Meanwhile, Smurfette was at work helping with food preparations for the feast they were having that night for the wedding ceremony. All the while that she was talking with the Utopi women in the fields and the kitchen, they were telling her about the Utopi men and how strong and brave and handsome they were.
"How is it that you're the only female among your kind in the village?" one of the Utopi women asked.
"I am not the only female in the Smurf Village," Smurfette answered. "But I am the only one who's...well, an adult female like most of the male Smurfs who are my friends and family. An evil wizard created me to destroy the Smurfs, but then Papa Smurf smurfed a magic spell on me and smurfed me into the Smurf I was meant to be."
"And you have all those male Smurfs to choose from to be your mate?" another Utopi asked.
"What are these male Smurfs like?" a third Utopi asked. "Do they all look different from each other like our men?"
"Not by much," Smurfette said. "But they all act differently, which is how I can tell one Smurf apart from another. Only Papa Smurf, who's our leader and my father, smurfs different from the rest, and then there's Empath, who on the day I smurfed eyes on him thought he was the most handsome among all the Smurfs."
"So how is he the most handsome?" a fourth Utopi asked. "Is it the star that he has on his forehead?"
"I thought it was that at first," Smurfette answered. "But then I realized something about him that was so different from the other male Smurfs I have met, and that he smurfed so much like what Papa Smurf must have smurfed like without the beard around Empath's age."
"But it must have been lonely for you to not have another female of your kind to talk to in the village," the first Utopi said.
"Yeah, and the only male Smurf that I can smurf to about beautiful things is Vanity Smurf," Smurfette said. "But there's just something about smurfing with another female Smurf that smurfing with a male Smurf just can't smurf the place of. That's why I enjoy smurfing with Sassette and Nanny, even if they aren't the same...uh, age as me."
"You're very fortunate to have friends among your people even if they aren't of the same gender, Smurfette," the second Utopi said.
"I noticed that there are two leaders of the Utopii, that Mami Utopi smurfs as the 'second leader'," Smurfette commented. "Is that anything like being an assistant leader or something?"
"Papi Utopi leads the men while Mami Utopi leads the women," the third Utopi answered. "However, much of the authority lies upon Papi Utopi for the entire village, which is why even Mami Utopi has to take orders from him, but it's not like he has absolute authority over everyone here. It's just that he's our father and our leader, and like any good father he watches over us and takes care of us and will protect us in times of danger."
"Your Papa Smurf doesn't have a wife?" the fourth Utopi asked.
"Papa Smurf did have a wife years ago before I was smurfed," Smurfette said. "But she along with Papa Smurf's fellow Smurfs died and he was left as the only adult Smurf to lead the village with so many young Smurfs to smurf up to him for guidance and leadership. It wasn't easy for him to smurf an entire village all by himself, but I see that he hasn't smurfed a bad job with how he runs the village. I feel safe and secure knowing that Papa Smurf is always smurfing out for me."
"Your husband will do the same for you and more, Smurfette," a fifth Utopi said. "As women, we must rely more on the men that we will marry someday to be our protector and guide, because there will come a day when we won't have a father or leader to look up to."
It was a quiet night at Tapper's Tavern. As most of the Smurfs were tuckered out from the wedding ceremony, Tapper gave them a shot of brandy that would help them sleep through the night. With everything that happened, most of them were beginning to feel the change that Empath and Smurfette's marriage had brought upon.
Brainy and Clumsy sat together enjoying their drinks and quietly talking. "Uh, Brainy, I'm beginning to feel that things in the village aren't going to be the same anymore with Smurfette married," Clumsy said.
"You're not the only one who feels that way, Clumsy," Brainy said. "I for one was smurfing forward to the possibility that it might be me marrying Smurfette of all the Smurfs here."
"I didn't know that you still loved Smurfette after all this time," Clumsy said.
"Of course I do, Clumsy," Brainy said. "Just because she smurfed her heart to Empath doesn't mean that I no longer have any feelings for her. She still would have smurfed a good wife unto me."
"But what if she had chosen me to be her husband?" Clumsy asked. "Would you have been upset at that?"
"No, Clumsy, no," Brainy said. "Well, maybe just a little upset, but I never smurf you down as a friend of mine if you smurfed that. I respect you too much to even think of smurfing that to you."
