Vol. 14: Chapter 07 – Wedding in the Time of War

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly

The nature of the wedding called for very little preparation time. Fortunately, all the needed guests were invited and they managed to arrive on time.

Since King Cohen had insisted that he did not want any priest guests or witnesses at the wedding, he got his wish. However, in every city of the Protoss Alliance, Light Temple was a must-have facility. Hence the God’s servants in the Dark City temple wrote an accusation on the wedding day to the grand temple on Heaven Island indicting this Swabian new king’s defying of the religious authority.

The wedding was the first job Cohen Kheda, the 17th king of Swabia, did after he was given the title.

The news was recorded and passed on by all kinds of underground intelligence systems: the rebels’, other Swabian viceroys’, foreign royal houses’, even the Asmodian Alliance.

Before the ceremony, Cohen Kheda’s 3 wives held a small welcoming party for Ms. Dior Merlin.

“We have a tiny problem to solve just now as the wedding falls upon.” According to Flynn.

When Dior Merlin arrived in Dark City with Cohen’s mother, Cohen’s 3 wives (they can’t be addressed by queens) had met her a few times. Thereafter, the 4 girls began sharing the same room for work. They got along well.

Flynn was urged that she must tell Dior certain things before she became Cohen’s wife.

As three wives and a wife-to-be sat around the table, the atmosphere became somewhat awkward.

“Dior, believe me, we mean you no harm.” Flynn started, “But there is something Cohen hasn’t told you about him that we would like you to know.”

“I’m all ears, Flynn.”

Dior was exceptionally gentle in her bride’s gown.

“Ok, now,  Cohen may seem like a bizarre individual to ordinary people.” Speaking of her own husband, Flynn was certainly tolerating, “But he’s our husband, we love this man. Therefore as his wives, we have to be burdened with more responsibilities and duties.”

“I understand.”

“Cohen has informed me that after the wedding that you’ll be a City Hall supervisor like us. You’ll be in charge of commercial activities.” Said Flynn, “Your businesses in Winper City are still yours.”

“Cohen told me about it likewise.”

“Who would have expected things to change so drastically.” Flynn forced a smile, “He’s been emotionally unstable. As for us, we’re okay. But we fear that you may not used to his change.”

“Has something like this happened in the past?” Dior whispered.

“We grew up with Cohen. The four of us are friends before we became his wives.” Carey took over.

“I’m aware of it. Cohen told me once.” Dior nodded.

“Carey meant well. She meant we’re more used to Cohen’s behaviors compared to others, however odd they seem.” Winslet quickly explained.

“Yes,” Flynn continued, “Cohen has no shortage of bad habits. As his wives, we’ve been trying to lead him in the correct direction. Perhaps, to other eyes, our actions and decisions seem incomprehensible, but we hope you can understand us.”

“I need to ask.” Dior looked at her laps, “Do you all love him?”

“Yes.” Flynn answered, “There’s no question about that.”

“Then I think I can understand you all.” Dior raised her calm eyes to face Flynn, “Sisters, I feel your deep affection for Cohen developed in the past decade. Likewise, I’ve been his wife for 2 years and love is true. For me, Cohen is the only man I fell for. I’m willing to do anything for his love.”

“That is the best result we were hoping.” Flynn took Dior’s hands, said softly, “Well then, let us tell you our secrets…”

Hence the conversation began. Lily, Dior’s maiden, was out by the door. She heard Dior Merlin’s constant exclamations, question voices while Arnold was doing funny flips, catching tail.

The wedding began at noon.

Since the royal government merely established its political system, no one within the system was getting paid. Therefore the new minister has made it clear that no presents were going to be accepted during the wedding. Hence a majority of the guests offered their sincere congratulations instead.

Amongst all guests, Steve Lorenzo’s congratulation was the characteristic of all. As the Master of the Royal Academy and Superintendent of Army Discipline, his 25-page congratulation paper turned into a report for the king on page 2, then a criticizing letter on page 9.

Lorenzo’s congratulation was also the only one being copied and recorded by the City Hall.

Led by Master Lorenzo, the king’s wedding became very practical thereafter. Though holding wine goblets, both civil officials and alien chiefs gathered in small groups conversing about the war and politics. Soon secretaries moved office desks into the garden so that they can write down council orders freshly issued. Likewise, military officers also gathered in groups of 2 or more drawing on earth with twigs, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 opposing armies, inquiring about possible supply solutions.

Compared with the guests, the most wedding-ready individual would be the beautiful bride.

It should be every girl’s beautiful dream to one day become the bride of the man she fell love for. Ms. Dior Merlin was no exception.

As Winper’s most successful smuggler, Dior has found her the most stunning and appropriate gown. She’s finally put on the set of jewelry from her mother.

Walking hand in hand with her father who’s put his lousy habits behind, Dior Merlin entered the wedding hall. Her gorgeous appearance and graceful bearing instantly won everyone’s attention.

