Welcome to my first Seven Deadly Sins fanfiction. I wrote this because I couldn't find the fanfic I wanted to read at the time. I hope you enjoy.

The Master

Chapter 1: Princess

As soon as the rattling of the helmet stopped, and I saw her face, I knew I was in trouble...

5 minutes earlier...

Another day, another dollar, another dimwit. Sometimes the dimwit is me; it's an act I put on to avoid unwanted attention. Attention has been unwanted going on ten years now.

The bar's doing well, which makes me genuinely pleased. I still can't cook for shit, but who cares when there's alcohol and Hawk, am I right? It's a slow night in terms of information, and no news is good news, so I'm starting to relax when I hear it. "The Seven Deadly Sins." Someone saw the poster, and now I perk up at least one ear to do my due diligence.

As per usual, they talk about how evil and dangerous we are, so nothing new there. It doesn't bother me, really, because "the sins" will be my friends no matter what. I haven't heard much besides them being evil, and possibly dead, and not enough detail for either accusation to hold water. The fact that no one's talking means they are safe, and safer without me around. The only other news is more specific, about the "Wandering Rust Knight" haunting the area. Possibly interesting, but unrelated to me.

I give my name, and we have finally reached "dimwit" stage. A couple of guys that were just gawking at the wanted posters can't make the connection between my name, and, well, me. I'm not offended for being mistaken for a human child; it's just tiresome to constantly correct people. That's one negative aspect of owning a bar- people are constantly worried I'm underage.

Another sound cuts through the warm glow of pub fare and ale- a creaking sound, like armor. The movement sounds slow, exhausted really, both the armor and the knight inside. When the door opens, I'm not surprised. I get all types in here, and I'm always prepared. But two particularly interesting things occur as the Rust Knight walks in:

One. All of my customers leave, and they didn't all pay. Sigh. They are terrified, so I forgive them for now.

Two. The Rust Knight is saying "The Seven Deadly Sins." Please Rust Bucket, tell me more.

It's just me and Rusty left here, and I'm a little annoyed at it for scaring away my customers. I hop the bar and ask it who it is.

Another surprise: The knight collapses backwards in a heap, and the over-sized helmet goes flying.

As the rattling stops, I see soft silver hair, dark eyelashes, sweet pink lips and smooth perfect skin. She looks like...

I push the thought down. I'm already in trouble. She is too perfect. She looks just like... and she just collapsed in front of me, saying... Something is wrong.

Hawk calls her a "girl," and I'm torn. Is she? Is she an enemy? Is she human? Is she as perfect under all that armor as she looks from the neck up? I don't smell blood, but I desperately want to see. Since she's unconscious, I get right down to it and strip her- I mean, check for weapons and stuff.

She's damp with sweat and light as a feather when I carry her upstairs. Hawk insists I use the upstairs room, and not my own bed. I wish I could put her in my bed; she smells fantastic.

Upon closer inspection, I cannot change my description of "fantastic." She is a fantasy. She looks like she was built with my preferences in mind. Every specification... Her face flush and shaped just like Elizabeth's, her scent intoxicating, her curves delicious. I want to touch her so badly to complete my sensory experience of her before she wakes. Her breasts are perfect- plump, firm-looking, and her clothes do nothing at all to hide their perfection. I grab one, and as expected, it is perfect. I figure:

A. She is not conscious, and if she's faking, this will trick her into revealing herself.

B. I have not felt a boob in a while, and I'm glad I'm feeling this one. It is pillowy and buoyant. I think Hawk is yelling at me.

C. I want to make sure she is human, not hiding anything, and she is indeed a girl.

She is a girl, ladies and gentleman. I continue to palm her breast, and I feel her heart beat increase. She sits straight up in bed, and looks me right in the eye.

Her eyes are turquoise, and divide my attention slightly away from her boob. It's a nice combination with her hair and skin, and thankfully different from Elizabeth's. If she were anything like Diane, she would be kicking me across the room by now, because I haven't stopped groping her breast.

