Two men's wish
“It is agreed that you will be the one to take the princess’ hand in marriage once she reached her marriageable age. It is Tristan’s very wish. Do you have any objection to this idea, my dear son?” asked the man, his voice serious, laden with hope, yet soft and loving, to a younger version of him which stood at an adjacent distance from him. The child inherited his unusual red hair and beautiful golden eyes, he realized, but everything else came from his mother. Those amazingly long lashes, porcelain-like skin and sculptured nose and lips spoke of feminine beauty more than masculinity. This child of fourteen seemed surprised at the news his father had just bestowed upon him, but he didn’t seem to object to the idea. For him, he realized that his future wife had been decided by his parents, and the kingdom’s king and that will exactly how things go for him.
Bowing before his father, his beautiful red-silk hair gracefully dropped upon his shoulder. Humbly, he accepted his father’s decision.
“If it is best, according to you, father, and His Majesty…” he replied obediently, his voice emotionless as he kept to himself his truest feeling. “I have no objection to it.”
“Samuel, son, you don’t have to follow every single matter bestowed upon you. It is merely His Majesty’s wish, not an order. You may decline if it is not in your favor…” noted the father, rather worried as his eyes bore into his son’s. Upon the very first moment when Tristan had voiced his wish that the heir of the Montgomery will be the one to take his little sister’s hand in marriage, he had been deep in doubt if they will ever be able to conquer this sort of relationship – arranged relationship. His personal experience disagreed over such medieval idea of arranged marriage. Before Feralia, he had married thrice, in which all ended with terrible divorce demanded by the bride herself. They couldn’t stand the extreme formality they were required to follow for the Montgomery clan for they were the ‘minor’ Royal Family, all the protocols and such…especially when he had always been busy with little, little time for the misuses. All three marriage wielded no son or daughter, and he sadly let his wives go. When he fell in love with Feralia, and she with him, he realized then that only love could bind them together through the sort of lives the Montgomery household had to go through. For his son, he wouldn’t want him to repeat the same mistake. Compared to him, he appeared softer, and frailer. He was afraid Samuel won’t be able to withstand all the heartbreak, protocols and such if he decided to accept Tristan’s wish to see him as the princess’ future husband. Instead of formality and tradition, he wanted his son to marry for love…
Again, Samuel bowed, and he smiled. “I will start trying my best to love her, then, if it is my feeling you're worried about, father,” he said, which surprised his father. Even if he was well aware that Samuel was mature beyond his age, he did not expect him to be able to say something like that either. What had escaped his mouth sounded very pleasant and optimistic, that he realized how this young child might’ve viewed the news as. Either he was accepting it wholeheartedly as his destiny, or as an order, it doesn’t matter. In such a way, he was going to turn something unfortunate into fortunate. He was so in control of himself…
Smiling to himself, the Earl of Montgomery sighed in relief.
The heir of the Montgomery household for the twenty-forth generation might appear so unexpectedly beautiful and frail, unlike his predecessors, but behind that soft features and unusually feminine smile, he possessed such forgiving and accepting nature unlike the rest. Instead of being rather rebellious and largely and directly outspoken, he was more laid back, collected and at the same time, he possessed powerful ability to quietly and softly change and maneuver the flow of event around him. Shyly he admitted that he was quite pained to learn that his son weren’t much like him. He was tall, with muscular build and rather tanned. He was the sort of imposingly-build man. Not barbaric, but he was huge; an eccentric blend of nobility and countrymen’s rough build. But his son was of a petite build, with fair skin and big eyes the color of the ripening wheat field; hair like it was drenched in thick, dark blood and nose and mouth like it was sculptured from the finest porcelain. He was the sort of pretty boys he usually saw at the capital, somewhat incapable of containing very harsh pressure as an heir to a household as such as his as what he was expected to undertake. Like the porcelain dolls, they were pretty to look at but break easily. It was like a bet. Will Samuel, the very young Viscount of Montgomery make an exceptional heir to the Montgomery household, undertaking his father and ancestor’s traditional dealing as a member of the ministry-board of the kingdom? Since he was born and as of the very moment, he had showed great promise, indoor and outdoor. As a student he possessed exceptional memory and analyzing ability, and a natural flair for strategy-thinking. In games, he was seen as a promising swordsman, able to fence effectively as if the rapiers were part of himself. As a hunter, although he wasn’t very good with bows, he was an exceptional rider. As a socialite, he was incredibly able when it comes to conversation. As a son, he was extremely obedient to his father, and gentle as well as loving to his mother and younger sister. As a friend, he was never selfish and had always been humble. He was an unusual young man; and even he as a father he noticed that. What will become of him in the future remained unknown and many of his friends had said that he will be an exceptional figure.
