General Martín Nadal was a man in the prime of his life, a little bit over forty.
Also known as the Guardian Deity of the Navarre Kingdom, this man looked exactly like what you would expect from his title.
One-hundred and ninety centimetre tall and over hundred kilogram heavy.
He was one head shorter than the almost two metre tall General Puyol, but surpassed him in body width. Needless to say, that did not mean that he was fat.
His body was a stronghold of trained muscles to the point that it did not show his age of over forty years at all.
Despite his massive boar-like build, he moved around smoothly like a feline predator.
General Martín was sitting on a chair in one room of the building the Guzzle Family had allocated to him, and cracked a wry smile.
“Oh man, have got to give the Carpa Kingdom credit. Or should I say, the Guzzle Family, in this case? Either way, they are not to be underestimated.”
When the hero of their country uttered this almost fearfully, the young knight standing at attention behind him gave a nervous response.
“Could you explain what you mean by that, General Martín? The Carpa Kingdom always had more fighting power than our country.”
“Hm, you don’t understand? Look at this chair and desk. The chair doesn’t even bulge under my weight and is quite comfortable. The desk has the right height, too.
And they immediately brought me to this room, when I arrived, without having to wait.”
Being told that much, the young knight came to understand what the general was implying as well.
“…In other words, word got out somewhere that you will be attending this marriage ceremony as our representative?”
The general was one-hundred and ninety centimetre tall and weighted over a hundred kilogram, so a normal chair and desk would obviously not meet his needs. The chair would squeak alarmingly, if he sat down rashly, or it could turn into a catastrophe, when he sat down in a chair with armrests, because his firm bottom did not fit in.
But nothing of the sort happened with the chair he currently sat in. It was a simple wooden chair without decorations, but easily supported the hundred kilogram of the general and was a perfect fit for him in terms of height and width.
“Well, I’m not sure about an information leak. I think they just anticipated it. After all, my connection to General Puyol is rather well-known.”
Saying this, General Martín unconsciously put his right hand on his breastbone and scratched his old wound over the clothes.
General Puyol had given him that wound in the previous war.
Not really the type to dwell on things, General Martín still could not help but pay attention to General Puyol, though.
“Did he arrange this? Maybe not. This is the land of his bride. Not even General Puyol has that much to say here, yet.
The only other logical explanation is that the Guzzle Family arranged it. But I can’t see the Marquis being so considerate. Does he have a smart adviser…?”
The giant general lost himself deeply in thought, but was brought back to reality by the gaze of the young knight in the corner of the eye.
“Hmm, what’s up?”
The young knight had been staring at one corner of the table for a while now.
His gaze went to a small rectangle box. It contained cinnamon sugar hardened in stick form.
It was an unnecessary provision for General Martín, since he hated sweets, but the young knight had a weak spot for it despite his virile appearance, so he could not ignore it.
“Ah, no, it is nothing.”
The young knight deliberately averted his gaze from it with a cough, whereupon General Martín smiled wryly.
“You sure love sweets.”
“…Something wrong with that?”
Turning a bit red in the face from shame, the young knight puckered his lips.
“Not per se. But I do hate them.”
“I do like them.”
“Yes and that’s the problem. Why do you think these are left here, when I hate them, but you like them?”
For a moment, the young knight was at a loss for words, when the general pointed it out.
Seeing the knight turn pale in the face, General Martín smiled sympathetic and called the things as they were.
“That’s right. Not many men like sweet things like that. I can‘t be dead certain, but I say it’s quite likely these are for you, Cristiano Pinto.”
The hero of the previous war called the young knight by his name.
“It goes without saying for a person with a standing like you, General, but why would they be aware of an obscure guy like myself?”
“Oh, come on, Cris. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Any person with a spark of intelligence would obviously keep the name Cristiano Pinto in mind.”
General Martín was by no means lying, when he said that.
Not even twenty years old yet, Cristiano was still young, but he had already risen to the envious position of a Knight Captain affiliated to the general. One reason for that was his ancestry: He was the oldest son of the famous Pinto Family, which had inherited the royal blood quite strongly. But the bigger reason was his own martial skills.
The general was not so shallow as to pick him based on the right pedigree alone. To begin with, General Martín had worked his way up from nothing, so he valued actions over words and thought little of lineage.
With these views, General Martín had pinned his hopes on Cristiano Pinto as the “next protector of the country”.
Nevertheless, it was a fact that it needed a really perceptive person to take notice of him from a different country at this point of time.
“A large territory does not make a major power, neither does a large population. Maintaining that large territory and large population by employing the right personnel is what makes a nation a major power.
Never forget that.”
“Sir, yes, Sir.”
The general and his protégée from the Navarre Kingdom called the caution against major powers, the Carpa Kingdom in particular, to mind once again.
* * *
Around the same time, the people from the Guzzle Family were extremely busy with preparing for the marriage ceremony and greeting the arriving guests in the main building.
That was nothing out of the ordinary by itself. The marriage between influential nobles was such a big event after all.
“Lady Lucinda, the adjustments to your wedding dress have been finished. Please try it on now.”
“I understand. Wait for me in the room next door. I will come over as soon as I am done here.”
“Lady Lucinda, Master Zenjirou and his group have had dinner and Miss Nilda reported that there were no problems.”
“Good. Tell Nilda to drop by my room before going to bed. I want to hear the report from herself, just to be sure.”
“Lady Lucinda, we have ushered the delegation from the Navarre Kingdom to their rooms. They have not expressed any displeasure for now.”
“Glad to hear that. Of course we cannot privilege a certain group, but it would become an international affair, if something were to happen with them, so please be extra careful, when dealing with them.”
The only abnormality here was the fact that Lucinda Guzzle, the bride-to-be herself, was managing the versatile planning in its entirety.
She had always been in charge of the territory, because the Marquis was generally working in the capital, but her duties did not even change on this special occasion.
Lucinda Guzzle was still unmarried at twenty-six, even though the etiquette in the Carpa Kingdom considered it to be already too late, when you had not married before twenty. Normally that would mean that she was unattractive or quick-tempered, but in actual fact, that was not the case with her.
Her facial features were admittedly plain, because of an inconspicuous small nose and mouth, but did not prevent her to be called a “spruce beauty” by some and there were no problems with her personality, either, seeing as the servants of the March trusted in her.
If anything, her zeal for running the business of the March despite being a woman, was somewhat contradicting the common sense of the Carpa Kingdom, but Lucinda always emphasised that she was just “filling in for her father until her little brother was old enough to take over”.
