I always find myself busy as Chrom’s royal adviser and chief mage of his army. I mean, I gladly took the position myself, but I always expected that Miriel would take the position.
Surprise. She did not.
On the day of Chrom announcing within the Shepherds’ quarters that Miriel would be promoted as chief mage, she said, “I appreciate the offer, but I’d be better off working with the scholars.” She stood up from the table and looked at Chrom who had a certain calmed shock on his face, “I apologize if this comes as a shock, but if it means a lot to you, I suggest giving the position to Ricken. He has learned enough from you to lead a part of your army, and I am surprised you did not see that grow.”
I remember almost spitting out the fresh berry juice Kellam and Donnel whipped up for everyone; let alone, in front of them. Almost ruined the dinner from that instance alone.
About 12 Years passed, and after growing roughly 6 inches taller [and Nowi could not stop teasing me as such], I was both his royal adviser and chief mage of his army. I even asked myself how I got here from time to time, but it grew less frequent as I kept doing what I do. Give orders to my fellow troops, train the newcomers and aid Chrom on leading Ylisse as its king. It was tiring but it was something to be expected. No war has been ever waged for a long time now, but I guess it was for the better to prepare yourself for a big fight, if there is one.
I remember that I used to wear rookie cloaks and robes as I saw a bunch of rookie scholars walked down the castle halls, but now I wore magic infused armor, plated lightly for my spell casting comfort and speed. Certainly, your typical suit of armor should feel heavy but the special armor I’m wearing is light that even I can run across the halls with it. Of course, it’s not designed to take a huge hit like Kellam’s armor [in which, he has impressive strength, I will admit] but it was designed for me to take a sword swing or two. I was not meant for close combat, anyway.
And I was wearing a different set of robes that signifies my Chief Mage status. I mean... There is no need of armor for mages that aren’t in combat. Right?
I was heading towards the combat conference hall for a monthly report of the military troops. Gladly, I did not bear any bad news with my division of mages and spell casters.
Stahl and Frederick handled the knights, and I could hear from them some certain bad news now and then.
Sully handled the Cavaliers of the army, and I am certainly sure she’s going to report good news about her platoon as well.
As for the archers, Robyn handled that precisely well, even as a tactician. Virion could step in, but he said that he has other... pleasures to attend to.
Still, he comes by from time to time. Even if his words were... too flowery to say the least.
Just as I turned right into the hallway that finally leads to the conference hall, I bumped into Lissa who, thankfully, did not stumble backwards and fall to the floor.
I would not say the same thing for myself, really.
Lissa flustered in embarrassment, “Oh! Goodness! I’m sorry, Ricken!”
I grunted, “...It’s okay... I had worse falls.” I stood up as I picked up my scroll of report for the meeting. “And you seem to be in a hurry. What’s up?”
“I got dancing practice with Olivia, and she is going to bring in a seamstress to measure up some appropriate dancing clothes for me.”
I would be lying if I said I was not blushing or thinking something else at that point.
Chrom’s younger sister, Lissa, is the closest friend of mine during my entire stay with the Shepherds. I always appreciated the healing magic that she would do to others after a skirmish or two, but I knew there was something more behind these actions.
You see... I always got her back when the enemy would try to kill her, and I was always her battle partner as we undergo more and more missions. Robin saw this benefit, and Chrom even admits that this friendship Lissa and I have is relatively healthy and beneficial on combat, but Chrom slightly knew better over Robin.
Brothers are actually willing to protect their siblings, I suppose, and Chrom is no exception. He kept close eye on Lissa whenever she would go with someone else, but he would ignore it if it’s one of the girls like Nowi or Maribelle [with the exception of Ana, but she’s not within our group. Venturing more business opportunities, I suppose?]. If it were a guy that Lissa would be hanging out with, then it’s a different story. Chrom even caught Lissa playing pranks on his fellow tactician, Robyn! I mean... who puts a frog on someone’s neck?!
Crud. Getting off track here.
About a few days ago, as I was practicing my spells at the field by tossing the conjured elements from my hand to the target dummies I set up for myself, Chrom came in with his usual armor, and with the Falchion ready at its sheath at his hip. Usually, Chrom has the Falchion ready at all times, but it felt different as he spoke out, “So... How are things between you and Lissa?”
