Fighting For My Freedom In Another World
Time passed rather uneventfully once that one fight had been settled.
In fact I’d personally say that only two things of importance to anyone other than myself and Alena happened during the entire following two months.
The first was the intermediate aftermath of what happened just before.
It turned out Alena wasn’t unconscious, merely hurt. I had to help her walk, but other than that?
We actually made it back to the castle with surprisingly little difficulty.
After a good deal of waiting, we came face to face with the king and a few dozen other nobles. The king had something much like the following to say to Alena:
“Ah, I see you are… Alive, and well, my daughter. I am glad you are safe.”
As for me?
There was of course a lot of negotiation that needed to be done, some of which wouldn’t take place until a fair amount of time later, but the gist of it all was this: I got to live, in essence having completed part of my mission by taking down the two assassins. The royal military took those two in once I told everyone about my mission and what had happened.
I had, however, not actually fully completed it. Furthermore, the princess had also come with me and faced a lot of unnecessary danger.
As punishment, I would be faced with some further missions. More tasks I needed to accomplish, without any say of my own.
I would have complained if the person telling me that wasn’t literally the most powerful man in the country.
...About two months later, one night, in Alena’s room.
Alena had just put aside some book she was reading, something with a beehive on the cover. It wasn’t anything I had had the time to check out, so I had no idea what it was about.
While I did get a good look at the cover, I couldn’t tell you what the title was.
All my memories from back then were about what came next.
Alena looked at me, then nonchalantly dropped a metaphorical bomb.
“Maria, would you mind marrying me?”
What was I even supposed to say to being asked that all of a sudden? And shouldn’t that normally be “will you” and not “would you mind”?
But there wasn’t much of a real need to think about it.
I wouldn’t mind.
As long as there weren’t any other obstacles in the way.
“What about your father? You kind of made it sound like you wouldn’t have much of a say in the matter.”
“True! But since I ran away, some of those plans fell through, and for the rest? I have some ideas on how to make it work. So just trust me, and tell me how you feel.”
How I felt…
...The question reminded me of what I had once been told by some random guy that tried to get both of us killed.
About magic, and how he had used it to alter Alena’s emotions.
So rather how I felt, perhaps the more important question was whether her feelings were real.
There had to be some genuine feelings there. The evidence, and what people had told me… Pointed to that much.
But I still couldn’t help but be a bit worried. The Elias guy’s magic couldn’t create strong enough emotions to affect someone else’s magic on its own. But what if it had provided the initial spark? If it had given me a footing to stand on that wouldn’t have been there without him?
Because I still couldn’t help but feel that some things about Alena’s behaviour the first few days after I met her seemed a bit strange. The way she rushed through everything, the way so many of her actions felt like they were just meant to get me away from the castle.
Was it truly all just because she had been desperate to find someone to marry?
Or because someone had used magic to change her?
On the other hand, was there anything I could do about it?
The random guy hadn’t said anything about removing it. Hadn’t offered to.
Was that because he didn’t want to… Or because he couldn’t?
If she was forced to love me through magic, and that could never be undone…
In the end, did it really matter? At some point, it had grown into something genuine. Maybe that was good enough. Most people would probably have disagreed. Said that how it started was the most important part. Perhaps even rejected her.
I wasn’t any of those people.
Alena leaned in and kissed me.
I knew what I wanted, and it wouldn’t be long before I also would learn what I needed to get done.
I wasn’t free, but I had found a good ally, and together we’d be able to accomplish much more than I ever would have dared hope for.