Full Metal Panic! Was created by Shoji Gatou and distributed by Gonzo, Kyoko Animation, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Funimation Entertainment, ADV Manga, & Tokyopop
The Familiar of Zero was created by Noboru Yamaguchi and distributed by MF Bunko J , Media Factory, J. , Monthly Comic Alive, Sentai Filmworks, & Seven Seas Entertainment
No permission has been obtained from any of the copyright holders for the use of the characters and situations from these series. This work of fiction is not for profit and not intended to infringe on copyrighted intellectual property in any significant or harmful way.
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Any original characters, however, are owned by me. If you steal them, I shall hunt you down and skewer your nuts. You want to use them? Just ask me first as I'll probably say yes.
Feedback is encouraged. That's why I write. Also for the cookies.
And The Root Beer. The sweet, nectar-of-the-gods root beer.
Flames are pointless, as the author is a flaming retard.
...hold up, that's not what I meant. Uh, let's just start the story.
Three evenings ago…
In Tristain, there was a mage thief by the name of "The Crumbling Dirt," who had every noble in the country cowering in fear. This one's full name was Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt.
When Fouquet heard that a noble in the North had a jeweled crown, he would go all the way there to steal it. When Fouquet heard that a noble in the South had a staff bestowed by the king as a family treasure, he broke through walls to steal it. In the East, none of the best pearl rings by the artisans of the White Islands remained in any mansion. If you had a milkshake, Fouquet would drink it. Drink it up! The thief was everywhere.
Fouquet's tactics ranged from stealthy infiltration to outright breaking in. The national bank had been attacked in broad daylight, and houses were silently frequented in the depth of night. No matter the method to the thief's madness, Fouquet's tactics simply left the royal mage guards in the dust. In fact, the thief was identified only by the use of alchemy to enter targeted rooms, turning doors and walls to dirt and sand, then walking through the gaping holes. The nobles were not stupid, of course, they had tried to magically "solidify" everything around their treasure in an attempt to stop the earth magic, but Fouquet's magic was simply too strong, nullifying everything, fortified or not, into dirt.
No one had yet seen Fouquet's appearance up close. Nobody even knew for sure whether the thief was a man or a woman. All they knew was that Fouquet was an earth mage of at least Triangle class, that the criminal left insulting notes, such as "Mine now. –-Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt" at every robbery scene, and that the bandit preferred treasures and artifacts of great magical power.
This means something, seeing as this is the prologue and all.
A Full Metal Panic/The Familiar of Zero Crossover... hey where are you all going?
Summoned Sergeant Chronicles
Operation Four: The way to hell is paved with good intentions...
Two huge moons shone down on the walls outside the fifth floor of the Academy of Magic, which encased a treasure room. The light stretched out a shadow, standing straight against the walls. Inside the shadows, a lone figure stood, eying the doors that were barricaded closed to keep intruders out. The figure stepped forward, openly showing the figure that strikes fear in all the nobles of the country. The one and only Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt.
Fouquet's green, long hair moved with the wind, and Fouquet briskly stood, and the criminal frowned deeply at the puzzle displayed. Pressing a foot against the wall, Fouquet felt the wall's power and the frown deepened. 'The main tower of the Academy is as strong as it looks… is a physical attack really its only weakness?' Taking the foot off the door, Fouquet put a hand under his chin. 'It's like it's begging for someone to use brute force to get in here. And I can't break through something this thick without attracting attention.' It was not hard for an expert in earth magic like Fouquet to check a wall's thickness with their feet, but breaking a wall was completely different. 'It looks like they used only hardening spells on it, but I'm not sure I can even break this with a golem. It's got a very strong hardening spell… my alchemy won't do much... as it is...'
Fouquet frowned as the thief heard approaching footsteps interrupting his thoughts, "Damn it… and I already got this far." Teeth grinding in frustration, Fouquet quickly meted with the shadows once more. "So I must continue with this farce a little longer? Fine. But the Staff of Destruction will be mine, no matter what."
Three mornings later…
Kirche yawned as she awoke that morning. Stretching out slightly to let her muscles stiff from the night's sleep relax as well as stiffen some of you readers with the slight bounce of her bosom. "Unnn...Today is the Day of Void isn't it?" she groggily spoke. She turned to her window, looking at the replaced glass and slight burn marks on the frame. Still groggy, she stared at the window for a moment before remembering what happened the night before. She yawned as the event replayed in her head.
