"They've been gone awfully long," Mira said. Those that weren't eating stood around talking.
"They're all okay," Kayura reassured her. She then looked over to Royda. "When are they coming back?"
"Don't worry," she answered. "Here they come now."
Everybody turned and saw the two of them walking towards them. They were both laughing and didn't seem to notice the angry glare they got from Cale. Didn't they know that they were holding up rehearsal? He wanted to get married already before anything else happened.
"Where were the two of you?" Cale's voice interrupted them.
"Umm..." They both had a worried look on their faces. Did he know what happened?
"Did you know that you two are holding up my wedding?" He turned away from them and Rowen breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, everybody stop eating. We need to get this going before anybody else decides to disappear."
Kayura shook her head and followed everybody else. Kento tried to stuff one last dumpling in before he finally left to join the others. They did the rehearsal like the wedding. Somebody had to play the priest though. Although they had to do the ceremony over and over again, some of them kept forgetting when they were supposed to be walking or what they were supposed to be saying, but it went well. After all the mishaps that could happen, Cale and Kayura were really worried that the wedding would turn into a disaster.
They all went their separate ways after practicing for the billionth time. Kento went with Cye and Reva to supervise food. Was that ever a surprise? Rowen and Kishin went off on their own to continue their talk. Others would have tagged along when they heard the words "quantum theory" and "thermodynamics" uttered and they backed off. Sage decided to work on his form a little and quickly changed into a practice gi for kendo. Ryo took White Blaze and decided to explore the Netherworld more and be back in time to change. Kala went to take a little nap before everything started again. Mira started to play catch with Red, and Royda decided to go and meditate for awhile. The adults watched them go while they sat down and talked.
"It's a miracle that we even got finished going through that last rehearsal with just a few minor mistakes," Dais said.
"True but tonight better be perfect," Kayura said, her pretty face clouding. "I don't want any mistakes."
"There won't be any mistakes honey," Cale answered with a reassuring squeeze. "There won't be."
"I'm afraid to ask but how long have you two planned this?" Mia asked.
"Not very long," answered Kayura. "There was that little incident about two weeks ago that sort of started the plans and it didn't really get rolling until about a week later when I proposed."
"You're the one that proposed?" Anubis asked.
"You should have seen the look on Cale's face when she asked," Sekhmet added. "That was priceless."
"Hey," Cale defended. "I wasn't expecting her to ask me that."
"But you have to admit that it was cute," Dais said before he busted out laughing.
"I think it is cute," Mia said, looking over to Kayura. "Way to take the initiative girl." She held her hand up for her and the other woman slapped it.
"I thought so, too. I was getting tired of waiting for him to come around."
"I did come around," Cale said. "You understand, don't you Anubis?"
"Don't even drag me into this," Anubis said, raising his hands.
"Oh sure. You get yours pregnant first before you ask her to marry you."
"Cale!!" Kayura smacked the back of his head. "Sorry about that."
Mia started to blush and Anubis coughed. Both of them looked away from the others. Dais and Sekhmet looked at each other and started to laugh again. Boy was it fun to laugh at love birds.
"So, what do you think of them now White Blaze?" Ryo asked his tiger. The tiger answered with a low growl. "Yeah, me too. It is weird that they should just pop up now rather than when we needed them. You gotta admit that they are great to be with in a fight."
They walked a little bit more and stopped momentarily. Ryo stared up at the wall, trying to recall what it was about it that reminded him of something. He finally realized that they were not far from the place where he and Rowen first went full force against lady Kayura. The memory of almost turning evil came rushing back. He vigorously shook his head to clear it.
"I think we better go back now White Blaze." They back away from the wall, Even White Blaze remembered what happened near that wall. The fate of humanity almost changed at that moment.
As they got back, Ryo could hear some of the Warlords laughing. In fact, all three Warlords, except for Anubis, were laughing while Kayura slapped her husband-to-be on the back of his head. He shook his head at them, not really caring what they were talking about. White Blaze spotted Mira and Red playing catch and decided to join them while Ryo and looked for the others. He found Sage practicing as usual.
"You think you've practiced enough?" Ryo said, startling the blond Ronin a bit.
"You can never practice too much." He went back to swinging his bamboo sword. "Did you want something?"
"Not really. Just wondering."
"About what?" Sage stopped and looked at Ryo. "Come on. If it's about what those girls said, then I've been wondering too."
"Like I told White Blaze, it's just weird how they pop up now rather than when we needed them back then. We could have beaten Talpa a lot quicker if they were there."
"That is true." He walked over to where Wildfire stood and sat down. "There's got to be something else they haven't told us. Got any idea what?"
