|New Familiar New Trouble
Author: Lord of the Magi PM
Louise asks for a mysterious and powerful familiar to come to her service. She gets what she asks for, but her new familiar does not particularity like the way things are done in Tristain and decides to mix things up a little. Magic isn't just for nobles.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Louise - Chapters: 18 - Words: 126,239 - Reviews: 136 - Favs: 240 - Follows: 200 - Updated: 03-31-13 - Published: 03-16-12 - id: 7930035
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Thirteen: War
Siesta and her family were amazed to see that their family's heirloom was not just a worthless piece of metal. The 'airplane' as Therum had called it flew much faster than even the swiftest dragons that the villagers had seen. The one suffering from the most shock, by far, was the self proclaimed flight expert who was going to be eating her words in the near future.
"I'll be damned, he actually did it."
"Of course he did. What else would you expect from that man?"
"I was expecting him to at least make some attempt at a joke or a prank in the process." Fortunately the man was not the type to disappoint as he guided the plane low over the crowd forcing all of them to duck out of surprise at the speed and noise of the machine. After his single low pass the pilot pulled the plane into a steady climbing formation.
"Is that about what you were expecting?"
"Yeah that is more like him. If you will excuse me now, I have to go figure out how to kill someone who doesn't know how to die." Her dramatic retreat got cut short by the low rumbling of a far off explosion.
"Look there." The group followed Tabitha's finger to the source of the explosion. Just over the nearby mountains the group could see a large gathering of ships over the port city of La Rochelle. One of the smaller support ships was slowly sinking in a massive ball of flame.
"What do you think just happened? It looks like one of the ships suffered an accident." Their answer came quickly when many smaller cannon shots were heard followed by several ships on the other side going up into flame and exploding.
"Something tells me that was no accident. If I had to guess I would say that the war has finally followed us home. If you girls will excuse me I should go see what assistance I can be. You stay here with the villagers and assist them if the fighting spills into this valley. Try and get as many people as you can out of the village and into the woods." After activating her amulet Kistna shook out her wings and leapt into the air after the retreating silhouette of the airplane.
"Excuse me Siesta but did your friend just grow a set of wings and fly off after the Dragon's Raiment?"
"Yes father, she did."
"I thought so. Siesta what kind of friends have you been making since you started learning magic? First you come home weeks ahead of when your letter had us expect you. Then there is the guy who fixed the Dragon's Raiment in less than two days. Now one of the pretty women traveling with you grows a set wings and flies off after him. Next thing you are going to tell me that you are on a first name basis with Royalty."
"Actually father, I have become friends with the princess recently too." She said shyly.
The older man sighs slightly. "I always knew someone from our family was destined for greatness." The older man said proudly.
"Are you sure you are ready for this Louise? This will not be like one of our sparing sessions. The people in this battle are going to be doing everything they can to kill us and I have very little magic available to me right now. I used most of my reserves fixing up the plane and making fuel."
"I am fine. Now just shut up and try not to get us killed. I am trying to read."
"Whatever you say little master." He wasn't going to warn her with the sight of the Lexington dropping out of the clouds unleashing all its dragon troops. "Hold on tight, things are about to get a little bumpy."
It didn't take long for the fast moving navy fighter to close in on the first squad of the dragon knights. Thanks to the Gandalfr runes, Therum was flying the old plane like a seasoned veteran. Those first few dragon riders never knew what hit them as a hail of 7mm rounds tore into them. He was aiming for the wings and riders of the dragons to maximize damage with the fewest number of rounds possible. The pounding sounds of the cannons on the ship served as a good reminder to stay clear of the massive flagship. The dragon knights were enough of a problem on their own without having to worry about being blown to pieces by the equivalent of ten pounds of buck shot.
Therum allowed himself to enjoy the experience of this fight more than he normally would. As a rule he did not like having to kill sentient creatures. Those rules went right out the door though when you started attacking a group of people who had done nothing to you, and bringing a war that they wanted no part of. The burning fields of the peaceful city of Tarbes did a better job of creating a killing urge than any of his experiences with Umbra. The third trio of dragon knights that went down to the Zero's machine guns didn't even get to see their end coming. He came in from above with the guns already blazing. By the time their attention could be brought away from their task of property destruction it was already too late. The battle continued much the same for Therum and the Zero. The fire dragons that Albion favored for their war parties were just too slow to keep up with the nimble aircraft.
About an hour into the battle for Tarbes the dragon corps of Albion all lay scattered on the ground, either dead or dying from multiple bullet wounds while the Zero circled above the battle zone. This was a tactical move on the part of Therum because it let him keep an eye out for any dragon riders he may have missed while staying as far from those terrifying cannons as he could manage. Sure there was the occasional musketeer or archer that would take a pot shot at him but for the most part he got left alone to keep flying while Louise worked through the passage in the book that she was currently reading.