"Oh right… those boring boys interrupted me and Sousuke, and I blasted them away."
The window ceased being interesting after that. She rose from her bed, removing her nightie as she looked herself over in the mirror. Kirche smirked confidently at what she saw in the mirror; An extreme amount of pride swelling at her figure. She was especially proud of her breasts, the full mammaries not even showing the least bit of sag, "Now then my dear Sousuke... I hope you're ready to be swept off your feet today!"
At that, she hurried to get ready, all the while plotting how she would seduce the displaced sergeant and steal him from Louise. Kirche was a born hunter, and if she was correct, Sousuke would shape up to be the ultimate prey. When she was done, she once again admired what she saw in the mirror. Along with her cloak, she wore a tight blouse that showed off her bountiful bosom, as well as a skirt that flaunted her trim, athletic legs.
She rested her chin on one hand, hiding her smile. 'Sousuke will open the door, and I'll immediately hug him and kiss him. Oh… what will Louise do when she sees that…?' Kirche thought. 'Or maybe... I can try to eye him outside the room, and he'll approach me himself!'
Do note that the thought of rejection never entered her mind.
And she had apparently forgotten the pepper spray incident.
Despite this, she almost giggled as she left her room and stood in front of Louise's bedroom. She tossed her hair slightly as she knocked on the door. After a moment and no response, she knocked again. Getting the same result she tried to open the door and found it unlocked and her determination was rewarded. But the room was empty. The two weren't there.
She blinked in confusion as a odd object floated towards her. "What th-"
That was all the buxom Germanian got out as 10,000 volts were suddenly presented to her central nervous system. The mage passed out shortly thereafter, a puddle of drool escaping her luscious lips and her legs twitching slightly as she laid in the hallway.
In a room near some Court of our ever so important academy housed a sight not unfamiliar to many a fantasy reader.
In this room, you would find a mountain of books. A mountain as high at the ceiling would allow them to be stacked. The possessions in this room outside of these printed materials were scare, to be sure. And it would be hard to imagine a person living here.
Now get that image out of your head, because it's not near that bad.
At least, not yet anyway.
While it was true that Tabitha enjoyed reading, she had not yet allowed her room to reach those levels of isolation and solitude.
But she was working on it.
Because, you see, Tabitha loved to read. Especially on Days of Void. On those days of peace and quiet she could sink into her favorite worlds with no one to distract her. She was laying down on her bed actively trying to get lost in one of these worlds. Tabitha looked four or five years younger than she actually was, but her bright blue eyes were locked upon every word in the book, the red rimmed glasses upon her nose only enhancing her studious looks. Her light blue hair shined in the mid-day sunlight as she continued to submit herself further into her distinctive worlds.
However, she didn't care about these things. She was a girl that did not care about what people thought of her. In her eyes, everyone else was an intruder in her own little world.
In short, she was moe personified.
Before long, strong knocks rocked her door. Without standing up, Tabitha simply picked up and waved her staff, which seemed to exceed her height. She cast "Spell of Tranquility", a wind-type spell. When she finished casting the spell, silence reigned throughout the room. Effectively muted those distracting sounds. Satisfied, she returned to her reading, her expression remaining unchanged throughout the disturbance.
Then somebody forcefully broke the door open. Noticing the intruder, Tabitha moved her eyes from her book. It was Kirche. She began babbling about something, but with the silencing magic, none of her words reached Tabitha; Although Tabitha did raise an eyebrow slightly at Kirche's hairstyle choice for the day. After that brief bout of an emotion, she quickly resumed her reading. Kirche took away Tabitha's book, and then grabbed the little reader's shoulders to make her look at her. Tabitha blankly looked at Kirche, her face emotionless. But as Kirche was her friend however, and the buxom redhead could see that she had an irritated look in her eyes.
"Day of Void," Tabitha whispered as she attempted to take the book back from Tabitha.
"Tabitha, darling," Kirche sighed. "I know you hate being disturbed on the Day of Void. You know I do. So you should know that I need your help badly to disturb you today of all days!"
Tabitha continued to cooly stare at her friend. Kirche nodded, as that look was her way of shouting GET ON WITH IT.
