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Chapter 27 – Epilogue – In Peaceful Days

~Imperial Year 1197~

“Greetings, Father, nothing to report!” Remy greeted Sylvain as he rode in on his steed in front of Fraldarius’ palace. Before continuing with his report, he ordered his battalion to bring their horses back to the stables. “Well, except of course for the fact that our diplomatic mission went well. The peace talks between Gautier and Sreng are starting to come along well.”

“Hahaha, you remind me of a certain gatekeeper back at the monastery.” Sylvain chuckled. “And what about the members of House Gautier?”

“Uncle Miklan is tired all the time… But he’s trying. And Grandpa is doing great!” Remy held a thumbs up. “Auntie keeps on telling him to get rest, especially since he’s suuuuuper old and not the margrave anymore. But you know how stubborn Grandpa is…”

“Your ‘auntie?’ Ah, you must mean… her.” Sylvain smiled as he remembered the familiar older woman.

“She’s pregnant but still working hard to keep the peace over there… I admire her. I can’t wait to invite her and my cousin over! I heard that even though she’s only eight, she’s got one hell of a lance arm!” Remy beamed, then turned to the companion he had brought with him. “Oh, yeah, I thought I’d like to introduce you. This is my girlfriend, whom I met at the Gautier palace. Isn’t she a beaut?”

 “I can’t believe you’ve brought another woman home.” Sylvain muttered, not bothered by this reminder of his younger days.

“What does he mean ‘another?’” The girlfriend whined. “Don’t tell me… Do you have other girlfriends I need to know about?”

“Come on, you know that’s not true, baby… Oh, do you hear that?” Remy tried to turn the conversation around. “I think that my little sisters are calling for me! We better go see what they want!”

As Remy left with his girlfriend nagging him, Felix picked that moment to come on to the scene with his daughters. “He takes after his Grandpa,” he remarked. “Because I know you would never act like that… right, Sylvain Jose Fraldarius?”

“You know it!” Sylvain took a look at his now 18-year-old daughter. “So, Megumi, how did training go?”

Megumi sighed, clearly upset with herself. “Still not good enough! I still can’t land a hit on Papa!”

“That’s not true.” Felix showed her a small – but still fresh – bruise under his sleeve. “What do you call this?”

“That’s probably just an old wound…”

“Megumi, come on.” Sylvain tried to calm his daughter down. “Yes, we all make mistakes, and no, we don’t have to be perfect. That makes it all the more important that you learn to celebrate your victories, even the little ones, understand?”

“Yes, Father. Then I’ll go train so it doesn’t happen aga-”

“No, you’re going to take a break so you don’t sweat yourself to death,” Sylvain ordered as he led his family to the dining hall.

“Hey, hey!” Sylvain’s 11-year-old daughter piped up. “I want to train with my big sister and Papa, too!”

“No, Sakura, not until you turn 14,” answered Megumi.

“Humph.” Sakura clearly didn’t like this answer. “Our cousin’s only eight and yet she can fling around lances like nobody’s business. You’re too darned overprotective, Sis.”

“Is that… really something you want?”

“Yup! Only I… um… I want to train in magic.”

“Really?” Sylvain raised an eyebrow. “Well, you’ve come to the right place. I just so happen to know a spell that will scare the daylights out of your enemies… literally.”

“What a cheesy pun!” Sakura laughed. “But okay. Tonight at 11:16 pm. Be there or be square.” She now turned to Felix. “You too, Papa. I wanna see what kind of spells you know, too.”

Felix knew deep down that he wouldn’t have much to show his youngest child in the magic department. Sylvain knew it too but for the five of them, training seemed to be their favourite way to bond, even in peacetime. With big grins on their faces, the dukes of Fraldarius exclaimed in unison, “You got it!”

~The Ride~