Title: Ever After Story
Genre: Romance/ Humor
Pairing: Royai, EdWin
Summary: Rebellions, gunshots and dogs. Prince Roy can handle them all. But he could never be a king without his queen.
His guests were already starving for the fatty meal that was not yet served just because the significant persons that were expected to be at the dining table were not yet present.
“Your majesty, I believe that you have recently seen your betrothed?” King Bradley asked the prince in zest, breaking the silence of the dining room.
The other visitor opposite the man who wore an eye patch was Frank Archer -Bradley’s right hand and the one who would start talk later.
Roy, who was slightly playing with his fork, tenuously stated, “Yes I did.” He inwardly decided that what happened earlier that night would be better left unsaid.
This supper would be his formal meeting with the lady, whom his uncle and the other members of the court had arranged to be his queen.
And it would be better for him to meet her again this way to clearly judge her identity and his fate.
“Good,” The older man delightfully nodded and took a bite at his steak.
The flame alchemist inwardly groaned. His uncle was desperately finding a way for him to finally settle down and was acting like his own father. All Roy wanted to do was rest since his eyes were beginning to close because of fatigue.
“Does the fact that this marriage agreement will divert my attention from my responsibilities ever cross your minds?”
“It’s true, but you can’t deny that you would have to deal with this sooner or later. You have to produce an heir.”
Nevertheless, all of them knew very well that the prince had the choice in the palm of his hands. Whatever his decision may be, it was final.
And it seemed like he had no allies to back him up about this kind of matter. Even if Maes Hughes were here, he too would not stop persuading him. He was glad that said officer was out of sight.
After a few moments of waiting, the door eventually swung open, signaling that the woman they were talking about had finally let her presence known.
She graciously stepped in, distracting the prince’s attention from the conversation.
His jaw dropped open.
Ever After Story
As he was about to stand, someone pushed him back to the ground and pointed the sharp tip of a gun on his forehead. He thought that he had seen the golden moon but before he could react, his mind deduced that he wasn’t seeing the celestial body…
Standing before him in obscurity, was a lone form of a person whose bronze orbs stared menacingly back at him.
Roy had to smirk; so this person thought he could easily win over him and report the next day that the ruler of Armestris had been assassinated, nice news for the rebels who oppose his government.
Still, they had to remember that they shouldn’t get too close to him for they might get burned.
He raised his hand at shoulder level, preparing his pyrotex glove as the being in front of him pushed the firearm harder beneath his bangs and cocked the gun, indicating that the first one to move would be the victor.
Oh yes, he had to kill somebody again for his own sake. How many times did he have to do this? Countless times.
He wanted to learn alchemy to help others but he was wrong. He might be called selfish but he also had no choice.
One, two…But before they could budge to shed blood, a startled voice rang to cease them.
“Princess Riza stop!” the spiky-haired lad carelessly drove his horse towards them, calling the human standing above the bemused prince.
Without further ado, the flame alchemist snapped his fingers.
The branch of the nearest tree was coated with flames and lighted the surroundings. Although the streaks of light couldn’t overcome the darkness completely, it still gave Roy the sight he wanted to see.
There, his charcoaled orbs saw the outline of the defiant mortal.
She was without a doubt a woman; the russet colored attire that she wore clung tightly to her body, specifying a feminine form. Her face was faintly smudged and her flaxen tresses were roughly clipped behind her head, showing that the title addressed to her didn’t quite fit her well.
He hadn’t recognized her easily because of the fact that his body already began to get heavy and ache for rest.
“Princess Riza!” Fuery discharged himself from the stallion and ran helplessly.
Princess Elizabeth ‘Riza’ Hawkeye turned towards the youth. As if she could read the lad’s mind, she learned the identity of the man she tackled and withdrew her pistol from him. She exhaled in an unimpressed manner and stepped backward while putting her weapon back to its cradle.
The expression on her face remained blank and stoic.
“Your highness,” Fuery panted, grave exhaustion was painted on his face. “I introduce to you the beloved princess of Aquroya, Princess Elizabeth Hawkeye.”
“Wonderful,” the onyx haired prince said with a hint of sarcasm and dusted himself from the earth. His clothes were a bit dirty now and he already reeked of sweat. “Perhaps I should also introduce myself to the stunning lady before me-“
“Introducing yourself is not necessary, my majesty,” The woman coolly stated, “Excuse me but I still have to tend to my pet.” There was a slight irritation in her voice.
The night breeze blew harder, sending chills to her body and making her hair messier. She gently bowed her head as a sign of acknowledgement before turning her back completely from him.