"Uh... May I help you?" I can instantly tell that her manners are upper class (based on her speech), that she is most likely a virgin (based on her blush), and that she most likely means no harm at all. She is so vulnerable, I actually let go and make some lame excuse about checking her heart. She believes it, and once again, I'm not sure if she can be real or not. My only reassurance that this isn't a wet dream is that Hawk is here too.

"Where... am I? And... how did I get here?" So she's playing dumb. I play along; I'm very good at it.

"You came shambling into my tavern and suddenly fainted." I open the curtains now that she's awake and start tying them up. This may be partially to see the affect the sun has on her skin, her eyes, her hair, and her curves. Whatever.

"Tavern?" She is doing the confused act really well. Her voice is soft and lyrical, and everything about her is the exact opposite of the armor in which she appeared.

"The Boar Hat! It's my tavern." I'm a proud business owner (especially considering what I gave up to start this place), and I brace myself for her skepticism. She does look surprised and I sound a little defensive as I say, "Is there something wrong with that?" Go ahead, tell me I'm a kid. Let's get it over with.

She surprises me by noticing my sword and saying that she thought I was a swordsman instead of a bar owner. This is fair, and an astute observation. Besides, I'm a little happy that she thought of me as a swordsman and not a child. It's ridiculous how emotive I've become in front of her. She still makes me feel unsteady, because yet again, she has conformed to my specifications. I look like a child, and she doesn't question for a single moment that I'm a swordsman and a bar owner.

Then again, this really could be a dream. Hawk spoke already, and got no reaction from her. If this is a wet dream, I'm crawling into that bed...

Hawk makes his usual cracks about the terrible food, and instead of freaking out, or even worse, not reacting, the girl lunges from the bed and embraces Hawk. She even... cuddles him. She seems to adore Hawk as much as I do, without hesitation. I see her smile for the first time, wide and glowing, and she brightens the whole room, saying she begged her father for a talking pig for her birthday.

Hawk introduces himself, and I reply without thinking, "What's your pig's name?" Clearly, money was never a prohibiting factor for her... wait a minute. The look she is giving me indicates I've said something stupid. Are talking pigs not a thing? I can feel my cheeks heat a bit with embarrassment, and I avert my eyes, trying to think of some distraction.

"I know!" My manners come back to me after an awkward silence, "You must be hungry." She did show up looking like she had wandered for days in that armor. Her head tilts down in shame and she turns dark pink. I try not to think of it as sexy, and offer her a bite.

She keeps her head low and looks at me through long lashes, "Of Pork-chan?" She seems scared.

I try to put her at ease. As much as I joke, there is no way Hawk will ever be on the menu. I see her eyeing my sword- no, not that one, you pervert, and I realize that this is part of what is making her nervous. She doesn't know if she's a captive or a guest. Quickly, to get it over with, I unsheathe the key and hold it aloft. If this is what she's after, she will have to confront me directly. I throw in a joke or two about keeping customers in line to play down it's importance just in case.

As I'm cooking, the girl gets seated and starts to relax. She no longer seems interested in the sword, and now she's nervous about paying me. She doesn't know it yet, but she'll pay me with information before she leaves. Even though I'm a terrible cook, offering free food is a standard tactic of mine to build trust. Even when the food is bad, the gesture makes people more comfortable about wagging their tongues.

She seems like the kind of person to feel bad about gagging, so I give her an out. With a big, shit-eating grin, I ask "Well, does it taste awful?" Let her think it's a prank rather than blame herself if she can't stomach it.

First she starts trembling after the swallow, and I've got my serving platter ready to block spew. For a second I feel bad I can't do any better, but it really is a hopeless cause at this point. I'm a little thrown when she starts silently crying. It's a new low for me.

"But... it's very delicious." I have never heard these words from the mouth of someone who has recently consumed my food. I'm flattered, even though I know she's crying due to thankfulness. How does crying make her more beautiful? That isn't fair. She also seems to be the epitome of a sweet, innocent, young girl. There is only one problem.

