A/N: This again is a remake of a short story. In the short story, this was the end of the story, but in the serialized version, it continues a little longer.
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Two years after Nicolette’s marriage, there were reports that the allied army, with King Laurier as its ally, was on the move. This kept the emperor, Wolfgang, busy preparing to start a war. Wolfgang was stunned to see Nicolette also participating in the maintenance of the guns while taking care of the children, and at the same time, thought it was just like her.
He didn’t tell her, but the gun that Nicolette helped improve was well received in the imperial army. It was typical of her to place more emphasis on hit rate than on power, but this had increased the offensive power of the gun squad. Of course, this was the first time they had been deployed in an actual battle.
She put what would become a scope on the gun. The prototype was apparently already made by her mother Beatrice, but this was the first attempt to really attach it to a gun. It seemed to work the same way as a telescope. Come to think of it, Nicolette built her own telescope from scratch.
After all, although he didn’t tell her, Nicolette’s actions had certainly driven her father, King Laurier, to the brink. Regardless of how he felt about it, if this was indeed how Laurier lost, then the prophecy given to Nicolette would have been correct. After all, she, too, would have a hand in the destruction of the kingdom of Laurier.
Two days before departure. The day before the departure, Wolfgang went to see Nicolette because he did not think they would have time.
“Ah, it’s Wolf-sama. good work~!”
Nicolette greeted him in her usual fluent tone and was fretting over Ferdinand. Nicolette offered a “yes”, and Wolfgang carefully picked Ferdinand up.
“...I think he’s getting bigger than before.”
Because he was busy preparing for the war, he had not seen his child properly for the past two weeks. Ferdinand, who was happily extending his small hand to him, seemed bigger than Wolfgang remembered.
“He’s growing up nicely! I also keep good records.”
“That’s just like you.”
Nicolette now seemed to keep track of their children’s growth. This was also a good way to see how the child was growing, so the doctor recommended it. It was typical of her, if asked.
Ferdinand was handed to Herma, and Wolfgang sat down on the couch alongside Nicolette.
“Albert and I will be gone for a while, but we’ll leave Hainz and Markus behind. If you need anything, tell them.”
For a moment, Wolfgang told them to take precautions in his absence. As a precaution, he forbid experiments with explosions. Nicolette nodded nervously as she finished listening to the precautions she had to take, as it was the first time she was taking care of things in his absence.
“Understood. So, you know, this...”
Wolfgang accepted the offer and nodded his head. A white handkerchief.
“...What is it?”
“Herma told me to give you something I had embroidered. I didn’t do very well...”
As she had spoken with a dejected look, the embroidery on the handkerchief was not so good. For the first time in a long time, he felt like she had invisible ears and a drooping tail. Perhaps the subject matter was dangerous. She felt that roses were suddenly too difficult.
But it was better just to know what was being sewn. In the early works, they couldn’t even read the stitched initials.
“...You’re growing too...”
“Rather, we’ve been married for two years and I’m still at this level...”
If there were ears and tails for sure, they would be drooping. He was more happy that she gave this to him than it was about the quality of the embroidery.
The Hainzel Empire was a large country with many different customs, but this custom was common. Maybe there was something similar in other countries. To a man going to war, his lover would give him a handkerchief she had embroidered. This was true even between married couples. A wife gave her husband a handkerchief she had embroidered. This would take the place of a talisman.
“Thank you. I’ll cherish it. I’ll be alright. Because where you are, that’s where I’ll be.”
“Yeah...I’ll be waiting. So don’t disappear.”
While he was happy at Nicolette’s prayers, Wolfgang was also driven by the fear of what Nicolette might do when he was gone. It was Wolfgang who felt his imagination had improved since Nicolette had followed him.
Then, on the day of departure, Nicolette came outside to see him off. The troops were already ready to leave, and all eyes were on Nicolette, who tried to smile, failed, and looked like she was about to cry.
“Wolf-sama~. I’ll wait for you here, so make sure you come back~.”