Cohen Kheda was also in his wedding suit. He was at the center of the hall to welcome his bride. This very moment marked the second thing which all Dark City’s residents relished in the future: Cohen’s father-in-law, the new earl, Iva Merlin wouldn’t let go of the bride. What was more, he started gazing at his son-in-law with bizarre eyes of hatred.

There were different versions of what happened next: some said the groom broken open the two; others said the bride had to stamp his father’s feet to make him let go of her. Either way, Earl Iva Merlin did not hold back the wedding process.

Without a priest, the duty to host the ceremony fell on the most powerful empire official(Cohen’s father) and the master of the Royal Academy. As they announced Cohen Kheda and Dior Merlin man and wife, the relationship was recorded by the City Hall, making Dior Merlin one of the four wives of the Swabian king.

Next, the husband kissed his wife.

Shortly after, the minister declared the 3 Dark City Hall’s supervisors rose in rank to become Internal Superintendents of the Empire. In the meantime, Dior Merlin’s name was added to be the 4th ISE. All 4 ISEs had high powers. Their jobs were to assist the minister with his political decisions as well as supervising all internal affairs.

Till this moment, the wedding has turned into a rare political party where all high commands of the empire, both courtiers and military were present. Even the bride and the groom joined the discussion. From day till it was completely dark, the wedding saw 27 new decrees issued, 25 military decisions made and countless consensus or determinations.

In short, it was a peculiar wedding.

During the ceremony, several teams of riders, led by the empire’s General Chief of Staff: Major Carlos, Commander of the 2nd Legion: Brigadier Wilder and Commander of the 3rd Legion: Brigadier Moya, were galloping from all major roads towards Dark City.

Whenever the General Chief of Staff passed a checkpoint, he gave the same order: 

Intelligence shows a spy has disguised as the king. He’s stolen a critical piece of information from Dark City. All checkpoints are to be sealed immediately. All hands must apprehend anyone who claims he is King Cohen Kheda himself. He must be taken ALIVE!

Brigadier Wilder and Moya issued the same order for all checkpoints on their ways.

These three clever men have spent most of their time with Cohen Kheda in the past years. So they were the only ones who have foreseen the obvious problem before Cohen’s parents and 4 wives did.

(Dark City, the viceroy’s mansion)

As the guests took their leave, Cohen said good-night to his patients and recessed to his wedding room to rest. As he passed the garden, he even kissed good-night to Flynn. All seemed normal.

The wedding chamber was lit by soft magic light, Dior Merlin has all changed, ready for her husband.

After knocking on the door, Cohen Kheda entered. He told Malphite and the rest of the guards to rest as well before asking them to accompany him to the army tomorrow.

Lily was about to leave the room with Arnold in her arms. She’s prepared everything needed for the night.

“Lily, let Arnold stay here. I miss him.” Cohen took over his pet, “Rest well. Thank you for your effort.”

“Very well, Young Lord.”

Cohen has insisted on letting Lily address him like the old days.

Dior chuckled and helped Cohen took off his suit.

“Has Flynn told you?” Cohen asked, “I’m surprised they let me into your room.”

Dior blushed, she whispered, “Flynn said your promise does not apply to me.”

“So that’s your little meeting about.” Cohen gave a rare smile, “You had my heart hanged for a moment.”

“Cohen, they’re all worried about you. Promise me you’ll pull yourself together!” Dior said gently, “We’re all trying extra had for your sake.”

“I know…” Cohen nodded, then he pulled Dior in his arms, “Here, I wanna see my girl.”

Their eyes contacted. Next Dior Merlin blushed so bad that she instinctively closed her eyes.

“Dior, I need you to know that I love you so much.” Cohen’s hand touched over his wife’s face, “I’m very happy to have you as my wife.”

“Me… too…” Dior replied. She could hear her heart beating.

“Very often I get over my head. From time to time, I do stupid things.” Cohen whispered, “Even so, you’ll forgive me, right?”

“I… forgive you.”

“Thank you, my love.”

What struck Dior Merlin next was not a passionate kiss.

Cohen’s left index finger landed on Dior’s forehead before he chanted a solemn spell.

Dior merely opened her eyes then found that she lost control of her body. She could not even make a sound.

There were questions in her eyes.

Cohen put Dior on the bed then fetched several letters.

“Dior, listen to me.” Cohen said as he put the letters one by one beside his wife, “This is for father, this is for my mother. These are for the girls. The orders for IA and the corps are in this envelope. Give the last one to the General Chief of Staff.”

Having said that, Cohen undressed. He’s found a suit of guards’ armor from god-knows-where.

“Arnold, transform now. Put on my suit.”

As 2 Cohen Kheda-s stood in the room. Dior welled her eyes.

“Arnold, after I left, listen to Dior, every word. She is your master.” Cohen fixed the black chest plate on Armold’s body, “Before the rest of the court, you are me. Understand?”

