The different vendors walked through the crowds offering their wares as the actors on stage acted out scenes from different stories. One vendor caught her eye as he passed, and Mitsuhide saw the man and called him over.
“Do you see something you wish to have, my love?” he asked in her ear as she saw the fine jewelry on display on the tray the man carried.
“I like looking at jewelry that is all Mitsuhide.” She said.
“You told me of the traditions of your place. Doesn’t it consist of rings?” he asked.
“on a persons wedding day they exchange rings yes. ” she said with a soft smile. “Do you remember everything I said?”
“I remember everything about you.” He said in her ear. “Now here is your choice, Princess. He has some fine rings on the tray.”
“Mitsuhide, are you asking me for my answer?” she asked.
“only if you are ready to give it to me.” He said softly.
“Sir do you have any matching rings for a male and female?” she asked the vendor who graciously knelt closer to the pair.
“I do, Ma’am.” The vendor said to her with a toothy grin.
“Then show the princess, please,” Mitsuhide said as he reminded the vendor that she wasn’t the only one there.
“These are some of them.” He said as he moved a sheet that covered three sets of rings. All of them were matching and had designs etched into them. She looked at the three sets and then looked at Mitsuhide.
“These will work.” She said with a smile.
“You want those?” he asked.
“Yes.” She said as she and he both knew she was saying yes to more than just the rings. Mitsuhide then started the negotiations for the set of rings she wanted. After the vendor placed them in her small hands and wished them well as he moved more through the crowds.
“How did the ring giving happen?” Mitsuhide asked in her ear.
“Normally in a ceremony that we pledge ourselves to each other.” She replied.
“Can this happen anywhere?” he asked.
“Normally it would have family and friends surrounding the couple and an officiant who helped prompt the couple. In my time, it is a legal thing more than anything else.” She said.
“So if we had a whole group of the entire village with a stage and all these people it would still fall into your practice?” he asked.
“I guess.” She said. He stood for a moment and reached down to help her up. He then lifted the mat of the ground and shook it out. He began walking and tugging on her hand that he had not let go of. He went to the local shop keeper first and asked for sake to be brought to the stage. The man took off running after Mitsuhide spoke. Then Mitsuhide went to speak to one of the actors of the troupe that was performing, and when the shopkeeper came back, the actor had a huge smile on his face. The actor walked up on the stage and silenced the crowd.
“We always love to be invited to the local villages and castle towns to share our love of the arts with all of you. We love it when we can be a part of your lives as well. The lord of the nearest castle has asked us if he could use our stage to do something absolutely wonderful. He wanted to share this moment not only with the members of his clan, which many of them are here but with all of us. Lord Mitsuhide.” The actor said as he bowed to Mitsuhide, who was still tugging her along and up onto the stage.
“I didn’t mean right now.” She whispered to him.
“Why not?” he asked. “What better way to make sure no one can refute our marriage. Your way and mine.”
“Mitsuhide.” She said as a warning.
“I want to make sure that no one can ever try to take your place or the place of our children in the clans line, princess.” He said in her ear. “The more public our marriage, the less likely someone can even try. Too many people will remember this for what it is. Two people beginning their shared lives.”
“Fine.” She said softly as she looked out of the village green and saw hundreds of people. They were all looking at her and Mitsuhide as they had their tiff. She had to smile at that.
“Many of you know the Princess as the honored guest and caretaker of my castles. She has agreed to become my wife tonight.” Mitsuhide started, and the crowd cheered. “What better way to start of lives together than with everyone here as our witnesses.” Again the cheers erupted around them. “The princess comes from a faraway land with different traditions from ours so we will do this both her way and ours!”
She looked around as everyone cheers and saw an older man on the backside of the stage. She walked over to him and looked him over, “Would you like to help Lord Mitsuhide and I marry?”
“I am just a stagehand, Princess.” He replied as he dipped his head.
“That is fine.” She smiled at him. “It is simple to do really. I just need you to ask Lord Mitsuhide if he will take me as his wife. Then repeat the question to me if I will take him as my husband. Then that we can exchange the rings. Then you pronounce us man and wife. That is it.”
“Are you sure you want me to do this?” the older man asked.
“I do.” She said as she reached out her hand to the older man who looked at her like she had lost her mind for touching an old man at all. She pulled him to stand in between Mitsuhide and her as she put Mitsuhide in the right place in front of her facing her. He sent a questioning look. “I told you there was a person who lead the whole ceremony. We needed that. This fine gentlemen will do that for us.”
