Sorry the updates slowed to a crawl in the past few months. In any case, the series is finally complete!
Since I started working on Allison in October of 2013, I started grad school, finished grad school, started working, and by God I translated a 19-volume light novel series from start to finish on my own! This is ridiculous. I can't believe I did this. It hasn't quite hit me yet. I feel like I'll wake up tomorrow and think about working on the next chapter again. Wow.
(Shoutout to historyman101 for convincing me to work on this series, and for his continued readership from the first update of Allison.)
People have been asking me forever about ebook versions of the series, so I would like to remind you that I am working on a pdf/epub collection of the whole series (Allison, Lillia and Treize, Meg and Seron, and The Story of One Continent), which will be released by the end of August. They will be revised, edited translations that correct some egregious errors present in the online and earlier ebook versions of the series.
This means that readers: this is your final opportunity leave comments about typos and errors, and offer alternate spelling suggestions for proper nouns! You have until August to make your voice heard, because once I upload the completed collection, I am not touching this series again.
Without further ado, enjoy! And come back in August for the ebook collection! :)
Chapter 22: The End is a Beginning
“Thank you for waiting, everyone,” said a man carrying a megaphone, stepping onto the stage.
All eyes were immediately drawn to the man.
He was in his forties, tall and clean-shaven with short, tidy hair.
“Now presenting…the bride and the groom!”
Many things happened at once.
First, Miss Angela watched alone from her table, muttering, “What a strange wedding.”
At the table occupied by the students, the princess, and the orphan, the princess was asking questions about school life with Meg and the others answering them.
When the man called from the stage, Meg was the first to speak. “It is finally beginning! A Roxchean wedding is very unique!”
“Nah, it’s just this one,” Natalia noted.
“Is it so?” Meg asked, confused.
“It’s almost like a presentation,” said Seron. “What are they thinking?”
Larry’s thoughts, meanwhile, were on the man on the stage. “Hm. I swear I’v seen that guy before…”
“Could it be?” Nick wondered, apparently thinking the same thing. “No… But if that really is him…” He guessed and second-guessed himself again and again.
“Should’ve brought a telephoto lens,” Jenny grumbled, taking a photo.
Meanwhile, at the Epstein table—
“Is that him, Silas?”
“Yeah. Looks totally different from before, though.”
“Introduce me later.”
“Sure. He’s married, though. And so are you, for that matter.”
“Are you stupid? I’m trying to do business here. Imagine marketing luxury coats to rich tourists in Raputoa. Custom-made products you can’t get anywhere else.”
“Ah, here’s the little business monster I know.”
Aikashia and the military men also commented on the introduction.
“So it finally begins. I must say, this is quite the unorthodox wedding,” said the colonel.
Kinski agreed. “Now we’ll finally see who our mystery man is.”
Major General Aikashia smiled. “Don’t be too surprised, men.”
The man on the stage cried into the megaphone. “Ladies and gentlemen! Please get up and come right this way! We’ll introduce the happy couple and give you some time to congratulate them!”
The guests rose from their seats. They crossed the stone-paved plaza to reach the foot of the stage, mingling with the Sou Be-Il special forces bodyguards who had joined them. There were 23 people in total.
The foot of the stage was packed.
Now that the guests were close enough, the man on the stage put down his megaphone. “Thank you, everyone.”
The man’s face was now clear enough for everyone to see. Some of the guests recognized him.
The Sou Be-Il special forces bodyguards were first, as they had met him during their mission to Ikstova at the beginning of the year.
“Hey, that’s—” Kane stammered. The other men gasped.
“How?” Axe uttered, glancing at Aikashia’s profiled face. He was completely unfazed. “Did the headmaster know…?”
“Hey…I know that guy. I’ve seen him before,” Natalia said. Nick was just as stunned.
“I have as well. Now I am certain of his identity. Although I still have no idea as to what he is doing in a place like this.”
“Well, don’t keep us in the dark, Nick. Who is he?”
Lillia also recognized the man. She had flown with him on the first day of the new year.
“W-wait a sec,” she said to Treize. “Why? How?!”
