"It's been ten thousand years..." My readers said (If I still have any). Next update in three days.
There was little the young prince could do at the moment, he was as nervous as one could be in the day of their wedding, especially if you've never seen your bride before. There was a loud sound from the kitchen and a small clatter of something that appeared to be metallic, some loud yells and then silence.
The constant muttering of the guests and laughter could be heard in the great hall. The young prince sighed and closed his eyes; he sat cross-legged in one of the many traditional mats placed around and played with the hem of his highly adorned robes. He sighed and looked around, happy, smiling faces all around, everyone looked so content,
Everyone but him.
"Is something bothering you, your highness?" A deep voice called from the youth's right, startling the latter.
"Gabranth…" The prince sighed yet again. "Of course there's something bothering me…" He murmured and turned to look at his ever-loyal knight. "I don't… I don't know if I'm ready for this, what if I end up disappointing my parents?" He closed his eyes and lowered his head. "I don't think I can do this."
The knight smiled and turned to face the younger fully. "King Rassler and Queen Ashe know what they're doing," He said with familiarity, after all, the prince was like a little brother to him, he had been taken care of him since he was a baby. "They know what's best for you, Prince Hope… and they believe in you, never doubt that."
The prince swallowed thickly and looked at the door, where the sound of clattering armors caught his attention. There was his bride, fully clothed in white robes made of silk, her face covered with a thick veil, some golden feathers hanging from the delicate fabric. It resembled the one his mother wore on her wedding day.
Hope's breath caught in his throat as he quickly stood up, he walked towards the woman, his brows furrowed a bit when he was standing next to her, he barely matched her height.
He bowed his head and took her hand, placing a small kiss in her knuckles. "Princess." Hope breathed out.
The woman let out a soft hum and withdrew her hand; she lifted her veil to reveal long strawberry colored hair and icy blue eyes; she looked at the prince and surveyed his figure. "My…" She said, the faintest smile appearing on her lips. "It's a pleasure, your highness."
Hope gazed at her for a few seconds and smiled as well, however… he couldn't help but feel there was something not quite right with her smile, it seemed almost… forced. "There's no need for formalities, you may call me Hope," He said softly, as he led her to where he was previously seated. "We are to be wed, after all."
She smiled. "Then you might as well call me by my name."
The young prince looked at her in awe and nodded, he recalled the name his parents had mentioned just the night prior and sighed. "Lady Lightning then," He smiled and motioned for her to seat in one of the many cushions that lay atop his mat. "If you please."
The princess shook her head gracefully and took a seat. "Just Light will be fine," She told him and held his hand until he seated next to her.
"Lady Lightning Rhea Farron and Prince Hope Helios Estheim." Gabranth announced before the grand hall was filled with applause.
Hope sighed and then he felt a slightly bigger hand squeeze his own, he turned to look at the beautiful woman and smiled. "Are you nervous?" He asked a bit hesitant.
She smiled and shook her head, her jewelry making a small clinking noise. "No," Lightning told him softly. "I'm not."
Hope looked at her briefly before turning away with the faintest blush over his cheeks. After all, she was a very attractive woman, and he had never even had the chance to feel even the slightest attraction to another. "I'm glad." He said softly.
Lightning closed her eyes and scooted closer to the young prince, he visibly tensed and sat up straight. "Are you?" She murmured and pressed her arm to his.
He sucked up some air and kept looking forward, his hands were shaking and he refused to look at the older woman. "I-I…" He stuttered and bit his lip slightly, the blush spreading and darkening, he felt his face grow warmer by the second. He definitely wasn't ready for this.
"I am." He finally mustered to say, a thin layer of sweat forming over his forehead.
She laughed softly under her breath and let go of his hand. "You need not be," the princess murmured and kept her eyes on Hope. "We are to be wed, after all." She chuckled.
Hope blinked, had she just made fun of his words? He finally let out a small chuckle and nodded. "Indeed, we are." He said, feeling how the tension started to slip away from his body.
"Don't take my words too seriously, Hope," Lightning muttered and looked a bit serious. "Let us be friendly to each other."
"That's all I want, princess." Hope gave her a sad smile.
"I told you Light is fine," She said quietly, the chatter of the hall drowning her words. "I meant it, let's get along."
He was about to speak when he was interrupted by his guardian knight.
"The King and Queen have arrived, your highness," Gabranth spoke to the Prince. "We shall commence the ceremony at once."
Hope nodded dejectedly. It wasn't that he had something against the princess; it wasn't like he was getting married by force. It's just that he never imagined that things would end up like this.
Sometimes life took turns that you never expected, just a week ago he was talking to his cousin about wanting to marry because of love, and here he was, sitting next to a woman he had never even met before, not even once, about to make vows that lasted a lifetime.
He was doing this for the kingdom, for everyone that was counting on him. This meant a lifetime of peace and prosperity for the Kingdom of Pulse.
He was seventeen, she was twenty-four. They were to be married for the sake of their kingdoms.