The next day passed quickly without much change from the day before. Dressing up I made sure my blue tuxedo was clean, crisp, and smelled clean. Having made this tuxedo myself I made sure that it was lined with special material for comfort, and for protection. Inside the lining had several protective charms that protected me from poison, mind control, and from diseases. Polishing my shoes I walked out of my room casually with my black bow tied to perfection. Bidding the Earl’s family a good evening I was taken to the castle by carriage, and greeted with open arms by Eleanora’s maid. Guided into the castle she led me to the ballroom where all the guests were gathering. Thanking her I immediately went to the children my age hoping trouble would avoid me.
“What is with that clothing?”, one of the boy’s asked.
“This is formal wear.”, I stated, “Here, feel how good the clothing is.”
Touching my suit they all seemed impressed with the quality. Discussing things with them soon the adults seemed to turn towards one of the entrances. Walking in the King and Queen entered in their finest clothing. Following them their children entered with their spouses, or arranged marriage partners. Clapping like the adults were we stopped as the King prepared to speak.
“Thank you all for coming.”, he said with a joyous smile, “Tonight we celebrate the new engagement of my youngest daughter Eleanora. Jameson, please come up here.”
Walking up to the King I gave him a polite bow.
“This boy as many of you know single-handedly killed two wyvern, rescued Eleanora, and captured the Grim Reaper alive.”, he said, “In addition, he is engaged to the now deceased Archbishop of Centerbury’s granddaughter. In recognition of these actions I have awarded him the title of Twilight Knight of the Embomira, and he will assume the rank that comes with the title when he turns twelve.”
Grumbling from some of the nobles could be heard while others started grinning away thinking of ways to get connected to me. Holding my hand Eleanora smiled happily as she pulled me close. Just as things were getting good the Finance Minister, and Jessica entered into the room. Standing by at the doorway she smiled at me. Seeing them the King was quite surprised.
“Henry, what brings you here?”, the King asked the Finance Minister.
“Your Majesty, my daughter wanted to come to see Jameson.”, he said, “She wants to marry him as well.”
Most of the nobles in the room spit out their drinks in shock. Hearing that his family had an interest in me shocked everyone.
“I see no problem with it.”, the King said, “Jameson, what do you say?”
“Her knowledge of the ancient tomes would be a big asset to me. In addition like Eleanora she is a very beautiful, and honest woman. I would be honored to have her as a wife.”, I stated.
Gripping my arm tightly Eleanora turned bright red.
“You…you think I am beautiful?”, she said looking up at me with her blue eyes.
“Of course, I think of you as one of the most beautiful girls I know.”, I said with a smile.
Hugging me she smiled happily. Walking up to me Jessica latched on to my left arm also smiling happily. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better I saw Laura enter the room with her maid. I was about to call out to her, but I noticed she wasn’t smiling. Running off the stage I hurried over to her.
“Laura, what is wrong?”, I asked.
“It’s the Rogarth Empire!!”, she said grabbing me, “They started their invasion of my country. My parents send me here hoping you would accept me. Please don’t send me back!”
Holding her tightly I told her I wouldn’t turn her away. Running over my two other future partners wanted to meet her. Quickly explaining the situation Eleanora turned to her father. Wearing a grave expression he turned to the Minister of War.
“Prepare to move out as soon as possible. Our ally needs our help.”, he said.
Holding Laura I thanked her maid for bring her. Leaving the three women to the maid I approached the King.
“Your Majesty, have you extract information from the prisoner?”, I asked.
“No, he hasn’t spilled anything.”, he said.
“May I have a chance to get the information out of him?”, I said clenching my fist, “The Rograth Empire has harmed two important people to me. I want to do my part to help.”
“I understand, you have my permission.”, he said, “David, take him to the cells.”
“Understood.”, David the Minister of War said.