“Er…who knows?” Treize replied, playing dumb.
“Argh! That’s one more thing Mom has to explain now!” Lillia cried. She was slowly coming back to her usual energetic self.
Meg did not recognize the man. She was happily occupied gazing at Princess Matilda’s beautiful profiled face.
Seron did not bother with the man. He was happily occupied gazing at Meg’s lovely profiled face.
“This…has to be a joke. How…?” The colonel gasped, his eyes turning to dinner plates.
Major Kinski also recognized the man.
The man who had until just earlier been wearing a hat labeled ‘Parukho Village Wedding Chapel Committee’—who had recently cut his long hair and shaved off his beard—finally introduced himself.
“Good to see everyone here today. My name is Carr Benedict, and I’ll be your emcee for today!”
Everyone else—including Larry, who had been oblivious to the end—finally realized who he was. A historic hero who deserved the spotlight at any event he might attend.
“Ah! The Hero of the Mural!”
“Now, let me introduce our star couple!” Benedict cried. Everyone went silent. “First of all, the bride—Allison Whittington Schultz!”
Benedict waved and pointed at stage right.
There was a quiet wave of cheers when the bride emerged.
Lillia’s eyes fell on the woman on the stage.
Allison’s long blond hair was done up in a bun decorated with white flowers. She was in a white wedding dress instead of a uniform, her blue eyes sparkling.
“Thanks for waiting, everyone!” Allison cried, not in the least bit a blushing bride, as she strode onto center stage.
“Wait! Slow down!”
Rushing in after Allison was her bridesmaid, a black-haired girl in a bright orange sleeveless dress, holding a bouquet of equally orange flowers.
“She’s so pretty…” Carlo gasped.
“Still such a spirited girl. In fact, she’s gotten even more lovely with age,” Madam Epstein commented.
“Whoa, that’s Schultz’s mother? She’s gorgeous,” said Larry.
“You might look almost as pretty if you grew out your hair,” Jenny remarked coldly.
“She’s certainly beautiful,” the colonel said, impressed.
“Isn’t she?” Aikashia replied, sounding almost as if the bride were his own daughter.
“Hm?” The colonel furrowed his brow.
“Have I…seen her before?” Major Kinski wondered to himself.
“You’re looking lovely today.”
Allison and Benedict hugged as they exchanged greetings. The bridesmaid who happened to be a princess was completely overshadowed by the bride and the historic hero.
Treize and Matilda did not bother to point out her identity to the others, however.
Carlo alone looked at the princess of Ikstova and wondered, “She looks just like big bro. Are they twins?” But no one congratulated her for guessing the truth.
“Now, time for the groom to make his appearance!” Benedict declared.
“Ah!” Lillia twitched.
Treize quietly took her left hand in his right.
“Huh? What?” Lillia demanded, turning.
“Nothing,” Treize replied. He did not let go.
“Really? …All right.” Lillia nodded. She did not shake him off.
“Yeah.” Treize smiled.
“I’ll believe you.” Lillia smiled back.
They looked to the stage together.
Benedict continued. “I’m sure many of you must have been wondering about the groom! We’ve been keeping it all on the down-low on purpose, just so we could surprise you all! I guarantee, today will be an unforgettable day for everyone involved!”
The speech was getting so lengthy that Benedict was starting to sound like a politician.
“Looks like he’s having fun,” Larry remarked.
“Now, allow me the honor of introducing the groom—our mystery man—Wilhelm Schultz!”
Those not in the know—the newspaper club, the colonel, Major Kinski, and Miss Angela—were confused by the groom’s last name.
However, no one voiced their confusion because of the possibility that the bride and groom happened to have the same family names by sheer coincidence.
Two people emerged from stage left.
One was the woman who had been masquerading as a chapel employee—Fiona. The other was a man in a black tuxedo. He was walking on crutches, slowly moving forward with his left foot hovering over the floor.
With a new pair of glasses and tidy hair, Wilhelm Schultz—Major Travas—emerged.
The guests’ reactions varied wildly.
“Looks like he’s in good shape,” Silas Epstein remarked.