The day when Samuel will eventually walk his own path and take control of his destiny, his future will come very soon. Until that day come, he will have to wait patiently and mould him into someone who will serve the kingdom with all his heart and soul, without a single doubt and hesitation. And when that day comes, he would be thrilled to learn of his performance, and where would he lead the household of Montgomery to. Will he propel the legacy to greater heights, or will he cripple the age-long proud family’s history to a complete mess? He was not one to foretell the future, but he has hopes, and his hopes were as high as the sky…
If Samuel did become the princess’ husband in the future, what sort of future will it be? He perfectly realized Tristan’s truest intention when he proposed the idea of ‘giving’ his little sister to the Viscount of Montgomery. In a disastrous way, Tristan had remained childless for countless years of marriage. He had almost lost his hope. Being the only child and heir to the previous dynasty, he had come to know his father’s famous grief and crisis when it came to choosing an heir. For decades the Royal Family had been struggling with inheritance crisis, they were fortunate enough to have charismatic heirs to continue the dynasty even though they faced constricting number of choice to be made the crown prince. It may be the biggest and strongest kingdom on the surface of the earth, but under such threat the kingdom may cease to exist at all. After Tristan’s birth to the late Queen Girella, the kingdom had not seen any addition to the members of Royal Family. Thirty years later, the queen died and the ailing king married a young commoner, Lady Tatiana, she gave birth to a princess months after the king passed away. Living in utter loneliness did not let the deeply in love late queen to last long, when she, too died the moment the princess turned three. Given the extraordinary age gap between Tristan and his younger half-sister, he had come to love her as his very own child. He had been moaning to the earl about his childless state, and how he had lost hope of trying to acquire one, he had even laid plan to make the princess as the heir for the crown. It wasn’t at all odd that a woman should take over the throne and rule, but Tristan was worried that the little princess might not be able to uphold the responsibility he will be bestowing on her in the future, thus his decision to find her a consort that was capable of loving her and rule the country alongside her without even thinking about taking over. As the king’s closest confidant he was perfectly aware of his true intention. Tristan had showed remarkable attention on his son, that he even bestowed the young child the title ‘Viscount’ when he was merely twelve, much to other’s dismay. Samuel, however, had reacted differently by going all out; proving his worth to other skeptic mind and this captivated the king even further. He seemed to have set in his mind that he will make a ruler out of the young viscount, regardless of other’s reaction. As the princess will turn seven soon, he saw it as an opportunity to complete his master plan.
For a father, sending his son into the care of Royal Family will be like sacrificing him for the kingdom. Perfectly he realized that this young man standing in front of him will be Tristan’s scapegoat in trying to save his family’s ailing legacy, doomed to ruling the country and confined to extreme regulation and protocol. As a king consort, he will still stand a step behind his queen yet face the horror of running a country at full capacity. He knew it perfectly how was it like to be the man sitting on the throne. It was daunting. That was exactly why his ancestors forfeited their rights for the throne and choose to live the life of a commoner instead…
“Very well, son. But if you realize somehow along the way that it wasn’t the sort of life you wanted, don’t hesitate to withdraw…” noted the concerned father with a smile. The son returned the smile with an equally pleasing nod that he bowed his head in respect to his father.
“I will, father.”
It wasn’t long, though, until the Royal Court established a meeting for the two future lovers, set up in such a way to become the sacrifice to revive the kingdom’s dying glory…
She had to wake up early that day. Her nannies’ anticipation for that particular day was unusual. She felt somewhat suffocated by all the attention and details, the meticulous gossips and all the what-ifs. To her, it was another day when she was expected to introduce herself to some noble of the country, or a delegate from the other, and maybe even a visiting noble from the other neighboring country. Just another day of overly overlooked and treated.
And this viscount…she had known his father from the first time she began remembering names. The Earl of Montgomery was her brother’s closest and most trusted confidant, and was also the minister of kingdom’s Foreign Affair. It was only natural that she saw him often at the castle. The earl was a nice man; a fatherly figure to her. He never ceased bringing her gifts whenever he had returned from visits to other country. Although very stern and firm with his words, he was a very kind man. Despite that much closeness, she wasn’t much of an acquaintance to his children, especially the young viscount. She had met the earl’s missus, and his very young daughter Priscilla, but hadn’t had the chance to at all talk to his son. Of course, she had seen him a few times during meetings and such, but that was from a distance. When words began circulating that her brother wanted to set them together, she was somewhat curious. How would, and could, she be together with someone she hadn’t even talked to for all of her life? But a king’s wish was that much of a command to the Royal Household Agency; they found every reason to be very excited and speed up her introduction to the viscount.
