Yasashī Shinjitsu to Seiryaku Kekkon Chapter 31
Yasashī Shinjitsu to Seiryaku Kekkon Vol II Chapter 31
month before the wedding day, guest began to arrive in Barenshiaga’s capital, Oviolus, for the pre-wedding festivities.
Merchants and tourists followed.
The capital was lively.
The imperial palace was also full of people. The aides and servants were always on the move, answering requests and demands of their guests.
There were tea parties every day. So much so, Matilda felt her stomach full of tea, sloshing about.
Thinking of the stomach, her period came, thankfully. All that sex did not lead to pregnancy. Leandroth wasn’t bothered, he said he was happy to enjoy just being to two of them in newly wedded bliss. On the other hand, she was worried she would not be able to carry out her duty as empress to give birth to an heir. But Leandroth said not to worry, so she won’t dwell on it…too much.
Periods were painful for Matilda, so she did not want to sleep with Leandroth. She pleaded to stay in her own room during that time, but she was rejected. (Zuben: Don’t underestimate the powers of a good testosterone belly rub.)
She had tea with the rumoured Octopus Princess. Her breasts were amazing! They truly looked like the round heads of octopuses on her chest. She had thought the nickname was a cruel joke but now she realised it was very apt.
‘What did his Majesty Leandroth tell you about me?’ she asked.
Matilda looked into her glittering eyes, ‘He said you were like a…mermaid princess,’ she said ambiguously. The octopus and fish were alike, right? She wasn’t lying.
The Princess had an exaggerated expression of joy on her face. It was rather lovely. So Matilda gave her the nickname “Mermaid Princess of the East.” It was not wrong, just a different flavour.
There were many visiting Princesses, the youngest was seven and the eldest *mumble mumble* was of indeterminate age. Matilda had tea parties with them. There were many cute Princesses which made Matilda very happy. There were many promises of letters collected over the month.
And she was able to meet many royals she had written to and received letters from when she was still in Icecoretta.
Persistently, Matilda was asked to tell the story of how she and Leandroth met. There seemed to be a story being circulated that had been created. Matilda gave a slight smile and nodded to every story she was asked to confirm.
It seemed that someone had come up with a story about their meeting and they were running a play about it in the Capital.
There were stuffed toys of them, selling quite well. People believed they would help foster their love. The dolls had small pocket to secrete love notes or love wishes which could be sewn up and sent off.
Princess Matilda, who would become Empress, seemed to be suffering from walking the tightrope between her love for his Majesty and her duty as Empress. (Zuben: What-.-?)
It was inevitable that cute things became fashionable, is what she thought.
The day of her wedding dawned bright. Nary a cloud to be seen.
She was stunned when she woke up to the sunny day.
‘It’s because we’ll been well behaved everyday.’ Leandroth said cheerfully, but she did not pay attention to him.
She was taken to a separate room; bathed and moisturised and pampered before her maids and ladies in waiting helped her into the dress. It was a lovely dress that sat off her shoulders with long sleeves and a skirt that was layer upon layer of tulle with an overlay of beribboned lace.
‘Is it alright to have the dress on before make-up?’ she asked Julia who was checking the veil with one of the ladies in waiting.
‘We will do it shortly, please wait a moment.’ Julia replied with a soft smile.
Just then, there was a loud knock on the door.
‘Mattie, I’m coming in.’ It was Leandroth. He burst into the room in a flurry.
‘Eh? What’s wrong?’
He did not answer but grabbed Matilda’s wrist and pulled her along with him.
Leandroth was also in his white formal suit. He looked so handsome and dignified. Her eyes were glued to him in fascination. She thought she would fall in love with him again.
He took her down the spiral stone steps that led to one of the plazas around the palace.
In the plaza were Barenshiaga Knights with Bartholomew at their lead and…the Knights of Icecoretta near a carriage with the Icecoretta coat of arms,
She reached the end of the steps and the carriage door was opened. The King of Icecoretta stepped out.
She was suddenly petrified.
He alighted from the carriage and took of his mantle and handed it to his Knight Captain. He was wearing a formal dress as well.
Her dear father, he looked thinner than she remembered and tired. She covered her mouth with both her hands and her eyes were wide with surprise.
He was here. At her wedding.
He never left Icecoretta, even when he was invited to celebrations in neighbouring countries. They usually sent the Leader of the Senate.
Her legs were trembling.
He looked up and their eyes met.
His eyes widened in surprise to see her.
Leandroth gave her a gentle push, ‘Go ahead.’
She picked up her dress and ran into her father’s arms.
‘Father, you’re here. I can’t believe you’re here.’ She cried as she clung to his neck
The knights were silent as they watched Matilda cling to her beloved father. King Carl Cristian Icecoretta got over his shock and returned his daughter’s embrace,
Matilda began to cry in her father’s arms. They looked like a couple whom the older lover had come to rescue the girl from an unwanted marriage.
‘Father, I’m so happy to see you,’
He pulled back a little,
‘Matilda, are you okay? Is your body alright?’
‘I was told you drank that poison. I thought you were dying from the illness it caused.’
