Ultra Magnus was troubled. The peace between the human kingdom and the giant kingdom was now faltering after more than two hundred years of peace. If something wasn't done soon, he feared another war would break out and the giants would enslave the entire human population.
But how? How could he convince Bombrush, the king of the Giants, to not destroy their kingdom and turn them all into slaves? Or to not just wipe them off the face of the Earth?
He remembered his last conversation with the other king even though it had been almost five years ago. He had not been part of the tragic event, only hearing about it afterwards. In fact, the first sign something had happened was when he had heard the king of the giants’ haunting cry after his queen had passed on.
In the ensuing days afterwards, word had spread about the queen's death and how giants had been turned down by a medicine man on the edge of the human kingdom while trying to get a cure for the sick queen. Ultra Magnus had tried to contact the human ambassador in the giant kingdom only to have the man arrive at his castle's walls with the horrible news.
Even to this day, no one knew why Pixela, Bombrush's wife, had fallen ill with ergotism. But everyone knew that she had and that she had passed away because of that bigot medicine man on the edge of his kingdom. That fool! Why had he not just given the medicine?! Because of that man's prejudice, humans were barred from the giant kingdom and any human stepping into their territory would be murdered without hesitation! The trading markets between them were collapsing and merchants were getting into heated - and even bloody - disputes.
He had to find a way to stop this. As king of the human empire, he had to find a way to restore peace between the two kingdoms and stop a war from happening between them! But how?!
His wife, Charlotte, seeing how distressed he had been over the entire matter, had took it upon herself to write to the Giant King and plead with him to come meet with her husband and resolve this growing conflict. Ultra never knew what she had written in the letter, but, quite surprisingly, Bombrush had responded in the positive, telling her he would gladly meeting with the Ultra to settle this.
It was... strange. Almost too strange. Five years ago, Bombrush wanted nothing to do with the human kingdom and seemingly wanted them all dead. What had changed that? Was it a trick, perhaps? He didn't know, but he didn't like it either.
On the day of the meeting, he and his Elite Guard left to meet the King of the Giants on neutral ground between their kingdoms. Setting up at one side of the vast grassy field they were to meet at, Ultra and seven of his best guards and bodyguards rode out to the middle of the field.
They waited for only a few minutes before they saw the King and three other giants approach them. It had been a long time since Ultra had actually seen a giant, forgetting their height. Bombrush, apparently, was taller than most giants, standing fifteen feet tall and towering over the eight humans. But the humans remained unafraid as the four giants stepped up to them, Bombrush peering down at him.
He gave a small smile. "It certainly has been a long time, hasn't it, Ultra?"
The human king nodded. "Yes... It has been."
Bombrush chuckled at the cautious tone in the other's voice. He raised a hand, as if to calm the other down. "No need to be so fearful. The threat I made all those years ago no longer stands. I will not do you or any human harm."
Ultra let out a relieved breath. Well... that was certainly a pleasant thing to hear. Still, despite his worries being soothed slightly, he was a bit suspicious. Why the sudden change? He had been ready to murder him and his people five years because of what happened to his wife. Now he suddenly was all right with things?
Bombrush caught onto the man's suspicion and huffed. "I want to repair the damages my fury has caused," he said, the human king now looking up at him. "After my wife's death... I did loathe your kind for denying her the medicine that would have cured her." But, through his wife's writings that he had found, he learned that he had been foolish and ignorant. It was not the entire human population's fault... Just that single-minded bastard's fault. "My hatred caused strain and hard times to both our kingdoms and, like you, I wish to fix this. I do not want another war, as I'm sure you don't either."
Ultra nodded. While Bombrush seemed sincere, he wasn't about to completely trust him. Not when one of the last things he had said to him was a threat. But if the giant wanted peace, then peace he would negotiate.
But what should they do? Things had gotten so bad between the two kingdoms... What could they do?
He looked to the giant. "Have you any ideas in mind as to how we can resolve this? It will be incredibly difficult, especially with some of the revenge-seeking giants causing a great panic among the human villagers who live along the border."
"They needn't panic much longer," Bombrush said. "I have had my men dealing with those giants for the past two years now."
Ultra nodded. He had thought that the reports of giants terrorizing the villagers had decreased, but he had never focused too much on it, considering he had been more focused on the horrid idea of a war breaking out.
"I am more than willing to reopen the trading routes," Bombrush added, drawing Ultra's attention back to him. "I am also willing to provide protection to any human merchants who wish to come through those routes."
"It is a start, but I doubt that alone will pacify the ever growing tension."
"I am aware of that."
"Perhaps we could each give a public speech to our kingdoms. To tell them that there is no need for such hatred and violence."
"I don't think that will do much. If anything, it may appear as if we're giving in and that might make our people angrier." He gave a small huff. Bombrush had an idea, one that would most likely be the answer to their problem. But he knew how... protective the other was, especially when it came to his family. Not that he wasn't protective over his own, but Ultra was extremely over protective. Still, he had to offer.
"When other neighboring kingdoms have issues such as ours," Bombrush started slowly, trying to hint his suggestion to the other. "They try to establish pacts between each other... often in the form of marriage as a marriage symbolizes unity and harmony. And it often works out, restoring peace to the kingdoms and, for the most part, everyone is content."
