Amalthea solemnly looked into the mirror on her vanity as she adjusted the flower pin in her hair. She had gotten a message from Alfonse earlier that day asking if she would meet him in the fields later that afternoon. Amalthea signed as she got up from her vanity and straighten the white dress Alfonse asked her to wear when she met him out there. It was the same dress she had worn the night they got married. She smiled to herself although truth be told, this was not exactly how she imagined the honeymoon stage of their marriage would be. They got married under the impression that Alfonse only had nine days to live after he was cursed by Hel. Then in a surprising twist, his father sacrificed himself in Alfonse's place. Amalthea shut her eyes in remembrance.
King Gustav had been aware of her presence in the Order, but the two had never been formally introduced. He honestly wanted nothing to do with her despite Alfonse, Sharena, and even Anna trying to tell him about how much of an asset Amalthea was to the team.
“I have formed a strong bond with, Amalthea”, Alfonse had said.
“Your ally from another world?”, his father asked.
“Actually…”, Alfonse said with a hint of embarrassment, “She is now my wife.” The king narrowed his eyes and glanced over at Amalthea who was quietly standing nearby pretending to look over a map.
“I see…”, said King Gustav. Due to the circumstances, the pair decided to keep quiet about their recent wedding and asked Sharena and Wrys to do the same.
“My apologies for not telling you, Father”, Alfonse said. “It's just that because of the curse-”
“I care not to hear any more of the matter”, the King interrupted. “As if going onto the battlefield and getting yourself cursed wasn't foolish enough, now you have chosen to make your ally a widow. Gods, is there no end to your stupidity, boy?” At this, Amalthea turned her head about to say something but noticed that Alfonse had slightly put his hand up as a way to let her know he had it under control. She somehow managed to stay quiet but continued staring daggers in her father-in-law’s direction, but he ignored her.
“I...I am sorry, Father. You are right. I did not think about that…”
Amalthea shook her head at the memory. She had so wanted to slap that man across his face every time he opened his mouth. She couldn't disagree with the advice the King was giving his son, but he didn't have to be such an ass about it. Even the Queen had been surprised at the coldness her husband seemed to have about their only son about to die. That's why his sacrifice was so surprising to everyone. Of course, it made even more sense when the Queen told them about the King’s illness. Amalthea sighed.
Poor Alfonse she thought. He had remained quiet for a while after they returned from the battlefield while Sharena had run to her bedroom crying. Now it had been over a week since the King's passing and Amalthea had yet to see any sign of Alfonse grieving. She knew he wanted to stay strong in the eyes of his people, but holding it in just wasn't healthy. After all, they had both shed tears over the thought of his own passing, so what was going on? A knock on the door brought Amalthea out of her thoughts. “Come in!”, she called out. The door opened and Sharena peaked her head around the corner.
“There's my new sister-in-law!”, she said cheerfully. “You didn't forget about your date with my brother, did you?” Amalthea smiled back at her glad to see Sharena cheerful again.
“Of course not”, she said as Sharena entered the room. “I was just about to leave. Just wanted to make sure I looked okay.”
“Oh, please, you look amazing!”, exclaimed Sharena as she dusted off Amalthea’s shoulders and straightened the hem of the dress a little. “I'm so glad we found this! I was right about going into that little shop in town, wasn't I?”
“You sure were”, replied Amalthea in agreement. They had been in town running a few errands when Sharena noticed a new clothing shop. Amalthea hadn't been interested, but when they saw the white dress in the window, Sharena had all but dragged Amalthea inside. Neither of them would've guessed she would be wearing it to an impromptu wedding. The girls were quiet for a moment before Amalthea finally asked the obvious question. “How is he?”, she asked quietly. Sharena gave a sad sigh.
“I couldn't really tell you”, she said. “I've tried to talk to him, but he just tells me he's fine. Even our mother is having trouble speaking to him.” Amalthea gave an understanding nod.
“I'm not surprised”, she said. “Expressing sorrow doesn't come naturally to men. Now that with your father gone I think Alfonse is trying to show strength in eyes of the kingdom. After all, it's only a matter of time until…”, her voice trailed off. Everyone knew it was now a matter of time until Alfonse was crowned as the new King, but were a little worried for him as far as him being ready.
“Heh. Yeah…”, said Sharena. Then when she straightened up and smiled again. “But we can worry about that later. Right now, you need to go meet my brother! I wonder what he has planned?”, she said as she shoved Amalthea towards the door. “Go on, go on!” Amalthea laughed.
“Alright, alright, I'm going!”, she said. And out the door, the girls went with Sharena closing the door behind them.