“And still as handsome as ever,” his sister mused nostalgically.
“He’s all grown up now,” their mother gasped in tears, almost as though she were marrying off her own son.
“Not my type. I prefer rugged tough-guys.” Miss Angela shrugged.
“He hurt his leg, huh,” Carlo commented nonchalantly.
Seron, Meg, Larry, Jenny, Natalia, and Nick were not floored, either.
‘So that’s the groom.’
‘He looks like a nice person.’
‘Is he injured?’
‘I should take some photos.’
‘He looks like a scholar.’
That was the extent of their reactions.
But a moment later, Natalia recognized Queen Francesca and started a small commotion at the table.
As for Lillianne Aikashia Corazòn Whittington Schultz—
“Oh. Ohhh. I see now.”
She wore a completely blank expression. For three seconds, she watched expressionlessly as the man she knew for years as Major Travas was escorted to center stage by the queen of Ikstova.
“Mom, you liar… Congrats, darn it! And you too, Dad…” she whispered, so quietly that only Treize could hear.
Treize had held on to her hand the whole time. He hesitated for a moment—
And he quietly let go.
“Oh, shoot! He really pulled one over on us! Good one, Major! Whoo!” Kane cheered, not bothering to hide his emotions.
Ed, Uno, and Ozette, who were seasoned veterans with years of training under their belts to prepare them for any situation—
“What?!” “Hm?!” “Impossible…”
—Were equally surprised, unable to hide their shock at the revelation.
Axe was no different. She was stunned into silence for a moment.
“What…is going on…? He was an Easterner? Then…when was Father… What?”
She stood there in a daze, in no shape to even think about guarding anyone.
“Major Travas…” Major Kinski gasped, jaw agape.
The colonel was equally as dumbfounded.
“I apologize for keeping the both of you in the dark,” said Major General Aikashia, not sounding apologetic in the least. “The former Major Travas actually holds Roxchean citizenship as well, although this was top secret when he was still serving in the Royal Army. He is participating in the ceremony today under his Roxchean identity. The marriage has been valid for years, of course, but they’re finally holding the ceremony today.”
“Sir,” the colonel said, dazed.
“What is it?”
“You have a rather interesting sense of humor.”
“You should have told us from the start that Major Travas was alive, sir… Do you have any idea how worried we were?” the colonel asked. Aikashia smiled.
“Colonel, you’re being more sentimental than your reputation suggests.”
“I must be getting old, sir.”
“The same goes for me. I would never have given permission for this little game if I were a younger man.”
“Sir! You mean you weren’t the one who planned this?”
“The planning was all done by the young folks. Major Travas and Mrs. Schultz, and the Hero of the Mural and Her Majesty Queen Francesca.”
“We couldn’t even dream of throwing a surprise party on this scale.”
The older men continued to chat amicably, but Major Kinski could not be any more different. He was as white as a sheet.
“Pardon me, sir,” the colonel said, noticing Kinski’s condition. “Major Kinski and I have something to discuss. I’m sure we can greet the bride and groom after everyone else has taken their turn.” He gave Kinski’s shoulder a gentle push and signaled him to go.
“I see,” Aikashia replied without a hint of concern, watching them leave the table.
The bride and groom stepped down from the stage and were greeted by the guests.
Major Kinski and the colonel, however, walked away from the chatter and to the parking lot. They stopped behind the truck parked there, hidden from view of the drivers on standby.
“What’s wrong, Major Kinski? You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” the colonel said, unperturbed. “You’ll need nerves of steel if you want to survive this career path, my man.”
“B-but Colonel! I don’t understand. How is Major Travas still alive? And what is he doing here, getting married, of all things?”
“Did it take you by surprise?” the colonel asked, looking into Kinski’s bowed face.
“Like I said before, you must not let that show in your expression or your behavior,” the colonel said. And with a shrug, he pointed at Kinski’s holstered gun.
It was a 9mm handgun that comprised part of their dress uniform. The magazine was loaded with 13 rounds.
“At this point, you have no other options.”
“Sir! Are you ordering me to take responsibility and kill myself?” Major Kinski asked, angry.
