CHAPTER 56: THE WEDDING

“Are you nervous?” Agent Brzko asked the Muse of Mischief as he circled her, making sure there wasn’t a single thread out of place.

“Me? No I do this stuff all the time. But hey, let’s take a few shots before the ceremony begins. Just to relax.” She smiled at him. In truth she is nervous. It’s one thing to rescue a being from pending doom, or track someone that’s become lost, but being part of a wedding – that was trying her nerves.

M is wearing a brilliant blue suit – Wisssi had Schatorren make it for her. The back collar stands taller than her head, creating a frame. The suit is identical to Wisssi’s except that it is tailored to fit her body.

The wedding ceremony is smallish, and taking place on Misko. Wisssi and Nguvu both insist that this part of the day must be intimate. There are around thirty guests waiting for them on the beach. The ceremony will be led by Whotov.

There’s a knock at the door, but before either of them can move to answer… “M, M, are you ready?” It’s Wisssi.

“Yes Wisssi, I’m ready. Are you and Nguvu ready?”

“Yes, she’s outside. Let’s go.”

M turned and looked at Brzko, it is his cue to leave. He should already be on the beach before they arrive. He kisses her cheek, pats Wisssi on the shoulder and heads to the beach.

“You look fantastic Wisssi.” M says.

“Thank you M.” He reaches for her, pulls her in and holds her close. “I’m honored to have been named after you. I’m lucky to have an autaunia like you – thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”

“Oh Wisssi, you were also named after your father.” She said, downplaying her importance in his life.

He laughed. “Yes, and he has been a great father. But not nearly as much fun as you Autaunia M. You showed me things in the Universe that he’s never seen. And without you, I never would have met Nguvu.”

“Oh, yeah, I guess I did that didn’t I.”

“Shall we?”

He took her arm and gestured toward the door. They step outside and see Ferocity and Nguvu just ahead of them on the path to the beach. They follow in silence.

The guests are seated in a semicircle, looking out at the ocean. In front of them stands Whotov. Now too old to butler for Ferocity, but still residing with him as a companion. His pale grey hair makes his brilliant blue eyes even brighter. M and Wisssi pause at the edge of the beach and let Ferocity and Nguvu make their entrance. Silence falls as the crowd sees her – today she wears a string of leel flowers around her neck. Courtesy of Ciic of course. She stands before Whotov with Ferocity at her side. Wisssi walks toward them, M following close behind. He sneaks a glance at his parents, tears are streaming down his father’s face. He breaks from the expected progression and greets his father, hugging him, sharing words that only he can hear. They continue on until Wisssi is next to Nguvu. He reaches for her hand and they face Whotov together.

“Loved ones we are here today to witness the joining of Ezopica Mischievous Wisssdartai and Nguvu the Dragon. Who will stand with them today?” Whotov begins.

“I will!” M and Ferocity answer in unison.

Whotov nods to Wisssi, indicating it’s time for his vows.

“My dear Nguvu, I will forever walk beside you, I give myself to you. Will you walk beside me, grow old with me?”

Nguvu met his gaze. “Wisssi, I will forever walk beside you, I give myself to you, and I will be honored to grow old with you.”

“Friends!” Whotov called. “I present to you Ezopica Mischievous Wisssdartai and Nguvu the Dragon – husband and wife.”

Wisssi embraces Nguvu, kissing the tip of her snout -she surrounds him with her wings, embracing him. When she releases him they turn and look at the small crowd as an official couple for the first time. Everyone stands and begins coming forward to offer their congratulations. M steps back from the crowd and finds Brzko. He’s standing alone at the edge of the crowd. His long coat billows in the ocean breeze with the sun catching the small red paisleys on his vest.

“Damn you look good.” M says, hugging him.

“Thanks M.”

“Aren’t you glad I turned you on to Schatorren?”

He laughs. “Yes, but… “

“Hey you two! Isn’t this just amazing?” They turn to see Lelelu and Zri approaching.

“Le.” M greets her with a hug. “You look lovely today. The color of that dress makes your blue skin even more beautiful than ever.”

“Thank you,” she says twirling so that they can see her from all sides. “Zri helped me pick it out.” She turns and looks at Zri with an adoring look.

“Hmm.” Zri says, uncomfortable with the idea of discussing fashion.

“Friends! Are you ready to go? There’s one more ceremony to attend to today!” Bartala calls as he, Nalau, and Ferocity approach; saving Zri from having to discuss the finer points of fashion.

“Emperor, Empress, how…” Brzko says before Bartala interrupts him.

“Ahhhh Brzko, that will be one of the last times you can call us that. In a few hours Wisssi will become the Emperor of Ploosnar, and Nguvu the Empress.”

Ferocity makes ticking sounds, uttering something in an ancient Dragon language. Everyone looks at him. He realizes they heard him.

“I was just expressing my… surprise, or disbelief, that a Dragon will become the Empress of Ploosnar. It was not that long ago that Dragons chose to live in secret.”

“Does it displease you Fericity?” The Empress asked, unable to read him.

“No Empress, it does not displease me. I am honored, as are all Dragons. I remember when we rescued Nguvu from the stasis tube.” he looks off in the distance, recalling the unpleasant memory of the VReoria specimen ship.

They all stopped to recall the horrible conditions they had rescued so many beings from – and they all knew that there were more VReoria specimen ships, with more beings in need of rescue.

The Empress decided to move them along. “And look at her now Ferocity. Later today I will relinquish the title of Empress of Ploosnar to her. If you had not mentored her it would not have been possible. Do you remember how she used to breath fire with no warning, anytime she was upset?”

“Yes I remember.” Ferocity said. “It took some work to get that temper under control.”

“I can relate to that.” Brzko interjected.

They all looked at him and then realized he was speaking about The Muse of Mischief, so they looked at her.

“And your point is?” She said oozing with sarcasm. “A temper is just an untapped tool. SOME of us learn how to use it to our advantage.” She shrugged, making them all laugh.

“We should all go if we’re going to be on Ploosnar before the Emperor to be arrives.” Lelelu said, keeping them organized and on task as always.

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