Guy and Madeline were standing side by side holding hands on the Bridge of the Muffin when Guy said, "I think we should talk."
Madeline nodded at him and then she called out, "XO, you have command, I'll be in my quarters." They left the bridge hand in hand and walked to her quarters not far from the bridge, she sat down on the bed while he sat down beside her and looked her in the eye. She looked away from him and said softly, "I don't think I can.."
He shook his had and then sighed before softly cutting her off, "You want to fly and be a ship captain. You're afraid of becoming the Queen, having children, and being stuck in a castle rooted to the ground, unable to touch the sky."
Her eyes got big she blushed and then nodded, "I guess I was easy to see through."
Guy chuckled and then said, "Nothing says our castle has to be on the ground. We can always build a castle in the sky."
Madeline made a face and said, "Ha. Ha. Ha. I'm being serious here, I don't think I want to be the Queen." She stood up and paced around, "When I was a little girl, they told me that when I grew up, I would marry a handsome Prince who would whisk me away in a white carriage pulled by white horses to the Palace where I would become a Princess and live happily ever after. I lived for that dream right up to the day the white carriage came and told me that I wasn't good enough. Do you know what that did to me? It told me that I hadn't done enough, I was a lazy good for nothing who hadn't spent an hour trying to improve myself for my own goals. All I had ever done was wait for a white carriage and let them dress me up like a little dolly. My father let me train and study, better myself at the pace I wanted to keep. When I met you, I tried even harder simply because you showed me that I could do more!"
Guy nodded and said, "When I showed you that it was possible to even reach the sky, you finally grasped that there is nothing that can stop you from achieving any goal you want, aside from not trying."
Madeline nodded and said, "To me, accepting that white carriage, and descending back to the ground, is just that. Me not trying."
Guy frowned and looked around the ship and asked, "Is this ship what you want, or is it to be in the sky?"
Madeline closed her eyes and said, "When I am on the bridge and can call out a heading, a speed and watch the ship turn, see the sunrise from the window in the morning, turn the ship and watch it set in the evening, there is just an amazing feeling that I haven't felt from anything else I have ever done. When we go into combat and I have to think of all these different things from the angle of the ship to the steam needed to get her out of danger to the complex magical formulas that drive her systems, I get this intense rush. Even swordplay can't match it."
Guy collapsed back on the bed looking defeated. He grumbled, "Why did you guys force this King thing on me, this isn't what I want either honestly."
Madeline's face turned red and she bit her lip before admitting, "I've never thought to ask you what it is that you want. I have always just done what I wanted and assumed you would be there for me, the hero that always saves me. What is the future that you want?"
Guy emotionlessly started to speak, "When I was in Japan, I thought that the future I wanted was to take over the Dojo from my father and continue the Ito family legacy. I would meet a beautiful girl, marry, have children. When I died, I merged here with Guy de Montfort who had his own goals and dreams. Guy wanted to marry the most beautiful woman in the Kingdom, become the next Duke Montfort, raise a huge army and kill the la Marche family. He had wild ambition, but no discipline, honor, or integrity." Guy looked at Madeline and then said, "I was a man with no ambition and all of those other things. When we became one, suddenly I found that I was a man with all of them. The first time I went back in time, I lived as Ito Aoi again, but that world was grey and colorless compared to this world. I tried to live as a man with no ambition, but it was worse than being dead. Every day I wished I could see you again, hold you, hear your laugh. Mostly though, I needed to be in a world where I could unleash my ambition. Recklessly let loose my full power."
Madeline looked confused, "Then, what is it that you want?"
Guy smiled and said, "I want to make you my wife once more, build a castle in the sky, and rule the world, what else?"
Madeline chuckled and said, "No, seriously, what do you really want?"
"I want you, I want to build a castle in the sky, and I want to rule the world. I am completely serious. I plan to dig out the ground under the airship factory, the entire valley, place lighten spells under it and lift it into the sky. We're going to use Algernon's propulsion system to move it from place to place. It will become a flying city with a castle that acts as the bridge. From that city, we'll be able to rule over any place we move it." He looked her in the eye and said in the same emotionless tone.
Madeline looked confused, "This doesn't sound like you, why do you want to do this?"
Guy frowned slightly and then said, "Bromania. It made me realize that we can't just sit still and hope for a better world. Just like you said, accepting that white carriage, and descending back to the ground is me not trying. I have to understand that this world will move forward with or without our help, if I sit and do nothing, it will reach a war of extinction. If I do a little, it will reach a war of extinction. That only leaves doing all that I can. When I was captured in Odinslund, I finally came to understand what it is I can do. I have been acting as the son of a Duke merged with Ito Aoi. What I need to be doing is acting like Prince Montfort, the Magic Swordsman."
Madeline frowned and asked, "Will the others accept that?"