"I think I have it now Therum. Move in closer so that I can cast this spell." Her familiar didn't respond verbally, he just made subtle adjustments to the controls and brought the duo in as close to the fleet as he dared. Just as Louise finished opening the canopy to start casting her spell a final dragon knight appeared from the deck of the Lexington and commenced an attack on the plane.
"Hole on tight Louise I am having a hard time shaking this one. That wind dragon is a lot faster than the fire breed from earlier." Louise gripped his shoulder as a signal that she understood while starting the chant for the spell.
To the credit of the captain or general giving chase to the plane, he worked out pretty quickly that broad wind attacks were not going to do any more damage than cause it to sway slightly. He soon switched to concentrated piercing and bludgeoning spells. Beyond all odds the dragon and its rider managed to keep up with the evasive maneuvers being committed by the Dragon's Raiment. This guy was giving the poor plane a pretty thorough beating in the process. Finally Therum had had enough and decided to bring out a tactic from a generation before this plane was even built. He pulled a complete vertical loop that brought him alongside the other rider. The shock on the rider's face at the maneuver was magnified until the point where Therum pulled out his trusty revolver and shot both the dragon and the rider in the head. Normally that kind of maneuver would not have been possible in a WWII era fighter thanks to enclosed bullet proof canopies but his was open and the rider had no such protection.
Somehow managing to keep her cool through the wild aerial acrobatics and the loud retort of the pistol, Louise finished her spell with the declaration of 'Explosion.' At first both occupants of the small plane thought that the spell had failed but slowly a sphere of light began to form in the center of Albion's fleet. It started out as little more than a speck but steadily grew outwards at a staggering rate. Some of the smaller ships made an effort to avoid the light but all attempts failed miserably. The force was unrelenting until every ship in the fleet had been absorbed into the unrelenting force, even the massive bulk of the Lexington. At the end of the spell Louise collapsed from exhaustion onto the shoulder of her familiar.
"You just preformed a feat that I would never be able to do on my own little master. Rest with pride as you have earned it." Therum set Louise back in her seat with a gentle bit of magic before he closed the canopy and turned the plane back towards what remained of the city of Tarbes.
When it became clear to her that she was not going to be able to catch up with the other two, Kistna decided to turn back and lead the defense of the farming town. As the only one in the village with any real military training, she felt it her duty to protect the people to the best of her ability. It had not taken the enemy troops long to come upon the borders of the defenseless town. One of the smaller Albion ships had deployed several platoons onto the shores of the country during the night without anyone in Tristain being the wiser. When they saw the explosion of the ship from afar they moved out of their hiding places in the forest to begin the ground portion of the invasion. The advance troops did not expect to come across any resistance except for a small number of farmers eager to throw their lives away on a foolish cause. So when they came upon a group of three school girls standing in their path at the edge of town they couldn't help but laugh.
"Are you girls really so eager to throw your lives away? What do the three of you expect to do against three triangle mages and twenty more armed men? Do you really think that the three of you will be able to make any difference?"
"The three of us are all mages and could probably take you all on with fairly little effort, but that is not why we are here."
"Oh I get it. The village is hoping to sacrifice you three in hopes of us sparing the town. I wouldn't mind taking a crack at the lot of you, but we have orders and you three aren't worth going against that when we can just take you anyway." The dark haired member of the group blanched slightly at what the man was implying but did not lower her guard any.
"Actually we were just waiting for our friend to get back. Isn't that right Kistna?" The soldiers were somewhat confused when the redhead started talking up into the sky but were quick to discover the reason. A winged woman seemed to drop out of nowhere and struck down all three mages in the group before they could get off a single spell.
"Thanks for not starting the fun without me. I was afraid I was going to miss all the excitement." She punctuated the word 'fun' with an impaling thrust on one of the soldiers who was stupid enough to try and interrupt her conversation. "You three wouldn't mind if I finished off this lot would you? It's been a while since I had a good workout."
"Be our guest. We are on vacation after all." Some of the soldiers tried to run away from what would eventually be referred to as the Angel of Death while others bravely stood their ground. Those that stayed to fight were quickly brought down by the winged familiar while those that ran met with a wall of fire and ice that forced them to throw down their weapons and surrender. Out of the original 23 soldiers in that group only six lived to tell the tale of the three girls who controlled a vengeful messenger from God. The same went for many other groups of soldiers who tried the ground approach into the city proper.
A couple of times the girls were spared a rather unpleasant experience from a dragon by a low pass from Therum's plane as it chased the last stragglers from the dragon knights. Kistna couldn't help but shudder at thoughts of what war must have been like back on Therum's world. According to him those flying death machines were fairly common and this one was nothing compared to what they had when he left that world. Eventually they stopped seeing the plane fly over the town at all as it went back to circling over the fleet just out of cannon range.