She was not the kind of unorthodox woman, who cleverly wielded the highest authority in the country despite being a woman such as Queen Aura or unashamedly risked her life on sea travel like Princess Freya.
To begin with, she only missed her timing to get married, because her nubile years happened to overlap with the previous war. In place of her father, who was out on the battlefield, Lucinda had to take care of the territory and her little brother, leaving her no time to think about marriage. These reasons had been completely beyond her control, so she was different from the usual “marriage failures”.
Once she had listened to all the reports from the servants, Lucinda turned to the table and looked through the documents with a cool-headedness that made you question whether she really was a noble daughter on the brink of marriage.
“As expected, the Navarre Kingdom sent General Martín as their representative. I did not foresee that Knight Captain Cris would accompany him, though.
I hope the sugar snacks were prepared in time?”
“Yes, we put them in the room before letting them in.”
“Well done. Thanks.”
Everything had been done on behalf of her. The right furniture was prepared for General Martín, because Lucinda had anticipated him as the messenger from the Navarre Kingdom, and the sugar snacks were served at such short notice, because she had acquired the information that Knight Captain Cris liked sweets.
As a proxy for her father working in the capital, but de facto leader of the March, Lucinda had paid special attention to the neighbouring Navarre Kingdom across the mountain and gathered all kind of information.
For the Carpa Kingdom as a whole, the Navarre Kingdom was nothing but a small middle power not worth their attention, but the neighbouring country posed enough of a threat to the independent March of Guzzle.
Hence Lucinda was as cautious about the Navarre Kingdom as General Martín was about the Carpa Kingdom.
“I have heard that General Martín is a lot more perceptive than his militant appearance lets on. He must have noticed the meaning behind the special furniture and snacks.
I just hope the feint will work.”
Lucinda mumbled and put the dragon bone quill in her right hand back into its stand.
In fact, General Martín had figured out that the matching furniture for him and the favourite snack for Knight Captain Cris had been a message from Lucinda.
A message that read: “I know all this about your activities.”
Lucinda was going to get married, which meant that the March of Guzzle would lose her as its representative.
Of course she had immediately started with the preparations for her succession as soon as her marriage was set in stone.
Her little brother Xavier, the next head of the family, and the mayordomo rear vassal were taught the necessary work and were introduced to as many spokesmen of their subjects as possible, passing on the information network she had build up till today.
But these were nothing but rough-and-ready measures in the end. Nothing could be done about it, though, since her marriage came on an extremely short notice, even by higher nobility’s standards.
Once Lucinda was gone, the March would more or less be thrown into turmoil, so she had wanted to send a warning to the neighbouring country not to take advantage of that turmoil.
“At any rate, I really come to appreciate the consideration from Master Zenjirou in this situation. I have to properly express my gratitude later on.”
The consideration was referring to his following words: “I am looking forward to seeing the newlywed couple on the day of the marriage ceremony.”
In other words, he had declared that they did not need to entertain him until the day of the marriage ceremony. Thanks to that, the Guzzle Family could give Royalty, originally the most high-maintenance guest, a short shrift by just assigning a bare minimum of servants to the annex building.
If not for his consideration, Zenjirou would have come to greet the Marquis in advance and congratulated the bride as soon as possible as Royalty. In that case, the Guzzle Family would have been overwhelmed with obligations by now.
Lucinda felt a shiver ran down her spine in light of that scary imagination. In the meantime, the door was opened and closed with a clatter.
“Excuse me, Sister. I have just returned from doing my rounds in the city.”
These words were uttered by the next head of the Guzzle Family: Xavier Guzzle.
Just like he had claimed, he had been patrolling the city and was still wearing his leather armour and longsword at this late hour.
“Well done, Xavier. Has the city been quiet?”
Lucinda thanked her little brother for his efforts with a warm smile and signalized the servant next to her to pour him some cold tea.
The siblings then sat down across each other on the couches.
“Yes, it has. Nothing worth mentioning has taken place. The people are all celebrating your wedding from the bottom of their hearts.”
Sitting on the couch, Xavier reported proudly while throwing out his chest.
He had lost his mother had at an early age, so Lucinda was more like a mother, who raised him, than an older sister to him.
No one was more happy about her marriage, delayed by unfortunate circumstances, than him.
Lucinda giggled embarrassed to herself, when she saw the joy in the eyes of her little brother as though it was his own wedding.
“Is that so. I am glad to hear that. So no one is picking any fights, because they are drunk?”
Maybe in order to hide her embarrassment, she quickly talked business.
Xavier looked a bit troubled and averted his eyes, when she pointed that out.
“Actually, a lot of that is happening. Should I have banned the alcohol instead?”
“No. It would be tasteless to celebrate the marriage without alcohol. Just continue to take those into custody, who cause a ruckus.
But please keep in mind to not let anyone without permission near the residence until the ceremony is over. We cannot risk a strife with another noble family.”
“Yes, I understand, Sister.”
The older sister gave instructions and the little brother accepted them as a matter of course. Considering that he was going to be the next family head, that hierarchy was not quite favourable.
“…I was anxious about leaving home after my sudden marriage, but it actually might be better that way. If I were to stay here any longer, I think I would cause more problems than I can solve.”
“Hmm? Did you say something?”
“No, just talking to myself.”
Lucinda brushed it off like that while heaving a sigh at heart.
If she were to remain in the March while Xavier succeeded the position of the family head, it would undoubtedly disrupt the balance of power.
At the very least, the rear vassals and influential citizens would rather trust Lucinda than Xavier in domestic affairs, and above all else, Xavier himself was too fixated on his elder sister.
In the worst case, the March might even split into two opposing camps, when she remained here unmarried and could not get along with any future sister-in-law Xavier might take in.
So Lucinda was of the opinion that her marriage was already worth it, even if avoiding that future was the only good thing that came out of it.
While she was on these train of thoughts, she might as well give her little brother a final lecture.
“Xavier, I will marry General Puyol in a few days and leave the March afterwards.”
“Of course. Congratulations on getting married, Sister!”
Lucinda gave her teary-eyes little brother a wry look.
“Thanks, dear. Anyway, this will be the last time I can give you an heartfelt piece of advice with only your wellbeing in mind, so please listen well.”
After that prelude, she wiped her usual warm smile off her face and showed a stern expression.