Guy looked Madeline in the eyes and asked, "I'm not asking the others, I'm asking you. Will you accept that?"
Madeline leaned into him and hugged him, "Is there someplace we can meet in the middle? If you build a castle in the sky, Wolter is going to build one too." She sighed and then shook her head facepalming, "Those Bromanians will also want one, then Claude will want one, and send Renée to ask you, you won't be able to say no, then the sky will become littered with castles making it impossible to fly around freely."
Guy chuckled and then gave her a hug and asked, "Then what would you like?"
Madeline thought for a while and then said, "I want to touch the stars. Make the Muffin capable of going past the sky."
Guy frowned and then laughed as his smile returned, "With magic, it should be possible. No, with magic, it is possible. We'll make it work."
Madeline nodded and then said, "I want my children to learn that there is never a limit on what they can achieve through effort."
Guy smiled and then said, "Let's get married."
Madeline nodded and then said, "We'll skip the honeymoon this time."
President Dick Jones and the other members of the original twenty sat around the long table in the white house conference room. Dick looked around at the faces of all the men who had been transmigrated with him, "Well, does anyone here have an idea?"
One of the men at the end of the table picked up the book and flipped through the pages, "It looks like some kind of code or mathematical formula, but hell if I know what it's supposed to be."
Another one of the men scratched his head and said, "Those guys just fire them off like they have them memorized."
A couple of them sat up straight in their chairs. Dick saw their reaction and thought for a moment and snapped his fingers, "It's not like, they have them memorized. They do have them memorized. They must think of the code, recite it in their head and speak a trigger word to set it off. He said the word gate, and the gate opened."
One of the men looked through the book and found one he thought might be simple and then said, "Wind Hammer." He waited but nothing seemed to happen. He looked disappointed and shook his head.
Dick Jones rubbed his chin and said, "Let's make some copies of the spells, each of us should try to say the trigger word, if someone has success, we'll reconvene and go from there."
One of the men at the table raised his hand and asked, "Hey Dick, if we learn this magic, what are we going to do about the North?"
Dick slapped a fist into his hand and said, "First we'll train our boys to fight a war with magic, then we'll slowly build up our forces and wait for those bastards to kick the hornet's nest again." Everyone cheered, high fives sounded out one after another. Dick raised his hand and then said, "Bros, we still need to learn this magic, so everyone do your best here."
Doreen slid up next to Algernon who was working. She blew into his ear and then said, "Guy and Madeline started to plan their wedding. Renée and Claude are having theirs soon, Alicia and Wolter are also having theirs soon. I think even Olivier is about to cave in. Isn't that amazing?" Algernon looked at Doreen and nodded, then returned to his work. She trailed a finger lightly down the side of his neck, "Doesn't that make you think about it?"
Algernon nodded, "Yes, I'll need to arrange for some gifts, I should find out what is commonly given to nobility." Doreen exhaled slowly and then looked at him steadily without blinking. Algernon then quietly watched her until he finally asked, "Are you worried about the fact that Sir Évreux seems to have no ability with women even though he is so handsome?"
Doreen frowned and said, "Do I seriously need to be the one who asks?"
Algernon looked surprised, "Do you mean, why haven't I asked you to marry me?" Doreen made a face that said, 'Yeah, I've been hinting here' without words being said. He thought a moment and then said honestly, "I am not ready to marry yet."
Doreen seemed angry and said, "Why not?"
Algernon thought for a moment and then said, "I haven't attained the goal I set for myself. There is something I need before I can marry."
Doreen tilted her head and then asked, "What is it, can I help you?"
Algernon shook his head and said, "I'm sorry, it's something I have to do alone."
Doreen slammed her hand down on the table and swept all of the papers Algernon had been working on off the table, tears poured down her cheeks and she slapped him hard across the face and said, "To hell with you! What could possibly be so important that you can't even tell me about it? Was it a lie when you said you loved me? Was it just to have my body?"
Algernon grabbed her by the arms and pushed her down on to the table and yelled, "Calm down, listen to me and then you can judge me." Doreen lay there on the table afraid to move as he slowly allowed her to move again, "I'm trying to find my mother and father. They had to leave me with my uncle's family when I was young because they were so poor, that they couldn't afford to feed me. My uncle lost contact with them years ago. How can I marry if my parents won't even be able to meet the woman I want to marry?" He brushed her cheek and then kissed his hand to say he accepts the tears.
Doreen said in an embarrassed hoarse voice, "I don't see why I can't help you..."
Algernon nodded and said, "You're right, I should have just explained things. I was just a little embarrassed that I don't have a family to bring you home to and I was hoping to find them first. Can you forgive me?"
Doreen nodded and then hugged Algernon tightly, "Do you forgive me for hitting you?"
Algernon gave her a squeeze and said, "Of course, I love you, Doreen, nothing is going to change that."