"But what are we going to smurf now that we can no longer have Smurfette?" Clumsy asked.
"I honestly don't know, Clumsy," Brainy said. "I know you have deep feelings for me, and I can understand that, but for me to smurf you the same feelings toward you is not something that I would feel comfortable smurfing."
"Is it because you're ashamed of what the other Smurfs would think of you?" Clumsy asked.
"It's just...," Brainy began to say before he paused, realizing that he didn't know what he could say about it.
Clumsy sighed. "It's just what I figured. No wonder I'm going to be so alone without Smurfette."
Brainy reached out and grabbed Clumsy's hand. "Don't ever think that I would be ashamed of calling you my friend, Clumsy. Even if we can't be lovers, we can still be together and care for one another."
Clumsy smiled. "Gosh, that makes me smurf a whole lot better."
By evening, the feast was ready. Empath and Smurfette felt a little worn out from all the activity they did in the day, but the day for them wasn't over. And neither was yet the time for them to be alone with each other. It was like there was still so much activity left in the day for them to participate in, they wondered if they would ever have enough private time for themselves.
Empath appeared as he did in again his Smurf hat and swim briefs, but was now decorated with a palm wreath around his neck. He then saw Smurfette emerge in a beautiful sarong, also with a palm wreath around her neck adorned with flowers. He looked at her and smiled, thinking that it will be all worth the activity they had to go through on their first day on the island with the Utopii.
"Come sit by my right hand, young Smurf," Papi Utopi said to Empath, directing him to the dinner table where all the Utopii were gathered around. "And you, young Smurfette, sit by my left. You are both honored guests who seek to be married according to our customs. You shall both dine with me and then we shall proceed with the ceremony."
"We are honored to be in your presence, Papi Utopi," Empath said. He and Smurfette sat across from each other at the same table, both next to Papi Utopi.
"Where's Mami Utopi?" Smurfette asked. "Wouldn't she normally sit with you, Papi Utopi?"
"Normally she would, my young friend," Papi Utopi answered. "But as second leader, her place is among the women, which is why she will sit across from me on the far end of the table, after she has finished bringing forth the meal that we shall eat tonight."
"Here is the ceremony cup, Papi Utopi," one of the female Utopi said as she set a cup made from a coconut shell on the table in front of Empath and Smurfette and poured a drink into it.
"Ah, yes," Papa Utopi said. "It is custom for the husband and the wife who shall be joined together to drink from the same cup. The husband shall drink from it first, and then shall his wife, to show that they shall belong together solely to each other for all time."
"This smurf will drink to that," Empath said, reaching for the cup.
"Do not rush the ceremony, my young friend," Papi Utopi said, stopping Empath from grabbing the cup. "You must solemnly swear that you will give your strength and your courage to this young maiden who has chosen you to be her mate, and that you must love her and care for her and protect her with everything that you have for all time."
"Of course," Empath said, realizing his error.
"And you, fair maiden," Papi Utopi said, addressing Smurfette, "you must solemnly swear that you will give your beauty and your compassion to this young man who has chosen you to be his mate, and that you must love him and care for him and protect him with everything that you have for all time."
"I will," Smurfette said, looking at Empath.
"Then you may drink of the cup to show your unity of strength and beauty," Papa Utopi said.
Empath looked into Smurfette's eyes as he took the cup and drank. She looked into Empath's eyes as she took the cup and did the same.
"Now, then, let the feast begin, before the ceremony starts," Papi Utopi shouted. Soon the music started, and the food was brought to the table.
Empath and Smurfette felt like they never had a feast like that of the Utopii before. The food was just incredible, beyond anything that could be adequately described. Smurfette knew she helped prepare the food, but even then she was completely surprised by how everything tasted. The Utopii had them sample every single dish that was on the table.
"How do you people eat like this?" Empath asked Papi Utopi.
"Normally our meals are rather light," Papi Utopi answered. "It's when we have guests like you that our meals have more substance to them. When you live long enough on this island, it will not matter anymore how the food will taste or how much of it you will eat or go without. We are a quite content people."
"Greedy will certainly like smurfing to this island just for this," Smurfette said.
