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TheWritersTale t1_j9y2qem wrote

The knight lifted the helmet from one of his fallen foes and used it to bash the lock open, finally kicking down the door. He took two steps in and found the small girl, beaten and afraid, a ball and chain around her ankle. She got up frantically, but in an attempt to move, she tripped and fell, her chin splitting on the cold stone.

"Princess Maiko, you are alive!" The man stepped forwards with haste. "I had assumed you had fallen at the hands of these ruthless savages!" He inspected the red haired girl, deeming her relatively put together. "I heard of your absence and came to rescue you, but I feared I was too late." He clenches his fist, getting on one knee and opening his arms. "You are safe now."

The girl slumped forwards, sobbing into the shoulder of the brave warrior. "Thank you... I thought I was to die in this wreched place! Please, take me home with you."

The soldier lifted the small child, looking her in the eyes. "I am sorry, milady, I have a wife, currently watching over my dearest daughter Ina" He stood. "Apologies for not explaining the situation, I deemed it unfit to say."

Maiko seemed to stand taller and puff out her chest, assuming that made her look older. "Sixteen!" She cried."I am sixteen next month! And despite my status as royalty, I do not mind wife in laws!"

The man seemed disappointed. "I am two, closer to three times your age, and I have been married to Mrs Sinclair since I was a peasant boy. I believe she is perfect for me, that much is true, but I also believe that I was hasty, that I rushed marriage. That was a fool's move, but fate smiled upon me. Do not walk in my footsteps, for a stroll between the trees behind a wandering old man is far less reliable than using the path around the forest."

The girl looked sad. "But, you must be compensated for your actions, you saved my life! Is that not to be rewarded greatly? I am the second heir to the throne, I walk along the border between east and west while the eastern peasants shout crude comments, and the western nobles shout offers for my hand in marriage! Its all yours, for free! Please, brave knight, take me as your bride, do me the honour of allowing me to live in your presence, so you may return home to Freya and Ina as on a normal day, and to me, a third place in the happiest home in all the land." She gripped his hand with all her strength, yet the man waved her off with incredible ease.

"I saved you because you were a helpless child, and because it is my duty as a Knight. You are too young, and I am too old. I am old enough to be your father, even a grandfather if both I and my children had children at your age. Just go back home, return to your studies. If, in a few years time, you wish to get married, I will have no objection. You may marry whomever you like. You are a child, and I am forty, and a married one too.

"I cant go home. My father says so." The girl muttered sadly. "He says if I were to be captured then I was to marry my saviour or lay slave to my captor. He said something about motivating knights for future."

The Knight stands up with rage flashing in his eyes, lifting Princess Maiko by one arm and placing her on her feet. "I may refuse to be your husband, but there is still time for you to grow in a decent household, with a family who cares for you, and not for some obnoxious ulterior motives" He stabs his battle axe into some furniture to relieve himself of the burden and free his other hand. "My name Sir Seamus, but you can call me father."