The Wanderblood Princess and Sir Try Hard
A blade sliced through the air, severing the muscular arm of a foe. The sight of it dangling freely in the air could have come from a human, save for the greenish skin. The heavy club it held never made it to the intended target, falling straight to the ground with a thunk. As the ogre howled in pain, it was quickly silenced by a mallet slamming into its torso.
The force sent it flying away with a crash. Before the spray of blood fell upon the ground, its body barreled into a nearby tree. The impact broke the monster’s back but not before the trunk snapped in half with a sharp crack. The Princess’s strength was impressive, like always.
Caramello sheathed his sword, watching as Chiffon drew heavy breaths. A trail of blood spewed onto the ground, the pooling redness feeling comforting to her eyes. She bent down, her hand reaching out to soil her fingers with it.
I must calm down…
But then, a bare arm was thrust before her. Blood dribbled from a light cut, which diverted her attention. Her mouth went immediately for it, giving it a kiss and letting the red liquid dribble into her lips. The moment it touched her tongue, a sense of clarity returned.
“Princess, though it is blood you seek, I feel quite jealous to think you would go after that of another, when I am here to offer mine. Even animals can be trained to fetch only items of suitable quality. Indulge, but be selective of your conquests.”
Chiffon nodded as she sucked upon his arm, her bloodlust fading quickly.
It had been weeks since she first tasted Caramello’s blood, and she had discovered it to be a tonic for her madness. Before, the air had to dribble with blood to calm her, a result that required obliterating her opponents. Why hadn’t she thought to sample it directly?
Because a girl drinking blood would appear nothing short of demonic…
A lovely lady, especially a princess, was expected to enjoy fine tea and cakes, engage in proper conversation with other parties, and be the definition of docility. But her existence, the curse that she bore, ran directly opposite to all that.
But Caramello accepted her despite it. He wanted her. Enough to do everything he could to be by her side.
“I care not for what others think. I care what you think. You alone.”
Caramello brandished his arm to her one day when her bloodlust flared up with nothing else left to slay cleanly. A quick cut drew inviting crimson that trickled down, making Chiffon’s body heat up at the sight.
She couldn’t resist it. Now that she had a taste and knew that it was a cure, she went right for it. It was unladylike, warped and twisted. But she didn’t care anymore. They were away from the leering public that would judge her. In a battlefield hidden from others, she gorged upon her desire.
Her knight was happy to do this much for her. In return, she let his hands brush against her soft cheeks, fiddle with the strands of her hair, and trace a ticklish ear.
With each session, the joy of finding such release made her more daring, more open toward the mischievous man that toyed with her emotions. And that change slowly became apparent to those who knew her.
Chiffon started returning home, battleworn and speckled with blood, not bothering to change her clothing for the sake of appearing pure. Rather, the spoils of slaying her enemies decorated her clothing like medals.
Though shocking the townspeople at first, Chiffon continued to display the kindness and gentleness that they had come to know from her. And slowly, her image shifted from a dainty girl who happened to possess immense strength to a reliable woman who commanded her surroundings.
There was a confidence displayed by Chiffon that charmed onlookers. A beauty shining in the aftermath of struggle.
Chiffon’s worries that her bloodlust would mar her image went mostly unfounded. And once such misconceptions were cast aside, she strode confidently to take on tougher enemies with Caramello by her side.
No longer did she insist upon limiting herself to remain pure and unblemished. The mallet that she swung down did so to vanquish her foes in the quickest way. She would make herself look good even with blood upon her.
Even when she was stained with it, Caramello still smiled at her. He never hesitated to embrace her after a fight and offer words of congratulations. That made all the difference in the world – to be accepted at her truest self.
But still… some things were best left private.
The bloody kiss as Chiffon’s lips left Caramello’s arm was such a thing. That was an intimacy left for themselves only.
“Shall we pick up a treat along the way, Princess?”
“Some afternoon tea sounds wonderful, but let’s stop by a shop to clean off this blood first.”
“Of course, my lady. Recognition of battles won have no purpose in a relaxed setting. We shall present ourselves at our best!”
Perhaps, some people would think how twisted it was to see a pair laughing merrily after being covered in the blood of their enemies. The scene of monster remains splattered about a ruined forest would make some pause. But to Chiffon, it was turning into another typical day.
A knock sounded from Chiffon’s bedroom door.
The princess was brushing her hair after a nice bath, and thinking that it was probably a maid, she idly responded. The door opened, revealing someone else entirely at the entryway.
“Mother! What brings you here?!”
“Can I not check on my daughter aside from mealtimes?” Her voice carried a tone of dominance, one that not even Chiffon’s confidence in her own strength could fight back.
Yet, she had never seen her mother truly commit violence in ways that Chiffon was used to. The Queen’s voice was skillful and purposeful in its intention, rarely needing action to support it. Chiffon found herself unable to look away, and certainly, any words to bar her mother’s entry were stifled by that judging gaze.
Immediately, many worries spilled from Chiffon’s thoughts as to the abrupt audience; her mother rarely engaged with her outside of lessons on proper conduct.
Have I strayed from her good graces? That must be it. I’ve been going around and letting loose, and now, she’s come to reprimand me!