It was a beautiful evening. The sky was starting to turn pink, the birds were quieting down and the crickets were piping up as Amalthea made her way into fields to find Alfonse. Thank goodness there was very little wind that evening. Spring was on its way, but it had been cold the past few days, so she brought a shawl just in case. Finally, she came to a hillside and looked down to see Alfonse standing near the edge of a cliff overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond. Amalthea smiled as she watched her new husband. His hair was perfect as always, skin still porcelain white, and he, too, was wearing the same clothes they had worn the night they got married. What is going on? Amalthea thought as she walked towards him.
Sensing her presence, Alfonse turned around from to see his new bride walking his way. He smiled and held his hand out to her. This gesture caused Amalthea's heart to start fluttering. Once their hands met, they looked into each other's eyes not saying a word as a light breeze blew causing the grass beneath them to dance. Then Alfonse sighed kissed her hand.
“Thank you for meeting me here”, he said. Amalthea blushed.
“Of course”, she replied. “But what's going on? Why are we out here in our wedding clothes?” Alfonse smiled.
“Well”, he said, “since things have calmed down for the moment, I figured we could renew our vows.” Amalthea’s eyes widened.
“Already?”, she said surprised, “But most people don't do that until at least a year later!”
“I understand”, said Alfonse. “But remember, we got married so quickly because we thought I was going to die.” Amalthea closed her eyes and nodded slowly.
“But, then your father-”, she started, but Alfonse shushed her.
“Let us not speak of that, right now”, he said. Amalthea looked straight into his eyes.
“Alfonse, you can't keep holding it in!”, she exclaimed. “ I know he was harsh, but-” Alfonse quickly pulled her in for a kiss to silence again. When he pulled back he lifted her chin up to his face.
“I understand”, he said. “Believe me, after we defeat Hel and her army there will be plenty of time for grieving, but for right now, I want to celebrate us. Our life, our love, and of course, us becoming a true family.” He tilted his head to their side and Amalthea looked over to see not only Sharena heading towards them but Queen Henriette as well. She looked back at Alfonse. “Father was right when he told me I would be foolish to leave behind a wife so soon, so I wanted to make another vow to you so that you would know that no matter what, I vow to be by your side until my dying days. After all, I almost did just that, remember?”
Amalthea began to tear up as she remembered the moment she held Alfonse in what they thought were his final moments as he apologized to her. She had even clung to him ready to accept Hel's blade along with him. A hand on her shoulder brought her out of that memory. She turned to see her mother-in-law. “Queen Henriette”, she said. The Queen smiled.
“Gustav and I were a little surprised to find out our little boy had become a husband right up under our noses”, she said. Amalthea lowered her head sadly. The Queen held Amalthea’s other hand. “Oh, cheer up!”, she said. “I may not have known you for too long, but seeing how happy you have made my son is good enough for me to place my trust in you.” Not wanting to be left out, Sharena grabbed her mother and brother's hands, and the four stood there for a moment in an unbreakable circle.
“That's right!”, she said happily, “We're a family, now! A strong, unbreakable family. I can't believe I went from being your number one fan to your sister, Amalthea!”
“Yes”, said Queen Henriette. “On behalf of myself and my beloved later husband, welcome to our family, Amalthea. Now, what do you say we get these vow renewals underway? At least this time I can be a part of it!” Amalthea couldn't hold back her tears as she nodded her head and embraced her new mother and sister-in-law before turning back to Alfonse who wiped her tears with his thumb as he cupped her face and kissed her. “Hey! I didn't say you could kiss the bride, yet!”, laughed Queen Henriette.
After another short but sweet ceremony and after Sharena and Queen Henriette had left, Alfonse and Amalthea sat together on the grass leaning against one another. “So what was this really about?”, Amalthea asked.
“What do you mean”, asked Alfonse.
“I mean, I understand why you wanted to do this, but…why today of all days? What made today so special?” Alfonse laughed.
“Well, today is White Day, is it not?”, he asked.
“Um...yeah?”, Amalthea replied.
“Well”, Alfonse said, “you gave me a gift on the Day of Devotion, so now I am giving you a gift in return. Is that not how it works?” Amalthea laughed.
“So, I give you a box of chocolates and you give me a vow renewal ceremony?”, she asked. Alfonse looked at her. Then he grabbed his wife and gently laid her on the grass.
“No”, he said as he looked down at her lovingly. “I give you my heart...and my life.” Amalthea smiled at her husband as she reached up to brush his bangs out of his face.
“And I promise to cherish both with everything I have”, she said. “Happy White Day, Alfonse.”
“Happy White Day, Amalthea”, Alfonse returned. Then he leaned down and the couple shared a passionate kiss as the remainder of the sun's light slowly faded over the rolling hills.