• Published 8th Dec 2014
  • 1,433 Views, 46 Comments

The Prince's Bride - Gabriel LaVedier



Prince Blueblood and Connie the donkey maid intend to get married. That is a harder proposition than it seems.

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The Irresistible Force and the Immovable Object

“Hie ye to us, our august Voivodes! E'en though this be not Umbratara it doth matter but a midge's weight 'gainst a hundredweight!” Princess Luna cried in the Royal Canterlot Voice. “As 'twas in ages past before our peace the Voivodeship wast in hooves of they that led the militia.”

The Princess was in a dark room, her shouts rattling the walls and rumbling the floor, yet her mighty voice was not really disturbing the ancient palace of Canterlot in the slightest. She stood by a table containing a map of Canterlot's many terraces, with molded pony figures standing in wait like an army in readiness. She was planning some operation of great size.

At Luna's call a small collection of figures rushed up to the table and regarded the map. Their faces and forms were hidden by the shadows of the room and the dark cloaks they were wearing. Whispers passed between several of them, while hooves or talons or fingers pointed at some part of the map, barely visible in what low light filtered into the room.

“Aye, aye, ye lot. Consult ye this chart of the city. Know ye the terraces intimately, know ye each trot 'twixt monger and palace. Let not one step be wasted, let naught pass thine eyes one chance that ye may save time, for naught be more precious in operation such as this,” Luna shouted, washing the collection of figures in force.

“Your majesty, a word? If it would be appropriate,” said one voice, the tone easily noted as being Lime Sherbert.

“Aye, 'tis ever appropriate, my maid,” Luna said, approaching Lime and drawing her aside with a grand sweep. “As thou beest mine able left hoof in thy daily work, mine eyes, ears and voice within the palace and near environs, keeper of the many schedules and needed items, of course in this endeavor thou art knyaz over these voivodes.”

Lime nodded slowly, looking over her shoulder at the group, which was still conversing in low tones. “It is my pride and honor to be your left hoof and local presence. That sounds strange to most but, you have two forehooves and your right one is the strong bringer of justice. And more, of course.”

Luna laughed and gave Lime a friendly rub over her green mane. “Aye aye, but let that pass. Our intelligencer be but the shadow of Celestia's Cult-Finder General, sans most color of law, save what little he may claim. He be my strong right hoof, mine eyes, ears and voice in the world.”

“Of course, your majesty. I am your sharp eyes everywhere in the palace but your bedroom in the morning,” Lime said with a laugh. “But to the point, you majesty... this gathering...”

“'Tis a grand assemblage, is't not?” Luna asked, sweeping a hoof to indicate the figures. “'Neath mine hoof, and at thy direction, this circle of voivodes shall muster forces, march from this palace and storm the city, that our design shall be so!”

“I can appreciate the efficiency and effectiveness of military planning. I'm married to a guard, I know all about it,” Lime said, shuffling nervously on her hooves. “But the thing is... this isn't military planning. It's wedding planning.”

“How now? Be there gulf 'twixt the two? Nay, and both be seen as contest 'tween great forces. In battle do two warring states face one another. In plotting nuptials doth the architect of the artifice contest 'gainst th' fond and idle expectations of the guests. They come as an army and must leave in awful appreciation of how amusing and artificial the creation wast.”

Lime looked even more nervous, tapping a hoof on the floor. “It is... a noble endeavor, your majesty, most noble and wonderful. But your majesty, shouldn't Connie be involved in her own wedding?”

Luna laughed, loud and hearty, shaking the room and making the wedding planners stagger a bit. “Oh my dear maid Lime... hast though taken leave of thy senses? To think I would place 'pon mine impending grand-niece this great onus, this burden of unfathomable tedium and unpleasantness! 'Tis surely not for her that she should be crushed 'neath this weight.”

“To be fair, your majesty, it is her wedding after all,” Lime noted. “For example, Princess Cadance was involved in her wedding. True, it was Chrysalis but she participated.”

“'Tis so that Cadance had input upon certain matters but all operations had an army of helpers behind each aspect. She had not the burden of endless, picayune decisions and trivialities. Assistants had she aplenty, but not so organized as such thou seest here,” Luna said, again indicating the robed wedding planners.