About an hour after the actual fighting started, the reinforcements from the capital arrived on the scene to assist with the main force of the invader's army. At the head of the reinforcements was a sight that would stick in the minds of the allies and enemies alike. The princess of Tristain herself was leading the charge on the back of unicorn wearing a pure white wedding dress of all things. Kistna and the other three girls were managing to do a good job of taking out raiding parties but nothing they had done affected the moral of the town's people like the princess did with her entrance.
"Now that girl has style. Stay with the villagers I am going to see what I can do to help the princess." Unknown to her, Kistna's landing next to the princess did more for both their reputations than they would ever know. The soldiers and nobles alike took the angel like woman's appearance as a sign that God favored them that day. That the princess showed up riding a unicorn in a white dress and talked familiarly with the angel didn't hurt either. Rumors of Henrietta's holiness spread like wild fire through both armies.
Kistna had just finished filling Henrietta in on what had been going on in the area and pointed out where Therum and Louise were flying when they saw the result of Louise's spell on Albion's fleet. A small point of light expanded from the center of the navy until it engulfed every last ship. To those out of hearing range it looked like Henrietta had said something to the "angel" when she pointed at their enemy and caused it to explode using nothing more than the Wrath of God. Apparently they either didn't notice the looks of surprise on the women's faces or they thought it was an act. All they knew was that their enemy's fleet had been destroyed and they could now round up remnants of the failed invasion at their leisure. Loss of morale is as deadly to a soldier as any sword.
Compared to what the vast majority of the army saw as a direct act of God the flyby of Therum and his fighter was nothing more than a passing curiosity. He was forced to land in a field that had been partially burned by one of the dragons from Albion thanks to the roads being filled with villagers, soldiers, and prisoners. After he shut down the engine and put up a simple S.E.P. field around the plane, he gently took Louise in his arms and made his way into town. She woke up about halfway into town but her familiar insisted on carrying her for the rest of the trip anyway. She tried to argue briefly but only managed to come to a compromise that she would ride on his back instead of being carried bridal style. She held consciousness all of ten minutes before she went out for good this time.
Thankfully there was not a whole lot of interest in a pair that looked a lot like most of the other villagers picking through the rubble of the village trying to recover as many of their worldly possessions as possible. As a matter of fact quite a few men were carrying younger family members or injured friends on their backs from one area to another. At the center of town Therum finally managed to find his three young friends doing what they could to help out the town's people with their magic. Even Siesta was showing surprising skill using the levitation spell to move wreckage while putting out small fires with water spells.
"I am glad to see that you three made it through the fight unharmed. I was worried that something could have happened to you girls."
"That's so sweet of you Darling. Did you hear that Tabitha? He cares about our welfare." Kirche moved in close to the tall man. "If you really care I could use a little personal consoling later tonight."
"I thought you were over trying to seduce me?"
"I never give up on a target once I have started. I am just trying to pick my seductions more carefully now." The poor man let out a heavy sigh or resignation. He decided to change topics before she could involve the other girls in her schemes.
"Have you seen Kistna around anywhere? I figured she would have been with you three."
"She was for most of the fighting, but she flew off towards the royal procession and we haven't seen her since."
"Alright, I guess I will meet up with her in a little while then. I have to find somewhere safe to put Louise first."
"You could let her rest at my home. We live far enough out of town that it missed most of the damage."
"Thank you Siesta that is very kind. In that case I'll leave her to your family's care while I find out what kind of trouble Kistna is getting into."
As it turned out it took Therum several hours to track down his wayward familiar even after putting Louise to bed in one of the many available in Siesta's home. Therum left instructions with Siesta's mother to inform Louise where to find him in the unlikely event that she woke up. After casting a spell of that magnitude, he would be surprised to see the girl up and walking before tomorrow evening.
Therum finally found his familiar when he went wandering among the camp set up by the royal army. She was standing next to the princess shaking hands with injured soldiers thanking them for their service to the country as the young water mage set to healing the soldiers herself. 'I would be lying if I said this was the strangest thing that I had ever seen but it definitely ranks pretty high up there.'
"There you are Sir Magnus; I was beginning to wonder when you were going to make your appearance." Henrietta finished the spell she had been casting before giving her attention to one of her newest friends. "Is Louise with you? I would like to ask the two of you some questions about what you saw during the fighting today. Lady Kistna here has already given her statement but I was hoping to get a few more sides from people who were here from the start of the fighting."
"I would be glad to give you my version of events as they happened but unfortunately you will have to wait a little while to speak with Louise. She is asleep from exhaustion at the moment and will probably be like that for the rest of the evening."
"That is most regrettable I do hope she is alright."
"I assure you she is just fine. She just found the stress of battle too much for her."
