[86 Side Stories] Valentine

Colonel Millize. These flowers are for you. From our country.”

The country the Federation adjutant spoke of was the Geade Federation, naturally.

She was dispatched to a different country, and required a prestige befitting her. It was soon after she was promoted to Colonel, so she was still unfamiliar with that rank. Nevertheless, Lena lifted her head. It was the day before she was sent to the Federation, and there were lots of electronic files on the steel desk.

She was at a corner of the Liberté et Égalité, in a room of the prefab barracks. Four months ago, the Republic had collapsed due to an onslaught, and the Geade Federation arrived to save them, granting this base as part of the support.

There were lots of complaints from the Republican soldiers, accustomed to the luxurious palace-like military headquarters. The Federation itself was going through 10 years of war against the “Legion”, and probably had no ability to offer more. In such a situation, any aid would be a relief.

Leaving that aside.

Back on topic, today was Valentine’s, and she thought of the bouquet the adjutant was holding.

Depending on who was giving who, there would be some minor differences between countries. In the Republic, it was common for the males would give flowers to the females, or lovers.

Before the assault, Lena’s family would receive rose bouquets from many males. It was obvious however that they were aiming for the prestige and wealth of the ex-nobility MIllizes, and Lena had no good memories of them.

It’s also a day children and friends would gift sweets to each other. She would enjoy giving and receiving things from Arnett.

However, she did not remember receiving flowers from anyone.

There were some who returned favors to her, but she had no acquaintances in the Federation. Perhaps it was unlikely to be the commander of the rescue forces, Major General Altona, not was it likely to be the Chief of Staff Ehrenfried.

Her little head tilted as she received it.

A sweet scent fluttered.

It was a five colored rose bouquet. Red, white, pink, yellow and a rare blue, a vibrant combination of colors. Of all the faint colors, it was the red that really stood out.

The colors and fresh fragrance were delightful, leaving her amazed. Before she knew it, she found herself mesmerized.

The red Licorice tied in a ribbon along with the other flowers caught her attention.

“Ah.”

Lena realized who sent the bouquet.

It was the person she conversed with on the blooming Licorice field after the battle against the “Morpho”, the operator whose face she knew not of, piloting the Field Dress resembling the “Juggernaut”–apparently called the “Reginleif”.

He did not got off the field dress, and she did not know how he looked. She told Major General Altona and the Chief of Staff Ehrenfried that she wanted to convey her thanks, but due to military classified matters, she did not get to meet him. At this point, he was fighting out there somewhere.

If he was back in his country, the Federation, perhaps it was because he was on vacation. The first line of reinforcements swapped with the subsequent forces a month and a half ago, during the Christmas period. At that moment, she definitely had to meet him.

Perhaps just to say that she was alright.

The pink lips bloomed into a smile unwittingly.

“……Lena. This is from Rito and the others participating in the exercise. They got me to bring these to you at the cafeteria.”

Shinn entered, carrying a bouquet of pink and red Poppies in the center, with White Clovers, Dandelions and other wild grass in the middle. They were at Lena’s office in the main camp of the Mobile Assault Squad, Rüstkammer Base.

Lena, looking up, beamed.

“Wow. Thank you very much…even the Poppies at blooming at the training grounds, huh?”

“The Cornflowers at the second training fields are blooming too. Do I bring some for you next time?…no.”

Shinn noticed something, that there probably was no space for the flowers.

There were several vases on the mantlepiece and the reception table, all from previous visitors.

Within Lena’s office in the Mobile Assault Squad, there was a bunch of seasonal bunches that were somehow still lively.

“You’re pretty adored, Your Highness.”

The adjutant took the bouquet Shinn was carrying, and brought it to the command room. She looked around, probably a little bothered about where she should put the flowers.

For some reason, Shinn was looking at where she was looking, only to be captivated by the colorful flowers on Lena’s office desk.

There were no vases there, but there were several small items neatly placed at the edges, and amongst them was a small glass bottle with vibrant colored flowers.

It was probably called a Herbarium. Dried flowers were preserved in transparent oil, stored in the glass bottle, as a plant specimen for interior decoration.

Then, his eyes remained on the Licorice and the ribbon tied on the tightly sealed bottleneck.

Lena noticed his stare, and said.

“Those were received from the Federation before I went over……”

Before her words trailed off, she continued with a mischievous smile.

She knew who it was she met on the Licorice field.

“Was it you, Shinn?”

“Actually, it’s the five of us.”

So this is why there are five colors?

Red, white, pink, yellow and blue. Vibrant colors.

“Back then, I was thinking that it was the day before you came over. If it were you, you probably would be focusing on the documents, Lena…never thought you would keep them.”

“It might be a little presumptuous, but, no, Second Lieutenant Persimmon really helped me out.”

She looked towards her adjutant, Second Lieutenant Isabella Persimmon, saying that. The latter had initially worked hard to accustom herself to the white swines of the Republic, and that moment was the opportunity that allowed them to break the ice.

It’s because you’re pretty useless, Colonel. I really can’t watch this anymore……Second Lieutenant Persimmon seemed to mutter, before retreating away. Lena saw her leave, and lifted her head towards Shinn again, smiling.

It was the first time she received a Valentine’s gift, not out of mischief or any other reasons, but simply out of concern.

“Really, I am glad…thank you very much.”

TN: Rüstkammer. The HQ for the 86th Squad post Volume 3. Name is based on the Dresden Armory.

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