Her nannies, even, had been giggling all over the details of ‘what could happen’ during the first meeting. At times she wanted to remind them that she was, after all, still a child at the age of seven, but here and there they seemed to have forgotten about it. As they fussed over which dress will complement her best yet not make her appearance clash to those of the viscount, she wondered if Edward and Selena remembered at all that she had to introduce herself to this ‘viscount’. A day spent in the garden woods just outside the official ground with them, faraway from protocols and details would be heavenly. She wished the meeting wouldn’t take that long at all.
Unlike everyday, she was bathed in generous amount of rosewater, slathered with spring-water and primrose oil body lotion and dressed in her most expensive silk garment. It annoyed her somehow that the nannies had decided to put the corsets on her, when she knew it perfectly that she won’t be needing it until the next few years to come, at least until she actually developed ‘the body’ that will greatly benefit from the usage of corsets. Despite her continuous resistance against the lacy corset, she gave in the end when her nannies told her that no ladies will make away unharmed by not wearing any corset if she was to put on the sort of dress she will be putting on. And that dress was an impossible piece of art. With its multiple layers and very fine nature of the silks, it was hard to imagine anyone ever had any patience dealing with the intricate and delicate dress. When she put it on, it was magical when she discovered herself looking a few years older than her actual age. It was her other side that she hadn’t at all noticed, until then…
Once done, she was led to the drawing room, where her brother greeted her with a sense of amazement written all over his face. Behind him was the queen, and on the opposite direction of the couple stood the earl, the lady and of course, the Viscount of Montgomery – the young man she was to be introduced to that day…
“Edeniya, this is Samuel,”
“Good day, Lord Samuel.”
“A pleasure to meet you, princess,”
Their introduction in front of their respective family was very formal and stiff, that it dissatisfied the king. He wanted more air to it, as well as a hint of romance or them being smitten by each other. They both looked very suitable for each other. The princess so beautifully dressed in her fine violet gown, the viscount with his well-defined handsomeness and poised self. After a brief tea session the king himself had specifically asked that the viscount to take the princess for a walk in the garden. Although he complied quietly, the princess was opposing the idea right down to her marrows. It was plain to see that the meeting will last longer than she had anticipated.
The viscount, despite the sort of regality within him, was wise enough to let the princess lead the way. Perhaps he had sensed the futility within her, or perhaps he was being exceptionally modest following their standing, but either one wasn’t at all the matter. She wanted for it to end soon, so that she could be on her way and play with her friends.
They walked very slowly. She had to remind herself that everyone’s watching. Her brother might have even appointed someone to watch very closely their action. When all sort of thought began troubling her, she slumped down onto a bench while they were passing through a pergola, startling the viscount. He asked for her permission to sit next to her, and she reluctantly allowed him. From since there was only silence brewing in the air, thickening as it swirls by them, until the viscount took the initiative to break it.
“You do know that we were somewhat engaged, don’t you, Your Highness?” asked the young viscount to the beautiful girl seated next to him, amidst the blossoming roses that enveloped the mythically-designed pergola. The girl did not turn to look at him, yet he noticed the slight blush creeping across her rosy cheek. Thinking she might not understand his previous enquiry, he added; “Engaged as in we will be married in the future…are you aware of that?”
“Perfectly aware, I am, my lord,” she replied hastily, somewhat being defensive as she instinctively turned around to look at him. In a brief moment he found himself looking at a pair of such beautiful violet eyes; when she looked away immediately again, her face growing redder. There was a hint of sadness creeping inside those magnificent amethyst jewels, and being an innocent child she was, it wasn’t hard at all to figure it out. “My sister-in-law had told me all about it. The wedding was scheduled to take place once I turn 16 and that the groom would be you...”
Of course. A little girl at the age of seven, yet her future husband had been decided for her and she was forced to accept the reality of her life. Such terrible thing. When he was only seven, despite the occasional moment he was required to study, his life was still laden with all sort of fun things a young child could ever experience. For this young girl, her vigorous training as the future heir of the kingdom started when she could first talk. He had heard of the stories how her half-brother, the current ruling king Tristan the Third had been bringing her to the Kingdom’s Court for every meeting and made her watch every procedure concerning the ruling of a kingdom. Living the life of a grown up at an age barely ten, she was forced to mature beyond her age…
He pitied her, somehow…
“Are you objecting to the idea? Don’t you like it?”
