222 Chapter 219 Wedding Invitations and Preps
"SAISHO, CAN I COME IN?"
Soon, a dragon showed up to let Joseph in. He could have just walked in, but that would be rude.
Saisho was back in her dragon form. The dragons were looking at him with interest, but Saisho showed an even better reaction. Her eyes were practically glittering as she stared at his aura.
"Hello, Saisho. I wasn't sure if you would be willing to leave your barrier, but I thought it only right to invite you anyway." Joseph took out her invitation.
With a smile he added, "I'm making Stella marry me in three days. We are getting married under the world tree in the realm the kin came from."
Saisho quickly took her human form in order to accept the invitation.
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"I was right. Something interesting has happened. You may not be as strong as the rune master was, but you certainly have the potential. It's good to see you. For you, I think I will make an exception and attend. I've felt the realm stabilizing the last few days. I don't think any gods, that don't currently have a claw hold involved in the realm, will be able to. I think I felt you do something to the south. I can only think it was you. It felt almost like another dragon was helping with the barrier, but it didn't have the feel of my children."
"Great. Yes, that was me. My castle was boosted, and now it pushes back the corruption. It works as a barrier for corrupted mana, even without me helping it. I also blessed my people. I'm glad you can make it. Do you want me to pick you up from here, or will you come to my kingdom?"
"Well, with the need to stay inside my barrier lessening, I think I would like to stretch my wings a bit. I'll fly to your castle and see it with my own eyes after hearing about it."
"Excellent. I'll see you then."
"Here you go your majesty. Of course, I am providing the food and drink, but I hope you come because of your respect and friendship for Stella, and just view that as a bonus."
"Ha! No worries. We look forward to her wedding. But you said I can only bring 10?"
"Yes, it will be in your realm, before the world tree, but Stella wanted to keep the number less than 100."
"Alright, well, fear not. We dwarves know how to party. Where is she now?"
"She's preparing. She wanted me to pass out the invites, because she's doing most everything herself. Well, she does have the six fey golems helping as well, but you know what I mean."
"Aye. Those golems are fine craftsmanship."
"Well then, I'll be here right before the ceremony to pick up everyone."
"What are you doing your majesty?"
"A little insurance, Derek. What does it look like?"
"It looks like you are firing magma missiles into a gate that connects to the dark sky."
"Correct. The projectiles made by magma missile are permanent. So, I'm firing them through a gate into space. But I'm marking them before I do so, in order to pull them back when I need to. Also, I'm shooting them towards the sun so that they will continue to accelerate."
"May I ask why, your majesty?"
"Yes, you may."
There was a long pause before Joseph started smiling and Derek shook his head.
"Sky fall causes a lot of damage to the surroundings, Derek. I'm hoping to get that energy in a smaller package. I want to focus the damage more. There are several things I'm trying to keep in my back pocket in case I need them, when we go to fight NURKONG. This also works on anything immune to magic, because at this point, it's just a rock going extremely fast. The magic is in the gate it goes through, not the magma missile. Of course, the magma missile has cooled into just rock by then, but whatever."
"Ah. I'm not even going to try and imagine what would happen if that hit something mortal. Anyways, we have everything ready. The FOOD college was extremely happy to work with the palace chefs for your wedding banquet, especially when I had told them to prepare for 200 and then let them have half of the prepared food for themselves. All of the dishes from materials you provided are going to your wedding though."
Stella stood next to Stu, watching as he gently placed the flower petals into place.
"I think those colors will work well. Thank you, Stu," she said.
"The samples for tasting are over there, so let me know which one you like," he said, nodding his head over by the ovens.
Stella moved down the counter, looking at the small cupcakes that sat on the baking sheet. They all had the same color, but she could see a small difference in texture. Picking up each one, she tested how easily it crumbled as she held it, and then tasted them. Each one had a vastly different taste, despite their similar appearances. With a laugh, she turned with the third one in hand.
Stu had stopped what he was doing, to watch her taste and test each one. The wide grin on his face showed that he was waiting for her to taste this one.
"Like it?" he asked.
"Oh, Stu! It's delicious! Did Joseph help you with this?" she asked, quickly stuffing the rest of the cupcake into her mouth with an ecstatic look on her face.
"No," he laughed. "FOOD suggested it. I was coming up blank with the flavor, and wanted it to be perfect for you."
"Oh! It is!" She glanced at the last two waiting for her to taste them, and knew before she even touched them that this one was going to be the one.
"This is pretty important for you. I didn't want to let you down, like I did when you first came to my kitchen."
Stella paused with the next cupcake halfway to her mouth. A lump had formed in her throat. Licking her lips to hide her moment of weakness, she took a bite of the cupcake and chewed it thoughtfully. It wasn't nearly as good as the one she had just finished, and it was returned to the baking sheet. The next one was good, but again, not as good.
She didn't know what to say to Stu. The concept of thanking someone was difficult to her. He had given her a home when she needed one. Her love of food grew because of his own love of cooking. Maybe he could help her figure out what to do about her mom? She hadn't talked to anyone other than Joseph about it, but this little hobbit halfling was the closest thing she had to family, outside of Joseph and her own mother.
With a breath to bolster her courage, she turned around.