Vergil's eyes glittered with joy before it flickered out like a lamp.
"Very good. Let us make the announcement to His Majesty and my servants."
"Y-Yes..." You stumbled a step behind Vergil, dazed. As you walked behind Vergil down the hall, your words suddenly struck you.
You wanted to slap yourself. Were you crazy? You just swore to spend your life to this man. Sure your kingdom will be in good hands, but what about you? As he said, you know nothing about this man. Nothing. You took a deep breath and exhaled, looking at the highly detailed oil paintings on the wall. No. You've chosen this man for a reason. If you truly deemed him as unfit, you would have dismissed him already despite your promise to Mary.
"Oh! (F/N)! Prince Vergil!" Your father called, seeing you two walk in. "where have you been?"
"Our sincerest apologies Your Majesty," Vergil beat you to it before you even opened your mouth. "but the queen and I have been discussing some important topics."
The dining hall fell silent at the grave expression of your usually merry father. You saw his jaw visibly clench and his pale complexion grew pastier. A tense air gripped the room and choked out every trace of ardor and gaiety. You cleared your throat and straightened your back.
"Father, Prince Vergil and I have agreed to be wed to each other. When and where will our wedding take place?"
Silence. But then...
"Huzzah!" Your father jumped out of his seat with newfound energy. "At last! My daughter has found a suitor! Oh, call all my servants and tell them of the good news!"
Every servant in the room, after exchanging brief glances and cheeky grins, nodded and disappeared down the halls, hollering and shrieking the news. The entire dining hall was in an uproar once more, but they were even rowdier than before. Meanwhile, your awkward self coughed and looked at your husband-to-be apologetically. He shook his head and leaned down to your ear.
"Are you sure you want to marry me?"
"Yes Prince Vergil. I will marry you."
"I never had the opportunity to ask you this but..." There was a slight crack in his voice. "will you learn to love me?"
"I-I mean..." You looked away briefly, then turned your gaze back at him. "I don't know yet, but I think so."
Vergil nodded and slowly pulled away from you while your father made his way over to you. He practically flew to your side, his cane barely scraping the floor.
"Oh, we have so much to do! We have to take care of your dress, the invitations and guests, the food, the-"
"Okay, okay. One step at a time." You giggled, taking your father's hand in yours and giving it a gentle squeeze.
"Right... Phew..." He leaned against his cane and fanned himself weakly. "you're right. We'll take things one step at a time."
"Your Majesty! We have notified every servant in the palace." Reported your father's butler. Your father turned to him and patted his shoulder like a long time friend.
"Very good Lawrence. Now tell the whole kingdom. Send out every messenger in the palace. Let everybody know my daughter is getting married."
"Yes sir." Lawrence bowed to his master, then to you and Vergil, and left. Your father turned to you again, a special twinkle in his eyes.
"We will discuss all the details tomorrow. For now, you two must get some rest."
"Your Majesty, do you happen to know where my room is?" Vergil piped in.
"Ah, yes. One of my servants can lead you to one of our guest rooms. Uh, Eduardo!" Your father motioned for a little boy just barely eleven years old.
"Y-Yes, My Lord!" Eduardo bowed hastily.
"Please show Prince Vergil to his room. Make sure he is comfortable before you leave."
"Yes, Your Graciousness!" Eduardo enthusiastically raced out of the dining hall, his eyes flashing to Vergil's expectantly. Vergil bowed to you and your father.
"Goodnight, Your Majesty. Goodnight, My Queen."
Your breath quickened and your cheeks started to heat up. You were his queen. Vergil's queen. For some reason, you derived excitement and exuberance from that title. Oh, what was wrong with you? Why were you acting this way?
"It is time for you to get some rest too," Your father said, smiling. "but please... Try to fight the urge to sneak into his room at night."
"F-Father!" You squealed, hiding your face behind your palms.
"Oh ho! I'm just joking dear. But I am... somewhat serious." He led you out of the dining hall and pressed a quick kiss to your forehead.
"Father, you know I won't do that," You sigh, kissing your father's cheeks. "besides, even if I do- which I won't!- he won't do anything to me."
"Hm... How can you be so sure?" He tilted his head. "There were a couple of times I caught him staring at you-"
"A-Anyways! Goodnight Father. Don't forget to take your medicine before bed." You waved at him before scurrying up the stairs. After nearly yanking your door off its hinges, you entered the confines of your bedroom and slammed the door shut with a mighty bang. You jumped in bed, wrapped yourself in a fluffy blanket, and screamed in your pillow, kicking and thrashing in your sheets. Why were you so happy? Was it because you finally found your kingdom a good king? Or was it the knowledge that you'll be spending the rest of your life at Vergil's side that had sent you to cloud nine? Either way, you were happy- no, absolutely blissful.
