Dairene Murchadh wiped the dirt from her clothes as her opponent wheezed on the ground. She smirked, putting her hands on her hips.
She turned around to find her father seething, red in the face, his fists clenched. Her moment of triumph gone, she groaned and sighed. "Yes, father?"
"What have you done? This is the twenty-seventh suitor you've thrashed!"
Dariene sighed. "I already told you, father. I will only wed a man who is stronger than I am."
"And apparently no man in Ireland is." He blew out his mustache and muttered to himself. Her daughter, despite her conditions and her renown in fighting--a curiosity for women--was hounded by suitors because of her beauty. Her soft, plump lips, large, expressive bright blue eyes, and rich curves served to make a man kneel at her mercy. And her fiery red hair was the darling of Irish warriors all around--a testament to her might as a woman.
Quite unfortunately, she had no intentions of marrying. After seeing many women give birth and hearing of tales of strong women being at the mercy of their husbands (not that it was really how it went, but rather it was how she saw their love for their husbands), she resolved to never marry.
And she thought of the best way for it without bringing shame to her father. Only the strongest can have her as a testament to the right of the man to be the next lord of Connacht. And with her prowess in a fight, none have yet to succeed.
"Well then, sir Unchett. Good day to you and may you find another more suitable maiden for you." She went up to her father who took her hand and sighed.
"Dariene, I am getting old."
"Father, if you wish for an heir. I have three younger sisters who have dreams of having a husband. There is no need to force it on me."
"I mean that I need someone to take care of you."
"I can take care of myself, father. As you can very well see!" Dariene said indignantly.
"I've decided. You're going to Scotland."
Dariene stopped walking. "What?"
"You're going to marry a Scottish Clan leader, and that is final."
"Whatever spirits possessed you to say such a thing? They're enemies! Barbarians!"
"They say the same of us, and yet, my darling, we need them. The English to the south are set on invading our lands, and we need the might of the Scots to drive them away."
"No! No! No! You hear me? I told you I will only marry a man stronger than I."
"And I assure you, this man is."
"I have no choice. We leave at first light tomorrow. Pack your belongings." With those final words, he left her seething. She knew she could not say anything against him. Not when his mind was made up like this. The only thing she could show him was that this Scott was as weak as every man she had ever put down.