DD 236 Departing for the battlefront
“Madame, what do you think of this one?”
Our long-time head maid Erele asked me this as she presented me with an outfit.
The clothes were so plain they resembled men’s clothes. A duke’s wife would never wear something like that.
“Yes, that’s fine.”
I took off my jewelry and dress and put on the outfit Erele had given me.
Letting my hair fall naturally, I put it into a simple ponytail and put on my outer coat.
Finally, I brought with me the sword I’d been hiding in my room all this time.
“Is it time to go now?”
My husband had walked into the room. He asked this when he saw how I was dressed.
Neither of us could say anything. Silence ruled the room.
Although we couldn’t speak, my husband and I gazed at each other.
As some said, communicating with your eyes was sometimes more meaningful than with your mouth.
I wanted to speak to him…but the words I couldn’t bring myself to say, I could use my gaze to bring them to life.
Although I can’t bear to see you go, I can’t stop you from leaving.
That’s what his eyes told me.
He and I must be thinking the same thing. We didn’t want to be separated.
If something happened to him while I was gone, it would be a lifetime of regret for me.
But I couldn’t not go. For the sake of protecting our beloved treasure.
I didn’t have to open my mouth for him to understand that internal struggle.
As if to swallow my longing, I smiled suddenly and spoke.
“Don’t worry. I’ll come back to you alive…my place is by your side, and nowhere else.”
It was like I was saying those words for myself. He smiled too when he heard them.
“Ah, I believe in you. I can’t go with you, but my heart is with you. I’ll shoulder your burden and pray for your wellbeing. No matter what obstacles stand in our way, the promises we took together are unchanging. Do what you must.”
“All right. I’m leaving, my dear.”
And so I left for Duke Anderson’s home.
After some brief greetings, I walked before my elder brother Parks*.
“I’ve heard about everything from Iris.”
His tone was heavy.
“Yes. I’m sorry…”
“Your daughter is really prepared for everything. She not only managed to find a legitimate reason for my soldiers to head to Duke Armenia’s territory, but has also informed the first prince and obtained his permission.”
He said this with a smile, interrupting my words.
“I’m already recruiting for soldiers, but it won’t be a lot of firepower.”
“Unfortunately we can’t do much about that. What about numbers?”
“A hundred or so current soldiers. Mostly organized around people who once battled alongside you.”
“Then that’ll be enough.”
My brother’s words were enough to calm me.
Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting that many people.
“But I only gathered them here. I didn’t specify what the order was. Whether or not they’re willing to go will depend on you.”
The other layer behind what he was saying was whether or not I could convince them to follow me…he threw the question to me.
“That’s good. If it’s the order from a leader, they’ll obey. But I’m the one who is supposedly leading them. If they don’t submit to me heart and soul, then they’ll be a mess on the battlefield. That’s what you’re worried about, right?”
Of course I expected the question to come up. In fact, I would have been surprised if it hadn’t.
“Damn. Your instinct is as always when it comes to battles.”
“How rude of you…I’m a duke’s wife who powers through the social sphere as I wish nowadays. Don’t you know that?”
“Is that a battlefield to you too?”
“…It is.” I affirmed it with a laugh.
“Ah, whatever. Thank you so much, dearest brother.”
“I pray for your success.”
I walked out of the study with excitement in my heart, heading toward the arena where Duke Anderon’s family’s guards were gathered.
*Couldn’t find previous romanizations of this name, correct me if there is one though!