Chapter 11: Sieglinde’s Activity Report No. 1
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Eighteen years of military service.
Who knew that I would marry one day.
I was forced make this fateful decision a few months ago.
After the long war ended, I spent time being chased by work. One day, I was called by my superior.
Albert von Hertling.
The man who happened to be my uncle, my mother’s younger brother, was waiting with a mysterious expression.
He was the one who summoned me, yet he was continuing to hesitate. When I was wondering what he wanted with me, he said the unexpected.
He asked that if I have considered marriage.
I was dumbfounded at those words. As marriage meant retirement for a female soldier.
Most female soldiers in my country retire by their mid-twenties. Most find their partners early on and leave the army.
When I asked why, he replied that he wanted me to know the happiness of women.
However, I persisted for more details, that I successfully made him tell me everything.
He whispered that the reason was that his two daughters were infatuated with me.
My cousins Hildegard and Anna-Maria were attached to me from a young age.
Hildegard is already twenty one. An age well past the suitable age for marriage in high society. Anna-Maria is still fifteen, but it seemed that she was insistent on marrying me.
Having an old father’s face, my superior bowed his head. He pleaded me to marry and have a peaceful life, to follow the path that his daughters seemed to have given up on.
Frankly, I was never that attached to the army. If you asked me why I was in service, I would have replied that it was because I liked moving about and that my whole family were in the military. A simple reason.
Since I had no attachment to this work, there was no reason to not agree when my uncle was bowing his head to me.
In the case I could not find a marriage partner, he said that a place as a teacher in a military academy would be guaranteed.
The summon that day ended with me thinking that I would be reemployed at a military academy since I would not find a marriage partner.
When I sent a letter asking my family to look for suitable partners, I received an enthusiastic reply that I should go to the ball in the palace this season. Thinking that they may have been still resentful at me for rejecting a marriage interview in the past, I briskly gave up on any hopes of support from my family.
Instead, I received a frilled dress that fit perfectly. However, when I imagined myself in it, I got the chills.
I realised it when I saw that lady’s outfit. I do not have the capacity to become the lady of a house.
Someone said it once. That a female partner should be docile and obedient.
An ideal lady would assist one’s husband to her fullest.
She would drink tea with other ladies, and for hobbies she would embroider or appreciate art. She would spend time and money on beautifying herself, while perfectly handling social exchanges in high society.
However, having grown among male siblings, I did not hold back when it came to pointing out faults, and I was not very talkative. Embroidery and art was an unknown world, since I never did it. I did not feel like going to a fancy ball.
I never thought I would be able to perform such an impossible feat called marriage.
Then, the evening of the ball arrived.
I passed up the deep ocean blue dress that mother picked for me and put on my military uniform.
Talks of my marriage already turned into a rumour and had spread in high society. Since it would be troublesome if someone gets the wrong idea that I would be a docile wife from me wearing a dress, so I armed myself to a certain extent.
Also, I put on decorations and medals that I have never worn before.
This was to threaten anyone who was related with the military.
I had no confidence that people would not get furious or envious at me. I could not guarantee that there would not be anyone that would wish to feel prideful from dominating me.
I at least thought that people would not approach me from my decorations.
Men are proud creatures.
It is disgraceful for them to bend their knees to someone with more decorations than themselves.
I rarely tidied my hair, but since it was a ball in a long time I trimmed my hair and combed my fringe to let it down to the side.
I felt perfect, that no men would dare court me.
……However, ultimately, I failed miserably.
I was surrounded by many people the moment I set foot into the hall. Most were women asking for my hand in marriage.
Well, it was completely my fault though.
I was surrounded and had no idea what to do. To avoid reality, when I turned my eyes away from the ladies, I coincidentally made eye contact with someone a little farther away.
That person had an otherworldly appearance.
Under the chandelier, the white hair shone beautifully in silver, and the eyes were blue and clear like sapphires. The long hair had been braided. It was like the illustration of ‘the snow fairy of happiness’ that I saw in a fairytale.
As my cousin tugged at my clothes, I looked down momentarily. I looked back at that place again, but that person was already gone.
I had thought that it may have been an illusion I saw.
However, that was not an illusion.
The snow fairy had for some reason came up to me, and even asked my hand in marriage.
The surrounding ladies shouted that he was ‘yukiotoko’.
My blank head could not process the meaning.
The suitor that had an appearance like an imitation was, on closer examination, a man.
He was properly wearing this country’s men’s evening dress, but because of the mood I did not realise it earlier.
He was a count from another country.
His name was Ritzhard Salonen Levantret.
To escape this unfortunate commotion, I decided to use Ritzhard.
After we went into a private room, Ritzhard was truly docile.
I was also interested in him being called a snowman, but since he did not have an appearance matching that name, I ended up staring at him.
From his story, it really seemed that he really wanted to marry me.
However, I could not possibly become the lady of a foreign count.
From a rough estimate, I saw him to be in his mid-twenties. On the other hand, I am already thirty one years old. I was called as ‘a mutton dressed as a lamb’ by my nephew some time ago, so maybe he saw me as a young woman.
To keep the talk short, I told him my age from the beginning. However, he did not look as though he gave up on the marriage talk.
I also told him that I may not be suitable as a wife, but he did not mind a single bit.
While I was thinking of ways to make him give up, he unexpectedly started telling me his story.
That Ritzhard Salonen Levantret is an impoverished noble from a snow country.
Originally, his people led nomadic lives, but because of invaders they were driven out to a land where people would normally not live in. They are the last remaining natives of their country.
He told me that they were a people that hunted and crafted, living in harmony with the land.
He did not expect anyone to come to such a harsh land, and he confessed that he proposed out of hope that I would be able to endure it.
I accepted his strange behaviour as coming from his upbringing, from living somewhere so close to death.
While I was listening, a strange change of emotions visited me.
I started thinking that those remote lands that he was talking about may be the only place to live as I am, without having to force myself to change.
I agreed on a conditional marriage. On the condition that we are to be temporary spouses for a year.
I tried changing up the site a bit, once again!
However, I am a poor aesthete, so I appreciate any feedback.