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, agreeing. 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." 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 Ladroncello family." "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. Longville." "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!