Marietta-hime No Konrei - Chapter 6
It's a Date
Now, as the pure Marietta grew excited thinking about kisses, the surrounding impure... no, pragmatic adults, were caught up in a more serious worry: the approaching wedding night. Because Marietta and Belvant would be married, they would, by definition of marriage, live the life of a married couple.
’’If pressed for my judgement on the matter, Your Majesty, I can only assume General Fargus has, up until now, seemed to hold an inclination towards voluptuous women.’’
The lower official presenting this information to Oltaire's king in a deadly serious voice was Adlan, a childhood friend of Belvant's. When the king first commanded him to share information following his recent visit to the brothels, he had been shocked, but soon consented with the thought 'oh, so that's the reason'.
’’Furthermore, it has been confirmed that a man matching his appearance was seen entering the bath equipped with a weapon of much greater size than normal.’’
’’Hm, so is it exactly as I thought?... In passing, though the general has no experience in a woman's care, is there any indication that he has enough knowledge to handle such a thing?’’
’’No, well, I have not considered things to that extent at all. Though, I dare say he is likely inexperienced in terms of romance simply considering how little interaction with women his occupation calls for.’’
Adlan, who had been with Belvant since their teenage years, felt he had a fair outline of Belvant's relation with the female population. He also held a good idea of the women that could accept his solidly built body. Marietta, at least, did not look like any of the women that had drawn Belvant's gaze.
’’According to our information, Princess Marietta is the apple of the King of Stellaus's eye, and his affectionate upbringing bordered on doting. Regarding her sheltered lifestyle, it seems we aren't even sure of what she has been instructed, to say nothing her feelings on men's physiques or...’’
’’Hrm, that is so, no? For a princess who has no relation with men outside her family, to abruptly receive a wedding like this and such is...’’
If, on the wedding night, the general arrived and expressionlessly set upon his new wife... It was the recipe for a picture of Hell. Fortunately, the king wasn't the sort to derive pleasure at the thought of a darling princess's cries and tears.
’’Adlan, have the General take a short holiday. This is a terrible yet delicate problem;while the surroundings may not agree with this decision, we must absolutely prevent a situation where the General damages the Princess. The General and Princess Marietta must slowly improve their intimacy. This way, if Our words are properly understood, the situation might yet work itself out. Otherwise, though this plan will of course be quite hard on the princess, a failure here could easily lead to an international dispute.’’
With the words of His Royal Highness, it was decided that Belvant and Marietta would have a date. And so, the ’’Make Belvant Intimate with the Princess for sure!’’ orders were passed down.
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’’Yes, 'prepare for an excursion on horseback' were the instructions, however...’’
Sierra replied with a depressed look.
A few days had passed since the dinner meeting, and although Marietta had received flowers from the general every day, there had been no chance to meet with the ever-busy Belvant. Of course, those flowers were a part of Adlan's diligent arrangements.
In order to have some respite from work (though really under Adlan's orders) and to meet the princess, General Belvant sent an invitation to Marietta that they get to know each other better, and she had seemed ready to hop around in joy when she received it. However, feeling that it would be improper to show such immodest behavior in front of others, she repressed her excitement.
Oh Princess, trembling and tottering like that. It's not unreasonable, seeing as she will be traveling out alone with that strict giant. I wish that I could follow behind them on horseback, but...
Sierra could only breathe a sigh for her worry.
After aimlessly wandering about the room in joy and tension for a while, Marietta lowered herself onto the sofa.
’’I wonder if I brought riding clothes?’’
’’Yes, I will prepare you presently.’’
From the open luggage, Sierra retrieved a set of flexible women's trousers, a comfortable, relaxed shirt blouse, and a soft riding jacket.
’’It's exciting, my first time going out in a while. With the wedding's sundry preparations, I haven't set foot outside for some time. I wonder if that was causing Sir Belvant worry.’’
For her to take it upon herself not to show her anxiety to the surroundings, my princess is too kind, too pitiful...
As she assisted her lady into her clothes, Sierra was shedding tears in heart.
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’’That's certainly... a horse, but...’’
Arriving near Belvant's stables as instructed, Marietta opened her eyes wide. The reins in the general's hand led to an animal that was most definitely a horse. However, it was much different from the horses Marietta knew;this enormous, burly creature was what one would call a warhorse.
’’Princess, this is my favorite horse. His name is Mistral.’’
’’My, he seems an exceedingly handsome horse, is he not.’’
’’He is quite brave, never faltering when plunging into enemy lines. He has saved my life many times over.’’
’’He is quite reliable then.’’
’’Today, we will ride him.’’
The wounds across Mistral's forehead were proof of how he faced enemies head on. The shameless and dangerous look in his eyes, resemblant of his owner Belvant's aura, made Marietta feel quite out of place when he glanced at her.
Marietta thought that it was a good thing she had not arrived in a dress. She had no doubt that she could not ride side-saddle on such a horse. If she wasn't frantically clinging to its back, she could only imagine herself tumbling off.
Belvant lightly stepped up and settled into Mistral's saddle, then extended a hand to Marietta. She tried to take his hand... but couldn't reach it. Mistral was simply too large.
Belvant knit his brows, then, dismounting, he placed his hands around Marietta's hips and lifted her off the ground.
As she was raised higher and higher, Marietta experienced an overpowering sense of vertigo. By the time she could think, she was already straddling the warhorse. In response to her suddenly staggering elevation, she clung to the saddle in front of her as Belvant quickly took his place astride the horse behind her with a soft rustle.
Belvant's right hand took hold of the reins as his left encircled Marietta's waist. With a soft kick to Mistral's side to signal their departure, the horse began trotting onwards.
Marietta swallowed the reflexive yelp that leapt up her throat. If she didn't grit her teeth, she likely would have bitten her tongue.
Dashing across meadows, their path at length led to a road through a forest.
As one might expect, riding a horse at such a speed requires a fair amount of physical strength. While keeping one's body upright for balance could be difficult enough, a rider must also shift their strength in their legs with the movements of the horse to soften the impact of each step. Even so, because of her inexperience with warhorses, it required all of Marietta's focus merely to keep from falling off the horse as it ran. Thankfully, because Belvant's arm was around her waist, and his carefully applied strength kept her stuck firm to his body, she had just enough support to feel like she was floating.
Through today's light garments, the simple trousers, blouse, and even her riding jacket, Marietta could feel every tense movement of his muscles and the heat of his body.
So close to Sir Belvant, I can feel his solid muscles, ah, what do I do, I'm so embarrassed, so beyond blessed, so probably getting a nosebleed
And then, the thick, brazen left arm encircling Marietta's waist brushed against her breast, modest though they were. For Marietta, who had naturally never been held so close to a man before, the tension, the bashfulness, and being pressed against her beloved Belvant, her palpitating heart threatened to burst with every quickened beat.
Sir Belvant, my own Sir Knight, you are simply too dashing...
Marietta's eyes grew misty as her emotions overtook her, leaving her oblivious to the beautiful scenery around her.