A soft tap on your door halted the mini party you were throwing in your own bed. Your head shot up from under the covers and you cleared your throat, running your hand through your hair and straightening out your gown.
"Who is it?"
"'tis Nelly, Miss. May I come in?"
"O-Oh. Nelly. Of course, come in."
A small girl poked her head in first before the rest of her short body followed. "Sorry to disturb ya, Miss. Me thought you were busy when I heard all these howlin's and screechin'!"
You felt a drop in your stomach. Were you... that loud...? You shook your head and ignored the fire burning in your cheeks.
"Oh no. It's fine. Anyways, did you need something?"
"Not really. Jus' thought maybe ya needed help changin' to yer nightgown." Nelly said, going through your drawers for a nightgown.
"Oh, it's fine. Thank-... Actually, if you could help me out of this dress, that would be wonderful." You pulled yourself up and walked to your folding mirrors in the corner of your room. Nelly pranced to your side and gave a low whistle.
"Wowee Miss. You look mighty dashin' in this dress! No wonder the Prince loves you so!"
"Oh no dear, he doesn't love me," You smiled sadly at the younger girl. "Well, not yet at least..."
"Oooh... Does M'Lady have somethin' up her sleeve?" Nelly smirked, untying the ribbons behind your dress with precise deftness.
"Not really... I'll worry about that later. For now, I have to plan my wedding."
"Understood... Hm, maybe I can help a bit..." Before you could question what she meant, she clapped her hands together in glee.
"Oh, there we are!" With one final yank, the dress came loose and slipped off your shoulders, crumpling to the ground in one giant heap of fabric. "don't you worry 'bout cleanin' that, Miss. You go on an' rest now!"
After Nelly ushered you off the platform, she gingerly picked up the dress and folded it, neatly putting it in a basket. She got up, basket in hand, and opened the door.
"I got laundry duty tonight, Miss. Do ye need anythin' else before I's take my leave?" She looked back, halfway out the door.
"I'm alright Nelly. Thank you very much." After exchanging goodnights, she blew out your lamp and skipped out of your room. A smile picked at the corners of your lips. Nelly was the sweetest little thing ever. Her dimples and toothy grin could light up a whole room in a second. You snuggled deeper into your blankets and sighed contently. Despite being a bit... er, different, you found her uniqueness quite refreshing in a world full of stuffy nobles and stuck-up scholars. You yawned and closed your eyes, the familiar sensation of sleep weighing your eyelids. Having put all your worries aside, you are promptly dragged out of reality and carried into the world of dreams.
~*~ The next morning brought to you by my snoring doggo ~*~
"Rise 'n shine, Miss (F/N)!" A familiar voice snapped you back to reality all too soon. You internally groaned and shuffled under your sheets as a dream you were getting rather fond of faded into oblivion. You breathed in slowly and deeply, hoping Nelly would think you were still sleeping and just leave you be for now. But your loyal maid knew you too well. She yanked your blanket off your body and tickled your feet.
"Stop!" You screamed, kicking her hands away. She chuckled and cleared her throat, straightening out a dress that rested on your dresser.
"M'Lady, ye must get up now. We have a busy day ahead of us!" She exclaimed happily, taking your hands and pulling you up. "The bath's all ready for ya!"
"Mm... Can't I sleep for just a few more minutes..." You sighed, rubbing the gunk out of your eyes. "and plus, why do we have to wake up earlier than usual... The sun's not even up yet!"
Nelly gasped and put her hands on her hips. "Why, Miss (F/N), for your wedding day!"
"My what?" Now you were wide awake.
"Oh, come now. No more jokes, Miss. Prince Vergil's already up and helpin' with preparations."
"... Oh! Prince Vergil!" You immediately jumped out of bed, completely ignoring the stone tile's penetrating frostiness that nipped your feet.
"Oh, thank goodness ye remember! Now, I've already picked out a dress for ya. We can discuss more on accessories an' the like later!" After handing you a towel, she escorted you to the bathhouse. Thick clouds of steam fogged the whole room, little droplets of water condensing on its marble pillars. A sweet aroma drifted to your nose, sending a pleasant tingle through your fingertips.
"Oh, silly me! I have kitchen duty today too. Please take your time, Miss (F/N). I'll be back when I'm done cookin' breakfast!" With a swift bow, Nelly turned around and exited the bathhouse with a skip in her step. Without much thought, you let the towel drop to your feet together with your nightgown. You sat down on the edge, slowly immersing yourself in the steamy tub. You let out a content sigh, rolling your head back onto your towel.
