Rydia and Edge Part 4
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Part 4 The marriage of a caller and a king
"I knew they'd get you sooner or later," Cid grinned, "our Cecil isn't as soft and patient as he seems."
"I just didn't want the next king of Baron to carry the same name as an eccentric mechanic I know," Cecil said with a friendly sneer.
"You're all crazy," Edge sighed and rolled his eyes.
Rydia squeezed his waist.
"And that comes from your mouth, mister attack-Rubicant-singlehanded-and-didn't-want-any-help?" she smirked.
"Oh, that hurt!" Edge groaned and laughed with his friends.
He looked at Cecil and innocently asked:
"Say, did you find something in your bed last night?"
"No, I thought you changed your mind or couldn't get past Rosa," Cecil said.
Edge smacked his forehead.
"Oh dear, I guess he crawled away... and I had such a hard time concentrating on climbing the tower after that evening!"
Everyone stared at him until he began to laugh again, making it clear that he really was joking.
Rydia and Edge went onboard the airship.
"Have a safe journey!" Yang called, making the others yell similar things and wave.
"Thanks," Rydia shouted back, "let's just hope that the winds are on our side, so that we make it all the way before Edge explodes of impatience!"
"Don't worry about the winds," Valvalis smiled, "they'll be gentle, trust me!"
The airship's engine began to roar, and it left the field. The main passengers and their friends on the ground waved at each other until they all were out of sight.
Down in the grass Valvalis mumbled a prayer to the powers of the Wind. Then she cup her hands and gently blew on her palms. Up in the sky a careful wind began to blow in the right direction, increasing the airship's speed.
"I've still got the touch," Valvalis smiled as she and the other earthbound ones watched the distant vehicle soar through the sky, towards the awaiting Eblan.
"The touch is the last thing you've lost," Kain grinned and winked at her with one eye.
"I guess you know best in that matter," Cecil said and thumped the dragoon's back with a chuckle.
"And when are you going to force them into marriage, pal?" Palom grinned, absentmindedly ducking.
"Don't think I need to..." Cecil smiled as Valvalis laughing put her arm over Kain's shoulders.
Up on the airship Rydia and Edge stood together, watching the sky. They had put on thick cloaks that people often preferred to wear when on airships, to protect against the cold.
"Will your people accept me?" Rydia suddenly said.
Edge gently squeezed her shoulders.
"Don't worry, sweetness," he said, "you're not the first nob to come from another country."
She took a deep breath and released it slowly.
"I'm not fit to be a regular queen, you know," she muttered.
"I'm no regular king either. Hey, don't worry about anything, it'll be fine. After my advisors stop making fun of me for quitting bachelorhood."
He rolled his eyes. Rydia smiled and kissed his cheek.
"I'm sure it will be great," she said.
He looked at her with rising eyebrows and a familiar glistening of mischief in his eyes.
"Say, I had trouble sleeping last night," he innocently said, "I felt lonely. Maybe I should sneak into your room tonight so that I can get some... rest."
Rydia chuckled and elbowed him gently, playful.
"You wish," she grinned and winked with one eye.
He laughed and pulled her into a hug.
"Don't ever change, Rydia," he smiled, "I love you just like that."
Then he cleared his throat and looked down into her eyes.
"However," he thoughtfully said, "I'd be happy if you would be a little more reasonable on the wedding night."
"We'll see about that in time," Rydia said, teasingly.
"You're a cruel, cruel woman..."
As the airship landed, it had been spotted long ago by a ninja on the watch upon one of the towers. Guessing correctly, the chancellor had assembled the royal guard and dragged the five members of the high council from their recent wrestling to meet the returning king. After all, Baron was still the only country with airships (even though that matter was being discussed by the befriended kings), and king Edge was the only one who was expected.
They were all waiting as the airship was parked in the field west of the growing town and rebuilding castle.
"Was it a nice wedding, Your Majesty?" the trade advisor, Leran, called.
"Behave yourself!" the head of foreign questions, Tei, snapped and glared at her colleague, "can't you ever grow up?"
Edge had always thought that the two of them reminded of himself and Rydia...
"Yes, it was very nice indeed," Edge called back as a worker of the airship threw down the entrance ladder.
"Good that You made it back so soon, Your Majesty," the chancellor called, "we have so many things to take care of, as You know. Like the need for You to pick..."
He fell silent, and his jaw dropped as Edge walked down the gangway with his arm around Rydia's shoulders and her arm around his waist. The advisors and ninjas weren't exactly less surprised.
"We've got one problem covered, chancellor," Edge calmly said, "this is Rydia, future queen of Eblan."
