AGNPH Stories

Forbidden Love by XD385


Story Notes:

This may become a bit of a Naruto crossover, but no characters from the series will appear, this I promise.

Unprecedented Matrimony

Garyson gazed at the midday sky as he examined the blade of his rapier. The market of Green Mile was bustling with activity in mid summer and the townspeople were taking advantage of the lovely weather. The knight looked up at the grand cathedral that he had come to visit. There were many other guests in the courtyard that surrounded it, both human and Pokémon alike. Garyson closed his eyes and gave a very wide grin to the sky. This was a most joyful day indeed. It was the day that his closest friend was to be married.

Father Pietro walked outside the cathedral while draped in a white robe. He saw Garyson leaning against one of the stone walls that surrounded the structure and approached him. "Good day, Sir Garyson." The knight glanced over and nodded, "Good day to you, father. A lovely day for a wedding, wouldn't you say?" The priest frowned, "Yes, I suppose so. But it still feels.....awkward." Garyson sighed, "Are you still going on about that?" Pietro nodded, "It is written in the scriptures the ways of humanity and Beasts. This union between one and the other is viewed as blasphemy." Garyson grumbled, "I'd watch my mouth if I were you. Say that around Ashton and I can't be held responsible for his actions. Besides, you've seen how happy Ashton and Ruby are with each other. Would you call that a 'forbidden love' knowing how content they are?"

Pietro became silent as he listened to Garyson. But he soon spoke, "Perhaps the scriptures do not hold the truth. I suppose there is always the possibility that the Almighty's will was misinterpreted and lost throughout the ages. I just need to, as you young lads say, get with the times." Garyson patted the priest on the back, "That's the way. This kind of love can't be wrong when it's shown both ways. I mean they even had a kid together! And what a cute lad he is!" Pietro smiled, "Yes, I heard about their son. Lucash, was it not? And how old is he now?" Garyson nodded, "Over a year. He's evolved by now. And that means Ashton and I are 17 by now." Pietro nodded, "Young love truly is a beautiful thing indeed."

A short while later, Garyson turned to welcome a few more guests to the cathedral. But among them were two familiar faces. Garyson grinned, "Welcome, Lady Starlet and Lord Siegfried! And.....oh? Who's this?" Siegfried noticed that Garyson was looking at the little Kirlia that was suckling from Starlet's breast and laughed, "What's wrong? Didn't you know that Starlet had another child?" Garyson jumped for a second, but then applauded, "No, I didn't! Congratulations! I never expected you two would have another child!" Starlet then giggled, "Actually, Siegfried is not the father. Ashton is." Garyson's clapping slowly came to a halt as he became a little blue in the face. "Did you say..... Man, I don't even want to know. You have another baby and that's good enough for me. Sure is a cute one..... Wait, what's the name?" Starlet smiled, "Her name is Monica. And she's barely a year old. But for some reason, she evolved sooner than we expected." Garyson gently patted the nursing Kirlia on the head, "And what a doll she is. Cute little Monica."

After a moment of catching up on lost time, Siegfried smirked, "Don't look now, but here comes our own little girl." Starlet looked over to her left and smiled as Serenade ran over to her. "Mother!" The Gardevoir sailed into her mother's spare arm and shared a warm embrace with her. "So good to see you again, Serenade. And I trust my grandchild is well?" Serenade smiled, "He is just fine, Mother. Who is this?" Serenade looked down at the child in her mother's arm. Starlet smiled, "This is your little sister. Her name is Monica." Starlet's eldest daughter gasped, "Father, you never told me you and Mother were planning on having another child!" But the Gallade chuckled, "I would've, but she's not my little girl." Serenade looked back at her mother and asked, "But if Father isn't the one, who is?" Starlet grinned, "I'm sure you can guess." Serenade brought a hand to her chin for a moment, but then gave her mother a sly grin. "Mother, did you and Ashton really go through with it?" Starlet only nodded in silence. Serenade giggled, "I should've known you and him would have a baby together someday. You always did adore Ashton more than a mother should." But she then looked down at Monica and gently tickled her cheek. When the Kirlia looked up at Serenade, Starlet whispered, "Don't be shy. This is your big sister." After a moment of looking up at her half-sister, Monica reached out to Serenade with a smile. Serenade giggled as she took her sister into her arms. "So nice to meet you, Monica. My name is Serenade." The Kirlia spoke, "Se...ree...nay...?" Starlet brought a hand to her mouth as she giggled, "She's making progress." But Monica then began press her mouth against Serenade's vest. The Gardevoir sighed, "Oh, why not?" She then pulled down one side of her vest, revealing her swollen breast. Garyson silently turned away out of embarrassment as Monica began to suckle from her sister's breast. Serenade grinned, "I'm a mother too, you know."

