Chapter 2500: The Perfect Union
The Mech Trade Association certainly had a flair for the dramatic. The Ubiquitous Force exuded such a considerable presence that not even Patriarch Reginald Cross or Matriarch Xiaphna Wodin could maintain their dominant posture.
In front of the current hegemons of human civilization, every other power was but a mere speck of dust!
When Saint Hemmington Cross was still alive and kicking, the mighty Association only paid faint attention to him. While ace pilots enjoyed an exalted status in Vicious Mountain, he was anything but unique across the entire galaxy.
As for the Hexers, their pride and confidence deflated. The MTA effectively controlled most of human space while the Hexers only clung to a portion of a very inconsequential star sector. If the female supremacists did anything to displease the mechers, they could easily be removed!
Living under this suppression, no matter how benevolent the MTA might seem, made everyone in the audience uncomfortable. While every single important wedding guest may be able to dictate the lives of billions or trillions of people back home, here they were reduced to bystanders!
Master Willix and Jovy Armalon appeared alone. Instead of exiting from a hatch like normal people, they teleported just beneath the Ubiquitous Force.
Several people among the crowd decried the waste of this move. Teleportation was a form of high technology and inaccessible to ordinary second-rate states. Not only was it difficult to build a teleportation device, it also expended an extravagant amount of energy!
Of course, the two MTA mech designers took no notice of this fact. They kept hovering above the heads of everyone without meaning to sit. They were like gods in heaven watching over the affairs of mortals.
Neither the Larkinsons nor the Wodins knew what to expect from the MTA when they planned the wedding. Fortunately, the Ubiquitous Force gradually rose up and passed through the energy shield without disturbing it. The MTA frigate halted just a short distance away, thereby continuing to exert a lot of deterrence.
Yet no one dared to issue a complaint. Even though Master Willix was just one of many senior officials within the vast Association, this time she represented her organization in its entirety!
The last of the wedding guests had arrived. Almost a hundred-thousand floating chairs crowded above the idyllic garden. Despite the arrival of so many people, there was still plenty of space available due to the size of the hexagonal platform.
No one spoke. Everyone maintained a respectful silence as they waited for the next phase of the wedding ceremony to commence.
Not just the people sitting on the floating chairs, but also others paid rapt attention to this grand occasion. In the Komodo Star Sector and beyond, trillions of people who heard about the spectacle tuned in to the broadcast.
Loyal customers of LMC mechs, mech fanatics, industrialists and even the ruling powers of several states watched the proceedings. The uncharacteristic arrival of Master Willix attracted the attention of many people, some of whom were much more powerful or prominent than the Miracle Couple!
Wasn't the MTA supposed to be neutral? According to its own rules, its members had to remain detached from local affairs. How does someone as high as a Master Mech Designer show such obvious favoritism to a pair of natives?
There must be something very special about the young lovers!
As the wedding guests and audience from afar entertained various theories, a new development took place.
A swarm of animals poured out of the double doors. A veritable army of cats sedately passed through the entrance and fanned out into the garden. The playful animals expanded in each direction. Some of them bounded across the grass like cheetahs. Others used their sharp claws to climb on top of attractive trees and towering ornaments.
"Mrew mrew mrew."
Other animals passed through the entrance as well. Dogs, lizards, turtles, birds and even more exotic-looking exobeasts all emerged and spread across the expansive garden.
Many of the animals wore collars embedded with sophisticated chips. Each of them were tame, and each of them were pets of the Larkinson Clan!
Due to their connection to the Larkinson Network, the animals possessed an extra quality. Though it wasn't apparent when they were alone, with tens of thousands of cats and other animals arriving all at once, they brought an aura that felt distinctly Larkinson!
The infusion of so much life in the garden seemed to make the entire platform alive. The grass appeared greener, the statues seemed to move and the trees gave the illusion as if they were reaching out into the stars!
A spotlight from nowhere shone into the middle of the horde of animals.
The music changed as the orchestra played a grand tune with a militaristic vibe.
The groom had arrived.
Ves, wearing his opulent red outfit, stepped forward with grace and confidence.
The animals surrounding him matched his paced, making it seem as if they were his honor guard.
At some point, he began to step into the air. Steps made of light and energy seemed to form before his path. His exquisite shoes pressed onto the illusionary surface at a steady pace. The brilliant, colorful stairs that formed in front of him and faded out of existence behind him appeared like an exclusive invitation to the groom.
