Ceo's teacher decides to take a leaf from Neo's book and teach his student the importance of maintaining one's image, even when drunk. Temperance? A good Storm Knight doesn't even know the meaning of the word.
A lot had changed since Ceo had first come to the holy temple.
Things had begun to fall into place. His abilities were increasing, and his reflexes were steadily becoming sharper than anyone's among the Twelve Holy Knights in-training - as expected of a Storm Knight. As he grew older, his teacher had even begun to share some of his missions of diplomacy with his student – and that meant more time spent in the company of foreign dignitaries (who were, for the most part, all male) and less in the company of flirtatious admirers (who were mostly female).
Why is this distinction important, you ask? Well, just as the Sun Knight is the benevolent spokesperson of the God of Light, the Storm Knight is the knight-representative of "freedom". As such, he is "carefree" and "a footloose charmer." As for the part about him being "a footloose charmer"… no matter if they were princesses, ladies, female servants, or matronly housewives armed with toilet plungers, the Storm Knight will wink flirtatiously at the women he meets and there will always be a playful smile on his lips.
Not so bad, you say. Who wouldn't want to wink and flirt with women all day?
Imagine a room full of adoring fan girls.
Now imagine having to wink at every single one of them. Repeatedly.
Thus, you can imagine how elated the young Storm Knight would be at this turn of events. No women around meant no flirting with women, which meant it was becoming increasingly less necessary to practice winking at them. Which, by extension, meant that despite frequent all-nights he pulled to accomplish mountains of paperwork work, he was slowly but surely regaining the use of his eyes.
So, all in all, life was good.
However, there is reason why they say that "There is no person that has 1000 good days in a row, and no flower that stays red for 100 days." This concept alone should have been reason enough to keep the young Storm Knight on his toes...
Step 1: Uphold the Image of the Storm Knight at all Costs
"Do you know the most important aspect of the Storm Knight?"
Ceo, who had become used to his teacher's frequent and unwarranted intrusions, did not even look up.
"Flirting with women and being otherwise footloose?" A careless, automatic response.
"No," his teacher responded, sounding somewhat irritable by his student's divided attention.
Could've fooled me, Ceo thought absently, not tearing his eyes away from the documents. Still, if his teacher wanted a response, he knew it was best to respond, unless he wanted more paperwork dumped in his lap. Ceo frowned in contemplation, his eyes focused on the task in front of him. Almost done. As he circled a section of a report and started scribbling a quick note in the margins of the sheet, he tried again.
"Isn't our most important goal to protect the people of this city and expand the influence of the God of Light?"
"No! Well, yes, but, more importantly - In every situation, you must uphold the appearance of the Storm Knight! How do you expect to maintain the image of one who is good with women and never does any paperwork if you get so drunk that you start griping about how you are no good with women and how you are worked so hard that you never sleep?"
Ceo blinked, bringing his teacher's blurred form into focus as he look up from the stack of documents in front of him. It took him a moment to switch gears and process his words. When he did, he blinked again, this time in confusion. He was completely caught off guard by such an unusual question. As far as his teacher knew, Ceo had never touched a drop in his life. Since he knew that, why did he bother asking?
"Couldn't that be easily avoided by not drinking?"
"Impossible! The Storm knight has the reputation of being a footloose slacker, how could he ever be abstinent?" his teacher announced with an air of authority, pointing at Ceo. Why is he pointing at me?
"Then I just won't allow myself to get drunk!" Ceo crossed his arms, slightly irritated.
"Nonsense!" his teacher roared again, causing Ceo to jump. "What if some viperish dame slips something stronger into your drink in order to loosen your inhibitions? Even if you are the Storm Knight, you cannot expect your reputation to protect you completely. There will always be woman who will want to take advantage of your reputation in order to get a free fling! Even if you did manage to preserve your image, no one would come to your aid, because that is the type of person the Storm Knight is supposed to be!"
Ceo's eyes widened as he contemplated this explanation, realizing to his horror that his teacher was right. Although he no longer fainted (much) when he was in the presence of a female, it took all his willpower just to hold his ground and not run away whenever females started boldly touching his arm! If his ability to consider his actions was compromised, he might not even think twice before bolting for the nearest exit, or worse, fainting on the spot!
Just how was he supposed to maintain his image if he was too careless and got drunk!?
His teacher always threatened that if he didn't shape up, he would throw him to the mercy of such women. Still though … he didn't want to get gang-raped by a bunch of fan girls!
"Teacher," Ceo asked, panic rising in his chest, "what am I going to do? I can't afford to do that!"
"I know, child," his teacher said, patting his student's head consolingly. He paused in his ministrations, cocking his head thoughtfully.
"Luckily, I may have a solution."
Ceo looked up, startled, his eyes shining with unshed tears. "Teacher!"
"Indeed, I was fortunate enough to find you a tutor for such things!"
Ceo's brow furrowed. There are tutors for this?
"In fact, one might call this person the foremost expert in the entire holy temple. No, perhaps even the Kingdom of Forgotten Sound!"
Ceo felt a sneaking sense of skepticism begin to steal across his mind, swallowing his hopes for this new tutor. Anyone that his teacher lauded with so much praise was bound to be bad news.
Before he could even voice his suspicions however, his teacher had bounded out the door. But not, unfortunately, before he dumped a fresh stack of documents on the desk, telling his student to meet him at the practice room first thing in the morning with a "Don't you dare even think of being late."
Ceo stared blankly at the scattered mess of documents that he had been meticulously correcting before his teacher had come into the room.
All of his hard work.
True to his tumultuous image, the 37th Storm Knight had left a trail of destruction in his wake.
After what seemed like hours of staring in mute disbelief and horror, Ceo stood up from his desk and made his way stiffly across the room. After snatching up a few items of bedding, he carefully made is way toward the door.
He wasn't dealing with this tonight.
So, the broom closet it was.
First of 3 parts in a series, second is on its way. Originally titled, "Wisdom of a Storm Knight: In order to Uphold One's Reputation, Become an Alcoholic at 14." But that doesn't fit in the Title line, so I went with this instead. Hope you enjoy it! And as always, please R&R!