"How could you have been so… so foolish?!"

"I should've expected to hear this from you…" Roy groaned as he slumped back in his bed, though Cecilia could still see the ghost of a smile on his face.

"Roy! Don't laugh right now! Do you have any idea how worried I- *ahem* How worried your comrades were?!"

"Well, would you expect any less of me?"

That, that… ugh! Why couldn't she refute his words?! Cecilia knew that if Roy had gone back in time, he would've acted the exact same as he had this time. And yet… the sight of him unconscious and bloody beneath the great stones of the ancient temple had been such a frightful sight it had nearly stopped her poor heart!

Only Roy would risk life and limb to save an enemy from death. And not just any enemy, but perhaps the greatest foe to all of Elibe.

The Etrurian general would be lying if she said she'd wanted Idunn to die in the Dragon Sanctuary. But there were times when she had to be a soldier first and a person second. If it had been up to her, Idunn would've perished in the temple alongside the other dragons.

Leave it to Roy to spare such a powerful enemy's life.

Only… Cecilia had no desire to challenge him on his decision, nor did any other of the high-ranking members of Roy's army. All of them trusted him implicitly, and if Idunn was to be spared, then she would be spared.

Personally, Cecilia was glad that the decision had been up to Roy, and not her. She wasn't blind to the tragedy that had been inflicted upon the poor woman, she was just being pragmatic!

Privately… Cecilia would admit that maybe there was a chance that the reason Cecilia viewed Roy's decision to save Idunn in a somewhat negative light was because in saving Idunn's life he'd very nearly lost his own. Cecilia hadn't even realized it until it had been too late; she like the other elite forces who had ventured into the Dragon Sanctuary had already escaped the crumbling temple. After a millennium of existing in peace, the sudden outburst of power- Idunn's might clashing with the Binding Blade, as well as the other legendary weapons within tearing through the war dragons… Well, everyone had been very fortunate to escape the temple before it came crashing down upon their heads.

And Roy, sweet, noble Roy had lagged behind, weighed down by the taller woman whose unconscious body he was carrying on his back. At the very last moment, the two of them had very nearly failed to escape the temple, as great stones came crashing down among them…

Roy had, in a last burst of strength, thrown Idunn clear, and Cecilia had turned at that moment to witness Idunn's insensate form slamming into the ground, as behind her Roy's visage was lost as rocks and Earth piled up on him.

Cecilia's heart had almost burst at the sight.

Fortunately, there was no shortage of muscle and magical power to dig out the trapped commander, and by the grace of God and Elimine, Roy had been extricated only a few minutes later. He'd been bloody, battered, and bruised, but his injuries had, thankfully, not been life-threatening.

That led Cecilia to where she and Roy now; the green-haired woman was giving her former student a thorough scolding for having given her such a fright not properly valuing his own life.

Cecilia's heart rate was still up, and only now beginning to calm down. She had tended to his injuries personally, and now that the two were alone in the makeshift infirmary tent, Cecilia knew that it was time to speak on a different subject.

It had been almost two weeks since Roy had confessed his true feelings to her. Two weeks for her deliberate, to ponder, to question…

How did she feel about Roy?

Roy was…

Roy was…

What was he to her? Cecilia wasn't some blushing maiden head over heels for the champion of Elibe. But… she did care about him. Far more than as 'just a friend.' Roy was someone very precious to her. In fact… perhaps it had been those last fateful moments, where disaster and tragedy had nearly befallen that had helped her realize.

She couldn't imagine a world without Roy. She didn't want to live in a world without Roy!

"Roy… I-" Roy looked up at her sharply, and Cecilia's heart faltered at the sight of those bright, blue eyes staring into her heart and soul. Oh goodness, why was she feeling so nervous now of all times?!

"Roy. I… You've been waiting for me… for my answer, haven't you?" Cecilia wasn't quite sure why she asked the question. Perhaps it was to mentally prepare herself for what was to come? Either way, even as the words left her lips, she knew what Roy's answer was going to be.

"I have. Have you… have you had enough time to think things over?"
Cecilia drew in a deep breath before exhaling.

"I… I have. You've waited patiently for the last few weeks, and I… I do not want to delay this any longer. Roy, you… you did not ask me to marry you on the spot, but the intent behind beginning the courtship process is the same in the end. In effect, you asked me if I wanted to spend my life with you, and… I do, Roy."

It was like watching a new sunrise, localized entirely to her comrade's face. Roy's eyes grew brighter, his cheeks flushed slightly, and a warm, joyful smile spread across his face.


