Author: Lucathia Rykatu PM
Instead of receiving a brooch that dresses him in an assassin's clothes, Sun receives a trinket that switches his consciousness around with Judgment's. Now, Judgment must find out the mystery behind the Death Knight in Sun's stead. Problem is, imitating Sun's poor swordsmanship is no easy feat, and who knew what Sun was doing with Judgment's body in the meantime?Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Legend of Sun Knight/吾命騎士 - Chapters: 30 - Words: 52,660 - Reviews: 261 - Favs: 93 - Follows: 100 - Updated: 04-27-13 - Published: 08-24-11 - id: 7320840
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Legend of Sun Knight and make no profit from writing this.
Part 23 - Judgment
We continued on our way, heading into the more rundown part of town, the houses growing more and more ramshackle, like a gust of wind could blow them over. Although we were but a mere few streets away from the better part of town, the district we entered now made me feel like we were in a completely different city, one that had seen years of neglect and that the authorities continued to turn a blind eye to. It was a perfect part of town for a necromancer to set up her residence, as perfect a place as it could get for a necromancer living in the very stronghold of the Church of the God of Light.
Pink's residence was close now, and I should have been on alert, yet the entire time we walked, I could not stop eying what was left of the pie that was now in Grisia's hand.
That pie was dangerous. The chocolates that Grisia had me try were delicious - Ice was truly a superb pastry chef - but this pie, this blueberry pie, was irresistible. I could still taste the lingering blueberry flavor on my tongue. For the first time in my life, I didn't feel like I needed to wash the sweet taste down with tea. Instead, I wanted to savor the taste. I wanted more of that sweetness.
I furrowed my brows. How was it that I was so affected by it? My mind told me that I had never ever liked the flavor, but Grisia's taste buds insisted that blueberry was the best flavor in the world. I could have eaten the entire pie all by myself. The mere thought of that was normally enough to make my stomach queasy, but now I just felt like licking my lips at the thought.
"I wonder why Roland hasn't made a move yet?" Grisia asked.
My lips turned downwards in a slight frown. I stared intently at the pie in Grisia's hand.
It's truly a miracle that Sun has managed to maintain his figure despite his sweet tooth. After my first-hand experience of just how delicious blueberry pies were to Sun, I could no longer fault him for devouring pies as if they had no more substance than air. I had done the exact same thing, so entranced by the taste that I had momentarily forgotten myself. If I hadn't forced myself to stop, the rest of the pie would have ended up in my stomach too.
Belatedly, I realized that Grisia had spoken. I looked up, startled, only to find Grisia staring at me in amusement, dark eyes dancing in merriment before he could no longer hold in his laughter.
Grisia doubled over and even had to wipe the corner of his eye. "I can't believe it! You totally zoned out on me! Don't tell me you reaaally wanted pie?" He waved the pie in front of me, the sweet scent of blueberries enticing me once again.
I covered my face with one hand and exhaled slowly, trying to forget the pie altogether. The situation was so bizarre that I was afraid I would start laughing too, affected by Grisia's amusement. "Stop waving that in front of me. You're tempting me," I said.
"No way, really?" Grisia blurted out. He dropped his hand and started looking between the pie and me incredulously.
"Yes, you should know what kind of effect pie has on yourself," I answered. I walked on ahead, forcing Grisia to follow after me, pie out of sight but unfortunately not out of mind.
His voice came from behind as he hurried to match my steps. "I do, but I thought surely you would, you know, not succumb to your appetite, or something. You always have such good control."
"You thought wrongly then," I replied. I was prepared for a lot of things, but I hadn't been prepared for blueberry pie to taste that good, enough for me to temporarily forget who I was. Even now, I still didn't entirely feel myself, though I did not think I would manage to completely find my footing until I regained my own skin. The world around me was still the same as always, yet at the same time, nothing was the same. Even the simplest things were now new experiences. "In any case, don't we have more important matters to discuss?" I asked, trying to bring Grisia's attention back to what he had tried to discuss with me earlier.
"But this is so interesting!" Grisia exclaimed.
When I didn't answer, Grisia made a discontented noise, but he continued on regardless. "Fine, I was talking about Roland."
I glanced back at him and saw him staring at the pie in his hand. I'd bought pie and other sweets for Grisia countless times. From what I had heard from Grisia, Roland had done much the same during their training days. Had the pie reminded him of Roland?
Grisia explained some more, almost rambling in his musings. "It's strange that we haven't heard anything from him, or even anything about him. The citizens looked uneasy, sure, but that was because of the patrols we set up. There was nothing about a Death Lord being spotted. When we set out, I was afraid he might have already been terrifying the city with his new powers... I mean, why wouldn't he use them right away... but this silence... I feel like this is just the calm before the storm. I don't like the feeling. Besides, how can Roland even hide with those huge wings of his and his unfair amount of dark element?"
"Let's hope we continue to hear silence," I said in response to Grisia's concern. "Our plans do not include meeting him before we figure out what is involved with switching back."
I glanced toward Grisia once more now that he had caught up with me. He'd fallen silent. What was he thinking about now? Not for a moment did I feel that Grisia was not affected by the idea of his old friend attacking the city, forced to a continual existence as an undead creature raised against his will.
