~ Chapter 50: Proof of my resolve (Part 2) ~
Seryanna was standing on the opposite side of the room. She was wearing her armor and had her sword unsheathed. It was pointed at me, and the look in her eyes was one that told me she wasn't joking.
“You are trespassing on the palace grounds.” she told me in a harsh tone of voice.
“I know.” I nodded and took a step forward.
“Stop right there! If you back away now and leave this place, I won't kill you.” she declared.
“Harsh words, but you won't do it, and I won't leave until I got what I came for.” I said and approached her.
“I said stop! I am a Royal Knight! It's my duty to stop intruders!” she retorted and glared at me.
“What I came for is right in front of my eyes, so why should I leave?” I asked.
“Because I will kill you for trespassing! For... breaking your oath to Sir Draejan, my fiance.” she declared.
“I don't care about some stupid duel. I don't care that he was forced upon you as your fiance.” I squinted my eyes and grabbed her sword with my hand.
I was wearing leather gloves, so unless she put some strength into it, I wasn't going to get cut that easily.
“L-Let go...” she said, but she didn't pull or push.
“What does your duty, your laws tell you to do?” I asked her as I pulled the sword out of her grasp and tossed it aside.
She stepped back until her back hit the wall.
“To stop you... T-To kill you... T-To defend the honor of my fiance... and the... and the laws of this kingdom!” she said, but she was stuttering.
I stopped when I was just a step away from her.
“You won't do it.” I said.
“I will!” she retorted.
“You won't.” I shook my head.
“W-Why do you keep saying that?” she asked.
“Because you love me.” I showed her a soft smile.
“I don't!” she shouted and lifted her hand up to slap me.
I grabbed her before she could do so and pushed her against the wall. She looked away.
“Seryanna... I didn't come here to take revenge on Draejan. I didn't come here to threaten you or kidnap you.” I said.
“Then why did you come?” she asked.
“Because I love you, and I want you and only you...” I let go of her hand and stepped back.
Seryanna was a proud woman, but I wasn't here to break that pride or force her to submit to me. I wasn't an animal... I stepped back because I wanted her to choose to come to me.
When I said those words, a few drops of tears formed in the corners of her eyes, and she didn't look back at me.
“I'm a dragoness, Alkelios... not a human.” she said.
“I'm a knight... You had an official duel with the man that was pushed onto me as my fiance by the King whom I serve!” she said, raising the tone of her voice a little.
I wasn't worried about the noise, Kataryna told me she was going to do something about it, but I didn't know exactly what. Either way, I trusted the silver-scaled dragoness. That was why I could keep my calm, listen to her, and answer as though I had all the time in the world.
“A duel which I lost because of my own foolishness, but of which outcome I don't care. A King whose orders I can't follow because I'm a human and whose orders are against our love.” I replied as I took off my gloves and stuffed them in a pocket.
“Have you no honor, Alkelios?” she asked and glared at me.
“No.” I smiled.
“Have you no shame or respect for the King?” she asked.
“Not really.” I shrugged.
“Do you want me to betray my King?” she asked and clenched her hand at her chest.
“No.” I shook my head “Just Draejan.” I declared.
“Alkelios, the King gave me a direct order to marry Draejan! Do you want me to go against this order?” she asked with tears in her eyes.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Why? Why should I betray my kingdom, my family, my King, and my future fiance for you, a human?” she asked through her clenched teeth.
“Because I love you.” I said.
“That's not a good enough reason, Alkelios. You are asking me to give up on too much! You are asking me to do something every fiber in my body tells me not to!” she retorted and looked away.
“Then why do you tremble and wish to come to my side? Why do you say every fiber in your body tells you not to when your heart is screaming for me?” I asked as I tapped my chest with my palm.
“Because I don't know if you... if you really want me... I don't know if this is just a ploy, a trick, or a spell... I don't know if you really love me... When I tried to confirm it, you pushed me away once, twice... then with the duel... three times.” she said with a soft whimper as she looked back at me.
Taking a step forward, she looked into my eyes, and with tears flowing down her cheeks, she said “I don't want to go through the same pain a fourth time...”
“You won't...” and I closed my eyes. “I wish to marry the dragoness known as Seryanna Draketerus. I wish to become her husband and to raise a happy family together with her. I wish to become her lover and I wish for her to become my lover. I wish Seryanna Draketerus to become my wife. If I spoke a lie right now. If the gods are against this union, then I wish for something to happen in the next five minutes that will take me away from here.” I opened my eyes and looked straight into hers.
“Alkelios... if you said something like that... if the gods really are against... or...” she cringed her teeth and looked down. She grabbed my by the collar of my clothes and held tight as if she herself didn't want me to go. “You fool... what if it really happens?” she asked through her sobs.
