~ Chapter 35: Can I sacrifice...? (Part 2) ~
“If I am to already have a fiancee, then they can't selfishly decide to push one onto me. My marriage would also be seen as a way to keep me in the kingdom or a way to restrain me. Canceling an existing engagement can only be done if the King himself approves it. But all of this mess could happen only because I'm a knight and the granddaughter of a powerful general. That's why, I'm sorry...” she shook her head.
“Hey, there's no need to apologize.” I smiled and wrapped my arms around her waist. “It's not written in stone that it will happen like that, and besides, all I have to do is to prove my worth in front of the King, right?” I asked.
“Indeed.” she nodded.
“Then there's nothing to worry about!” I smiled.
“Does this mean that you are willing to take my hand in marriage when we arrived at the capital?” she asked.
My mind stopped for a couple of second as it tried to process the logic behind whatever just happened.
Did I just? What the... I don't get it... How? HUH?! I thought while the pieces of puzzles were blown to smithereens.
So, the conversation started like this: Seryanna said she had something to talk to me about, then we somehow ended up talking about how I wouldn't be approved by the King because of a presumed marriage, but then... how did this conversation end up with me proposing to her? When?!
“Erm...” I blinked surprised.
“I'm sorry... This...” she looked down when she saw me hesitating and turned around.
Ah crap! I've done it now! I cringed.
The chances of her starting to cry right now were quite high...
The one thing that wasn't getting into my thick skull was the fact that this was a different society, a different civilization, and a different species all-together. The idea of marriage, relationships, and other similar stuff was quite different from what I knew back on Earth. Our society allowed us to be relaxed when it came to this stuff. The first girlfriend didn't always mean putting a ring on her finger as well. But here maybe things were different?
“Seryanna... I...” I stopped myself from what I was about to say and gulped.
I have to think this trough... What does marriage mean for her in this life? What does it mean for me? Man, I'm just eighteen! I'm too young to die! Erm... I mean get married... Am I being plagued by Earth's misconceptions about marriage? I thought and struggled to think of an answer, but while I was getting a headache, Seryanna's back looked ever so lonely.
With a gulp and deep breath, I embraced the redhead dragoness from behind.
Now what? I thought while listened to her fast beating heart.
“Alkelios?” she asked after a moment, seeing as how I wasn't opening my mouth.
“This is too hard for me to answer now... I can't... Back on Earth things aren't as... strict as they are here. I'm sorry...” I said.
“No, I should be the one who should apologize... Not even once did I think that maybe you didn't know the way things worked here. Even on the human continent these things are quite similar. Here, the royals and nobles often act as matchmakers for those underneath them.” she replied as she touched my hand.
In that moment, I saw a tear flow down on her cheek.
I made her cry... great! I thought.
“Where I come from things certainly don't work like that... Is it too much of me to ask of you to wait for my answer until we reach the capital?” I asked her and gave her kiss on the cheek.
“No, that is perfectly fine... Unless an order comes from the king or the nobles pester me about it, there should still be some time for us to decide.” she replied with a soft tone of voice.
“I understand, thank you.” I released her from my embrace, and she turned to face me.
“I do love you, Alkelios... That's why for me, there's no sign of doubt or hesitation in my heart.” she said with a soft smile as tears kept flowing down her cheeks.
“I also love you... And I know that normally, I shouldn't even think twice about this.” I shook my head “But I'm a foolish human... Our minds work in foolish ways and unless I clear the fog of doubt between my ears, I won't have peace. I love you, but the idea of marrying you feels strange. I love you, but when I think of you as my wife, the gears stop turning...” I shook my head and showed that I wasn't the least bit comfortable with these thoughts.
“Indeed, you are a foolish human. If you love me, if you would give anything to have me and be with me, then why hesitate?” she asked.
“I don't know...” I looked down.
“I see... Maybe you don't...” I didn't let her finish those words and stole her lips in a kiss.
“Don't say that! This doubt of mine is only because I'm still young and insecure when it comes to adult things like this. On Earth, people married when they were way past the age of twenty, some even after thirty years old. You are already an adult in my eyes, but I'm too much like a child. That's why... just give me some time to straighten my thoughts. If anything, here... I wish I will have all the time I need to make the right decision about whether or not we should marry!” I declared.
This way, even if I was a fool, I would be able to reach the best decision for us. Even If I waited until the last second, thanks to my Luck, it should still be alright. I was hoping and betting on this.
“Very well, but you know... I'm not going to let you off for making me cry.” she smiled softly and then pulled me into another kiss.
“I'm sorry... How can I repay you for this?” I asked.
“You'll have a training session with me now, and you won't use your Luck! Plus, you'll let me hit you for a few times.”
Her sweet smile sent shivers down my spine.
“Erm... Can't we talk about this?” I asked.
“You made a poor maiden cry tonight, so no!” she giggled as she wiped her last tear.
I let out a groan, but she then pulled me into a kiss. This one was very long and had a lot of tongue in it.
When we parted lips, she had flushed look on her face.
“Don't run away from me... Whatever adversities we may face, we'll get through them, together...” she told me and then kissed me again.
I wasn't allowed to fight back, and her words were sort of an encouragement in the battle with my own doubt and fears. They were very much welcomed.
That night, after she literally beat the snot out of me and made me wonder if I wasn't actually turning into a masochist because of her, we went to bed in the same tent. Seryanna fell asleep in my arms with a content smile on her lips, while I was thinking back at everything I said today, minus the whining and begging during the training sessions. I also remembered what I told Iolaus and what happened during that night when I kissed Seryanna for the first time.
Indeed, for me, this entire experience was extremely rushed. It was like someone jumped in a sports car pressed the pedal to metal and drove like a maniac through rush hour. They didn't stop for the granny crossing the street or for the lights turning red. They didn't even stop when the 'No bridge ahead!' sign popped up. Despite all of this, I had to take notes and absorb all the information around me.
It was just too fast for a normal human, but... I had the [Hero] passive. No matter how much I complained, I was aware of my fast level increase, not to mention the fact that there were moments when I saw this whole experience more as a Virtual Reality game than anything else. Even so, these feelings I held for Seryanna were the true deal. I really did love her from the bottom of my heart.
Maybe it was because she saved me? Maybe it was because I hanged around her all this time? Maybe it was because she was a beautiful, strong willed, redheaded woman? There were a lot of maybes that could have been the spark that ignited this love, but in the end... what mattered was the result.
I love this woman... I love Seryanna, but... I thought as I looked down at her sleeping face. But you are a dragon...
In the end... the reason why I was so afraid of this marriage wasn't because the customs were different... It was just me who was different, who was looking at her with different eyes just because she was not of the same species. It was a biological and instinctual fear that told me I couldn't be together with her as a human, but giving up my humanity was something I feared even more.
I wonder... Can I sacrifice my connection to Earth, the blood of my parents that flows in my veins, my species and everything that I am or could be as a human? Can I sacrifice all of this for the woman I love? I asked myself as I gently brushed off her cheek a strand of red hair.
For some, this was a question they would have answered without batting an eye, but for me it was one I held no answer to. In the end, was it me who was wrong to think like this or was it something normal as part of being human?
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
The chapters for this one are flowing a bit slowly, aren't they? Sorry about that, I'll try to speed it up as much as I can. 🙂
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