“I knew, so don’t cry.”
“...I’m not crying.”
Nicolette insisted that she was not crying, but her eyes were already red, and large tears were streaming down her cheeks. Wolfgang, the ‘Emperor of Cruelty’, who had cried out to his wife before his departure, received a lukewarm reception from those around him.
“In doing so, Your Majesty is out of character~.”
“If you don’t come back, the queen will cry more than she does now, won’t she?”
“Well, you are lovely, Your Imperial Highness.”
“It’s all right, Your Imperial Highness. I’m sure His Majesty will come back victorious and refreshed.”
Besides teasing Wolfgang, he heard words of comfort for Nicolette. As one would expect, Nicolette enjoyed the utmost trust of her subjects, servants, and soldiers in the army.
Wolfgang glanced around with a twitch at the edge of his lips and then back at Nicolette.
“It’s alright. We had a deal, right?”
Nicolette said she would not betray Wolfgang. Likewise, Wolfgang had no intention of betraying Nicolette. He gently caressed her cheeks and wiped away the tears, but he couldn’t do it in time because those tears kept pouring out again and again.
Nicolette looked up at him with tears in her eyes, and he was getting a little upset, but before Wolfgang could make a move, Nicolette grabbed him by the collar and tugged. Nicolette placed her own lips on Wolfgang’s, who bent down to meet her movement. People around them were like, “Oh!” as they cheered.
“If you don’t come back, I’m coming over there!”
“!? I don’t want that.”
Implicitly, she told Wolfgang that if he died, she would kill herself after him. He hated that, and at the same time, he was happy. She would be next door, and he would make good on the promise to be there. Wolfgang would follow her wherever she went.
This time, Wolfgang kissed Nicolette. Wolfgang hugged her thin body tightly and tried to imprint on her so that he would not forget her so easily. He felt like the surroundings were noisy, but he didn’t mind.
He spoke to Nicolette, whose lips parted and her cheeks rosy, that he was sorry to leave.
“Well, I’m off.”
“... Yeah. Have a safe trip. Take care.”
Nicolette, still with a tearful smile on her face, looked over at Wolfgang. Wolfgang smiled and set off astride his horse.
Would the prophecy come true? That would become clear after this war.
Although he told Nicolette it was okay, the situation was that the Hainzel Reich was surrounded. It was just like the war four years ago when Nicolette was supposed to marry into the family.
Wolfgang had a pet theory. If the head of the enemy commander was dropped, the war was over. In this case, he thought that the war would end if he dropped the head of King Laurier, the alliance’s ally.
So the first thing they headed for was the border with Laurier. The Lyonne region, where Nicolette grew up, was near the border. Slightly south of Lyonne, Wolfgang decided to set up a front.
Basically, the Hainzel Empire often competed for territory with the Kingdom of Laurier. This was because the Hainzel Empire was the largest power on this continent, and the Kingdom of Laurier was the next largest. Some said they simply didn’t get along.
The Hainzel Empire, which shared borders with many countries due to the vastness of its territory, was currently under threat of being invaded by various countries. As expected, it was not possible to protect all borders.
The imperial army would endure to some extent. But not for long. If possible, they would like to settle this matter as soon as possible.
In the last war, the empire won, which was good, but it was penetrated much deeper into the interior. Without this war, Nicolette and he would never have become a couple, but still, he didn’t feel good about having his land razed to the ground. That was why.
“Let’s just get this over with and go home.”
“Yes. And the queen is waiting for us.”
Alberto, who was accompanying Wolfgang, said plainly. Wolfgang cowered his shoulders and replied, “Yes”, to which Alberto looked surprised.
Wolfgang was aware that his personality had rounded out.
A/N: Thank you for reading this far.
I don’t write about the war here because the main focus is on Nicolette’s prophecy. And the next step will be the Nicolette perspective.
In the meantime, the plan is for this work to be completed in two more episodes. Yeah. Probably okay.
I will post the next one on January 11.