After a moment of breastfeeding her sister, Serenade smiled, "All right, that's enough. Save some for your brother." That was when it occurred to her. "Of course! I forgot about Kota!" She then handed Monica back to Starlet and pulled her vest back up over her chest. She smiled, "I'll be a moment. Wait here." Serenade then went behind the cathedral. A moment later, Serenade came back over to her parents with a Ralts held against her chest. She whispered, "He's very shy, so keep your voices down." Serenade then turned her son's head until he was looking at his grandparents. Starlet and Siegfried tried to remain silent, but they could not stop themselves from shedding tears of adoration at the sight of their grandson. Serenade whispered, "Don't be afraid. That's your grandmother and grandfather." The Ralts timidly reached out to them and froze when Siegfried took his tiny hand into his own. The proud Gallade smiled, "Hello there, little one." The Ralts whispered, ""

Once her son had become acquainted with his grandparents, Serenade introduced him. "Mother, Father. This is Kota. He's a little over a year old now." Starlet wiped her tears away, "Such a darling child..." She then held out her daughter, "Monica, say hello to your brother." The Ralts and Kirlia merely stared at each other for a moment before touching hands. Starlet then handed Monica to Siegfried and took a step forward before embracing her daughter. "I am so very proud of you, Serenade." Serenade replied, "I should thank you, Mother. If you had not requested that I marry Ashton, I would have never discovered that part about myself."

Near the back of the cathedral, Cassandra was carefully assembling the bouquet for Ruby. "Let's see... Roses, tulips, lilies, pansies..... Am I forgetting something?" A little girl's voice answered, "Daisies!" Cassandra turned and found Cleo sitting nearby with a number of daisies in her mouth. She smiled, "Thank you! You sure know your flowers." After taking the flowers and adding them to the bouquet, Cassandra nuzzled her daughter, "Thank you, Cleo. And you grew those daisies all on your own. Now your father's wedding can't go wrong." Just then, the tiny Absol smiled, "Roses are red, violets are blue. Papa's marrying Aunt Ruby, but he loves Mama too!" Cassandra blushed as she tried not to laugh. She whispered to Cleo, "You're right. Your father does love Ruby. But he loves me just as much. And he loves you too."

A voice shouted, "Cassandra! Got a minute?" Cassandra and Cleo turned to face the voice, but the tiny Absol smiled, "Aunt Zandria!" The Zangoose walked over to her niece and patted her on the head, "Would you like a snack?" The red eyes of the Absol lit up in excitement, "Oh goody! What is it?!" Zandria knelt down with a bowl of red broth in her hand. "It's tomato stew. I need to know how it is." The Absol stuck her head into the bowl and lapped it up in a moment. She then licked her lips, "So yummy!!! Is there more?!" The Zangoose laughed, "Oh, much more! But not until all the guests get here. And I made sure to make enough for everyone." Cassandra asked, "Along with that tomato stew, what else is there?" Zandria brought a hand to her chin, "Let's see... There's roast duck, fresh fruit salad, grilled salmon, tempura-fried veggies, sushi, dumplings, and..." But Cassandra asked, "Sushi? Why are you cooking eastern cuisine for the wedding?" Zandria shrugged her shoulders, "Call it a hunch. Wouldn't be surprised if Koga shows up. I'm sure he'd like some food that reminds him of home." Cassandra nodded, "Good point. By the way, where's your son?" Zandria smirked, "Wish I knew. Probably having fun with Lucash somewhere."

Near the arched gate, Laika relaxed while watching her pups play. Blake still refused to take orders from girls, so Luna and Natasha would chase him until he begged for mercy. But a moment later, Laika noticed a hooded figure proceed through the gate. It seemed to glance around a bit before moving towards the cathedral and stepped inside. Suspicious, Laika barked at her pups, making them face her. "I'm going inside for a minute. Behave yourselves until I get back." The three Poochyena pups nodded, "OK, Mama!" Even though she knew to expect that, Laika felt a warm feeling inside to hear her children call her 'Mama'.

