Title: The Rope To The Ivory Tower
Day/Theme: 3.13. - The rope to the ivory tower. (late) / 3. The book of tales you knew by heart
Series: FE10 au
Character/Pairing: Ike/Soren
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: I swear this was latently caused by some crack!art Ammie sent me. I think Ammy was in on it too.

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Once upon a time there was a very cranky little prince.

As a young child he was first given to a horrible old woman who fed him nothing but gruel and hurled insults at him all the long day. He cleaned and was so covered in dust that his evil stepsisters took to calling him Cinder—

Whoops, wrong fairytale.

By his third year he had been sold to a sage who locked him in a tall ivory tower with no doors and only a single window near the very top. The sage made him work ceaseless with little rest and food until he became a very talented magician, especially for his young age.

The sage died soon after (after he 'mysteriously' fell out of a window), but had failed to teach the little prince how to fly on brooms, any method of teleportation, or even leave a bit of magic dust for portal making. However, the prince never despaired, there were many books which the prince set himself to reading, and enough food stored to last many years. So the prince grew and grew as a magician, locked away in a tower alone with only birds for company.

For their gift of songs and friendship, Soren shot them down one by one and ate them. For they definitely livened up the bland courses of wheat and rice and dried fruits.

He was a very cranky little prince, even to the point of heartlessness.

He never minded the solitude, he preferred it, even, as it left him more time for his studies. He was never a personable type, anyways. Dealing with babbling idiotic nobles just might send him over the edge. Had he not be put in an ivory tower this tale might be very different, about a cranky prince who grew up to be a very cruel king who almost wiped out civilization itself with his tyranny—

But again, that is another story.

This all went for several years, where he happily (or as happily as such a dour prince ever got) practiced and perfected his craft with no distractions such as human companionship which he would have personally labeled 'annoyances' and 'bothersome fleshbags'. His hair grew long and dark down his back, like a vat of tar black liquid night had fallen from the sky. Given the magical properties of hair, the prince never cut his hair lest it be needed for a concoction. The prince did not look like a prince, for he wore the gray robes of a scholar, and never kept jewels unless they worked as amulets or talismans.

This all changed one day when his solitude was disturbed by a voice calling out in the forest below.

"Hey, Rapunzel, you up there?"

He set the book aside in annoyance and went to see what commotion had occurred at the foot of his lair. The prince came to the window when he heard the voice, and stared down at the hero.

"You have the wrong castle, I believe," he said.

The hero shrugged. "Can I save you instead? I've been wandering around the forest for days and I have thorns in my underpants. "

While he should've felt slighted by this attitude, the prince was intrigued by the hero. His bluntness, disheveled hair, those broad shoulders and well-built physique were all very relevant to his interests. Even the mention of the thorn-filled underpants gave the prince an overwhelming desire to tell the hero that if his underthings were so uncomfortable, he should take them off.

"So, yeah. Now would be the time to let down your hair," the hero said.

"My hair?" the prince said.

"Yeah, to make a rope for me to climb up."

The prince took a moment to process the sheer stupidity of this prospect. The hero was three times his weight, at least, and there was a large chance that the instant he attempted to "climb" the prince's neck would snap. If he managed to survive that, he would fall to his death. And even if the hero did somehow manage to defy every scientific law and climb up his hair, there would still be no way for him to exit as he had become the ladder himself

All in all, it was a plan that was so full of errors, the more OCD side of the prince's brain whimpered in a corner from the sheer fallacy of it.

"..I can see you've got the role of hero down, but perhaps you should leave the tactics up to me."

The hero seemed as if he had no problem letting the prince do all the thinking for him.

"Well, after this I have to go slay a dragon and save a country, then save another princess. And avenge my father."

"I see," the prince said.

"So, Princess?"

"Prince, actually," he corrected.

"Oh, good. I was getting tired of saving Princesses, but if I don't keep my quota up, they'll kick me out of the guild." Though the hero seemed as if that prospect wasn't actually such an unwelcome thing.

"Heroes have guilds now?"

"Everyone has guilds, there's guilds for guilds," the hero said. His voice was flat, annoyed and it sounded as if he had truly had it with the whole mess of guilds and nobles.

"And why are you in this guild anyhow?" the prince said pointedly. "You don't seem the type to stay within their confines."

"I was trying to avenge my father and the Apostle who I was trying to receive information from refused to see an unguilded hero. To reach the guild level to go on an avenging quest, I have to slay a certain amount of dragons and save a certain amount of princesses."

"Ah, Begnion," the prince said. "Well, the papers are easy enough to forge. At this rate whoever killed your father might die of old age."

Even thought the hero seemed not the forging type, he seemed intrigued. Perhaps it was his sheer annoyance at Begnion that could make his moral code loosen so.

"Why are you in the tower anyways?

"Because I prefer to be," the prince said

"So let me get this straight– you could leave if you wanted to, but you don't want to?"

"No. I have no teleportation methods. But I have no desire to leave. I can transmute and grow food in here, and there is enough books to keep me busy in my studies for the rest of my life."

"You're not like any noble I've come across," the hero said.

"I am first an adept in magic, an expert tactician, scholar and amanuensis. My only hold to nobility is the blood, which I had no choice in. In the end, such titles are meaningless to me."

"Phew, I'm glad, after that feline amazon princess and that crazed shopgirl it's good to finally find a damsel that's not insane."

The prince cleared his throat and did not bother to respond to that particular question. The hero did not notice this pause, and instead kicked at the walls of the ivory tower.

"But there's still the part of getting you out of this place..."

"Quite," the prince said. He himself had thought of the methods it would take, should a famine, fire, or some other calamity befall him. He knew each scenario from memory, and he recited the most dangerous of the bunch. "About three days travel there is a fierce tribe of birdmen. They despise human contact since the white prince's people were massacred. The king of the birdmen is completely controlled by the white prince, if you win over his favor then they will surely ferry you where you need. The bird king is brutal, but very honorable."

It would work...if the hero returned alive. The bird tribes were a vicious lot, even more so since the razing of the Serenes. There was a chance that they would swoop down immediately and overpower him at first sight. But to prove his worthiness, it would be necessary. This made the prince seem more wicked sorcerer than damsel in this scenario. It was a role reversal he preferred, to be honest. Still, he wished to be there and guide each move, as any good tactician would.

The hero seemed to take this news with only a minor shrug. "Can't be worse than that last dragon," he said.

"Do not let your guard down," the prince admonished.

"Gotcha, I'll do that," the hero said.

"And hero–"

The hero turned and squinted up into the bright light. "Eh?"

"...I do hope you survive and return."

"Me too," the hero said.

"It would be an inconvenience if you didn't," the prince amended. His voice did not quite match the coldness of his words. His face was flushed (By sunburn – a sunburn) and stormed inside to find ointment. For his sunburn.