"I sometimes wonder about you sir. From what I have seen, you surround yourself almost exclusively with attractive, powerful women that always seem to be suffering from some sort of exhaustion or another. It is almost enough to make me want to put a royal detail on you."
"Is that a threat or a promise Your Majesty? Last I heard you were a woman spoken for twice over."
"As much as it pains me to have to inform you, I called off my wedding to the Germanian Emperor as soon as the battle was over. I have no time to be getting married when war has crossed into my country."
"My heart weeps for his loss." Kistna bit her lip trying to keep from laughing.
"I am so glad to hear my subjects care so much."
"You must be talking about them." He gestured to the camp that the trio had been steadily walking away from. "If memory serves neither Kistna nor myself are subjects of yours."
"You make a valid point. I might have to look into doing something about that."
"Are you making a pass at me Miss Henrietta? I find myself deeply flattered but we are hardly alone right now. What would Kistna think if we crossed such a line?" Henrietta fought a blush at his instigations at what she thought was an innocent comment.
"I'd probably think that the lovely lady would need to find a new ride back to the palace. Unicorns only let pure maidens ride them." The princess' blush deepened. Familiar team 1: Royalty 0.
"That's the smart mouthed girl I know and love. What was up with that whole polite charitable act you were putting on earlier?"
"That would be a side effect of the soldiers thinking that their princess is so holy that she could call down an angel from heaven to bring divine judgment down upon her enemies."
"Well they got the angel part right but they applied it to the wrong person. You my lovely familiar are more like a naughty fairy than an angel." Sometimes the man impressed himself with his ability to draw reactions from people. Henrietta grew an even deeper shade of red while Kistna did the same out of frustration. "By the way, don't think that your new celebrity status is going to get you out of your end of our little bet."
"Is that really all you have to care about right now? We are in the middle of a war and you bring up a childish bet."
"Well Henrietta does owe me a dinner date but right after that is making you pay up for your big mouth for a change. If memory serves you are the one who instigated that bet anyway."
"I nearly forgot about that promise. Would you care to join me tonight for some lighter conversation? I believe you were going to tell me more about your life before you came to Tristain and what your homeland is like."
"That sounds about right to me. I will meet you back here in about an hour. I have to check on Louise and the other girls. Before I go let me clean that up for you." Therum placed his hand on Henrietta's shoulder and said a single strange word. When she looked at herself to see what he had done she found that all the dirt and blood had been removed from her dress and hands. He did the same for Kistna. "It doesn't suit holy figures to be filthy like the rest of us commoners.
'You are an interesting man Sir Magnus. I am going to have to keep a closer eye on you than I thought.'
The day after the Battle of Tarbes Henrietta got her chance to speak to her friend about what really caused the explosion that took out Albion's fleet. Upon learning that Louise was a true Void mage she insisted that the Founder's Prayer Book and the Water Ruby were both rightfully hers as an heir to the founder's power. Apparently Louise and Henrietta were something like third or fourth cousins, which meant that Louise had royal blood enough to make the gift both practical and lawful. Henrietta wasn't an idiot either and insisted that Louise's status as a void mage remain as much of a secret as Therum's own abilities.
Since she was unable to publically reward them with the titles and properties they deserve she made them her personal agents instead. In essence the status gave Louise, Therum and Kistna carte blanch to do just about anything within the borders of Tristain. They had no official command of their own but they were second in authority to nobody but the ruler of the nation which was soon to be Henrietta herself. She was going to be officially crowned Queen as soon as things calmed down enough to make such a ceremony plausible.
Therum found no end of amusement in the fact that he had acquired yet another title that he couldn't or wouldn't publically reveal at the moment. When he shared the source of his humor with the other ladies they didn't see the same humor. Even though he told Henrietta about his status as a member of the Venenatus order and his knighting ceremony by Prince Wales she didn't seem to realize the political authority he now wielded. This suited the man just fine. He had the beginnings of a plan in mind for the somewhat near future and the fewer people who knew all the details the more likely he would be able to make them work. Of course he was well acquainted with Murphy's Law and the fact that no plan survives first contact with the enemy but that doesn't mean he went around asking for trouble either.
A/N: This ends the first arc of this story. From here on out I am going to begin to drift further away from the canon plotline. Most major events will still happen but some of the ones I don't like as much will probably get glossed over or written out completely. If there is a specific scene you want kept or removed for a specific reason write up a brief message telling me what you think. I am even willing to accept ideas for scenes that you haven't seen in other fics. I hope those of you who read this are enjoying it as much as I enjoy writing this story. By the way I have been waiting for a chance to use the Angel scene since I created the character Kistna I hope it didn't come out as too cliché there is some forward thinking in this story after all. Bonus points to anybody who can tell me what an S.E.P. field is and how it works.