Xavier instinctively sat up straight and rested his clenched fists on his lap. A saying claims that the child is the father of man and in accordance with that, Xavier fundamentally could not go against his elder sister, who had raised him in place of a mother.
“Once I am the wife of General Puyol, you may not blindly trust me like before anymore.”
While the little brother was at a loss for words, the older sister overwhelmed him with further explanations.
“As soon as I marry him, I will have left the Guzzle Family and be a part of the Guillén Family. From then on, my first priority will be the Guillén Family. The Guzzle Family only comes in second.
I will belong to a different family and you do not blindly trust someone like that.”
Xavier was baffled, but Lucinda was only stating a fact.
Nobility valued their house, so it was only natural that they took the view that you had to put the family you married into above all and adopted their customs.
Needless to say, that opinion was more of an idealism, if anything, and hardly anyone put it into practice to such an extent.
In fact, the majority of people still considered themselves a member of their parental home at heart, even if they married into a new family.
The best example for that would be the little sister of General Puyol: Fatima Guillén. She really loved her older brother and valuated him above all things, so it was hard to imagine that she would suddenly prioritize her new family over him, when she got married at some point.
However, that general rule did not apply to the woman called Lucinda Guzzle.
She had naturally accepted that she, as a noble daughter, would devote her everything to her new family henceforth, now that she had been asked for her hand in marriage. The aforementioned idealism was embodied by her to an inhumane level.
“Are you saying you will become my political opponent from now on, Sister?”
Her little brother turned pale in the face, whereupon Lucinda realized that her explanation had been a bit lacking.
She deliberately softened her expression and cleared up the doubt of her brother with her usual kind voice.
“Not at all. I did not mean it in such a radical way. To begin with, our two families were never on such bad terms to call us enemies and my marriage will actually stabilize our relationship even further.
In reality, I doubt that I will ever be able to bring harm to the Guzzle Family or you, Xavier.”
“I- I know, right!”
Crying in one moment, smiling in the next. Her little brother changed expressions at his own convenience, whereas the older sister smiled back at him troubled.
“Marriage is a kind of contract for nobility. From now on, I have to bear the profit for the Guillén Family in mind, but as long as it does not harm the Guillén Family, I will obviously be allowed to bear a profit for the Guzzle Family in mind as well.”
Forget all about your parental home once you marry.
That would be way too disadvantageous for the family providing the bride. Hence the bride was allowed to draw a profit for her parental home as long as it did not affect her new family adversely.
Xavier listened to her explanation with a meek look.
“Considering the current standings of the Guillén and Guzzle Family in the Carpa Kingdom, I dare to say that it will be quite unlikely that the Guillén Family will cause harm to the Guzzle Family.
But the future is not set in stone. If one day, the interests of both families were to completely contrast each other, then I will bring harm to the Guzzle Family in order to make a profit for the Guillén Family.
I just want you to bear that possibility in mind, okay?”
“…Okay, I understand, Sister.”
Looking meek, the little brother answered with a nod to the warning of his older sister before she was going to marry into a different family.
* * *
A few days later.
The day of the ceremony arrived without any incidents.
They were holding the marriage ceremony in the banquet hall in the main building of the Guzzle residence.
It was not as pompous as the “Room of the Dragon King”, where Zenjirou and Aura had held their wedding, but it was almost as big.
The large hall was filled with numerous round tables and the invited nobles sat on chairs in a circle around them.
Needless to say, Zenjirou was one of them. With him at the same table sat his partner Princess Freya and her trusted retainer Skathi as well as his bodyguard, the Knight Natalio.
Ines stood at attention behind him in her usual maid clothes.
A marriage ceremony in the Carpa Kingdom was not all that starchy, so the guests casually enjoyed some chitchat with some drinks until the bridal couple made their entrance.
“So this is a marriage ceremony on the South Continent. I see that it is not all that different from ours.”
Lowering the silver goblet with fruit juice from her mouth, Princess Freya started talking to Zenjirou next to her with a lovely smile playing on her lips.
“Oh, is that so. I’m not all that familiar with the culture on the South Continent, either, but I’ve heard that they used to sit on a soft carpet during the ceremony in the past.
It might be the influence of the North Continent that all the guests are sitting on chairs at tables now.”
“That is quite plausible. I would like to thank my ancestors for it then.”
Zenjirou realized what she was implying, so he casually asked with a playful tone.
“Oh my, you are uncomfortable with sitting on a carpet?”
“Yes, I am afraid so.”
Princess Freya looked down a bit embarrassed, when she was exposed.
Although the culture of sitting down on a carpet was a thing of the past on the South Continent, it had not entirely vanished yet. Some traditional events still required you to sit cross-legged on top of a carpet and some tradition-conscious noble houses were refraining from setting up chairs and tables in the dining room to this day, setting and eating the dishes from atop the carpet instead.
Due to that, the nobility in the Carpa Kingdom was more or less used to sitting on a carpet, but Princess Freya was nobility hailing from the North Continent, so she could not come to like that custom.
On the other hand, Zenjirou was pretty much okay with the custom, too. Modern Japan was certainly seeing more and more appearances of chairs and tables, but there were still plenty occasions to sit cross-legged on the ground like in a room with Tatami mats.
Thanks to that, Zenjirou did not suffer as much during traditional events without chairs and tables.
(Won’t she have more troubles like that, when she actually becomes my concubine?)
Zenjirou was worried like that, but the only way to find out would be to directly ask her.
But if he were to tell her that he was worried about her life as a concubine, he would practically admit to accepting her as a concubine.
At the present time, everything was pointing to Princess Freya becoming his concubine. It was probably already impossible for him to avert that development by his own effort, but even then, there was no reason for him to speed up that process, either.
While Zenjirou pondered about that, the stroke of a large gong rang out and echoed through the hall.
“Looks like it is time.”
The gong attracted the attention from all the chit-chatting guests and today’s centrepiece, the bridal couple made their appearance.
The first to show up was the groom, Puyol Guillén.
Wearing his full dress uniform, the giant general imposingly strode over the red carpet while the decorative bronze sword hung from his waist.
It was typically of him to wear the military uniform instead of the traditional attire of the Carpa Kingdom at his wedding ceremony. As a matter of fact, an uniform suited him the best anyway.
Close to two metre tall and a hundred kilogram heavy, the steeled soldier wore the extravagant military uniform decorated with gold threads like a second skin. He personified the common image of a “General of the Army” par for par.
After him followed a woman in her late twenties wearing a white long dress.
