Outside the merchant’s village, they found a secluded but highly ornate cathedral. They ran inside to see a priest cleaning up the pews. Not looking at them, the priest informed them, “Our service ended some minutes ago.”
Orlando said to him, “Father Paxton?”
Father Paxton looked up, pleasantly surprised. “Prince Orlando! You have returned to our temple!”
He told him proudly, “I brought someone with me.” Kasmira smiled broadly. “Kasmira and I wish to wed.”
Father Paxton, upon realization of what their intentions were, was ecstatic. “My dear boy, congratulations!” He hugged Orlando and then Kasmira. “Nice to meet you, my dear. What a blessed day this is!” He motioned for them to stand in front of the pews. They stood facing each other. Orlando tried to be solemn but could not suppress his broad grin, and Kasmira felt a blend of nerves and happiness that made her want to cry. A couple of church workers gathered to watch. Father Paxton looked solemn, but his radiance about the occasion made him almost glow. With a jolt of excitement for the couple, he began the ceremony, “Welcome to the union of two kindred souls. These two people have made the commitment of spending an eternity together, and such a love deserves recognition. Though their bodies will be together for a lifetime, they have decided to make the noble vows so that a piece of each other shall remain in the other forever. This ceremony serves as more than a symbol of their affection-it is an affirmation to the Earth and Heavens that these two spirits will become one. Let us begin.”
Excitement and the deep love that they had for each other seemed to flood through their veins. Father Paxton turned to Orlando and told him, “In your own words, tell Kasmira your vows.”
Orlando looked into her eyes with that same loving, passionate look that made her heart race. “Kasmira, I vow to live for you. Each breath and every footstep will be in your wonderful name. While we live together, I will do whatever it takes to make you happier than you can imagine. I will never let you forget that you are loved, and I will do anything to keep you protected. I will always give you the affection and loyalty that you need. There isn’t enough I could vow to make you understand just how much I’ll love you, but I will love you beyond a lifetime, I promise.”
Kasmira felt so touched by his words. After he spoke, a small light emitted from his hands and hung just above him. Father Paxton turned to Kasmira, “You, in turn, tell Orlando your vows in your own words.”
Kasmira, who was near tears, told Orlando in a voice surer than she had ever been, “I thought that falling in love would be the scariest and hardest thing I would ever do, but loving you has been easy and wonderful. In gratitude for the luck I have had in winning your heart, I give you mine. No matter what happens, I will never stop loving you. I want to give you a lifetime of devotion. As long as I live, I will do all I can to make you happy. I am honored to give you me-all of me. I am the luckiest woman in the world because I get to be your wife. I love you-and even if my time on Earth is short, know that I will always love you.”
She felt a pleasant warmth emit from her palms, which was also a ball of light. It rose and joined Orlando’s, hovering above their heads. Father Paxton went on, “Now, do you both promise a lifetime of devotion, service, and affection to each other?”
They both said, “I dol.” The ball of light grew a little higher and brighter.
“Do you swear that no matter how tough that times may get, you will have the same love for each other?”
“I do.” The ball got brighter and higher.
“Do you vow these words to be honest and truly from the heart that you both share?”
“I do.” The ball was at its highest and brightest.
“By the power vested in me, I declare you to be husband and wife. You may kiss the bride!”
The two of them passionately flew into each other’s arms for a loving kiss. The light dissolved into an almost magical rain, which was absorbed by their skin. It felt almost solidified in their bodies, as if they officially got a part of each other within them. Father Paxton smiled warmly, and the few church workers present all clapped and cheered.
Almost immediately after they came apart, the church doors flew open. Everyone was stunned to see a couple dozen Blood Warriors burst in. The warmth that their union created ran cold as they surveyed the scene with their greedy and power-hungry eyes. The head of this invasion sneered, “Well, it looks like we have finally discovered the renegade temple!” He saw Orlando and Kasmira, and his leer became more pronounced. “Oh, and what luck to have found the two biggest traitors to our king!”
Father Paxton’s genial disposition completely evaporated as he authoritatively scolded them, “This is a house of worship! We have the power of sanctuary! To arrest anyone here would be tantamount to breaking one the-”
The Blood Warrior who previously spoke dismissed his words. “Anyone who uses devilish powers can’t wield any rights over us.” Everyone tried to interrupt him, but he wouldn’t give them the opportunity. “Don’t try to justify your actions! Under the law of King Davidson, you have committed treason!”
Orlando called out, “Try to arrest us and we will fight you!”
The Blood Warrior smirked. “We thought you may say that. Prepare to be captured.” Everyone moved forward to attack, but the Blood Warrior simply took a pellet from his pouch and threw it to the ground. The room filled with smoke, and no one knew that they had all been rendered unconscious.