“Attention everyone. We are going to begin.” The older man said loud enough to bring the crowd on the ground to silence. No one wanted to miss seeing the princess marry their Lord. “Do you Lord Mitsuhide Akechi take this woman to wife?”
“Kit what am I supposed to say?” Mitsuhide whispered.
“Yes, you idiot.” She replied.
“Yes,” Mitsuhide said, laughing at her response.
“Do you Princess Kit take Lord Mitsuhide to be your husband?” the older man asked.
“I do.” She replied with a smile.
“Please exchange the rings.” The older man said, feeling more and more confident on the stage behind the princess and Mitsuhide. Mitsuhide took the rings out, and she gave him her hand and told him which finger it was supposed to go on. He slid the ring on slowly, and she looked at him in the eyes the entire time. She then took the ring from his hand and took his hand and slid his own ring down on his ring finger just as slowly. “You are now man and wife. At least by the princess’s standards.”
Mitsuhide looked at her and peeked her on the mouth as he said, “My turn.”
The shopkeeper that he had sent off was standing in the front as well as three monks he had motioned too. Mitsuhide took out a small purse and handed it over to the monks who would be registering the marriage for the couple in their time. Mitsuhide sat, and the princess followed suit as the monks said some prayers she didn’t understand over the two as the sake was poured and he told her they had to pass the cup in sets of three, three, and then nine. They each took their sips as more prayer were said and the incense burned around them. Soon the monks left, and she and he were left on the stage standing by as the crowd cheered loudly at the newly married couple.
“Princess, we can do anything as long as we try to do things together. In my time or ours.” Mitsuhide said as he smiled down at her.
“I see that Mitsuhide.” She said. “I think the sake was a bit too strong for me. Are we staying here in town tonight?”
“You already knew that.” He chuckled.
“Then let us give the stage back to the actors, and we find our seats.” She said.
“You wish to stay and watch?” he asked, surprised.
“Mitsuhide we need to let the people, your people, see us together and happy. They need to tell you congratulations. It will make them a part of this.” She said with a smile. "They need that, and so do you. We will have thousands of nights together, but this one also belongs to them. You said you wanted to do this here so I am protected from others within and outside the clan, that our children will be protected as well. That means you need to let them in now.“
"I understand, my love. You are right.” He said with a sigh. However, I think you need some water as you do need to stay up for a while later. You are now my wife, Kit, tonight we will begin as we will continue.“ Mitsuhide said as their feet hit the ground and the people came up to the both of them. They went to the back of the green so the actors could continue with the show.
"So you are my new cousin.” A man sauntered up to her.
“Are you Mitsuhide’s cousin?” she asked as she looked him over, not seeing any resemblance between the pair.
“I am.” He replied, and Mitsuhide stepped in front of her.
“Hello, cousin,” Mitsuhide said with a certain snark that made her flashback to the other Mitsuhide for a moment. She hadn’t heard it from this one before. At least not like that.
“A fine woman you have there. I am guessing you only married her because she is already breeding for you.” His cousin said.
“She is a fine woman, and no, we are not expecting a child yet. We married because we wanted too not because we had too.” Mitsuhide countered.
“Well, you better keep that one close. You never know what could happen.” His cousin said and then turned and walked away. She shuddered next to him, and he felt it.
“Did he just threaten me?” Kit asked softly.
“I am afraid that though we are married and my name now gives you a certain protection, it also opens up many more threats,” Mitsuhide said.
“That is okay, Mitsuhide.” She said as she tucked her hand in his. “I knew what marrying you meant.”
“And what pray tell my love does that mean?” he asked as he looked into her eyes.
“It means I know I will be loved and cared for. Whatever happens, will happen regardless if we are married. My life will always have a threat with or without you as my husband. I would rather be your wife and be happy with you than worry about the threats.” She said with a smile that took his breath away.
“And that is why we will be leaving for the night.” He said loud enough for the crowd around them to part and give them time to pass as people called out they’re well wishes for the pair as they walked through the crowd. The innkeeper led the way for them to the room he had prepared for the couple.
“thank you.” She said as he bowed out of the room and Mitsuhide swept her up in his arms.
“You are mine now, Kit.” He whispered in her ear.
“I already was, Mitsuhide.” She whispered back as he set to work to remove her clothes for the night.