When Laika entered the cathedral, she saw many guests quietly mingling with each other as multiple monks knelt in prayer while possibly wishing Ashton and Ruby a happy life together. She soon noticed the cloaked figure standing nearby and approached it. Laika gave it a quick sniff, but the figure did not seem to notice the Mightyena. Laika frowned, "You...smell vaguely familiar." The figure jumped at Laika's words and turned to face her. The Mightyena asked, "Who are you? Are you planning something against Ashton?" The figure looked down at Laika, who raised an eyebrow at the sight of a pair of unfeeling eyes. "You are.....Sabrina?" The woman pulled her hood down and nodded, "Yes. It has been too long, Laika."

Laika asked, "So you came to see Ashton's wedding?" Sabrina nodded, "Yes. I foresaw this several days ago and decided to attend." But Laika then asked, "But why conceal your identity? I thought you were an assassin at first." Sabrina sighed, "I'm.....not a very social person. I am a hermit. Do not ask me why. I just am." Laika turned away, "But if you do not like being around others, why are you here?" Sabrina looked over at Laika, but then looked back towards the end of the cathedral with a smile, "Because Ashton is a hero of this kingdom. No...not just this kingdom. The entire world. I am sure many will follow his example in time. I could not help but wish to attend this wondrous occasion." Laika smirked, "And if I recall, you kind of looked after Ashton during your late teens. Right?" Sabrina nodded, "Yes. He was like a cousin to me. I made sure to watch for any danger in his future." But just then, Laika heard yelps as her pups began to quarrel amongst themselves. She grumbled, "I thought I told them to behave while I was gone. Excuse me, Sabrina. I better break them up." The she-wolf then ran outside and barked, "Hey, what did I tell you?!" Sabrina let out a faint chuckle as she heard Laika's children apologize simultaneously.

Outside the cathedral, Laura was chasing after her two children near the bell tower. Latias laughed, "Come on, Mommy! Are we too fast for you?!" Latios added, "Maybe she's getting old." Laura growled at this and lunged at them, only to have the two children separate at the last second. The yellow Latias sighed, "Such energy... Is this what it was like for Ashton when he first brought me into his home? Now I know what it was like for him during my first week at his estate..." But Laura decided then to let her children have their fun while she went down to the courtyard to enjoy some time with their guests.

Laura noticed Chiara sipping some tea while her son snacked on a Danish pastry. The Latias flew down to them and asked, "So, how're things going so far?" Chiara smiled, "I've been keeping track of our guests. Over 50 have joined, and more keep coming." But she then asked, "Laura, why do you seem so out of breath? That's not like you." Laura groaned, "My kids wore me out. So I'm letting them run free for now. But I'll bring them down when the wedding starts." Chiara laughed, "You? Tired?! Now that's a first!" Laura growled, "Don't rub it in if you know what's good for you."

After a few minutes of idle chatter, Chiara's son tapped her side, "Mother, who is that?" Chiara looked towards the archway at the entrance to the courtyard and gasped to see the queen herself surrounded by a number of knights. "The queen?! Even Lady Jessica is here?!" Chiara began to walk towards them, but stopped when she saw her son fly over to them and land before the knights that stood before the queen. Two of them drew their weapons as one spoke, "Identify yourself." The little Lugia bowed before them with a wing in front of his chest, "I am Winston. A pleasure to meet you, your highness." One knight asked, "Say... Isn't he one of Ashton's....." Another nodded, "Aye, I think so. And such a fine lad too." The two knights at the front stood down as the queen pushed her way past them. "Hello, little Winston. And do not bow to me. Your father is a great man. It should be I who bows." Winston smiled, "But when you speak to a queen or king, you must bow." Chiara walked over to them and picked up her son in one hand, "I hope my boy did not cause you any trouble. He has been pouring over our books in the study of manners and such. He's even more of a bookworm than I am." Jessica smiled, "It was no trouble at all. Your son is very polite." But just then, a voice spoke from behind the queen's entourage, "Excuse us, but is this where the wedding of the Angel of the Eternal Flame is being held?" The knights quickly spread out as they turned to face the owner of the voice.