I remember throwing the ball of lightning from my hand when he said it, and, because I was startled, I threw the ball off course, hitting the plains behind the target.
Chrom was surprised and dead eyed on the blast zone of my spell, and my eyes couldn’t get any wider as I panicked on my mistake.
Then there was a voice across, “We’re good!”
I sighed in relief. I thought I hit someone- wait... why are there people going through the field-
“Ricken. You better be careful with your aim, but I guess I startled you and I apologize-”
“No need! I should have controlled myself better...” I breathed in relief.
He chuckled and mumbled something under his breath, but I would not question him on what he said. It is rude, after all.
“Tell me, Ricken.” He spoke out. “What do you see in Lissa?”
... oh dear...
I gulped and fanned my shirt from the flustering, “Oh... Her? Well...”
“It’s okay,” said Chrom. “You can take your time. After all, I’m just watching over her as a brother. You know that, right?”
It was understandable. If I were to fall for Lissa, then I’d talk to any relative, and that relative being her brother. Oh goodness why does it have to be intimidating when he has the Falchion at his side?
I spoke, “Well... She’s a good person,” I started off sincere. “She can be fun to be around. She’s friendly-”
Chrom interrupted me, “No no no... I mean... We all know that. But you? What do you see in her that makes it different from the rest of us?”
... oh Naga, help me.
Stutters came upon my answer, “Well... I find her pleasing to be with... Trustworthy. She’s striving to be caring and loving like... your sister, Emmeryn, and I find that very great about her. She’s striving to be someone... and I appreciate that mostly about her. The rest about her is something that adds to who she is”
Chrom nodded, “Indeed. You have genuine feelings, and I see how close you and Lissa became. Even after the war, you two really maintained contact and did some things together, even when you were supposed to be sleeping at the night of the festival when you said that you were tired at that time.”
oh... he spied on me and Lissa to the festival...?
“Ngh! I did not do anything! I swear! Lissa... That kiss-”
“Don’t worry, Ricken. It was... expected, to say the least.” He drew the Falchion out of the sheath.
I remembered silently praying to the gods that he is going to make it quick.
Chrom continued, “So... You love my sister. It’s okay. As her only relative, I will accept this relationship between you two.”
I sighed in relief, but it was cut short when the Falchion’s tip was pointing at me.
“But remember. If you ever dare try to harm her by any means... I will gladly take you down. Got it?”
I nodded as a gulp of fear went down my throat, and I stood there shocked and scared as the Falchion just pushed my hat upwards.
“Chrom on. Cheer up a little.” His attempt on loosening up the tension was quite... effective. He continued, “I know you won’t do that. I trust you wholeheartedly.”
“Ricken?” Lissa shook me back and forth as my brain and cheeks went red as blood.
“Oh?! Darn... Sorry... I was... thinking.” I patted my cloak from any dust at all, and in that case, helps me to regain my stupor to her. I’m flustered, perverted and embarrassed to the point that I would do more fidgeting than usual like I would pat my cloak from any dust at all, but I was looking for an excuse to look away from her.
“Thinking... Pfft.” She scoffed at the excuse. “Just when I mentioned Olivia and the seamstress that will come and measure my body for the dress, you quickly became a red tomato.”
I ticked my mouth, “You really should not mention that, please...”
Lissa held my hands, “I’m just teasing. Besides, don’t I look good on a dress like Olivia’s?”
I paused and looked at her eyes, “Of course! Why would I say otherwise?”
Her fingers squeezed mine, “Well... I do want to be pretty for you.”
I instinctively answered, “Well... You’re already pretty to me...” Oh Naga... what came out of my mouth?
Her smile made me stop questioning otherwise.
“Thank you for your compliment, Ricken,” She laced her fingers between mine, “But I want to be prettier for you, and you can’t stop me!”
“Well... I can’t. You got that drive, and I won’t stop you.” A genuine smile crept up my lips, “Just... don’t make it too revealing. Okay?”
Lissa nodded and pulled me into a hug. Muffled by the side of my neck, She said, “I won’t. Don’t worry about that.”
