After Peonia returned, Vastor took his place at her right, in front of his guests while Zinya moved to her left, standing in front of her friends and family.
Lith and Marth were beside Vastor as his groomsmen while Kamila and Elina were Zinya\'s bridesmaids.
The Princess was not only the guest of honor, but also charged with officiating the marriage in place of the King who in times of crisis couldn\'t leave the capitol.
Dear guests, we are gathered today to celebrate the union of Zogar Gryron Svent Vastor and Zinya Yehval.
Some people outside these walls may object that a marriage between two individuals with such a great difference in upbringing, social status, and power is madness.
Yet those people would be wrong because by focusing solely on how different Zogar and Zinya are, they fail to see the similarities.
Zogar and Zinya had a rough life that led them to completely different paths, yet it was one of those hardships that made them meet.
During one of the darkest moments of their lives, they found solace in each other, finding the strength to move on until they weren\'t together only in their misery, but also in their happiness.
As I see it, that\'s the very definition of marriage.
What we are doing here is to let the law acknowledge something that happened months ago, even before Zinya and Zogar themselves noticed.
I agree with those people on calling this marriage madness, but only because loving someone more than yourself is the greatest act of madness that anyone can do.
It\'s this kind of madness that sheds light even in times of war and gives me hope for the future of our Kingdom.
Pronounce your vows to each other. Princess Peonia said.
Zogar, the first time I saw the light wasn\'t the day Kamila brought Lith to my house.
That\'s just the day I could finally see my sister\'s face and the world around me.
I didn\'t see the light after the Body Sculpting procedure or after moving to Lutia either. Zinya said
The first time I saw the light was the day you brought my children back to me.
When you helped me build a house for my family, and when I understood that it became a home only when you were there with us.
I know that I don\'t have the power, the wits, or the means to repay you for everything you have done for me, yet I swear that I\'ll spend every day of my life trying.
Her words brought great joy to the Master, yet also as much pain.
The burden of all the lies and the omissions between them weighed on Vastor\'s conscience to the point that his knees buckled.
The Abomination-hybrids shared his feelings, reinforcing Bytra\'s resolve to do the right thing.
Zinya offered him her hands and Vastor took them, but when she tried to help him to stand up, he remained kneeling on his right leg.
I\'m sorry, Zinya.
I had prepared many vows, but after hearing your heartfelt words, I realized that those were nothing but hot air.
I\'m sorry because there\'s very little that I can promise you.
The audience gasped since refusing to offer vows to the spouse was the same as abandoning them on the altar.
I can\'t promise to always be honest with you.
I\'m an old man, and during my long life I\'ve done many things that I\'m not proud of as a Professor, a mage, and a servant of the Kingdom.
Were you to learn of them, I\'m afraid they would destroy your faith in me and with it our happiness.
The only thing I can promise you is that I\'ll try my best to be a better man for you and that I\'ll do everything I can to make you happy.
The guests thought he was referring to his war crimes as a Highmaster and all of his failures as a mage, not the thousands of lives he had sacrificed as the Master.
I can\'t promise to be with you for the rest of your life.
The war is here and soon I\'ll have to move to the battlefield.
I don\'t know what\'ll get to me first.
If my age, my past, or just a stray shot from the enemy.
You are marrying a dead man so I can only promise you that I\'ll stay with you for the rest of my life, however short might it be.
These are my vows.
They may be worth little, but they are the only ones that I can offer you that are as true as my love for you. Vastor said.
They are more than I could ask from anyone, Zogar. Zinya pulled him up again and Vastor rose to his feet.
In the name of the Griffon Kingdom, I declare you husband and wife. Princess Peonia said.
As the newlyweds kissed, the audience stood up, giving them a round of applause and many cheers.
At the end of the ceremony, the house staff came in while the guests moved to the end of the room.
The red carpet was rolled up and taken away while the tables were moved to the center of the room and set up with everything necessary.
The Princess took Lith\'s arm and then moved to greet the guests one by one with him.
He had arrived last, missing the opportunity to mingle with the nobles.
Peonia needed a second round to both help him find new backers in the Royal Court and reinforce their status as a couple.
You gave a wonderful opening speech. Lith said while they moved toward Marth.
Thank you. She blushed a little.
But after you celebrate dozens of marriages, it\'s not that hard.
It became second nature to me.
Dozens Lith rose an eyebrow in disbelief.
It\'s the war, Lith.
There\'s no time for courting, dates, and planning.
Every single bachelor mage of the Kingdom without an heir is rushing to marry, hoping to leave one behind.
My siblings and I have been marrying people since the day Manohar died.
You should give it a thought as well. She threaded her fingers through his, to better convey her message.
After giving it some thought, Peonia had decided there was no harm in turning their fiction into reality.
Lith was the youngest Archmage of his generation, the best diagnostician of the Kingdom, and one of the candidates for the title of Royal Healer.
All things that would help her in the case she succeeded her father to the throne.
His good looks were just icing on the cake.
\'Oh, **! Great actress my pale ass.
This is a subtle marriage proposal.\' Lith thought.
The Princess is right.
I hope that witnessing Zinya\'s and Vastor\'s happiness will inspire you to do the right thing and propose to a good woman.
Don\'t you agree, Your Majesty Elina jumped to the rescue, taking his other arm while looking Peonia in the eyes.
Her gaze was gentle and her smile warm, but it didn\'t extend to her eyes.
The Princess could swear that she could read the message get your hands off my son in them.
Elina had never made a mystery of her dislike for the Royals and the fact that she considered the Court a vipers\' nest.
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