A/N: So a year ago, I picked up a game from the Windows 10 store called Dragon's Blade: Heroes of Larkwood, created by Nate Monster. It's like the classic RPGs, such as FFI and Dragon Warrior, and to me, a good game (currently at the third town because while it was fun, it's difficult if you're not levelled up good enough, so a LOT of grinding)!
Now that it, along with Darksong Chronicles and HOL's sequel is added on here, I'll write my new OTP, Male Knight x Male Blackguard here!
For those who have Windows 10, I highly recommend you pick up Dragon's Blade Heroes of Larkwood, especially for those who want a nostalgia trip for classic RPG games like Final Fantasy!
Dragon's Blade: Heroes of Larkwood belong to Nate Monster. Garrett, Zeph, Terra, and Saber all belong to me.
Fish and Love
Many people didn't have the patience to sit down and cast a rod, waiting for a possible bite for hours. To the residents in the peaceful village Larkwood, it was a test of endurance—if one was too impatient to catch a fish, they, along with their families, would go hungry tonight. Because of this tradition that had been passed down for generations, the people in the small village had great patience, no matter how long they waited for whatever they wanted or needed.
Garrett was no exception—in fact, fishing was one of his favorite pastimes. The idea of sitting in front of a river, the rod he was given as a gift by Aunt Rose casting into the water, and listening to nature around him relaxed him.
And that was what he was currently doing, sitting in front of the river that flowed through the village, humming to himself. He had finished working at the inn Aunt Rose had owned, and she let him and his friends take an hour long break. While Saber, Terra, and Zeph were out to spend their own free time, Garrett used this opportunity to go fishing. Who knows, he might catch a big fish to bring home for dinner. The thought of cooked fish—fried salmon, baked bass—nearly made his mouth water, but he shook his head and concentrated on the red and white bobber that remained on the surface.
He was so tuned out of his fishing that he didn't notice someone behind him. In fact, he didn't notice them sitting beside him until the person cleared their throat.
He was snapped out of his focus, and he turned his head to the side upon hearing the noise that broke his concentration. He opened his mouth, about to scold them for startling him, but the moment he saw the black, short hair, he stopped.
Zeph was staring at the river, his hair hiding the side of his face. The Blackguard wasn't looking back at the Knight—he was focused on the bobber floating on the water.
"Zeph?" Garrett questioned, an eyebrow raised. Wasn't he with Saber and Terra for their break? Then again, he very rarely interacted with either of them, and he most likely went on his own.
"Hm?" Zeph hummed, looking up at the white haired teen.
The moment he saw Zeph's face fully, his eyes widened and anger boiled inside him.
Zeph had a black eye swelling shut, and he had multiple cuts that littered his face. His hair was also a mess, with grass and hay stuck on his dark strands.
While Zeph wasn't too bothered by the injuries he had sustained, Garrett was the complete opposite. The more he studied his friend's injured face, the stronger his rage grew inside him.
"Zeph, who did this to you? What happened?" Garrett immediately demanded, trying to not show any signs of rage in his voice despite his boiling anger. He knew how Zeph felt whenever he confronted anyone who harmed him—it had landed him in trouble multiple times due to taking manners into his own hands.
Zeph only looked away, shaking his head, as if he was trying to hide what had actually happened from his close friend. Garrett, however, knew what happened. Zeph wasn't a popular kid around the village thanks to his Blackguard status. In fact, he was bullied, beaten, and threatened by both children and adults because of it. Garrett knew that Blackguards were considered the "living embodiment of death and bad luck", but the sheer thought of seeing his friend hurt just because he was born with dark powers still twisted his gut.
"Zeph," Garrett spoke firmly, throwing the fishing rod to the side, completely forgotten as he gripped Zeph's shoulders to force him to face the Knight.
The Blackguard flinched when Garrett's hands touched him in those areas. Two dislocated shoulders, Garrett realized. Now his rage grew tenfold, though he attempted to hide the furiousness in both his voice and body by taking a quick deep breath.
"It was the village boys, correct?" Garrett guessed, his voice wavering and nearly giving away his true feelings.
"…As usual," Zeph admitted, taking one strand of hay from his hair before tossing it to the side. "The beating was only mild unlike previous encounters. They only pushed me down, punched, and kicked me."
"That is just as bad as previous times, Zeph," Garrett pointed out, his voice rising from his intense emotions. "They should not even attempt to hurt you! If they keep this up, I will make sure tha—"
"Garrett," Zeph interrupted, a subtle flicker of panic in his red irises. "please don't."
Garrett stopped, before he released his hold on Zeph. He turned to face the river—shadows of unidentifiable fish underwater swam around in an unpredictable pattern. Usually, watching this relaxed Garrett to the point of falling asleep, but with the thought of his best friend hurt, he couldn't even loosen up his tensing muscles.