I feel thankful she’s still around the same height as mine. After countless mentions that I was still a short sprout from Nowi, I felt the hug from Lissa sweeter than before. I just felt smudging this relationship in front of her face when she comes visiting here. Frankly, I don’t even think she would be happy about being short anymore; always being overshadowed by a bunch of tall people, but Lissa and I would be overshadowed together, and that’s great for me.
Putting her chin on my shoulder, Lissa asked, “Do you really have to be on the meeting right now?”
After grabbing my pocket watch Miriel and a bunch of clocksmiths crafted for the continent, I looked at it to see the time.
I pocketed the watch and answered, “Well... I always wanted to be early for these meetings. It will start at 30 minutes so-”
“Good.” Then she pulled me into a kiss that frantically surprised me. Sure, we kissed back then when we were young, but.... feisty kisses like these? They were not common between us. Usually, these kisses tend to go somewhere insane and beyond the territory that we should be in, and Chrom would likely kill me if he were to find out by any means. Crud crud crud crud...
I broke the kiss, “But... Chrom... Isn’t he-”
“Shh... If it makes you feel any better, I caught Robyn going all down on him a while ago... I’m sure they will be done when the meeting will start.”
... Oh by the gods... Chrom and Robyn doing it in there...?! Even then, it’s dangerous...
She pulled me behind the curtains before I can complain. Frankly, she was fed up with the buts or the whys. “Come on, Ricken... chances like this are just rare and ripe for the taking! And I know that I am not the only one who would like to do this...”
She planted a kiss on my neck, and bit it with her lips. Frankly, we’ve been learning what we should and should not do the more we’ve been doing this. No teeth, No removing of clothes, No scratches or hair grabbing...
All of these set rules just to keep ourselves looking neat without ever giving a full blown image of “Hey we just made out, and possibly had sex so oopsie daisy might as well say that I knocked her up.”
To tell you the truth, Donnel would have that look on him sometimes after being with Maribelle...
I gasped from the touch of her lips on my skin, and the kisses came closer to my lips. This frantic arousal drove my next move to hold her closer; my hand on her rear.
She gasped my name, “Ricken... You better not have some sensual magic on you...”
I chuckled, “Oh please... I don’t cheat like that. All my touches... my kisses... my gropes.”
I squeezed her buttcheek to illicit a moan from her lips. I continued, “They are all fair and square...”
Giggling from my defense, Lissa said, “Maybe I’d find a spell or two that will make you taller...”
“Oh. No thank you... I am just as tall as you and I want to keep it that way-”
“No... I mean... the other thing.” She winked at me as her hand traced around my thigh- oh naga i know what she meant now. She stifled a laugh, “I can’t even say it... oh gods why does it have to be named so weird?”
Maybe it was just the mood, but her laugh made my heart skip and my drive a little faster. I pulled her closer and pinned her to the pillar. Thank gods there were curtains.
She smiled seductively from my advances, “Oh... You want more, now...?”
I held her cheeks and inched my nose closer to hers. “Yes... I want more of you...”
Her finger on my chin pulled me closer with just a simple tug, “Then take me...”
It was frantically heated between me and Lissa on the afternoon, but it was the good type of heat.
And holy crud she liked it when I swirled in my tongue in her. She became weak and putty as I done that. Lissa gasped for air while leaning back to the pillar and holding my neck close.
It was getting faster. The kisses that she make on my neck were so fast that I even felt a slight amount of teeth. I returned the favor with that as well, and she trembled and gasped from it. By the gods if these moans were to drive me even more so, then I’d have to say my prayers... I would take her now...
Thank goodness Robyn taught me about that, but even then she felt flustered when she taught me the basics of it.
My hands on her breasts teased her to the point that she broke the kisses to breathe. “Keep going...” She said, “I want to feel your hands there...”
I groped and massaged them as she shivered and breathed for air, and I frantically went closer and nibbled them. She pulled my head closer and begged for more. It was as if I flipped her switch already.
I stopped the nibbling and the teasing. My hand stopped groping her behind and tamed itself to hold her by the waist level. I planted my forehead lightly on hers, and our eyes were half lidded. It was as if the day was just starting and we woke up together on the same bed. Her hands were back at my cheeks, and she smiled as she pinched them.
