webnovel

Married Off To A Cold Eyed Knight

Rosemary was born into royalty, but unlike the princesses in fairy tales, she doesn't enjoy the perks that come with the title. In fact, she's looked down on by those around her for failing to live up to what her society expects of her as one born into the Kuroriku clan's main family, strength, durability, and vigor. Rosemary was born with a frail body and inadequate mana, not like the other members of her family who were all born with hardy bodies and vast potential. The only ones around who seem to treat her nicely are her brother and his girlfriend, Artemia. Despite their moral support, Rose still desires to escape her unloving father and those around her who made her life a living hell. One day, the chance finally presents itself in the form of a tall, dark, and handsome upstart knight with a cold stare. Will she accept even though it might mean entering a loveless marriage. But, what if love were to bloom in the most unlikely of places? Or is that only a thing that happens in fairy tales?

sun_imperial · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
399 Chs

Chapter 12: Briefing

*Saffron*

I glanced out as the train carried me south. This time, my unit was tasked to help the army at the southern border rather than the eastern one where we were usually stationed at. And to think I told Rose that I would be returning to the barracks.

Well, maybe this meant that I could return home earlier than expected. Assuming we weren't given another mission right away.

I sighed as I leaned against the train car window. Rose. She seemed nervous when I left. Was she really fine on her own? I mean, Mother and the kids were nearby. Hopefully, they would look after her if her health worsened.

"What's with the long face, boss?" a male voice called out from in front of me.

I glanced up to see my subordinate, Milo. He was a resident of Makkuroyama Grand Duchy like me and could control wind and plant mana in addition to earth. Although, he liked to stick with earth and wind. Plant powers were considered suspect.

"Just thinking."

"About your wife?" the orange haired youth asked, chuckling.

I looked up. "Where did you hear that I got married from?"

"Gael told me! He even sent me some pictures via fax. I'm glad to see that you settled down. Gael and I expected you to not do so until you were rather old or never."

I turned away.

Milo sighed. "Hope I can find someone too. Feels like the crew is gradually settling down."

I crossed my arms. "You're not already seeing anyone?"

He shook his head. "I wish!"

I smiled slightly. "You're still young. Give it time."

"Easy for you to say, boss. You managed to marry a princess."

My cheeks reddened. Rose wasn't exactly a typical one. She seemed shy and frail. But, she did have what most other noble woman I'd met didn't have, a gentle heart.

"Say, boss. You think the Kasai no Ki are going to attack?" Milo asked, staring out the window.

"Out here? I doubt it. Thus far, they've limited their attacks to Makkuroyama's large cities."

"Still, we gotta be prepared. They've caught us off guard in the past!"

I nodded. Milo was right. The Kasai no Ki were a crafty bunch. I picked up my luggage and took out some pieces of paper. Time to write Rose a letter.

Milo grinned and sat back down on his seat. Other than him, I had a few other members of my typical unit to work alongside with for this mission. Seemed our forces were spread thinner than I wanted.

As I wrote Rose a letter, I couldn't help but feel a little worried. Kasai no Ki weren't known for targeting rural areas, but one never know. Milo was right. We had to be prepared.

After writing Rose the letter of where we were going, I put it back in my luggage to send to her later. Hopefully, I could get to a mail place soon.

I shook my head. What was I doing? First came my job as marine captain. Rose came second. Even if my heart tugged me back home.

Once the train came to a stop, Milo and walked out. A woman with short icy-blue hair but a long ponytail waved at us. She wore the uniform of Kuroriku's marines.

"Captain Saffron, Private Milo, glad to have you made it here safely," she said, saluting.

Milo's cheeks reddened. "Nice to see you too, Koyuki. Hope we didn't keep you waiting very long."

"Not at all. Train arrived pretty much on time," Koyuki said, lowering her salute.

Milo grinned.

I walked passed them. Seems he had a crush. Although, it was a tad risky to fall for your superior. Gael and Satsuko were both of the same rank at least.

Koyuki escorted us to a black building at the edge of a lake. The sun was scorching hot and the wind wasn't much better either.

Milo sighed. "I'm melting here."

Koyuki laughed. "If you want, I can cool you down. But I might end up making you a Milocicle."

Milo grumbled. Guess he couldn't tolerate the heat despite being part Kasai no Ki. Then again, he did take more after Archangel Renata's side than Archangel Masayoshi's.

"Captain Saffron, glad to have you join us," a dark-skinned man with blond hair said as we stepped inside. He wore a Kuroriku marine uniform like the rest of us, with pins signaling his rank as Lieutenant.

I saluted. "Lieutenant Uneri."

Milo did the same. Guess he snapped out of his heat induced stupor.

"Follow me. Major Kisara wishes to brief you on the situation."

I nodded and followed him.

Milo whistled as we entered. "This place sure is nice! Better than our worn down base camp!"

Colonel Uneri sighed. "I know you're just a private, but you should act more mature. You're representing Momotaro base camp here."

Milo lowered his head. "Sorry, Lieutenant Uneri."

I glanced around. Several officers were standing around a round table with a map of southern Kuroriku's waters. That there were so many here seemed a tad unusual. Was there more to this mission than the briefing Major Kine gave us?

A dark-skinned lady turned around. She smiled slightly. "You two must be from the Momotaro base camp like Lieutenant Koyuki here."

