12: Temporary Farewell
Julius was waiting for someone on the hill at the back of a certain estate on the night of a full moon before his departure.
His beautiful blonde hair shone in the moonlight and the mysterious person appeared.
If there had been spectators here then they would have been charmed and sighed no matter who had appeared.
“Julius-sama!” A voice called out to him from the estate.
Julius looked towards that direction and the young lady trotted towards him. It was Julius’s fiancée, Emilinne.
She was wearing a thick tunic to protect herself against the cold and her peach coloured hair was tied up in ribbon embroidered with gold thread. Her simple appearance suited her well.
Julius thought so and smiled gently.
The hill Julius was on was at the back of the Verjus estate and Emilinne had just came out of the estate.
“Good evening, Lady Emilinne. I’m sorry for calling you here at such an hour.”
“It’s fine. I thought something had happened when I received your private letter.”
“Fufu, I’m sorry about that. I really wanted to see you before I left for the battlefield.”
Emilinne remembered the letter that had secretly arrived from Julius this afternoon. It had said that he wanted to meet her at the back of her estate at night. Emilinne snuck out of the estate and came here.
Emilinne was nervous with expectation and anxiety because Julius had never called her out like this before. But, she was taken aback when Julius told her that he was going onto the battlefield. This collided with what she had been worrying about these last few days.
“…… So the rumours are true, after all. You’re participating in this war.”
“Yes, I am. My father won’t be the one participating from the Rosenberg House, I will be. I asked my father for this.”
Emilinne had ran here in excitement, but what she had heard cause her face to darken and she casted her eyes down.
She remained silent as she casted her eyes down and silence filled the field.
“Huh?” Julius, who didn’t hear Emilinne’s words, asked in return and she suddenly looked up and yelled at him, “Why on earth! Why are you participating in the war?! Please do something so you don’t have to go to such a dangerous place! If something were to happen to you, Julius-sama, I……”
Julius looked troubled because she had tears coming out of the corner of her eyes while she was asking him not to go to the battlefield.
Emilinne calmed down when she saw Julius’s expression and stopped yelling.
“Have you calmed down?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. I got upset.”
Julius reached out and gently wiped the tears from Emilinne’s eyes.
“Thank you for worrying about me. Is it about me participating in this war?”
“Yes, won’t you please let me know why? You mentioned earlier that this was what you wished for.”
Julius responded, this is a little bit embarrassing but, to Emilinne’s request and answered.
“It was because of you, Lady Emilinne. I wanted to be able to ask for your hand in marriage with confidence.”
Emilinne was taken aback from Julius’s unexpected reply. She opened her eyes wide and shouted.
Julius did hint marriage the other day at the tea party, but she didn’t realise that he was being serious. She also couldn’t understand what that had to do with him going to war.
“I thought that I didn’t have enough confidence to marry you as I am now. I can gain battle achievements and prestige for the first time in this battle and then I can marry you with confidence.”
“That’s…… That’s not true! I’m the one who isn’t suited to stand beside you, Julius-sama!”
Emilinne outright denied what Julius had said.
She never thought that Julius would think such things. She had always thought that he was out of her reach. She had always wanted to reach him and yet it was the complete opposite.
“Stop joking. You’re far too good for me. That’s why I want to be recognised.”
── as a man, Julius didn’t say those words. Even if he had said it out loud there wouldn’t be any meaning to it. He was determined to bring actual results.
Emilinne hadn’t completed agreed with Julius, but she knew from his expression that there was no changing his mind so the most she could do was inform him of her wish.
“Then please…… Come back safely.”
Julius was perplexed on how to reply to Emilinne’s forced plead for a moment.
Of course, there was no such thing as safety on the battlefield.
Everyone battled with their life on the line, they might die or their opponent might die. Both were possible scenarios.
Julius was confident in his sword skills but he couldn’t be absolutely sure that he wouldn’t die.
But, when he looked at his fiancée’s anxious expression, he just couldn’t say that to her now, could he?
Therefore, he nodded vigorously and lied.
It was a white lie to give his lover peace of mind.
“Of course. It’s fine, I will definitely come to see you after I’ve amassed battle achievements.”
Emilinne, who saw him like that, felt a little relieved.
“Julius-sama. Isn’t there anything I could do? I would like to do something for you, who’re heading onto the battlefield. Please tell me if there’s anything I could do.”
“It’s better for a woman not to say 『if there’s anything I could do』. My desires might just come out. However, that’s right……” Julius joked frivolously at Emilinne’s proposal and then came up with a request after thinking for a while.
“Well then, if you insist. Could I borrow something you’re wearing? I would like to have it as an amulet out in the battlefield. I want to feel like you are beside me even if I’m in a faraway battlefield.”
“Something I’m wearing? Well, if you’re fine with something like this……”
Julius asked if he could have something of hers and she searched her body for something to give him, then she presented him with the blue ribbon that was in her hair.
Julius received it gratefully, folded it up carefully and put it into his chest pocket.
“Thank you. I also want to give you something of mine…… But I’ll stop here for now. Instead, I will give you a ring when I come to return the ribbon.”
“Ah…… yes! I will be waiting for you!”
Julius implied that he would be marrying her once he returned safely from the battlefield and she turned red while nodding vigorously.
“Now then, it’s gotten considerably late. I can’t keep a lady at this place any longer, so I’ll let you be off now.”
“Yes. Julius-sama, I pray you good fortune in war.”
Julius watched as Emilinne walk towards the estate while turning back many times in reluctance and then he also left.
The special army left the Royal Capital two days after Julius and Emilinne had their secret meeting at night.
There were 3000 troops, 1000 in the main body and 2000 in the detached force.
The border guards consisted of 2000 troops so that brought the total to 5000. It didn’t exceed the Kingdom of Lakshurusu’s army of 6000, but those were the current numbers. The 2000 soldiers drafted from the north of Aullène Kingdom will meet up with the rest of the army when the two kingdom’s faced each other, thus bringing the numbers to 7000 in total.
The battlefield was near the northern border so the people drafted from the northern territory didn’t need to gather up at the Royal Capital, instead they would join up with the special army on the way.
However, they would lose everything if the border guards were defeated, so the detached force of 2000 would be heading to the battlefield first to join up with the border guards to maintain the front. Meanwhile the 3000 member troop, who have joined up with the northern army, would rush out onto the battlefield.
Marquis Evryac, the father of Julius’s close friend Maxián, would be commanding the detached force.
And Julius’s conspicuous appearance could be seen in the detached force.
Emilinne anxiously sent him off from far away.