Your eyes shot open and your head whipped upright to see a blushing ( and naked ) Vergil on the opposite side of the bath. You squealed and dunked your face underwater, only your eyes hovering over the murky surface. You instinctively hid your breasts with your arms and glared at him.
"What are you doing here?" Asked Vergil, a steely tone in his voice.
"What are you doing here?" You fired back, reddening with each second.
"Did your maid not tell you that I was taking a bath?"
"She told me you were done!" Your eyes widened a second later, remembering what she said last night.
"Hm, maybe I can help a bit..."
Nelly, you devil...
You made a mental note to strangle her later as the obviously annoyed Vergil continued.
"I've never seen such an ignorant maid before."
"No... She planned this whole thing..." You mumbled to yourself.
"Nothing. I will deal with her later," You assured, gripping your towel tightly. "I-I apologize Prince Vergil. I will now take my leave-"
"Just stay. It'll be faster that way."
Not wanting to peeve off Vergil any longer, you quietly did as he said and slouched in the water, staring at your murky reflection. The awkwardness in the air made you want to tear your hair out and scream. You pulled your legs to your chest and cleared your throat.
"So... How's your day?"
"Interesting." Was all he said.
"Splendid." You retorted back just as stiffly. Was this a preview of your lives together? Awkwardly staring at each other in the bathhouse, hoping that the thick layer of steam would hide you? You shivered, shaking your head.
"I will take my leave now." Vergil informed quietly, standing up and wrapping a plush towel around his waist.
"G-Goodbye." You choked out, turning your head. Although silent, you felt a pair of eyes gazing at you before looking away.
As Vergil's footsteps faded into nothingness, wrath overtook your very soul.
~*~ Timeskip brought to you by vengeful plotting ~*~
Unsurprisingly, Nelly was no where to be found. Not even the other maids knew where she was. Knowing that she'll show up later, you buried your rage and forced a smile on your face.
Just as your demon maid predicted, it was busy today. Very busy. On your left were various maids dusting and sweeping and mopping to and fro; on your right were your father's advisors pestering the poor head baker on how big and elaborate the wedding cake was supposed to be.
"No no no, you're doing it all wrong!" Roared an advisor. "the cake is supposed to be colorful and have flowers and ribbons and strings of pearls and the like. Make it flashy!"
"Y-Yes sir." Squeaked the baker, promptly writing down the order with shaky hands.
"Are you a fool?!" Snapped another advisor. "The queen and prince would obviously want a grand cake— a cake that towers above all other cakes! Who would care about the design if its height speaks for itself? Make it seven cubits high."
"Seven sir?! T-That's imposs-"
"Did I stutter? Make a wedding cake that puts every other wedding cake to shame."
"Actually, I believe my future husband and I would prefer a smaller but elegant cake." You interjected calmly. All eyes turned to you before they were casted down in respect. You continued, gazing gently at the trembling baker.
"Good sir, this is what we want our cake to be. Please write it down."
The baker hastily discarded a piece of paper and readied his quill.
"Now, Prince Vergil is a simple man. He wouldn't like cakes towering the castle or flowers sticking out everywhere. Please give us a traditional looking (F/C) cake. Go easy on the pearls and ribbons. Also, garnish the top and layers with a handful of (Favorite Flowers). I want the flavor to be (Favorite Cake Flavor)."
"Yes, yes, very good..." The baker muttered, scribbling down some notes. "Will that be all?"
"Thank you Your Majesty. Feel free to check up on us anytime."
"Of course. Thank you again."
After the plump baker scurried off into the kitchen, your father's advisors approached you with skepticism.
"Your Majesty, are you sure you want a simple cake? This is your wedding after all..."
"It's fine. Besides, it's Prince Vergil's wedding too. Extravagance is not... him."
"Ah... of course." They all looked amongst themselves, almost embarrassed.
"S-Speaking of which..." Coughed a young advisor. "His Majesty wants you to try on some wedding gowns. The best dressmaker in the whole kingdom should be coming in a few moments."
As predicted, a stout woman who was probably in her late thirties entered your chambers within hours. She was a quiet but kind lady, measuring your frame in relative silence before asking you some questions about your 'dream gown'.
"Now, Your Highness... I have prepared some dresses for you to try on. Do tell me if it is in any way uncomfortable or not to your liking."
You went through a series of gowns of all different shapes and colors. You kindly rejected a frilly pink dress, and your absolutely horror-stricken face shooed the bright orange dress out the window. After passing up dress after dress, you were starting to lose hope in the little woman.
"It appears that this is the last one, Your Majesty." Heaved the seamstress tiredly. "If necessary, I can make a custom dress. But that would take a long time to make."
