There’s no need now to describe what happened next. Yulifalet and the party of heroes magnificently defeated the demon king and triumphantly returned to the capital.
Even Yulifalet ended up smiling wryly at Agedilus, who headed towards his fiancée instantly without joining the return parade.
When they had just left the capital on their journey, Yulifalet had asked his companions something like, 「Why did you take the responsibility of defeating the demon king?」 Clementine had responded, 「For my people,」 and Alhelm had responded, 「For my lost soldiers.」
He hadn’t been able to hear Agedilus’s answer then, but it may have been for none other than his fiancée. If someone else heard that, they might get angry at how terribly selfish of a reason it was. But Yulifalet couldn’t help wondering if it was the only reason Agedilus had.
Waiting for Yulifalet after the return parade was an approach from the aristocrats and wealthy merchants, lined up in rows. They flattered Yulifalet, calling him the hero that saved the world and things like that. They tried every single way to win him over, but Yulifalet himself was fed up with it.
If it was just presents or letters sent everyday to the mansion lent to him, he could deal with that. But it wasn’t just that, they would bring along young women his age and say, 「Please keep her by your side,」 which was why Yulifalet was greatly perplexed and embarrassed.
No matter the fact that he was a hero, Yulifalet’s family, the Schtorenviheins, were nothing more than small countryside aristocrats in the end. He couldn’t confront the powerful large aristocrats or wealthy merchants, and fatigue built up within him from days of being stuck there. Even if he tried taking refuge in Agedilus or Alhelm’s mansion, he couldn’t say anything to them since they were also facing the same circumstances.
Days turned to weeks, in a sense more harsher than when he fought the demons. He knew things would get more or less better if he immediately returned to the Schtorenvihein grounds, but he couldn’t. Because there was something Yulifalet still had to do in the royal capital.
「Hey, Al. You look cool, as expected from the leader of knights.」
「Thanks. Right back at you, you look great.」
It was one day, after several weeks had passed since their return to the capital. Yulifalet was in front of a certain temple in a corner of the capital with Alhelm who’d tagged along. The two of them were cracking jokes and laughing together.
Yulifalet wore a uniform for young aristocrat men, and Alhelm wore a uniform for the leader of the chivalric order of knights. Both of them had their hair smoothed down with perfumed oils, and both of them wore their respective uniforms very stylishly. If the women of the world saw them, they certainly wouldn’t be able to leave them alone. Fortunately, there was no one here to see them.
It had been a while since he’d been out of the public eye, able to relax. Yulifalet looked up at the sky, stretching. The sky was cloudless, blue and serene as if this day was blessed, and the tender sunlight rained down upon the white temple.
Yes, indeed. There was no day more befitting of being blessed than today. Even the guardian goddesses that sat in the land of the heavens were behaving considerably sophisticated.
「Has Agedilus prepared everything already?」
「No, seems like there’s still something left.」
Yulifalet remembered Agedilus disappearing into the temple earlier as he said that, and Alhelm laughed.
「The leading man today’s being pretty carefree, huh?」
「——Who’s being carefree?」
Alhelm’s shoulders froze in surprise at the interrupting voice from behind. Yulifalet smiled, following Alhelm’s vision as he timidly looked over his shoulder to see a figure stood there……In other words, Agedilus.
「Huh, is that the uniform of wizards in the Black Lotus Court? It suits you.」
Standing beside Alhelm, Agedilus shrugged off Yulifalet’s words.
「I don’t need flattery.」
「It’s not flattery, you look super cool and beautiful!」
Agedilus made a complicated expression at the unexaggerated praise from Yulifalet in front of him. The expression was really difficult to describe. But even with it, he was more beautiful than anyone.
The uniform he wore showed the highest rank even among the wizards in the royal palace’s Black Lotus Court. This robe was made of the finest black fabric, with delicate embroidery on it with a black thread the same color as the cloth, and a silver thread that shone amidst the black. It was a dress robe that was clearly different from the one Agedilus wore on their trip.
There were countless decorative jewels like the magical jewel added in place to place, adding color to the robe as if twinkling stars in the night sky. Printed on the left breast was the crest of the head wizard of the royal palace, and the Lancent family crest, also adding to the robe’s splendour.
Under the robe he wore the same young male aristocrat uniform as Yulifalet, but its color was white, allowed only since he was the lead role today. As far as Yulifalet knew, Agedilus prefered to wear dark colors. But the white clothes were far from not suiting him; in fact, the contrast between the black and white looked gallant, and it enhanced Agedilus’s charm.
「As expected, even great wizards are no match for great heroes, huh?」
「Ouch ouch ouch—! Stop stepping on my foot, stop!」
In response to Alhelm’s words, Agedilus trampled on his foot, snorting.
「At any rate, to think that you’d actually attend… I thought you’d certainly have immediately left to your hometown.」
「I wouldn’t do that, not when it’s your wedding.」
Yes, wedding. The reason Yulifalet still stayed in the capital even though he was a nervous mess everyday, was certainly this.
Today was the day of the wedding of Agedilus Von Lancent and the woman who was his fiancée.
By all rights, it wouldn’t have been unusual for them to hold it in a grand temple in the center of the capital, making it a large scale festival instead of holding it here in this tiny temple, as if hiding. But it had turned out like this since the couple themselves had wanted it.
