Translated and edited by Tianic
Soft breeze saw the beginning of summer. In the viceroy’s back garden, dewdrops on green leaves glimmered charming golden light. Newly grown grass thrived to show its liveliness. It was a green land all over the world, blue sky, white clouds, tweeting cricket.
“Last year’s birthday, ten bucks from Mrs. Kheda, 10 bucks from Mr. Kheda, Rick and Swift…” Lying on the grass, Jack muttered while counting from his money bag, “This year I got 10 bucks from Mrs. Kheda, total 175 bucks. Wilder borrowed 20, Marfa, five… if they pay me on this holiday then, I will have 245 bucks…”
What a miser.
“Wilder, you are the strongest among us, stronger than Moya, am I right?” Marfa leaned against a trunk, “Jack and I need a partner to do assault practice on you…”
Marfa was always up for no good…
“Hey, Manta! You know I’ve been self-training my archery.” Steven stretched his wings, “I’m now able to enchant my arrow. Level 1 is a good start!”
Blah blah blah…
I settled down to make myself cozy with one hand against my head, reading my book while listening to my friends’ chitchat.
“Cohen!” Carey squealed, “Uncle Visual is looking for you!”
“Me?” I folded my half-read book, “For what?”
“No idea! He’s waiting in the lobby.”
“Ya, I’m coming!”
“Boss you’d be hurry! We are going swimming later…” Moya yelled.
“Father, you want to see me?” I walked down the lobby. What’s going on? Father’s never summoned me in the lobby!
“Cohen, here you are.” Father greeted me, “You are 14, and two years later and you’ll be titled by His Majesty, like me and your two brothers. You’ll be a registered nobleman. Your mother and I talked about it. We decided to take you to DC tomorrow, along with your friends.”
“I want to go there! But will we be on a mission?”
“We’re going to the Royal Academy!” My mother said, “Your father and I both graduated there.”
“Did you? Then what am I studying?” I shrugged, “My martial and spell aren’t working out.”
“Don’t worry, kiddo.” Father chuckled, “You could major in literature, study civic laws, and graduate as well.”
“I see, OK.” I said, “Are Wilder, Winslet and the others going as well?”
“No, they are not qualified.” Father answered patiently, “Though they can settle at your Uncle Tennessee’s and Auntie Bellatrix’s, same idea, study. You can still see each other every day.”
“Darling,” Mother flashed her eyes at my father, “should we tell him about that thing?”
“Might as well, he should know that.”
One more thing? Hurry up, mom and dad. I’ve got to swim!
“It’s… not a big deal.” My mother said softly, “You have a fiancee in the capital.”
“Whaaaaaat? Fi… an… cee???”
“Hey, look at you!” Father grinned, “When was the last time you had that face?”
“Hold on a second!” I gazed at him, trying to ease myself, “Did you hear yourself, dad? I’m too young to have one. Could she be Rick or Swift’s fiancee by any chance?”
“Cohen Kheda!” Mother tried not to smile, “It’s yours, Cohen’s fiancee!”
“Can you… not! I don’t want one!”
“You do.” Father smirked, “She is the Prime Minister’s second daughter, who’s exceptionally pretty! You can’t blame anyone for that because you are the young and famous child from Darkmoon, the black-haired, black-eyed boy.”
“But! What is it all about?” I felt extremely anxious.
“Look,” Mother explained, “His Majesty Climos knew about you when you were still young. He sent the high priest coming to check you. While the high priest was reporting the result, the Minister’s wife was in labor. It was a girl. Then it all worked out, His Majesty Climos was delighted to announce your engagement at that moment.
An order… from His Majesty…
“She sounds like a pretty girl.” Father said, “You can start by accepting this fact.”
“By the way, you have to get ready. We are leaving tomorrow.”
I stood in silence.
“Cohen and fiancee sitting in a tree, K – I – S – S – I – N – G” Windsor has been keeping herself around me on a red pony, “What’s she like I wonder!” She giggled.
“Huh… Better be a good-looking girl.” Carey snorted, “More or less rough hair, clumsy eyes, crappy teeth, flat nose…”
“Lady Carey!” Wilder was already a young man with a trim figure, “The fiancee of our boss should be a fine lady! How could she be anyway like that? Have you ever met her?”
“No, but I just know! I just know that!”
“Sister, stop joking around.” Flynn, who wore a red robe said softly.
“She’s right, Carey.” Winslet reasoned, “Look at him, he’s all blue.”
“Cohen, are you blue? Windsor will sing you a song!”
“Not now, Windsor.”
“What’s wrong? You don’t like my singing?”
“No, it’s just not the right time.”
My funny friends argued and laughed all the way. Not a single one of them cared about my feeling. I was merely fourteen and I did not want to get married. What if she looked exactly like Carey said? We were getting closer to the Divine City. Last time I was here I met Winslet. I sincerely hope that we found another group of poachers, then we’d be returning to Darkmoon again…
“Psst! Marfa, what do you think the boss is thinking?”
“Maybe he’s planning a runaway. Jack, Steven, keep an eye on him!”
“I just don’t get it, what’s bad about having a fiancee? We dwarfs think marriage means becoming an adult!”
“There’s no point planning! As far as I think, pretty, marry, ugly, run! He’s not getting caught with my help.”
“Sandman thinks, marriage is to be treated seriously…”
Sixteen days have passed, however panic I was, we were here in DC. Grand and mighty walls could be seen from far away. Shining armored-soldiers and whipping Swabian flags were fair and clear. We were at the center of Swabia, the king’s capital, Divine City!
Child of a nobleman is titled by the King and given governing rights of a chosen land at the age of sixteen.
The most common beginning title is Baron, then come to Marquess, Viscount, Earl, Duke.
Each title is classified into three levels.
Cohen’s father, Visual Kheda is a High Duke.