Laura came over and gasped, "Oh no..... It's all coming back to me now..." Her face began to turn green as she saw Koga standing at the archway with a number of other shinobi beside him. And standing behind them was a middle-aged man with a long flowing black beard while draped in a beautiful silver robe that shimmered in the sunlight. Chiara gasped, "The emperor of the Far East? Why are you here?" The emperor nodded, "I came here to witness the wedding of the hero who saved our homeland. That is, unless it has already ended." Chiara giggled, "No, you're just in time. Truth is, I haven't seen Ashton since this morning." But Laura then asked, "Sir, why are you wearing a robe of silver? Last I saw you; the robe you were wearing was a golden color." The emperor chuckled, "Yes, good memory. While I am in my homeland, I wear a robe of gold to symbolize my reign as the emperor. But here in Rohta, I am merely a visitor. I have no control over this land at all. Therefore, I don this robe of silver to show my lower class in this kingdom's society." Chiara smiled, "I am amazed that you would be so thoughtful when visiting our land. Oh?" She then noticed Winston reaching out to the emperor. He noticed and asked, "May I?" The mother Lugia smiled and handed her son out to him. But when the boy came within reach, he grabbed the emperor's beard and gave a firm tug. "Ooch!" The emperor yelped as Winston looked surprised. One of the shinobi asked, "My lord, are you all right?!" The emperor merely chuckled, "It caught me by surprise, but it did not really hurt." Winston then bowed his head, "I'm sorry. I was curious if that beard was real or not. I've never seen one so long." The emperor smiled, "A beard can indeed reach this length over time if it is properly maintained." Koga then asked, "Chiara, what is wrong with Laura?" She looked behind her and saw that Laura looked as if she was going to vomit at any time. The Lugia looked back at Koga and began to look a little ill herself, "It seems she recalls when the eight of us....." Chiara stopped and looked away in self-disgust as she knew that the only reason Koga disguised himself at the time was because she and the other seven ladies lacked faith in Ashton when he went off in search of the Azure Knight. One of the shinobi whispered, "Master Koga, what happened back then?" The elderly shinobi brought a hand to his face and groaned, "I would rather not recall that time..."

Aurora took a look around in the kitchen of Pietro's residence at the cathedral as she came to inspect the fair. Zandria was hard at work cooking for the many guests who may arrive. Aurora then heard a slight ruffle near some sacks of grain. When she came over to investigate, she found a small Zangoose with blue markings in its fur and red claws snacking on some fruit tarts. Aurora growled, "Atlas, shame on you! Wait until the wedding is over!" The Zangoose looked back over his shoulder and made a dash for the kitchen door. But just before he could reach it, something grabbed him by the ruff of his neck. "Where do you think you're going, boy?" The Zangoose child gulped, " the bathroom?" Zandria smirked, "Nice try, Atlas." She then turned her son around so that he was facing her while hanging from his neck fur. "If you're hungry, you should've asked." She then held her child to her chest. "You can have my milk for now. But wait until the wedding is over. I made sure to include plenty of food, so there will be enough to go around." Atlas smiled and began to suckle from her breast. Aurora then asked, "Don't you think he is a bit old for breastfeeding?" Zandria smiled, "Almost. He'll be weaned in a couple of weeks." But the Zangoose then asked, "Now that I think about it, where's Ashton?" Aurora frowned, "Strange... I was hoping you knew. Is he not even here?" The Suicune then made her way to the door, "I suspect he's still at the manor. I'll be back before you know it." Once she was outside the cathedral, Aurora broke into a run as she dashed through the city and back towards the Crimson estate.

After only a few minutes, Aurora reached the Crimson estate. But as she reached the open gates, she stopped as she saw Ashton kneeling before Serra's grave. Without a word, she walked up alongside him and sat down. After a moment, she whispered, "You're going to be late." But Ashton quietly replied, "I know. And I'm sorry." Aurora then asked, "Then why are you still here?" Ashton frowned with a somber expression on his face, "It....just doesn't feel right. I'm not supposed to be marrying Ruby." He then reached out and placed a hand on Serra's tombstone, "I was supposed to marry her."

Aurora bowed her head, "She was a very noble woman. I'm sure her entire life was dedicated to you after the two of you first met. She valued your life more than her own." Ashton nodded, "She was always so tender to me while I was at the academy. Almost like a mother." Aurora sighed, "I'm sure she would have made a splendid bride. But even so, she..." Ashton took a deep breath as he stood up, "I really need to stop this. I promised Serra that I would find love anew. And I did. But I need to go all the way. After all, I'm not marrying Ruby just because I love her." He looked over at Aurora and continued, "I'm also marrying her because Serra would've wanted it to be this way."

Aurora stood up and gently nuzzled her lover, "That's the spirit. Don't let the past destroy your will. Shall we be going?" Ashton nodded and began to walk towards the gates, but soon stopped, "Wait a moment. I just remembered something." Aurora looked back at Ashton, who motioned for her to follow him inside the manor. As they approached his bedroom, Aurora asked, "What are we forgetting?" Ashton smiled, "A guest of honor."

