A Demotion Isn't That Bad Volume 1 Chapter 1
The Married Man
Remini, the town located near the southwestern border of the Kingdom of Milgraaf, was originally a small country that was peacefully absorbed by the Kingdom. Because both countries had the same race, religion and even the language and were very active in trades, when Remini was in imminent danger of famine, Milgraaf enclosed it.
Since then, nearly 50 years had passed without any major problems happening. And the fact that the sovereign's title still continued to belong to the feudal lord also contributes to the peace of this region. Even if it was called a border, Remini was surrounded by steep mountains in the south and west and all the neighboring countries were the small countries which had received protection from Milgraaf.
Natural defense walls and excellent neighbors. It could be said to be one of the safest regions currently within the Kingdom. However, because of the mountains, it lacked a direct trading route with the neighboring countries and was treated as the end of the line of the southwest.
Today, a wedding ceremony was held in this town of Remini. The main lead was Ulises Arro ―― the man who had just been appointed as the regimental commander since the spring. It was the wedding ceremony where neither the face nor the name of the wife-to-be was known.
However, even he went to greet his partner's parents and confirm the date once before the wedding. The ceremony was smoothly decided to be held at the beginning of the fall when no military events were scheduled. And after hearing the common amount of money needed for the preparation of marriage, he added extra and handed it over to his partner's parents. Like this, Ulises' pre-marriage preparations came to a conclusion.However, even he went to greet his partner's parents and confirm the date once before the wedding. The ceremony was smoothly decided to be held at the beginning of the fall when no military events were scheduled. And after hearing the common amount of money needed for the preparation of marriage, he added extra and handed it over to his partner's parents. Like this, Ulises' pre-marriage preparations came to a conclusion.
The father with a a bad leg who was originally a soldier, and the mother which worked in the town's restaurant told him to take care of their daughter. Those were extremely ordinary words for the parents who were marrying off their daughter.
However, strangely enough, in their eyes, there were no signs of knowing the bad rumors about Ulises that were circulating around in the town. He thought that if they really didn't know, they must have been quite oblivious to the society matters, but bringing it up himself seemed stupid so he only answered with「I understand」
In this ceremony, the bridegroom and the priest were to wear long, hooded robes. The men wore blue, while the women wore white. These seemed to be traditional colors from an ancient myth where, possessing many hues, the god of the sky had been asked his true color by his bride-to-be, and had replied that it was blue. She had then asked what he would like her to be. And he had answered, “become a white cloud.”In this ceremony, the bridegroom and the priest were to wear long, hooded robes. The men wore blue, while the women wore white. These seemed to be traditional colors from an ancient myth where, possessing many hues, the god of the sky had been asked his true color by his bride-to-be, and had replied that it was blue. She had then asked what he would like her to be. And he had answered, “become a white cloud.”
The priest conducted the ceremony in the same way as the sky god's marriage. The woman, which was supposed to become Ulises' wife while never having met him face to face before that, kept her head down through the whole time. Her hair seemed to have been tied up, as he couldn't seen even a single strand, and Ulises had no idea about what was going inside of her robe.The priest conducted the ceremony in the same way as the sky god's marriage. The woman, which was supposed to become Ulises' wife while never having met him face to face before that, kept her head down through the whole time. Her hair seemed to have been tied up, as he couldn't seen even a single strand, and Ulises had no idea about what was going inside of her robe.
When the ceremony finally ends, only the groom is able to take off the hood. The bride is not allowed to take off her hood until she is led into the new house by her husband.
Thanks to the so-called old tradition that the women were better discreet, Ulises ended up having to walk the road until the house with a partner which he barely knew.
"Uh-, I'm Ulises Arro. Nice to meet you."
Walking in the city in a robe was quite a torture. After all, thanks to the couple robes, it was clear for everybody that they had just finished a marriage ceremony.
Moreover, Ulises was not wearing a hood. It was akin to walking around with a sticker on him saying that that infamous regimental commander married a woman from someplace. It was no different from spreading seeds for new rumors himself.
Ulises thought that the woman next to him was pitiful. She would surely be swung around by the bad rumors about him from now on. He never thought about such a thing before marriage, but after being exposed to the impolite looks from people, he unwillingly ended up thinking about it.
He thought that he was glad that the woman was covered by the hood even if it was only for now. The town wasn't that big, so if her face was seen, the people would easily figure out who she was at least.
"….Yes, nice to meet you."
A voice that was about to vanish was returned to him from the side. On that subject, she used this kind of small voice too even when the priest confirmed the marriage at the ceremony. It was so quiet that Ulises was unable to catch her name that she said herself.
Is she eating food properly?
Because he had spent a lot of time at a workplace by the name of the army, which was full of men, he became worried whether she would be alright in such an unreliable state. And thinking that he should at least find out her name, "what should I call you?" he inquired as he slightly pulled the hand he had in his grasp. As if pulled by that, her face under the hood slightly turned towards him. A pale chin flashed into Ulises' field of vision.
"Please call me Lea."
Thanks to her lips also turning towards Ulises' direction, her small voice somehow reached his ears.
