People started to trickle into the area for the wedding a few weeks in advance. That was the most accurate their arrival times could be if they prepared for possible delays. It wasn’t like they could just take a few 747’s to the nearest big airport and then take busses or limos over. Besides, mingling with people before the wedding was part of the whole experience.
Even William spent time talking… though since he didn’t really know most of the people they were merely polite gestures. Sure, he knew names and faces and why people were invited but aside from the gevai lords and human emissaries he hadn’t met most of the guests before. There were even fewer he would call friends among them. There was Lila and… William realized he had very few friends. Allies, perhaps. Servants and followers? Certainly. However, his count of friends was rather low. He wasn’t sure if Jordan counted. They didn’t spend any time together outside of business. Lorelei was also a friend, among other things, but that still didn’t leave William with a huge quantity of friends.
William watched everything going on. Servants wearing expensive but subtle clothes blended in with the background as they moved to serve guests at different tables. They carried jugs containing wine older than any of the humans at the event- and some of the gevai.
The guests ate food and happily talked amongst each other, though William couldn’t understand every conversation all at once. Some of the guests tried new food, with various results. William couldn’t help but grinning when some tried food that contained significantly more spice than they were used to. He could see the sweat pouring down their face and their attempts to maintain composure.
William drank from the cup in front of him, keeping up a continuous smile. William had to admire the skill of whoever managed to poison it. He hadn’t managed to pick them out yet… but he felt no need to cause a commotion anyway.
Lorelei sat next to him, and William was glad that he had ample excuses to turn toward her and talk. After all, the whole event was ostensibly about them. Lorelei was much more practiced in formal social situation than William- though he was far from a slouch- even if she liked them even less than him. They each gave guests a few moments to formally introduce themselves, and William was glad there was no time for any sort of serious discussion. A few people mentioned proposals of various kinds, but that was the limit.
After the main part of the meal was over, there was music and dancing. Some people chose to peruse the gardens, and William wished he could afford to slip off behind some bushes to take space for himself- and Lorelei. Instead, they got to dance with each other once before being flooded with requests from different partners.
William knew that some of the gevai lords were still trying to set him up with their daughters. Polygamy- whether involving legal wives or just concubines- was not terribly uncommon among the lords, but neither was it universal. William wasn’t sure of his exact stance on the issue, but he knew that most men couldn’t manage a stable relationship with just a single person- let alone more than one. Lorelei was already the limit of what William could handle- and though she had her eccentricities she was willing to work with William to maintain their relationship. William had no interest in relationships filled with strife and intrigue.
For all of the smiling faces, the whole event was rather tense. The human nations hadn’t been at war with each other particularly recently, but that didn’t mean they were on the absolute best of terms. At least William could say that all of the gevai in attendance were unified now- as much as any newly formed group really could be anyway.
Customs were different as well. It would not be completely out of the question for a fight to break out at a gevai wedding. As long as nobody was killed, it would usually be glossed over. Several gevai lords nearly got into fights- with each other or humans- but a gentle reminder from nearby servants or guards would get them to back down- or at least remove themselves from the situation. William had already made it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate any fighting at this particular event. All of them knew that he could absolutely kill any of them if he wished to. While not all of them had seen him fight, they had at least heard of his many victories over powerful lords. This new Eternal King was not going to be challenged… at least for a time.
Williams ki senses stretched to cover the area beyond the gardens, where escorts of various parties waited. These soldiers were also provided food, though it was more plain fare. William was pleased to see that all seemed peaceful on that front.
Though everything seemed peaceful, William kept his senses spread. It was implied that those in attendance accepted the peace, but of course those who didn’t could also have come to cause trouble. There were a number of people with hidden weapons- but William wouldn’t begrudge them the desire for security. More people had magical garments that could act as a sort of armor, but that wasn’t going to hurt anyone. Only the guards had real weapons and armor.
Of course, the guards could likely kill many of the guests. Not that William would let that happen- and he’d personally checked the identity of every guard whether they knew it or not. Most of them were recruited from soldiers who had decided to stay in the army, with long records of service. Well, long compared to William’s reign as king anyway.
Eventually, it became late and people started drifting off. A successful day, with nobody killed or even injured. William found the constant vigilance more tiring than being in battle. At least in a battle he wasn’t worried about every little detail. Now, William could finally relax… until the next day. After all, what sort of royal wedding only lasted for a single day? Certainly not one for an Eternal King.