"Sparring Plans"

SSgt. Bernadette "Burna" Lamprecht

Military District (East), Fort Devas, Astral Plane

"Excuse me, but you're Sergeant…Lamprecht, right?"

I stopped. Then I turned from the training grounds to find Prince Takumi of Hoshido himself standing two arms' length away from me.

—Well, more accurately, Prince Takumi of Hoshido of this world. Important distinctions.

Anyway, here he was. His brown eyes—not glowing red; brown—were aimed right at me, brow furrowed in apprehension. His golden bow, the Fujin Yumi, rested against his back.

"Eh…pretty close," I remarked. "In your defense, nobody back home gets 'Lam-prik-d' down right the first time, either. So, Your Highness—what can I do you for?"

"Uh, well, you don't really have to…'do me for' anything," the prince said, quickly wrapping his head around the turn of phrase. "I just wanted to figure out what kind of people are helping Kamui with…" He swept his arm around. "…all this."

"I see…" I replied, crossing my arms. "And you came to me for that?"

Takumi responded, "Well…that hunter—Bluefield—he's spoken very highly of you, Sergeant. So I figured I'd talk to you, see if he was accurate."

You wanted to know if he was lying, I thought, but not offended. "Well, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability…" I held up one finger. "…if you can indulge me with some sparring first?"

That surprised him. "Sparring? You mean, with shinai?"

"Yeah," I nodded. "I've been looking for a way to unwind from being on standby all day. Plus, I want to check how out-of-practice I am with swords." I shrugged one shoulder. "I'm sure you noticed already, but we SAF types don't use them, given our regular equipment." I hadn't had much of a reason to last time, but given the time I had now…

"Hmm…" Prince Takumi thought it over. Then he nodded, determination entering his face. "Sure, I think we can do that. In the Arena, right?"

"Yes." I was absolutely not going to take any chances with preventing serious injury. "Shall we?"

Takumi nodded. "All right, after you."

"Well…that Bluefield guy speaks very highly of you, Sergeant." - Bluefield? —Burna

* Uhh, was that bad on my part? —Blu

* Oh no no, it's fine. Just… I wasn't expecting you to talk about me around people. —Burna

* What? After everything? I'd be nuts not to. Besides, the Azure Wolves would've done the same. —Blu

* Well, I'm…glad to know that. Thank you, Blu. —Burna

* Of course, Burna. —Blu

"I was absolutely not going to take any chances with preventing serious injury." - Given that the Shell Armed Forces are primarily focused on repelling Umbral and Lumenal creatures, its soldiers are not expected to fight people, either from their home world or from other worlds, let alone kill them. […] However, some provisions are in place to allow SAF soldiers to interact with denizens of other worlds, provided that interactions do not result in needless/pointless injury or death befalling either or both parties. —Vaire

"All right, after you." - I'm going to guess he wanted to keep an eye on your, just in case. —Blu

* And sharp of him to do so. —Burna

Author's Notes: Still going! College just started up for me recently, so I'm not sure how much free time I can put into this while I'm handling my new schedule. But I don't plan on letting this rest until I can reach 50 "chapters" of this series of drabbles.

That said, I've set up a blog focused on commissioned fan writings. The address will be posted on the AO3 version of this drabble as well as on my AO3 profile. The blog will provide a set of rules regarding said commissions, as well as the link to my Ko-fi page. If you're interested, please take a look when you get the chance.

That's all for now. See you next time!