A small sigh escaped her little mouth. “It’s not like that, my lord.”
“Then, what is it that had been troubling you?”
A small smile full of regret crept onto her lips. “Are you not afraid? If one day I still fail to love you as a wife should even after arduous attempt? We will be doomed to regretful jointing forever since…”
“Is that really what had been bothering you, Your Highness?”
“If I love you with all my heart, will you be able to love me back?”
“I am beginning to.”
“Don’t joke around like that, Samuel of Montgomery. It is not funny.”
“But I am not joking around, milady.”
“How is that possible? We’ve just met…”
“The rule of our time does not apply to love, I suppose.”
“No I am not. Princess, the road till the day we will actually be jointed is still long. It won’t come until the next nine years. There will be plenty of time for you to fall in love with me until that day comes…”
“Because I am already starting to like you, that is why.”
“We’ve known each other barely minutes.”
“I’ve said earlier that it doesn’t take long for love to come. It has come to me as of now.”
She blushed even deeper.
“I can’t force you to like me, princess, but I ensure you that I will truly cherish you until the end of my time. Whether you’ll fall for me or not in the future, it is completely another matter…” he muttered so very honestly that she immediately lost every single word she was planning to say to him. Those eyes she previously hated very much appeared captivatingly beautiful. She saw sincerity gleaming in it. Although she tried hard not to be smitten by that lovely, longing and adoring gaze, it was impossible at all not to feel somewhat appreciated and venerated…the special way. Though, the authenticity of the things he said and projected remained a question severely asked.
* * *
Samuel took my heart away with only one try. For a child of fifteen, he was full of himself. I didn’t like him when he was first introduced to me by lord brother. Unlike the other nobles I was introduced to, he wore himself proudly and confidently as if we stood on the same ground. The way his very sharp eyes swallow everything around him made me think of falcons – proud falcons as he glide in the air gracefully yet his eyes fiercely rooted to the ground as he pry for his prey. Everything about him felt utterly regal and menacing. Around him existed an aura that separated our two worlds. Everything he said spoke of his unusual intelligence, yet standing among the elderly he ceased saying anything at all unless asked about. And even if he was smiling at me I couldn’t help but think those smile carried with it some other meaning.
That morning when I was first introduced to him, he wore such simple attire of three piece very dark red jacket over the usual white shirt and such. His long hair was tied at the back of his head with a silk ribbon. That could be considered too plain for a meeting with the Royal Family, but he did not give much thought to that. My first impression upon seeing him was that he was a beautiful man. My sister-in-law had mentioned that the Viscount of Montgomery was a good-looking and accomplished young man, but I did not expect him to have very fair skin, sculptured nose and firm mouth as well as imposingly long lashes. It was clear that he inherited those golden eyes and unusual red hair from his father, but everything else must've come from the Lady of Montgomery; his mother. He was a very beautiful child. There was once when it crossed my mind that if he was ever a woman, he will be a very beautiful woman. As a man, though, I have no idea how he will look like once he grow into a fully-fledged adult…but the most important part was the fact that I, one day will marry him, this beautiful man…
I couldn’t very well say that I am very proud to be the princess of this nation, but there were times when my ego got in my way. If anybody ever acted more superior I am, the feeling of rivalry will spark up. He stood in front of me with his face looking down on me, and he did it in such a way that made me feel that I am a step lower than he was. A princess and a viscount. That ought to mean something, right? But in front of him I felt smaller. His existence was overwhelming and strong, I felt tiny standing in front of him. Those sharp eyes seemed to challenge me to something, it intimidated me endlessly. He possessed sharp mind and acute observation ability. He was very good at analyzing the situation, and he reacted accordingly. What surprised me the most during our first few hour of encounter was how he was so in control of himself.