Once inside his bedroom, Ashton proceeded to a chest and opened it before pulling something out. It was Soul Calibur in its scabbard. After removing the sword and returning the scabbard to the chest, Ashton asked, "Are you awake?" After what sounded like a yawn, Soul Calibur's voice replied, "Yes... Good day, young master. What do you wish of me?" He then asked, "I was just about to head off to my wedding. Do you wish to come along?" The sword was silent for a moment, but replied, "A wedding is where two souls become bound in love. Correct?" Ashton nodded, "Something like that." Soul Calibur sighed, "The feeling of love is still new to me. I am still trying to understand it, but I would be honored to attend." Ashton smiled, "Thank you. Aurora, come over here for a moment." When the Suicune approached him, he tied Soul Calibur to the hexagonal crystal on her head in the same fashion as the day after slaying Night Terror. Aurora giggled, "A lovely hairpin, I must admit." Ashton asked, "How's the view up there?" Soul Calibur replied, "I can see quite well from up here." Ashton smiled, "Glad to hear. Now let's be on our way." After leaving the estate and locking the gates, Ashton climbed aboard Aurora and she took off as swiftly as the wind back to Green Mile.

Laura and Chiara were talking to each other about their children as Ashton and Aurora came to a screeching halt right past the archway in front of the cathedral. But when the viscount hopped off of Aurora, Laura whistled, "Whoa, you're looking fabulous today, Ashton!" Ashton was sporting black boots with silver buckles and a tunic with white sleeves and light blue coloration along the front and back with golden threads woven along the chest. Ashton smiled, "Thank you. I was searching through my wardrobe all morning for the right outfit." But just then, a voice asked, "Mother, isn't the wedding almost ready to start?" Ashton and Aurora turned and looked down to see Aura gazing up at them. By then, she was about � the size of her mother.

Aurora smiled, "Yes. Now that your father has arrived, the wedding can begin." But Aura asked, "But I don't see how he can be my father. He looks nothing like me." Ashton bowed his head with a sigh, disappointed that Aura, even after over a year, did not understand that she was his daughter. Aurora explained, "Of course he does not look like you. All Suicune are female. If he was a Suicune, he would be female. And you can't have a child with two females." But Aurora then nuzzled Ashton, "And if you need further convincing, your father and I can make you a baby sister tonight. Right, dear?" Ashton began to sweat profusely and gave Aura a panicked glance.

Aura felt a nagging feeling in her gut that she should believe her mother and nervously smiled, "Um, you don't have to do that. I think I get it now." She then walked up to Ashton and sat down while gazing up at him. When they locked eyes for a moment, she asked, "Father?" Ashton gave her a tender smile and picked her up before cradling her in his arms. "That's right. You are my little girl." But just to be sure, Aura turned to her mother and asked, "Mother, are you sure he is my father?" Aurora nodded, "I know that for a fact. He is the only man who has ever mated with me." Aura did not understand what it meant to mate, but she looked back at her father and nuzzled his face, "I'm the flower girl today, right?" He nodded, "That you are. Now go inside and get ready for the procession." After Ashton set her down, the young Suicune ran inside while Garyson held the door open for her. The knight called out, "Hurry up, Ashton! Just because I'm your Best Man doesn't mean you have the right to keep me waiting! All the guests are inside! Now come on!" He then ducked back inside.

Ashton looked up as he sighed, imagining his new life as a husband. But just then, two voices called out, "Papa!" Two small figures came soaring over the roof of the cathedral and into Ashton's arms. "Latios? Latias? Why are you still out here?" Latias giggled, "It's so boring waiting for you, so Latios and I played a game of tag with Mama. But she was a poor sport and quit after a few minutes." Laura growled, "I just wasn't in the mood for games. This is an important day for your father!" Ashton sighed, "But it was my fault for being late. I apologize. What do you say we get this wedding started?" Latios nodded, "OK! Papa and Auntie Ruby are gonna get married!" Laura then followed her children inside the cathedral as Chiara and Winston joined them. Ashton turned to Aurora and nodded, "Well..... We've come this far. Time to see this journey through to the end." Aurora nodded, "Well said, my lord." But just before they could move towards the cathedral, a voice shouted from behind them, "Hold it right there, Ashton!" The viscount froze as cold sweat began to ooze from his pores, "Oh man, not her..."

