Slowly months passed. There were many wars with the small kingdoms that were sharing their borders with the Ryūthor Kingdom. There were some unexpected alliances of the small kingdoms. But the Master had been giving advice and military strategies to the Third Prince through General Damian when the need had arisen.
Year 844, Hachitsu 08th
Royal Palace, Ryūthor Kingdom
It was made known to the court that the King is now looking for a woman to become the Third Prince’s wife within this year.
In the King’s study room, the King was sitting on his chair. There was no one else in the study room. A Palace Guard came inside the study room and informed the King of General Damian requesting his audience.
The King told the Palace Guard to let him in, and General Damian came inside. They spoke for about half an hour. General Damian left the study room, and the King was in deep thoughts.
The next day in the afternoon, the King sent a messenger to the Third Prince’s Palace.
Palace of the Third Prince, Ryūthor Kingdom
Rydon was sitting on the sofa and having tea while Advisor Jacob was reporting on the current affairs of the Kingdom.
The messenger sent by the King reached the Third Prince’s Palace late in the evening. He came in and bowed as he said, “Greetings, Your Highness.”
Rydon looked up and saw the messenger from the Royal Palace. He frowned and asked, “What brings you here?”
“I bring a message from His Majesty, Your Highness,” said the messenger.
“What is it?” asked Rydon.
“His Majesty has summoned you to the Royal Palace, Your Highness. His Majesty wants to discuss an important matter with Your Highness tomorrow,” said the messenger.
Rydon was wondering what could be the important matter and then said, “I will attend the court tomorrow.”
“His Majesty wants to see you in private, Your Highness,” said the messenger immediately.
Rydon exchanged a glance with Advisor Jacob and then said, “Understood, I will be there.”
The messenger bowed and left the Palace. Advisor Jacob asked the Third Prince, “What could His Majesty’s important matter be, Your Highness?”
“We will know tomorrow,” said Rydon.
The next day, Rydon went to the Royal Palace. He headed straight to the King’s study room. He asked the Palace Guards, standing outside the study room, whether the King is inside. He went inside the room when the Palace Guards said that the King is inside and waiting for him.
“Your Majesty,” greeted Rydon as he knelt and bowed in front of the King.
“Come here, Rydon, sit,” said the King as he pointed Rydon to a chair diagonally across him on the right.
Rydon sat in the chair and said, “What is it, Father? It has been a long time since you last summoned me?”
The King used to summon Rydon frequently since when he was 16, to know about the situation in the borders of Hebista. The King had stopped summoning him since he became a Great General at the age of 19.
Becoming a Great General is not an easy feat. A Great General gets the respect of everyone in the Kingdom and is second in power only to the King. All Great Generals are extremely loyal to the King.
“I summoned you because I have something to tell you, Rydon. Something that I want to tell you before I announce it in the court tomorrow,” said the King.
Rydon just nodded at his father. He could guess that his father is about to announce something related to him tomorrow in the court. He could also guess that his father summoned him just to see his reaction upon hearing whatever his father was going to tell him.
“I have found a wife for you, Rydon!” said the King and looked at Rydon’s face to see his reaction.
“Hmm,” said Rydon and nodded with a straight face. He knew his father was waiting for a reaction from him, but still, he didn’t care to give one.
The King sighed at his son’s reaction and said, “It is Minister Marco’s daughter!”
Rydon raised an eyebrow when he heard Minister Marco’s name. He said, “Is he not being a bit too greedy?”
Minister Marco has been one of the finest Generals during his prime, and he became a minister since he retired. He had always wanted to get his daughters married to the Princes, to cosy up to when any one of them succeeds the throne. But neither the King accepted nor the Princes wanted his daughters.
The King had seen through the greedy and calculative mind of the minister, so he didn’t want to accept his daughters as wives of his sons. The Princes just didn’t want them as their wives because they were all ugly to them.
Though the daughters of Minister Marco were not ugly, they didn’t have any features that made them look any beautiful or special. They all had very normal looks.
Minister Marco has 14 daughters and 3 sons.
To maintain a good relationship with Minister Marco, the Princes took his daughters as concubines. The First Prince took three of his daughters as concubines, whereas the Second Prince took two of his daughters as concubines. The Fifth Prince took one of his daughters as a concubine.
“General Damian had proposed it,” said the King, understanding his son’s concerns.
“Damian?” asked Rydon, astounded.
“It is Damian’s sister!” said the King. General Damian is Minister Marco’s first-born, but he has no biological siblings. His mother passed away as a result of childbirth.
Rydon was in thoughts and after some time, he said, “Very well, Father has already decided on this marriage.”
“Any objections, Rydon?” asked the King.
“If Damian had made the proposal and not Minister Marco, I have no objections, Father,” said Rydon.
“Good. I will announce your marriage and issue a decree in the court tomorrow. You should be present in the court,” said the King.
“Yes, Father. I will take my leave now,” said Rydon and left the Royal Palace.
Palace of the Third Prince, Ryūthor Kingdom
“What was the important matter His Majesty summoned you for, Your Highness?” asked Advisor Jacob impatiently as soon as Rydon returned to the Palace.
“Father has…” said Rydon and Advisor Jacob immediately interrupted him.
“His Majesty has found a wife for you,” said Advisor Jacob, sounding ambivalent.
Rydon addresses the King as Father only when they’re alone and are discussing personal matters. When he meets the King on official purposes, he always addresses him as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘His Majesty’.
Advisor Jacob noticed the subtle change in the way the Third Prince addressed the King and guessed what personal matter it must have been.
“Yes,” said Rydon and sat down on the sofa.
“May I know which noble’s daughter has been chosen to be your wife, Your Highness?” asked Advisor Jacob.
“Minister Marco’s daughter,” said Rydon austerely.
Advisor Jacob was stunned. He then said, “How did His Majesty accept such a preposterous proposal of that greedy Minister?”
Rydon ignored Advisor Jacob’s concerns and said, “His Majesty will announce the marriage and issue the decree tomorrow. I will have to attend the court to receive the decree in person.”
Advisor Jacob gave up any thoughts of protesting. He knows all his efforts of protesting are just futile.
Year 844, Hachitsu 11th
Royal Palace, Ryūthor Kingdom
The courtroom was crowded. The King had announced that he would be announcing the marriage of the Third Prince in the court, so almost all nobles had attended the court.
The first matter that was addressed in the courtroom was the matter that had made every noble existent in the courtroom that day.
“My esteemed subjects, I have decided to hold my third son’s marriage. My third son, Rydon, will marry the woman I have chosen for him,” said the King and he signalled the Eunuch to continue.
“I will now announce the decree. The Third Prince, Rydon, third-born son of His Majesty, is betrothed to the seventh-born daughter of Minister Marco. The wedding will be in 15 days from now. Heed the decree,” announced the Eunuch in a uniform tone.
Rydon stood up from his chair and bowed as a sign of receiving the decree and sat back.
Minister Marco went to the Eunuch, knelt and raised both of his hands above his head to receive the decree courteously.
The rest of the matters of the court proceeded smoothly, and the court was dismissed.
Rydon headed to his Palace once the court was dismissed. Advisor Jacob was accompanying him in silence.