Diarmuid lived in a mercenary group ever since he was a child. Although it was not a prominent mercenary group, the warriors were all loyal to their leader. As the leader’s adopted son, Diarmuid received training from him every day. With outstanding talent, Diarmuid only spent a few months to master what others had to learn for years.
No matter how well-trained he was, Diarmuid did not ask for a personal weapon, because he thought he had already received too much favor from the other mercenaries. However, on his sixteenth birthday...
Diarmuid: These lances are...?
Diarmuid’s Adoptive Father: It’s your birthday present from all of us! Didn’t you have trouble finding a nice weapon for yourself?
Diarmuid closed the box and pushed it back to the mercenary leader, shaking his head:
Diarmuid: You have taught me so much. How could I accept this precious gift...
Diarmuid’s Adoptive Father: Do you still remember why I gathered these mercenaries, and taught you how to fight in the first place?
Diarmuid: Put power to good use; help the weak; and eliminate evil.
Diarmuid’s Adoptive Father: That’s right. And that’s also why you’re gonna need them.
The leader once again handed the lances to Diarmuid and continued:
Diarmuid’s Adoptive Father: I believe that with your benevolence, they will aid you in your mission to bear my will and save more people.
Diarmuid’s Adoptive Father: It’s been a while since I last duelled with you...show me what you’ve learned throughout these years!
Diarmuid: They’re convenient for both offending and defending, and I don’t feel any hindrance to my speed. What a nice pair of lances!
Diarmuid: Father, everyone, I vow with these lances that I will give all I got to protect the people!
The lances were a perfect match for Diarmuid. Using the lances to fight further enhanced his skills. He no longer perceived the lances as mere weapons, but his fighting companions, so he named the two lances “Amor” and “Celos”. The two lances gradually developed a soul and a conscious mind in Diarmuid’s myriad fights.
When the mercenary leader passed away, Diarmuid led the other mercenaries and joined the kingdom’ s army. Later in a war, Diarmuid’s squad was ambushed, where his sergeant was killed in battle. However, Diarmuid successfully broke through the enemies’ encirclement with his remaining soldiers. He defeated many, their blood as if bloomed roses on his lances.
With his extraordinary fighting skills and tactics, he defeated the enemy’s army with the handful of companions he was left, and earned victory for his kingdom. Since that war, Diarmuid became the king’s most valued general, and the best role model for the soldiers. He was also titled the “strongest warrior”, his weapons the “Red Rose of Loyalty” and the “Yellow Rose of Duplicity”.
Since becoming the strongest warrior of the kingdom, Diarmuid also became the king’s best friend. They discussed everything with each other, from stately affairs to private matters. One day, the king summoned Diarmuid and assigned him with the mission of receiving the king’s betrothed.
Diarmuid: A woman that even the king loves...I wonder what she is like.
Amor and Celos: ‘She must be a beauty!’
Diarmuid: And very clever and gentle as well, I guess. Will I meet a woman who will let me admire her wholeheartedly?
Amor and Celos: ‘Yes, you will. You surely will.’
When the lances were granted a name, they developed a conscious mind, and became the most attentive listeners to the secrets that resided in Diarmuid’s heart. Diarmuid smiled as he looked at his two lances. To others, it seemed like he was murmuring to two ordinary weapons, but he clearly knew that the lances would answer his thoughts.
Not long after, Diarmuid arrived at a mansion, but he was yet to know that the woman he was going to receive was not only the king’s betrothed, she was also the one who was going to change his life...
Diarmuid and his squad waited outside the mansion and after some time, the doors slowly opened. A lady-in-waiting walked out before Diarmuid could approach and state the purpose of his visit. Her expression was filled with delight. She hurriedly asked the others to open the door and she ran toward the lady’s room. Looking at their happy faces, Diarmuid and his companions also broke into laughter.
From above the stairs came footsteps of high-heeled shoes. The sounds neared Diarmuid and his companions before it suddenly stopped. Diarmuid looked at the direction of the footsteps — an elegant maiden stood there. She glanced at the squad and slowly walked down the stairs.
The maiden looked delicate, but her eyes were resolute. Diarmuid was captivated by what he saw, and his heart started pounding. It was not until the maiden started talking to him did he kneel down on one knee and extend his greetings.
Isabel: I am Isabel. You are here to receive me to the palace?
Diarmuid: That is correct. His Majesty is waiting for you.
Isabel: Is that so...then I have no choice...
With this, Isabel turned and went back to her room, while her ladies-in-waiting started packing for her. Only Diarmuid stayed at the doors, peering at Isabel’s diminishing figure. Even in fierce battles, he had never felt his heart pound like this before.
Diarmuid: Why is my heart pounding like this? Am I sick?
Amor and Celos: ‘You must have fallen in love with her...If it really is a sickness, it is definitely love-sick.’