“Then let's wait. If it does happen... then this is what the gods have decided and no matter how powerful I become, I won't ever be able to go against them. It could also mean that maybe... someone else is meant for us. But honestly, I don't want anyone else but you right now.” I said and lifted up her chin.
“Why me? Why a dragoness that's been promised to someone else? Why me who can offer you no support in politics or the army? Why me whose voice in this kingdom is far weaker than that of many others?” she asked with tears in her eyes.
“Because I love everything about you... and I want you to be mine just as you are now, unawakened, with no voice in politics, with no might in the military, with no assets of economical value. I want your lips, your embrace, your breath, your love... everything else is just... an extra.” I smiled and then I tried to kiss her.
If she pulled back, I was prepared to stop, but she didn't. If she pushed me away, I was prepared to let myself be pushed, but she didn't. What she did was push herself closer to me; move her arms around me and pull me towards her; and savor this kiss as though it might be her last one.
As we kissed, time passed by, and when we opened our eyes, I asked her “Do you think it's been more than 5 minutes?”
“Yes...” she nodded.
“Then I am yours...” I said.
“I know... but inside... I feel like I'm betraying everyone, my very purpose as a knight. Even by the simple fact that I let you inside my room and didn't immediately chase you away is an offense... You sneaked inside an engaged woman's room in the middle of the night. That won't stand well with anyone...” she shook her head.
“No, it won't, but how else can I show my resolve to you? I am willing to become a criminal in the eyes of this kingdom's laws. I am willing to cast away any pride or honor I have inside of me to be with you. I am willing to listen to my heart rather than the laws and words spat out by those who don't even understand me... or you.” I said.
“And you are asking me to do the same...” she closed her eyes.
“You know? Maybe you are thinking too much about this, about the consequences and what others will say or think. Why not just... go with the flow and see where you are taken? In the end, all of this treason you speak of might end up being pardoned or completely ignored.” I smiled.
“That's a very risky 'maybe'.” she told me.
“Then, I'll reinforce it once more.”
As I said this, I knelt down in front of her just as I saw in all of those movies back home, and although I didn't come prepared with a ring, I had been thinking about this moment for the past two months. After all, if I was willing to go this far, I had to behave like a grown man and take full responsibility until the very end, not play around with her heart and show insecurity regarding our future. I had to show her that this was also something I wanted, that I was willing to bet the rest of the years of my life on the happiness she could offer me.
“Seryanna Draketerus, I know I am young and foolish. I know I am a human and you are a dragoness. I know that you are Royal Knight and I am not even at the rank of a commoner. Even so, Seryanna Draketerus, will you be my wife?” I asked in a clear and firm tone of voice.
To be honest, I repeated these words the entire past week, but saying them for real felt way more intense than I had imagined. Actually, from the very beginning, I felt that she had more reasons to reject me than to accept me. I didn't believe I was prepared for a rejection, and I didn't know how I would be able to handle it. The intensity of the moment was simply too much and my heart felt like it was going to pop any moment now.
I didn't want to be rejected, and I was firmly convinced that this was what I wanted to do, especially after my battle and talk with Kataryna. True, I came here from another world, I came here from a more advanced world than this one by centuries, but I came here as a child.
If one were to ask what I was 2 months ago, I would answer them simply: an 18 years-old child who was too afraid of all the changes that happened around him at a speed that seemed unnatural. An 18 years-old child who until now never bothered thinking seriously about his own future and what his own choices might bring. An 18 years-old child who saw the world and lives around him as a mere game until reality struck him hard. An 18 years-old child who fell in love like this for the first time in his life and had no parents or childhood friends who could run to and ask for advice. An 18 years-old child who came from a world where loving, respecting, and trying to understand a woman at this age was seen as a joke or impossibility.
If I was asked what I was now, I would like to answer that I was a grown up who was willing to take his first steps into a mature life by sticking to his own decisions and not running away from them at the last moment.
I proposed to Seryanna tonight as proof of my own resolve as well as my courage to stick with my decision to love this woman until the end... I was not a child anymore that saw love as a play where men and women spoke honey-filled words that only ended with tears when asked to live up to them. To love meant more than anything to feel love, not have the courage to utter those words.
That was why when I met Kataryna a week ago, I treated her as I did because I was still afraid of this truth. I was still afraid of the fact that I was not a child anymore and that I had to be truthful towards myself and Seryanna. I was afraid that I could play the make-believe love game and I loathed myself for this fact. I was afraid that I could love a woman like this and be willing to stand by her side my whole life. I was afraid of a foolish thing...
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!
A small advice: if you are skipping through scenes and lines, you might find yourself later on wondering why my characters act in certain 'illogical' ways. 🙂 Every line they say or think is important.
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