The attendants were only the 『party of heroes』, Agedilus’s foster father, Agedilus’s fiancée’s family and wet nurse. While he did think it was a bit wasteful, he mostly understood that Agedilus was just like that.
‘What’ll it be like when I get married?’ Yulifalet laughed at himself for wondering that when he didn’t even have a partner, and he leaned against a pillar of the temple.
「Well? What about the other attendants?」
「My father and everyone are already inside. There’s only you two left.」
「Huh?! It’s already time?!」
「Sorry ‘bout that. Well, let’s go, Yuli.」
Traditionally, weddings began when the bride and groom held hands and entered the temple. Therefore, the wedding couldn’t begin until Yulifalet and Alhelm left Agedilus at the entrance and took their seats inside.
‘We messed up!’ As Yulifalet and Alhelm were about to enter the temple, someone entered Yulifalet’s field of vision.
「What are you looking at? Go…」
Yulifalet suddenly stopped. Agedilus’s words were strangely cut off, as he followed Yulifalet’s gaze. To the door facing the outside, of a small booth by the temple. The door to the bride’s room opened, and coming out of it was…
「Miss, please be careful.」
「It’s fine, Suzette. Even I won’t fall at a time like this.」
A calm voice replied to the anxious voice. There were two women approaching them.
One of them was a young woman, wearing a pure white dress that showed she had the leading role today. There was delicate embroidery of white and silver threads on her dress, from her chest to her stomach, tightly following the curves of her body to her waist. Below her slender waist flowed the dress, freely and fully. It was made of cloth that you could tell in a glance was first-class quality.
On top of the embroidered cloth was a transparent lace, spread many times over and over itself, covering the lower half of her body. Just the tips of her flax-colored hair were wavy, the rest of it decorated with flowers the same white as her dress, just by her ears.
Her face, with light makeup on it, wasn’t particularly beautiful or lovely. But for some reason, it looked more beautiful to Yulifalet than all the women he had seen. Was that because of her natural beauty radiating from the inside?
Yulifalet, Alhelm, and Agedilus all stared at her, speechless. Noticing them, she smiled in an embarrassed, shy way.
He realized Agedilus gulped. And then, the bride who was one of the leading roles of today approached them, helped by the older woman she had called Suzette. And when she approached them, she sweetly smiled once again, curtsying in a light bow.
「Sir Yulifalet, Sir Alhelm. Thank you for coming here today.」
「Huh, how do you know……」
「Those are the names of the great heroes, of course. I’ve heard of the rumors for quite some time now.」
Still gently smiling, the bride told him that like it was no big deal. Yulifalet felt the blood rush to his face.
「Umm, t-thank you. And your name is……」
「I’m Filmina Veer Adina. Though, my name is going to change soon.」
Giggling, the bride——Filmina said that. She was the one that would be Agedilus’s companion. He’d been imagining someone more beautiful, so to be honest, it was a bit of a let-down. But more than that, her gentle smile made him think that she was definitely the one best suited for him.
「Oi, Agedilus. Say something to your bride. Or are you actually so charmed you can’t say anything – ouch!」
「That’s right, it’s because your bride is so beautiful – ouch!」
「Shut up, get out!」
Agedilus took it in turns to step on the feet of Alhelm and Yulifalet, who were teasing him. And on top of that, he trampled on them much harder than before.
「Oh my」Filmina frowned in worry.「That’s bad, you shouldn’t do that to your friends.」
「What friends, who here are friends?!」
「That would be, you and Yulifalet and Alhelm, of course.」
「Am I mistaken?」Filmina continued.
Agedilus was suddenly at a loss for words. At his reaction, Yulifalet and Alhelm instinctively exchanged glances, smirking. Just then, the sound of hands clapping was heard.
「Right! Everyone, that’s enough!」
The woman called Suzette, who had left the waiting room along with Filmina, glared at everyone, tightly lifting her brows.
「Heroes, please hurry up and take your seats. Agedilus and Miss, please enter once we give a signal from inside.」
「Come now, quick.」 They were pushed into the temple, as if being chased away, taken to the attendants’ seats inside. Widnichol was there, having arrived earlier. He sighed in relief when he saw Yulifalet and Alhelm.
「I was worried about you two, since you were late.」
「Wah—! Please stop! I can’t fix my hair by myself!」
Widnichol raised his voice in protest, avoiding Alhelm’s hand as he tried to pat Widnichol’s hair which was arranged with perfumed oil. His voice was unexpectedly loud, reverberating in the temple. Of course, everyone’s attention gathered on Widnichol.
Widnichol murmured shamefully, crouching his body even smaller than it already was. The bride and groom’s relatives laughed, and the previously tense atmosphere melted away to a calmer one.
Similarly, Yulifalet also couldn’t help laughing. He raised his green eyes to the altar in front. There was an idol of the goddess there, both of her arms spread out as if she was receiving everything.
In front of her stood Clementine. What she wore was not a dress, but clothes for shrine maidens who had received the goddess’ divine protection. With her wavy, silver waist-length hair arranged up, she stood so dignified it seemed like she was one of the goddess herself.
Clementine’s role today was not to be an attendant, but to be a witness to Agedilus and Filmina’s marriage. By all rights, that role should have gone to a priest, but it seemed Clementine herself had accepted it. 「Is there anyone more suited to being the witness than me?」 she had said. Certainly, Clementine who was born with the goddess’s divine protection was more suitable than any priest.
And then, Clementine’s light pink lips moved.