To be Your Knight
I watched as she was led by her fiancé through the grounds. Not that the princess loved him, although he loved her, as did everybody, but the foreign prince had been engaged to her by their parents. She didn't like it, but she had her duty.
I watched her turn to her fiancé, as he evidently said something funny, as they both laughed. A vague flame of anger burnt in my heart, but I said nothing. Let prince Kaito have his time with her now. My time would be later.
"Sir!" A voice called from behind me. I turned, it was a squire, walking towards me at a quick pace. "Sir, his majesty requests that the Princess and Prince Kaito come to meet him immediately."
I nodded, and waved dismissively. The squire ran off, and I approached the pair, bowing to them both, "My lady, your father has requested your presence along with Prince Kaito's at once."
She smiled back, "Very well, we will be there presently."
The prince spoke, "My dear Miku, please go on ahead, I have a word to say to your knight."
Miku nodded, and curtsied, before turning to head back towards the castle. When she was out of earshot, the prince turned to me, and punched me straight in the face. Or at least, he tried to, being a trained knight, my reflexes are not bad, and I dodged by leaping back. I put one hand on the longsword in my belt, ready to draw in self-defence if given the opportunity, and I was quite ready to kill.
"Don't think I don't know what is going on between you and the princess!" He said angrily. "The only reason I keep my peace on the matter is that the marriage must go ahead. But don't think that I will allow you within fifty miles of my wife after we wed."
He turned and left me standing amid hedgerows. I removed my hand from my sword. Given half a chance I would have skewered him with my sword, but I had to restrain my desire. For my own sake as a knight, and for Princess Miku's.
That night, I lay in a rich-looking bed of scarlet sheets, in a chamber of walls of that same colour. Next to me, a beautiful figure moved to press against my shirtless figure, "Something troubles you Faris."
I looked at the beauty, her blue-green hair, out of it's usual twin flowing tails, now lay over one shoulder, framing her face beautifully. The only thing she wore now was a black-laced red under-dress, which pressed against her frame tightly, making it hard to ignore her breasts.
"Your fiancé... he knows about this."
Miku frowned, "I thought he might..."
"I wouldn't worry too much about it, he wants to ensure that he doesn't rock the boat between his country and ours until after your marriage."
"Until after then eh?" She replied, uncertainty in her voice.
"Miku, is something the matter?" I asked.
"Sir, this must be the last time..." she replied suddenly.
I blinked. I had wondered when this would happen, but had not expected it so soon. "When are you to marry him then?"
"Three days on the morrow," she replied.
"Yes, that was why my father desired my presence today... and Kaito asked that, once we are wed, he would be allowed to take me away to his kingdom immediately. My father agreed... so this must stop, so that it is no harder than it must be when we do part."
I nodded, understanding, then slid out of the bed, and picked up my knight's tunic from the floor and took the belt that lay next to it with my sword clipped into it. I put it all on, then turned to look at her, still lying in the bed. She smiled a sad smile at me.
"I will see you tomorrow, if Kaito allows me within a hundred yards of you, if I cannot speak to you before the wedding, then I wish you happiness."
She smiled back, a little more brightly, "And I wish you the same."
I slipped to the window, and opened it, leading onto a balcony, closing it behind me. I reached to the side, and grabbed the ivy I had so often climbed up with anticipation shortly after dusk, ready to fall into her arms, and had climbed down again in the early morning to the rising sun, happy after a night well spent. Now, I felt no anticipation nor was I happy.
I reached my own room, and messed up the sheets slightly to make it seem as if I had spent the night there to any casual observer, and the chamber maid already knew what had transpired all these years, but turned a blind eye.
I sighed, "I wish you happiness, but wish that I could be the one granting it."
The three days passed, and as I had prepared for, I got no chance to speak to Miku, not even among a group. Kaito was always careful to ensure that I was engaged with as many activities as possible. I was soon informed that my duty as the princess' personal knight was drawing to a close, and that I was to be granted leave to return home.
The day of the wedding was upon us, and now I stood in attendance on the princess in my last duty to her. I waited as a maid fixed the white flowing dress, the dress that I was cursing with ever fibre of my being.
Somebody, quite possibly Kaito, had decided that it would be a good idea that I should lead the princess up the aisle to the alter. I could imagine the face of triumph he would be wearing when I handed her arm to him.
The maid finished, and stood, then bowed to us and left. Miku turned to me, now that we were alone in the room, "Well... it has come."
"I am afraid there is not last minute reprieve from this my lady."
"I know," she looked sad. "If I can, I shall write... no, I will write."
"My lady, I would advise against that. You would not infuriate your husband would you?"
She sighed, "No, you are right. But if I can write without his knowledge, I will."
I smiled, then offered her my arm, "It is time to go now princess, the hour of our parting draws near."
She nodded, then took my arm. "Let us go."
And so, they were married. I remember the look of victory that Kaito gave me when I gave her to him as if it were yesterday.
It was two months after, and I was nearing the end of my extended leave. Although officially nobody knew of my liaisons with the princess, many had guessed at them, and these guesses had, it appeared, reached the king, making him somewhat loath to have me return. But it was on the day three before I was due to return that I received a letter from the crown. I immediately opened it.