I can’t help it. Sometimes even a fun side of her can bring me to a calm.
“Ricken...” She whispered.
Our lips met yet again, and our hands kept us close, but it was tame. Our kisses ceased, but the embrace lingered. Our heartbeats calmed to a slow pace.
“I love you, Lissa.”
I have said this countless times, but it still had meaning and weight into it. Being combat partners, we saved each other through thick and thin.
“I love you too, Ricken.” And she buried herself into my neck.
Silence and the loud ticking of the pocket watch rung through my ears; my voice echoed through them as I asked, “Do you remember when we went to fight Gangriel at his last stand?”
She looked at me in the eyes, “It was years ago. Why ask?”
I smiled, “Just when a horseman was about to finish you... When you were knocked back from one of the Levin Sword’s blasts... I panicked. I remember running across the field to reach you...”
Engrossed into the story, Lissa held me closer.
I continued; my eyes were fighting back the tears, “I tossed the spell, knowing I can’t reach to you on time. I was desperate it would hit... Thank the Naga it did... I couldn’t stand letting you die...”
“I had a crush on you then... Then I became your partner all the time... Because I wanted to. I always told Robyn I wanted to. I can’t believe how much stress I put into her when I asked for that...”
“But I wanted to make sure that you were with us. That you were with me! Until the end! I sounded selfish. I can see that, but Lissa... I couldn’t stand living without you...”
“... I remember when you told that story when you had the guts to tell me that you like me... Somehow I never got old with it...”
I flustered, “Wait?! I told you this story already? Aw crud... I just felt like saying it... I feel like I’m repeating myself here-”
Lissa giggled, “It’s okay. I just like hearing it from time to time... But you never get to hear my side of the story...”
I cursed underneath my breath. Why did I not hear her story yet?! I spoke, “Oh... Darn... Well... I have the meeting so... Sometime later?”
Lissa grinned, “Sure. But I can’t help feel like I’ve been forgetting something...”
Still keeping a hand on her back, I reached in to check on my pocket watch to see I got 10 minutes until the meeting starts. I can still be early.
“Wait...” Lissa thought of something, until she snapped, “Oh goodness! Olivia! I really have to hurry! I don’t want to keep her waiting!”
“Waiting for what?”
Wait... That small voice-!
“Lucina?!” Lissa and I exclaimed as Chrom’s young daughter was behind us all along.
“Shush! Aunt Maribelle is forcing me to learn the laws of Ylisse, and I don’t want any of that. Plus, I did not even bother with the two of you going all... close and grabby and kissy...” Lucina shivered from the sight of it.
Lissa and I glanced at Lucina, then at each other, then how our bodies are positioned at. Oh gods... We went apart from body contact and ensured that all our clothing is just intact. The last time we did this, my zipper was down and Lissa’s dress... Well... Let’s say that she had a scarf over her chest throughout the day.
While we quickly refreshed our clothing and our statures, Lissa asked, “When were you hiding here?”
Lucina peeked out of the curtains then pulled back from sight to answer her, “Well... I can’t answer exactly, but you were biting uncle Ricken’s neck.”
Lissa and I never felt so embarrassed; Lissa snatched my hat to cover her blush.
Lucina continued, “I mean... I thought it would be painful, but it seemed you enjoyed the bite. I even overheard Aunt Nowi talking to Aunt Maribelle about certain... unlady like acts that Aunt Maribelle would do to uncle Donnel...”
Robyn popped her head in through the curtains, “Well perhaps you learned too much about intimate romancing for one day..”
Lissa was sinking down to the floor and pulled my hat downwards, perhaps hoping it would devour her to oblivion. She muttered, “Oh my Naga why does this have to happen...”
I panicked and made my final prayers in my mind. I whispered, “Is Chrom... Please don’t tell Chrom...”
Lucina went to Robyn’s side quickly from the awkward atmosphere from me and Lissa and said, “Aunt Maribelle is hunting for me. If you want me to live, then you have to tell me where I should hide...”
Robyn chuckled, “Alright. I will help you, but you and I will have a talk. Deal?”