Of course, like every girl, I was devastated when lord brother announced to me during one night that he had chosen someone to become my future husband; a man he saw fit to become my lifelong partner. When I discovered that that man was the Viscount of Montgomery, a myriad of feeling crashed upon me. Of course, as a child, I’ve yet to make my debut in the local society. I was seven, for heaven’s sake, and that day when I will be able to mingle and socialize won’t come until at least nine long years later, but I’ve been showed the viscount from afar. He was a young man eight years older than me, with unusual red hair and lean build. Sister-in-law told me that he was an accomplished hunter and rider, and he had read most difficult subject people don’t usually attempted at the young age of fifteen, most notably law. I caught the sight of him when he followed his father, the Earl of Montgomery to an internal meeting. Compared to other young lads I was introduced to, he appeared small and delicate. Definitely not the sort of man I imagined capable of being my dream prince riding on white horse. I always thought for a man to be able to protect his woman, he must be of tough build with firm hands and wide shoulders, tall and muscular build. But the viscount didn’t seem to have all those. His frames were small, and he stood not any higher than his towering father’s shoulder. I was pretty much disturbed by these thought, although later on I ceased to give it much attention after the viscount promised me that he wouldn’t force me to accept him as my rightfully wedded husband if I still didn’t have any feeling towards him in the future. What a considerate nature, I thought. With that one guaranty my weariness towards him started to disappear, and soon enough I began enjoying his company. Since the first meeting where we were first introduced, the Palace Agency had taken the liberty of arranging our meetings to be on every two weeks of time. Always he will greet me very sweetly, and he will bring with him some trinkets he managed to acquire during his visits to other state or city, or sometime, bringing along something he thought I’d be interested to see. It took few encounters, though, for me to realize how much my view toward him had changed very gradually, that towards the end, I realized it wasn’t at all impossible to for once, fall in love with him…
On my eighth birthday, he presented me with a hairpiece he had made himself, which was fashioned into the shape of a dragonfly, laden with sapphire and emeralds. The workmanship wasn’t as exquisite as those made by master jeweler, but the fact that he had put his effort and heart into making this one ornament touched me very deeply that the dragonfly hairpiece became my favorite. Also like a caterpillar finally transforming into its actual self, his features began to mature, as he slowly grew out of his beautiful boyish self. Such delighting changes. That was when I decided it might be the right thing to do, if I ever choose to let myself fall in love with him…
Author's note: Alright. First post for english short story section. Sorry if this doesn't make any sense, but, lol, thank you for reading. If there's something you don't understand and need to know, ask away. I'd like to have your kind reviewer's feedback to see if i get the message across, so you can say this is a trial run. Major thanks again ^_^.
AND. I'm no good when it comes to genre. Please tell me if i've put it under the wrong category.
Little about the story; it was teeny fragment from a bigger piece of writing, widely involving fantasy and action. A flash back to be accurate.
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1) belle, i love the details that u put onto this writing..marvelous! n u hav such a vast vocabulary. i envy u ;)
speaking of the writing, like u said, this is a part of a bigger pieces. From my point of view, this is a prologue or the first chapter of it? am i got it rite?
anyway, this is a great piece of art...i have so much fun reading it. this story doesn't end here, does it?
- 13 years ago
2) hello fai.
oh i'm so honored :D
its...well, to be exact it's the 1st chapter of the fourth installment? or...foreword or opening for the 4th volume. LoL i myself am not sure on how to put it as, so yeah, it was only a small piece of the bigger puzzle.
yes, that is not the ending. it's something like a 'teasing' to the rest of the storyline. thanks a bunch for your feedback and kind comment :)
- 13 years ago
3) huhuhu.....great...i like..:p
medieval love stories ek? usually the heroes will be tall, dark n handsome, but the way u describe samuel already makes me fall in love huhu....
- 13 years ago
4) hi. this piece is somewhat familiar with what films we've been summoned to see in the cinemas. however, it is interesting for a local talent like yourself embark on a fantasy like this one. Perhaps, you could make more impact if the story had a specific audience and written for the audience. Right now, in my humble opinion, it's a cross between a well-written chick-lit and children's fantasy.
- 13 years ago
5) i LOVE it. i adored it. this is really well written. i'll be waiting for more of ur work. and this could turn out as a pretty amazing novel. this is my cup of tea. job well done. take care :)
- 13 years ago
6) to my_ellye: not quite the usual medieval love story haha. they DO have technologies, well just the set up happens to be a mixture of old-time peerage system and a little bit of modernity. just i realize i din have the chance to explore the world beyond but those between the two characters. tho about samuel, he won't be dark and handsome, just tall maybe haha. thank you for reading it.
to m0rrie: perhaps. the influence is definitely there, i won't deny it. indeed it has it own audience, and is indeed targeted to them, thus the reason i did not post the rest of the stories. i am happy to hear your opinion though, because in some indiscreet way i am aiming the bigger picture of this piece to interest more people instead of the major group it is targeted. and children's fantasy? haha that's the first time. a thousand thanks to you for reading it :)
well, thank you for your anticipation. just i am not sure if i'll post the rest of the novel, in regard of few factors. Wish me luck so i could sort it out and make it available :D.
Tho in return, I've read some of your works. They were really cool, and I really enjoy them ^_^. I've never really get the chance to comment on em anyways, and i'll be sure do so next time. Till then, ja!
- 13 years ago