"Don't have a clue but I know that it's got something to do with Mia. I know her new powers are something to consider but that can't be the whole reason. I mean, Anubis came back from the dead to help out. And this Tyra not only has something against us but against them, too. You should have seen how she and Royda went at it."
"They do have a lot to answer for and they're not talking."
"And what's with this thing about protecting us?"
"That's been bothering me, too. We're in as much danger now as when we were against Talpa. What's Tyra got that makes her a lot more dangerous?"
"The only people that can answer that are not talking. They've got to crack sometime, right?"
"Excuse me, sirs," a soft voice interrupted them. They both turned and saw a young girl with purple hair bowing to them. "It is time to get ready."
"Thank you," both Ronin said, returning the bow. "We'll be right there." The girl bowed again and left.
"I suppose we should get ready," Sage said, getting up and putting his sword in its case.
"Why not? It's good to finally see somebody happy."
"I couldn't agree with you more."
"Looking good Sis," Mira told her sister. She stepped back and admired what she did with her hair.
"Where did you learn to do that?" Kayura asked her. Her long blue hair was now on top of her head and done up in an intricate design.
"Oh, here and there." Mira stuck another hairpin in the hair. "Looks good, ne?"
"Really good." Kayura turned her head slightly to see the sides.
"I hope the tsunokakushi doesn't ruin that," Kala said as she came up behind them.
"Of course it wouldn't. It'll just sit on top of it." Mira stuck another pin in.
"Yeah, just like the last one." Kala turned away while Mira glared at her back.
"What was she talking about?" Kayura turned to her sister.
"Don't listen to her. She doesn't even know what she's talking about."
"It's going to look great on you," Kishin said. She held the headpiece up to the mirror.
"What is it for?" Mia asked. The other girls looked at her like she had grown another head.
"Guys, don't stare," Kayura said. "She doesn't know about tradition." She turned to Mia. "A tsunokakushi is a headpiece that's suppose to hide my 'horns of jealousy.' It's also suppose to symbolize my obedience to my husband. Don't know why I'm wearing it though."
"It looks very beautiful." Mia fingered the headpiece.
"Don't worry Mia. You'll be in my position in no time."
Kishin held the headpiece over Kayura's head. The woman sat still while she waited for them to lower the headpiece. They slowly lowered it, careful that the thing just sat on her hair and didn't ruin it. More pins went through her hair to hold it in place. She didn't anticipate it to be that heavy.
"It's about time," Reva said as she poked her head into the room. "The guys are already headed to the bridge."
"Thank you Reva," Kayura answered. "We'll be heading there soon."
"I'll tell them that. And Kay...you look great."
The others helped Kayura up, careful that the white silk kimono wouldn't be wrinkled. She could barely move and was really surprised that she could shuffle her way to the door. It's going to be an even bigger miracle to get her to walk down the hallway and then to that bridge. Something growled next to her and she looked that way.
"I think she wants you on her back," Mira translated for the tiger. Red nudged Kayura to go ahead.
"I don't think I have much of a choice." Kayura slowly moved to the tiger's back.
With the bride on her back, Red seemed to hold her head up more. They made their way to the bridge. The guys as well as Reva and Royda were already there. Everybody was surprised to see Kayura on Red's back as they all approached. Mia and the rest of the girls were right behind her. Red stopped at the foot of the bridge and let everybody pass them to line up. Anubis and Mia stood at the front of the two lines, followed by the two remaining Warlords, then both groups of Warriors. Cale waited just to Anubis' side and was anxious to get the ceremony on the way.
Red slowly wet forward after everybody got to their places. As they passed each person, everyone bowed to her and watched her intently. Kishin glanced over to Rowen. The Ronin was watching her closely but not with the same look he did before. The longing in his eyes were gone and they were just happy to see her happy. Not that Kayura would have noticed anyway. She only had eyes for a man up at the front, dressed in a dark colored kimono.
Cale watched her ascend and found that he couldn't move. Her images was too powerful and too lovely and he was frozen. Anubis elbowed his side to finally snap him out of it. Kayura smiled at the gesture and shook her slightly at the groom. When they reached where he was, they stopped and he stepped forward. He held out his hand to help her up and she took it. The contrast between white and dark complemented them both.
"You look beautiful," Cale told her, breathless.
"Thank you," she answered demurely.
"Shall we get this started?" She nodded.
Both of them walked forward, holding each others hand. They looked at each others eyes, seeing nothing but themselves at that moment in time. Both of them stopped and was a little surprised that Dais wasn't in front of them. He had been the acting priest in the rehearsal. Everybody looked around to find who would marry the two. Just then, a transparent form appeared before them and they all turned.
"Am I late?" the Ancient