Zenjirou was seeing her for the first time, but there was no question about it that she was the bride, Lucinda Guzzle.
According to the proper etiquette, she followed a step behind by the side of her preceding groom.
Aura and Zenjirou had walked alongside one another, when they had gotten married as the Queen and Prince Consort, but that had been an extremely rare exception to the exception.
Normally, the bride followed diagonally behind the groom at a marriage ceremony in the Carpa Kingdom.
The groom was attracting the most attention, but Zenjirou was looking at the bride, since he was seeing her for the first time.
(So she is Lucinda. Not the prettiest out there, but still beautiful.)
She looked smaller, because she was trailing behind the almost two metre tall General Puyol, but she actually had an average height and build.
Her black hair was full and glamorous, her black eyes beamed with kindness and her skin had the common brown tinge of a person from the Carpa Kingdom. Even clad in the snow-white wedding dress, she still looked somewhat plain, but her features were well-defined enough to get an immediate positive answer, when asking someone whether she was a beauty or not.
In the meantime, the bridal couple advanced on the red carpet and went up to the podium.
There an elder priest was awaiting them. He was going to perform the marriage ceremony.
Since the main religion on the South Continent, the faith in spirits, was not really institutionalized, the priest were only responsible for a hand of ceremonial occasions such as coming-of-age, marriage or burial.
The elderly priest faced the bridal couple standing in front of him and opened his mouth covered by a white beard.
“Under the protection of the Spirits, this man and woman will enter into the holy bond of marriage today. May the Spirits smile to their future.
From time immemorial, the brave man has always protected the frail woman behind him, whereas the compassionate woman has always offered the foolish man consolation in her arms. The Spirits are sure to respond to their mutual empathy.”
Because the Spirit Faith on the South Continent had neither been systemized, nor institutionalized, the ritual words at these occasions were generally determined by the priest on duty.
Zenjirou curiously listened to the self-penned speech of the priest, but he suddenly felt uncomfortable, so he looked around from the corner of his eye while keeping his gaze focussed on the bridal couple.
(Hmm? I sense a gaze on me? From whom?)
He could not see him all that clearly, because he was just looking out of the corner of his eye, but he did see a sturdy silhouette of a soldier.
(The foreign guests should be seated over there… So that’s General Martín from the Navarre Kingdom?)
In reality, Zenjirou was not looking at General Martín, but at Knight Captain Cris sitting next to him, but he could not discern it that well, because he was still looking ahead.
Having said this, Knight Captain Cris was slender and only one hundred and eighty centimetre tall, whereas General Martín was practically a giant with his almost two metre height and hundred kilogram weight.
Their auras were too different to begin with.
Zenjirou was puzzled as to why he was the target of his attention instead of the bridal couple in the middle of the ceremony, but it was actually not all that strange.
He was the Prince Consort of the major power known as the Carpa Kingdom. In short, a genuine Royalty with a bloodline magic.
So a foreign authority was obviously going to pay him more attention than the bridal couple.
In the meantime, the ceremony was moving along.
On the South Continent, the marriage ceremonies followed all kind of procedures like the speech from the priest or the marriage vows from the couple, but this ceremony was a bit different at the end.
“The couple will now exchange the weddings rings.”
The unfamiliar ritual of exchanging wedding rings prompted the guests to murmur agitated and Zenjirou to widen his eyes in surprise.
In that very moment, General Puyol faced Zenjirou and gave him an appreciative look while smirking for a second.
Zenjirou understood with that.
(Oh, right. Aura did tell me that my marriage rings had started the custom of exchanging wedding rings in this country, too.
So General Puyol also picked up on it, eh.)
The earlier look must have expressed his gratitude to Zenjirou for introducing them the custom of exchanging wedding rings.
Under the watchful eyes of the guests, the bridal couple took the pair rings from the priest and put them on the finger of their partner.
Zenjirou did not go as far as telling them that the wedding ring belonged to the ring finger of the left hand. It just happened naturally, since that finger provided the least inconveniences for wearing a ring at all times.
The same reason probably applied to its simple gold design without any gems.
As a soldier, General Puyol would by no means profit from wearing a cumbersome jewellery on his finger. The plain ring without any gem had probably been a compromise on his part.
It might be a bit too plain for a woman, though. Even in this world, most of the women had a thing for beautiful large gems.
A thought suddenly crossed Zenjirou’s mind.
(Maybe I should tell them about ‘engagement rings’, too? Women are sure to love a brilliant ring, but the men will have to bear the costs. I guess the wedding rings are enough for now.)
Apparently Lucinda was different from the majority of women as she narrowed her eyes happily, when General Puyol put the unadorned golden ring on her hand.
“Thank you, My Husband.”
For some reason, the soft voice of the bride resonated through the whole hall.
* * *
In the Carpa Kingdom, the marriage ceremony of higher nobility or wealthy people was followed by a ritual called the “Rite of Unveiling”.
As its name implied, the rite dealt with the bridal couple showing themselves in front of those, who could not attend the ceremony itself, and announcing their marriage. The invited guests of the ceremony were asked to abstain from attending the “Rite of Unveiling”.
On the plaza in front of the residence of the feudal lord, the newlyweds put themselves on display for the citizens of the March in their wedding attire. In the meantime, the guests of the ceremony were regaled with food and drinks in a different room.
The host of that gathering was the family of the bride, namely the Guzzle Family, but the people from the Guillén Family were also functioning as co-organizers.
“Master Zenjirou, I cannot thank you enough for going out of your way to attend the marriage of my daughter today.”
Marquis Guzzle himself approached Zenjirou first of all with these words.
He was as tall as Zenjirou, but a multiple of him widthwise. His neck was fatter than his face wide, his shoulders were sloping from excess muscle mass and his arms were round like a log. He should be over forty by now, but even an amateur like Zenjirou could tell that his body was still that of an active soldier.
A bit overwhelmed at heart, Zenjirou showed nothing of the sort on the outside and responded with a smile.
“No need to thank me, Marquis. The Guzzle Family as well as the Guillén Family are important pillars of our country. It goes without saying that I would attend the union of your families as a representative for Queen Aura.”
Zenjirou emphasized the fact that he was only a representative for Queen Aura, whereat Marquis Guzzle answered with an honest smile, which was quite rare coming from a high-ranking nobility.
“You honour me with your words. Of course I am grateful to Sir Puyol for taking my daughter after she missed out on marriage for too long due to my shortcomings, but I am even more grateful to Her Majesty Aura for allowing the normally unthinkable marriage between the Guillén and Guzzle Family. I, Miguel Guzzle, shall never forget this favour!”
