The ministers felt their temples begin to throb. They had been feeling relieved that no blood would be spilt as today was a wedding day. They did not expect to see the bride's blood before it even began. And neither did they imagine the bride to bring it upon herself.
“Are you saying she still has more to ask!”
“That was only the beginning.”
Only the beginning? Those two requests were ridiculous enough on their own, but there's still more?
The attendant looked agonized himself as he stood before the shocked ministers. He shut his eyes tightly and commenced the list. “As per Navitan customs, she has requested for the flower petals being thrown to be changed from white to red and, as per Navitan customs, male attendants are to wear red hats, female attendants are to wear red floral crowns, and also as per Navitan customs..."
The never-ending series of words leaving the attendant's mouth caused the ministers to finally explode. “Enough! Navitan this, Navitan that! Is the princess unaware that this is the Empire? Here in the Empire we follow Empire laws! What gall to rave on about following the customs of Navitan or whatever it is!"
“Ah, regarding that...”
“'I'm sure His Majesty won't be so petty over this much, seeing how I've come such a long way...' is what she said.”
At this point, the ministers could not even sound surprised anymore. They had asked for a bride for the emperor, yet instead they were given a psychotic sufferer. It was their first time experiencing such a novel declaration of war.
In the minds of the ministers, the name of Navitan was added to the list of countries to be razed down. They burned with enmity, despite not having even visited Navitan once, but it was at that moment.
“Are there really such customs in Navitan?” A low voice silenced all noise at once.
The ministers turned towards the master of the voice. There stood a young man before the altar, expressionless.He was Estian, the emperor of this nation. Donning a white wedding tuxedo, Estian was quiet, unlike the upset ministers, and appeared locked in thought. The ministers raised their voices at him.
“Your Majesty! What does that matter! You need only give the word, and your loyal subject will behead that lunatic outside and immediately set off to obliterate the kingdom of Navitan as well!"
“Pay no heed, Your Majesty! Their country will disappear as of today, and as such their customs will also become nothing!"
The knights knelt, swords rattling by their hips. How many countries had their swords defeated so far at the order of the emperor? At this rate, one more would be added to the number today. Estian gazed down at the official kneeling before him and tsked. “Didn't you say to keep wars to three times a year?”
“Upon careful reflection, I believe four times will also be fine.”
“Is that right? Then I shall go to war against the dukedom of Etia next month. Adjust my schedule accordingly." After declaring as such, casually so like deciding on a meal for dinner, the emperor began to walk away.
“Your Majesty! Where might you be heading?"
“What do you mean where?” The corner of the emperor's mouth curled slightly. “It's only right for a magnanimous groom to accept the requests of a bride who's come a long way, is it not?”
The ministers suppressed the screams in their throats as they beheld the emperor's expression. The emperor had smiled. It was something they had never witnessed since Estian's coronation.
* * *
Will it go to the right, or to the left? Cecile was lost in thought as she listened to the sound of music amidst the flower petals still being scattered in the air. She was wondering as to which direction her lopped off head would roll to when the enraged emperor gave the order.
Bathing in the cold gazes of the other people around her, Cecile slightly covered her mouth and yawned in boredom. Her doing so caused the gazes upon her to grow sharper, and that greatly satisfied her. Inwardly, she wished to cry out to them. 'Hate me more, please! The princess from Navitan!'