Ashton and Aurora turned to face the owner of the voice. Ashton gulped, "Black Mist..." The former pirate captain scowled at him, "Ashton, is it true? Are you really getting married today? And to a Lucario?" Ashton hesitated for a moment before replying, "Yes. Ruby and I are to be wed in a short while." Black Mist yelled, "What about me?! You said you would think about my proposal! Is this your way of saying no?!" Ashton grumbled, "I apologize. I should've told you when I decided. I just forgot about you during the hectic time after I made my decision. If you wish to attend the wedding, please come inside. Now then, I must be going." But as he and Aurora turned towards the cathedral doors, Black Mist smirked, "Oh no you don't." With a quick movement, she grabbed the Viper Edge by its hilt on the back of her hip and lashed it out towards Ashton's neck as the blade extended. The viscount had no time to react as the whip-like blade lassoed him around the neck.

Ashton gagged, "Oh man, not this again!" Aurora gasped, "Ashton?! Let me..." But Black Mist shouted, "Don't even think about it! You remember last time? Try to interfere and I'll give this sword a good yank. Then you can watch as his neck is shredded." Aurora slowly backed away, horrified at the thought of losing her beloved master. Black Mist then ordered, "Turn and face me, Ashton. Unless you want to lose your head." Ashton gulped as he slowly turned around while trying not to move any part of his body. Just like almost two years before, Black Mist slowly approached him while keeping her snake sword taut. When she was only inches away, she spoke, "I'll let you go on two conditions." Ashton shuddered, "What? To become my bride and bear my child?" But Black Mist smirked, "Not quite. Make me the Maid of Honor." Ashton gave her a baffled look, "Um...OK. You're the Maid of Honor. And what is the second condition?" At this, the snake sword around Ashton's neck loosened and retracted until the blade became whole again. After sheathing her sword, Black Mist gave Ashton an amorous gaze and grabbed both sides of his face with her hands. "Pucker up." She then sealed lips with him as she kissed him most passionately. At first, Ashton was shocked by this brazen display of affection. But he soon gave in and embraced her while kissing her back, their tongues mingling together in passion.

Once Black Mist broke the kiss, she blushed, "You know I've always loved you. I can deal with you being sworn to another. But always remember this, Ashton. You will always be my first mate." Ashton smiled, "I'm sure that if I had never met any of my servants, I would've chosen you to be my bride. But it also would've meant that the Pokémon of this kingdom would still be viewed as mindless animals." Black Mist nodded, "Yeah, I heard. So you took down Soul Edge, eh? Looks like I'll never beat you again in a duel. Even so, I just might find my match someday. But I'll always have a place in my heart for you." She then walked over to the door and held it open. "You two coming?" Ashton and Aurora turned to face each other and nodded. The two lovers then proceeded inside the cathedral as a certain man watched from a distant hillside, his silver scythe glistening in the sunlight.

Once inside the cathedral, Ashton was greeted with a voice, "You're late. Did something happen?" Ashton recognized the voice of his bride-to-be and turned to face her, "I....... Ruby... You look...beautiful..." The Lucario was draped in a fabulous white gown and veil that was custom-made just for her. In her hands was the bouquet that Cassandra and her daughter had put together. And around her neck was the very same choker Ashton had given her, its ruby shining brightly. She smiled, "I can't believe this day is really here... It felt like an impossible dream only a short while ago, and now it's really happening." Ashton asked, "Are you having second thoughts?" The Lucario shook her head, "Of course not! You're my husband! You're the only man I'll accept to be my mate!" Ashton smiled, "That's what I was hoping to hear." Just then, the sound of pipe organs began to fill the cathedral. Aurora quickly made her way down the aisle to join the rest of Ashton's family at the front row. Ashton then looked at the rest of his friends and family and nodded, "Let's make this a day we will remember for the rest of our lives."

Everyone present looked back as the wedding procession began. At the front was little Aura with a small basket fastened to her back. With every several steps she took, Aura would use a weak Gust to blow a number of rose petals upwards from the basket, only to have them gently float back down and blanket the aisle. She smiled as she listened to the pipe organs, but also felt a little ashamed that she had taken so long to understand that Ashton was indeed her father. She soon began to scatter the rose petals more vigorously as she tried to make her father proud.

Proceeding down the aisle next to Aura was her half-brother, Lucash. Having evolved into a Lucario, he stood at about four feet and six inches as his human traits had caused him to grow taller than most Lucario, and he was not even an adult at the time. His legs were more like human legs than those of a canine and his hands had developed into human hands coated with fine black fur. He still lacked the spikes that all other Lucario had, a trait he inherited from his mother. His four dreadlocks were no different than when he was a Riolu and he still had that spiky tuft of hair on his head. His dark brown eyes shone with joy as he carried the two rings that would seal his parent's future together in eternal love.