While thinking about strange things like how Lea Arro would be slightly hard to call, he answered with "got it."
Now that he had found out his wife's name and the problem born from not having read the documents in advance was solved, they finally reached the new house. Although, even if you called it a "new house", it was the official residence for commanders, that was lent to Ulises by the army.
It was a fifty-year-old building, constructed when this town was absorbed by Milgraaf Kingdom. Although years had passed, the old, grayish brick walls were engendering dignified atmosphere. Even the two gardens – one of which was to be used to entertain guests, while the other one was to be used for everyday life – were simply a place to practice his swordsmanship for Ulises, which only made roundabout trips between the army and his house.
He casually opened the lock on familiar front door with one hand and pulled her inside the house with the other hand. Since complying with customs he hadn't let go of her hand even once before now, both of their hands were quite sweaty. Ulises didn't feel uncomfortable, but the women wouldn't necessarily feel the same.
"Is it okay to let go yet?"
Unsure about the timing to let go of her hand, Ulises asked the person next to him. Even if he knew how to fight on a battlefield, this was his first time getting married. There was no way he could properly remember all the customs that were normally unrelated to him. After the hand, that was smaller than Ulises', fidgeted slightly, she answered quietly with "probably…". Firmly closing the entrance door for the time being, he finally let go of his wife's, Lea's hand.
Just as he quietly looked at his wife at the entrance that was much darker compared to the world outside, she was also quietly standing stock still. She didn't seem to be the type to take the initiative and move briskly herself. She was perhaps waiting for Ulises' words or actions. Her attitude would be disqualifying if she was a soldier, but seeking such things from a woman would be a boorish thing to do.
For the time being, Ulises layed hands on the long blue robe he wasn't used to wearing and readily took it off. Underneath he was wearing the usual military uniform. He was uncomfortable with the scarf that decorated the collar, so he rarely wore it outside official events. Today as well, it would be hidden by robe, so as expected he didn't wear it.
"Why not take off the robe?"
Even if it was early summer, it was still fairly hot. Ulises thought that she would definitely feel hot after walking around in that robe during this season.
A hand that was whiter than his own touched her robe in a fluster.
Those fingers softly dropped the hood that was covering her head to the back.
The first thing that entered his eyes was the reddish brown hair that was the same color as the black tea. That, which was most likely long, was neatly put together at the back. After finely moving her restless green eyes, the woman with the thin and slender face slowly looked up at Ulises.
Her features weren't too outstanding. Perhaps her quiet temperament was showing directly on her face, her eyebrows looked like she was slightly troubled. As their eyes met, she shyly averted her gaze and started taking off her white robe. Underneath she was wearing a white blouse and a long dress, that was quite fit in a wide range from under her chest to her waist.
The very first thing Ulises thought after looking at her whole body was ―― she's too thin. He couldn't see it well in the loose robe, but after looking at her squeezed waist, it was so thin that he couldn't help thinking that she would break just from a slight poke. It even seemed doubtful if her body was stuffed with the same innards as Ulises.
"You must be hungry, right?"
Thinking that with how thin she was, there could be problems in fulfilling her duties as his wife, Ulises said to her.
Today's dinner was already delivered before the ceremony. Since there was a custom according to which the two who had just become a married couple couldn't leave the house until the tomorrow morning, all the necessary things were brought in before the ceremony. By this time, the attendees besides the bridegroom and the priest should've been making marry at a banquet without the main protagonists at some establishment.
She slightly shook her head. The true voice of the unclear expression in her green eyes escaped Ulises's understanding.
Since he had missed the lunch due to the ceremony, Ulises was plenty hungry. She should've most likely been the same, but didn't answer honestly. Was she perhaps brought up to think that women saying that they were hungry was embarrassing? Or did she really just have a small appetite? Whichever the case, Ulises had already reached the conclusion that a meal was a must.
"I'm hungry. You should eat too, in my opinion. It'll be hard to give birth with that body."
Even though it might seem otherwise, Ulises was a type to make modest remarks towards the women. If it was a soldier instead of her, he would say "Do you think you'd make a proper soldier like that?" in a low voice, so his words right now were quite a compromise.
"G-give birth….y-you're right. I will do my best…."
Lea, which was strongly bewildered by his statement for some time, turned red and mumbled her reply back. Even if there was shyness in her voice, there wasn't any fear. Just like her parents, she must've also been ignorant of his ill reputation ―― Ulises thought.
"Alright, it's food time."
The matter was decided.
Ulises led her, who didn't know the house, into the dining room.
Thus began the married life of the two which met only today.
Phew, I’ve been sitting on this chapter for a while now and since I didn’t feel like tlc-ing last boss, I thought I’d finish this up.
There were many, many words I had to look up and fix and whatnot but since I switched to doing the main work in google docs, it’s a hassle to keep all vague words so I could include them in translator notes like this. Curse you, wordpress!
Anyway, hope this gets picked up soon. The level of the story and terminology is way beyond my level.
P.S don’t forget to notify me about all mistranslations, typos, awkward grammar and everything else so I could fix them asap.