Rydia felt a warm tickling in her stomach as he said that, not because of the title but his sealing of her destiny as his wife. She felt a great relief as all the new worries that had begun to grow inside of her flew away, as simple as that.
"Good gods," the chancellor gasped, "king Cecil actually did it?!"
"Yes, he did," Edge sighed and stepped down in the grass.
"Oh, how wonderful!"
The chancellor rushed closer and bowed to Rydia, almost making her blush.
"You remove a stone from my heart, my lady!" the old man happily said.
He took a closer look at her.
"Wait, your face seem familiar..." he thoughtfully said.
"I was with king Cecil in the Elbanian caves, remember?" Rydia reminded him.
"Oh yes, that's right!" the chancellor smiled, "dear, dear, we'll have to start preparing a wedding immediately..."
"Your Majesty!" the captain of the airship called down, "my liege king Cecil said that we could bring invitations to Your royal friends. We'll wait here until You've set a date."
"Thank you," Edge smiled, "do come with us to the castle. We're still rebuilding, but we've got some coziness fixed up..."
He had to let go of Rydia so that she could greet his advisors. Their relief was shining enough to almost be blinding.
When she finally could return to her love the whole crowd began to walk into town. As king Edge was spotted with a woman dearly by his side, every man and woman dropped the hammers, nails and planks and ran out on the main street to stare a while before starting to cheer. They were very happy to see that they finally would get rid of at least one worry for the throne.
"One month?" Edge choked, "out of the question! Three weeks is my limit, and I'd really like to see it be done even faster!"
"I guess we could make it in three weeks," the chancellor happily said, "we could fix up the last of the castle if we really want to... and of course we must put our finest tailor to work on lady Rydia's dress tomorrow already..."
"Please!" Leran, who also worked partly as the king's financial manager, moaned, "don't overdo it too much...!"
"You bet we will," general Kardor smirked, "we'll make this the wedding of the century!"
Leran groaned, but everybody knew that he'd pay everything by himself to see his king wedded. All of them would.
The chancellor and the advisors went into a wild discussion of what should be done first, second, third and so on.
"'Lady Rydia'?" the caller mumbled to Edge, "it gives me the creeps!"
"Oh, just enjoy it while it lasts," he smirked, "you'll be 'Your Majesty' soon enough."
"I haven't had a dress since I was that little kid that fell off the ship and into Leviathan's care..."
"It's just once," Edge said, calming, "you'll have the clothes you want before and after the wedding."
He kissed her forehead.
"And you'll be the most gorgeous woman on the face of the earth."
"And what will you be?" Rydia said with a sneer, "plain proper?"
They grinned at each other. She smiled and swiftly touched his cheek with her lips.
"No, you'll look great, Edge. I'm certain of that."
"Thanks a lot."
Rydia looked up at the rest of the room and frowned.
"Say, does the members of you council always throw pencils at each other in the middle of every meeting?"
"No, not if they've got bigger things to throw instead," Edge sighed, "would you be a dear and cool them down a little?"
"Of course," Rydia grinned and closed her eyes, "powers of Water, I bid of thee..."
That following moment would bring forth laughter for the rest of the eternity.
Later on, in the evening, Edge and Rydia finally got a moment's rest alone, away from all the commotion. Eblan had gone mad in joy, and the chancellor and his companions hadn't given the king and "lady" a calm moment ever since they had arrived in the morning.
Rydia had gotten a room, in the northeastern wing of the castle. She and Edge had just arrived there and were trying to regain their breath after the hard day.
"I have no idea how they fixed up this room so fast," Edge said and leaned back in the sofa, "last time I saw it, it was a storeroom for bricks."
It was impossible to tell that now. Rydia was by no means used to that kind of luxury.
"Isn't it a bit... too much?" she carefully said, looking at the massive tapestries that covered the walls.
They carried very fine artworks, small embroideries that told long stories if you had time and was tall enough to "read" them from the beginning.
On the floor was a thick red carpet to keep the cold of the stone floor away. And the furniture... well, it was a big room, but for all the gods' sake, there was enough stuff for a normal house! Just the size of the bed was almost laughable.
And there were flowers almost everywhere. Not that Rydia had anything against flowers. But there were hardly an empty space, and somehow her crystallized bouquet seemed to disappear in the crowd. Therefore she had placed it on the middle of the carpet, where it could be seen and never forgotten. That was the most precious possession she'd ever owned, at it should be paid the respect it had earned.
"It's my council," Edge sighed, "they're so happy I've finally found my bride that they forget their sense of moderation."
My bride... what wonderful words.