"Hey," I get my voice working again, and she wipes her tears, "So, what were you doing in that suit of armor?" I'll try a straightforward approach and see what she does with it...

"I'm looking for The Seven Deadly Sins." She answers immediately, honestly, and with no indication of knowing who I am. This is the first time in ten years I've come across someone looking for me, without knowing who I am, and presumably without wanting to kill me. The day is young.

There is an obnoxious thumping at the door. I'm still more shocked by the girl's reveal than I am that knights are coming to check up on the Rust thing. The girl looks terrified, and I note that I don't know her name, and it looks like our conversation will have to be postponed.

"Don't worry," I say to her. She continues to worry. "Hawk, put on that armor-"

"Got it!" I would have explained more, but it seems that Hawk has developed an attachment to the girl.

"Stay here," I implore the girl. "We'll get rid of them- you can go upstairs if you want." Her eyes are panicked, and I'm a little frustrated she doesn't trust me.

I'd say about ninety percent of the time, I resolve all conflicts without violence. I stay off the knight's radar, and I keep to a simple bar business with a smattering of deterrence. Plan A is to avoid conflict with the knights and play up my dimwitted behavior, maybe get them drunk and pass the girl off as a barmaid or my sister or something.

Just as they are starting to get violent with me, I hear the back door slam. The girl's footsteps rush into the woods, and of course she is seen by every knight at the front of the house. Her running indicates guilt, and so they chase after her. Sigh.

Before I even have a chance to decide if this girl is worth the effort (Who am I kidding, just watching her run in that jumpsuit makes pursuit inevitable), Hawk dashes after her and starts taking down knights. They are all heading in the direction of a cliff, and I step up my speed.

Catching up with her is no problem, lifting her into my arms is like a glass of Vanya ale after a hot day outside, and having an excuse to feel her booty in my lap and to curl my hand around that boob is a pleasure. I may unnecessarily squeeze her as we chill out in a tree.

She offers to repay me again, and a weaker man would have forgotten all about her Seven Deadly Sins comment earlier and just focused on her body, but I smile and press her to finish our conversation.

"The reason I'm journeying to search for The Seven Deadly Sins..." She turns her back to me. What, did we kill someone you loved or destroy your hometown or something? "...is to stop the Holy Knights." Huh. This is news. I can't say I've been pleased with the state of the knights in the last ten years, but please, tell me more.

"I'll never forget..." Her face turns sallow and she tries to bravely smile, even though the sadness seeps through her eyes, "all the times that you have helped me. But please..." Here it comes, the favor, the attack, the reveal, "forget all about me." Huh. I'm at a loss.

As I stand there processing, she finishes with a "Farewell," and begins walking away.

Thankfully, Hawk can never filter what comes out of his mouth. He starts spouting the same old story that is accepted throughout the kingdom. Why does this girl want to destroy the government and fight heroes etc. etc. Then she blows my mind, "Each knight alone could rival an entire army. What if they waged war on Britannia?"

This does not come out as a hypothetical. Her gaze shifts into the unseen, into memory, and her voice gets quieter. "A few days ago... the king was taken into custody by the Holy Knights when they staged a coup d'etat. In essence, the kingdom has fallen into their hands." This is news. Big news. "In order to launch a war, they are recruiting people from the towns and villages in and around the kingdom. They are forcing the men to be soldiers, demanding the women and children to stockpile provisions and making the elderly construct castle walls." I thought the kingdom was at peace... that my services were unneeded... She tears up, and I'm refocused. "Anyone who disobeys is shown no mercy. Soon enough, thier influence will reach this region as well." So the problem is spreading out from the capital... Then I have time to gather any of the others still willing to perform their duty...

"The only hope to stop the Holy Knights lies with The Seven Deadly Sins, and them alone!"