Diarmuid felt uncontrollably different whenever he was with Isabel. He could not help but gaze at her, as if he was carving everything about her into his mind. When they arrived at the palace, Isabel left with the maids, but Diarmuid still could not turn away from her, not until she completely disappeared from his sight. However, he missed her even more after the separation.
After knowing that what he felt was love, Diarmuid felt even more vexed because he clearly knew that his love for her was forbidden. However, whenever he saw her or even simply heard anything about her, his feelings would surface again. There was no escape from these feelings, so he told Amor and Celos about his forbidden love to ease his heart. Diarmuid thought that this would help him gradually let go of Isabel, but he turned out loving her more.
Since first meeting Isabel, Diarmuid had fallen in love with her. The more he wanted to forget about her, the clearer his memory became; and the more he wanted to let go of her, the deeper his feelings grew. He could only tell Amor and Celos about his love for her, hopefully sealing up this forbidden love. He further indulged himself in wars, not letting himself have a spare minute.
Hence, Diarmuid acquired more victories for the kingdom. To avoid seeing Isabel, he even rejected the king’s request for his presence. One day when he returned from a victorious war, he saw a letter at his front door. On the envelope was the king’s seal; he did not have to open the letter to know who had written it.
Just as he entered his house, Diarmuid opened the letter. After reading through it, he collapsed onto the ground.
Diarmuid: An invitation for his engagement banquet...They’re getting married...
Amor and Celos: ‘Don’t go if you don’t want to!’
Diarmuid: But the king is my friend. I should go and give my blessings to him in person...
Diarmuid: And to my beloved lady.
No matter how reluctant he was, Diarmuid embarked on the journey to the palace. He vowed in his heart that he would offer the king and Isabel with his whole-hearted wishes, and would forever abandon his feelings of love...
Diarmuid finally located the king in the banquet. He hurriedly walked to him and extended a formal greeting.
King: You’re indeed my best friend! Even when you’re so occupied with all the fighting, you still found the time to come to my engagement dinner!
Diarmuid: Right...This is your big day!
Just then, the doors of the ballroom opened. Isabel followed her ladies-in-waiting and walked toward the king. Diarmuid had mixed feelings at this moment — she was gorgeous, yet she did not belong to him.^ ^ During the banquet, the king and Isabel had their fingers interlocked at all times. They looked so happy that it caused Diarmuid to feel out of place, so he turned and walked to the balcony.
Diarmuid hid himself at the side of the balcony, and asked Amor and Celos depressingly:
Diarmuid: Darn...I...envy him...Why isn’t it me that’s with her...?
Diarmuid: If she’s not the king’s betrothed...If the king wasn’t here...
Amor and Celos: ‘Master...?’
His emotions blazed like wildfire; for a moment, he even thought about killing the king.
Diarmuid: H...How could I think like that?
Upon hearing his inappropriate words and terrible thoughts, Diarmuid shook his head, hoping to shake away his feelings and ideas. Diarmuid told Amor and Celos everything, as if he wanted to seal his envy in his lances.
In the engagement banquet, Diarmuid happened to converse with Isabel, granting a chance for the two to get to know each other better. Since then, it was even more difficult for Diarmuid to forget about Isabel.
He often visited the palace to peek at Isabel. Whenever he saw her sighing to the distance on her balcony, his heart would ache. He had once thought of taking her away with him, but as soon as he recalled his status as the kingdom’s warrior and the king’ s best friend, he realized that this way of thinking and acting was wrong. He became confused and did not know what to do.
Amor and Celos: ‘But she didn’t want to marry the king either.’
Diarmuid: I know, but she’s now his betrothed. There is nothing I can do to change that, is there?
Amor and Celos: ‘Betrothed isn’t the equivalent of being a wife. Not everything is settled yet.’
Diarmuid: Should I follow my heart? Or should I stick to my warrior’s vow?
Amor and Celos: ‘If you do love her, don’t stop at these obstacles. True love is the most precious thing in the world.’
In a sighing smile, Diarmuid made up his mind.
Diarmuid: No matter what I do, you two will be there for me, right?
Amor and Celos: ‘We will forever be at your side, and will never leave.’
As if able to hear their answer, Diarmuid exuded resolution from his eyes. He lifted his lances, and dashed toward the not-faraway palace...
Diarmuid: Isabel...? Are you here?
Isabel: Diarmuid? Why are you here?
Diarmuid stretched out his hand and seriously said:
Diarmuid: Come with me, Isabel!
Diarmuid: I promise you are going to be the happiest woman in the world!
After a while of hesitation, Isabel cried happily. She put her hand onto Diarmuid’s and smiled:
Isabel: If I can be with you, I am already the happiest woman.
Amor: ‘Humph! Our master’s so kind to you. Of course you’re happy!’
Celos: ‘If our master hadn’t love you this much, we wouldn’t have accepted you as his partner!’
That night, Diarmuid left the castle with Isabel, and claimed their own freedom. They sought a happy and stable life which solely belonged to the two of them. Later, they experienced unbearable pain and ceaseless agony. However, their love never perished; they would always stay together...