It was as if he was stepping into a higher realm!
None of the animals except for one followed in his wake. Lucky, who still wore his tiny tuxedo and tail ribbon, attracted the admiration of animal lovers!
The gem cat proudly held his tail high as he hopped and floated up the steps.
Ves and Lucky soon reached high enough to pass through the aisle in the middle of the floating chairs.
The people closest to it felt the amalgamated glow of his unique attire. The pride of Zeigra tempered by the influences of other design spirits added so much weight to his presence that even people watching the broadcast felt as if Ves was special in some way!
The stairs leveled out into a seemingly-solid path made of light and fluorescent colors.
He passed by many familiar faces.
Dietrich looked enviously at Ves.
Maikel and Zanthar enthusiastically grinned at his passing.
Major Verle and many soldiers saluted him out of respect.
Vincent gave him a thumbs up while Raella raised her eyebrow in a suggestive manner.
The projections of Melinda, Benjamin and Ark genuinely wished him well.
Ranya Wodin and the other Hexer defectors showed their support in their own ways.
The older brother and sisters of Gloriana viewed him with mixed expressions.
Matriarch Xiaphna Wodin only gave him a passing glance before she returned to staring straight ahead.
So many Larkinsons and other people showed their admiration or support towards Ves. He didn't feel nervous at all. Instead, he seemed to feed off the huge amount of attention, swelling his confidence and boosting his stature to even greater heights!
Once Ves and Lucky passed by the audience the path stretched on for a bit until it reached a floating altar. They stopped and faced the crowd in silence.
Someone emerged from behind. Wearing an ornate, white Ylvainan robe, James Ylvaine floated forward with the Larkinson Mandate in his hands.
The Larkinsons and Wodins had argued a lot about who the officiant of the wedding should be. Suffice to say, a lot of shouting was involved!
The Wodins wanted the wedding to be officiated by a Priestess of the Temple of Hexism.
The Larkinsons wanted to put forward someone neutral and non-religious such as a Larkinson elder or a foreign dignitary such as King Barameuth XXIV.
Long story short, neither of them got their way. They eventually settled for a compromise in the form of the Living Prophet!
How the cult leader managed to get into consideration and snag the approval of both groups was a mystery even to Ves. At least the officiant wasn't a Hexer!
"Honored guests." James began to speak. His smooth voice passed through the ears of every person attending the wedding no matter how far they sat. "This is a happy day for everyone. The Larkinson Clan and the Wodin Dynasty shall be bound together in law and in their hearts today.Two exceptional Journeyman Mech Designers will be joining both their hearts and minds in front of witnesses."
In order to keep the ceremony as inoffensive as possible to certain groups of people, James did not speak too long. While his considerable charisma allowed him to lull even Hexers, nobody wanted the Living Prophet to steal the show.
Ves only spoke a brief remark after James welcomed the guests. While he had plenty to say, he wanted to wait until after he tied the knot in order to take advantage of the rising tide.
Right now, the wedding ceremony was still building up, so the timing wasn't right.
"Let us welcome the bride!" James announced and gestured up into the air!
The entire hexagonal platform seemed to dim. The light dimmed and cast people aside from the people at the altar into darkness.
Six light sources came online from six different corners of the hexagonal platform. The bright but not too overpowering beams shone at a shining white presence descending from above.
The same rainbow steps that brought Ves up to the altar had reappeared again. This time, the illusionary steps led the new arrival and her followers downwards from above.
It was as if a goddess descended from an unimaginably high realm.
As the bride came closer, those watching from below were able to see her in her full magnificence.
Her bridal dress was indescribable. White and bedecked with transparent hexagonal-shaped jewels, her grand dress accentuated her svelte upper body well before expanding drastically from the waist.
A humongous train of embroidered white fabric extended from the back of the dress. Its length was so stupendously long that it seemed to never end!
A procession of cherubic little girls lifted the exceptionally long train up so that it did not land on the steps.
The light beams shining on Gloriana from six directions caused the fabric of her dress to glow and the jewels embedded into it to sparkle in a brilliant manner.
A veil extended from her exquisitely-braided hair, shrouding her lovely face. Nonetheless, the audience could clearly see her proud and blissful smile.
