I would like to thank those people that have donated to my story thus far, it means a lot to me as a writer that people are willing to do so.
Now, hurry up and read this chapter!
Edited by Karami
[su_accordion]Chapter 160: Together, Forever[/su_accordion]
By the time we had arrived at Gerin, I was more than ready to get off the ship. After five years of no travel, I had forgotten just how frustrating it can get. We need some better way to travel or something… I mean really, at this point our individual abilities mean practically nothing, since this war will mostly be conducted between ships. I’m confident that our levels and abilities surpass the New Human Empire… but what about our technology?
Celeste seemed to have picked up my thoughts, because she replied a few moments later. “Well, there’s not much that can be done about that, unless you invest in gear or abilities to let people fight in the vacuum of space. Right now, you, me, and Yo are the only ones that can do that. And sorry, John, but I don’t think we’re strong enough to take on a fully armed fleet with just the three of us.”
I thought about that for a moment, but nodded my head. If we could get everyone able to fight like that, it might not be a problem. But not sure everyone would be open to the idea of changing into either a slime, Deus Ex, or void elf.
“True, but there are some other methods, like environment shields. Though we’d have to purchase one from the gold market to learn how to develop them. Naturally, the best method for fighting a space battle is spaceships. If you want to have better chances of winning, you need to increase the power of your space fleet.”
Again, I could only nod in response. I know. Hopefully, the Deus Ex will be willing to join us. Since our flight path did not take us close enough to the Deus Ex homeworld to make contact, we had yet to get in touch with them about combining fleets to fight the New Human Empire.
“Captain.” The comm in my ear sounded off. “We’re arriving at the border of Gerin space now. They’re hailing us for our identification now.”
“Understood, I’m on my way. Patch me through to them for now.” I waited for the signal before I spoke up, while walking towards the bridge. “This is John Hulett of the Ariadne. Who am I talking with?”
“This is Captain Himural of the Noral. Your ship’s appearance doesn’t match our records of the Ariadne. Do you have an explanation for that?” A masculine voice was transmitted to me in response.
“I’ve had seven years to upgrade the ship, I am not surprised that the appearance has changed.” Well, I kind of was. I mean, each change was just a little bit at a time, so I hadn’t really noticed that the ship was now a bit longer and considerably more well-armed than in the past. “Queen Talia of Gerin 6 is expecting us, and can verify our identities.”
“Just a moment.” I heard from the comm as I arrived on the bridge, seeing three ships in front of us through the screen. Most likely, they had their guns trained on us right now in case our information didn’t check out.
A few moments later, a message appeared in front of me.
Talia: You waiting for subspace clearance?
I responded by sending a brief ‘Yes’, and soon we were allowed through. After coming out of subspace, we saw a further ten ships, the smallest being the size of the Ariadne. I suddenly felt like my ship desperately needed an upgrade… Or just an entirely new ship. Celeste-
“No, even with your vast gold reserves, you can’t afford a fully functioning ship of a higher quality than the Ariadne. The Ariadne itself would go for five million gold coins, which even you would have difficulty producing. It is easier and faster to get either more upgrades for this ship, or find another way to get something better.” Before I could even ask Celeste, she seemed to anticipate my question, answering me mentally. Well, it was worth a shot. By the way, did you ever figure out about the subspace in groves?
“Huh? Oh, right, that.” I had forgotten about that, since it was only a bit of curiosity at the time. “There’s subspace inside of groves. However, the space ratio is the same, so anything that goes into subspace in a grove that is too small is pretty much crushed under the weight of the universe.”
That sounded… Yeah, I’ll just avoid doing that until after my grove evolves to the final form. At that point, I shouldn’t have to worry about size limits or anything like that. And I’m distracting myself again, aren’t I? “Yes, yes you are. They’re waiting for you at the teleport bay.”
I nodded my head, turning and leaving the bridge after giving one last order. “Put us in orbit. Until we leave, have the Ariadne assist with planetary defense in case of emergencies.”
My first stop along the way to meet up with the girls was the medbay. After Tokemi’s party, I doubted anyone wanted to risk going down to a planet without clone bodies until this war was over. As if to confirm my suspicions, I already saw my dad, Sharon, Yin, Yang, Tokemi, as well as Tessa and her mom all hooked up to clone controllers. My mom’s body was also in a sort of standby state in the corner, so I figured she was borrowing one of Celeste’s spares.
Once in my own clone, I went to meet everyone at the teleport bay(after making a quick stop to change clothes). When I got there I found everyone waiting for me, with Sharon, Yin, Yang, and Yo all being in dresses. Each dress was of a similar design, but colored different. For Yo, it was a black dress that ran down to her ankles, and had only a single shoulder strap. For Sharon, she was wearing a green dress of a similar pattern, while Yin wore a white one. Finally, Yang wore a brown dress.
Looking among the others, I was confused for a moment. None of the rest were wearing such fancy clothes. Although my dad had put on a suit, it was not a tuxedo, and the rest of them only wore clothes as if going to a business meeting. “Did I miss something about the dress code?”
