Chapter 16 : Winter’s Eve
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“Where’s the Lord Protector and Lady Eleanna? They are missing this!” The Princess asked in excitement for what we were seeing.

“They’re probably kissing under the fireworks right now.” Sir Svard said out of the blue.

“What?” Her royal highness suddenly blushed in embarrassment after hearing that.

“What?!” And Lady Feannag was weirdly agitated.

 

As we were there, witnessing this some sort of light show that the Lord Protector made, I could only think of how… loud, yet beautiful it is, from its vivid colors to various shapes it made, especially that heart shaped one.

 

“So, this must be a piece of their world huh?” Kristof said with mesmerized eyes.

“Yes… it’s really eye-catching…” Sofía too, was as mesmerized with the view like Kristof.

“Indeed…” Me as well, can’t stop staring at this beautiful splashing light in the sky.

 

After a while the fireworks, the name Sir Svard said, stopped and the Lord Protector as well as Lady Eleanna, who was princess carried, returned red as roses in their cheeks. Embarrassed of course, not out of awkwardness, rather out of euphoric happiness.

 

“Sof, you want me to lift you up like that at the wedding?” Kristof as usual teased Sofia.

“Kris… I am not a child anymore…” Sofía said.

“So… yes?” With that devilish smirk, he asked for a confirmation.

“Haha…” She laughed, which is Sofía’s usual way of saying yes.

“Huh…” I sighed for a moment “Never change you two, never change…” They were caught off guard in embarrassment as they not only heard my sigh, they as well saw my tiny smile.

 

* * *

 

With night finally fast approaching and the feast that was made in honor for the Lord Protector, for the arrest of Lord Domnall, and for Lady Florens, for the arrest of Durell and putting the Wynegys murders to rest, has finally finish, the countdown to a new year is only in mere hours.

For the ladies, they went straight to bed, especially Lady Florens as she has been doing nothing but travel all day, but for us men, the Lord Protector invited not only Sir Svard, Kristof and Me, he invited Lord Feannag, as well as Sir Fionn, to watch the first sunrise of the year, while drinking fine drinks of course.

 

We went to the perfect spot to watch it, which was in Lord Feannag’s study room’s balcony, with it not only facing the east, the spot also didn’t crash with wind, ensuring for a bearable temperature while we both watch the sunrise and drink fine alcohols.

While there, some of Lord Feannag’s servants hastily prepared six seats for us and a table, but only five were used as Sir Fionn insistent to stand guard near the balcony’s door.

 

“If you get tired the seat is always free for you Sir Fionn!” the Lord Protector said.

 

Sir Fionn responded by nodding in gratitude.

 

After a while Lord Feannag’s servants came again bringing the finest alcohol he has to offer from his land, Tuath Mead, this is actually the first time I am trying mead, I’ve heard from Sir Fionn and Kristof himself that Mead is all around sweet, but, Tuath Mead is an exception.

Drinking it, I did feel that dry nature, but maybe it’s because I’ve drank my fair share of dry alcohols, because this is actually much more sweeter than the usual wine I drank from Castellon.

 

“Hack..! Damn…” Sir Svard coughed a bit after taking a sip.

“Hahaha… easy there bud!” the Lord Protector chuckled.

 

Seeing Sir Svard coughed reminded me back again when me and Kristof first tried alcohol, I think it was 4 years ago in Castellon, father brought out a wine from the cellar dating back to grandfather’s early years.

I still remembered that taste, the dryness that made both me and Kristof coughed like the children we were and the sweetness that was more like berries’ sweetness rather than grapes.

 

Slirp…

 

“So, what will you do know Lord Feannag?” Curious about what the aftermath of the plot will be, I asked him.

“Well… aside from writing a numerable amount of warrants to arrest Domnall’s co-conspirators… I’ll… probably going for a Castellan hunt, the best candidate in my mind currently is the Mayor of Geamradh, but there’s probably a couple of young and bright stewards in the realm that would like to work with me…” Lord Feannag, said with a saddened tone.

“Ohh! there’s this charming young merchant I met who was with Lady Maynard back in the noblelization ceremony! His name is… Guillaume Olivier I think!” Kristof suggested.

“Wait isn’t he under Martyn’s employment?” Sir Svard dispelled Kris’ suggestion.

“Well… then how about that other guy? The one who always put on a smug face when he’s near Guillaume! Ehh… Gérard Pomme!” Kristof suggested another.

“Well, that’s good and all gentlemen! But… thinking about it now… on the fact that I was kept under the dark of many things by Durell… I think I’ll do it alone, for now!” Again… he said it with a saddened tone.

“Aghh…” the Lord Protector suddenly let out an annoyed tone. “C’mon guys! It’s a new year for crying out loud! Let’s leave all of that behind for now and talk about something else! Which have much more weight and gravitas!” He paused for a minute. “Between these two… which one is the superior one? Boobs or Ass?”

““…”” All the four us went silent, thinking… nothing really… it was shocking, but… what?

“C’mon! Boobs or Ass?!” the Lord Protector asked forcefully.

“Martyn… what?” Sir Svard’s thoughts was like the rest of us.

“I said Boobs or Ass! Between the magnificence of what makes a woman, a woman! Which one do you four prefer? Wait… actually I already know what you prefer Art, Ass right? Hehehe…” Yep… the Lord Protector is somewhat drunk.

“…” Sir Svard could only froze in silence while blushing.

“SO! Boobs or Ass?!”

“Well… if I have to pick, boobs… but is it really something we should see only? There’s more than that! And I’ll start first, I prefer my woman to be brave, commands respect, and of course slightly bit shorter than me!” Kristof… describe someone I know, very, very well…

“For me, I prefer ass and to further complete it, I prefer someone like my sister! A bit of a rascal and a mischief, but all around a sweet person!”

