Chapter 24: Covered then Silence
The wedding was a modest one, but gloriously held in the throne room. It was early in the morning. The only attendees were the Solune family; those who were in the kingdom at the time. Rhye, Gwenhime, Kent and Senica, Natasha, and Chloe.
The wedding could have been officiated by the King, but the lady had requested a religious official, which caused immediate problems the previous night when they had met in the armoury.
Senica had asked, “Do you have any priests to the Servant of Birth here, by chance? He is the patron god of the Djeb, so if you don’t mind, I would like…”
The King had frowned deeply. “We do not permit this. Envoys of foreign gods cannot participate in their religious capacity in public ceremonies or institutions.”
“Kent, this is a very important thing to have withheld from your betrothed.” The King turned to his son.
Kent also frowned; the same frown. He said nothing.
The King sighed. “I know not how attached you are to Birth. Your Servant is not hated here, but this is a Royal wedding. I’m afraid the Solune Kingdom has strict laws in this domain. You may do as you wish, but in this kingdom freedom of religion does not extend to public events or affairs.”
Senica nearly started anger-crying, but Gwenhime took her daughter-to-be from behind into her arms and said, “Don’t worry too much, child. You could still have one of these people attend if you wish. The wedding is technically public, due to the very nature of who you are becoming. You will have to choose either a state-accepted cleric, a non-religious officiator, or perhaps the King.”
Senica crossed her arms and pouted. The King looked at her apathetically.
They left the couple to think on it for a while. They whispered to each other. Senica lit up, and then asked something of Kent, who shrugged.
“You’d have to ask my father. Or…my mother I guess.”
“No, you ask!”
Surprisingly, her request was had been granted.
So the wedding had only family. Kent and Senica stood facing each other on the elevated throne platform. Behind them, wearing flowey robes, and with large feathered white wings protruding from her back, was Gwenhime.
They took ancient Solune vows (part of which uncomfortably included an informal unilateral agreement: promised service from the husband, else the wife is granted divorce nd assets upon any possible divorce*). After the vows, they touched palms, and then forheads, and in unison recited, “The mind was created above the heart, so that we may remember: reason is more important than emotion in times of marital trouble and trials. May our union of souls continue into eternity, and may we truly become one in the ether after life.”
The wedding ended, and the bride and groom, in white, left without saying a word to anyone. Gwenhime whispered to Senica as they stepped out. Then, the newlyweds were gone.
“Well, while they are entitled to…however much time,” Gwenhime announced, “We are not! Ready yourselves, pack your things, find the rest of your group! You leave today at noon, do you not? You have only a few hours.”
“Ah, first,” Chloe said, “how did you manage to officiate a wedding?”
She knew that her mother, unlike the rest of the Royal family, had no public or governmental power, so her role in this made no sense to her. Chloe had missed the whole conversation the night before, as it was during that time that she had been studying Chronicles.
“For my child, I performed a swift ordination. This is a matter of religion, not ruling power, and so it is ultimately permitted to me.”
“That—that is quite a ritual to perform with such short notice, and in the dark!”
Her mother laughed, “Yes, the experience was perhaps heightened as a result.”
“Why are your wings out?”
“That is unrelated.” Gwenhime began to exit the room, and then turned back. “I released them while I was duelling Lilllith.”
“Oh. Ah, wait, not oh. What?”
“I decided to try my hand after you all left.”
“You had wings during the ordination rituals? You went into the river and submerged, with all that attached to you?”
“Yes…drying afterwards was quite a task. Incidentally, so was not drowning.”
“And…the duel? How did the duel go?” Chloe wondered if her mother got a number; how she measured up.
“I won, so we are not entirely sure. Perhaps fourteen or fifteen. Possibly more.”
“I…missed a lot last night.”
“Nearly everyone else did too, dear. Don’t let it sadden you too much. Come, let us ready supplies. Your father has something for you.”
“Yes my love.”
P.S. We are testing a new time slot! From now until the end of September (or beyond), the website’s primary publishing slot will be Sunday at 2pm EST.
Likely I will make a post about this new adventure very soon.
*”Ketubah,” pictured below.