'And that's me,' Rydia thought, allowing herself to be a little childish inside of her mind, 'I'm his bride. He's my bridegroom.'
"Oh, there's nothing wrong with the room," she said, "it's just that... it's a little too much for me."
"No, no," Edge smiled, "nothing would be too much in compare to you."
She wrinkled her nose in a funny way.
"Was that a compliment or an insult?"
"I'll leave it to yourself to judge that, sweetcheeks," he said.
"Pha!" she snorted and nudged him with her elbow, "tell me the truth; as usual you have no idea what you're talking about."
His arms surrounded her.
"Now that wasn't nice at all!" he grinned, "come on, think of something kind to say about me, or else!"
"Gosh, you really scare me!" Rydia laughed.
"Go on," Edge said and frowned as he tried not to laugh, "there must be a softer end of that sharp tongue of yours."
He couldn't fight back a laugh as Rydia thoughtfully frowned.
"Well," she finally said, "you're pretty good at slaying evil monsters..."
"'Pretty good'?" he gasped, trying to sound hurt.
Rydia smiled and encircled his neck with her arms.
"No really," she softly said, "you'll make a great father, love."
"Now that was nice said..."
Edge touched her lips with his own, only as smooth as a breath, softly teasing.
"I don't know how much we'll be able to see each other alone tomorrow and the following days," he said in a low voice, "there'll be a thousand things to attend to."
"We'll survive," Rydia smiled, encouraging, "even though it might be harder than it was to walk through the moon."
"Good grief, I fear you're right..."
"No, the only dress I want is the one for the wedding," Rydia repeated, "I'm not a doll."
"But my lady..." the tailor sighed.
"No, sir. I don't want to waste your time."
Rydia shook her head.
"I wouldn't want to wear any dresses even if I had them. I like the kind of clothing that I'm wearing now. Is it absolutely necessary to make fairytale cupcakes for me? I don't feel I need that."
The tailor rubbed his forehead.
"My lady isn't making this easy for me..." he sighed, "dresses are so much simpler."
"It's simple that I like," Rydia explained, "I'm not fit for flounces, jewelry and knickknacks."
"You do understand that your choose of clothing will be the leading star for the aristocrats? This will be the end of the jewel industry of this country..."
It took quite some time before they reached an agreement. Rydia would accept a few dresses for special occasions, and the tailor agreed to make clothes similar to her usual garments too.
Edge just passed her by a few times during the day, helplessly smiling, surrounded by different people who all tried to yell louder than all the others to be heard by the king. He had a really hard time, but managed to escape even that evening.
"You don't look too good," queen Asura said as he more or less stumbled into Rydia's room.
"Oh, good evening Your Majesty."
The many headed esper sat on the carpet before Rydia, who stood up and walked over to Edge to give him some support getting to the sofa. He was exhausted.
"I've been an unmarried king for two months," he grumbled, "as they are acting one could think that it was at least twenty years..."
"Holy powers of the world, I bid of thee to help this man regain his strength..." Asura kindly chanted.
Edge felt much better after that treatment.
"What bring the queen of espers to this crumbled land?" he asked, grateful.
"Just to hear the good news and receive an invitation," the esper smiled, "well, a few invitations..."
Edge's eyebrows went up.
"Please don't tell me you invited every esper...?"
"Of course not," Rydia chuckled, "only Leviathan and Asura will come as they are, so to speak. I'll summon the other's spirits."
"Thank God... I'm having headache enough about how all the human guests will be able to attend the ceremony, the throne room was never big enough for this kind of crowd..."
"And the great hall on the second floor is hopelessly rebuilt, isn't it?" Rydia said, remembering the old layout and putting it beside what she had seen as she had been walking around a little during the day.
"Well, my head is overdone for today. We'll think about something tomorrow..."
"Why don't we have it outside in the field?" Rydia said.
He looked stupidly at her for a moment. Then he laughed and leaned back.
"Too much thinking isn't healthy; I'm a living proof of that, sweetcheeks. It was too obvious..."
"I'll see you soon, then, my friends," Asura smiled and disappeared.
Edge smiled tiredly as Rydia placed a comforting kiss on his cheek.
"Nothing about my day," he said, "tell me about yours."
"I wrestled a jeweler, a tailor and a fashion agent. All in the same body," she sighed.
"Ah, yes. Him. The chancellor seem to like him, though, he's been the royal tailor for a very long time."
"I felt an urge to use my whip in the end," Rydia said and rolled her eyes.
"Oh, be gentle about him," Edge laughed, "he's a hardworking man. Not that I respect him either, but anyhow..."
They looked at each other and smiled broadly.