"Tabitha... I am in love." Kirche began.
Tabitha rolled her eyes inwardly.
"I'm serious!" Kirche cried, as if aware of her best friend's disbelief. "This one... he could be the one! I need your help Tabitha! Understand?"
She didn't, and shook her head.
"Oh right I need to fully explain it to you..." Kirche sighed again. "Tabitha... I'm in love with Zero's familiar. The problem is that Zero's filled his head with falsehoods and stupid ideas! I need to get on his good side so he can fully feel my fire, but Sousuke's gone out with that damned annoying Louise today! I want to go after them, and find out where they're going! Do you get it now?"
Tabitha tilted her head to the side, as if to wonder why that mattered to her.
"For the love of..." Kirche muttered, "They just left! On horseback! I can't catch up to him without your familiar! Please help me at least with that!" Kirche started crying.
Tabitha nodded, "I understand."
"So you'll help me?!" Tabitha nodded again. "Oh thank you so much! That's why I love you Tabitha! Now let's hurry up!"
Tabitha sighed internally. Kirche was her friend, and she couldn't help it if her friends had their problems that they couldn't take care of themselves. It was a bit annoying, all things considered. From what Kirche had told her, The Familiar of Zero had had completely rejected her. Kirche had conviently left out the bit where Sousuke had maced her from the recap, still it was a little odd that Kirche would show such interest in someone below her station.
Then again, to have someone below her station so utterly reject her and seem to favor her long standing rival... well Tabitha could see that as well.
Still, if she wanted to resume her peaceful Day of Void activities she didn't have a choice but to assist her flirtatious friend. She opened her window, and whistled. The sound of the whistle rang in the azure sky for a moment. She then jumped out of the window. Those who did not know her would have found it weird, if not frightening. Kirche, however, followed close after Tabitha and jumped out the window without a thought.
Strong and tough wings spread out to the wind. Then, a wind dragon flew into the air and received its two passengers.
Sousuke and Louise walked briskly on Tristain's city streets, having deposited their campus-loaned horse at the city gate's stables. Sousuke's eyes narrowed as he looked around for anything suspicious, 'White cobblestone roads… Not even five meters wide.' With this many people walking around, every step felt cramped. 'Perfect for a sneak attack from an assassin.'
"We're almost there Sousuke," Louise said suddenly. Sousuke turned to find her slightly frowning at him, "You are looking after my wallet in your jacket, right?"
Sousuke nodded. Louise said wallets are for servants to carry, and mercilessly gave that duty to the sergeant. And although the wallet was heavily filled with gold coins, Sousuke was dealing with the added weight with relative ease. "Although I would worry more about a potential assassination attempt than the money. This street is too tight for my liking and how can anyone steal something this heavy?"
Louise frowned, "With magic, that can be done in a second. And what do you mean assassination attempt? Who would be so brazen to attempt something here?"
"You can never be too careful," Sousuke answered. "With a crowd this large, it can be relatively simple so bump into someone and stab them in a vital spot. Not everything has to be done with magic."
Louse paled a bit at Sousuke's answer but quickly composed herself. "Be that as it may, I would worry more about a pickpocket or a fallen noble stealing that wallet than an assassin right now."
Sousuke frowned, "A fallen noble you say?"
Louise nodded again, "All nobles are mages, but not all mages are nobles. If for whatever reason a noble is disowned from their family, left the family name on his or her own accord, dropped status to be a mercenary or a criminal."
Sousuke nodded in understanding, "All the more reason to be wary, don't you think? After all, covertly killing a noble could bolster their reputation."
"Would you stop all this morbid talk?!" Louise cried out as she rounded on Sousuke. "The last thing I want to hear from you is how everyone on the street is an assassin in disguise!"
Sousuke nodded, "Very well. But I just wanted you to be aware of the possible dangers this street can provide. It is my duty as your guard is it not?"
The noblewoman let out an exasperated breath, "Yes but look," She pointed down the street. "This is Bourdonné Street, Tristain's widest avenue. The palace is straight ahead. And there is no one, mage, commoner, or fallen noble that would try anything you're proposing so near her highness! Do you get it now?"
Sousuke nodded, "Very well, but you'll forgive me if I continue to keep watch for now."
