Soon they reached the gates of the village, with two of its people, the Utopii, guarding it. Empath and Smurfette could see what kind of people they would be dealing with, that for a laid-back friendly people that Marco claims that they are, they seem to be very cautious.
"There it is, Smurfette," Empath said as he stopped several paces short of its entrance and put down the bags he was carrying.
"What are you doing, Empath?" Smurfette asked as she watched him remove his shirt jacket entirely.
"Marco told this smurf that the Utopii aren't very fond of males being in their village wearing anything that covers their torsos, Smurfette," Empath explained. "If we're going to be among them, then this smurf must abide by their particular customs."
"Not that I have a problem with it, Empath," Smurfette said, "but I do wonder if you're comfortable smurfing around like that with other people if you're not comfortable smurfing around like that with your fellow Smurfs."
"It's all a matter of function and comfort, Smurfette, like it has been when this smurf started wearing Smurf clothes," Empath said. "This smurf usually never wears anything less just to impress somebody."
Smurfette giggled at that. "Well, you still smurf handsome anyway!"
Empath draped the shirt jacket over his shoulder as he picked up the bags and approached the guards at the gates. "State your business, stranger!" one of them said.
"Utopi hopi en mopi la topi gopi elopi nopi er fopi katopi za qopi," Empath said with a respectful bow.
"Ah, you respect us with our greeting," the other guard said. "We bid you welcome to our village. You may speak with our leader Papi Utopi. He has been expecting you."
Empath nodded as he and Smurfette passed through the gates to enter the village. As they entered, they saw that the Utopii were rotund people of various colors that wore skirts made of palm leaves, with head hair that seem to be nothing more than palm leaves growing from their heads. The village consisted mostly of huts with rounded doors to accommodate the round appearance of its people. To Smurfette, who has never seen an Utopi before, they seemed sillier to look at than the Smurfs or anyone she has ever met in her travels.
Empath and Smurfette reached the center of the village where two of its people were standing. Empath guessed that the other Utopi was female due to the fact that she was wearing a top covering part of her chest.
"You must be Empath, and the female accompanying you is this Smurfette that Marco has mentioned," the male Utopi said. "I am Papi Utopi, the head leader of our village, and this is my beautiful wife Mami Utopi, who is our second leader. It is my understanding that you have come here because you seek to be married."
"Well, actually, Papi Utopi, we were just smurfing from a...," Smurfette began to speak.
"That is correct, Papi Utopi," Empath answered, cutting off Smurfette's reply. "That is, it's the first time our people, the Smurfs, actually had two people that fell in love with each other to the point that they want to be united together as a couple, and your culture seems to honor and respect marriages, so we wish to do this according to your customs."
"I see," Papa Utopi said, stroking the palm leaf growing under his nose that appeared to be his moustache. "Then we'll need to separate you two from each other so that we can properly test you two and make sure that you're well suited for each other. Then the two of you will be united with a special feast where you will pledge yourselves to be soulmates for all time. Until then, we will make you feel that you're part of our family as you offer your services for a day in return for the hospitality and the free use of our part of the island to do with as you see fit."
"We have to work just to enjoy a honeymoon?" Smurfette asked, not liking the sound of it, or the idea of being separated from Empath just to go through another marriage ceremony.
"It's only for a day, Smurfette," Empath explained. "If we're going to spend a week here for our honeymoon, we might as well go along with their customs."
"My men and my wife's women will make the appropriate accommodations for the two of you," Papa Utopi said. "For now, though, we must make sure you are dressed in the manner of our people, which means the two of you cannot be seen together until you are married." Then he clapped his hands and some male and female Utopii showed up, the males around Empath and the females around Smurfette.
"Oh, Empath," Smurfette said, starting to sound worried.
"Don't worry, Smurfette," Empath assured her. "You'll be fine, and this is only for a day. Besides, we do need to get out of these clothes sooner or later."