Yes, it really was harder than walking down to the core of the moon. But somehow, one week passed by, followed by a second and a third.
Rydia stared at herself in the mirror.
"But I'll ruin it!" she said, panicking.
"Lady, please be gentle with my poor heart..." the tailor sighed.
But he smiled. This was certainly not the right day for being brought down because of somebody else's wedding nerves. Especially not her nerves.
"Here, you need these too," he said and held forth a couple of long, white gloves.
Rydia took them, hesitating, and carefully put them on with a little help from Rosa.
"Good gods, this isn't for me..." the bride weakly said as she turned to the mirror again.
Rosa only smiled, knowing.
"Ah," the tailor kindly said, "they always say something like that... don't worry, my lady. His Majesty doesn't feel much braver either for the moment, I assure you. Now sit down, we'll still have to work on your hair."
Rydia looked at him with disbelief.
"What, you're a hairdresser too?" she said.
"No, that's one thing I leave to others," he smiled.
He went to the door and opened it for a couple of Eblanian women.
"My best wishes, my lady," the tailor smiled, "I will see you later on."
"Thank you for everything," Rydia said, despite their argues a while ago.
"My pleasure, my lady. I live for serving royalty like in these fine moments."
And he was gone.
"Now then," one of the women kindly said, "for your hair, we'll need something not too complicated but charming. We have understood that, my lady. Don't you worry about us making a mess."
"Thanks..." Rydia mumbled, hoping that her inner tension didn't spoil her voice totally.
She hadn't the mind to judge the sound of herself for the moment.
'They'll all be staring at me!' she thought, panicking, 'good grief, I'll make a fool of myself!'
'No,' that hidden part of her mind said, 'everything will be perfect. You've been fighting to save the world, faced dragons and worse. What's to fear, caller Rydia? Besides, Edge will be there.'
'Yes, that's right...' Rydia thought and managed to relax a little.
They had hardly been able to see each other for the last week, and as all young, new lovers know, that's plain torture. Rydia would have felt a lot better if she and Edge had had some time to talk and talk themselves through the worst tension last evening.
It felt nice to have Rosa there for some encouraging smiles and words, too. Rydia wasn't sure if she had been able to walk if the queen hadn't been there.
But she wondered where Asura and Leviathan had gone...
Meanwhile, the tailor was facing his next piece of work. But at least he had some more support this time.
"Edge, if you don't stop walking around I'll hit you in the back of your head with a chair," Cecil sighed.
"Don't tell me you weren't about to die standing before your own wedding!" Edge grumbled and kept walking, "chancellor, you are sure where the rings are, right?"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the old man patiently said for the seventh time, "they're right here on the pillow."
Edge glanced at the two small, glistening circles on the red pillow and then shuddered, looking away.
"What, fearing the bond of marriage?" Cecil kindly smirked.
"Only makes me think about the ceremony..." Edge muttered.
"Your Majesty, please stand still!" the tailor said.
Edge obeyed for enough time for the needle man to put the crown straight in place.
"As You are walking around," the tailor sighed, "an accident might as well occur. It wouldn't be nice if You dropped the crown, now would it?"
"Please don't feed me with even more worries, please!" Edge groaned and began to walk again.
He stopped for a moment and tried to fix the crown's position.
"Good grief, I haven't worn this stupid thing since that hasty crowning about three months ago," he sighed, "it's nothing to get used to..."
The tailor went over to him and corrected the artifact's placement again.
"There, my lady," the taller woman said in the other room, "we hope you like it."
They secured the tiara and hung the thin veil over her face. Rydia stared at herself in the mirror once more.
"Oh gods..." she whispered and fumbled with her gloved fingers after Rosa's hand.
The white dress was close-fitting, perfect only for her. It was simple, as she had made absolutely clear to the tailor. The smooth cloth was like a second skin, the only thing that made a difference was a belt of five strings of pearls around her waist, tactically placed to mark her fine figure. Also, from her shoulders went a thin flounce as a border over her chest. The low line of the cloth made Rydia a bit nervous, she wasn't used to having the crag below her collarbones. Alright, nothing was really left unveiled, but it was close enough. Rosa had assured Rydia that her feelings in that matter were overrated.
Some of the hair on the sides of her head had been turned into fine pigtails with silk ribbons that joined at the back of her head, leaving what looked almost like an aureole encircling a green flow of hair that seemed to be flooding from the thin silver tiara.
"But I'll trample on the skirt..." Rydia weakly mumbled.
"You'll be fine," Rosa assured her, "now come on."
"What, already?" the bride whispered.
"Everyone's waiting for you, nobody else," Rosa smiled, "wait here, I'll tell the men and get Edward."