"And now the ceremony shall begin," Papi Utopi announced, suddenly standing up for all the people to hear. "This young man who seeks to be married to this young woman shall fight for the honor of her hand against the champion I have designated."
"What?!?" Smurfette said, surprised to hear that.
"This smurf has to fight to marry Smurfette?" Empath asked.
"Yes, it is part of our marriage custom that the man who seeks to marry must fight against the champion who will protect the bride," Papi Utopi answered. "If you lose the match, you will not be married. It's as simple as that."
"Oh, Empath, what are we going to smurf?" Smurfette asked, not liking this part of the ceremony.
"Don't worry, Smurfette," Empath said. "We will go through with the ceremony and we'll still be together regardless of what happens."
"That will be difficult," Papi Utopi said. "If you lose, Smurfette will remain part of our people forever."
"Empath! Don't let that happen!" Smurfette said, sounding fearful.
"Just relax, Smurfette!" Empath said as they were led to the ceremonial ring where the fight would take place. "How difficult will this fight with their champion be?"
And then Empath saw the champion for himself. For his size, he looked bigger than even Papi Utopi. He felt a lump forming in his throat, making him realize that this isn't going to be an easy fight.
"This maiden will be mine!" the champion said in a challenging voice, preparing himself for battle. "Show your strength or show your weakness!"
Empath realized that he will have to fight him on the same level. "This smurf will accept your challenge," he said as he took the same stance as the champion.
And then with the sound of a gong, Empath and the champion raced headlong into each other. Empath tried to grab the champion, but the champion grabbed him first and easily threw him out of the ring. Smurfette watched fearfully as Empath landed far behind the crowd. "Oh dear," she said mournfully.
"The champion has won!" Papi Utopi said. "Smurfette shall remain as part of the Utopi."
"This isn't fair!" Smurfette said. "The champion's bigger than Empath is!"
"Part of the challenge is dealing with something bigger than ourselves, Smurfette," Mami Utopi said. "We're either capable of dealing with the challenge or we're easily defeated by it."
"I will enjoy your company, fair maiden," the champion said, sounding like he's taking delight in his easy victory.
"Nobody touches my wife except me!" a voice shouted. Empath came back to the ceremonial ring to face the champion again. "I challenge you to a rematch!"
"That is not our way!" the champion said. "I have beaten you fair and square, and now Smurfette is mine!"
"The husband has the right to call for a second match to prove himself," Papi Utopi said, countering the champion's claim.
"What's wrong, champion?" Empath asked. "Are you afraid that you're going to be defeated?"
"I fear nothing!" the champion roared. "You did not last against me the first time, and you will not fare any better the second time around!"
"Okay, then, prove it!" Empath said, readying himself in the fighting stance.
Again the gong sounded, but this time only the champion charged toward Empath while he remained still. Then when the champion got very close, Empath jumped high over the champion's head, pounded on his head, and landed right behind him.
The Utopii gasped as they saw Empath's move performed on the champion. Smurfette realized that Empath was using his jumping skills as a Smurf to wear down the champion.
The champion did not like having his head being pounded upon. He charged at Empath again, and Empath again jumped over the champion, pounded his head, and landed behind him. Empath and the champion repeated the same moves over and over, and each time the champion became more disoriented from all the pounding his head was taking. Finally, with one last feeble charge, Empath simply grabbed the champion, lifted him high above his head, and threw him right out of the ring, totally unconscious.
Smurfette and the Utopii cheered. "A rather unconventional battle, but Empath has proved his right to marry Smurfette," Papi Utopi announced.
"Oh, Empath, I knew that you could smurf it," Smurfette said, so eager to embrace and kiss him at that moment.
Papi Utopi then stood between Empath and Smurfette, handing Empath a floral wreath and Smurfette a wreath of stones and rope. "And so, it is my honor that the two who shall be united as husband and wife shall decorate each other with these wreaths, to show that the husband will always protect his wife with his strength, and that the wife will always protect her husband with her beauty. May this union of strength and beauty be one that shall stand for as long as the mountain on this island will."
"Smurfette, I pledge that I will give you my strength," Empath said as he draped the rope wreath around Smurfette's neck.
"And Empath, I pledge that I will give you my beauty," Smurfette said as she draped the floral wreath around Empath's neck.
And then the Utopii cheered as the two of them embraced and kissed each other.