Louise stared at Sousuke with half lidded eyes before turning around and walking off, "Do whatever makes you happy. Just follow me and do it quietly."
"Not a problem," Sousuke responded as he fell behind her quickly enough. The pair were silent as they walked into an even narrower road. A revolting stench, coming from piles of trash and other dirty things on the ground, soon hit their noses. Louise covered her nose as the stench reached her, but Sousuke continued to walk unphased. The sergeant having smelled far worse in his life.
At the fourth intersection, Louise stopped and looked around. "Should be near Peyman's Potion Shop… I remember it's around here somewhere…" She saw a bronze sign and happily cried, "Ah! Found it!"
A sword-shaped sign dangled under it. Louise and Sousuke walked up the stone stops, opened the door, and entered the shop. Despite the bright daylight outside, the shop was a rather dank and dark inside. A gas lamp flickered, giving the shop with what little light it could provide. The walls and shelves were filled with unorganized weapons and a detailed suit of armor decorated the room. A lightly tanned man in his mid-to-late fifties sat at the counter, smoking a pipe and eyed Louise suspiciously.
That is, until he saw the pentagram on her golden button. He removed his pipe and said, "M-M-M-M-My lady! My noble lady! All of my wares here are real and reasonably priced! There's nothing criminal here!"
Sousuke frowned at the man's hasty words, but felt Louise grip his wrist to restrain him. "I did not come here to investigate you. I'll be your customer today."
The man blinked in surprise at Louise's words, "Oh… that's rather weird… a noble buying a weapon! Quite strange indeed. I suppose the times are changing."
"Oh, I'm not the one using it. My familiar is. But what do you mean by that?"
The shopkeeper shrugged nonchalantly at Louise's question, "Nothing really. It just seems that nobles like to let their servants bear swords lately."
"Oh really?" Louise's curiosity was perked at that, "Is that the trend?" Louise asked.
The shopkeeper naturally nodded; sensing the opportunity to raise his prices by giving the young noblewoman a good bit of info to spook her a bit. "That's right. It seems that there's an increase of thievery on Tristain's city streets lately…"
Louise frowned and turned to Sousuke, almost expecting a look of 'I told you so' on his face. Instead, the sergeant was eyeing the shop keeper intently. His attention on his story, "Do continue," he responded.
The shopkeeper raised an eyebrow at the sergeant. Noting the oddity of a noble letting their servants talk so freely, but ignored it for the pursuit of profit. "Yes. There is a mage thief that calls himself something like 'Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt,' and I heard he stole a lot of treasures from the nobles. Those nobles are getting really rattled, so they're arming their servants with swords."
Louise had no interest in thieves and focused on the shop's inventory. "Is there anything else you know about this criminal?" Sousuke asked.
The shopkeeper shrugged, "Mostly tall tales and rumors. He wears a cloak and hood over his head, so no one knows what he looks like. He's also supposed to be a fallen mage, but no one is saying anything definite as he's a triangle mage."
Sousuke frowned slightly at the information, 'Triangle Mage?' He remembered from one of Louise's classes on his first full day in this world hearing the term. It was the definition of the skills and levels of the various mages and their ability to re-enforce their magic. Those who could stack two elements like Fire and Earth together are called Line mages. Likewise those being able to combine three elements, such Earth-Earth-Fire, are Triangle mages. And one who can stack four elements is naturally a square mage, the highest level mage.
Before he could press the shopkeeper for any more information, the elder man had rushed to Louise's side as she picked up a slim, shiny sword. It looked like a rapier, and very exquisitely decorated. "Oh, my lady! You've got a rather good eye for such a young noble don't you?"
'I see… a shiny, glittering sword. Very well-suited for a noble.' thought Louise. She frowned as she continued to look the light weapon over. It looked like something that would break in an instant. As she looked over the weapon, the shopkeeper chuckled to himself. 'Oh, this is too great… I can raise the prices so high with this… and this child won't know the difference!'
He blinked in surprise as Louise handed the weapon back to him, "I'd prefer something bigger and broader."
'Damn...I can charge her an arm for this piece! I just need to push her a little...' The shopkeeper laughed nervously as he took the weapon, "My lady, please forgive this one's bluntness but swords and people have compatibilities, just like men and women. As I look at it, this sword fits my noble lady's familiar very well. Don't you agree?"