Smurfette sighed as she took one last look at her husband before she and Empath were led away in separate directions. The honeymoon was already starting to sound a little less appealing to her, particularly where they are spending it.
Empath had to admit, though, that for his being properly dressed among the Utopii, they allowed him to go about wearing his swim briefs, which he claims he usually wears just for the comfort they give him.
"The thing about our people, Empath, is that the males must always show that they are strong and that they are not afraid to show their strength at all times," Papi Utopi explained. "That is why the Utopii men wear very little in the way of clothes, besides the fact that this island has never seen the type of climates your people have seen. I can see that your skin tone seems to take a slightly reddish appearance whenever you appear in the clothes like what you're wearing now."
"This smurf was mostly raised among the Psyches, Papi Utopi, and they tend to see nudity as an embarrassment, not as something to be proud of," Empath said. "This smurf's fellow Smurfs only have to worry about that if their everyday clothes are missing, especially their hats. If any of this smurf's people is proud to appear in little clothes, it's most likely Hefty or Vanity Smurf."
"No male should ever need to feel embarrassed about themselves if that's what they are, Empath," Papi Utopi said. "They need to feel free to express themselves as males so that females are able to see that they are strong and they are not afraid to use that strength to protect them and care for them. For that, you must prove that you will not be afraid to appear unto your beloved as the male who will express himself fully and without shame, whether he is with her or apart from her."
Empath swallowed hard at that thought. "If that's what it takes, Papi Utopi, then this smurf will bravely face the challenge set before me. When will this test start?"
"You will know when the time comes, my young friend," Papi Utopi said. "For now, though, we will need your help in some building projects that my men could use a hand in. If you're not afraid to appear among them as you are, then I will let you give them whatever help you can offer."
"This smurf is at your disposal, Papi Utopi," Empath said as they left the hut that he was changing clothes in.
Smurfette felt relieved to get out of the wedding dress and into something a bit more simple, such as the sarong that Mami Utopi's women had offered her to wear.
"The thing about our people, Smurfette, is that the females must always show that they are beautiful and that they are not afraid to show their beauty at all times," Mami Utopi explained. "That is why the Utopii women dress the way they do, even though this is more the place for any woman to appear in the manner that we appear. You seem to wear a great deal more clothes than any female should ever have to wear."
"Well, that was my wedding dress, Mami Utopi," Smurfette said. "It always smurfs more appropriate for a female to smurf in more clothes than a male smurfs, and to be more well-smurfed than a male. Besides, I tend to like clothes a lot, and I could never seem to smurf enough clothes for me to wear every day."
"You shouldn't have to hide yourself under clothes if you are a female, Smurfette," Mami Utopi said. "Even though we must protect parts that are not appropriate for everyone to see, we need to feel free to express ourselves as females so that the males are able to see that we are beautiful creatures not just on the outside, but on the inside as well, and that we are not afraid to use our beauty to protect the men that we love and care for them. For that, you must prove that you will not be afraid to appear unto your beloved as the female who will express herself fully and without shame, whether she is with her beloved or apart from him."
"Hmmm, that's going to be a challenge," Smurfette said, pondering what that test of her character is going to include. "But if this is for Empath, I'd be willing to smurf anything to be with him forever. So when is this test going to smurf?"
"You will know it when it happens, my dear," Mami Utopi said. "For now, though, my girls will need a hand in some food preparations. I hope you will be able to give them assistance in this kind of task."
"Greedy smurfed me how to cook, Mami Utopi," Smurfette said. "I should smurf my way around a kitchen, if that's what you're asking for."
"Then they will show you what you need to do," Mami Utopi said as some female Utopi entered the hut to take Smurfette into the kitchen.
For the rest of the day, Empath and Smurfette had spent it apart from each other, working the various tasks that were laid out for the men and women of the Utopii tribe. Empath helped the men dig wells, build fences, plow fields, fell trees, and all the time he got to know the Utopii very well. They didn't seem all that different from his fellow Smurfs, who appear to enjoy working together on various tasks in the village without much complaining. Of course, he did hear constant talk about the women they intend to marry within their tribe someday, of how beautiful they are, that they emit a rather personal scent to lure a specific male to them so that he would be theirs forever.