“Sis-con…” the Lord Protector slip-out.

“Hey, my sister is wonderful okay!” Lord Feannag retaliate.

“Yeah, yeah, Pere! You’re the last one!” the Lord Protector dismisses Lord Feannag’s grievances, and went straight to me.

“Well… between boobs or ass, I’ll choose boobs, but for what I see in my partner… I… don’t quite know really…”

 

And I really don’t know… for all of my life, it never really crosses my mind on what my equal should be, maybe it’s because I never think about it, or maybe because I just hope that father would find her himself…

 

“Ohh C’mon! how about hair types and color?” the Lord Protector insisted.

“Ehh… long, braided and maple chocolate?”

“Petite? Average? Or a bit chunky?”

“Petite!”

“Eyes?!”

“Hazelnut Brown!”

“…” the Lord Protector went silent.

“Isn’t that Lady Chloé Per?” Kristof said.

“Huh… I guess it is… haha…” I chuckled as I realized who I just described.

“Well brunettes are fine and all gentlemen, but the far more superior one are redheads!” Sir Svard chimed in. “Not only are they rare! They’re always fiery in every way and of course fun to talk to!”

“…wait your describing, Miss Marie!! Do you have some sort of crush with her?!” the Lord Protector said in a shocked tone.

“No, I am not…” Sir Svard denied it.

“Yes, you are!”

“Okay fine… and… yeah… I do have, a teeny, tiny, crush on Miss Marie…”

 

And after that, the Lord Protector and Sir Svard pretty much went on an arguing spree, hurling insults here and there. It died down in the end.

Though the argument died down, our inhibition didn’t, as we drank and drank, changing to wine midway, suggested by the Lord Protector.

The conversation pretty much still stay the same but somehow it devolve into them arguing with one another on who’s the better woman.

The Lord Protector as predicted, stood his ground on defending and showing that Lady Florens is the better one, Kristof as predicted as well, was putting Sofía on the pedestal, while Sir Svard put Lady Maynard on the pedestal, and of course Lord Feannag, put her sister in the pedestal.

As the four of them debated one another, I could only sit there seeing the ongoing heated battle unfolded right before my eyes while drinking the mead on my hand.

But while seeing them in their full extent, I saw Kristof, I saw something that is familiar from his mannerism, they way he talked, that… arrogant filled tone he has… I saw my father.

It vexed me, because it reminds me about what I’ve been struggling with myself, why is he like my father?! I am his son, shouldn’t I be more like him?

 

* * *

 

The debate finally settled down… well to some degree, Lord Feannag sat back down and drank the remaining mead he has in his cup, the Lord Protector and Sir Svard kept going on with their argument, while Kristof… sat back down and ask me to back him up, with that arrogant tone of his…

 

“Kris… I really want to know, why are you like my damn father?! I mean who the hell are you? I am his son! Shouldn’t I be more like him!!” I couldn’t take it and just burst at him.

“Wha?! Okay then, then, then why are you like my father?! With that cold looking expression and silent demeanor and all?! I am his son too!!” And as I heard him said that… something popped into me, though I didn’t have the time to really process it as suddenly.

 

TAK!

 

Lord Feannag’s mug, crashed quite a bit hard to the table, with his face fully drunk now.

 

“You know… I thought I could have what you four have with Domnall, the man is respectable and is sometimes fun to talk to, but… well he only wanted my title…” He went silent for a moment. “Then there’s Durell! He pretty much raised both me and Ruith, he… was the only one who was there while Uncle Maurice was busy in Collrées, guarding my back at the time I have to always look back… well I realized of course… he was a part of those who was lurking behind me…”

 

And after that… with Lord Feannag’s emotions opened wide open to us all, I could see from his eyes that he was holding tears, holding it out because he doesn’t want to be seen as weak, but… the amount of betrayal he has gotten now… really hit him in the guts, as he couldn’t hold it anymore.

He wept, cried while looking to the ground, he was really devastated.

We could only sat there in silence, seeing Lord Feannag crying his heart out in front of us. but then I saw the Lord Protector, putting down his mug and went straight to Lord Feannag.

 

“There’s this thing that Arthur did to me once when I was at my lowest… if I was sober I wouldn’t do it of course! but… there’s already two of you Alaxandair! So here I go!”

 

The Lord Protector… hugged him… he, went straight to him and hugged him… wow…

Though Lord Feannag kept crying even more louder now, it helped him a bit as I saw his hands holding Martyn’s body, but it didn’t stop there, Sir Svard stood up to and joined the Lord Protector.

 

“Ahh what the hell! I’m going in too!” Kristof, as drunk as the three of them, went into the pile of hug. “C’mon Per! There’s still one more room here!”

 

And as I saw them being that close, seeing… that men can be… this! Even if they were drunk, I couldn’t help myself but join them and hug Lord Feannag too.

 

* * *

 

“I really appreciate that you choose me Lord Protector! I really am!” His grace with a delirious tone said to the Lord Protector.

“Don’t call me that! Call me Martyn! We’re the boys from today’s onwards!” the Lord Protector with a delirious tone too, said.

“Alright…”

Burp

“Martyn…” Sir Pere acknowledged his demand while smiling.

 

And right here… I was left with five drunkards, out of their minds and out of their wits.

Sensing that they won’t even be able to enjoy the first sunrise, I brought them to their room.

But seeing what they just did, what I thought was not possible for boys like us… was really a bit moving to a certain extent. I could see somewhat in the future that the five of them would be great friends.

 

Haha… the men from your world are different too huh, Lady Marie! Haha…

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