“You have earned this trust by devoting your everything to the country so far.
Her Majesty sincerely hopes that you will not cease your endeavours.”
“Of course. I would not dream of doing so.”
Zenjirou reminded him that he admittedly had gotten a connection to the heartland now, but should not use this occasion to start meddling with the power struggle there, so the elderly marquis lowered his head deeply.
As a matter of fact, Queen Aura was really trusting Marquis Guzzle.
Of course the Guzzle Family was no different from the other feudal lords, so they put their own territory first and the kingdom second, but they were also known for their fidelity and loyalty.
Even in the previous war, the army of the marquis had obediently followed the orders of the country, which had been a great help.
Setting Marquis Ralah, pretty much a relative to Aura, aside, it would be no exaggeration to say that she trusted Marquis Guzzle the most of all nobility.
“Anyway, today is a day to be celebrated, so let this be enough of formalities. Let me introduce you:
This is Princess Freya Uppsala, the crown princess of the Uppsala Kingdom. She is accompanying me as my partner, because Her Majesty Aura could not leave the Capital.
Princess Freya, this is Marquis Guzzle. He is usually working in the Capital, so maybe you have seen him before?”
Upon these words, the princess from the North Continent took one step forward as she had politely waited behind Zenjirou so far.
“My name is Freya Uppsala. Congratulations on your daughter Lucinda getting married!”
She grasped the hem of her simple blue skirt and did a curtsey.
The etiquette in the Uppsala Kingdom was slightly different from the one in the Carpa Kingdom, but her gesture was so gracious that it would be rude to point it out now.
“Thank you very much, Princess Freya. As you can see, we live in the middle of nowhere, but please make yourself at home.”
Marquis Guzzle responded politely, but much to his regret, Zenjirou was unable to tell whether his respect was attributed to her current title as a “princess from the North Continent” or her future title as a “concubine of the Prince Consort of the Carpa Kingdom”.
“I appreciate the hospitality, Marquis Guzzle. We are being cared for quite courteously in the annex building. Am I right, Your Majesty Zenjirou?”
“Yes, that is right.”
She probably had asked for his opinion with a smile on purpose, because she wanted to spell out for the others that she was staying under the same roof as him.
“Heh, I am glad to hear that. You have done well, Nilda.”
Whether he was aware of her intentions or not, Marquis Guzzle showed a bright smile and called out to his beloved daughter standing behind him.
“Yes, Father. Thank you, Princess Freya.”
The little girl lowered her head with her big eyes shining. She did look a bit tense from nervousness, but more than that, she gave off an affectionate aura like a tamed little animal.
When he was looking back at his daughter, Marquis Guzzle was showing a soft expression as well. Or at the very least, Zenjirou could not catch any sight of some intrigue or ulterior motive in it.
(Even at the ceremony, he openly let Nilda sit with the rest of the family. That means he really isn’t trying to hide her? It’s getting more and more puzzling.)
The girl, who was apparently unknown to Royalty, was being treated as a normal daughter at an official event in the March. And not only that, she was even assigned the role to look after Royalty.
Zenjirou somehow started to get the feeling that the whole thing was just a plain old misunderstanding.
To begin with, the girl called Nilda and the man called Marquis Guzzle were way too sincere to actually consider this as some kind of scheme.
“By the way, I have heard that Miss Nilda has a different mother than Sir Xavier and Lady Lucinda?”
Just in case, Zenjirou probed them like this, whereat the elderly feudal lord scratched his greying head and honestly affirmed it, even if a bit reluctant.
“Yes, that is correct. Xavier and Lucinda as well as my other two sons, who died in the previous war, are the children of my legal wife.
On the other hand, Nilda is the product of my juvenility… Well, I was not at an age to call it that anymore, though. Anyway, she is the child I made with a female subject of mine.”
Saying so, Marquis Guzzle patted the head of his daughter standing next to him.
Having her head patted, the little girl narrowed her eyes happily like a puppy.
A person from Modern Japan would surely get offended, when its own birth was called a “product of juvenility”, even if coming from a parent, but Nilda showed no sign of concern.
Maybe it meant that the parentage was just too important in this world? Or maybe father and daughter were getting along so well that she would not get disheartened just from that kind of crude phrasing.
Zenjirou would like to say it was the latter, seeing her display of affection.
“As Princess Freya said before, Miss Nilda is taking good care of us. She is always so bright and cheerful. I often catch myself copying her. So far, I had a great time here, because of that. So let me express my gratitude once more: Thank you, Miss Nilda.”
“Oh no, your words are wasted on me, Master Zenjirou.”
At any rate, Zenjirou concluded that he should not dig any deeper into the issue without instructions from Aura, so he dropped the subject at a suitable point.
Even if Zenjirou and Princess Freya were the most important guests, Marquis Guzzle could not afford to spend all his time on a single group as the father of the bride.
After the marquis left, Zenjirou was unsurprisingly flocked by the other guests to exchange pleasantries.
The etiquette of the Carpa Kingdom dictated that it was bad manners for one of lower status to call out to someone of higher status, but marriage or burial ceremonies were an exception to that rule.
Apparently, all the guests were considered to be of equal rank in the sense that they all had the same motive, either congratulating the bridal couple at a marriage ceremony or mourning the deceased at a burial ceremony.
Due to that, Zenjirou had no time to enjoy the actual banquet and was busy dealing with nobility one after another.
“It is nice to make your acquaintance, Master Zenjirou. Her Majesty Aura was so generously to bestow me with the title of a viscount. My name is Primo Guillén. The groom Puyol happens to be my nephew.”
“Master Zenjirou, thank you very much for going out of your way to attend the marriage ceremony of my brother today.”
With these words, a man in his early fifties and a tall girl lowered their heads at the same time.
Just like he had introduced himself, the man was the uncle of General Puyol: Primo Guillén; The little girl was the little sister of General Puyol: Fatima Guillén.
“Oh, thank you for the polite introduction, Sir Primo. I am Zenjirou, the husband of Her Majesty Aura. And I am glad to see you are doing well, Miss Fatima.”
Primo Guillén was a tall man with the blood of the Guillén Family running through his veins.
He definitely was not as tall as the two metre tall Puyol, but there was still an obvious gap between him and Fatima, so he must be at least one hundred and eighty-five centimetre tall.