"What kind of scent does this Smurfette of yours emit?" one of the Utopi men asked.
"None that this smurf could smell," Empath answered. "Male Smurfs aren't usually attracted to the smell of females, but rather to their physical appearance and their personality."
"And how many Smurfettes are there in your village?" another Utopi asked.
"Just one adult female, unfortunately," Empath answered. "And she wasn't born in the village, but rather created by an evil wizard with the intention of destroying Smurfs. It took her desire to be something different and Papa Smurf's magic to transform her into a real Smurf."
"Many men and only one woman," a third Utopi said. "It must be sad to have to compete for her affections."
"And none of you compete for the affections of any of the females of your people?" Empath asked. "Then how do you know which female is the one you want to marry?"
"We can feel it, Empath," a fourth Utopi said. "We can know when a certain female among us is looking to be our soulmate. We can't describe how it feels, but when it happens, there's no doubt in our minds and hearts that this woman is the one any of us are to be bound with for all time."
"Maybe this smurf does know that feeling," Empath said. "It's what this smurf has been feeling ever since this smurf met Smurfette ten years ago. This smurf can sense that none of the other Smurfs ever have that same kind of feeling that this smurf and Smurfette have for each other. That's what makes it so hard for this smurf to ever get really close enough to Smurfette to ask her hand in marriage until now."
"You're willing to give up being with this Smurfette for all time so that the other Smurfs could have that opportunity for themselves?" one of the Utopi said, sounding incredulous.
"And none of them have ever taken that opportunity?" another Utopi asked.
"Well, this smurf thinks that letting Smurfette be free enough to choose who she wants to be with is fair, even if in the long run it would mean Smurfette would never belong to this smurf," Empath stated. "Not that my fellow Smurfs haven't tried taking the opportunity for themselves."
"That's either a brave thing to give up someone you love for somebody else's happiness, or a foolish thing," a third Utopi commented. "With us, because there's many females among us as there are males, there's no need for us to compete for the hearts of anyone. We just let nature take its course and when it's time, the female we desire to have as our soulmate will be ours."
"It's really that simple?" Empath asked.
"Well, there's still the wedding ceremony of our people to go through, Empath," a fourth Utopi said. "But usually, the Utopii are happy and content with the mates we are joined with."
"Let this smurf try to understand...if your people are not attracted to each other physically, then why do you need to show yourself physically as being strong?" Empath asked.
"Because that's what we are, Empath...we're a strong people, and we're a beautiful people," the first Utopi answered. "Showing both parts of ourselves should never be anything for us to be ashamed about. We love being both a strong and beautiful people, and strength and beauty should always be part of any union, whether it be our people or yours."
"You don't enjoy appearing as you are?" the second Utopi asked. "Having people see the strength that flows through every part of you...your arms, your legs, your body?"
"This smurf is never out to impress anybody with how this smurf appears," Empath answered. "All this smurf wants is to simply be comfortable with how this smurf appears, and not have to feel embarrassed."
"You don't need to feel like you're impressing anyone," the third Utopi said. "Showing yourself as we do is to show your mate that she can trust you with everything you're willing to give her."
"And that's why this smurf has to parade around in just my swim briefs all day," Empath said.
"Trust us that after this week you spend with us, you won't mind appearing in just your swim briefs even when you return to your own people," the fourth Utopi said.
Empath exhaled as he had a lot of think about from what his fellow Utopii were telling him. It felt like they were trying to get him to be the Smurf that Papa Smurf always wanted Empath to be before he even got sent away to Psychelia. Maybe this honeymoon would be the very thing that would finally bridge the gap between the Smurf that he is now and the Smurf that he should be, he thought.