Yeah. I know. I'm not very good at humor, but bear with me. The premise (yes, I really do talk like that) is just to delve into what all the other 102 stars were doing while the Flame Champion was out doing great things. Each story will carry into the next.
Yada yada yada...
I do not own Suikoden or any of the characters. If I did, Borus would be on a leash for my snuggling pleasure.
Lesson 1: Carry antitoxin at all times.
It was just an ordinary trek across Yaza Plain, the six Zexen Knights proving their bravery and valor by destroying all bugs, boars, and axe-wielding bunnies in their path, when…
Borus was the first to react to the cry, adrenaline already up from a recent battle. He whirled around, drawing his sword. "Percival? What is it? I'll tear it limb from limb!"
"Borus," Roland put in mildly as he and Leo paused beside the blonde. "Do you remember last time you said that?"
"And how many limbs did it have?"
"Eighteen," Leo added gruffly, "if you count that pincer thing."
Percival glanced around at his fellow knights, apparently forgotten. "Uh, guys?"
"What happened, Perce? I'll tear…"
Percival nursed his un-gauntleted hand against his chest. "A blasted spider bit me."
"A spider?" Borus sounded incredulous. At Leo's look, Borus raised his sword. "Fine! Let's smash the spider and redeem the honor of Percival's hand!" Borus commenced swinging at the ground with his sword, attempting to catch the elusive arachnid. After a moment, Leo joined in with his even-more-devastating battleaxe.
Turning away from the sight of two full-grown men in full plate-mail swinging at something the size of a… well… a spider, Salome and Roland peered at Percival's hand. Chris and Louis noticed the disturbance among the knights from their place at the front and started to backtrack.
"It appears swollen around the bite mark," Salome remarked, frowning. "We'll need some antitoxin."
Chris moved to stand beside Salome. "Antitoxin?"
"Do we have any?"
Lady Chris exchanged a glance with her young squire, who shifted uncomfortably and said, "We couldn't afford it, milady."
Salome seemed taken aback. "Couldn't afford it? Last I checked, our monetary…"
Lady Chris frowned slightly and waved a hand to cut him off. "Most of it was spent at the smith's at Budehuc. We've got to keep our weapons well-honed, you know."
"Get that spider!"
Salome's eyes grew wide. "But… we had…"
"Guys… I'm not feeling well…" Percival mumbled.
Chris nodded, but didn't give ground. "Well, what else is there to spend it on? Dominic's 'superb' weaponry? Or that boy detective's… services?"
Salome shook his head sadly. "I find it hard to believe we spent so much."
"…I think that…"
Chris watched Borus and Leo idly, a frown creasing her brow. "There was that Watari… fellow."
"One hundred thousandpotch essentially wasted," Roland mumbled.
"That may be it," Salome said, nodding thoughtfully.
Chris looked at him, a smile touching her lips. "If we do need the potch, there are chests everywhere."
"Provided we can stand against the monster guarding it," Salome agreed.
"The last treasure monster we fought wasn't the most pleasant," Roland said, coming as close to shuddering as he ever did. "Those bubbles still give me nightmares."
Percival, having become thoroughly ignored, fell over in a faint. Chris, Louis, Salome, and Roland fell silent, abashed at having forgotten his presence.
"DIE, YOU VERMIN!"
> > > >
Later, at Budehuc Castle…
Leo and Roland relaxed beside the courtyard fountain.
"It's basic logic, Roland," Leo said, leaning his head back against the fountain rim. "As knights, we must be prepared to act at a moment's notice."
Roland didn't seem to agree. Cross-legged on the grass, he watched Leo lounging. "It's just… This armor is insufferably hot in the summer. Maybe Lady Chris had the right idea that time that she…"
Leo sat bolt upright, reaching for his axe. "We never speak of that!"
"Lighten up, Leo," a mild voice said from the castle entrance. "You're just bitter because Borus got to Salome first."
Leo leaned back again, somewhat grudgingly. The tricky devil had spirited her out of Brass Castle right under their noses. "Feeling better, Perce?"
Percival fiddled with his gauntlets as he moved to sit down beside Roland. "Much. Dr. Tuta had me cured in minutes."
All three knights fell into a companionable silence for a short time before Roland took up the conversation again. "In my youth, I'd never have imagined wearing something so cumbersome to battle."
"Go ahead and change, then." Leo put his arms behind his head and closed his eyes. "You're an archer. No one bloody cares what you wear, anyway."