As I focused my attention on Grisia, I could see a white shimmer around his body fluctuating. At the very beginning of our switch, I hadn't immediately known what each element looked like through Sun's perception of them, but now I had them mostly figured out. This white shimmer was the holy element. Even when I closed my eyes, I could still see the holy element that surrounded Grisia, mixed with lower levels of other elements. His presence, however, wasn't as bright as my current presence, so bright was Sun's holy element. I turned my sight on myself, curious to examine my elemental levels. As expected, the level of Sun's holy element was very high. There was also a small amount of dark element curled around the area of my stomach, tumultuous and inky, very near the place that tingled and bothered me like an itch I couldn't scratch. I hoped it was nothing more than residue from the injury Roland had inflicted on me.
"Grisia," I prodded, his complaint about Roland's "unfair amount of dark element" giving me an idea.
"Do you think I could find Roland with your senses?" I asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Grisia feigned immediately.
Undeterred, I said, "I was able to tell that the knights we passed by earlier had strong holy and water elements. I didn't even have to look at them to know they were most likely from Ice's platoon."
Grisia huffed and stamped his feet. "Lesus! I'm trying to keep a secret here! I can't do that when you lay things out so clearly!"
"I can't really help noticing that things look a little different," I said dryly.
"You...should have pretended you didn't notice anything!" Grisia pouted.
First was feigned ignorance, then came huffing and stamping, and now it was pouting... I must have struck a nerve.
"But I would still know," I said. "I'd rather you know that I know."
After considering my words, Grisia gave in and explained about his teacher's advice to him, about how his teacher had cautioned that it wouldn't be wise to reveal to others that he could identify people based solely on their elemental composition. It was an ability I never would have experienced myself had we not switched bodies like this, for it wasn't something people who didn't have the aptitude for it could learn or understand. For Grisia, it was more of an innate ability. Even if I could learn it later on in life, I would never be able to achieve Grisia's skill at it. It was an impressive ability, perhaps even frightening, one that would put many people on edge, but I could only be proud of Grisia, and glad for him that he had yet another weapon up his sleeve. Those who thought him weak and easy to take advantage of knew little of his hidden strength, though I did not think of Grisia's fighting ability as his strongest strength.
"Does it feel strange not being able to sense people?" I asked in concern. Without this extra sense of his, did Grisia feel the world was muted?
"It's...different," Grisia stated. "Everything looks simpler."
I imagined it was a little like going from being able to see colors to becoming colorblind, having something that was a given taken away, introduced to a muted world in shades of gray. For me, it was just the opposite when I focused on wanting to "see" more than my immediate vicinity, the world suddenly bursting in superimposed images of elements like grains of sand melding together, forming solid figures of art.
"How do I locate someone?" I asked.
"You think I know how to explain that?" Grisia exclaimed. "I just do it."
"I pity your future student." His answer had been much the same when I'd asked about his holy magic. It sure didn't sound like Grisia would be much of a teacher with his "I just do it" explanations.
"Hey, I resent that!"
"Please let me be the one to instruct your future student in swordsmanship when the time comes," I said. After all, "just do it" was not the way to teach swordsmanship, though it was a thousand times better than Grisia trying to give an actual demonstration.
"That's probably best...hey, that's not what we're talking about right now! I resent that too! I might have Adair take my stead instead just for that."
"Adair would be a good choice."
Grisia scowled at me, "Back to the point, I really don't know how I do it. It just comes to me, and no one ever explained it to me. My teacher said it's probably close enough to how warriors sense battle auras. Just imagine pushing your boundaries outwards and search for Roland's aura. Do you remember how he felt like when you met him in the plaza?"
Well, that's a better explanation that I could have hoped for.
"He had a very intense dark aura," I replied. "As well as earth and metal elements."
"Search for that. Each person's elemental composition is like their signature. Fingerprint even."
Closing my eyes, I tried to remember what I had done before when I had felt Roland's overflowing aura the first time. I had been able to extend Sun's senses then - it was truly as simple as breathing - but now I wanted to extend them even further out, and I wanted to locate Roland's unique elemental composition. I swept my attention across the city, marveling at just how much I was able to see, amused that it really was as easy as "just doing it". No matter how much I looked, however, I could not find Roland. As I reeled my senses back in, I started swaying. Grisia caught and steadied me.
My eyes flew open.
"Whoa, careful, I think you extended your sensing too far..."
I gripped Grisia's sleeve to right myself, the overflowing dark element that was so close in proximity stealing my sight. I could see nothing else, so focused was I on his sudden appearance.
With my finger, I pointed past Grisia.
Exasperated, Grisia muttered, "Don't tell me that Roland is behind me?"
I didn't answer. That was answer enough for Grisia.
Grisia grumbled, "Great. Wonderful. Absolutely fantastic. He's not supposed to show up yet! This is messing up all of our plans!"
Despite Grisia's flippant complaints, I could hear the apprehension in his voice. How would he react once he turned around and saw just how human Roland currently looked? The "huge wings" Grisia had wondered about were nowhere to be seen, but that wasn't what made Roland look human.
I stared at Roland. He stared back at me with hazel eyes, clear and lucid, so very different from the frenetic, blazing eyes that he had turned on me merely a day ago.
"Grisia," he greeted me. "Like promised, I have come to find you."
to be continued
A/N: Finally, after way too many parts, Roland makes his way back into the story! ;)