Eblanian tradition was that the one to bring the bride to the altar should be a dear friend of either her or the bridegroom, and he should preferably be unmarried (in case something should happen to the original man of the day, somebody had to fill in, Edge had explained with a laugh). So Cecil wasn't a candidate, though he would have fit well into the friendly part. Yang was to be left out too. And Leviathan. And Cid. Leaving Kain and Edward. But the dragoon had said that if something happened to Edge, then Valvalis would kill her fiancÚ. So it had been the king of Damcyan who got the honor.
Rydia fought back a wish to chew on her nails as Rosa left the room.
"My lady," the shorter woman kindly said and offered the bride a bouquet of flowers.
"Thank you..." Rydia mumbled and took the flowers.
Red and white roses were surrounded by some kind of tiny, golden flowers which fell like waterfalls between the greater petals, held together on long blades. Holding the bouquet, her thoughts began to spin again.
Good grief, she hadn't even gotten used to "my lady", and now she would be "Your Majesty"?!
Calm down, calm down... it'll be alright. Good gods...
Breathe, for heaven's sake!
'Don't think so much about the title and all that,' the hidden part of her kindly told her, 'it's irrelevant. You won't be "Your Majesty", you'll be Edge's wife.'
Rydia took a deep breath and held it for a moment.
Yes, Edge's wife. That felt better.
She slowly released her breath.
There was a knock on the door.
"Rydia, are you ready?" Edward's soft, kind voice said.
The two women hurried over to the door and opened it. The king of Damcyan was dressed in a softly blue cloak, a pair of matching pants and a white shirt. He smiled warmly as he saw Rydia, but despite her nerves she spotted the small glistening of sadness in his eyes. He had never got his beloved bride...
Rydia made it over the floor, carried by sheer compassion. She put her hand on Edward's arm, comforting. They looked at each other, and the blond king smiled.
"Waste no worries for me, my dear friend," he said, "Anna is watching me."
He took her hand from his arm.
"Edge has found a true treasure, and you too, my friend," he warmly said, "I hope that the two of you will be very happy together."
"Thank you, Edward," Rydia said and managed to smile even though her legs didn't feel to steady.
They began walking down the corridor, to the main castle. The four ninjas that had waited in the long room followed the two, set to protect the bride of their king. Their white uniforms with silver edges and belts was to honor this very special day.
Edge had only been a bachelor king for two months before he picked his queen, but as he had said, the whole country acted as if it had been twenty years. On the other hand, his people had known his lifestyle long before he became the ruler, so maybe the almost crazy festival feeling was understandable.
In the end of the corridor, Asura and Leviathan awaited. So far they were in their human forms.
"You look simply wonderful, Rydia," the queen warmly said, "oh, and don't forget the espers."
"Of course not," the bride smiled and closed her eyes, "I call your spirits, my dear friends..."
Hundreds of transparent monsters suddenly filled the air above her and Edward.
"Oh, Rydia!" most of them shouted and dived.
Leviathan raised his hands to calm his subjects as all of them tried to embrace and wish Rydia luck at the same time.
"Now, now," the king kindly said, "be careful with her. Now, remember what we made up?"
"What have you planned?" Rydia asked, stroking the back of a chocobo who only was there partly.
"You'll see," Bahamut said with a kind smile despite his jaws, "we would never let you into marriage without thinking about some kind of present to show our respect for you, my young ally."
Edge glanced nervously towards the castle. The whole population of Eblan was assembled in the field, and the feeling of excited expectation almost made the air sparkle.
The king himself stood in the end of an aisle that the guests formed simply by not taking up that space. A long, red carpet was put on the ground there to mark the place to walk.
Everyone was waiting. Cecil and Kain was standing beside the nervous king, giving him silent support as his friends. The high council, the chancellor and the vicar were of course also in the center of the great, waiting crowd.
Edge vaguely noted that Kain looked a bit lonely without Valvalis, but he hadn't the nerves to ponder that matter closely.
"What's taking so long?" he muttered.
"Edge, we just got here ourselves," Cecil kindly pointed out.
The king just sighed and once again checked that the chancellor held the pillow with the rings, and that a servant stood behind him with the queen's crown. To prevent total war, Edge had decided to not let any member of the high council hold the artifact. After telling his advisors that, he had been forced to duck. At least Leran and the other four people had agreed in something for once...
Edge froze as he saw four men in white clothes move down the main street.
"I see the espers have been thinking of something special for their Rydia," Cecil softly said as he saw that the king and queen of summoned monsters followed the ninjas.