“I do see how this could be very good, very useful and all of that. But I really think you should have at least asked,” Lime said.

“Nay, my maid, nay,” Luna said, waving a hoof. “Omnia bene. She shall luxuriate in peace and calm, all the long while these great minds, with their armies of assistants, shall have all the troubles and be well recompensed for their great effort.”

“So... would it be wrong of me to have told Connie that we were having this little tete-a-tete with the wedding planning staff, including time and location?” Lime asked, looking just a little sheepish.

Luna just looked at Lime, surprised. “Did I not swear thee to silence? Hast thou betrayed me?”

“It's Connie's wedding. Besides, we're Dames, and we shouldn't have secrets from one another, especially not secrets of this magnitude and type,” Lime explained.

Luna sighed softly, hanging her head a bit. “Aye... in some sense though speakest good sooth, but thou hast not seen the full panorama. There ought be no secrets 'twixt thee, yes. Neither Connie nor Fleur nor, indeed, me. Yet also I spake well. I did wish Connie lie at ease as her wedding wast designed to grand perfection.”

“I'm sure she would really appreciate the effort on her behalf, but Connie always seemed like the hooves-on, ovarian sort of jenny,” Lime said. “She doesn't run away from huge problems, she solves them. Look at what she did with the mess that was Prince Blueblood. She clearly works miracles.”

Luna shook her head while chuckling softly. “'Tis true, she doth work wonders with hard head and firm conviction. From simpering embarrassment to noble stallion, she hath molded my grand-nephew in a manner most meet. She doth do wonders but she doth deserve her rest. The task, after all, was great.”

“That's the truth...” Lime muttered. “Still, you majesty, she must have some input on this. Will you be willing to listen to her concerns no matter what she says?”

“But of course! I be but thinking of her comfort, not her disadvantage. And she have need or want, it shall be done, as said when said. She be recipient of this effort,” Luna said.

“You are ever gracious and understanding, your majesty,” Lime said with a smile.

“Thy words be sweetmeats to mine ears and warmth to mine heart, fair Lime. Thou hast great capacity for knowing thine hearer,” Luna said, patting Lime's mane. She then stopped to consider something. “Didst thou relate that Connie did know of this convocation?”

“Oh yes. I mentioned it to her while we were chatting as she washed dishes. She still does it, only now she makes Blueblood watch. Presumably he'll do them someday, if only once,” Lime said, looking thoughtful.

“How curious...” Lune said, shifting a glance to the door. “As thou sayst, mine impending grand-niece be much in possession of ovarian fortitude and great will. Surely she would be-”

“Now just hold on one minute!” With a shout, Connie burst into the room, startling the wedding planners and letting a great deal of light into the room from the open door.

“Connie! You're here. That's not a surprise. But you're a little late, and that kind of is,” Lime said, sliding between Connie and Luna.

Connie's indignant face twisted slightly with a shade of petulance. “I got lost, alright?”

Lime blinked at the confession. “But you're a...”

“I'm a scullery maid!” Connie shouted. “I stayed in the kitchen and low areas. The only reason I ever came up to this level was for Blueblood and I only know the way to his room. This palace is gigantic and the halls are intentionally confusing.”

Lime cleared her throat and tamped down a tiny laugh that had been developing. “But you're here now, and that's the important thing. We were honestly worried,” Lime said, looking to Luna. “So now that you're here I assume you have some input to share.”

“You bet I have some input for...” Connie's bold statement halted as she looked at the robed figures. “Who are all of these folks? I thought there were going to be one or two...”

Luna stomped a hoof loudly on the stone floor and shouted, “Voivodes of Matrimonial Design! Announce thyselves to she who shall be Princess!”

The figures announced themselves in an orderly fashion, as though they had practiced. It sounded like the knightly roll call of an old chivalric romance, which was appropriate given that Luna had convoked them. Mostly ponies, with a Diamond Dog and a griffin in the bunch. The Dog was some kind of mechanical expert, to tackle the audio and lighting, while the griffin was an animal trainer, to deal with the doves to be released on being married. The rest of them were pony specialists in some field, such as flowers, pastry, entrees, and even a master calligrapher and a paper maven, for invitations.

Connie stared, nonplussed. “You hired... a paper maven? I didn't even know there was such a thing.”