Following after Aura and Lucash was Ruby and the Maid of Honor, Black Mist. The navy captain was still wearing her attire from her pirate days, but she was also wearing a circlet around her forehead with a sapphire embedded in it at the front. As they walked down the aisle, Black Mist whispered to Ruby, "You found a real hunk of a man. Promise me you'll take good care of him." Ruby smiled, "That's a promise."

At the very back of the procession were Ashton and his Best Man, Garyson. For the occasion, Garyson had donned royal purple pants with his favorite dueling jacket and boots with silver threads embedded into them. Garyson whispered, "Look's like you've bested me yet again, Ashton. You destroyed a monster I failed to defeat. And now you've found a bride before I could." Ashton smiled, "Don't feel down. You'll find your match someday. I guarantee it." Garyson gently nudged his old friend, "I'll hold you to that."

A short while later, Ashton and Ruby stood before Father Pietro before the altar while Lucash stood a short distance behind them with the rings. Pietro spoke, "We are gathered here today to witness a historical union of two lovers. At one time, their love was forbidden. Any knowledge of their love could have meant death for both of them. But through the destruction of a vile unholy demon, a new understanding was formed that had been refused and ignored for far too long. That Beasts have no souls of their own and were condemned as slaves to humanity, or worse. But the veils of doubt and lies have been drawn aside and the light of truth now fills this proud kingdom, bringing true equality to this land. And these two are the first to show that Beasts are not beasts at all. They are people, capable of love, of feeling, of understanding." Ashton and Ruby were filled with joy that Pokémon were now viewed as true equals throughout the kingdom where up until a short time before they had been viewed as mindless beasts and subjugated beyond belief.

Pietro clapped his claps, "Now, let the vows of love be exchanged with the rings. The rings that have no end as they follow the same path, a path of love that never ends." Ashton and Ruby turned to their son as Lucash stepped forward. Ashton took his ring from the pillow that held them and took Ruby's right hand. They exchanged a long gaze as his eyes silently told her the extent of his love. He then slowly slid the ring onto her finger. The ring was a modest gold ring with no jewelry of any sort. Ashton and Ruby had decided that their rings would be as modest as possible as their love could not be compared to any jewelry, no matter how extravagant. Ruby then took the second gold ring and gazed up into the eyes of her former master. Her beautiful crimson eyes told a silent tale of what her life had become because he had claimed her, a filthy worthless reject, over an entire cage full of powerful and proud Lucario. Her eyes also showed fear. Fear of what would have become of her if he had left her there. Would she even be alive at that moment? But her eyes showed gratitude more than anything else as she slid the ring onto Ashton's finger. After the rings had been taken, Lucash dropped the pillow and embraced his father. "Papa..." Ashton tenderly held his son to him as he whispered, "Thank you, my son." Lucash then turned to his mother before dropping to his knees as he was a little taller than her. He then embraced her as he whispered, "Mother..." Ruby embraced her child while being careful to not drop the bouquet she held. "You did splendidly." Lucash then ran over to his aunts and half-siblings in the front row to join them.

Ashton and Ruby turned to face Pietro. The priest then turned to Ashton and asked, "Do you, Ashton Ashton Ketchum, take Ruby to be your loving wife and to devote yourself to her in sickness and in health until death do you part?" Ashton nodded, "I do." But before Pietro could turn to Ruby, Ashton whispered, "And thanks for using my new name." Pietro cracked a smile, "Anytime." He then faced Ruby and asked, "Do you, Ruby, take Ashton to be your loving husband and to devote yourself to him in sickness and in health until death do you part?" She nodded, "I do." Pietro then raised his hands, "Then by the power invested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife." Ashton and Ruby then turned to face each other to seal their marriage with a kiss. But just then, their gazes fell upon the guests.

Ashton's eyes scanned the people within the cathedral. To his pleasant surprise, he found that along with many humans, there were many Pokémon as well. He then looked over to his mother and saw that she was trying not to cry as Siegfried attempted to comfort her. Ruby's gaze was focused on only a few guests. She was looking at her seven 'sisters' as they watched her. She was afraid that they would be upset. That they would hate her for taking Ashton away from them forever. But instead, she saw excitement in their eyes. They even seemed to be edging her on. To claim Ashton as her one true love. The two lovers then turned to face each other and smiled. Ashton dropped to one knee so he was eye level with his bride before removing the veil. They then sealed lips as the audience burst into cheers and applause.