Nevertheless, there was no overwhelming aura coming from him like General Puyol did, when he was just standing there.
Although this might sound a bit rude, his height was his only redeeming feature.
In fact, Fatima was drawing far more attention in her moss-green dress as she stood self-confidently next to him.
“Yes, Master Zenjiou. As his little sister, it gives me a piece of mind that my brother has tied the knot.”
But if you looked carefully, you could tell that her smile as she said that was somewhat forced.
(Well, she practically got a brother complex, so it’s no wonder she can’t sincerely be happy about his marriage.)
And even more so, when his bride was the twenty-six years old Lucinda. Since the South Continent labelled women older than twenty as a lost case for marriage, she was practically the epitome of an old woman well past her prime.
Without exaggerating it, Fatima firmly believed her brother to be the “best man on the South Continent”, so it was no surprise that she was dissatisfied with such a late bloomer being his brother’s legal wife.
Despite that, she was making an effort to not let it show in her attitude and words, because she realized how important the marriage with Lucinda and thereby the connection to the Guzzle Family was.
Having said this, Fatima would never even think of opposing her older brother to begin with, no matter how much displeasure she harboured about his decision.
“Well then, Master Zenjirou, if you will excuse me.”
“It was a pleasure to have met you, Master Zenjirou.”
When Primo Guillén and Fatima Guillén left, the next guest took their place.
“It has been a long time, Master Zenjirou. I am glad we worked out that incident in Valentia together.”
A man wearing the traditional attire of the Carpa Kingdom like a second skin, greeted Zenjirou with an affable smile.
“Oh, Sir Raffaelo. You definitely played a big role in it.”
Zenjirou responded to the greeting of the successor to the Márguez Family, Raffaelo Márguez, with a smile as well.
At the same time, he looked at the “fiancée of Raffaelo”, who was standing behind him at an angle.
Keen as he was, Raffaelo notice the gaze and showed a broad grin.
“Allow me to introduce her, Master Zenjirou. She is my betrothed: Keyshia from the Massana Family.”
With these words, he put his arm around her waist and ushered her in front of Zenjirou.
Zenjirou was a bit captivated by the woman brought before his eyes.
Her glamorous long black hair was beautifully pinned up and her red dress revealed her bare shoulders and neck. Everyone knew what a faithful husband he was, himself included, but even then, Zenjirou could not help but be smitten by her beauty and charm.
She was an eye-catching extraordinary beauty with well-proportioned long arms and legs, smiling with conviction and confidence.
Keyshia had already been a sight for sore eyes in her maid clothes, but Zenjirou was in raptures about her enchanting dress.
“It is my first time seeing you wear anything else than maid clothes, Keyshia, but I must say, you are truly beautiful. Your charm was already standing out in the Inner Palace, but seeing you all dressed up like this makes me speechless.”
Praised by the man, who had been her master not long ago, the bewitching woman widened her eyes affected and puckered her lips a bit petulant.
“Oh my, thank you very much, Master Zenjirou. But what a surprise. I never thought I would see the day, where you compliment my appearance, because I thought for sure that you only have eyes for Her Majesty Aura.”
“I am human, too. When I see something beautiful, I will appreciate it.”
Zenjirou gave the well acquainted former maid of the Inner Palace a wry smile with a shrug of his shoulders.
That reaction of his prompted the nearby nobility from the Carpa Kingdom, who had been listening in so far, to be taken aback.
It happened very seldom that Zenjirou talked that casually with a woman. He was always “playing it safe” at official night banquets.
Zenjirou himself was no aware of it, but his reaction increased the value of being a “waiting maid of the Inner Palace”.
The waiting maids of the Inner Palace proved to be a connection to the Prince Consort.
While the nearby nobility renewed their understanding like that, Raffaelo Márguez already had a former waiting maid as his betrothed and said with a smooth smile.
“Well then, Master Zenjirou, we will excuse ourselves for today.”
“Okay. Take good care of Keyshia, Sir Raffaelo.”
He could have kept the conversation going for as long as he wanted by using his fiancée, but Raffaelo parted from Zenjirou with these words.
If anything, his time with Zenjirou was quite short, compared to other nobility.
In the past, Raffaelo had suggested his father Manuel Márguez to keep their distance from the “monstrous” Zenjirou for now, and he was faithfully abiding by his own words.
Be it the bride’s Guzzle Family, the groom’s Guillén Family or the Márguez Family, they were all important enough that Royalty could not afford to neglect making allowances for them, but since they were nobility of the same country, Zenjirou somewhat knew how to deal with them and even if he were to make a mistake, things could be smoothed over later on.
But right now, he was facing the guests of another country on whom these advantages did not work.
Namely: The representative of the Navarre Kingdom, General Martín and his attendant Knight Cristiano Pinto.
When the obviously trained foreigners approached Zenjirou and Princess Freya, their bodyguards Knight Natalio and Skathi put themselves on the alert behind them. Only waiting maid Ines kept cool and collected.
“Nice to make your acquaintance, Your Majesty Zenjirou.
My name is Martín Nadal, a general in the army of the Navarre Kingdom. I am extremely grateful to be given the chance to meet you today.
And this is Cristiano, a young knight in our army.”
“I am Knight Captain Cristiano, the eldest son of Marquis Pinto. It is an honour to meet you, Your Majesty Zenjirou.”
The general in his forties and the young knight probably still in his teens, bowed their heads to Zenjirou in unison.
By the way, General Martín and Knight Captain Cris were an exception in the sense that they were attending the ceremony without a female partner.
If possible, a marriage ceremony was usually attended with a partner, but there was no iron law that forbid to attend it alone.
They practically had passed over the mountain on a footslog, so no women had been capable of accompanying them.
Under such circumstances, a man was not really frowned upon for attending alone.
“Much obliged, General Martín. I am Zenjirou, the husband of Her Majesty Aura, the Queen of the Carpa Kingdom. Your reputation precedes you as even I have heard of it.
And this is Princess Freya Uppsala, the crown princess of the Uppsala Kingdom on the North Continent.”
“My name is Freya. I am from the North Continent, so I am afraid that I have not heard of your achievements, but it is nevertheless an honour to make your acquaintance, General.”
Following the introduction from Zenjirou, Princess Freya also introduced herself and lowered her head a bit.
Zenjirou withdrew his left hand he had put around Princess Freya’s waist, and faced the two man standing in front of him.
(So he’s General Martín, the Hero of the Navarre Kingdom. A giant of a man. And his presence is even bigger.)