“I assure you, I am most important,” the mare said. She was a bright white unicorn of somewhat advanced age. “The right paper stock sets the right tone of every possible sort of archival treasure or personal correspondence.”

“And then the content!” The calligrapher interjected. He was a similarly old unicorn, his coat a reddish black color. “The flow and twist of the letters, the way the ink sits on the page. The viscosity of the ink, the change of thickness from the twist of the pen, and how the dried ink sits, pushed into a divot or raised just slightly to give a tactile experience.”

“I'm not disrespecting the specialty,” Connie said, holding up a hoof. “Just surprised there is such a thing.”

“Aye, my grand-niece to be, there be such and many more as thou hast thus seen. They have much to recommend them, as each be only finest that may be found in each of their divers tasks, while each, like mistress or master of a guild, do employ only finest journeymare workers and all manner of 'prentices to finish,” Luna said, with some pride.

“So... these are the ones that will make my wedding happen?” Connie asked, looking at the vast collection of experts, each one looking proud and confident.

“They are the best. I should know, I checked all the references before her majesty picked them,” Lime said.

“They'll do it, and not me?” Connie queried, furrowing her bow slightly.

“By all means, shalt thou have much control. Shall I step aside and unto thine hoof pass position as Czarina, Lime as thy knyaz o'er these voivodes and their divers labor-militiaponies,” Luna said, standing beside Connie and giving a proud look to the gathering.

Connie tried to muster up indignation but had no luck. She could see how much Luna cared for her and her wedding. “Your majesty...”

“Nay, nay my soon-to-be grand-niece,” Princess Luna interrupted, shaking her head. “Shalt thou not call me such. Blood we be not, but thou art family to be. As does thy betrothed, call me great-auntie, in such affection as doth he.”

“A-alright yo- great-auntie,” Connie said, with some hesitation. “I can see just how much you care about me, and the success of my wedding...”

“Shall it be the grand success of the season!” Luna shouted joyously. “Beyond the Gala, or any other fête in the Principality. Shall all be envious should they not have the pleasure of attendance, and all that do shall speak in awful tones and hushed whispers that their eyes were blessed to behold such grandeur and majesty!”

“That's what I thought,” Connie said with a sigh. “I wanted to hold on to my usual donkey indignation but you're just so wonderful and earnest...”

“How now? What doth ail thee, my grand-niece?” Luna asked, placing a fetlock against Connie's forehead. “Hast thou taken on ill vapors, or what term the learned physicians have concocted?”

“I'm not sick. I can just see you're excited and, that makes me happy. I didn't think ponies would get excited about me and things I had going on,” Connie said.

“I can sense there's a 'but' coming up up. You were upset, now you seem both sad and disappointed. Your emotions are all over the place,” Lime noted.

“I'm used to obnoxious jerks, so I've gotten used to having that kind of response to folks fiddling with my life,” Connie said softly. “I'm really good at being a hard-headed type. Or just looking really meek, like when I was working here. I was a little down on myself then. Blueblood's attention sort of awakened the old me.”

“And 'tis a fine 'thee' that has been 'wakened by my grand-nephew,” Luna noted. “Thou hast much to speak of thee. But why dost thou regard this gathering with spleen and melancholy?”

Connie stepped slightly away from Luna, eyes cast to the ground. “When Lime first told me about this, I thought it would be a small collection of folks pontificating about my wedding, just generalists drawing up a plan based on fashion and trends. But these are professions with an army of assistants. You want perfection, and wonder, and to make the folks of Canterlot remember it. That's admirable. Frankly, I think my objection is a little petty now.”

“Object thee in any form thou wishest, for thou hast that power and shall ne'er be forced to yield such personal force,” Luna softly said, coming around to Connie's side again. “Come now, my grand-niece. Be so grand and speakest thou thy mind.”

“I used to dream about what my wedding would be like,” Connie said, with a smile playing on her lips. “I grew up like Lime, but not in a terrace. I was from a mountain community. So I thought about a little wedding by the waterfall base, or under a big tree, with some jenny or jack who could see past my giant ears. Maybe, maybe sometimes I thought about a mare or stallion now and again. Just a normal fantasy of a nice, little wedding.”