“I am not. Don’t get the wrong idea,” the colonel replied calmly. He placed his right hand on Kinski’s shoulder and squeezed. A good-natured grin rose to his lips. “Your killing yourself won’t solve anything. Your killing Travas, on the other hand, will solve many problems.”
“You can do it, can’t you? It’s simple. Just join the guests as they greet the bride and groom, and get close enough that you can shoot him at point-blank range. About three rounds to the face or chest would do.”
“What are you afraid of at this point? You’re the one who ordered the aeroplane bombing. This is no different. With the bombing, you took three innocent lives from the Air Force. This time you only have one target. If you don’t take care of him now, the three sacrifices will have been for naught.”
“B-but…all the witnesses…”
“Don’t worry, Major. I can help you. As soon as you open fire, I’ll restrain you. Then I’ll say to the guests, ‘Don’t kill him! I’ll take him back to the embassy for questioning!’.”
Kinski was silent.
“Then you’ll spend a few days relaxing in the basement cell in the embassy, before being found mentally unstable and not criminally responsible. You’ll be taken back to the motherland. Princess Matilda’s presence will help us—it’ll make your madman act more convincing. Do you understand?”
Kinski was silent.
“If we let Travas go now, all our efforts will have been in vain. We cannot let any more of Roxche’s drugs poison Sou Be-Il. You heard the major general—Travas also holds Roxchean citizenship. He’ll continue to work with the cartels as they smuggle drugs to the West.”
Kinski was silent.
“Can you imagine what kind of havoc they’ll wreak? This is our last chance to save the motherland. One day Travas’s misdeeds will be known to the world, and your reputation will be restored. The major general will agree with your actions as well.”
Kinski was silent.
“Still unsure? I suppose there’s no helping it. Shall I do the deed myself? I’m perfectly willing to shoulder the burden, so long as you are willing to rescue me from the basement cell.”
“…N-no, sir. I don’t have that authority.”
“See? We are left with no other choice. It is time to demonstrate your loyalty to the motherland!”
“Make absolutely sure to kill him. And do not take your own life afterwards. I swear by the gods that I will help you.”
Allison and Wil stepped down from the stage and began by greeting the Epstein family.
“Oh, Wil! It’s been much too long! I’m so glad to see you!” Madam Epstein cried, pulling Wil into a hug.
“Mother! It’s my turn!” Eumie butted in, pushing her mother aside to also hug Wil.
“Sorry about my sister,” Silas said to Allison. “Let her off just for today?”
Allison smiled. “Sure. Thanks for covering for Wil back in Ikstova, by the way! And for letting him stay at your place before the train trip!”
“Huh? Oh, that stuff! It’s all ancient history now, but you’re welcome!”
They chatted at length about memories from almost 20 years ago.
Once Wil was freed, he briefly shook hands with Silas and his father.
Then the bride and groom went to Bezel’s Princess Matilda.
“My deepest apologies for causing you worry, Your Highness,” Wil said with a bow. Allison gave an elegant curtsy.
“Father told me everything,” Matilda said cooly. “We can speak more on this matter at a later time.” Then she smiled. “I would rather not get in the way of your meeting with your daughter.”
Matilda stepped aside. Then came Major General Aikashia, and—
“Go on,” Treize said, giving Lillia a push.
Lillia stood on Aikashia’s left side and came face-to-face with Wil.
Aikashia stood face-to-face with his own daughter.
Major Kinski crossed the paved parking lot, his right hand hovering over his holster.
He had loaded the magazine by the truck beforehand. All he had to do now was pull the handgun out of the holster, operate the safety, and pull the trigger. It would not even take a second.
His steps took him to the cheery crowd before the stage.
The colonel walking next to him sounded especially loud in those minutes.
“Er…” Lillia hesitated, looking at the man she had known for years. She waved. “It’s been a while!”
She could not continue the conversation. She could not say a word.
Nor could Wil. But Aikashia quietly smiled.
“Word-for-word,” he mumbled.
“What do you mean?” asked Lillia.
“It’s the very same thing I heard many years ago, when I was reunited with my own daughter.”