Matilda lowered her head in shame, ‘I am alright. Truly.’
Her father gave a sigh of relief and they hugged again.
She rested her head on her father’s chest, breathing in his scent. She felt like a child again.
‘Your Majesty Carl, thank you for making the journey to our wedding.’ Leandroth said with a smile.
She looked at Leandroth from the circle of her father’s arms, he was laughing calmly. Matilda was happy about that. She rubbed her face on her father’s chest,
‘About the letter, I will explain to you later. But it was all true.’
Her father’s hold on her tightened.
‘Mattie, we have to go and get ready.’ Leandroth said holding his hand out for her.
Matilda gave her father one last big squeeze, and a kiss on the cheek, ‘I love you, father,’
She took Leandroth’s hand.
The wedding was taking place at the Temple of Tariq, the largest temple in the capital city.
Matilda was surprised at her reflection after the maids and ladies in waiting were finished with her.
As usual, everyone’s skill was magical.
After the ceremony and their pledges to one another, there was the carriage ride through the city, and after that were various ceremonies planned by the officials.
Although it should be their wedding and all about them, they were led about by arrangements and plans and itineraries that needed to be followed. Neither of them had any chance to think about theirselves or their feelings.
She changed dresses for the afternoon banquet and then changed again for the evening dinner party.
Though her dance training had not been successful, Matilda danced and laughed with Leandroth at the ball. She wore a great smile and managed to finish the day well, somehow.
She was exhausted when she returned to her room; she feared she would fall asleep from exhaustion in her ball gown.
‘No you can’t sleep just yet,’ Leandroth said pulling her up, ‘next is a very important event.’
‘Event?’ she asked,
‘Yes, our wedding night.’
She woke up a little at that sentence, her eyes wide
‘What?’ she asked incredulously (Zuben: I know right, you’ve done enough ‘first nights’)
‘Now now Mattie, what is with that tone. Please go and have a bath. We’ll be in a different room tonight.’ He said with a wide smile
A different room? Very well. Matilda nodded tiredly and did as he asked.
She took her bath and changed into a thick nightgown and a robe and followed Agata out of the room.
Agata led her to a room where a single lamp was lit. Inside, her father was about to get into bed.
Matilda stared in wide eyes shock.
Her father’s reaction was the same.
Agata smiled and said, ‘His Majesty’s gift to you, Empress; some time with your father.’
‘It may not be possible to go back to your home country once you begin your duties as Empress. His Majesty was very anxious about you and your father’s relationship. The poison you drank was a fake. His Majesty switched it when he realised what it was.’
‘So you did drink it.’ Her father said with a sigh
‘I will excuse myself,’ Agata said, she bowed and left the room, gently closing the door.
King Carl looked at his daughter and said, ‘This bed is big enough for two of us,’
‘Yes!’ she replied and she took off her robe and dove into bed beside her father.
‘As for you, today…’
Her father sighed and said, ‘It looks like his Majesty Leandroth treasures you.’
Matilda smiled. Her smile was as sweet as a blooming flower,
‘Yes, very much.’
‘Do you think he will make you happy?’ he asked as brushed her hair with his hand.
‘Yes, he can make me happy.’ She replied brightly.
‘So tell me why you took the poison.’
‘That…it was a childish reason. I’m sorry I did it. I will never do it again. I don’t even have the vial anymore.’
She only just realised she didn’t have the vial anymore.
‘What was the childish reason?’ he pressed. It seemed he would not let her get away with it.
She sighed and said, ‘I thought that I was not made the next ruler of Icecoretta because I was not needed by father. But Leann said he thought that father did not make me queen because you cared about me too much.’
She told him everything albeit timidly, hiding her face in her father’s shoulder. Her cheeks were red as father patted her back and said,
‘Leandroth was correct. I didn’t want my gentle and carefree daughter to become a cold hearted ruler that you would have to be to rule properly. I should have explained to you properly.’
‘It’s alright now…’
‘It’s been a long time since I’ve heard you called me “Father”,’
‘I have always wanted to call you “Father” and hug you,’
‘I also say to Leann “I love you, father”,’
‘Father?’ he repeated laughing, ‘I don’t think that would be good for His Majesty’s ego.’
That night, they reminisced about Matilda’s mother; how she and Carl met and their time together. He told her of her step-mother and little brothers’ progress. He updated her on the arrival of the team of doctors and their elderly knight.
It seemed the reason the knights led by Bartholomew was escorting the doctors was because of worrying movements in the northeast of Barenshiaga. Bartholomew had told Matilda of this when he visited before the wedding.
Listening to her father tell stories of her mother, Matilda felt a weight she did not realise she had lift. He father never forgot her mother. He still thought of her with love and affection. He still had memories of her in his head. She was glad.
‘You’re just like Lyra when she we met.’
‘But you’re stronger than her (Zuben: *Snort) I am proud of her and I am proud of you.’ He told her gently. Tears welled up in Matilda’s eyes.
‘Don’t cry, you’ll mess up your cute face.’
‘I’m not cute.’
‘What is my daughter saying? No matter how old you get, my daughter would remain my cute daughter. So if Leandroth doesn’t care about you, I will take you home with me.’
