A few days after their return to Fort Rohka, Sagrado's wedding ceremony was to take place in a certain place modestly and quickly.
When two royal families from different countries hold a wedding ceremony, it is done under the protocol of the royal house of the bridegroom's family.
Of course, Alexis was planning to do so.
Fransisca had told him that she would take care of the arrangements, so Alexis left it to her and spent his days just waiting.
No, he would have helped her if he could do anything, but she said there was no need.
「Fatima will help me, don't worry. Besides, you are an "outsider" until you are inducted into the royal bloodline. As long as you are an outsider, I can't let you prepare for it.」
So that's how it is. Thus, Alexis decided to wait.
On that day, the fifth day of waiting, Alexis spent his time in his private room reading books.
Eden was by his side. She is still in full body armor, standing like an ornament. Although it is natural for a knight of the Kingsguard, Alexis sometimes wonders if her shoulders do not get stiff.
He had told her that she could do as she liked, but she replied, "...I'm," So Alexis decided to let her do whatever she wanted. And this is the result.
Well, he has gotten used to it since she has been like this the whole time she has been in Fort Rohka. Besides, she doesn't seem to have much of a presence, so having her around is not so much of a bother.
At the same time, Alexis spends his time doing muscle training, reading and sometimes inviting soldiers from the fort to play bad games such as rolling stones and dealing cards to each other. From Eden's point of view, it is a rare sight to see him spending his time playing such games.
This has happened for the past five days, but she has been watching without getting tired.
After the soldiers who had come to play had gone, Eden would occasionally ask, "What's that?" looking at the cards left on the table.
"You want to play too?" Alexis invited Eden to join in.
She silently agreed, but it seemed that Eden was not very good at this game.
Eventually, when Alexis was bored and running out of things to do, the waiter finally came.
「Sorry to keep you waiting, Alexis-sama」.
Fransisca visited Alexis in his private room. She was accompanied by Fatima.
Alexis felt that he had not seen them for a long time. No, it was not his imagination. Thinking back, he had not seen them for the past five days.
Fransisca, whom he had not seen for a long time, overwhelmed him with her beauty and lovely atmosphere, perhaps because it had been so long.
Her hair looks as if it has been combed with glittering platinum, her skin is as white as it can be, and her eyes are the color of amethyst, like jewels. She has a mysterious atmosphere that is both lovely and sacred to touch. When she smiles benignly, her well-defined eyebrows stand out even more.
But her presence overwhelmed him not only because it had been a long time since he had seen her—it was probably because she was dressed differently from her usual attire.
She wore a white robe, the kind worn over a cloak, which also enhanced her sense of holiness.
It was not only Fransisca. Fatima, on her side, was also dressed in a white priest's robe instead of the usual attire.
She looked calm as ever, but Fatima was Fatima again, and her unapproachable beauty was impressed.
In a word, their outfits suit them very well. Alexis immediately understood why they looked so good.
Their clothes are embroidered with geometric patterns in blue threads, a design reminiscent of the old magical civilization.
In short, it was truly a national outfit for the Sagrado people. Well, the national clothes of any country are made for the people of that country, and they are made in a way that makes the people of that country most prosperous.
「...How is it?」
Fransisca nodded her head, wondering why Alexis remained silent.
"No...," Alexis said, his words slurred, and a shy smile appeared on his face.
Alexis suddenly remembered something.
It was a festival in the Sagrado Kingdom that he had visited only once. It was a very old memory, but at that time, all the female priestesses of Sagrado were dressed like Fatima, and Fransisca's clothes were very similar to the priestesses' clothes.
「That's very common. Sagrado's, right? That's it.」
Alexis said, and Fransisca smiled and nodded.
「You are very well aware of that」
「I can guess from the embroidery」
「Well, I didn't have it with me. But a Sagrado seamstress lived in Krangal, so I asked her to prepare it for me. What do you think?」
Fransisca gave him a long, inquiring look.
「Well, it's good, isn't it?」
Alexis ended up answering vaguely like that.
It would have been better if he could have said clearly that it suited her. That was probably the answer she wanted. But he was too shy to do so face-to-face.
But a seamstress? He didn't know that the Sagrado people still had such a person in their ranks. But then again, that is true. There must have been a few who survived, and there must have been Sagrado who left the land in the first place. Some may have been unable to return home because of the sudden crisis in their homeland during their trip.
It is said that when the attack based in Fort Rohka was initially launched, the main axis of the attack was Sagrado soldiers who had survived the attack.
Then, what about the non-soldiers? —They must have fled to another country as refugees.
「I see... That's right...」
Alexis had forgotten about it, partly because the girls had not talked about it for so long.
No, he could understand why they didn't want to talk about it. Sagrado is still not at the stage where it is safe to call it home. The land is all jet black, the exposed areas are all ruins with no facilities, and the reconstruction has not progressed much.
When Alexis is still thinking, he is jolted out of his reverie by Fransisca's voice: "—Alexis-sama?"
「-Oh, yes, of course. You're here for the wedding, right?」
「Yes. We're ready now. Let's go.」
Fransisca nodded smilingly, making Alexis think, "What?"
It was too sudden to be a wedding ceremony, and it was hard to believe that she had already prepared for it.
—He asked Fransisca if she had sent the invitations.
"Did you send the invitation?" Alexis asks, and Fransisca says, "What's the invitation?"
「I mean, guest...」
「Oh, you know what? Don't tell me you haven't even prepared for the Banquet...」
The answer comes back with a question mark in reply to every question.
No way. Just when Alexis begins to have a bad premonition, Fatima, standing by the table with a calm expression, finally opens her mouth.
「Please don't be offended. This is the Sagrado method.」
Now it was Alexis' turn to roll his eyes.
「No guests. No invitations. No banquet. Because this is a secret ceremony. Instead, we wait a year before we hold the celebration. At that time, the guests are invited. That is the Sagrado way.」
Fatima speaks plainly.
So that's how it is. Alexis decided to accept.
At first glance, there is little difference between the Sagrado people and the Krangal people, so it is easy to forget that each country and each ethnic group has its own customs and traditions.
Seeing them dressed in their national costumes, Alexis finally remembered that they were of a different ethnic group from himself.
「—Well, let's go」
Alexis said, and Eden walked up to his side.
She nodded silently.
Fransisca and Fatima looked at each other and discussed what to do.
Looking at them, Alexis remembered that the wedding was a secret ceremony for Sagrado.
「—Well, but you'll have to wait outside...」
Fransisca said, and Eden nodded.
Alexis decided to follow them, taking Eden with her.
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