Leading me to the cell where the Grim Reaper was I wasted no time in interrogating him. Grabbing him by the neck I smashed him into the wall. The surrounding prisoners backed away from us trying to make themselves as small as possible.
“You’re going to answer my questions, or I will start breaking your bones one by one.”, I said in a cold tone, “You hurt two of my future brides so I will not give you any mercy.”
“I doubt you have the-“, he started to say.
Grabbing his pinky finger I crushed without changing my expression. Crying out in pain the man glared at me. Grabbing the next three fingers I broke all of them. Screaming in pain I let him fall to the ground.
“What is the goal of starting an invasion now?”, I asked.
When he didn’t respond I grabbed his ear, and ripped it off. Blood poured from the wound as the man cradled his head crying from the pain.
“The Third Prince wants to marry Eleanora, and Venittia.”, he howled, “Both countries refused so he convinced his father to invade them!”
“Oh, I doubt he would be that stupid to allow his son to manipulate him.”, I said grabbing his thumb.
“He put the Emporer under a spell!!”, the man screamed, “He used <Forced Servant> on the Emporer, and placed a curse on him should he free himself!! If the Ministers don’t listen their families will die!! The Prince also has the wives of his brothers in jail to keep them in line!! They don’t realize he already sold them!!”
“That’s more like it…last question. Obviously the Rogarth Empire has spies in both countries. Who are they?”, I demanded.
Fumbling around he produced a scrap of paper with names on it. Two names stood out on the list.
“What do these people gain from helping the cause?”, I said pointing to the names.
“They don’t like you Restia Empire!!”, he replied, “They want the King gone, and the Second Prince on the throne!!”
“What’s the matter?”, David asked.
“I don’t know for sure, but-“, I said as something pulled around my neck.
Looking behind me the Minister of War was attempting to choke me to death.
“You knew!!”, I said.
“Of course I did!!”, the Minister said with a laugh, “Because of the ongoing peace my powers have shrunk to almost nothing!! The King has been talking about taking my power, and giving it to the Prime Minister!! He even joked about making you in charge of that when you were old enough. Sadly, you won’t have that chance as the Grim Reaper will have killed you while I went to relieve myself.”
“You’re forgetting something.”, I said with a grin.
“And what is that?”, he laughed.
Grabbing his hand I threw him into the wall.
“You forget you aren’t strong enough to kill me…”, I said revealing a Record Stone from my pocket.
“When did you!?”, he said coughing up blood.
“Oh this?”, I said with a smile, “My grandfather warned me I could end up in bad situations with women so I decided to keep stones like this on me for protection against false accusations. Who would have thought I would have caught a traitor like this.”
“Kill him!!”, he ordered the Grim Reaper.
Before he could I punched his head off his shoulders.
“What..!”, he said turning pale.
“I have been holding back as to not scare people, but now you made me show a bit of my strength. Let’s go see the King…I am sure he will be happy to hear from you.”, I said slamming his face into the ground.
Dragging him to the King’s study I threw him at the King’s feet. Presenting the Record Stone to him he listened to the interrogation. Hearing everything up till when I showed the Record Stone to the Minister the King turned to him.
“I trusted you to protect our nation…”, the King said trembling, “You fought alongside me in the war, and even married my sister! Your actions now have to make excuse you, and her!! Do you realize what you have done!!”
“You would have taken my power from me!!”, the Minister snapped.
“So you could finally retire!!”, the King retorted, “You have been talking about retiring for the past five years, but never did. I wanted you to feel relieved not get mad at me.”
“You know nothing!!”, the Minister said.
“I don’t have too. Guards seize the former Minister of War. By law…please take his wife and children in as well. Their execution will be tomorrow.”, the King said.
Dragging him away once they were gone the King fell to his knees.
“This job…it will be the death of me like for my father before me.”, he said to me, “Please protect my daughter from this life. As a father I don’t want her to suffer like I have.”
“I promise.”, I said.
“Stay the night here as my guest. I will have the people on the list arrested.”, he said.
