A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 17 - Page 17
the giant golden ring into the water.
He laid his hands over mine, enclosing it safely
between his palms. "With this ring, I thee wed and
bestow upon thee all the treasures of my heart, my
mind, and my hands. I am my beloved's, and my
beloved is mine. For the wife does not have authority
over her own body, but the husband does."
"Likewise," I quickly added. "Th e husband
does not have authority over his own body, but
the wife does." I made sure to address the sea.
"Th at's good and biblical," Percy nodded,
We nodded at each other affectionately for a
while. One of the kraken's tentacles slapped the
canal's surface, returning Percy to action.
"We wed thee, sea, in the s ign of the true and
everlasting Lord. What therefore God hath
joined together, let not man put asunder."
"And we intend to be very
specific here," I made sure to
add. "By letting no man put
asunder we mean, specifi cally, the
"Amen," Percy called out to the
water, and the retreating tentacles.
Th e seas subsided and grew calm.
"Um," he said. "Er... um. Do you think
that's enough, Missus Dashwood?"
"It's still Miss," I said, clearing my throat. "Mr.
"Will you consent to changing that?" he asked.
I don't know why I suddenly felt so warm. I
became aware we were still holding hands.
"I think I might," I replied.
We managed to make it safely back to the
streets of Venice, and were aided out of our boat
by a gathering throng of onlookers just as the
Ladroncellos rushed up, outraged over the theft
and sacrifi ce of their golden ring. Th ey threatened
our personal space most aggressively. We were
subjected to such a tirade of angry Italians that,
were it not for the timely arrival of the Mayor,
fl oating by on his apple stall, we might have had
to endure it.
Th e Mayor lifted his hands for silence, then
raised his voice, quickly gathering the attention
of the Venetians.
"My dear Venice!" he called out to both sides
of the canal. "Our own dear beloved Ladroncello
family, not only has your family proved itself
generous in the past, but now—how you surpass all
your great history! Your sacrifi ce of this symbolic
golden ring has saved us all! Keep your lives free
from the love of money and be content with what
you have. Your great gift has saved our city!"
Th e Venetians broke into uproarious applause,
and picked up the Ladroncellos and carried them
away with violent and happy enthusiasm. Th e
Ladroncellos were much swayed by this
display of emotion, and decided not to
press the matter any further.
I must admit I was much
impressed by the noble, handsome,
and heroic Mayor fl oating down the
canal. His tact and grace had turned
an event that was headed sour into
a celebration with only a short speech.
Perhaps the monster hunting tour was a
waste of his time. To my reckoning he only
saw two monsters in the wild. But here he was, home
at last and perfectly equipped to deal with monster
attacks. One wonders if the old adage "he had it in
him all along, he just didn't know it" applies?
He looked quite majestic. Only, I put my mind
to thoughts of circumnavigating the politics of
such a busy port town, and all the troubles that
may arise from local monster invasions. It made
me quite glad that I had never gotten entangled
in a relationship with him!
I was quite satisfi ed with the friend I made in
Percy Longville—Duke, if these events are to be
believed. I wonder if he is very rich? I do hope so.
After all, I have already agreed to be his wife!