“My friends,” began Malagise, raising his glass, his face dignified. “This has been a… unique experience, I hope.”
“That is putting it mildly,” said Lanfusa with a snort.
“Mumsy!” hissed the Duke. He straightened himself. “You have seen the uniting of two lonely souls, a glorious old city, and…” He sighed. “Assorted other things. In truth, I would say little of this has gone as I planned, as we’ve had to deal with… interruptions.” Lanfusa snorted at that. Malagise shot her a glance. “But that is life, my friends. That is life.” A smile spread on the Duke’s fat, froglike face. “And in truth--are not our existences enriched by the unpredictable? Do they not add--savor to the stew?”
“Not really,” muttered Lanfusa.
Malagise coughed. “I had planned to tell everyone of a child who came here to a wedding many years ago, and had a lovely time in this magnificent old city. And who saw two people dancing with such style and grace that the memory has stayed with me to this very day.” He gestured to the orchestra, who began to play a strange lilting melody. “I wonder, if the Lord and Lady of Castle Cruel would… care to dance?”
Pinabel and Tessina glanced around nervously, then stood up, and walked to the center of the room. As the music played, they began to dance, their movements graceful and relaxed. “They are v-very good,” said Zenobia to her husband, quietly.
“They don’t call Pinabel Maganza ‘the Flower of Chivalry’ out of any great appreciation of his beauty,” whispered Malagise. “Largely because he has none. At least not of a physical nature.”
“They really love each other, don’t they?” murmured Zenobia. She gave a contented sigh. “Well, that g-gives me hope. We fr-freaks can do a-all r-r-rig-right for ourselves.”
Malagise raised his glass to his bride. “To you, my dear. And to life.” And with that, he gulped down the drink.