Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Fischer: Prince of the Swabia Empire, Cohen’s friend.
- Flynn & Carey Rohna, Winslet(elf): Cohen’s wives and friends.
- Visual Kheda: Cohen’s father, Duke of the Swabia Empire.
By nightfall, Fischer the King’s wedding messenger arrived Darkmoon with His Majesty’s decree. After a period of warm welcoming from the Kheda family, he found me swaying like a drunk man. I was staring blankly at the tree above me under the silvery moonlight.
“What the… wrong with you.” Fischer staggered and sat beside me. He lisped, “You lucky dog is… [burp]… gazing what…”
“That’s way too much for you.” Though I fancied a drink at times when on earth, I detested a drunken loser, “Look at you, you drunkard.”
“Ah… happy I am… finally… I’m out of DC, what a stifling place!” Fischer said with lidded eyes, “What do you have in mind?”
“I’m thinking…” I flirted with the grass in the earth, “my wedding…”
“Oh, right!” Fischer said, “Three beautiful wives… geez, that’s something.”
“You know, I had a fight with Carey today. Though we used to fight a lot, this time it was somewhat different.” I ignored his nonsense, “I don’t even know if I’m prepared to live with three girls.”
“Did you just say that?,” Fischer wagged his head, “Haha, the famous Viceroy Rascal is afraid of marriage?”
“If I do anything wrong, they could get hurt.” I continued, “They are my wives. More than that, my friends! I don’t wish to hurt any of them, you know.”
“En… valid point. Friends are different from wives.” Fischer said, “However, on this matter, I’m not someone who can help. You already know what to do.”
Seeing Fischer sing wildly with his body supported by the guards made me wonder if he was going to remember what he said to me tonight.
Then, in a flash, I had an epiphany. Didn’t life work in such ways? One would forget the past every now and then, and one had no idea what was going to happen tomorrow.
I needed to stop!
I stood up and thought, “Today has passed and tomorrow has yet to arrive. Anyways, at least I’ve enjoyed tonight’s pleasant breeze and moonlight, haven’t I? Right, and the friendship drowned in alcohol. Though the wine smelled terrible.
“What happened in the past is not my concern, neither is anything that will occur tomorrow. As long as I’ve tried and did my best, I won’t need to worry.”
“I will care for them, and try my best to bring them happiness. That should be more than efficient. I’m just a boy after all.”
I came through and as content as I danced back to the chamber with a slightly sweet piece of grass dangling from the mouth.
When the first ray of sunlight softly landed on my window, the viceroy’s house livened up. All the people dressed up in suits or robes and bustled around their work.
At the gate, guards were shouting loudly, notifying the next guest’s name. In the hall, servants and maids stood or wandered with silver platters serving fruits and drinks.
I was about to put on my wedding suits: more tedious than even the day-to-day nobility garments. Though I was full of a sense of novelty, luckily I’ve got several maids who had been attending my daily chores as I grew up.
The commoners wedding dresses were capable of matching that of the nobilities’. It would be the only chance in their life to dress up and have the appearance close to a nobleman. And, he needed to be wealthier than most.
Since a commoner could have an expensive wedding dress, the luxury of a nobleman’s wedding garments were even more gorgeous. Let alone the one dressing up for the occasion was the city viceroy and lieutenant-commander of the imperial army.
A maid took the top of the suit from the silver plate and unfolded it to show it was intact. The pure white cloth was sewn with threads of silver and had slightly widened shouldering and a straight stand-up collar. The knife-carving line of this piece of cloth did not lose its softness because of its fine craftsmanship.
On the left side of the chest, it was the sigil of the Kheda House: a soaring hawk.
Now, a pair of crossed by-handlers was added to reveal my military position. And the olive twigs behind the whole pattern was to show the master of this suit was also a civil viceroy.
I gazed upon all the sets of inner and outerwear, kummerbunds, jewelry loaded rapier and spoke with wonder However, I sighed silently.
“If I sell this whole damn thing, the money would be enough to extend the Dark City wall for another five miles!”
If a nobleman ended up in selling his wedding suits, he would be disgraced.
“Young Lord.” The maid said, “Let us begin. You don’t want to keep the guests waiting.”
“Alright.” I nodded.
I had much trouble putting myself in the whole set and gazed into the mirror. I felt nothing wrong except for the normally weird hair and eyes.
To be honest, no matter my life on earth or in Peace, my looks were not very handsome, it seemed firm at most. So much so as to be ashamed of my face during my school days on earth.
As I grew up a bit to the society and the army, I understood that my face was not everything that counted. So long as one was brilliant and powerful, he would get anything he wanted.
Sure, one’s life is entirely something else, and that was nothing of my concern.
“What is it, young lord? Are you charmed by your looks?” The maid who was combing my hair softly with a wooden brush joked from behind.
