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“We’ll see if Lambert shows up with his professor in a couple of years.”

 

Sylvain had earned a knock on the head from Ingrid, Felix had shaken his head in annoyance and Ashe had scratched the back of his head awkwardly. Annette and Mercedes laughed quietly, Dedue cracked a smile and Byleth hid her impish grin behind her hand. Dimitri had flushed.

 

Some stories would never die.

 

But despite the comment of Margrave Gautier, the festivities were proceeding smoothly and with so much joy that both young and old, both the nobles and the next generation of graduates of the officer’s academy were wrapped in chatter, speaking about tactics and politics. In the middle of the masses stood Lambert, crown prince of the kingdom and Dimitri’s first born.

 

His year at the officer’s academy had passed in the blink of an eye and as soon as the message of his successful graduation had reached both the king’s and queen’s ears, they were ready to throw themselves into preparation, organizing a feast with enough food and drink to make an entire nation full. Their first born had entered the room with a blush on his face, claiming that it was way too grand for this occasion, but even their oldest wasn’t capable to change their minds.

 

But from the look of his face, while he talked with the young lady and first of five daughters of the house Gautier-Galatea, Lambert didn’t seem to mind the extravagance at all.

 

“There you are.”

 

With a stiff in his neck, Dimitri looked over to his side and reciprocated Byleth’s smile, accepting her openly when she leaned her form against his shoulder and sighing deeply. “I was wondering where you had run off too.” But then she followed his eyes and saw her son speaking with the red haired beauty and her green eyes sparkled with affection and a quiet token he recognized from himself way too good. “Ah. I know that look from somewhere.”

 

He chuckled. “You do?”

 

“Oh yes. But I can tell that your look was even more hopeless than hers.”

 

“You hurt me, love.”

 

“Oh please.” She rolled her eyes, but with such a playful glint that his heart skipped a beat. It was incredible that she was able to pull such emotions out of him even after twenty years of marriage. “Who knows? Maybe we can organize a wedding in one or two years?”

 

Dimitri caught the face of Sylvain in the crowd, glaring at his son and he saw the sheer protectiveness in his orbs. Ingrid stood on her toes, trying to catch the sight and shaking her head over her husband, pulling on his ear and diverting his attention once again.

 

The king would probably feel the same if his own daughter would be involved.

 

“I think Sylvain will be the greatest obstacle for Lambert to conquer.”

 

“The skirt chaser, being blessed with five daughters, will fend of the noble crown prince to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage.” He saw the glint in her eyes. “You can look on the bright side: at least you can always hold his against Sylvain when he’s packing out the story when you tried to go out with a girl on his behalf-”

 

He chocked on his own saliva. “You really will never let his story die, won’t you?”

 

“I’m sorry.” She wasn’t. “But I love the expression you make when I bring it up.”

 

Having caught himself, he reached for her hand and pulled her gently with him. Side by side, they walked around the ball room, seeing their friends and comrades speaking with each other, love blossoming from a time of hardship and war and their children talking to each other in glee and peace. Be it the prince and princess, the five daughters of Gautier-Galatea, the son of Dedue and Mercedes, the daughter of Count Gaspard and his lovely Marianne, or the three sons of house Fraldarius-Dominic.

 

“Dimitri?”

 

The grip on his hand tightened. “Yes, my love?”

 

“I think we did a pretty good job.” She leaned forward, catching his eyes and he saw the spark in her green orbs. “What do you think?”

 

Every time he inhaled, it was peace. Every time he exhaled, it was tranquility.

 

Leaning down to kiss her temple, he murmured softly: “Only thanks to you.”