“Yes, really. And by the way, I’m referring to—” Aikashia’s gaze went from his granddaughter to his daughter.
“Me!” Allison cried, raising a hand, holding up a thumb, and winking at the same time. The pose clashed with the wedding dress.
“Huh? What? The major general is Mom’s dad?”
“I am.” “That’s right.”
Silently and blankly, Lillia stood frozen. Three seconds later, she beamed and clung to Aikashia’s left arm.
“That means you’re my grandpa, right?”
“Yes, it does…”
“I’m so happy to get to meet you! Let’s go chat over there!”
Allison, Wil, and Treize—who was standing behind them—watched in shock.
“So! I’m just going to go on a date with Grandpa for a while!” Lillia declared, dragging Aikashia away by the arm.
“Apologies, all of you,” Aikashia said, not sounding apologetic in the least, and followed his granddaughter.
“Hm?” “What?” Wil and Treize exchanged confused glances.
“Looks like you’ve both been rejected, boys,” Allison teased them mercilessly.
Wil hung his head. “I really am sorry to Lillia about everything.”
Allison gently clung to Wil’s left arm as Lillia had with her father.
“Don’t worry. We have plenty of time to set things right. That’s one of the perks of being alive.”
“Do you understand, Major? Do not shoot immediately. Start by making small talk. Make sure that everyone is in a good mood and distracted when you make your move. Ah, I know! I’ll signal you when the time is right. ‘Perfect weather for a wedding.’ That’s your cue.”
Major Kinski continued to walk as he listened to the colonel.
He spotted his target 20 meters ahead in the distance, surrounded by wedding guests.
That was when Major General Aikashia, one of the VIPs, happened to leave the crowd. Princess Matilda was not among the guests there either. The five bodyguards were foolishly standing around the guests with their sights set on the stage’s surroundings.
Major Kinski continued.
“Guys! Let me introduce you. This here’s my grandpa!”
Lillia pulled Major General Aikashia over to the newspaper club and Princess Matilda, who had become friends and were exchanging casual conversation.
“Huh?” Meg gasped. “Then he is Allison’s mother? I mean, father?”
Aikashia was surrounded by young people on all sides.
“Yes, that’s correct. We had some unusual circumstances barring us from meeting, but I finally got the chance to say hello to my darling granddaughter,” he said, patting Lillia on the head. The veteran soldier was now little more than a doting grandfather.
Naturally, Aikashia had a cover story prepared in case someone inquired about his background as Major Oscar Whittington.
As for Larry, the other military man at the table, he did not know Allison’s history in the military or Lillia’s unusually long full name. And it did not even occur to him to recall the Lestki Island story he had heard from his grandfather.
<See that? I’ve never seen the headmaster act like…like a normal grandfather,> Kane remarked, standing guard from the outer edge of the crowd.
<I can’t believe I’m seeing that look on his face,> Ed agreed.
<This isn’t some elaborate prank he’s playing on us, is it?> asked Uno.
<Wish I had a camera,> said Ozette.
Ann silently kept an eye on the surroundings. But noticing nothing out of the ordinary, she remained silent. All she saw was Major Kinski and the colonel as they returned to the stage.
“Hey, Wil! Dumped by your daughter, I see!” Benedict joked, slapping Wil on the shoulder. “Lemme officially welcome you to the Dad Club!” he said in Bezelese with a smile.
“I wish we could have invited Mother, too,” said Allison. Travas Ladia had been unable to attend the wedding.
“She wouldn’t want to leave the village for such a long trip,” Wil said.
Fiona snapped a photo with the single-lens reflex camera she had so desperately wanted and wound the film. “Then you can have a reception at the Future Village! I’d love to visit myself.”
“That’s a great idea!” Allison agreed. “We can do it when Wil’s leg heals and he can carry me, bridal-style!”
“Please control yourself, Allison.”
“But you owe me for the piggyback ride last time!”
“Then we know how the reception’s going to start,” said Benedict, “and Fi will be the camerawoman.”
“Wonderful! It looks like I’m going to need a new camera.”