And here's where she just confuses the hell out of me. I point out the obvious, her death wish. "Look lady. Do you even know what kinds of people these 'Seven Deadly Sins' are?" They aren't people, well, maybe a couple. They are broken, angry, violent and crazy, not to mention secretive. They were betrayed by their country and driven to ground, and your plan is to what? Wander around starving to death? She can't be real. This is a trick. What reason could she possibly have to seek out total strangers that are obviously dangerous?

"When I was only five or six years old... my father told me about them. He told me they were the kingdoms strongest and most menacing chivalric order made of seven savage criminals who bore the mark of seven beasts on their bodies." She is surprising well informed, and I am glad for my long sleeves. Ten years ago, they were suspected of plotting to overthrow the kingdom, and suffered a full attack by all the Holy Knights in the kingdom. After that, they scattered and were dispersed." Is that what happened? I remember only bits and pieces, and why would I trust her anyway? I was there, at least. I don't even know where she is getting this creepily detailed account from. I do note, however, the use of "suspected." Is it possible she believes we didn't do it?

I find this hard to believe. Ten years, and I've never met someone who sees the Sins as heroes and the Knights as villians. Even so, she's putting her life on the line for some people I don't even know the whereabouts to. I try to test her resolve: "I heard a rumor that they were all dead now."

She starts to get angry, and its the first time I've seen her angry, and it brings out a different kind of sexiness. "I refuse to believe that such incredible people like them could so easily die!"She really is too good to be true. Surely she has some reservations...

"But they're criminals, right?" I can think of some reasons for her to be scared of each of us, and me most of all.

"The one's causing the real suffering to the people are the Holy Knights!" She has angry tears, her cheeks are pink, her bosom is heaving, and I just can't doubt her resolve. Either she is the best deceiver I have ever met, and she knows who I am, and every single thing I want to hear, or she is an unbelievably amazing woman. I need more information.

Luckily, I can hear some apprentice knight approaching roughly through the forest. His power level is nothing for me to worry about, but he causes a rockslide that is a danger to the others. I scoop them up and I don't even have a chance to give the girl another squeeze. Such a shame.

The one big positive is that during the fall she grabbed the front of my shirt in a needy sexy way, and getting her to open her eyes this close to my face is a bit of a thrill. Her had travels down my chest inadvertently as I set her down on her feet.

I whisper in her ear, hoping to have one hundredth of the affect that she has on me, "On my signal, make a run for the woods!" She seems out of it, but I hope this time she will follow directions. The safest place is usually away from me. This way, I can easily make myself the target and she will have a buffer to run.

What's-his-face is blah blahing about some earring and surprises the hell out of me when he calls her "Princess Elizabeth" and it all clicks into place.

I remember a silver haired, blue eyed, little girl following around Barta and the knights. I even interacted with her a couple of times when she was around six? Ugh. Instant boner kill. This was that little girl? I look at her sideways, and try not to see her as sexy. Hawk rambles on about it for a second. It fits her class, education, and determination. I manage some respect for her dedication, if it is, in fact, the princess.

Well, we can't die here. I give the signal and Elizabeth echoes my thoughts, "I can't be captured yet! I can't give up yet!" She's actually a fast runner, and I like running behind her for some pretty obvious reasons.

Twigo uses a brutally indiscriminate attack on someone he thinks could be the Princess of the kingdom, and her story becomes a little more believable. Clearly the knights have given up on protecting the royal family. I'm calm, but when I see Elizabeth's panicked face, I lose it for a second and press her into the foliage. Her panic has sparked something deeply protective in me, and as I sit above her, gauging Twigo's next move, I can't help but smile when she opens her eyes. She and Hawk are okay.

I assume Elizabeth wants to check on Hawk when she pushes to get up, but her face is grim, and Hawk runs back to his mother. She won't look at me, she's looking at Twigo, and I get a sinking feeling.

