"Yeah Pop, he broke my heart" Sera wanted to end this conversation. She was scared where this conversation was going.
"What kind of man is he?" Sera's father asked. Sera thought of that man. King Lucien. She had stood with him as his future wife. She had watched him grow from a young, lonely prince into a strong leader. They had fought together. Fallen in love. Had a child together.
Lucien was a sweet man. She remembered his nursemaid, Fanny, whispering to her that Lucien was a sensitive soul when he was a small boy. "Now my Queen, that spirit is bared to you alone." Fanny smiled. The soldiers only knew of a rough man, with his coarse words and up-front demeanor. That melted away when she was with him. He was fierce and unrelenting to the people around him. As they spent more time together, they changed each other. The ice-cold demeanor melted into a warm, charismatic leader. He taught Sera how to be assertive and strong. Sera taught the King to smile, once every so often, to his subordinates. The smile was always a bit too stiff, but a smile nonetheless, that shocked his captains when they first saw it.
His real smiles were reserved only to her, just her. He was her Lucien, her King, her beloved.
The look on Sera's face said it all.
Quietly Pop asked her, "And what're you gonna do about it?"
With a firm voice, Pop said: "I'm saying go do something about it! Ma and I have watched you mope for long enough, if there's unfinished business needing tending to, you best go finish it!"
"Even if it means I might never see you again?"
"Lemme ask you. Did being with that man make you happy? Did he provide for you? Care for you?"
Lucien had cared for her. He loved her. As they stood at each other's side in the face of the encroaching enemy army, their entwined fingers had spoken, a greater expression than a simple "I love you". Sometimes, that love overwhelms everything else.
Pop understood. His parents, Sera's grandparents had been like that as well, and watching them growing up, he knew how precious that was.
"Then go find him! A Duncan family saying is, "Everything in life is about momentum." You've got to keep pressing forward. University's done, now it's time for you to take life into your own hands! Ma and I will do just fine by ourselves. We raised you to be strong" Pop took a pose, pointer finger in the air like a disco dancer.
Sera stood up, and hugged her father. She knew he was doing this for her. Even now, his index finger was shaking as he struck his disco pose. He was doing his best to put up a strong front, for her.
Light streamed into the window as Sera woke up, with swollen, red eyes. After Pop and her talk, Ma had come into the room, and the things she had experienced the week she had gone missing began to spill out. She talked about thinking she had died, to waking up in a strange room, surrounded by people dressed straight out of a renaissance fair. There had been knights, nobles, even magicians with glowing magical staffs! In the back of the group was an old, old man, swamped in fur robes, with a heavy crown on his head.
Sera, still dazed from the shock of experiencing what she thought was her death, was dragged forward to the wrinkly King. The King begged her to marry his son. Once his son the prince become King, and she Queen, their land would be saved from the invading army that harassed them. In the historic annals, a summoned foreign Queen always saved the country from a crisis. When a child of the King and foreign Queen is born, peace and prosperity would be guaranteed to the land for 500 years. Once this was done, the King offered to send her home. Desperate to go home, she accepted. She married the prince, Prince Lucien, and borne him a child.
Sera remembered in the beginning how angry Lucien had been to be forced to marry a stranger. As a prince, being raised in a gilded cage while his people were struck down on the battlefield chafed at him. Defying his father, he ran off to join the war. The dirt and muck of the battlefield, the endless bloodshed, had changed him into a fierce animal.
When the prince refused to come home to pursue a courtship with Sera, she was forced to suck it up and go to him.
Using the little medical knowledge learned through one of her university classes, Sera did her best to help out in the tents of the wounded. Together, they fought, experiencing loss and death over and over. There was no time to get to know each other, not like the sweet dating Sera had experienced in her home world. But as they stood on the knife's edge between life and death, they recognized each other as their equal, missing part.
The night before the final battle, Lucien called Sera to meet him at their usual spot. It was a gentle hill behind the laundry tents, where bedsheets and army uniforms flapped in the wind. Under the gentle moonlight that spilled silver beams of light, Lucien kneeled before Sera and pledged his loyalty to her.
As your shield, to protect you from any harm that comes against you.
As your sword, to cut down anything that hinders your path.
As your knight, I vow to honor you, and to love you.
To no other shall this vow be given.Forever and always."
The oath was sealed there, the moon as their witness, with a sweet kiss.