Matilda laughed through teary eyes
‘Be happy, Matilda. May you always have smiles of joy on your face.’
They settled in to sleep. As he used to do when she was a little girl, her father gave her goodnight kisses on her eyelids. And Matilda went to sleep.
The next day, Carl, the King of Icecoretta returned home.
He originally was not going to be at his daughter’s wedding, but Bartholomew was given the poison she had drank to show to the king. He had thought she was dying. So he dropped everything and made haste to Barenshiaga (Zuben: Leann is a manipulative bastard J)
Matilda glared at Leandroth but he avoided her gaze, trying to look innocent whistling terribly.
‘Matilda seems to be healthy and happy, and above all, that make me happy.’
‘I am, father.’
‘Is it possible to ask father to deliver a message to step-mother Lena?’
‘What is it?’
She gave him a kiss on each cheek and said, ‘I love you.’ She said with a big smile(Zuben: *retches*)
‘Hug your father tightly, you should also give him a peck on the lips, don’t you think? You should show your father you love him.’ Leandroth said.
Her father’s face turned ruddy red but he smiled widely.
‘Quiet you.’ She said to Leandroth.
Carl hugged them both.
‘Majesty Leandroth, I entrust my daughter to you.’
‘Leave it to me. Sorry if I was rude just now…’
‘It’s alright. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of surprise would be waiting for me next time. ‘
Leandroth answered with a smile.
The King’s tone turned serious and regal,
‘As long as you are Matilda’s husband, the Icecoretta Kingdom is your ally.’
‘Thank you, your majesty.’ Leandroth replied equally regal in his bearing.
Matilda’s eyes widened at the conversation (Zuben: Her eyes are definitely going to pop out one of these days)
Her father gave her a farewell kiss and boarded his carriage.
Her father’s knights raided their spears in a salute,
‘To our honourable Princess, even if you are far from us, we, the Icecoretta Knight Guards swear our loyalty to you! Hurray!!’ (Zuben: yes, they ended with hurray)
The mounted guards moved forward to the head and sides of the carriage.
Tears fell from Matilda’s eyes and she clung to Leandroth for support.
She nodded and turned to the departing party with a tear stained face,
‘Thank you, my Knights! I will do my best to be a princess you’re proud of.’ She shouted and she waved
The guards waved back and she waved at them till the party left the palace gates and disappeared in the distance.
She turned and hugged Leandroth.
‘Oh look at this messed up pretty face,’ he teased.
She laughed, he used the same words as her father.
‘I am very happy, Leann.’
He smiled softly and replied, ‘So am I,’
He lifted her, making her laugh, ‘Shall we return to official business, my Empress?’
She giggled some more and replied, ‘Yes, my Emperor.’
That evening after her bath, the maids dressed her in a rather cute night gown. It was pink lace with puffy long sleeves. It was low cut with a floret between her breasts and an overlay gathered around it.
It was so cute, she thought it was a shame it was a night dress.
She was surprised to hear that the empress and emperor’s night clothes were thrown away. (Zuben: Why?) And the clothes were monitored closely, so that they would not be stolen.
‘Matilda-sama, if you please.’ Agata said as she presented her with a veil, and covered her head with it.
It was all excessively pretty.
‘This is a gift from everyone to Matilda-sama and the Emperor. Every thing this evening looks rather lovely, but can you not be distracted and think of just his Majesty for tonight?’
‘Tonight is the real first night after your wedding. Please, please your husband.’ Agata said with a mischievous smile.
‘I will take my leave.’ The stewards and Agata left, leaving Matilda on a couch wondering what was going on.
The room was silent, she could hear her heartbeat, yet she felt calm.
Wedding night, she blushed at the thought.
He gave up last night for her to spend time with her father. She felt something deepen in her heart for him,
‘What are you thinking about, Mattie.’
It was difficult to see through the veil, what expression he had on his face.
‘You look cute, Mattie. Can you stand?’ he asked as he held a hand out for her. She took his hand and guided her to a chaise lounge, and knelt before her
‘Matilda Matina Icecoretta,’
‘Yes,’ she was a little high pitched because she was a flutter.
He held her hand softly. It was warm.
‘Regardless of our countries, would you marry me, Leandroth Levan Barenshiaga?’
Even though they ceremonies were done, the parade and a reception.
He was asking to marry her, not as a ruler of a country, but for himself. He wanted Matilda, not the Princess of Icecoretta.
‘Yes, gladly.’ She replied with a beaming smile.
He let go of her hand, and pulled her to stand. He took off the veil, and she could finally see him. Their gaze locked,
‘Thank you,’ he said. (Zuben: Was she really going to say no after all the pomp, pageantry and crybaby nonsense?)
‘No. Thank you for wanting me.’
She opened her eyes; Leandroth had a gentle smile on his face,
‘Lean, I love you,’
'I love you too, Mattie.’
They smiled at each other, grinning from ear to ear. Her loved her. She loved him.
She closed her eyes, and his warmth surrounded her.
She hoped she was giving him warmth too…
This was a story about a political marriage that was only a gentle truth.