Wearing a smile, Zenjirou managed to not let his anxiety show on his face, but at heart, he instinctively was afraid of the man standing in front of him.
The seasoned warrior in front of him was close to two metre tall and almost twice as heavy as him, so it already deserved praise that Zenjirou faced him without backing off.
As Royalty, Zenjirou was technically wearing a decorative sword at his waist, whereas the foreign general was unarmed, but there was no way that such a thing would compensate for the difference in their strengths.
“Greetings to you, Princess Freya. It is an honour to make your acquaintance.”
“Pleased to meet you, Princess Freya.”
General Martín and Knight Captain Cris returned the greeting to Princess Freya.
“But I must say, I am surprised to see you here today, General Martín. I assume your relation to General Puyol is the reason that a famous general attends a marriage ceremony of a neighbouring country?”
In reality, Zenjirou had not even heard of his name before, but he did not mention that, of course.
Nevertheless, he did have a point there.
It was not all that strange that they would send a messenger to the marriage ceremony of a feudal lord family from a neighbouring country, but it was an exception for sure that an important general was chosen for that role.
For anyone, who knew that General Puyol and General Martín had a feud with each other from the previous war, it was only natural to assume that General Martín came here especially for General Puyol.
All the nearby nobility curiously pricked up their ears, when Zenjirou asked that.
With all the attention on him, the famous general shrugged his shoulders a bit and affirmed it with a brazen smile.
“Well, to be honest, that is definitely the biggest reason.
Nonetheless, the Carpa Kingdom is an important neighbour to the Navarre Kingdom, so if not for me, they would surely have send someone of equal status.”
To be more precise: General Martín had been concerned about the character of General Puyol.
It was well-known after all that General Puyol was an ambitious man.
That capable and ambitious general was going to bond with the feudal family on their border in form of marriage, so the Navarre Kingdom obviously could not sit back and do nothing.
He was enough of a “threat” to send in their important general to check on him.
Zenjirou pretended not to have noticed that implied nuance in the answer from General Martín and responded with a smile.
“Yes, neighbours should get along well. I do hope we both do not forget that fact and continue to work towards it.”
“My sentiments exactly, Your Majesty Zenjirou.”
Two authorities from bordering countries were having a typical two-faced conversation.
Local affairs aside, Zenjirou was not yet used to dealing with foreign countries appropriately, so he could not help but play it safe.
Their conversation naturally avoided diving into political waters and shifted towards personal preferences instead.
“This reminds me, we are neighbours, but is our food culture actually different? I did hear that it is not unusual for a culture to change beyond the border.”
“Well, I am not all that familiar with your cuisine, but as far as I can tell, it is not all that different. If I had to name something, it would be the fruit wine. The fruit wine of the Carpa Kingdom generally tends to be sweeter than ours.
Thanks to that, Knight Captain Cris is treating himself to some on a rare occasion. Am I right, Cris?”
“S- Sir, you…”
Suddenly addressed, the young knight was at a loss for words for a moment and glared at the respectable general of his own country.
A lot of men with a sweet tooth were very self-conscious about it and apparently Knight Captain Cris was one of them.
Having said this, he had somewhat come to terms with it, seeing as he was not forcing himself to drink dry wine at an official event for appearance’s sake.
“You cannot help to like what you like after all. I do know that it is childish of me, but I let them prepare my food without certain herbs, too.”
Zenjirou tried to help him out by revealing a peculiarity of his own, but Knight Captain Cris was not man enough to honestly accept his good intentions.
“…Why, thank you.”
Although he lowered his head, he was giving Zenjirou a resentful glare. To him, it must have seemed like General Martín and Zenjirou were pairing up to make fun of his fondness for sweets.
Zenjirou read in the expression of the young knight that it would be unwise to pursue this topic any further, so he changed the subject somewhat forcefully.
“What about this then, General Martín? Does a drink like this suit your taste? This alcohol is the recent product of the Capital. It is quite strong, albeit light in taste. General Puyol seems to have taken a liking to it.”
With these words, Zenjirou recommended General Martín a silver goblet with the “distilled liquor” from the Capital.
“Oho! If it has your approval, I will have to try it. …Hmm, it certainly is strong enough to burn your throat, but it is a bit too tasteless to my liking.”
“I thought so. You are not the first to say this. I guess we have to think about improving the taste.”
“That sounds promising. I would like to try it once you have done so.”
“Please share it with your country then. I do hope it will become a local speciality of our country after all.”
Knight Captain Cris regained his composure while Zenjirou and General Martín were chatting like that, so he asked Zenjirou dubious.
“Your Majesty seems to think like a merchant. Maybe you come from such a family?”
General Martín frowned in light of the phrasing from the young knight captain. It was well-known that Zenjirou was not true-born royalty, but calling him a merchant could be considered an insult.
However, Zenjirou was not offended by it.
“Well, not quite correct, but not entirely wrong, either, I guess.”
He affirmed it to some extent without getting angry.
Originally, Zenjirou had been working in the sales department, so it was not all that wrong to call him a merchant.
“This reminds me, I have heard that Your Majesty has achieved a major victory against dragons the other day.”
General Martín had no way of divining what Zenjirou was thinking, so he touched on a flattering topic as though smoothing over the problematic statement of his subordinate about royalty from a different country. Unfortunately for him, he was barking up the wrong tree in the case of Zenjirou with that idea.
“Oh, I was just overseeing things there. To begin with, I am completely unsuited for battle. I was stretching myself to the limit not to get in the way. That alone made me break out in a cold sweat already, so I never want to have anything to do with it again.”
“Err… Is that so.”
His answer obviously bewildered General Martín, seeing as he stumbled on his words.
And Knight Captain Cris next to him could not quite conceal his contempt and disdain for him in his expression.
But he could not really be blamed for it, because Zenjirou was too much of an abnormality in this world for stating so brazenly that “he could not fight and was weary of it”.
A noble man in his prime that could not fight belonged to the minority and was usually ashamed of belonging to that minority.
Judging by the moral values of this world, it only looked like Zenjirou was putting up a defiant front.
“Then Your Majesty is not training on a daily basis?”
Knight Captain Cris was obviously looking at his hand, when he asked that, so Zenjirou showed him his hands with a wry smile.
“Yes, as you can see. And it would be an useless effort to start now. I resigned myself to it.”
As if emphasizing his words, the palms of his hands had no calluses and were as lean as a child’s or woman’s by the standards of this world.
