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The Judge and the Princess

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There was such a time and a place for bittersweet words and last kisses, but that time was lost. Even as they carelessly danced together one night, neither would forget each other.It was the night of a important meeting between the Kingdoms of Dalmasca and Nabradia as well as the empires of Archades and Rozarria. It would determine what would happen next for the fate of those smaller kingdoms. For now, it was peaceful and the Lady Ashe had left Lord Rasler, her soon-to-be husband, so she could turn in for the night. There was one other person wandering the grounds of Nalbina. He was a judge employed to the ruling Solidor family of Archades. He was making his rounds when he spotted Ashe, who had suddenly stopped to stare up at the moonlight.

"Princess, are you alright? You shouldn't be out here by yourself, lest someone comes for you." He said, making his way over to her.

She turned around and looked the young man up and down before saying, "Oh? And, who should come for me? A judge in disguise coming to steal me? Or perhaps someone who wants keep me as ransom for my home to let itself be taken by Archades? I was only stopping to peek at the moon and then I was going to retire to my room for the remainder of the night."

Ashe cast her gaze back to the moon, basking in it's warm light. The Judge stood next to her, looking up at the moon as well. "I suppose the view from down here is splendid, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to view the sunset from an airship?" He asked her, his eyes glistening over at the thought.

"What?" She was surprised at the question, and began to wonder if the man had ever been atop an airship before to view such things. Of course it was dangerous and Ashe herself wouldn't think of doing such silly things, but Basch had told her what it was like to see something so magnificent and feel so close to the sky. Of course, he jokingly laughed and said he'd rather much prefer to keep his feet on the ground.

"Nothing." He said, quickly as his cheeks flashed crimson under her stare.

"No, no. It's quite alright. Have you never seen the view from an airship before? I would think you would have, being a Judge and all."

The young man sighed and replied with a sad expression set upon his face. "I'm afraid I have not. Being a Judge... isn't what I wanted in the least, but my father... he had other ideas."

Ashe was also taken by surprise at this and placed her hand upon his without thinking. She gently squeezed it and said, "Perhaps one day, you can forget this life as a Judge and do what you would like to. Fly an airship and see the sunset from it and the many places you possibly cannot go to."

He smiled at her gentle touch and her kind words and said, "Perhaps Princess... Perhaps." The young man took her hand and whisked her out into the full rays of the moonlight.

"Wh-what are you doing!?" Ashe insisted as she blushed crimson and tried to remove herself.

"At least let me have the honor of having to dance with you once, Princess. You can't keep yourself all to your husband. It isn't fair."

She blushed ever redder and stammered, "I-it is fair! I am betrothed to Rasler, because I love him. I am only his."

"I never said you didn't, Princess, but you didn't let me know if it is alright for me to give you one dance to remember."

Ashe pondered her response. What if she said yes and it gave him the wrong idea? What if this was just some plan for the Archadian Empire to somehow gain control of Dalmasca? She didn't like either of those and shuddered from those thoughts.

"Princess... I can ensure you that these are entirely my own actions and not that of the ruling family of Archades." He said, looking into her eyes as she continued to think of a response to give him.

So... these were his own actions, then? Perhaps it would be alright then. If only no one knew, as long as no one found out. "Alright... One dance, and then you can escort me to my room." She replied, placing her hand on his shoulder.

"One dance... and I will be your escort." He replied with a smile.

Her heart danced at the simple smile and she scolded herself for that. The two began to dance slowly, ever so casually under the moonlight and through the trees in the small enclosed garden they had hidden away in the Fortress at Nalbina. The dance itself didn't last long as the two both heard voices from the within the Fortress indicating that the meeting had ended for the night. The two broke apart and hid in the bushes of the garden as they watched the people leave the meeting. They watched as Captain Basch and Rasler left with Ashe's father, King Raminas.

"Where are you going, young Rasler? Hasn't your father asked you to see him safely to his room?" Raminas asked the young lord.

"I just want to check up on Ashe and see if she got back to her room safely." Rasler replied.

He gently took Ashe's wrist and crept out of the bushes, pulling her quietly along.

"What are you doing? We're going to be caught!" She whispered.

"Shh! What else am I doing, Princess? I'm escorting you safely back to your room." He replied.

The young man was able to get Ashe back to her room safely and without the two of them being noticed.

"I'm sorry to say we had to cut such a meeting short," He said, pressing her hand to his lips.

She blushed again and cursed under her breath. "Thank you for escorting me back."

She opened her door and stepped inside. The young Judge was about to leave when Ashe turned back to him and asked, "What is your name? I never did ask. I feel silly for not asking earlier."

The Judge smiled and replied with, "My name is Ffamran. Ffamran Mied Bunansa. It was a pleasure, Lady Ashe." With those last words, young Ffamran left Ashe and headed in the opposite direction they had come from. She shut her doors and moved over to her bed, laying herself down upon it.

She put her fingers to her lips as if he had kissed her there and not her hand. "Ffamran... I shall remember you always."