“Admittedly, I used to think about a small wedding too,” Lime confessed. “Just an office wedding. Then I married Dark and I got my nice, important military wedding, at the garrison attached to the palace. Quite a thing for a low-terrace mare.”

“When I came up here, to the palace, I considered being married in a nice office, or even somewhere pretty in Canterlot like one of the gardens of the middle terraces, or the historical district,” Connie said. “But it was always going to be small. And it was always going to be... mine.”

“Thine own...” Luna said, suddenly understanding. “At thy command, shaped and chipped, flake on flake, like a sculptor creating a marble masterpiece. Aye, by thy will formed and molded into a contour to be fired into precise shape. Well do I remember it, though 'twas long ago, and I and sister were still 'we' as Order. But remember I also when we were cleaved from one another, and shaped I the wonders of Umbratara and mine august capitol. There be grand pleasure, inestimable delight, in shaping beneath one's hoof, whether 'tis sky, soil and sea, a nation, or plans for some glorious doing. How could I do such an injury to one I will call family? To steal from thee, mine soon-to-be grand-niece, that joy, all for sake of show and ego. Mine own, and not thine.”

“You had good intentions, and I can respect that. I even like it. I like that you care, and really want to stick it to those rich snobs that thought I was gonna debase myself for tradition's sake,” Connie said, a grin crossing her features. “I don't fault you, but I really wanted to do this myself, my way. Without the army of experts. I don't mind input but I'm the one getting Blueblood down the aisle.”

“Thou art cause for this, 'tis true,” Luna said, nodding sagely. She turned to the collection of experts and motioned to the door. “We do humbly beg thine indulgence for this theft of thy time. 'Twas not our intent we be cutpurse to thy businesses.”

“Please see the palace accountant and submit a written bill for your time,” Lime said, shuffling out the grumbling collection of folks. “And please realize that there will be an audit, so don't try to get more out than your standard consultation fee. We can check those things, and do. And don't grumble so loud. Connie may still want to hire one or two of you for the detail work. So keep your hopes up.”

“Sorry to have ruined your plans, but I really have wanted to arrange my own wedding all my life. You only get married once, generally. So this is my one chance to do it exactly how I want,” Connie said, looking up at Luna with her ears hanging down apologetically.

“'Tis of little matter,” Luna said, grandly. “Thou wast well in thy rights. Thou hast liberty to chose how thou shalt present thy nuptials to the Principality. I only ask that thou hast mind to awe. As is said, living well be best revenge.”

“I'm a donkey. Hardy and strong. And that stereotype about us being the cultural equivalent of boiled roasted grain isn't offensively wrong but only slightly broad,” Connie confessed.

“I know you, Connie, and I know all that is true... though the fact that you can put up with Fireclay's stories tells me you're not innocent or very bland,” Lime said with a smile.

Connie chuckled softly, strolling over to the map of Canterlot, noting that a few places had been marked, all on the upper terraces. “But all of this is very pricey stuff. Certainly not what I would get for myself.”

“Aye, mayhap I did intend overmuch,” Luna said, looking over the map herself. “Gilding the lily, as is said, and who may eat golden lilies? A royal wedding be royal, but be a wedding. Thy wedding, thy will.”

“I know what I want,” Connie noted, “But not what I'll need. I know what a little wedding will entail, how much food, how many invites and I know who I'll invite. But I'm sure the guest list will be a bit bigger for Blueblood's sake.”

“They be not his blood relations... save those two we may not bar,” Luna said, with a growing look of distaste. “But let that pass! We must needs bring they of the nobility, they that have warrant to pass through to such a gathering, they to whom we owe some desert, they to whom we give praise. Neither kith nor kin, but by necessity.”

“Oh there are those we actually like. If that's alright, Dame Connie,” Lime said. “Dame Fleur, of course, and her plus-one betrothed, Fancy. Platinum Shine and her groom-to-be as well. There won't be much time for glad-hoofing but it'll be a nice gesture.”

“I know exactly what I want, but just can't wrangle the scope of it. I doubt my cake choice would be enough,” Connie said, stroking her chin.

“Now, when you said boiled roasted grain..?” Lime started.