If he had done baseball or kendo in university, he might have fooled them to some extent, but unfortunately, he had belonged to the soccer club. His road of life had not been the kind, where he got any calluses.
“It is never in vain to practice martial arts, even if only a little. Your Majesty should set aside any biases and just try it out.”
The words from Knight Captain Cris sounded like he was saying it in the interest of Zenjirou, but the contempt for him was still present in his eyes and voice.
Zenjirou was not so dim-witted that he would fail to notice that, but he also knew that it would become a pain in the ass, if he were to comment on it now.
“Haha, you are right. I will keep it in mind for next time.”
After a moment of deliberation, Zenjirou conquered his feelings and decided to ignore the vicious remark from Knight Captain Cris.
“…I am glad I could make you understand.”
As Knight Captain Cris did not abandon his contemptuous attitude, General Martín thanked Zenjirou for his lenience by casting down his eyes.
After the bridal couple completed the “Rite of Unveiling”, it was common practice that they returned to the banquet hall and participated in the party belatedly.
Unlike the marriage ceremony, the banquet was a sociable party, so the guests were allowed to speak directly with the bridal pair.
In a way, it was the main event for those, who had attended the marriage ceremony for diplomatic reasons.
Under the pretext of congratulating the newlyweds, they could approach them regardless of social standing after all.
But right now, not a single person was approaching the groom General Puyol, even though the bridal couple had finally made an appearance here.
The hall had fallen dead silent and everyone was just awaiting the issue without moving an inch.
Creasing his face into a smile, General Puyol was looking at General Martín, who was showing him the same kind of smile.
The awed guests in the hall were just supporting actors for the confrontation between the two great heroes of the previous war.
“Long time no see, General Martín. I’m glad you haven’t kicked the bucket yet.”
Shortening the distance between them at a leisurely pace, General Puyol spoke first.
It remained unclear whether he scratched the scar over his eyebrow with his left hand on purpose or unconsciously.
“Of course I’m alive and kicking, General Puyol. After all, I haven’t seen you in a while. There’s no way I would get wounded unless I’m fighting you, right?”
Replying like that, General Martín placed his right hand on broad his breast bone quite purposefully.
There was a scar under his clothes. The shallow, but long cut across his breast bone had been inflicted by General Puyol.
Both of them were veterans that had survived the previous great war and the countless scars on their bodies told its tale.
But most of these wounds were inflicted by projectiles like arrows or stones and the few wounds from melee weapons were all suffered through chaotic scuffles.
The only wounds they had inflicted on each other directly were the scars on the face of General Puyol or the scar across the breast bone of General Martín.
On the battlefield, one was always having a brush with death, no matter how brave or heroic they were. In that sense, neither General Puyol, nor General Martín were anything special.
But considering that they still could thrust death into your face, even if you were to keep yourself in perfect shape, sharpen your mind without the slightest neglect and ward off any ill fortune, you could not avoid calling both of them “special” after all.
General Puyol was almost two metre tall and over a hundred kilogram heavy, whereas General Martín was one-hundred and ninety centimetre tall and over a hundred kilogram heavy.
Accordingly, General Puyol surpassed him by ten centimetre in height, but General Martín outweighed him breadthwise.
While they glared at each other like a sabre-tooth tiger and a grizzly, the air in the hall was at an heavy standstill.
“Looks like you didn’t neglect training. It must be tough finding free time for training in your position as a general. I must say, I’m impressed, General Puyol.”
“Yeah, thanks. I dare to say I’ve grown stronger since then. I’m also glad to see that you still have been training, General Martín.”
“I had to work my way up after all. Strength has a bearing on your leadership skills, so I can’t afford to slack off. Yet the best I could do this year was maintaining my current form.”
“Oho, if that is true, you might prove to be an equal opponent now.”
“Pfft, cut the flattering. Back then, we were evenly matched, but right now, you are definitely stronger. That doesn’t mean you will win, though, if we have a bout.”
Neither of the two heroes was usually the chatty type, but the more words they exchange, the broader their smile got. At the same time, the tension and will to combat rose between them proportional to that smile, though.
Were they going to go at it right here?
Maybe they both had been joking in the beginning, but accidentally reached the point of no return?
Everyone was holding their breath with these worries, but the woman standing next to the groom, namely the bride, released them from that sorrow.
“My Husband, I do understand that you have a lot to catch up on with your old friend, but for how long are you going to neglect your new wife on this special day? I would like you to introduce me to him.”
Lucinda Guzzle, or rather Lucinda Guillén now, said this with a soft smile and tugged at the sleeve of her husband reminding.
Her expression was the quintessence of affability and you could not find a single trace of tension or fear anywhere on her.
It seemed like she was “cutting into the conversation of the two men thoughtlessly, because she was sulking about her husband not paying any attention to her”, but reality was different.
On the contrary, she had given thought to it more than anyone and concluded that it would be dangerous to let them continue like this, so she went in to stop them by pretending to be oblivious to the situation.
Dangerous as it may be, it was not like General Puyol and General Martín would actually start a fight here.
But Lucinda feared that if they were to continue to speak at daggers drawn, the others would get the impression that “the two of them really wanted a fight“, which would add unnecessary tension to the relation between the two countries.
“Although I do know that you two have just been joking around, a woman cannot help but be scared by it. Please apply yourself to me now, My Husband.”
Emphasizing the fact that they were joking around, Lucinda looked up into the eyes of her now husband from the side.
“…Hmm, you are right. My bad. Soldiers are oblivious to the delicate mind of women by nature, but I do admit that we have gone a bit too far. Forgive me, Lucinda.
General Martín, let me introduce her. As of today, this is my wife Lucinda.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you, General Martín. I am the eldest daughter of the Guzzle Family and as of now, the wife to Puyol Guillén, the current head of the Guillén Family. My name is Lucinda.
I do have heard of your achievements, General. It is a great honour to get acquainted with you.”
A gentle voice and calm pronunciation coupled with a modest smile.
Without resorting to force, the newlywed wife pacified the atmosphere through mere words. General Martín changed his attitude as well in light of her smile.
“What a lovely bride. My name is Martín Nadal, a general from the Navarre Kingdom.
It seems you are not just lucky on the battlefield, Sir Puyol. To think you actually managed to win such a fine wife.”
“Yes, I am really glad that I stayed single until today.”
“You flatter me.”
Peace set in between the bridal pair and the general from the neighbouring country, so the rest of the hall resumed their happy chit-chatting as well.