If transformation could be done with gracefulness, Asura and Leviathan had mastered it. The four ninjas respectfully backed off for the majestic monsters as they had passed the last houses.
"Our blessings, country of Eblan," Leviathan announced with a kindly roaring voice which everyone in the field heard, "we espers now leave our beloved Rydia in your care."
With that, he and Asura placed themselves on both sides of the road that continued out in the field. They didn't give any signal, yet their subjects knew that it was time.
From out of the castle walls transparent monsters danced, floating through the air. Even the muscular titans showed proof of surprising slender as they moved forwards above the roofs of the city.
Leviathan nodded, and all at the same time all the espers moved out to form a gigantic circle above the town of Eblan. Asura drew her back her hands and then threw them upwards, sending a stream of glistening, golden stars towards her friends. As the stars approached all of the many mist dragons left their places and dove into the center of the circle, turning into mist. Their dissolved bodies floated together, filling the ring of friendly monsters with a softly white mass, all kept within the circle. The stars that Asura had sent up spread over the work of art, making the mist sparkle gently.
The king of espers made a twisting movement with his own body, sending a second wave of stars. These were softly green, however, and dyed the mist so that it turned from white into Rydia's color.
Without a sound Odin materialized between the king and queen. His horse took a few steps on the ground, then it leaped into the sky and galloped straight upwards, towards the espers' creation. The old king of Baron pulled out his sword as he reached above the highest monsters, and the horse dived.
Like a green silk curtain the mist was cut in two pieces, and Bahamut flew through it with majestic flaps of his great wings. The mist dragons regain their form and color, dancing away from their god as all the other monsters. Asura's stars fell like golden raindrops around Bahamut as he landed before the stunned guests and knelt, placing his front, only half transparent claw-feet on the ground. Rydia and Edward rose from their seating in the dragon's grip and stepped down in the grass.
Edge tried like mad to see Rydia, but his eyes couldn't work on such a distance. He bit his lip, trying to keep patient.
It felt as an eternity as she walked over the long carpet, allowing Edward to bring her towards Edge. Rydia could only look forward, towards him. She didn't even hear the happy whispering and soft gasps from the guests that surrounded her.
The silk veil didn't make it easier for her to see; it wasn't before she almost faced Edge as she could watch him properly. How could he look so calm?
No matter what they had called each other during their friendly argues, what she had called him; he was a handsome man. Now he was dressed mainly in white, as Cecil had been at his and Rosa's wedding all that time ago. There were golden and silvery embroideries on the sleeves of his shirt and on the white cloak which rested over his back, almost touching the ground behind him. Around his waist was a belt made of golden threads. As usual two thick earrings dangled from his ears. On his head was the crown of the king of Eblan. It wasn't exactly excessive; a golden circle with a few blue jewels. The ninja people wasn't much for knickknacks when it came to the core of their hearts.
"I wish you all good, my friends," Edward warmly said and backed off.
Rydia put her free, gloved hand in Edge's palm. To her surprise her movement wasn't trembling at all. She looked up through the thin cloth, into his warm, loving eyes.
Edge held her smaller hands between his own, unable to remove his eyes from her even if he had wanted to. How could she look so calm?
She was stunning. Beautiful wasn't the right word. The flowers in her hand made a soft difference against the white dress. And those eyes, that fine face and...
"Hey, the vicar!" Cecil hissed from the corner of his mouth.
Oh. Right. Almost forgot.
Edge and Rydia turned to the vicar, who begun to talk.
"May this happy day be blessed, when His Majesty king Edge join his life with caller Rydia. May all gods smile upon these two and give them their best wishes..."
Edge didn't listen this time either, turning his head as much as he dared towards Rydia. She looked back and smiled through the silk veil, a little nervously. He returned the same kind of smile and squeezed her hand carefully. She squeezed back, smiling again.
I love you.
"Your Majesty king Edge, do you swear by your soul and life that you will stand by caller Rydia's side, to protect and serve her, never letting her down or allow your love for her to cease for as long as both of you live?" the vicar warmly said.
"I do," Edge said, finding that his voice was surprisingly steady.
"Caller Rydia, do you swear by your soul and life that you will stand by His Majesty king Edge's side, to protect and serve him, with honor carry his children, never letting him down or allow your love for him to cease for as long as both of you live?"
"I do," Rydia said, also surprised over her own voice.
"Your Majesty, give your bride her ring, as a sign of your true love," the vicar said.
Edge took the slightly smaller ring from the pillow that the chancellor offered him, sighing silently of relief.
Carefully he threaded the ring on to her gloved finger. It seemed to glow against the cloth.
"Caller Rydia, give your bridegroom his ring, as a sign of your true love."
