“How does this look?” Lina asked, completely flustered as she arranged the cake table.
“You have no knack at all for these things, do you?” Filia said, her arms folded across her chest.
Lina looked at the table, a rising sense of panic mounting. Filia was right! It did look horrible! And if things were not perfect for her sister’s Big Day there would be Hell to pay. “Well why don’t you get off your butt and fix it?” Lina screeched.
“Because your sister skipped off helping me with my prophecy to get hitched!” Filia yelled.
“Here, Miss Lina.” Sylphiel said quietly, “Let me have a go at that.”
“Thanks.” Lina said quietly as she wondered if she should trying tying the sashes on the chairs or leave that to someone who was more artsy.
“I don’t know why you’re so worried about the prophecy.” Sylphiel said calmly, “Just because a prophecy was made doesn’t mean it will come to pass.”
“Yeah, and my Sis certainly seems to have convinced everyone to lay down arms.” Lina added, “I mean she’s marrying Gaav’s minion! Gaav! I still can’t wrap my head around this.”
“Good afternoon.” A huge, blue skinned man said, “Is this the wedding of Luna and Valgaav?”
“Guests!” Lina screeched as she feared the punishment she would receive if Luna found out that the guests had arrived before the sashes were tied to the chairs, “It’s too early for guests! We’re not ready yet!”
“You’re at the right place,” Gourry said casually, “Why don’t I show you the orchards while they finish setting up?”
Lina breathed a sigh of relief as the idiot managed to make himself useful for once. “Wow,” the man said as he saw Sylphiel by the cake table, “What a lovely cake.”
Lina looked at the cake table and had to admit it looked a lot better now. And as they walked away in the distance, Lina could just barely discern the strange looking man saying to Gourry, “Tell me everything you know about the black haired woman.”
Lina smirked. Then she looked around as Sylphiel started tying the bows around the chairs. Lina tried to think of something to do to be useful, but decorating for weddings was not her forte, and she knew she would be punished severely if anything went awry during Luna’s wedding. So she decided to leave the decorating to Sylphiel, the only one who was any good at it, while she tried not to panic too much.
“So, how do you know my sis anyway?” Lina asked Sylphiel.
But before Sylphiel could answer, Lina had a feeling that she needed to look at the cake table. She turned around just in time to see an orange fox man lift up the cake. “Hey!” Lina screamed, “Put that down!”
“No!” Jillas said as he started to run off with the cake. “Not until Luna finishes Miss Filia’s prophecy!”
Lina felt herself grow red as Filia huffed, “Oh put it back, Jillas. We really don’t want to cross either of the Inverse sisters.”
Jillas did as told and then abashedly walked up the Filia and sat beside her. Lina exhaled in relief and hoped that all of the hiccups had occurred. Sylphiel finished tying up the sashes as the guests started to arrive. Lina started to wonder if she should check on her sister when she heard the voice. The voice of someone most decidedly on the short list for people she wanted to see that day.
“Ah, looks like I found it!” Xellos said chipperly.
Lina stiffened, turned and saw Xellos walking towards Gourry. “Sis is going to kill me!”
This was bad. Lina knew that Luna would kill her if she learned that a monster such as Xellos was at her wedding! Lina couldn't see how things could possibly get worse until Filia screeched, “Namagomi!” as she ran towards him mace in hand. Images of a fight breaking out and ruining Luna’s Big Day raced through Lina’s mind as she rushed over to intervene.
Daringly she moved in between Filia and Xellos, and then she turned to glare at him, “What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Well, I heard that you were getting married and thought I’d make an appearance.” Xellos explained.
“I’m not getting married!” Lina protested.
“But they said the Inverse’s daughter…”
“Inverse’s older daughter, meaning my sister!” Lina said, “And it’s invite only, so you’re going to have to leave.”
Behind her Lina could sense Filia patting her mace threateningly. Lina’s heart pounded as she fervently hoped that Xellos would back down. But Xellos grinned annoyingly, “But there’s so many interesting people here!”
Lina’s heart sank into her stomach as it occurred to her that this was a gathering place of powerful people that the Ceiphied Knight was congregating with. And then, the bridegroom was Gaav’s minion. Xellos had lots of reasons to want to check out what was going on here.
But at that minute Valgaav arrived at the altar, followed by the priest. “Ladies and Gentlemen!” He said, and Lina looked over at Xellos just in time to see him incline his head towards Valgaav as if he’d found the information he was seeking. “Before I marry my beloved, I want everyone to take a moment to call forth the power of the love they feel for the people gathered here, and to tell the person you are accompanying the wedding with how much you love them! For it was love that killed the overwhelming hatred in my heart, and made me a better man! Love is a force more powerful than any evil…”
“Huh?” Lina stuttered as Valgaav continued in this vein while Xellos turned a slight shade of green as the guests chattered approvingly at this idea.
“Well, I really must be going.” He said hastily as a couple nearby embraced, “But I have a feeling we shall meet again.”
Lina stared after him feeling shaky with relief. And then she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked beside her to see Gourry staring at her, smiling warmly. Then Lina blushed as she remembered that she and Gourry were technically going to the wedding together. He’d been her protector and companion for several years now. She definitely couldn’t have gone home without him, and it would have seemed odd to stash him in a hotel while she went to her sister’s wedding. So she invited him to be her one allotted guest.
"I think the thing I love most about you today was how you bravely got in between a monster and golden dragon to stop a fight.” Gourry said.
Lina felt herself grow warm as she smiled a little. “I think I loved how you handled that situation with the early guest.”
Gourry extended his arm out to her, and Lina was filled with the knowledge that everything was going to be all right. That was until Filia yelled, "Jillas you pervert!"
"Get to your seats!" Lina barked at Filia as she linked her arm with Gourry, and they found their seats just in time for the procession. Everything that happened after the procession was so minor that it was overlooked by the smitten couple. As far as Lina was concerned, FIlia’s foul mood and the various attempted and failed hook ups never reached Luna’s attention. When Luna finally made to leave with her new husband, Lina was practically giddy with relief that nothing bad had happened.
But then Luna tossed the bouquet right into her arms. It took Lina a moment to process what had happened, and then, before she realized what she was doing, she looked at Gourry and blushed.
“Hm.” Gourry said matter-of-factly as she examined the bouquet. “Looks like we’re next.”
“'We’re?'” Lina repeated.
Gourry blushed and laughed a little as he scratched the back of his head. Lina playfully punched him in the arm, “Just remember, I always wanted an engagement ring with lots of sapphires and rubies surrounding a big, huge heart shaped diamond in the center.”