and I am presently working on Part 3. There is one more story in the
My King series. I also have another series in the works.
Title: The Visit (Part 2)
Challenges: Chocolate #17 - freedom; Chocolate #18 - confinement)
Summary: A feast in honor of Athena and Daisuke and a little secret.
"How about we let the two of you decide? If you wish to announce your engagement at the feast tonight, you can. You can also choose to announce it at a later date. It is your choice."
"Thank you," said Daisuke and Athena together.
"Now we shall leave the two of you alone and go back to the castle. The baby and I need a nap," Hana said with a smile as together they bowed to Athena and Daisuke before Isumu gently took her by the hand as they turned around and headed back to their castle down the path that they came.
"Beloved, what do you wish to do?" asked Daisuke as he turned to look at Athena.
"We could announce it at the feast. I am sure that many ladies will be disappointed."
Daisuke took her hands in his and said "I am marrying the woman that I love, the woman who holds my heart."
"Many in the four kingdoms do not marry for love, merely for duty and the need for an everntual heir."
Daisuke then touched her chin and raised it up. "But that will not be us, beloved. We shall have a child because we wish it, not because it is our duty. The child, whether son or daughter, shall be loved and taught to become a wise adult who will make mistakes and learn from them. A mingling of ourselves and yet they shall be their own person." Softly, he stroked her hands for a moment and said "We must get ready for the feast ourselves. We have to head back," he said softly. Athena only nodded and hand and hand together they walked down the path slowly back to the castle.
That night as Daisuke led Athena down the main hallway, Athena turned to him and said "Did we not pass by an open door? Where does it lead to?"
Daisuke smiled and chuckled. "Curious, beloved? Come, we do have some time. I will show you," he said, taking her hand in his as they walked towards the doorway before entering in. "This room is usually kept as a meeting room though it can be used as it is tonight for a feast or a celebration."
"What are all those colors on the stone walls?" asked Athena.
"There are four tapestries on the south walls symbloizing each of the four knigdoms - North, South, East and West. The rest on that wall and the others stand for the flags of each region of the Eastern Kingdom that came together in unity several centuries ago. In fact, there is a representative from each region attending tonight's feast. Also, they have brought a native dish or a dish created in their region to make or bring for the feast."
"So is the food good from each region?"
Daisuke laughed. "Yes, even some of the cooks are noblewomen, who tried to get me for their daughters, sisters, or for themselves."
"Yourself in exchange for food?"
"Yes, in my youth, I did not think that to be a bad thing. My grandfather even had a saying, "A Man's weakness is both good food and a good woman." One is filled by the other as a woman makes food for her husband and a woman fills a man's heart with longing, protectiveness, and love as you have done, beloved." Then he leaned down as their lips meet before parting. "Now, we must leave here. Everyone must get everything ready."
Athena nodded as Daisuke lead her out of the room and back into the main hallway. Quietly, they walked down until they neared the main hall, two men in black armor bowed to them. "Names?"
"Lord Daisuke and Princess Athena."
The armored ones bowed again and said "Good evening, Daisuke-sama. Enjoy the feast."
"You too, Aoi-san and Hiei-san."
Then they went through and was greeting by a small white haired man. "Jui-sama!"
The little man bowed deeply to them before turning and shouted "Lord Daisuke and his lady, Princess Athena!" before they entered in arm and arm as Jui greeted another guest.
They mingle among the guests as Daisuke and Athena tried to talk to every one. Then a voice said "Athena-sama?"
Athena turned to see a petite woman with long dark hair dressed in a blue kimono, who bowed to her. "Yes, I am Lady Athena. Who are you?"
"I am Lady Asami. You are honored among women here. You have won the heart of the most king and noble man in all of the Eastern Kingdom."
"That is nice of you to say."
"I admired him as a young girl. What girl would not want such a boy or man like Lord Daisuke? He was noble even as a young boy."
"Ah, did your mother try to get Daisuke for you?"
"Once," said Asami laughing. "I cooked wonderfully after learning from my grandmother, but I come from a village, not a noble house. Besides, I knew another was waiting for him. I am married to Lord Aoi, one of the guards at the main hall. We are very happy and I wish lasting love and happiness for the two of you."
"But we haven't even made the announcement yet!" whispered Athena.
"You will for the men in Lord Daisuke's family do not doubt when they find a good woman."
"Thank you, Lady Asami," said Athena, bowing to her.
The other woman smiled and bowed. "I must greet other people. Have a good night."
Quietly, after everyone greeted each other, they sat down at several long tables where the cooks and their staff served them tea before serving them a meal of rice dumplings, clear broth, miso soup, sashimi, and tempura.
Sometime later, King Isumu stood and said "Tonight, we celebrate our friends and family. Tonight, I have to pleasure to announce the bethrothal of Lord Daisuke and Princess Athena."
Then the whole hall begin to clamp and several people came up to them and congratulated them. Quietly, it died down as the main hall is cleaned up and everything put away by the servents and the noble lords and ladies as guests left . The last thing to be put in the kitchen was the candles. Quietly, each one was blown out until the last one. The cook had trouble blowing the flame out until it simply smouldered, leaving a trail of smoke. The cook merely whispered "It should be all right," as she shuffled to her room from the kitchen. She never noticed the little flicker of flame.