Taken aback, Roy watched the blonde woman strode towards the creature he had previously burned. She carefully knelt down and took the poor creature in her arms.
“P-princess,” Fuery concernedly said as Riza walked towards his horse and leapt on it. If it wasn’t that dark one could actually see that she was mad.
And the reason was quite obvious for Feury.
“There’s nothing to worry about. I can go back to the palace all by myself,” She clearly announced.
She gave the prince one last look, as if he was a mere important person she knew. “If I were you, I would go to my subordinate and stop him from shrieking.” She was obviously referring to Breda.
She efficiently kicked her horse and without thinking twice, rode alone, finding her way back to the palace.
He was lost for words.
He had seen her an hour ago but it seemed like this was the first time he looked at her directly.
Sitting opposite him was a woman who possessed unwavering beauty.
Her skin was pale and unblemished; she wasn’t wearing any make-up like other women whom Roy knew. She wore a very simple white gown that lacked the different kinds of embroideries and other confetti that give an extravagant appearance to the beholder.
But the most observable thing that caught his eye was her hair.
The golden half-wet tresses lay gracefully beneath her shoulders, making him gaze at her longer than he would have liked.
He gripped his goblet and leisurely sipped the wine, enjoying the warmth that it gave his system.
“Aherm,” Bradley interrupted, sending Roy back to reality. “Princess Riza welcome to the kingdom of Armestris.” He raised his cup of red wine, inviting a toast. However, no one seemed to pay attention to him. He decided to just continue his speech. This was his idea after all.
“So, How did you find this place?”
“Good,” she plainly stated, maneuvering her knife on the beef.
“Splendid,” Bradley remarked. “And how’s the relationship going on between you and your majesty, milady?”
“Was there any, in the first place?” She nonchalantly replied and took a bite from the meat she sliced.
“I believe that the question is inappropriate at the moment,” Roy blurted, emphasizing his authority, “Since it is the Princess’ first night here in Armestris.”
A servant silently approached and refilled his empty glass, noting that the prince hadn’t touched any of his food.
“Forgive me.” The old man immediately made an apology.
“And it will also be the last.” Riza silently confirmed.
“I beg your pardon?” Bradley regarded the female quietly before Roy could speak.
“I decided to leave since my business here is done.”
“May I remind you Princess, that your father has engaged you to be the Queen of Armestris?”
“The Prince did not reach my expectations.” She frankly stated, eyes focused at the sliced beef on her fork, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
These made Roy uncomfortable. He returned his goblet back on the table. The statement awoke him from his sleepy condition. It was his first time to hear an insult from a woman directed to him. All women yearn for his attention; they were highly satisfied with his moves and the time that he gave them.
For the first time, the man named Frank Archer joined their conversation.
“Permission to speak,” he inquired briefly, trying to hide the mirth from his voice. “I think that it’s quite clear that Princess Elizabeth here doesn’t want to marry Prince Roy,” He straightforwardly looked at the elder. “ And that the Prince has no intentions on getting involved with matrimony yet.”
Bradley silently ceased his eating and gazed at the two concerned people on the table. It sure was inevitable. But judging by the empire’s status and the Prince’s charisma, one would consider that it was very odd for a princess from a not so wealthy realm to reject such a proposal.
“Perhaps you could give me plenty of time to decide,” Roy said, cupping his chin thoughtfully. “I mean ‘us’.” He glanced at Riza who also seemed to stop the intake of her food.
“I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“Then postpone it.”
“I will not.”
“A month,” He shifted his gaze at Bradley. “Give us a month.”
“I just told you-“
“Don’t worry, I’ll send a word to your father about this.”
“I said-“ Her voice was getting louder.
“Your father may be glad as well.” He continued to cut her off and looked at her intently.
She paused, holding her breath and digesting the words that he had spoken.
He didn’t know how she would react but he could sense that it had influenced her decision, judging by the fact that she stopped her protests.
He smirked triumphantly, played with the knife and tasted his meal for the first time. He had just said the right words to persuade her.
That was what they wanted from the very beginning. He could have dismissed the topic of getting a queen if he had not argued back and had not asked for plenty of time to decide. But the woman’s attitude impressed him in a sort of manner that he wanted her to stay a little longer.
After all, Armestris would benefit from this.
She exhaled deeply, letting go of the knife and fork that she was holding and dragged herself up. “Excuse me.” She turned her back, leaving an unfinished meal and hastily exited from her welcoming banquet that had just began a few minutes ago.
