(Download the updated version in PDF/epub format here.)
(As I mentioned in the previous post, I am on an indefinite semi-hiatus--updates will be irregular.)
This is the third and final arc of Lillia and Treize. Continuing with the Allison parallels, this arc involves trains, spies, and other spoilery elements.
I am also adding a warning to this arc, as it deals with some mature themes(which I'm not sure if the anime covered). YMMV of course, but I was pretty much cringing all the way through the relevant parts when I read this arc. If I had to give a comparison, it rivals(or tops) some of the darker elements of Kino's Journey. Tread lightly.
Lillia Schultz: 16 years old. A fourth-year secondary school student who lives in the Capital District of the Roxcheanuk Confederation. Her mother is Allison, and her father is the late Wilhelm Schultz. Lillia’s specialties are Bezelese and flying. Her full name is extremely long.
Allison Schultz: 35 years old. She is a captain in the Roxcheanuk Confederation Air Force. Allison currently works as a test pilot, and lives with her daughter Lillia in an apartment in the Capital District. She is still a heavy sleeper.
Major Travas: 35 years old. He is part of the Royal Army of the Allied Kingdoms of Bezel-Iltoa. He is a military attaché who works in the embassy, and is part of the intelligence agency—in other words, he is a spy. Major Travas is currently Allison’s boyfriend, but in reality—
Treize: 17 years old. He is the son of Queen Francesca and Sir Benedict. Although Treize was supposed to be a prince of Iks, certain circumstances prevented him from claiming royal status. He and his twin sister Meriel are constantly arguing over who the older one is. Treize and Lillia are childhood friends, though she doesn’t know his true identity.
Queen Francesca(Fiona)&Benedict: 38 and 42 years old, respectively. Francesca(Fiona) is the current Queen of Ikstova, and Benedict her husband is the Hero of the Mural. They are currently living a relaxed life in Iks.
Princess Matilda: 20 years old. She is the eldest daughter of the royal family of Bezel, and will one day become queen. She comes to Roxche on an official visit, but…
The beginning of the year 3304 of the World Calendar. A home in a certain valley in Ikstova(the Kingdom of Iks).
“Anyway, Treize, it looks like you’ve made it safely to your fifteenth birthday. Congrats. On that note, Her Majesty the Queen shall grace you with her voice. Are your ears ready? Is your heart ready?”
“Huh? What the heck, Father? —What is it, Mother? …Oh, she might not hear us ‘cause she’s in the kitchen.”
“Hey, get serious. The queen’s going to speak to you.”
“I don’t think you’re in any position to be saying that, Father. Lounging in front of the fireplace, munching on an apple.”
“You know what? What the heck. Fi! Treize is listening!”
“One minute! Let me just finish wiping this plate!”
“I should be asking you to be more serious. And is this really the best time? Meriel’s not around.”
“It’s fine. Actually, we wanted to tell you when she wasn’t around.”
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Here, I brewed some tea. With lots of jam.”
“Thank you, Mother. What did you want to talk about? If it’s an increased allowance, I have no arguments.”
“We can talk about that later. There was something I wanted to speak with you about when you turned fifteen.”
“You know about Princess Matilda of Bezel, right?”
“I’ve heard about her. She’s in line to the Bezelese throne, right? About three years older than me?”
“That’s right. She’s the king’s only child and heir.”
“C’mon, at least act a little impressed. She’s going to be Sou Be-Il’s head of state someday. Sovereign over a land of 300 million people.”
“You shouldn’t expect me to understand that scale when I’ve never lived in Sou Be-Il like you, Father.”
“I suppose you’re right. Please continue, Fi.”
“Anyway, Princess Matilda—I mean, the royal family of Bezel—sent me—I mean, the royal family of Ikstova—a proposition.”
“They would like for you to marry Princess Matilda.”
“What? Wait. Mother, what do you—”
“They would like for you to marry Princess Matilda.”
“You may not know this, Treize, but the royal family of Bezel is having a very difficult time right now trying to find a potential husband for the princess. It’s a very popular issue in Sou Be-Il. There aren’t any suitable men around her age among the high-ranking aristocrats or the royal family of Iltoa. His Majesty the King has many siblings and nephews and nieces, so the line of succession isn’t in any danger even if the princess never marries—but Princess Matilda has always been very popular with the people, ever since she was young. Most people in the West are adamant that she succeeds her father.”
“And they picked me? Me? No way. Do they even know about me? The royal family of Bezel, I mean?”
“I sent them an official notice when you were born. Just like I did with Roxche’s Presidential Office.”
“And half a year ago, they sent a message saying, ‘His Highness Prince Treize—son of Roxche’s only royal family, and a child of the Hero of the Mural—is the perfect match for the princess and the royal family of Bezel’, along with an official envoy. I only spoke with them at the palace, though.”
“Mother! You didn’t!”
“No. I discussed this with your father, and we agreed that it’s not right for parents to decide who their children should marry. No matter what the circumstance or background.”
“But… I couldn’t turn down the offer, either.”
“They asked me then, ‘Has His Highness already pledged his future to someone?’.”
“…And what did you tell them?”
“I wasn’t sure how to answer, so I replied, ‘not yet, I don’t think—he’s still a little young to have decided’.”
“That’s a relief…”
“But Treize… if I were to ignore your perspective and weigh the benefits—as queen—as the head of state—I don’t think this engagement is such a bad idea.”
“I understand that.”
“‘Course, Father. A tiny country like Ikstova, forging blood ties with the Allied Kingdoms of Bezel-Iltoa? If I weren’t the prince in question, I’d have signed the petition already. There’s nothing but benefits for Ikstova here.”
“Well said, Treize. I’m proud of you, son! But be honest with us. Your mother and I don’t want to force you into anything. It’s not like the old days, when countries invaded one another over rejected proposals.”
“I… right now… I don’t really know…”
“Of course. Not many people think about marriage at fifteen. Why, when I was your age, I was more interested in the hot older girl—er… sorry. Let’s stay on track. Please continue, Fi.”
“Thank you. Now, Treize. Whatever your choice, you have to make the decision someday. So let me suggest something. Will you listen?”
“Yes. What do you have in mind?”
“We’ll make your twentieth birthday a checkpoint of sorts. If you come to us with a girl you’ve pledged your future to before then, I will officially turn down the proposal from Bezel. If not—”
“I understand, Your Majesty. Should that happen, I will marry into the royal family of Bezel.”