As the bride and groom laughed with their closest friends, Major Kinski and the colonel approached.
“Well, well! If it isn’t the dead man, risen from the grave!” the colonel joked, grinning.
Wil smiled back. “My deepest apologies for worrying you, Colonel.”
“How are your injuries?”
“All better, except for the broken ankle.”
“Make sure you take your time with that,” said the colonel. “After all, you’re retired now!”
“I’m afraid I’ve saddled everyone with work now. Especially you, Major Kinski.”
Major Kinski stood stiffly and saluted Wil. Wil could not salute back because of the crutches, so he bowed lightly instead.
“I don’t know the details, Major Travas, but I’m glad to see you’re safe,” said Major Kinski.
“Thank you. I’m sorry for worrying you as well, Major. How is everyone back at the embassy?”
“They’re doing just fine. Although I do get the sense that you set the bar very high at the office.”
“Major Kinski, you and I have been given different gifts. But whatever the others expect of you, don’t forget that you and your unique talents are crucial to the stability of relations between East and West.”
That was when Benedict broke his silence. “Hm? Excuse me, Major. Have we met before?”
“What? No, sir,” Major Kinski lied.
“Colonel, may I speak to Major Kinski privately for a moment?” asked Wil.
The colonel’s grin widened. “Of course.”
Wil excused himself and turned to Kinski. “I’ve already left my post at the embassy, so this is a request and not an order, Major Kinski.”
“W-what is it?” Kinski asked.
“Someone from the motherland is working to smuggle drugs from the Capital District to the West. You must find and capture him.”
“What do you mean?” Kinski paled. Rage colored his already-tense expression.
“Unfortunately, I did not even notice the matter while I was still on duty,” Wil said. “And now that I am no longer in the military, I cannot lift a finger to stop him.”
Kinski’s right hand slowly went to his holster.
That was when the colonel changed the subject.
“In any case, the weather is wonderful today. It’s a perfect day for a wedding!”
Major Kinski opened the holster cover.
His right hand gripped the handgun. At the same time, Wil whispered—
As if time itself had stopped.
“I am truly grateful that you kept silent all those years ago. Your decision saved the world.”
A girl with blond hair.
The Teruto Royal Army Base.
All the pieces fell into place at once and brought his memories rushing to the surface.
Major Kinski was pulled back to his days as a private, when he still went by his real name.
“AAAAAAAHHH! You’re the fake Royal Guard warrant officer!” Kinski cried, clutching his head in his hands. His gun remained in its holster.
“I am. It’s been a long time, Mr. René Falkrott,” Wil replied.
“Wow!” Allison chirped. “I remember you! You were our guide, right? This is awesome! It’s been a while!”
“I remember you too!” said Benedict, “you were on Green Island the year after! Serving as a specialist! Remember me?”
“I realized who you were earlier,” said Wil, “but I deliberately pretended not to notice. But I’ve come out with the truth now because I have something I absolutely must say.”
“W-what do you want to say…?”
“Something very simple. ‘Trust me’.”
Slowly, Major Kinski lowered his hands.
His shoulders fell as he exhaled.
Next to him, the colonel continued. “Perfect weather for a wedding, wouldn’t you agree?”
Major Kinski did not pull out his gun.
He slowly turned. He met the gaze of the red-faced colonel.
And he quietly shook his head.
“Damn you,” the colonel said, taking out his own handgun.
Major Kinski moved before the colonel could even take aim at Wil.
He did exactly as he learned at Aikashia’s academy, striking the edges of the handgun with both hands to take it from the colonel’s grip.
In the blink of an eye, he removed the magazine, pulled the slide, removed the slide stop, and then removed the slide itself.
Handgun parts clattered to the ground one after another.
The colonel was stunned into silence.
“Please, allow me to investigate,” Major Kinski said, eyes as cold as ice. “We will know the true identity of the one who has been smuggling drugs to the motherland.”
The colonel ground his teeth without a word.