A short while later, Ruby stood with her back to a mass of women, both human and Pokémon. She then looked over at Cassandra and asked, "What's supposed to happen?" The Absol giggled, "You throw the bouquet over your shoulder. Whoever catches it will get married someday." Ruby grinned, "OK! Ready, girls?! 1...2...3!" She then gave a toss as the women prepared to grab it.

Suddenly, a long metal rope of sorts shot out and wrapped around the bouquet before retracting. Ashton brought a hand to his face, "Oh good lord, not again..." The entire group of women turned to face the owner of the whip and found Black Mist holding the bouquet in her left hand while the Viper Edge rested in her right. She had a delighted grin on her face, "Looks like I was right! I really will find my match someday!" But the other women began to glare at her. Among the group were a number of particularly dangerous Pokémon, including a Blaziken, Houndoom, Flygon, and Persian. Knowing she was in trouble, Black Mist took off running around the sides of the cathedral with the women in hot pursuit. Ashton snorted, "Pirates. Tch! Never play fair!"

A short while later, Zandria brought out all the food she had prepared into the courtyard. But first up was a massive cake that she had put special care into making. The cake was fairly simple in design and was covered with a light cream icing. The Zangoose grinned, "Come on, you two! It's your duty to make the first cut!" Ashton and Ruby approached the cake, but soon looked around for a knife. But Ashton then had an idea. He called out, "Aurora! Come over here for a moment!" The Suicune walked through the crowd and stood before her master. "Yes?" Ashton then reached for Soul Calibur, "Just be still for a moment..... Got it." He then untied it and took the spirit sword in hand. One of Black Mist's crewmates whistled, "Whoa, fancy sword you got there!" Ashton replied, "It's just an ornamental blade! But it's quite sharp too!" He then took the sword in one hand and held it out towards the cake. He carefully whispered, "Do not speak, Soul Calibur..." Ashton then turned to Ruby, "Well? Are you going to help me cut this cake?" Ruby smiled, "Oh! I see now!" She grabbed the sword's hilt the best she could until both of them were gripping it. Together, they made a deep cut in the cake and handed out the first slice. After that, Zandria handled the rest of the cutting. But when no one was looking, Ashton whispered to Soul Calibur, "How did it taste?" The spirit sword's blade was coated in icing and cake crumbs. She replied, "It tasted...delightful."

As the guests enjoyed the feast, the crew of the Perla Celeste played music on the same instruments that they used during Ashton's voyage to the Far East. Many guests were even dancing to the music, including Ashton and Ruby. But Ashton would also frequently swap out suddenly to one of his eight lovers. He was an especially suitable dance partner for Serenade as they had danced before at the royal party where he gave Serenade her first kiss. And for old time's sake, Ashton and Garyson held a duel for the guests to observe. Of course, they both wielded rapiers. But due to his lack of aptitude with the thin sword, Ashton was soundly defeated. But since it was solely for entertaining the guests, Garyson did not count it as a win for himself.

That night as the guests continued to enjoy the wedding party, Ashton leaned against the stone archway as torches illuminated the courtyard. He sipped some tea as Ruby came over to him. "Ashton? Are you not feeling well?" The viscount replied, "I'm fine. Just taking a breather from the activities." Ruby leaned against him and sighed, "I can't believe it has finally happened. And I always thought something like this would only happen in my dreams. Now all of Rohta will follow our example." Ashton nodded, "Captain Lance would be proud..."

Lucash came over to his parents and smiled, "Papa, what's gonna happen now?" Ashton smiled, "I'm going to focus on raising my family. I have quite a few children to look after now. Including you." He patted his firstborn son on the head, making him giggle. But Ruby then pointed, "Who's that?" Ashton looked out into the darkness of the street ahead of the cathedral. There seemed to be someone standing in the center of the path with a large scythe in hand. "Is that...?" Ashton then noticed the left eye of the person. It glowed like a golden orb. As the man turned away, Ashton could swear that he saw him crack a smile. As Lucash watched the man disappear into the night, he asked, "Papa, who was that?" Ashton smiled, "A friend."

As his wife and son went back to the party, Ashton could almost hear Zasalamel's words in his head. "Farewell for now. We just might meet again someday. Another time, or perhaps another lifetime."
Chapter End Notes:One chapter to go. And my longest story yet
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