A/N: My second Rune Soldier Fic inspired by "Much Ado About Nothing" but in a different sense. If you've read the play you'll get it. If you haven't go read it, it's a great comedy. LouiexMelissa OCxOC. I don not own Rune Soldier it belongs to Ryo Mizuno and the good people of ADV. All I own are Andorig, Merel and Antony. Oh and just so you know, the chapter titles are all fencing terms. Even the title is a fencing reference. Montano is the term for an upward thrust with a saber.
En garde-a direction to be ready to fence. Taking an opening position for action
"So that's Ramilearth's capital? It looks kind of like Ofun." Louie and the girls stood on a hill just on the edge of the capital's walls. From their location they could see that it was indeed very similar to Ofun's construction. It was a walled castle city constructed out of granite and various types of surrounding rocks. The buildings in the town were close, but still allowed for comfortable lane of travel. The castle sat in the dead center of the city, surrounded by a moat and larger estates that belonged to the city nobles.
Melissa sighed, "Yes, this is Troye."
Genie looked over, "What's wrong Melissa?"
"My family is from here…I'd really hoped to never set foot here again."
Genie nodded, "Well, it's the best place to disappear in. It's so large, nobody will find us, which will be good if King Rijarl happened to send anyone after us."
"That's true." Louie shifted the pack on his back, "Well, should we head in?"
Melissa sighed again, "I guess so. I think we should head for the southwest edge of town. That's the more commercial area and we'll blend in more."
Genie said, "Why don't you lead? You know it better than we do." Melissa simply nodded.
The southwest edge of town was indeed a more commercial area. The streets were much like the rest of the city, as were the stone buildings, but the brightly colored clothes of the trades people made the streets turn into a cacophony of color, the large stands where most of the merchants hawked their wares were shaded by brightly colored canvases adding to the dissonant colors that rampaged through the streets. The first half of the streets was a variety of vendors selling everything from charms to fish to firewood. The merchants seemed so pleased to have people passing by their shop that they desperately tried to get the group to stay and buy something, resulting in their running down to the second half of the area, which was comprised of mostly inns and taverns.
Merrill, leaning up against one of the walls managed to say between gasps, "man, talk about your desperate salesmen. I almost thought we weren't gonna make it out of there."
Louie, who was leaning over his knees, nodded and said, "so, which one do we want to stay at?"
Melissa looked down the street, "I don't really know how good any of the inns are…"
"How about this one?" They turned and looked at Genie, who was standing in front of the inn door. The sign read 'The Drunken Adventurer". "Not the greatest name in the world, but it looks reputable enough. What do you guys think?"
Merrill walked over, "If you think it's fine genie, it's okay with me."
Louie nodded, "same here."
"It's okay with me if it's okay with everybody else."
Genie's initial reaction was right on, as the inn turned out to be quite neat, organized and even, to Louie's pleasure, had a taproom in the back.
Merrill moved to the counter and said, "do you have four rooms that we could stay in here?"
The inn keeper pulled out a ledger, "No, but we do have two rooms with two beds in them. Will that serve your purposes?"
The girls looked uncomfortably at Louie, who was looking around in mild interest and not really paying attention to the conversation. Merrill sighed, "I guess that'll work. How much?"
As Merrill haggled with the innkeeper, Melissa looked over to Genie, "So who's going to share a room with…him?"
"I don't know. We'll have to decide once Merrill gets our rate settled. Hopefully there'll be a need for adventurers here in Troye. We'll need the money."
Merrill walked back over to Genie and Melissa, smiling, "well, I got us paying three gold a night, so we should be able to pay for about two weeks before we're in the red. Now, who's gonna share a room with stupid over there?"
Genie bent down and picked up three rushes on the floor, snapping one shorter, "Whoever draws the short straw shares a room with Louie." Merrill drew first, and breathed a sigh of relief when it came up long. Genie drew next and it was also long.
Merrill looked at Melissa sympathetically, "Sorry, Melissa, but it looks like you're sharing a room with idiot over there."
Melissa sighed and mumbled, "Against my will…"
Merrill responded, "Yeah, Melissa, No kidding. Hey, Louie! We're gonna go check out the rooms."
Louie was looking into the taproom and absentmindedly replied, "Yeah, sure, okay…. I'm just going to check out the taproom…"
Merrill responded by kicking him in the head, "No you're not, come on!"
The rooms weren't particularly fancy but were well kept. The furniture consisted of two rough beds, a table and two chairs. Genie nodded in approval, "This should be enough for our stay. Let's go check out the taproom here and maybe a few I the nearby inns to see if there are an adventures we could go on to supplement our budget."
Louie walked into one of the rooms and dropped His pack rather loudly before lying across one of the beds, "damn that was heavy. Remind me why I carry our crap again?"
Merrill answered, "Because you like showing off the that muscle of yours, and because we said so. Deal with it."
Louie sighed, "I just can't win, can I?"
"Nope, now who's going to hit what taproom?"
Genie looked over at Louie splayed across one of the beds, "I think our magician here should check out the taproom at this inn, the rest of us will hit the two next door." With that the three girls left a rather disgruntled Louie behind.
Louie wandered into the taproom and took a long look around. It was clean and actually rather empty. There was a group of merchants in one corner and a sparse scattering of other patrons. Louie sat down at a table in the center and ordered an ale. He leaned back in the chair, listening to snatches of conversation and hoping for a lead on an adventure. As his ale arrived a tall man with green eyes and blonde hair stumbled over to a table and rather loudly ordered for an ale. His clothes were simple but also were made of slightly higher quality material. He wore a solid broadsword around his waist. Louie watched as the man talked with some of the other patrons, 'who is this guy. His sword and clothes mean he's either a noble-turned-adventurer like Leonard…or a knight.'
Louie's thoughts were interrupted by the man stumbling over to one of the merchants and saying, "Gerard…. thou owes me for the bar tab last week. I covered thy ale, and I do expect some kind of payment."
The merchant, who was also drunk stood up and said, "I owe you nothing. Just cuz you're a knight…you think you can tell us what to do. Here's your payment!" The merchant punched the knight square in the face. Louie quickly got up and moved to pull the two apart.
"Hey, come on you guys, calm down."
The knight pulled back a bit before responding, "Who asked thee to get involved, longhair? This is none of thy business."
"I've made it my business when you started fighting. Now are you going to calm down, or do you need a time out?" The knight's response was to punch Louie in the gut. Louie punched the man in the face and the brawl went from being between the knight and the merchant to between the knight and Louie.
Melissa Genie and Merrill had turned up no leads in either of the neighboring inns; it had been dead quiet in both of them. When they entered the Drunken Adventurer, however, it was anything but quiet. None of them even asked who had started the ruckus in the taproom, they knew that it was Louie. As they entered the taproom, they saw the total chaos of the situation. Louie and a blonde haired man were currently pummeling each other senseless and the other patrons were knocking down furniture to get out of the way. Genie moved over to the two and forcibly pulled them apart. It was then that the girls got a good look at Louie's opponent. Melissa stared at him as he caught his breath and said hesitantly, "…Andorig?"
He turned, "Melissa?"
I know, probably the worst place to end a chapter, but please bear with me. I'll explain everything in the next chapter I swear. Please read and review!