Aside from the girls holding up her lengthy wedding dress train, Constance Wodin accompanied her as well. With her head lifted up high, she held her daughter's hand and seemed to lead her forward.
Of course, Clixie was present as well. The Rubarthan Sentinel Cat wore a beautiful red bow above her head. Just like Lucky, a ribbon had also been tied to her tail, which she held high with pride.
Just like before, the light stairs flattened out into a straight and level path through the floating chairs. Those who sat close felt an entirely different glow as the bride passed by. The unmistakingly motherly and Hexer aura radiating from her belonged to no one lese but the Superior Mother!
While the foreigners and Larkinsons merely admired Gloriana's beauty and dress, the Hexers each stood up in respect at her passage.
Since Gloriana carried the blessing of the Supreme, the Hexers had to show their due respect!
Constance eventually stopped and joined the side of Matriarch Xiaphna. Gloriana walked on until she reached the altar.
Clixie sat next to Lucky. Their tails intertwined as they looked up at their owners.
The light beams began to lessen in intensity and the overall light levels of the venue returned to normal.
At this time, something emerged from below.
The lightning-struck statue of the Superior Mother came into view and floated upward until it stopped right in front of the altar!
Though the Superior Mother's glow was strong, it did not dominate the wedding. The Larkinson Mandate held by James exuded a glow of its own. The two glows did not compete with each other but existed alongside each other in harmony.
James began to speak again.
"Welcome, everyone. We are gathered here today to celebrate a holy union between Miss Gloriana Wodin and Mr. Ves Larkinson. Under the light of the stars and the gaze of the most holiest mother, we are here to witness their vows and express our joy at the joining of two talented creators."
The Prophet continued to recite his prepared remarks with genuine pleasure. Even though the Larkinsons and Wodins carefully composed his speech to control what people heard, James did not show any sign that he was speaking someone else's words.
The critical moment had come. Once James got all of the introduction out of the way, he invited Ves and Gloriana to step closer.
"Please hold hands."
The groom reached out to hold the bride's slim and dainty fingers.
"Ves Larkinson, do you take Gloriana Wodin to be your beloved wife and partner?"
"I do." He proudly declared.
"Gloriana Larkinson, do you take Ves Larkinson to be your faithful husband and partner?"
"I do!" Gloriana happily responded!
Both lovers looked each other in the eyes with pure devotion. No matter what kind of disagreements they had, none of that mattered today. They only held love and trust towards each other.
"I promise to dedicate my love and life to you and our family." Ves spoke from memory and with emotion. "I will invest you with my trust, and cherish the trust you extend to me in return. I will enjoy our time together and promise to be honest, fair and open towards you. You have my heart and my devotion. I wish for us to raise a family that will deepen our love and strengthen our union. I wish to grow old with you and hold our together like this until we have reached the last of our days."
Pure devotion shone from Gloriana's face as she gazed at him with love.
It was her turn to speak.
"I promise to love you and respect you for who you are." She spoke. "I will trust you as I have always done and appreciate the trust you have extended to me with each passing day. I will never stop loving you or look at anyone else in the same way I do to you. I hope to stay together with you in life, death and beyond. I would be happy to start a family with you. Our children shall become the legacy of our love and the living proof of our faith towards each other. May the Superior Mother bless our union!"
It was time to exchange their rings.
With smiles on each other's faces, they brought out the rings made by Ves. The mysterious, highly-materials and strange gems embedded into the bands spoke of excellent craftsmanship. The maker not only drew on his skills, but also his love in the making of the wedding bands.
The two slipped the rings on each other's fingers with anticipatory smiles on their faces. As soon as the rings took their places, it was as if a switch had flipped in their minds!
As both bride and groom seemed to feel more connected with each other, the statue of the Superior Mother and the Larkinson Mandate seemed to swell in power. Their glows grew in strength and increased in reach.
"You may now kiss the bride!" James proclaimed.
Ves lifted Gloriana's veil. He admired her perfect face before kissing her passionately!
A festive eruption took place as the entire venue seemed to celebrate the marriage!
Fireworks exploded in the air!
The Vraken orchestra played an uplifting tune!
The entire audience clapped with unreserved admiration!
Every Larkinson pat meowed, woofed or chirped in happiness!
The statue of the Superior Mother and the Larkinson Mandate seemed to swell with life!
The passionate kiss triggered numerous changes which rippled all across the star sector and beyond!