The Emperor’s Daughter Chapter 312
298 Continuing On Our Journey 2
The sirens that were first hostile and wary towards us started to try and approach us that night before. With the help of Anatalia, the sirens were able to at least join our small dinner. They were still cautious towards the group, particularly because majority are men, but at least they tried to approach them and started small conversations.
The next day, we departed the clearing by dawn. The sirens bid us farewell and Regaleon had stated that he will do his promise after this war ended. Anatalia on the other hand accompanied us in our journey.
It was really a good decision to let Anatalia join us because she knew of better and much faster roads that will take us to the location of the key fragments in just two days' time.
"It is lucky that you asked me about the directions towards your destination." Anatalia said with a proud tone. "I know the best roads around these woods, and we can avoid danger."
Anatalia rode my horse Wind. Fortunately, Anatalia knew how to ride horses that was a rare knowledge for the sirens. I on the other hand, rode with Regaleon. He was insistent that I would ride with him the rest of the journey. He was worried after what had happened the other night with the siren's attack.
'Well I will not complain to riding with him all day long.' I thought and smiled. 'I would love to be close to you every minute of the day. I feel at ease smelling his fragrance and feeling the heat of his body on mine.'
"Is something the matter?" Regaleon asked when he felt me squirming.
"I am just trying to balance my body." I said.
"You do not need to do that." Regaleon said and pulled me closer into his body. I was so close that I can hear his heartbeat. "You can just lean on me. Let yourself just be comfortable."
I smiled once again, feeling the love that my husband was doing with his little gestures. I am really a very lucky woman to have him as a husband.
Our pace was not that fast and so the journey was not strenuous to my body. I get a glance on William very now and then. Our eyes have met for several times since we started travelling. His gaze held words I knew already. He was worried for my safety and the baby I was carrying. He gladly closed his mouth about my pregnancy and agreed to my words.
'I promise to tell Regaleon after we get the key fragments.' I thought. This was my promise to William.
"This road is rather peaceful." I started a conversation. "It looks like we will not need to worry about unforeseen dangers lurking around."
"I have chosen the most safe and fastest road I knew." Anatalia said. "Before night falls, we can take shelter on a village that we will pass by."
"That sounds great." Tricia said with delight. "At least her majesty can take a warm bath and relax."
"Thank you for worrying Tricia." I said with a smile. "But I am fine."
Yesterday, I heard that the men were able to take a dip in the lake. Unfortunately, Tricia and I were not able to because we the only female members of the group. The sirens that time were nowhere to be found as well.
"It is a pity I could not take a dip on the lake yesterday." I said with a sigh.
"That is really unfortunate." Anatalia said. "Do you know that the water in that lake has minerals that makes one's skin young and glow."
"Really? So, that is why."
"I was thinking why my skin felt soft and smooth."
"Come to think of it, some of my wrinkles faded a bit."
"We found an age reducing lake."
I heard the men talking and laughing about the lake. Just the other night, we had a battle with the sirens at the vicinity of the lake. Thankfully, the men accepted the sirens surrender and they were able to talk to them amicably.
"After the war ends, I will take you back there." Regaleon whispered to my ear. "I am sure you would like to take a dip with me there."
The breath from Regaleon's mouth tickled my ear. His words to me also held a naughty meaning. The first night of our wedding was also held in a large body of water, a hot spring. I felt a blush creeping on my cheeks.
"I really won't tire seeing your cute expressions." Regaleon smirked at me.
"J-Just watch the road, okay." I said feeling embarrassed of the naughty things that came into my mind.
Just before the sun has set, we were able to arrive at the village that Anatalia mentioned. It was a small village with rundown houses. The people outside were wary of us, looking at us strangely.
"This is not a very friendly village." Chris said with a low voice.
After riding towards the inner most part of the village, our group saw an inn that we can spend the night. Chris took two of his men and have gone in the inn first to inquire of our lodging. The rest of us had gone down our horses and waited for Chris to return. That was when someone called my name out of nowhere.
"Princess Alicia?" I heard a voice of a young man. I turned around to see a young man with brown hair and eyes. He looked quite familiar. "Oh, my it really is the princess."
The young man was about to go near me when William blocked his way and brandished his sword.
"You will go no further." William said with a harsh tone.
"Hey, chill down sir knight." The young man said. "I am not someone who is dangerous. And I am a friend of the princess."
The young man gave me a smiled, and I was trying to remember where I have seen this young man.
"Do I know you?" I asked.
"You cannot remember?" The young man asked with dumbfounded eyes. "Well it has been a while, and the last time you saw me, I was just but am adolescent lad compared to my present appearance. I am Brad, Jack's right hand man and second in command of the Crimson Mercenaries. Well, you would remember it at Crimson Bandits I guess."
After hearing that, I then remembered the first time Regaleon and I met the Crimson Bandits. That was when after I was called back to the capital of Alvannia. We met Jack who tried to rob us, and he was with his other comrades. I remembered the youngest among them, with brown hair and eyes like this young man before me.
"Brad, is that really you?" I said with surprise. "You grew into a fine young man."
Brad was now towering in height, he might be taller than Jack. The lad that I remember was skinny and small, but now he had firm muscles and some scars that made his appearance more menacing.
"I know right, hehe." Brad scratched his head shyly.
"It is okay Will, he is an ally." I said.
William put aside his sword and let Brad thru his iron hard defense. Brad looked quite pleased seeing me.
"That is far enough." Regaleon said while pulling me closer to him.
Brad looked at Regaleon with astonished eyes. He was speechless, feeling Regaleon's intimidating aura.
"Brad, this is my husband, King Regaleon of Grandcrest." I introduced them.
I am not sure of my marriage had been announced to the whole continent by now. My mother and father had taken the task to spread the word of my marriage with Regaleon.
"T-This is the Black Devil?!" Brad showed a shocked expression. Regaleon's face twisted after hearing his nickname. "Ahh m-my apologies your highness!!!" Brad kneeled in an instant.
It has been a while since last I heard of Regaleon's nickname in the battlefield.
"It is an honor to meet the sun and moon of the Grandcrest Kingdom." Brad hailed.
"Rise." Regaleon accepted his greeting.
Brad stood up and looked embarrassed. I guess he never thought he would meet the king and queen of Grandcrest in this worn down village.
"What brings you here Brad?" I asked out of curiosity.
"Well your highness, as you know our group are mercenaries now. So, we are hired arms." Brad explained. "The village leader has hired us for a low price to their problem."
"A problem?" I asked.
"Yes." Brad replied. "Lately, there is a bandit group on the rise. They were notorious is robbing and stealing, not only those wealthy travelers but also these isolated villages."
"That is horrible." I said with astonished voice.
"Not only that, it is said that they kidnap small children from the said villages and also rapes their women." Brad said with an angry expression. "These low lives should not be allowed to live."
I agreed with Brad's words. I am happy that Jack's Crimson Mercenaries are helping these people in need only asking for a low price in return. At least this village can be kept safe while they are around.
'These bandits need to be caught.' I thought.
These parts of the woods are still under Alvannian territory. I am thinking of sending Reichard a letter to address this issue. I am sure that he can do something to make sure that our citizens can be safe and have these bad people caught.
edited by: nalyn
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