Wil stepped forward, still on crutches. “Here.” He dropped a small capsule into Kinski’s hands. It was silver, and slightly large to be a medical capsule. Inside was the microfilm he had recovered from the wreck. “It contains so-called evidence that I was behind the smuggling operation—falsified evidence, naturally, but it will likely contain clues as to who did the falsifying. Headquarters in Sfrestus will attest that I have not tampered with these documents in any way.”
Major Kinski’s fingers wrapped tightly around the capsule. “Thank you,” he replied tersely. “I’d prefer not to bother you on such a fine day. I will escort the colonel back to the embassy.”
“Then take three or so people with you,” Benedict said, raising three fingers into the air and making a circular motion.
A second later, Axe and the other bodyguards heard the mystery woman on the radio once again.
<Ed, Uno, Ozette. To Major Travas. Code Orange.>
Ed and Uno, who had been standing near one another, did as ordered. Ozette soon joined them from a short distance away.
“Who is that? And how does she even know the codes?”
“Damn it! I can’t believe you’re making me do all the grunt work,” the mystery woman said without pressing the talk button.
She was next to a tall window in the chapel, which had been replaced with a one-way mirror.
“Welcome to newbie life. But you’re not bad at all. It might be worth putting you through the wringer.”
The first woman was accompanied by an older woman, a veteran member of Ikstova’s royal guard.
“I welcome your challenge! Someday I’ll have what it takes to kill the queen with my own two hands. Just watch me!” cried the younger woman, who had black hair and a microphone on her throat.
“That’s the spirit. Feel free to try when you’re sure you can kill us all, little lady.”
Claire Nichto, the newest addition to Ikstova’s royal guard, fumed.
“Ed, Uno, Ozette, you are now under my command. Take the colonel back to the embassy immediately,” Kinski ordered sharply. The three bodyguards were almost surprised.
“Ignore him, men. I can go back myself!” the colonel cried, turning red, but Kinski ignored him.
On Kinski’s orders, Ed—the largest of the men—stood behind the colonel with the other two on the colonel’s either side. It almost looked like he was a VIP being escorted out of the venue.
Major Kinski picked up the colonel’s fallen handgun and handed it to Benedict. “I may have to see you for questioning later, depending on the results of the investigation,” he said to Wil, and turned away.
But a moment later, he remembered something and turned back.
“By the way, congratulations on your marriage.”
The car that had driven Major Kinski to the wedding left the parking lot, crammed with passengers.
Wil, Allison, Benedict, and Fiona watched the car depart when Aikashia came up to them, smiling.
“Is it over?” asked the old general.
“For now,” replied his son-in-law.
Aikashia nodded. “Then let’s finally begin.”
“Begin what, Dad?” asked Allison, the others looked just as curious.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Aikashia replied. “The wedding, of course!”
* * *
The bride and the groom exchanged their vows on the stage, standing before Fiona and Benedict, who were acting as both emcees and witnesses.
The wedding had finally become a normal one.
“Lillia,” Treize said, “I’m going to study hard and go on to university in the Capital District.”
“That’s great,” Lillia replied. “Go for it!” She had cheered up completely.
“And I promise, I’ll figure out the answer by the time I’m 20!” Treize declared, placing a clenched fist over where his pendant no longer was.
“Answer to what?” Lillia wondered.
A short distance from the completely despondent Treize were Meg and Seron.
“It is a wonderful wedding!” Meg said, looking up at the stage.
“Yeah,” Seron replied expressionlessly, putting on the happiest face he knew.
“But is Treize’s real self now not concerning to everyone?” Meg asked suddenly.
“Hm? I guess it doesn’t really matter at this point whether he’s descended from morderca or not, does it?”
“It is a relief! Er, Seron? My dear future husband?”
“…What is it, Meg?”
“I still yet have one secret.”
“…What is it?”
Meg quietly brought her lips to his right ear.
“The truth is…that my ancestors the Strauski are a morderca family.”
“It is a secret from the other people. It is a simple history now, but my parents said, do not tell anyone.”
“All right. I won’t tell a soul,” Seron said, and met Meg’s eyes. “By the way, would that mean you’re quicker than most people?” he joked.
“I wonder so?” Meg replied.
And before anyone had the chance to even notice, she softly pressed her lips onto his.