Lieutenant Koyuki saluted.

I nodded. "Major Kisara, correct?"

She chuckled. "Glad to have a marine captain that knows his stuff. I heard a lot about you from Major Kien and the other higher ups over in Makkuroyama."

Milo scratched the back of his head. "Uh, is that a good or bad thing?"

Major Kisara narrowed her brown eyes. "State your name."

Milo gulped and saluted. "Private Milo reporting for duty!"

Major Kisara sighed. "Private Milo, heed my advice and keep your mouth shut during the briefing."

Milo nodded rapidly. He reminded me of Gael when he was a private too.

Major Kisara cleared her throat. "Now that everyone is here, let's begin."

Koyuki, Milo, and I took our seats while Lt. Uneri remained standing.

Major Kisara tapped the map with a pointer. "As you all know, tensions have been high at the Kasai no Ki border. But they're not our only issue. While tensions with our northern neighbor have eased following the marriage of Princess Matsuko and Grand Duke Sosuke, the same can't be said about our southern neighbor."

Milo raised his hand.

Major Kisara groaned. "Yes, Private Milo?"

"Are we going to war?"

"No. It's nothing like that." She rubbed her forehead. "The issue at hand are desert raiders. In the past, they used to come into the country and attack caravans of goods with their sand boats, but lately, they've shifted to using the lakes. Greatly expanding the scope of their operations."

Milo scratched the back of his orange hair. "Sand boats?"

Major Kisara face palmed. "I would've thought that you Makkuroyama would be slightly familiar with them."

"We don't have sand back home," Milo said.

I sighed. "Milo, I think you should maybe step out."

He lowered his head. "Okay."

Major Kisara pinched the bridge of her nose. "Lieutenant Uneri, escort him out. I can't believe Momotaro base camp sent us a private that clueless."

"In his defense, he is a private," Koyuki said.

"True. He shouldn't have been let in here in the first place."

Milo gulped.

Lt. Uneri escorted Milo out. Hopefully, with him around, Milo wouldn't get into trouble.

Major Kisara shook her head. "Anyway, sand boats are vessels powered by wind mana, slicing through the desert sands like normal boats through water."

I nodded. Interesting.

Major Kisara tapped one of the southern lakes. "Desert raiders typically steer their boats onto a lake. Since creating stone walls around bodies of water takes more energy than those on land, we can't just build a temporary one. But a permanent one is also out of the question too, given the importance of these waters to the commercial health of the region."

"But we can't just turn a blind eye either," Lt. Uneri said as he walked back in.

The Major nodded. Seemed she didn't mind her own subordinate interjecting. Perhaps Lt. Uneri was favored?

Major Kisara tapped the lake. "Our job is capture the desert raiders and sink their boats while they're on Kuroriku's territorial waters."

So, that's why she mentioned the tension with our neighbors. We couldn't just chase after the raiders without alarming the other side. Doing so would be a violation of their sovereignty.

Major Kisara furrowed her brow. "Unfortunately, even sinking their boats is tricky. The raiders retreat back to Taahid with as much loot as they can manage whenever one of their boats are sunk."

"Major Kisara, what lake are these raiders primarily attacking?"

"Lake Taisho, the very lake outside our base."

"They're that brazen!" Lt. Koyuki said, eyes wide.

She nodded. "Thankfully, Taahid patrol it too and have spotted their boats. But, there's a lot of corruption with the Taahidi coast guard too, so nothing is done about the raiders."

I glanced at the map. Lake Taisho was rather big. While it might've been a gutsy move given the base, it wasn't stupid either. After all, patrols by land didn't reach the shore. Plus, raiding lake Taisho could net the Taahid desert raiders plenty of money. Especially, if they could get their hands on the luxury goods their country provided Kuroriku with.

Major Kisara took a seat and sighed. "Any questions?"

I raised a hand. "What would mission accomplished for this job look like?"

The Major smirked. "So, Major Kine didn't lie about you. Very well. Mission accomplishment would be capturing all the desert raiders and sinking their sand boats before they can flee to Taahid. Or least, dealing them such a heavy blow that they're barely much of an issue."

"Sounds fair. What ships we have?"

"I have a gunboat, but I was hoping you wouldn't use a ship."

"Come again?" Koyuki asked.

The Major laughed. "How did you become a lieutenant? My reasoning is very obvious to any person with half a brain."

Koyuki took a deep breath.

'Good, keep calm.'

"She means that boats would only serve to draw attention to us. If we can fly, the quicker we can move around and the less obvious we're to spot. Granted we remain as close to the water as possible," I asked.

"I see! Flying is faster and stealthier too," Koyuki said, face lighting up.

Major Kisara groaned.

"Lieutenant Uneri, you'll be accompanying Captain Saffron and his subordinates. I'll send you a couple of briefings for you to share with them," the Major said.

Lt. Uneri saluted. "Understood."

"I expect to hear good results." Major Kisara banged her pointer stick against the table. "Alright, dismissed."

Koyuki and I left the briefing room and found Milo curled up on the floor.

"Oh, boss, you're out! What's the mission?" Milo asked, springing up.

"I'll brief you on the way," I said as I unbuttoned my shirt a little. "We're going to Lake Taisho."

Thoughts on Saffron's companions?

sun_imperialcreators' thoughts