A hand reached for her, making Chiffon involuntarily flinch and clench her eyes shut. A simple jab, flick, or pinch to discipline her hurt quite a bit, a testament to how far below her mother she still remained.
“Has Sir Caramello been taking good care of you?” she said, stroking her daughter’s cheek.
Chiffon’s eyes flew open at the unexpected question. Fumbling to respond, her thoughts came out in a mess.
“Y-Yes, we have fun vanquishing monsters. And, and he spoils me-, with cake! I’ve grown to find him somewhat charming….”
“I see. That’s a remarkable difference from your first encounter. You were so adamantly against anyone becoming your protector that I wondered if you would leave him for dead after one of your trips.”
“I-I am not that heartless!”
Queen Genoise pulled her into an embrace, which seemed like a strange compliment after such an accusation. Still, such a gesture was far from unwelcome compared to being disciplined.
“I surely hope that is the case. The daughter who has received the etiquette expected of royalty. You have your father’s fiery blood, so we had some reservations about giving you such freedom, but it seems like children do grow from their experiences.”
“Then, you are not mad about my recent indulgences?”
Chiffon couldn’t help but ask, as there was no doubt that her guardians in hiding had reported her activities to her parents. The fact that no one had stepped in to chastise her was one thing that weighed on her mind.
“You are not me, and neither are you your father. We have bestowed what we can to help you, but you must find your own way and choose partners at your own discretion. That is the role of a future ruler.”
Chiffon’s freedom in exploring the kingdom had its own purpose. She had to gain strength on her own, win the praise of the common man through her own merits, and experience what its people had to offer for herself. That was far better than remaining chained to the castle, idly wasting the gifts that she possessed.
Her mother didn’t reject the notion of Chiffon adventuring and battling monsters. That was the same aura that the King carried. Neither did she expect that Chiffon would become another paragon of elegance. That was simply what a mother could pass on to her daughter.
Chiffon was grateful for it. And thanks to Caramello, she now realized that it was not bad to pursue both without having to hide one side over the other. She wasn’t afraid to be who she was any longer, even if it didn’t match any established ideals.
“Thank you, Mother. For accepting my decisions.” Chiffon beamed warmly.
The Queen ended the embrace, pulling back and patting Chiffon’s shoulder. The warm gaze she gave then turned to a stern look.
“While your father and I may have accepted you, there may be some in the kingdom who do not.”
That pointed statement made Chiffon narrow her eyes. She had noticed some onlookers who were less than happy as she strolled into the capital with blood upon her. She could hear snickers and jeers aimed at the knight beside her, claiming that he failed to properly protect her.
In their minds, a princess was an icon meant to remain pure. A chess piece for politics and a figure head for a kingdom. Chiffon understood this society all too well. But she was tired of having to hide who she was. All the tiptoeing and extra caution to maintain an air of cleanliness just for those people felt like empty service. She had no need to cater specifically to everyone. That was an impossible task itself.
“I understand. I will face them head on. Sir Caramello has my back, no matter what they believe. He is my knight. That is my choice, not theirs.”
“Then demonstrate that you can protect him. If a ruler cannot protect one she loves, then how can she protect an entire kingdom? That is the true test. Whether you are fit to become a ruler.”
Chiffon’s eyes widened in surprise. The intention of choosing a knight was not just to examine the capability of the person in question, whose merit was displayed by contest. The real test came afterward – finding a person that would capture Chiffon’s heart, forcing her to care about something besides herself.
Caramello’s sharp tongue and flagrant actions were allowed for the sake of such development, her parents knowing that such a man of character would break through her wall of isolation.
Chiffon let out a strained chuckle as she realized that many things had secretly been planned against her.
“I see… You had it laid out from the start. The duel, allowing him to enter my room, letting him rile up my bloodlust – it seemed strange that he was allowed to affect me so, but if he had your permission…”
“We had a long chat with him even before the competition. He was given the task of bringing out the true you, which he gratefully accepted with no hesitation. House Macchiato brought forth Sir Caramello, devising the entire plan to pair you with him. Though that may seem unfair to his competitors, we held positive expectations that he would succeed.”
Chiffon should have expected nothing less from the rulers of a kingdom. She was a mere child still finding her way. Nonetheless, she was still happy to know that they cared so much to guide her growth.
Now, it was time for her to decide what to do with the results of such a ploy. The stage had been set to stand on her own. A willing partner was paired with her on the journey of life. And now, any future troubles were up to her discretion.
The Queen smiled as she parted from her, feeling as prepared as any parent could when facing the fact that her child was growing up. Chiffon had found the diamond in the rough within her, as unpolished as Vaniglia was at first to Genoise.
Turning in for the night, Chiffon fell into her bed and pulled up the covers. Soon, she was dreaming, letting an imaginary Caramello whisk her away to more adventures. She prayed that they would be wholesome and delicious.
She would stand up for him, no matter her opponent. No matter what scoundrel or petty nobleman may try to take his place, there was no one else like him. Her knight, Sir Try Hard, as seemingly perfect for the Wanderblood Princess that she was.
But even the strongest of convictions were at times challenged in the face of reality.
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