I looked down to my own outfit. I was wearing a full, black tuxedo, much like the one my father had worn for his own marriage. Sharon grinned playfully, rolling her eyes. “It’s okay, John, you look fine. But Yang and Yo needed to dress up for this, too. According to Talia, a bride typically has someone giving her away, normally a family member or close friend. For us, Yang and Yo are the best we got.”
“Ah… the groom doesn’t need anything like that?” I asked, and she shook her head. I had done a brief review of elven marriage traditions before, just to make sure it wasn’t something like a hunting competition or the like. I hadn’t read too deeply into it once I saw that the process was fairly similar to Earth’s own marriage system. Well, in theory at least.
“Jeez, John, and here I thought we had dropped the ball for not asking about this stuff until just recently.” Sharon teased, holding an arm out to invite me onto the teleport platform.
As I stepped on the platform, my waist was captured at both sides by Sharon and Yin, who leaned happily against me. Taking one last look around, I noticed a certain absence. “Where is Celeste?”
Before Sharon had the chance to speak up, Yin instead spoke. “She already went down. Helping prepare.” I nodded my head at that, and signaled for the operator to send us all down.
“Mary, looks like our boy is finally getting married.” My parents grinned at each other before the light of teleportation covered us all. I had expected us to appear in Talia’s forest, but we ended up going somewhere else. Surrounding us was the polished marble flooring of a large throne room, painted glass windows aligned to shower the ground in colorful light. Standing in front of her throne, Maeve grinned down to us all.
“Hey, heroes. Been awhile, hasn’t it?” She waved with one hand to us, wearing a red silk dress. There was a white carpet spread out leading between her throne and the door of the room, with rows of chairs on either side. In one of the chairs near the front, I saw Celeste smiling at us. “Give it a few more minutes for the rest to get set up, and we’ll get started.”
Soon, other people began pouring into the room. First was Ackbar, together with Aelsgwynn, Priscilla, Kismet, Talia, and about three dozen of my current and former crew members. Maeve smiled, nodding when she saw the seats getting filled up. “This is an important wedding, both for you three as well as the people of this system. As such, we have chosen to host it here, and broadcast the ceremony across the Gerin system.”
Well, that succeeded in making me anxious. I just learned that my wedding was going to be shown live to billions of people… Talk about stage fright. Just as the anxiety was starting to settle in, a gentle hand was placed on my own. Looking up, I saw Yin smiling warmly at me. “It will be okay.”
I could only nod my head in response to that, turning to face Maeve. Celeste was currently streaming the wedding traditions into my mind so that I would know what to do and say, so that I would not make a fool of myself. “I’m ready.”
“We know.” She said with a nod, and I could tell that even she was taking this seriously, as she had adopted her royal speech. Once the rest of the people that came with us found a seat, only myself, Yin, Yang, Yo, and Sharon were standing in front of her. Yin and Sharon stood on her right, while I stood to her left. Finally, Yang and Yo stood behind Yin and Sharon respectively.
Seeing that everyone was in place, she nodded her head, raising her arms. “We pay homage to those that have already departed to join the cycle as we gather here today. Under their gaze, we present John Hulett, who has rendered great service to our people. Without him, we may not have made it to this day.” She swept her arm over to indicate me.
“Under their gaze, we present Sharon Bradbury and Yin, who have rendered great service to our people. Without them, we may also not have made it to this day. These three people have come to us, seeking to be joined for the remainder of their years. And, by the cycle, We are honored to be the one to present them.”
Next, she turned her head to address me. “John, do you swear upon the cycle to always love and care for these two women? To stay with them through the ravages of time?”
I nodded, speaking the words that I knew from Celeste. “I swear upon the cycle.”
She nodded her head in satisfaction, before turning to the girls. “Sharon, Yin, do you both swear upon the cycle to always love and care for the one you have chosen? To stay with him through the ravages of time?”
The two girls looked at each other, and gave a soft smile, before speaking in unison. “We swear upon the cycle.”
Maeve’s smile grew slightly wider as she heard that, before addressing the crowd. “Then, under the watch of those who came before, and those who are still with us, I pray that you all live for many years to come. And, should you be separated early, that you will find each other in the next life, and once again fall in love. For, as of this moment, I declare the union between these three people, and let no power oppose it.”
You have been officially married to the Wood Elf Sharon Bradbury(Now Sharon Hulett) and the Stormbird Yin(Now Yin Hulett) under the laws of the Elven people.
Inventory space between spouses is shared. New Inventory space is 300×200.
I was surprised as I saw the information appear in front of me, and a glance at the girls told me they saw it too. Maeve, however, simply nodded her head again, speaking just loud enough for us to hear. “Don’t worry, everyone gets that nowadays.” She then raised her voice again for everyone.
“People of Gerin, both humans and elves. The New Human Empire sought to shake us with news of this man’s death. And yet, he now stands before us, not only alive, but now married to the women he loves. I know that not all humans are involved with the Empire, but we must remain vigilant. This is still a war, and one in which the enemy is far more ruthless than we could ever be. However, we have far more numbers, and if we band together, they will pose no threat to us.”
She totally just hijacked our wedding for a public speech. But, oh well. At least it’s finally official. I stretched a hand out for the girls, and was surprised when Yo and Yang practically pushed them into my arms.