Rydia took the ring that was left, and Edge held up his hand.
"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride, Your Majesty."
As Edge lifted the veil to uncover Rydia's face, he did it with such caution that one could think he feared that she would disappear if he wasn't careful.
Rydia wrapped her arms around his neck as he embraced her. When their lips met, the world turned into a warm, golden stream for a moment.
Edge, you are my husband.
Rydia, you are my wife.
I love you.
The world returned as they slowly ended the kiss, moving back a little only because they knew they needed to do so for a while.
The air was filled with the held back cheers. Only a little longer...
Edge released Rydia and took the queen's crown from the pillow. It wasn't more complicated than his; the only thing was that the jewels were red instead of blue.
She sat down on one knee.
"I crown thee, queen Rydia," Edge softly said, "with you by my side, no problem will ever seem too great and no day will pass without sun."
It wasn't very heavy; hardly weighed anything at all. Now the crown rested on her head, surrounding the tiara.
Edge offered her hand, and she stood up to the cheers of the Eblanian people and her dear human and esper friends. Unbelievable enough they were able shout even louder as the newly weds' lips met again.
"How do you feel, love?" Rydia whispered.
"I don't know yet," he replied, smiling lovingly, "and you?"
"Me neither. Maybe I should throw the flowers?"
"Yeah, send someone else to his doom, sweetheart," Edge said with a chuckle.
Rydia laughed and turned to the crowd, throwing the bouquet towards the guests.
Well, it was cheating, really. But she did catch the flowers by herself...
With breathtaking grace Valvalis jumped up high above the heads of the other people, and the flowers had no chance to belong to someone else. She landed by Kain's side, grinning triumphantly. He smiled, bent forwards and whispered something in her ear. Valvalis gave a laugh and winked with one eye.
"I see we better start preparing again," Cecil sighed, "there doesn't seem to be an end of weddings nowadays..."
Edge took Rydia's hand, and laughing they hurried down the aisle, towards the town. Bahamut flapped with his wings and flew out of the way, letting them pass. He smiled at Rydia, and then he dissolved. Cheering wildly, the other espers' spirits did as their god had done.
The couple stopped for a moment by Asura and Leviathan.
"You're always welcome by us, both of you," the older queen warmly smiled and hugged Rydia carefully, "we wish you luck and happiness."
Leviathan got a kiss from the bride, on what probably was his cheek.
"Thank you for everything," Rydia said, almost with tears of joy in her eyes.
"Anything for you, my dear friend," the sea snake kindly said, "may you be happy for evermore."
"Thank you, Your Majesties," Edge said with a smile, "I'm glad to have you here."
"If I thought that Rydia really needed somebody to take care of her, I'd ask you to do it well," Leviathan smiled, "but knowing her I only ask for you to make her happy. I know you will, Your Majesty."
"I'll do my best, believe me."
Rydia took Edge's hand again, and they continued up the main street.
"I'm so happy they came..." Rydia mumbled.
"Hey, don't be sad," Edge softly said, "we'll go visit them as often as you want to."
"No, I'm not sad," she told him, "I'm just so happy..."
Edge smiled and stopped walking. As Rydia also stopped and looked questioning at him, he hurriedly bent down and picked her up, then continuing towards the castle carrying her.
"I can walk, you know," she laughed and put her arm around his neck.
"Yep," Edge grinned, "but I won't let you for a while."
Rydia looked back for a moment, at the path they had passed so far. The guests were also going into town now, ready to start the celebration which would keep up in at least four days. Due to Eblanian tradition the wedded couple only celebrated with their closest family and friends, so there wouldn't be a whole town having dinner together as it had been in Baron.
So, the dinner was eaten. Time for amusement.
"A toast to the moron who finally dared to talk to the gal!" Cid grinned.
"Oh, shut up!" everyone except the chancellor and the high council laughed, "a toast!"
The advisors and the old man just looked at Edge, as if awaiting an order to attack. But the king only stood up himself, raising his cup of wine.
"A toast to the mad scientist or whatever he is of Baron!"
"I'm a mechanic!"
Edge cleared his throat.
"And a toast to the espers' great entrance show!" he said and winked with one eye at Leviathan and Asura.
"Two toasts!" everyone agreed and raised their cups.
"We had to go up to the dwarves to practice," Leviathan sighed, once more in his human form, "there wasn't enough room in our caves."
"And the memories of your mistakes will warm our homes even if the magma should fail us, lali!" king Giott chuckled.
"Had to force everyone to turn into spirits so that they would be able to fly," Asura said and rolled her for the moment only two eyes, "and don't ask about how we got the chocobos to concentrate on our goal."
