The moonlight gently pierced through the thin clothing. The gentle night breeze grazed her silky silver hair. Silently, Veirya sat still in place, eyes closed. It appeared as though she wasn’t even breathing.
I took in a deep breath and then held it. I wasn’t sure if it was on purpose or not, but there was no one in the room. What should’ve been the loudest place at night was dead silent tonight. I wasn’t sure if Veirya heard my footsteps or not. Normally, any minute sound was enough to disrupt her sleep.
“Is she deep asleep due to excessive fatigue?” I wondered.
I placed my cane aside. I did my best to quietly remove my cloak and approach Veirya from behind. guard was completely down. Normally, it’d be impossible to approach her from behind, yet she didn’t respond despite how close I was to her. Her military uniform covered her wounds on her back, but I could seemingly still see the burn she suffered as a result of protecting us.
Veirya’s silver hair had grown out but was still messy. Even so, it was still as pretty as I remembered it. The moonlight added an ethereal touch to her hair. Sisi made sure to earnestly take care of her long burgundy hair daily, but Veirya never bothered with her hair.
I gently draped my cloak on Veirya. She suddenly opened her eyes. Our gazes met at close range. My heart involuntarily raced again. I was ready to remain calm and freeze in front of Veirya. I had to remain rational. Nevertheless, I had to find a way to reduce the awkwardness between us. At the very least, it was our first meeting in a long time, so I had to say something…
“What should I say? Let me think. Let me think… What should I say…?” I contemplated
Veirya didn’t give me a chance to finish processing my thoughts. Judging from her reaction, she had deemed thinking what to say for our first meeting to be unnecessary. She draped her arms over my shoulder and pulled me in. Again. My teeth suddenly felt a hard collision again, thereby confirming she wasn’t Angelina… Veirya hugged me as though she wanted to lock me in her arms. She didn’t have any hugging skills. It was as if she learnt to hug from a wrestling class, but I spaced out for a bit due to the emotional rush.
“Screw reasoning!” I inwardly yelled.
“Sorry,” whispered Veirya, by my ear. “I was wrong… Sorry… I should’ve. Trusted you…. Because… I wasn’t sure… I don’t know why… Whenever you… are with other women and intimate. I. Feel upset. Miserable. I don’t know. Why…”
An ice cold liquid touched my face. Surprised, I pushed her back. Veirya was still expressionless, but her blue eyes, those blue eyes that made me feel suffocated and heart race, were wet. Her tears coursed down her pretty face…
The sight of Veirya’s tears surprised me. She gently touched my face and opined, “Previously. I didn’t realise. That it was so joyous. To have you by my side. I’m glad. You’re back to me. Let’s. Go home. The throne. Is Queen Sisi’s. So. Let’s go back…”
It was my first time seeing Veirya cry. Never in my imagination did I think she’d plead me.
Did I need to do anything? No, I didn’t need to say anything or do anything. I just needed to leave hand in hand with her. We just had to leave.
“I want. To be together forever. From now. I won’t. Run away. Again. Or be wilful. Again. I will. Listen to you. And trust you. So, I hope. You can stay with me from now. Let’s pledge. An oath.”
Veirya released me and went down on one knee. She removed her sword and handed it to me. I stuttered, “Wh-What should I do…? What should I do…? I don’t know what to do…”
“You just need to do this.
I attempted to turn, but I suddenly felt my knee clip, sending me straight to my knees in front of Veirya. From behind, Angelina placed a hand on my shoulder and chuckled, “Although this should be a ceremony with Veirya pledging to you, I think that you should both make a pledge to each other. As for the ring, remember to buy Veirya one to make it up to her. Now, I’ll be your witness.”
Angelina snagged a veil sitting on a chair by the side, and put it on Veirya’s head. Veirya didn’t follow. Angelina raised my right arm and smiled: “Put it on her shoulder. You, too, Veirya.”
I did as Angelina said, and so did Veirya. Angelina laughed: “Now, repeat after me. It’s simple, but it might make you shy. After all, this is an old passage our ancestors imparted. Nonetheless, you must say it.”
“Heavens above, today, in the name of the ancestors’ honour and dignity and gaze of gods, I hereby swear.”
Veirya, gripping my shoulder hard enough to ache, calmly repeated the embarrassing passage.
“I shall forever stay by his/her side as his/her shield and blade. I will not hesitate to sacrifice my life for him/her, never betray him/her and never regret. This oath starts tonight and shall last for eternity.”
I didn’t know who started it or what the meaning of the ceremony was. All I knew was that Veirya and I had sworn an oath to stay with and love each other till the end of our lives.
“Done. You two shall be together forever from now. Trust each other. Respect each other. And, love each other. So then, your business is done, right? Queen Sisi should return, so home we go.”
Angelina seemed to want to separate me from Sisi as soon as possible. To be fair, there was, indeed, no need for me to continue staying in the imperial capital. I should’ve left immediately with Veirya. In saying that… only a kid would make that decision. An adult takes all!
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