“Understood, master.”

“Now help me get out.”

Before Cohen reached for the door, he paused. Then returned to the bedside.

“This is for you.” Cohen leaned down, “A husband’s kiss.”

Dior’s tears burst out.

Since Fischer’s abduction, the viceroy’s mansion has tripled its security. Garrisons in the city doubled as well. But the king sending a duty officer who bore ‘top-secret mission’ out of the city was not a problem.

The duty officer gained a horse without any drawbacks. He went all the way out of the city gate with the passport signed by Cohen himself.

Outside the city was an endless field of darkness. Cohen avoided the main road and headed to the first checkpoint along a different path. Though the path was guarded but Cohen’s adventure was not hindered with the help of the king’s passport.

However, he met the real problem at a tiny slip.

Cohen saw a burly figure and more shadows in the middle of the road. They seemed to be waiting here for quite a while.

Cohen urged his horse forward, thinking about his excuse.

The tall figure stepped ahead as Cohen did.

“Commander, you’re late.” A booming yet firm voice said, “We’ve been waiting for you.”

“Hm, I told you to rest.” Said Cohen, “What’s the IGT doing here, Malphite?”

“The IGT goes where the commander goes.” Malphite went one more step forward, “We’re not letting our commander face danger before we die.”

“So you’re coming with me not the other way around?” Malphite surprised Cohen, “Are you?”

“We’re not IA, nor military. We’re just your guards.” Malphite repeated, “We are where you are.”

“Well then.” Cohen laughed, “Let’s go.”

“Yes, sir.” Malphite saluted then ordered, “All hands mount your horses. We’re moving out.”

The orc mounted his unique ride and began advancing shoulder to shoulder with Cohen.

Cohen asked, “How many men did you bring?”

“Six squadrons, all the finest men.” The orc replied, “You told me you want company tomorrow. So a prior-inspection made our excuse.”

“How did you guess me?” Cohen asked.

“Every red-blooded man would pull that off.” Malphite replied, “Not a hard guess.”

Cohen quietly repeated ‘red-blooded man’ before he went silent.

“We’re going to the border.” At the edge of the slip, Cohen told Malphite, “Keep up the speed.”

When it was grey dawn, the General Chief of Staff arrived down the gate of Dark City. He’s been traveling for days. All weary, anxious, this calm officer was so irritable today that he nearly whipped the petty officer who failed to quickly open the gate.

But all the hardship in the world would not change him. Carlos didn’t make a noise however distraught he was. He even managed to enter the viceroy’s mansion through the back door.

It must be god’s work that Carlos was stopped by a woman who dared to ignore his rank and title.

This woman happened to be the new director of the inner mansion: Lucy.

This lady, followed by 4 maidens, had an eternal smile that kept everyone at a distance. They were the ones who prevented Carlos from entering the yard where the king rested with his wife last night.

“This is not the army, nor IA. It is the king’s inner court.” Lucy said softly, “Officer, His Majesty has been tired after work. Let him sleep please.”

“I have urgent business.” Carlos said with his dry lips.

“You should find your way to the minister.” Said Lucy, “No one enters here save for His Majesty’s 2 parents and 4 wives.”

“Was Commander Cohen outside last night?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“You’ll be sorry!” First time Carlos threatened someone with his fists waving in the air, “YOU WILL!”

Then he darted to the minister’s like a swirl.

As Minister Visual Kheda brought Carlos back to the yard, Lucy was confronted by 2 more generals at the door.

But this time, Major Carlos had a new perspective for this delicate lady because Brigadier Wilder’s carrying blade was inches away from Lucy’s blond neck skin. Even a brave army man could not stay as calm under a situation like this.

Visual Kheda entered Cohen’s chamber leaving everyone else outside. Later on, he exited the chamber followed by Dior Merlin and ‘Cohen’ who wore casual clothes.

All 3 generals were relieved. Three hanged hearts finally rested.

Visual Kheda was both amused and annoyed by the three.

“The three of you need to mind your behavior!” The minister scolded, “When can you stop being so reckless. If you force yourselves in here, god knows what punishment Cohen is going to give you! For once can you be prudent on the first day of the king’s wedding!”

“We apologize.” All three said together. The sorry was especially true for Carlos because he found it hard to face Director Lucy’s eyes.

“Is everything going smoothly on the frontline?” Visual asked casually after he’s done scolding the three.

“The rebels won’t be able to organize any large-scale attacks.” Carlos quickly replied, “Their recent loss will take them at least 90 days to recover.”

“Good. I have something for you since you’re all here together. You three must be tired after riding all the way here. Dine with me.” The minister gathered Wilder, Moya, and Carlos, “Let’s go. Cohen will meet you at noon.”

The three obediently followed.

Hands clasped behind, Visual Kheda walked while a few letters were in his hand.

This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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