And there was peace after the verbal battle. No one spoke for a moment.
“Well, that’s it.” Roy drunk his last wine in one full gulp before he too stood up, ready to leave. Now he could rest.
“You made a brilliant decision, your highness.” Archer raised his own glass; a smile was playing on his lips.
“Very well indeed for the future of Armestris,” Bradley added in a tone much like Archer’s. “Thus we shall hold a feast and invite the whole royal court, the dukes, duchess, the important people of Armestris to officially welcome her.”
“Do what must be done,” he commended, thinking of nothing but to have some peaceful nap and forget the events that had happened so fast. He finally thought that it would be better if Maes was there.
His subordinates ushered behind him as he turned towards the corridors of the palace. The night ended at last. But not for others.
“Uh, probably he’s still in the state of shock, confusion and comatose,” Havoc answered carelessly.
“Your majesty,” He spoke softly in a serious tone. “I’ve got news from the outside.”
Roy, without stopping, glanced at the man for a second. Rest day was over. He had to condition himself for the business that he had to work on tomorrow.
Riza marched back in her room and closed the door quietly. She didn’t turn on the lights; she always preferred her room to be dim at night. Sloppily, she removed her stilettos and walked barefooted on the carpet covering the floor, letting herself sit on the soft material. She reached for her left foot, massaging it gently to soothe the ache it obtained from the heels.
A sudden knock at the other door of the room interrupted the stillness of the place.
“Come in.” She uninterestedly noted.
“Your highness, you’re back,” It was Cain Fuery, peeping at the entrance. “Black Hayate’s already sleeping.”
She gracefully stood on her feet and entered the door that Fuery knocked on. She entered the area’s living room, scanning every part of the room until she saw her dog that was sleeping comfortably under the soft blankets.
She knelt beside the creature but not close enough to wake him up.
“The burns are just partial. I already put some medicine and ointments on him.” the man reassuringly informed her.
She sighed peacefully, “Good job.”
The next thing she did was to stroll towards the door leading to the porch and tugged the knob to unlock it, allowing the icy gust of wind to enter the vicinity and the curtains to flutter.
“We’re leaving tomorrow.”
“Oh, okay uh… What we’re leaving!?” Fuery adjusted his glasses, shocked. “Aah...w-what I mean is… but my Princess! I thought…” He prohibited himself from saying another word.
Riza stepped outside. The cold marble floor touched her naked feet. She looked at the vast image that was in front of her - Armestris. She tucked her hair behind her ear, her face concealed all what she had in mind.
As expected, Roy Mustang has no apprehension of what others might think of his decision. He was making use of his full control.
He made a point to know the woman he has to wed before acknowledging her as his rightful queen, unlike the other princes who choose their wives based on their faces and take as many concubines as far as their authority can be used.
Lest she forget that he was known for courting several princesses and has no intention to marry any of them.
“Your highness,” her subordinate pleaded. “Please try this time.” He was trembling. Not that he was scared of her, but the icy wind was making him freeze.
She inhaled, exhaled and turned to him. “I don’t care if my marriage is just arranged or is just a political affair; I don’t even care if my prince is powerful or not.”
The memory from the previous banquet was comprehensibly encrypted in her mind. And the authority of the highest man made her want to leave as soon as possible. He could do whatever he wanted with anyone but not with her.
And he had the guts to shake her from her cool demeanor, not like the way she easily gets rid of her suitors in one wave.
“But you still don’t known His majesty that much… and the king is waiting.” Fuery objected, rubbing his palms together. “And Black Hayate’s not in a good shape to travel,” He trailed off.
She left her gaze at him and then observed the land that was covered with slight fog.
“My father knew him when he was young. He knew that the prince also knows flame alchemy… But that doesn’t mean that he is the right one.”
Being the only child of a king who already had a weak body, Riza’s decision was precedence. Her father permitted her to select her own betrothed but soon decided to send her to Armestris, to where she was at the very moment. It was the safest, her father told her.
She closed her eyes and sighed in defeat. Wasn’t it a man’s liability of finding his queen?
She rubbed her temples. The matter was indeed, very maddening.
It doesn’t mean that if she stayed it would already proceed to the ritual of matrimony. The allotted time was for making the right conclusion and a trial for the both of them. That’s it. Period.
And of course, she wasn’t the type of woman whom he could play in the palm of his hands.
“I’m going to sleep.” She breathed out, signaling Fuery to leave the room.
This was the best that she could do.
To be continued...
Tell me what you think about the story so I can improve it. -smiles-