.
Surely the other nobles will also move to the promised place.
My army is mobilized.
If he brought 500 I will brought a thousand. Some guild also followed as they are responsible for the preparation after the treaty is signed.
My wife is escorting Arianna to the meeting place for they are friends.
Lisa, Kyle and West have been instructed to guard the princess with their life and surely the Princess will find no fault in my treatment of her, whether in the care of her foods or accommodation, or the matter of her security.
Commander Brooke, the commander of the Wall who once serve as one of the peacekeeper in the city, promoted to such important post, owing to his passion and dedication for the city, who I have long informed about the arrival of these esteemed guest from the East sea have been instructed after great deliberation to escort them with courteous manner and to give them honours deserving of Kings.
His Watchers must also maintained manners, this I have reminded him. The first time since a long time ago, a demon will pass the wall.
Mikael on the other hand pass undetected because of his speed of mind and his fast wit in tricking the guard before I gained full control of the Wall.
Now any in or outs of the Wall is strictly watched, inspected but after the treaty I expect to see demon kind to roam around Acro as trade opportunity is abound for both continent.
Our meeting place has been decided to be Dagur Hill after exchanging letters of acquaintance with the Dark Prince countless of times. He agreed to it and I signed on it. Preparations have been made to receive them.
It is evident to me that the Dark Prince has settled his matter and has come to claim his bride and marry her.
Such desires have been expressed in his letters after hearing that I was to be married and with that he enclosed another letter stating his deepest apologies for not attending.
I will be waiting on them in the Hill, a momentous treaty, a moment of history that will be remembered, one that I did not expect I will sign.
To think I am part of history.
My objectives have always been to change history but now coincidentally I became a part of that history.
A new history I mused.
The cool air in high places, I mused. Though it is not so high compared to other Hills, these Hill hold sacred importance and legends and myths are associate here.
The site of the birth of the great hero companion, Alan Gerhardt.
The stories goes , nine months after the birth of Levitia, the Gerhardt’s bore a son in this Hills, hiding from Demon Lords blessed by the stars and the forest it is said hide both of the families, from the peering eye of the Demon army.
This is the site I have chosen for signing the treaty.
Levitia signs his treaty at the Holy Land but I chose this place not only because it is not far away from my castle, it also serve to be remember for posterity that it was my family that have seek peace and sign such treaty in the land of my birth.
One may speak of such notion as befitting the sin of pride but even I am fond to be acknowledged.
We have arrived as dusk is setting.
The light of the sun is slowly fading, the shadows began creeping and in the distance what is left of the sunlight shines brightly and full with vibrant colors, red, orange yellow, everything is slowly darkening to purples.
I sit on the stone table admiring the work of the mason.
A month ago I commissioned a work to the guild ordering them to build a stone table with nine chairs, one on the side their back facing west, 8 chairs on the other side, the back of the chairs must face the east.
‘My lord’ the voice greeted me.
I quickly rise from the stone chair and bowed slightly.
‘Princess’ I exclaimed.
Beside her is my wife. The Princess. She looked into the horizon, no doubt waiting to see his fiancé. I glance and look at the Princess.
Her beauty is unparalleled.
I love Helia, do not mistake me, but if we compare both of these ladies, in terms of beauty and nothing else, Arianna would surely prevail.
She had blue eyes, almost bluer than me, a big eyes, curious of everything and certain innocence, like the White Stag of legends, her skin is white like the first snow of winter, almost appearing as translucent, no doubt because of her High Elf ancestry and her long black hair, straight and silky bestowing her with contrasting beauty.
Graceful in her movement and kind in her words, there is no virtue that she lacked, no fault to be found, the perfect lady and wife.
No wonder, the demon prince was enraged when he lost her in the original timeline. She will prove to be a most good influence in his husband temper.
From a distance I hear hoof thanks to y enhanced sense since I learned to control my internal energy.
And in a few moments one of my scouts returns to me and inform me of the crowds that come climbing the Hill. I return to the stone table one on my side, 8 on the other side.
One chair is big enough that it resembles the size of a house. That is for the Giant representative
The Princess looked overjoyed and even most of the nobles unwittingly also infected with such euphoria of the Princess. Her power to influence people is almost like magic by itself.
‘Please take a seat, Princess.’
‘No’ she shakes her head.
‘I will stand and wait for my sun’ she said and she looked expectantly.
My servants have lighted the torch and the candles as night is beckoning.
The air is cooling, as night descends. But the area around the stone tables is fill with chatter of the nobles and clergyman waiting the Dark Prince to come.
The King on the other hand has set up themselves on the tents my servants have set up. They are waiting to see the demon race, one they only heard in songs or read in some dusty book in their old family library.
My servants are also preparing the tent with the food for a light feast after the signing of the treaty which will then commenced in my castle after the light feast here.
Nighthopper and night bugs begin their chirping and the croaking of the frog but the ambience of the light denoting the presence e of many men deter such creature near the assembly.
My servant brings out a chair as my wife sits beside me. She touched my hand.
‘Yes, dear’ I instinctively said as my head were wandering
‘Why did you not make another chair?’ she asked. I see her expression. I understand what she means.
‘I never intend for you to follow.’ I said.
‘Humph’ she sulked.
‘I’ll make it later, how about that?’ And with that her smile returns and quarrel with her is averted.
The breeze and airy dusk this evening is comforting to the spirit and lift nervousness of such important event.
From the distant a flickering light climb the hill and more and more torches can be seen. A large man, no I said a towering person can be seen.
That is a giant and some of troops tensed and the chatter stopped.
He has arrived.