"Oh, it looks quite nice actually." You stared at your last dress— probably the simplest out of all of them. Unlike the other dresses, this was more of a traditional wedding dress. Its understated yet sophisticated and feminine design seemed to have caught your attention in this sea of clashing colors snd poofy gowns. It looked... well, normal.
After some assistance from your maids and the seamstress, you were able to squeeze into the dress. It was surprisingly loose, a breeze of air flowing through the thin material. You twirled around, an innocent child-like joy swelling in your chest seeing your dress sway to and fro. Your translucent sleeves were in fact very comfortable. You were expecting to be scratching your arms till the lace came off but honestly, you could stay in this dress all day! Your lips wore the happiest looking smile while you straightened out the dress.
A distinct voice sliced through your little fantasies and you whipped your head to your door. Lo and behold, your husband-to-be was leaning against the door frame, a playful glint in his eyes. Gasps echoed all around the room before everyone ( except you ) bowed simultaneously to the prince.
"I wish to speak to my future wife alone." Although soft, his tone held a certain steeliness that you couldn't quite place your finger on. With a squeak, all the girls filed out of the room one by one until the only souls in your bedroom were you and Vergil.
"Prince Vergil. How long have you been here?" With a chaste curtsy, you eyed the young man curiously, a faint blush dusting your cheeks. Hopefully he at least had the decency to not watch you change...
"I have just arrived." He answered curtly, stalking towards you slowly. There was this certain glint in his eye that made you want to run out of your room and hide somewhere. You shook the chilling feeling off your chest and planted your feet in place, your heart beating faster than before.
"Oh. Well, how do I look?"
"I said it looked perfect." Vergil stood before you, his proud stature towering over you. You felt his eyes penetrate every inch of your body and you shuddered— not from disgust but... excitement? You laughed, hoping the conversation wouldn't go awkwardly silent.
"Thank goodness! All the other dresses were... well..." You glanced at the colorful pile of gowns.
"... Unique." Vergil finished, looking away with slight disgust in his eyes. You giggled and nodded your head.
"Yes. They're very unique."
After exchanging a few chuckles, the room went silent again. Your fists clenching, you cleared our throat and swayed your dress absently.
"I went to the market earlier." Vergil suddenly announced. You looked up at him and smiled.
"That's nice. Did you buy anything?"
"Yes. But it's for our wedding night."
'Our wedding night'...
"Aw, one hint? Please?" You begged, latching onto his arm and shaking it. He chuckled and gently pried you off his arm.
"No. Be patient."
Before you could respond with a teasingly snarky comment, a knock made your heart skip a beat.
"Come in." You called.
Your door's rusty hinges creaked loudly as a familiar cane slipped through the crack.
"My dear, are you done trying out all your dresses?" Asked a soft voice.
"Oh, Father. Yes I am." You waved at your father, who was leaning against the threshold, when his eyes laid on Vergil. Said man bowed deeply before excusing himself and leaving the room.
"(F/N)... Are you certain you want that man as your husband?"
"Father, what makes you say such a thing? Have you forgotten to take your medicine again?" You huffed, pressing the back of your hand against his forehead.
"I haven't forgotten," He muttered in annoyance, swatting your hand away. "and... I only want to make sure."
"Yes Father. I wish to marry him." You smiled reassuringly and gave your father's shoulder a squeeze.
"Do you love him (F/N)?"
Your lips pursed into a straight line while your father stared at you expectantly. Not wanting to worry him, you forced a smile and nodded your head.
"Yes Father. I love him very much."
He doesn't love me though.
A look of relief flashed through his features and he exhaled deeply. "Oh, thank the gods... The kingdom is important, but so is your happiness and wellbeing. I don't mind waiting just a little longer for you to find a proper king and a loving husband."
There was a hesitant pause in your thoughts before you shook them out of your head. "Thank you for your concerns Father, but I'm fine."
He sighed and looked at the ground, pondering deeply. "Do you really wish to marry Prince Vergil of Fortuna?"
"Yes Father. I want to marry him."
Looking satisfied with your answer, he pulled you into his arms and closed his eyes as he hugged you closer.
"You look just like your mother when she was trying on her gown. Like Prince Vergil, I visited her when she was trying on her dress for the first time."
He hummed and pulled away, stroking your cheek. "Yes... She really seemed to glow that day. She was radiating a glow that made your heart warm inside. ... You remind me of her."
Your father smiled bitterly before shaking his head.
"I can't believe it... My daughter is getting married... It feels like I tucked you in bed and read you grandeur stories of knights and dragons just yesterday. And now, you're getting married..."
"F-Father are you crying?!" You patted your father's back and hugged him. "don't cry yet! Please save your tears for the wedding!"
"Oh, alright..." He sniffed, wiping away his tears with his handkerchief. "Just... make sure you give me plenty of grandchildren alright?"