Bombrush didn't think he had ever seen the human king's face turn as white as it just did. Not even when he had threatened his entire kingdom with death as punishment for his wife's death did the king turn lifeless. The other had held his ground and calmly, though shaking in his boots, bid him farewell before leaving. But the sight of the human almost growing old before him was truly a sight to behold.
Ultra would have been the same at the sight of Bombrush being visible disturbed if it were not the fact that the other had just suggested his son and one of his daughters marry for the sake of an eternal pact between their kingdoms. If Bombrush had made the offer to some other nobleman and his daughter, Ultra would have felt some pity for the man. But even he would have agreed that it was the best option and the only one that would guarantee success in restoring peace to their kingdoms.
Still, it meant that he would have to give up one of his daughters to the Prince of the Giants. One of his precious and most beloved daughters. Eclipse, Cometstar, Starshine, Red Moon, and Thornstriker. All of them proof of his love with Charlotte. All of them unique and worthy in their own ways. Brave, Beautiful, Confident, Intelligent, and Kind. They were all his joy and pride.
While he respected Bombrush and knew the man other than the bereaved and vengeful being that he was after his wife's death five years ago, he knew next to nothing about his son Bloodshed. Ultra had only seen the child once and that was long before the boy's mother died. He had no idea what sort of person the prince was. Was he a confident and respectful young man like his own Airstream? Was he a weak and humble one like Smokebomb? Or worse, was he ruthless and tyrannical, like the Giant King Megatron in the far North region?
Even if the young prince was like one of his sons, there was no guarantee that it wouldn't hold out if the boy were to marry a human. The boy had lost his mother at a young age because a human refused to give them medicine to save her. And with his father in an enraged mourning state after her death, there was no way to tell if any of that had rubbed off on the young giant. What if he hated his wife-to-be because she was human? What if the young giant were to abuse her, making her pay for what happened to his own mother?
Seeing the man grow even paler than before, Bombrush knew he had to calm him down before he fainted. "As my son is still just a child himself, perhaps it is best that we... wait on that suggestion."
Ultra blinked, looking up at the other.
"My son is only eleven," he explained. "And we don't know for sure as to whether or not what we suggested before will work or not. For all we know, a marriage between my son and one of your daughters would be completely unnecessary if everything else works instead."
Ultra slowly nodded. That was true... Perhaps he wouldn't have to marry off one of his daughters. Perhaps things could work out with just some great changes. Yes, yes it could work... It had to work...
"But I do believe we should... keep it as a back-up option."
The king blinked. "A... back-up option?"
"Yes. If in ten years the peace between us is still unstable, then I think it is necessary for my son to marry one of your five daughters. By that time, my son will be an adult and all your daughters will be of nubile age."
Ultra nodded. Though he still didn't like the idea of having to give up one of his children, at least they wouldn't be young children. He took a deep breath and looked up at the giant king. "Must I decide now as to which of my daughters will need to marry your son?"
"I think it would be best if we allowed Bloodshed to choose," he said. "This way, the burden is taken from you. Also, at least this way we give Bloodshed a choice in the matter and he can choose which daughter he likes best."
Ultra frowned a little at this. With this, he couldn't allow any of his daughters to marry until the boy made his choice. And he didn't like the idea of having his daughters be chosen as if they were dolls on a shelf. And what if Bloodshed only picked one that he believed would be the easiest to abuse...? But he couldn't choose one for the boy. What if the prince didn't like the one he picked? It would create more problems instead of solving the ones they had.
He huffed. "Very well... We shall settle on that then."
Bombrush nodded. "Agreed. Hopefully, we won't need to resort to that to solve our problems."
The human king nodded, though still looked very sick. It wasn't as if they could just snap their fingers and fix the hatred and fear between their two kingdoms like so. It would take much time and required careful planning and luck on their side. Any single horrible event caused between the two races could shatter the peace just like that and they're would be no way to stop the impending war. But while ten years seemed like a long time, it was hard to say if they could resolve the tension between their kingdoms in that much time.
Ultra looked back up to his neighboring king, "As for the trade routes to be opened?"
"We can set up another meeting for later to discuss that if you wish," Bombrush offered with sympathy for his fellow monarch. The poor human had been through enough for today. "I do believe we will need some time to prepare negotiations on opening the routes and other agreements, don't you think?"
"Yes, yes, that is true." Ultra was grateful for that. Even though they could start some negotiations now, he was too emotionally compromised by the promises they had already made today. He couldn't possibly do any negotiations or compromises while having the fate of his daughter's futures hang over his head as it was now.
"Then if there is nothing else to be said, my men and I will return to our kingdom," Bombrush offered.
The smaller king nodded, bowing his head to the other in respect. "Until we meet again, Bombrush."
Giving each other a proper farewell, the two kings returned to their camps and eventually their castles. Much was to come to ensure the peace between both kingdoms and for one of the kings, it meant more than just the peace. It meant the life of one of his precious daughters. And possibly having to sacrifice it to ensure their kingdom's survival.