“I like regular cake,” Connie said, with a roll of her eyes. “Chocolate, actually. And buttercream frosting. Not ganache, not fondant, not royal icing. And actual cake, not chocolate-flavored marzipan.” She noticed that Luna and Lime were looking at her in some confusion, and a blush sprang up over the bridge of her snout. “I work in the kitchen. There are a lot of desserts and I get first dibs on the leftovers.”

Lime chuckled politely behind a hoof and cleared her throat. “Fair enough. I just hope you know there's more to it than cakes and dresses.”

Connie thumped her chest in a good imitation of a guard salute. “Hardy donkey practicality. I understand folks need things to eat, desserts to munch, something to drink, entertainment, and then the decorations for it all. I can do it all with a practical eye.”

“I hope it doesn't end up looking like a Stalliongrad wedding. Nothing against the Stalliongradi folk, but talk about boiled roasted grain...” Lime said with a shake of her head. “Still, you are going to make it look nice.”

“As nice as I can make it,” Connie said. She gave that thought a moment of consideration and gave a sheepish look to Lime and Luna. “So, while I don't need all of those folks back...”

“Dread naught, my soon-to-be grand-niece. As thou sayest, so shall it be when thou choosest what form shall thy nuptials take. Thy wedding, thy will,” Luna said.

Lime passed off a thick-looking scroll and smiled. “A small office or outdoor wedding is one thing. A royal wedding is this. These are all the things that have to be there. Now you choose what they all look like specifically, but this is the stuff that you need to have.”

Connie opened the scroll and goggled as it hit the ground and rolled a short distance. “Well... I guess I asked for it...”

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Comments ( 16 )

FUCK-ING FINALLY.

Very glad to see this return. Finally taking a break from exposing the subhuman gremlins in our society?

Thank you. I love this story and I've been waiting for more for a 2 years now.

8026542
8026501

Funny story, this chapter could have gone up earlier. I found it last night, complete. It was written, polished and formatted for upload. What I think happened was that was about the time my aunt's cancer came back, so I sort of forgot about it. Plus, uploading was hard back then. Today I have a better system.

Good to see these folks back.:pinkiehappy:

Yay! The wedding shall be wonderful!

And she have need or want, it shall be done, as said when said.

As in the previous chapter, you've got "and" for archaic "an," meaning "if," here. I want to cite this, but you have no idea how difficult it is to google a phrase where the most important word is "an." Nevertheless, I did manage to find this from Henry IV, Act I:

Heigh-ho! an it be not four by the day, I'll be hanged...

Also, if you had some fascinating metaphor in mind when you used the word "ovarian" to describe Connie, it went well over my head. I'm rather hoping that was autocorrect speaking.

8026950 Sorry to hear about your aunt. Keep up the fine work, though. You give Blueblood character and that's important.

8027284

It's actually supposed to be a very simple and intuitive reference. As it is a majority female population some phrases and references are different. Ovarian is meant to be the equivalent of testicular in terms of boldness.

8027620
Well, that's, er. Incredibly problematic I suppose is a start. To take the least fraught reason, the only reason that the idea of testicles causing a certain set of behaviors entered the realm of common knowledge was their convenient exterior placement, which allowed people to discover what happens when you cut them off. To this add that you're attributing those behaviors caused by testosterone to an endocrine gland that produces a very different mix of hormones, and you're looking at a turn of phrase that could not conceivably have arisen.

It could be intuitive in our patriarchal society, and I did get it when I read Luna's "ovarian fortitude" line. But if we're trying to world-build, it doesn't work.

8028521

Are we doing that? I missed you at the planning meeting.

Submit your minutes and I'll review them. I don't remember hiring you but I guess I did.

Damn, being funny needs way too much paperwork. Can you handle all the bureaucracy? The Ministry of Comedy is ironically boring.

8028604
Sorry. I tend to take you seriously because your work is awesome.

I am glad that this flick finally up dated I wanted to see what happened next.
I could see a runaway wedding, but I live to see how Connie was able to stop it with a simple lecture.

8030347

It helps that Connie is one of about six people that Luna respects very deeply.

I hope I can keep momentum.

thyselves

That's a neologism, with an improper mix of singular and plural. And, in truth, "thou" is casual/familiar and "you" is formal/respectful. A princess calling everyone "thou" would be extremely uncouth.

I'm enjoying this story. I hope you continue it!

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