Roland looked at Percival for help. Percival shrugged helplessly and laid back on the grass.
"Whoa. Careful there, Ironhead."
Percival rolled to avoid the feet of Sergeant Joe and, even worse, Fubar as they made their way toward the castle.
"Heh. Wouldn't want to get trampled by that one," Leo chuckled.
"You're telling me…"
The three fell silent again, until the arrival of Lady Chris and Borus. Lady Chris looked clean and refreshed, while the Swordsman of Rage's face simmered as he mumbled about "soap on the tip of her nose."
Chris paused and looked around at the three knights. "What are you doing?"
The three relaxing knights exchanged glances. "Waiting for you, milady," Percival said, standing up and brushing himself off. The other two followed suit.
After another moment of looking over them, Chris nodded and turned. "Then let's get going. Louis should be somewhere with our horses."
"Here, milady!" Louis came bounding up the steps and gave Chris a bow. "They're all saddled and ready to go."
As the knights headed out, Leo looked around. "What about Salome?"
"I'll show her bloody soap on the bloody tip of her bloody nose!" Borus answered hotly.
> > > >
Even Later, on Yaza Plain…
The knights, minus Salome, trotted their way across the plain, Louis in tow.
In the midst of a ferocious battle between the knights and two peckles, Percival felt a prick on his right cheek. He slapped his cheek with his own gauntleted hand, leaving a nasty mark but utterly destroying the offending spider. He peered at the crushed spider in his gauntleted palm, a feeling of foreboding rising in the pit of his stomach.
"You missed the action, Perce," Borus announced, pulling his horse up beside him. Blinking, he looked closer. "Uh… Did you slap yourself or something?"
The blonde peered at him. "Percival, you have a huge handprint on your face."
"I…" Percival would have explained, were his face not growing rapidly numb.
"Why the hell would you…"
"Borus!" Leo reprimanded from nearby. "Watch your tongue in the presence of Lady Chris!"
Percival felt an odd tightening in his throat. As if his windpipe were swelling shut, or something…
"Percy slapped himself!" Borus cried incredulously. Turning to Percival, he shook his head slightly. "You must have been having one hell of a daydream to do that to your face and disappoint all those girls!"
Roland drew his horse beside Percival's, eyes narrowed slightly. "He seems to be turning an odd shade of blue. Is that normal?"
"Not usually," Leo mumbled. "Perce, can you breathe?"
Percival fainted over the pommel of his saddle.
"Guess that's a 'no'."
Roland grabbed Percival's mount before it could stray. "Milady Chris! A moment's rest!"
Once again oblivious to her knights' actions behind her, she turned her mount with a look of startlement. "What happened?"
Leo dismounted and hauled Percival off his horse.
"What happened to Percival?"
Chris, Borus, and Roland dismounted as Louis scurried to catch up the reins of all five horses. "I think he's allergic to something," Roland supplied.
"Poison, most likely." Leo said, laying Percival's limp form in the grass. He noted a spot of red on Percival's cheek. "Look here. This looks to be a spider bite."
"Another one?" Borus ran a hand through his hair. "He doesn't seem to have much luck with spiders, does he?"
Chris furrowed her brow in a frown. "I still don't have any antitoxin."
"Then we'll have to suck the poison out," Roland said with a shrug.
"I volunteer Borus," Leo added quickly, a grin cracking across his chiseled features.
"You are best friends, after all."
"No way are my lips coming anywhere near Percival's cheek!"
"Either that, or we can aid his breathing," Roland said thoughtfully.
It took a moment for that to sink in. Borus' jaw dropped open as he realized what that would entail. "The HELL we can!"
Chris, growing sick of the knights' bickering, knelt beside Percival and, as the other knights looked on in horror, put her lips to the spider bite on Percival's cheek.
"But…" Borus whimpered before he, too, fell over in a faint.
When Chris had finished, she wiped her mouth and looked concernedly toward Borus. "Did he get bitten, too?"
No one answered her for a long five minutes.
> > > >
Even Later, outside the Budehuc Infirmary…
"I'll kill him… how dare he be nearly kissed by Lady Chris! The nerve!"
"Please, Sir Borus," Dr. Tuta said in a placating tone. "I can't let you in until you've calmed down…"
"I'll KILL him! I'm going to KILL him!"
"That's not exactly something infirmary patients want to hear, you know," Random Zexen NPC #175 said behind him.