Giving him the list I left the poor King alone. Led back to my quarters I realized it was Eleanora’s room. Looking at the maid she explained the situation.
“Everyone knows in the castle that you beat the Grim Reaper to death, and beat the Minister of War to a pulp.”, she said, “Most of the people are afraid of you right now. No one is aware that the Minister sold the nation out, or that you were interrogating the Grim Reaper. As such the King wants you to explain things to your future wives.”
Pushing me in the door she silently shut it behind me. Realizing I had gone to far in my actions I felt bad because now my actions weren’t being taken as a talents child, but as a prominent upcoming nobleman. I also had to think about my brides families as well. The King wasn’t a problem as he was aware of everything, but the other two weren’t.
“Are you still awake?”, I said at the foot of the bed.
Holding my hat in my hands I lowered my head.
“Yes, we are awake.”, Jessica said poking her head out of the curtains around the bed.
“I wanted to talk to you three about tonight.”, I said, “It’s about the incident which I believe you heard about earlier.”
“You mean about the Minister of War…”, Eleanora said from behind the curtain.
“He sold out to the Rogarth Empire…he was upset your father was going to force him to retire, and plotted to kill the king.”, I said, “It sounds like he was the reason the Grim Reaper managed to get into the capital, and the reason information about the invasion was kept a secret. When I heard of his betrayal I saw your terrified face in that sack, and I…I lost control of myself. I killed the Grim Reaper before he could react to the Minister’s orders, and almost killed the Minister out of anger.”
Bowing with my head to the floor I started tearing up.
“I am sorry that I lost my temper, and hope you won’t think of me as a monster.”, I said trembling.
Leaping from her bed Eleanora embraced me forcefully.
“I am so happy you did for me!!”, she said crying her eyes out, “I thought you were going to betray us. Hearing that you were mad for my sake I couldn’t think of you as a monster!!”
Leaping out as well Laura held me tightly smiling ear to ear.
“Grandfather said you would protect me, and you did. The Minister could have come for me for telling everyone the truth.”, she said shaking, “Please don’t worry about what you did. You did it to protect us so there is nothing to be a afraid of.”
Looking at Jessica she seemed to not mind it much at all.
“What’s up with you?”, I asked, “You don’t seem afraid.”
“That’s because she is a vampire.”, Laura said.
“What..?”, I said looking at Jessica, “Is that why your family stays away from people?”
“Correct.”, she said flashing her teeth, “My father says most people don’t trust our kind, but I decided to trust you. As it turns out my trust hasn’t been wrongly placed. I hope you don’t mind vampires.”
“Of course not, just please don’t drink my blood.”, I said.
“Haha, vampires like us used potions to supplement our diet instead of blood. We eat food normally like humans, and use the potion to satisfy our urges.”, Jessica said, “No need to worry about me drinking your blood.”
Relieved I was pulled onto the bed, and given a pillow and blanket. Mentally telling myself it was just a sleep over I eventually fell asleep. Waking up the next day to some noisy maids I realized sometime during the night the three girls had encircled me while I slept.
“They are so adorable!”, the maids said.
“Have you heard of knocking!!”, I said jumping out of bed.
“Young Miss, how was it sharing a bed with your betrothed?”, Eleanora’s maid asked.
“He is very warm…”, Eleanora said with a red face.
“Oh my!”, a voice said from the door.
Looking at the door the Queen and King were standing there. My heart sunk when the King wore a stern look as he told me to follow him. Sitting down in his study I received a lecture on the duties of a man, and was told there was no backing out of the marriages now. He threatened to have me killed if I decided to leave Eleanora as she wouldn’t be allowed to marry anyone else now after spending a night in bed with me.
“Come on!!! I slept next to her nothing freaking happened!!!”, I thought to myself, “One momentary lapse in judgment has landed me in the doghouse.”
Once my lecture was over it was off to school again.