"Elizabeth? Hey, where are you going?" Her shoulder's are squared and her walk is a little shaky. I hope it's just the adrenaline. Is she in shock? Doesn't she realize I protected her? I got this. Can't she see that I have this?

"I'll never escape them." Rather than frustration, this time I taste a hint of betrayal. Is my strength so unnoticeable to her? Is she really and truly ignorant of who I am?

"But... didn't you say you weren't ready to give up yet?" I don't understand what happened to her determination when she was running...

"If I surrender quietly, you won't have to lose your life." I swear I almost giggle. Him? I could probably take a nap and defeat this guy. She is ready to give up to save me? Twigo powers up his sword arm and I tense. I see her retreating back, and realize that she won't move in time to dodge the attack, not that she intends to. Her determination is still there... but she is using it to protect me. How novel. Launching myself quickly, I shove her out of the way and my shirt tears a bit in the blast that would have ended the Princess's life.

"Please! You should get away!" Either she really doesn't understand, or she is about to attack me.

Let me take away her excuse: "It looks like he means to kill us both." Now would be the perfect time to double team me, if this is a trap.

Of course not. She starts crying, more than ever before. "I was happy. Going on a journey to find The Seven Deadly Sins on my own, I'd never traveled like that before." You don't say. "I was so scared, and I wore all this heavy armor so that nobody would recognize me," Sound familiar? a scathing voice blurts from deep in my consciousness. "Walking all that way until I was exhausted, and I couldn't turn to anybody for help. But you showed me so much kindness, even though you didn't have a clue who I was... I didn't even know your name, so I don't want to entangle you in this any further." She must be for real; she must be the princess. I must take her position seriously, or she's going to get herself killed out of ignorance. If she really is the princess, then I owe her my allegiance. Her quest will become my quest.

I'm shielding her with my body, and it's as if we are in private. Her eyes are soft when they look at me, and even though I know they will change if she ever sees the true me, I can empathize with her. She is trying to protect me from her problems. She is trying to save the kingdom. She is taking everything on herself. I want to wipe away her tears, but I'm afraid of what my touch will start in me, with this innocent perfect girl at this vulnerable moment. I decide the the best recompense I can give her is to reveal my name, and a fraction of my nature.

"Meliodas. That's my name."

She doesn't disappoint. She immediately connects it to the posters, she notices the discrepancy in my age immediately. She sees my tattoo and knows what it means. She is no dimwit. And now that I have committed to protecting her, I feel rather strongly that she is mine.

I devote my attention to Twigo, and this will be over fast. Elizabeth realizes the purpose of the broken blade right away, and then, perhaps because she's in shock, or lacks confidence, she asks for confirmation.

I give it to them both. bearing my dragon mark, after ten years of silence, I announce my full title: "The Seven Deadly Sins' Dragon Sin of Wrath, Meliodas."

I blast Twigo away in one hit. He cannot possibly bother us again with that kind of distance. It's been a while, over ten years, since I've used my strength or revealed my identity so I try to lighten the mood. "If this were anything more than a piece of junk, you'd be dead." He's probably alive somewhere. I peek over my shoulder to see how Elizabeth is taking everything.

She looks one hundred percent dumbfounded. I try to clarify and maybe shake her out of it: "Well, you've found your first one, Elizabeth!" It's going to be weird to say that name again.

It doesn't work. She may be in shock. I walk her back inside with my new proposal, "As for the other six, I've got business to settle with them so I started looking for them recently too. That's why I opened up this tavern; to collect information. And..." I'm trying to ease her into this... "if I got a leggy blonde to bring in more customers, I'd get even more info." She still hasn't moved. She seems like the kind of person who doesn't know how to ask other for help, even though she is deserving of it. I'm phrasing it so it seems like she's helping me, but she isn't biting.

I try again, "You'll come with me... won't you?"

There! Life comes back into her eyes, unshed tears pour onto the floor and table, and as we board Mama and head off, she stares at me in awe.

Thanks for reading! This was longer than expected, and may be a one-shot... I'm not sure!