There was a long silence between them until Garrett spoke, "Forgive me… I just don't want you to get hurt, Zeph. It was not right to see others harm you over something you could not control over."
Zeph glanced towards the white-haired Knight, a slight blush on his cheeks. He had lived with Garrett, along with Aunt Rose, Terra, and Saber all his life, yet Garrett was the only one who treated him like an actual human. Aunt Rose was bossy, especially during their work days, Terra's bubbly chatter annoyed him greatly, and Saber was all around rude and blunt to a fault.
Garrett, on the other hand, was special. He always lend a helping hand to anyone in need, to the point others took advantage of him—Zeph still remembered all the times Garrett came home with injuries after attempting to help someone with whatever they had trouble with. Despite that, Garrett was still willing to assist everyone, no matter how trivial the problem was.
When someone even looked at Zeph in disgust, Garrett gave them an earful. The whole village overall hated Zeph, yet Garrett was the only one who defended him from any backlash or bullies attempting to harm the young Blackguard in any way.
As much as he hated to admit it openly, Zeph admired Garrett for his good heart.
"Zeph," Garrett continued, "you're important to me. Not only are you my best friend, but you're also like a brother to me. I made myself a promise to protect you, no matter the cost."
"You… you did?" Zeph asked, his face turning more pink. He made a promise—and he knew that Garrett never break any promises—to protect Zeph. That explained why he fiercely defended Zeph when he was even slightly assaulted.
"Yes," Garrett confirmed. "I know you hate it, but…"
Zeph could see a hint of pain and guilt on his face. The Blackguard raised a brow at this sudden change in expression—when he thought about it, he realized something odd.
He remembered in their childhood years, Garrett was timid as a mouse. He never spoke up for anything—not even asking Aunt Rose if he could get a sweet treat—and he hated fights. He recalled the times Garrett held Aunt Rose's hand at all times, and he insisted to be accompanied by Aunt Rose, even when he was only going outside to play nearby.
Zeph didn't remember how, but suddenly, one day, Garrett had a huge change of personality. Not only was he more brave and protective, but he was more than willing to stand up to anyone, even over slights towards Zeph. He even got involved in fights with some of the village boys over their attacks on Zeph. The Blackguard knew for sure that the old Garrett wouldn't even stand up for anyone, not even himself, let alone fight with others.
What happened that made him change? Zeph didn't remember any trauma or a significant event that made him what he was today. It was suddenly like the timid, younger Garrett was replaced—both physically and emotionally—by another person.
The memory overall made his head hurt. He had to know what happened that made Garrett change.
"Garrett?" Zeph asked.
Garrett snapped out of his pained expression, before he glanced at Zeph. His previous expression was then replaced by a raised eyebrow. "Yes, Zeph?"
"What… what happened?" Zeph began. "I remembered how you were so… so scared of everything. To this day, I still wonder how you changed from that to who you are now. Did something happened?"
There it was again—the pained and guilty expression on Garrett's face appeared when Zeph asked this. This time, it was more intense and noticeable. The Knight fell silent, as he turned his head to stare at the river again. It seemed like he was trying to hide his face, but Zeph immediately saw tears welling up in his blue eyes.
Zeph could only wait for Garrett to answer, but after a few minutes, only silence reigned. Zeph picked a few more strands of grass and hay off his hair, as he moved his legs in front of him for a more comfortable position. The silence was beginning to drive him crazy, but he didn't pry any further—he figured by Garrett's reaction towards his question, whatever event made him change was traumatizing to the point he didn't want to remember.
He wanted to comfort his only friend in some way… but he had no idea how. Blackguards had the wired mind and black heart that made them cold and hateful—they were never born with a loving bone in their body.
Yet, Zeph wanted to be caring and loving towards Garrett. He just didn't know how to show it, as it was against his complicated kind's body.
While he was pondering on what to do, he felt strong arms wrapped around him, before he was pulled into a tight, but protective hug. Zeph blinked at this sudden contact, and when he glanced up, his face turned red when he saw Garrett holding him close.
His first instinct was to pull away… but after a few seconds of hesitation, he awkwardly returned the hug. This was the first time he had this kind of affection, and it felt like he was cared for. Loved, in fact.
"Zeph," Garrett whispered, his voice wavering from sorrow, "I will not let anyone harm you. I will always protect you."
Zeph's heart stuttered in his chest, his face redder by the minute. It wasn't a dream, it wasn't an illusion—he had someone who treated him like an equal, not like an animal that needed to be stabbed and killed.
As he buried his face in Garrett's broad shoulder, he smiled slightly—an expression he had never had in his entire life.
"Thank you, Garrett… thank you for giving me a chance..."
His eyes spotted the shadows of fish swimming erratically in the river, like his current feelings. He may not know what his feelings were called exactly, but maybe when time went on, Garrett would fish them out.
Constructive criticism is welcomed! Note that I hadn't written anything for so long, so if my writing style looked different, that's because I'm a bit rusty!