Becoming the General's Wife

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4. Dread

Chapter 2: The General’s War Room

That was the second chapter of the general’s awfully written and poorly informative self impudent book. It depicted the room as mounted with heads of beasts, the smell of blood, men and cigars. The war room was not a place for women. The General knew that. This was a ploy to scare his betrothed or test her wits. It could be a test of fear. All of the above.

Dread settled impressively into her stomach. She did not want to entertain the General. But Colette would have to go. They would meet briefly. Then they wouldn’t anymore. A bribed marriage. Denise slapped herself with the mental resolve. Grit. It was all about grit.

The maids attended to her solemnly, but their eyes wandered to the mirror. The beauty that faced them was indescribable. Denise didn’t blame them. Colette was a sight to behold.

Once they were done, nods were shared across the room. It was time.

The butler came for her at the door.

“My lady” he bowed. He was young for his job. He must be capable to serve the war lord. The book depicted all the General’s men as capable, efficient and loyal. Very loyal. She had no friend here, only eyes.

He escorted her silently to the war room. He knocked the door and announced her presence. The General’s voice sounded inside. A bid for her to enter. She walked slowly to her demise. He sat there, smoking. She coughed. He didn’t care. The smoke and the undrawn curtains hid his face. She didn’t like it. If she was going to marry the devil, she’d prefer to see his face.

Fortunately, the butler walked to the windows and drew open the curtains as well as open the windows. The cold autumn breeze wafted into the room. It was a war room and the book was absurdly accurate. But it did forget to mention, the round table in the middle of the room. It had swords slammed into it and disarrayed utensils and cutlery.

However, the light never touched his face at the head of the table.


He didn’t know her name. He bloody didn’t know her name. She was appalled. Her blood was boiling. Colette was lucky that she wouldn’t have to face this man. But who would call death a lucky affair?

“My name is Lady Colette Hildebrand.” It pained her to introduce herself as such. It felt as though the duke would open the door and shout the heresy that it was.

“Ah yes...”

“And you kind Sir must be?”

Two could play that game.

He laughed, a small laugh. He leaned forward and his face, it was hard to believe that that was the face of the Blood Lord. He was young as he was handsome. Clandestine features such as scars and cuts made his dark features all the more alluring. Dark hair, dark eyes and a cheeky smile.

He was smiling at her.

“I am your betrothed.”


It was an announcement. Your betrothed.

“Forgive me, my lord, I had not been informed of your appearance.” She said politely.

“You are pardoned my lady”

The sheer audacity of the man. It was revolting.

“I trust the maids have cared for you?”

He didn’t care. That was apparent. That was a question of obligation.

“All is well my lord.”

“Good, then we shall marry in 3 days.”

“What?” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. 3 days? He was going to organize a wedding in 3 days.

“That is the reason why you are here, is it not? To be my wife.”

Denise wanted to scream. She never had any plans to marry. Of course various men had approached her, but had she agreed? No. That was the same answer she had given them.

The coachman was too much of a drunk, the clerk at the Hildebrand was too timid, some squires were Casanovas and the noble men’s sons had loose lips with false promises.

Now she, in the body of Colette was marrying a war lord, nicknamed Blood Lord as though he was a vampire but he was a man. A man telling her she is to wed him in 3 days.

“The emperor sends his congratulations.” More obligations.

Suddenly reality sunk in for Denise. She died. Denise was dead. She was now Colette Hildebrand and she was to marry the Blood Lord. Tears threatened to fall. She didn’t want to get married. Not like this. But what else could she do? Whine like Colette...

Denise let her tears fall. Cry so you can win.

“My lady?”

She sniffed. More tears.

“I’m sorry my lord, it’s simply shocking that you wish to marry, so soon.”

“Is 3 days too soon?”

“It does distress me...“She made herself seem so small and he was falling for it.

“Alright. 2 days it is. Your tears of joy have moved my murderous heart. In 2 days we shall be wed. Inform the priest.” The last sentence was to the butler.

The butler nodded and left the room. Denise had stopped crying and was staring at the mad man. He got up, approaching her, he grabbed one of the knives on the round table.

“Or were those tears false my lady? A way to appeal my lackluster, possibly dead, emotions while hiding malicious intent?”

The blade was on her neck. It was cold and extremely sharp.

“I am a man of honor and a woman’s tears, though might be well placed may be a means to an evil end.”

Fear, that’s what Denise could taste. Resounding fear.

“Of course my lord, they were tears of joy.” she choked out.

The blade fell from her throat.

“Wonderful. Now... Get out.”

She was happy to comply.

He was a mad man, he was going to kill her. She practically ran back to her room. She missed them all now, the coachman, the clerk, the squires and... no, never the sons. They were nobles. Cruel nobles just like the General, except that they hadn’t already tried to kill her.

She slept the rest of the day. Fear was draining.

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