Lucina nodded with a grin, “Deal!”
Robyn eyed on me, “Chrom is still in the conference hall. You better consider yourself lucky.”
I breathed in relief...
She continued, “Lissa, I believe Olivia is at the gardens, If I’m not mistaken.”
Still embarrassed from this situation and hiding under my hat, Lissa gave a thumbs up and softly said, “Thank you.”
“And you two... You better cover up your necks... And re-affirm yourselves. Please. It’s just me, and Lissa might have told you on what she saw... ahem... in the room.” Robyn even flustered over the thought of her sister in law catching her and Chrom at the act. She continued, “Don’t sit on the chair at his left, though. Trust me.”
“Shit!” Lucina whispered, “I can hear Aunt Maribelle coming!”
Robyn softly exclaimed, “Language, Lucina. You two though, freshen up!”
“And that settles it. I expect that there will be more aid from the other provinces across the sea, so we better speed up training. Any questions?” Chrom asked the entire board. Only to be met with the rest, including me, saying that they had no questions at all.
“Okay. I call this meeting closed.”
Everyone gathered their own scrolls and belongings and went to the door, but Chrom remained at the center round table and called me over, “Ricken. If I may, I want to talk to you.”
Having my back facing him, I flinched, and my eye twitched in fear. Thank goodness he was not facing me. I turned and walked to him by the table and asked him why he needed to talk to me.
He bent on one arm at the table and asked me softly, “Before you turned into the hallway that leads here... Did you hear anything... like... Anything at all?”
I cleared my throat, “Well.. I did not. Why ask?”
“Well...” He stood up straight, “It’s just that... Lissa... well... caught me and Robyn. Perhaps she did not hear from the outside, so that’s why I’m asking you if you heard anything.”
Oh gods... were they that loud? I could even imagine how loud could they be.
“To repeat,” I coughed from awkwardness, “I did not, so don’t worry if this room will reveal some royalty scandal or anything.”
Chrom flinched, “Well... Yes. I would prefer that. In fact, if you could ask Miriel to do some of research on how sounds dampen down from the inside, then that would be great.”
I would not dare ask what will that be for, but if it means making some scientific discoveries for Miriel to invest upon, then I guess it would be okay. I nodded on the order and took note of it on my notepad.
Chrom looked over my shoulder and on my face. Bothered from all the staring, I placed my notepad away and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Ricken? By any chance, Lissa bumped into you?”
I told her I should have cleaned up even if it meant that I would be late for the meeting. I remembered that she said, “The lip balm may be glossy, but it’s blending on your skin! So I say it’s... a 90 percent chance he won’t notice it!”
Well I forgot to mention that Lissa does not have the same probability prowess like Robyn...
I answered, “Yeah... I bumped into her literally, but I was the only one that fell down.”
Chrom chuckled, “Really, now? That’s quite funny. Anyway...”
I crossed my hopes down to these next few sentences that Chrom would just not ask anymore...
“Would you like to come around next week and have some cupcakes I will be baking then?”
Oh thank god...
I muttered loudly, “Will Lissa be there?” I covered my mouth when I realized I said it out loud.
Chrom shook his head and smiled, “Of course. You two would share the cupcake though.”
I sighed, “Well it seems fair.”
“And... here.” He tossed the keys what looked like to be for the conference hall. He continued, “Just in case when you two need some private time.”
Chrom spoke, “What? You think I wouldn’t find out one way or the other?”
“Since when?!” My face was red as a tomato.
“Since now. You really are giving it away.”
“Oh... Unbelievable...” I sighed in defeat. My cool was lost from the whole reveal as I fell back into the chair that I sat on during the meeting.
Chrom patted me in the shoulder, “Ricken, don’t worry. You and Lissa are old already, and I expect that you better... treat her well... Uhm...” Chrom coughed. “But remember my warning.”
“Of.. of course!...”
Everything got awkward between him and me. He fidget his foot around and frankly cleared his throat. “Look... If you want to drop this-”
“Oh thank gods....”
“And if I may request one thing?”
Silence crept up in the hall, and Chrom nodded, “What is your request?”
“Don’t tell anyone about this.”