It was probably my nature that I have been ignoring the master/servant class relationship or neglecting the fact that I was their master. Often I called them like a sister, brother, auntie, uncle, etc., positively resulting in the fact that everybody adored me, negatively, more than half of the jokes circulating in the house were about me.
“We have been attiring young lord since youth; today is the last time.” After finishing her work on my hair, the maid tied a silver band on my hair to make me appear more harmonious as a whole, “Young lord, you are now an adult, keep up the hard work.”
I kept my mouth shut for such and wondered where I was to carry on the hard work. Was being an adult directly related to working hard?
“Young Lord, please wait in the room!” Another maid smiled and said, “We need to check how’s the brides are faring for you.”
I nodded speechlessly and felt turmoil inside while acting calm.
“Come on, buddy!” Not a moment after, I heard Fischer’s fist slamming on the door, “We’ve got to be there early!”
My heartbeat went extremely fast. I walked towards the mirror and told myself, “Hey, bro, wake up! You are getting married today!”
I was still terrified.
Fischer escorted me to the newly decorated hall, and by either handshaking or small talks, I started welcoming the guests who came over and congratulated me as my father had told me to do so.
The room was remodeled for this event and became bigger. They had built a stage out of milky marble on the inner corners of the chamber. Blooming flowers were presented around it and in front of the steps were rows of velvet covered chairs.
“Viceroy Visual Kheda.” The high priest who came all the way from Divine City said to my father, “It’s almost time, let’s get started!”
“Sure.” My dad said with a smile, “Thank you, it’s an honor to have you here.”
The priest, who wore white, walked by the stage and hemmed to get everyone’s attention, then raised his hands to quiet the crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” He said, “As the Temple’s holy messenger sent here to be a host for Cohen Kheda, I’m very honored to announce: the wedding for Viceroy Cohen Kheda, now begins!”
Then, everyone cheered and the whole place burst into claps. People started to seat themselves according to their status. Fischer and my father accompanied me onto the stage.
“Presenting the brides!” Finishing with this, the priest nodded to the orchestra by the door. The band conductor then moved his baton and thus music sounded out. A dozen girls from the temple choir started singing aria-like songs.
I listened carefully and found out the songs were from the Apotheosis God! This was… this was my wedding. Why on earth did it concern the God!
If I memory served to be correct, god didn’t help me when I fought with Carey yesterday.
“God is like an annoying distant relative!” I muttered, “Someone who avoided trouble and approached when benefits appeared.”
The High Priest heard this and gazed at me with curiosity. My father promptly explained under his breath, “My Cohen is still a kid, he’s nervous.”
The priest chuckled at ease and looked to the side door.
I couldn’t help but sidled towards the door.
O, three gorgeous brides with white dresses paced into accompanied by grandpa red-nose and my mother. Like three brilliant jewels lighting my eyes with color, I saw the good side of expensive attire.
Three dresses were somehow similar but immaculately portrayed three different dispositions: elegant Flynn, bright and brilliant Carey and the quiet Winslet. They approached with smiles. Though none of them paid me any attention, my heart pounded harshly for a good while.
I retrieved the look on my face and choked, thrilled and felt my body stuffed with the sense of happiness.
The three brides and I stood in a line and listened to the blessings from the Holy Temple. This particular moment had made me very cooperative with such tedious procedure.
Then, the priest rang the silver bell and announced us as lawful husband and wives.
Now it was the time when I kissed their flushed cheeks. I rubbed my sweaty palms.
Flynn turned her face, smiled and gave me her generous kiss.
Winslet was so shy that she would rather let me kiss her forehead than look at me, whereas Carey glared at me then smiled and kissed my lips.
Then came the feast that lasted from noon to midnight.
House of Viceroy was totally boiled.
I was as committed as I could in acting as a groom who toasted each guest. Fischer, as the best man, was there with me with both hands full of alcohol the entire time.
Whenever I met other guests, Fischer would go straight ahead and fill the other’s goblet full with alcohol and mine with a juice of the same color.
Finally, it was time to dismiss the guests. Luckily, people here did not have the bridal chamber pranks thing. With sore legs and a backache, I bowed to send away all the guests.
“There are some who wanted me to escort you back to the chamber.” Fischer grasped my hands, “They are probably afraid that you’ll get cold feet and faint!”
“You!” I was annoyed and amused that Fischer, as a prince, fooled around like this. As for turning cold feet, when did anyone expect a gangster to not get contaminated? Though it was my previous life experiences, I was not forgetting it that fast.
Wives. Wives were things I had never dreamed of. We had grown up together, and I experienced my first fight with Carey. That should be different than most. How unexpected. Fischer was not letting me mess with my mind and slammed the door hard, “Everyone, I have the prisoner!”
“Hold it, prisoner? Who’s the prisoner?”