Rydia stood up.
"A toast to my husband Edge who always makes me forget how the dessert taste," she smiled.
"Aww," Cid said, "see, he's a moron, and a mean one too!"
"A toast, and shut up, Cid!" everyone laughed.
"Hey, I'm only telling the truth!" the mechanic chuckled.
"Yeah, a toast to the mechanic for that too," Rydia said.
Then Valvalis rose from her seat.
"I'd like to propose a toast to Zemus," she said and winked with one eye, "for bringing us together."
There was a few thoughtful, silent seconds before her point made it through. Then Cecil nodded.
"I agree," he said, "a toast to Zemus for bringing so much good with his evil plans."
"A toast!" everyone nodded.
Edge nudged Rydia with his shoulder.
"I think they'll survive without us now," he whispered, conspiratorial, "how about practicing a profession of mine and sneak away?"
"Won't they notice we're gone?" she said with that charming, joyful mischief glistening in her eyes.
"Not until we have left, if we do it well."
Edge winked with one eye and took her hand. Edward stood up to propose a toast to something and as everybody were looking at him, Rydia and Edge took their chance.
"It worked!" Rydia concluded, trying to laugh silently as her husband closed the door without a single sound.
"I knew it would," he grinned, "remember how I sneaked up on the monsters and stole stuff? They never noticed anything."
"That's something I've wondered about," Rydia smiled as they began hurrying down the corridor, "how come the prince of Eblan had knowledge about pickpocketing?"
"Oh, just something I learnt when I was bored..."
They passed a few ninjas on their way, who all saluted their king and new queen before hurrying on to wherever they would party. There was a very happy feeling in the air tonight, as well as a scent of expectation.
Edge showed her the way up a stair and through a short corridor, until he finally pushed a door open.
His room was much like the one that she had lived in before the wedding, but he seemed to have stopped his council from being too crazy with the luxury. He had much the same furniture, but the colors were much more cozy in Rydia's eyes; mainly softly green and blue. That was, behind all the flowers.
"When did all the vegetables get here?" Edge sighed as he closed the door.
He shrugged his shoulders, smiling, and turned all his attention to Rydia again.
"Now who would have dreamt that this would be the result when we picked you up after Rubicant beat the crap out of you?" she mumbled against his lips.
"Me, for one," Edge replied and winked with one eye, "such a pretty lady calling me an idiot, that was interesting."
"I had to tell you the truth, didn't I?"
Edge laughed and bent down to pick her up again. But this time, he threw her over his shoulder.
"Edge!" Rydia gasped, laughing.
"What?" he grinned as he walked over the carpet.
"Haven't you discovered that before? Now then, how was that about being reasonable on the wedding night?"
As careful as if she was made of glass he put her down on the bed. Rydia looked up into his eyes and gave him one of those smiles that he loved, filled with mischief.
"Oh, I don't now," she said, teasingly, "I think I'm getting a headache..."
Then she reached up and buried her fingers in his hair, making him lower his head to kiss her again.
"That's just too bad..." he whispered, moving in his arms under her back, "I guess you won't feel embarrassed about hugging me this evening, then?"
"Hey, you did remember!" she snorted.
"Of course I did," he laughed, "wouldn't forget that even if I had been in coma!"
They looked at each other and laughed.
Edge touched her forehead with his lips. Rydia closed her eyes with a small smile.
"How's the headache now?" Edge whispered, smiling softly.
"Much better," Rydia mumbled.
His lips returned to hers, this time giving her a kiss which was somehow different; tenderly painting fire on her skin. Rydia felt her heart begin to beat faster, encircled by that now familiar trembling in her chest. Now she was sure what it was, and allowed it to grow into a rising flame of desire.
"I love you," she whispered and opened her eyes.
She would be right there, with him. Nowhere else. And nobody would shut the door before her face. She was the only one that would support him whenever he needed it. He would be there by her side when she woke up in the morning, in a whole different way than he had been when they traveled together. That would be tomorrow. Now was now, with his warm hands and lips, bringing the trembling inside of her to dance, filling her.
Edge's eyes looked down into hers, and he didn't have to tell his feelings with words as he kissed her again. She was there, they were finally together. After all his longing, he could hold her and feel her arms around him. From this day on and for the rest of their lives.
To tell you the truth, this story attacked me. Where did all these pages come from?! I thought this would be much shorter...
I have no idea what makes me write romance. I don't even know if I'm good at it, or if I'm just creating another mess so sweet that it makes the reader sick. Well, if you read all the way here, I hope you found my story worth reading. I'd be glad to hear some opinions, so feel free to mail me.