"Yes, Roy… I… I accept your proposal. In truth, I do not know what the future holds, least of all for us as… as a couple, but with you at my side there is no obstacle we cannot overcome!

Cecilia barely had time to blink before Roy surged forwards, and Cecilia found the wind nearly squeezed out of her as Roy's strong arms circled around her back.

"Oof! Roy, careful! You're still recovering!"

"Hah hah! I'm sorry, Cecilia! I'm just… so happy! In truth, I knew… I knew that there was a possibility that you would say no, and I would not have faulted you for doing so… but hearing you say yes… I think this is the happiest day of my life!"

"Oh, Roy…" Cecilia's smile, though not a mile-wide grin like the one on Roy's face, was no less heartfelt. Her own thoughts couldn't have been any happier.

Marriage was something that, prior to two weeks ago, she'd seldom given thought to. In all honesty, she'd believed that her career as Etruria's Sorcery General would be a lifelong and solitary position; one that would keep her effectively 'married to the job' as the saying went. While her family inquired every now and then about marriage prospects and possibilities for her, she would always brush them off.

While it was true that she'd delayed giving Roy a response for a whole two weeks… her real reason for doing so was because she needed to confront her own feelings for him, rather take all that time to form a response to him.

Three years she'd fought by his side, three years she'd acted as one of the joint Etrurian-Lycian army's top commanders. She'd been with Roy through times good and bad, fought in battles both easily-won and battles that had been hard-fought victories. And through it all, she'd been given the chance to see what kind of person Roy was growing… no, had grown into.

At first, as the commander of the then Lycian army, Roy had been a colleague and friend. Nothing more. He still had shades of the same nervous boy she had at one point instructed in tactics, but he'd had a long way to go. But as the years passed… Cecilia realized her feelings for him ran far deeper than simply respecting him as a peer and enjoying his company as a friend.

But Roy's confession two weeks ago had forced her to reconsider her feelings and thoughts on the possibility of marrying. It was a daunting prospect, and one that initially she'd found herself ill-prepared for.

In the grand scheme of things, two weeks wasn't much time. But for Cecilia, who had wholeheartedly devoted her nights to private reflection, pondering on her future- a future that Roy very well might be a permanent part of, it had passed in the blink of an eye.

While at first, the idea that she might be courted by, and later married to Roy seemed silly at first…

With each passing day… no, each passing hour, the thought grew from an idea to a desire. It didn't sound silly at all, the more she thought about it. Why shouldn't she allow Roy to court her? Why should she be opposed to the thought of getting married to Roy? The time when he'd a) been a child, and b) been her student had long passed. He was an adult now, respected and famed across the continent. He could've had any woman in the world as his bride. Perhaps Roy didn't realize that, but Cecilia knew that someone of Roy's fame and prestige could've married into any other noble house on all Elibe.

Cecilia's heart would beat so quickly each night she thought about this- out of all the countless choices for brides he had, Roy had chosen her.

And she…

She didn't have a reason to say no to his proposal. She didn't want to say no to his proposal! Cecilia had trusted comrades- her fellow Royal Generals Douglas and Perceval, her other former student Lilina, and many more…

But there was no one she'd grown as close to, no one she'd come to trust over the last three years more than Roy. It had been subconscious at first, but after growing closer to him for three whole years and finally only now reflecting on how she truly felt about him deep down, Cecilia came to the realization that she truly loved Roy! And it wasn't a sisterly or platonic love… No, she wanted to spend her life with him as his wife. She would support him in all things, and he would support her in all things. A perfect union.

So, this was all why… this wasn't a spur of the moment decision for her.

And now that the war with Bern was finally, truly over… Cecilia and Roy were free from the chains of hardship. Oh, the road to reconstruction would be long and arduous, there was no doubt about that. But the battles were over.

All that was left was to walk towards the peaceful future together.

Roy and Cecilia broke the tender embrace, staring at each other with flushed faces.

"Er… well, now that I'm all healed up, I suppose we should go and greet the rest of the army… Marcus and Lilina knew I'd be in good hands as soon as you started healing me, but I don't want to make them worry either."
"Right you are, Roy. Can you walk without my support?"

Roy stood up, his legs shaking slightly, but beyond some minor unsteadiness his injuries seemed to have been completely healed.

"Yes, I believe so. And, uh…" Roy's cheeks flushed again.
"Roy?" Cecilia's brow quirked in confusion.

"Should we, uh… should we let everyone else, you know… know about our plans?"