Sir, you are requested by his majesty to return to court immediately, to be ready to travel overseas."
It was simple, but it got me moving quickly. An order from the king was not one to be ignored. In half a day, I was at the gates to the castle, with my pack on the back of my horse. Instantly, a group of squires came to attend to me. One stepped up to me as I descended from my horse, "The king awaits within, in the throne room."
I quickly paced through the hall ways, until I reached the throne room, where two men opened the twin doors to allow me entrance.
"Ah, so you have arrived," the king said.
"Yes, your majesty, I departed the moment I received your order," I said bowing, noting as I did so that the whole court was dressed in black.
"Very well," he handed a piece of parchment to a servant who stood by, and motioned for it to be passed to me. "We received this letter but a few days ago."
I took the letter, and read it:
I wish I could write to you out of joy, but I bear bad news. My husband is dead, killed by an unknown hand. I am now alone in this land, and may not leave it, for I am with child, and the king would see an heir born. Please, I beg of you, if you cannot extract me and my child, then at the least send someone of my home to me, so that I may bear this without separation from all I know.
When I finished reading it, I knew not what to think. On the one hand, the prince was dead, and likely would soon, if not already, be buried under several feet of earth. On the other, Miku was with child, and could not return home, certainly not until she gave birth, and then she would likely want to stay with her child.
I handed the letter back, and the king spoke, "As you can see, my daughter requests a person with whom she is familiar. I have already sent a message to the deceased prince's father, informing him that I shall be sending a knight to the princess to assist in her protection. I request that you go sir."
I nodded, knowing better than to object in any way to the king's orders. "Very well sire, I am ready to leave whenever it is required of me."
"You shall leave presently, however, I would have a few further words with you," he motioned, and every other person in the room, even the queen, left. The king then stood and walked towards me.
"Sir, I know as well as any man in this court what as happened between you and my daughter." I remained stock still, awaiting his next words. "However, I know you are a good man, and that is why I send you. There is also one other thing... I asked the messenger how long Miku was with child for... the answer was since around the time of the wedding."
I blinked, could he mean...
"Now, through other inquiry I know that the pair set off immediately afterwards, and by ship travelled for a good two weeks, as they were forced to stop part way. I also know, that for the whole journey, Miku, not being able to stand the rocking of the ship, was very unwell, and remained in bed, mostly sleeping..."
He chuckled, "I take it you get the picture." He turned, and walked back to his throne, "Now go, a boat awaits you at the port, and after that, a young lady."
I smiled, "It does not do to keep a lady waiting, so I take my leave sire."
I bowed and left. I strode slowly until I reached the door, at which point I sped my stride as fast as I could.
A week later, I stood at the front of a mansion, where, I was informed, Miku currently resided. I knocked, and a maid opened the door. When she saw me, she tilted her head slightly.
"I am Sir Faris, here to see the princess."
She nodded, and opened the door, leading me through the house. We reached a large room, and the maid knocked. "Yes?" a voice which I knew well came from within.
"A sir Faris to see you my lady."
There was a brief silence, then Miku called through the door, "Show him in."
I entered, and there sat Miku, in an armchair. She had just been reading, and had placed the book down. "Faris... when I asked for somebody, I didn't expect you..."
"Well I'm here now."
She smiled, "So you are."
Two years later found us both back at home, in Miku's father's castle. After the king pointed out that Miku and her child were royals of both countries, and Miku his heir, we were allowed to return. Ah yes, the child, my son. Yes, he is indeed mine, though officially, he is only my step-son. Miku and I married a little after our return three months ago.
We live most of our lives at my family home, but often are called upon to visit the castle. Today was such a day, and Miku and I stood before the king, our child in Miku's arms.
That was one thing that irritated me. For the sake of peace, and his own safety, I could never claim my son as mine. Officially, he was Kaito Shion's son, though he was given the surname Hatsune. I suppose Kaito had something of the last laugh in that respect.
Miku was speaking, "Father, it is good to see you again."
The king smiled, "As it is to see you too."
She smiled, and I relaxed slightly. Evidently, whatever this was about, it wasn't too bad.
The king now turned to me, "Sir Faris, I have asked you here to give you an offer."
I raised an eyebrow, "May I ask, of what nature?"
"I would like you to become one of my advisers, as I believe you are a knowledgeable young man."
I blink, then glance to Miku, who nods ever so slightly, I look back to the king, "It would be an honour sire."
"Very well then, I trust your current chambers will suffice, at least for the moment. I will officially invite you, as well as present you a title befitting of your station, upon the morrow."
"Father," Miku began, "I trust you will not be keeping my husband from me for too long at any time."
The old man smiled, "I will try not to keep him away from you too often, and you know that you and my grandson are welcome here at any time."
I lay in bed that evening, Miku hugging to my side gently. "So," she said, "You're going to be father's adviser?"
"Indeed. Although I still have other duties above that." I kissed her softly, as I stroked her slightly rounded belly. This time, the child would be mine in name and law, as well as blood.
"Duties?" she asked.
"Yes, first, to be a father, second, to be a husband, and third, to be your knight."
She smiled, "Well you perform all of those amply well."