Borus whirled and corrected the hapless NPC's misconception. (Impalement on a knight's sword tends to teach a good lesson.)
"Oh dear…" Dr. Tuta sighed.
Meanwhile, Percival sat in his bed in the infirmary, talking to Ernie. "I'm just worried… Next time, I might not make it back."
("I'll KILL him!")
Ernie nodded knowingly, adjusting her glasses. "I think I might have something to help you out."
"Better. It's a rare artifact, so use it wisely." Ernie reached into her bookbag and pulled out a spray can labeled "Bug-OFF."
"You merely spray it on the spider to kill it instantly."
("I'm CALM, dammit! Now LET ME IN!")
Percival accepted the can as he would a new sword. "Thank you."
Ernie nodded sagely and stood. "It's always a pleasure to share my knowledge. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do in the library. Sir Percival. Miss Mio."
Borus slipped in as Ernie left. Tuta had confiscated his sword, so he seemed at a loss as to what to do.
Finally, he sat down on an empty bed and simmered while Percival looked on, perplexed.
> > > >
The Next Day.,. Because that day was really long…
Once again, the knights were crossing the Yaza Plain,as the world was linear and that was the only way out of Budehuc and Iksay.
Percival, having become somewhat reluctant to cross the plain in the first place, rode alongside Chris while the other four knights stared at the back of his head in varying degrees of seething jealousy.
All was going well. The knights fought the bugs, boars, and bunnies, and Percival was quick with his can of Bug-OFF.
Then, while swinging at a hare, Leo's axe smashed into a tree that happened to house a nest of spiders. The tiny arachnids swarmed out of the crack Leo's axe had made, covering it in seconds. From their seats, the knights began swinging their weapons, and their horses stamped and snorted.
Percival kept a guard around Lady Chris, using his can of doom on any spiders that dared to get near her. Borus, ousted from his preferred position at Lady Chris' side, did not protest when a swing of his sword accidentally flicked a spider at the Knight of the Gale. Percival promptly killed the creature in midair, but not without giving Borus the most wicked idea he'd had since, well, ever.
Borus scooped up a portion of the nest with the tip of his broadsword. "Hey, Percy! Over here!" He flicked his wrist and flung the seething mass of spiders at Percival's horse.
Percival backed his horse away and started spraying the air franticly. Borus chuckled and did it again, and several spiders got through to land on the knight's leg. With a very uncharacteristic shriek, Percival clenched his eyes shut and started spraying blindly. It seemed cruel to do it again, but he couldn't help himself. The man deserved it. Borus flicked another two dozen spiders toward Percival, but misjudged and sent them high, toward Percival's face. The other dropped the spray can completely and started brushing franticly.
Astonished by Percival's panicked expression, Borus spent the rest of the battle watching Percival try, and fail, to shake off all the spiders. When Percival fainted, again, he wondered if maybe…just maybe…he'd taken it too far.
"Oh, dear…" Salome shook his head while he considered the mass of bitten flesh that had been Percival.
"I've bought some antitoxin," Chris said hopefully, sheathing her sword.
"I'm not sure that will do it this time. He is severely allergic."
"Will sucking the poison out work?"
"NO!" all four knights cried in unison.
"We'll just get him to Dr. Tuta," Salome said quickly.
"And how!" Borus cried, throwing Percival over his shoulder and mounting his horse. As if he'd let Percival be nearly-kissed again, no matter how allergic he may be! "Come on!"
> > > >
Budehuc, the Infirmary… Again…
"Borus, knock it off!" Leo scolded.
Borus' eyes gleamed as he put away the rubber spider he'd been torturing Percival with. Mio gave him a disapproving look and consulted her clipboard. "Sir Percival, you seem to be developing an irrational fear of spiders."
"Seems pretty rational to me," Roland mumbled.
Percival, his face covered in bandages, nodded acceptingly. "Anything I should do? Say, face up to my fear?"
The nurse looked at him hesitantly. "Actually, the way it's been going, it's probably better if you don't."
Percival seemed taken aback. "But… What sort of knight…"
"Seriously, Perce," Leo said. "It's fine. It's not as if you'd be the only one at this castle with a weird quirk. You'd fit right in."
Percival leaned back against the pillows, distress playing across his face. "Oh no… I'm a running gag…"
Please R&R. I need to know what people think of my humor. I've already written Lesson 2, but if no one likes this, then there's no point in subjecting you to it a second time around. (Though I swear 2 is better!) Also, ideas for future Lessons are more than welcome.