What plan- Oh, right… She had agreed to Roy's courtship proposal. Which was a BIGdeal. In fact… Oh dear.

If they publicly announced the status of their relationship, there was no way news of Roy no longer being the most popular young bachelor on Elibe wouldn't be on everyone's tongues by the end of the week.

"Er… maybe we should just keep this between ourselves and a few trusted friends. I think it'd be best if we notified our families first."

Roy nodded.

"That makes sense. Alright, I'll pen a letter to my father later today."

"And… Roy, do you think it would be amiss to let Douglas and Perceval know? You know I'm not a boastful woman, but I am one of the most important figures in Etruria. I feel I owe it to my fellow generals to inform them of the news."

Roy blinked at Cecilia's question, thinking it over before responding.

"No, that should be fine. They're both good men, and we can both trust them to keep silent about this if you emphasize that we're keeping this just between us for now. I'll let Marcus… and Lilina know as well."

Something uncomfortable- not jealousy, more like… apprehension, stirred in Cecilia's heart.

"Ah… that's smart. They're both trustworthy people." Cecilia didn't even realize her tone of voice had been off, but Roy picked up on the discomfort in her body language without needing to be prompted.

"Oh, right. You don't have to worry about Lilina, Cecilia. We, uh… we aren't interested in each other romantically."
Cecilia actually blushed at those words, embarrassed at having been found out so easily.

"You… you don't? But…"

Roy sighed and ran a hand through his messy, red hair.

"We never said anything to the rest of the army, so I guess most of them just assumed we'd get married when all of this ended, seeing as we're such close friends. But that's all we are. Close friends. Our bond is strong, but it's not one we want or need to make romantic."

That… that actually made sense to Cecilia. Sometimes you didn't need to romantically love someone to still love them.

"Then… shall we go? The rest of the army is waiting for us." Cecilia smiled, offering her hand for Roy to grab onto. He took it, clasping her hand in his.

"I'm going to have to give a speech, aren't I? Cecilia, what are the chances that I can get out of giving a speech today?"

Cecilia's laughter was bright and clear, like musical notes on an expertly played instrument.

"Roy, come now! You're the hero who just saved Elibe. You're going to give a speech. Though if you feel better, Princess Guinivere will likely speak as well. With the war truly over, it won't be long before she's crowned queen of Bern."

Roy just sighed mournfully, though the smile on his face was still a bright one. The new couple walked out of the infirmary tent, no longer hand in hand, but with Roy leaning on Cecilia for support. His injuries were mended, but the closeness could be excused because just mending his wounds didn't speed up the recovery process.

Idly, Cecila noted that Roy was taller than her now by a couple inches. Just one more thing that had changed over the years.

Cecilia halted as Roy came to an abrupt stop next to her.

"Roy? Is something the matter?"

"Er… I just realized something, Cecilia. What… what should I do about the 'letters' I've been receiving? I, uh… I think you know the ones I'm referring to. I want to keep our relationship a secret until it's formally worked out between our families, but… until it's made public, I'll keep receiving those letters…"

Ah. That.

There was a smile on Cecilia's face now, but it wasn't a kind one. Her response held all the warmth of a glacier.

"Of course, Roy. Thank you for reminding me. Why, now that I think about it, I have some experience in answering such letters. If you need my help in… crafting response, I'd be more than happy to help!" Yikes, the smile on Cecilia's face was a little frightening… Roy hoped that he wouldn't need to remind Cecilia that he needed to send responses to the families who had contacted him before the irritated woman burned those letters…

As the two of them walked arm in arm towards where the majority of the army was gathered, Roy let a smile spread on his face. Cecilia still looked mildly irritated, but even she couldn't stop a grin from spreading over her face as well.

The war with Bern was finally, truly over. The realization was finally sinking into them. All of the hardships were at an end. This morning, the sun had risen not just on a new day, but a new dawn for all of Elibe.

Roy, Champion of Elibe, and Cecilia, Sorcery General of Etruria- would face that new dawn together.

A huge round of applause to the people who followed/favorited/and reviewed this story! You all are the wind beneath my wings!

I'm not sure if I should mark this as 'complete' or not, but I will for now. The original purpose of this story was basically just to write out my attempt at a lengthy A+ and S support between Roy and Cecilia, and I've done that.

This isn't the end of Roy and Cecilia together, though. If you enjoyed this story, I'll be releasing more scenes of Roy and Cecilia's life as they go through the courtship process over time. I don't have any clear schedule in mind, but... stay tuned. This isn't the last you've seen of this pair.