Sousuke shrugged, "I wouldn't know. I'm not familiar with swords."
"Didn't I say I want something bigger and broader?" said Louise, impatiently lowering her head. The shopkeeper went inside again grumbling all the while. After a while, he returned, one hand rubbing the new specimen with an oily rag. "What about this one?"
It was a splendid broadsword of around a mail and a half in length. The handle was made for two-handed wielding and was lavishly decorated with jewels. A mirror-like blade reflected light with an irresistible glow. Anyone could look at it and say it was a very sharp and broad blade. "This is the best thing I have. Rather than say it's for nobles, it's more like something nobles wish they can wear on their waists, but that's something reserved for very strong men. If not, wearing it on the back isn't half bad."
"How much?" she asked.
The shopkeeper almost giggled like a schoolgirl at Louise's question. 'Oh yes! Jackpot, baby!' he thought. Aloud, he responded, "Well… it's made by the famous Germanian alchemist Lord Shupei. It can cut through metal like butter because of the magic infused in it! See this inscription here?" The shopkeeper proudly pointed at the words on the handle. "You can't get this cheaper anywhere else. It's the perfect weapon for an upstanding noble!"
"Well… I'm a noble." Louise held her head up high.
At that, the shopkeeper all but heard the coins rustle in his pocket. 'Gotcha, sucker!' Aloud, he bluntly gave the price, "This will go for just three thousand new gold coins."
"What?! You can buy a holiday home with a garden with that!" Louise said, shocked. Sousuke, with no idea of the currency's value, quietly watched the display.
"A famous sword is worth as much as a castle, my lady. A holiday home is quite cheap compared to this."
"A weapon is a weapon," Sousuke spoke suddenly. "As long as it does its job, I have no problems. Saying that though, I have no need for such a gaudy weapon. It will bring in more trouble than I need."
The shopkeeper frowned as Sousuke walked towards a barrel of discounted weapons and pulled out a rusty, damaged sword. "All I need is a weapon to ward off others, correct? Then this will do."
Louise frowned, "Are you sure? I could afford this weapon," she lied. In truth she had only brought five hundred gold coins, and was immensely relieved at Sousuke's words. But her pride as a noblewoman refused to allow her to admit this much.
Sousuke nodded, missing the faint glow of his hand as he sheathed the sword. "It's not a problem. There are other things here that I need to perform my duties."
Sousuke held up several boxes in one hand and a pair of knives, "These items would be a start."
The shopkeeper sighed and put the sword away, "I don't agree with it, but if the customer insists on this I won't stop them." Sitting back down at the counter, the shopkeeper gave another disappointed sigh. "Those knives and boxes of rifle rounds will cost you about four hundred gold pieces. As for the weapon, I'll charge you a hundred coins."
"Isn't that a bit cheap?" Louise asked.
"For that one? I'll let you take it for cheap." He waved his hand dismissively. Louise took out her wallet from Sousuke's jacket pocket, and poured its contents onto the counter. One by one, gold coins dropped onto the wooden surface. After careful counting, the shopkeeper finally nodded. "Thank you for your business!" The shopkeeper said as he gave Sousuke a small bag for his various weapons. The elder man let off another wale as the pair left at his lost opportunity for a fortune. "It's not like there's gonna be another sucker noble coming here anytime soon."
Was he right or would a miracle strike twice?
Too bad the author decided to change scenes here. He's a tease like that.
Louise frowned at Sousuke as the duo rode their campus-loaned horse way back to the school, "Are you sure that's really going to be enough, Sousuke?"
Sousuke nodded, "Affirmative. The threat of danger is firmly established by having this sword strapped to my back and with those rounds I have plenty of materials to make weapons."
Louise blinked, "But aren't they already weapons?"
"Yes," Sousuke began, "But they are incompatible with the weapons I have. Rather, they are most compatible for another type of weapon."
"And that is?"
Louise rounded on Sousuke, "WHAT?! You mean you want to make MORE of those weapons you used on that nobleman?"
"It's not a problem," Sousuke reassured, "I am trained in the handling of such things. There is no need to be alarmed."
"What do you me-"
"Oh thank Brimir I'm outta that place!"
"What was that?" Louise asked.
Sousuke frowned as he looked around, "I don't see anyone." His hand reached for his gun, "Perhaps it is an attacker who can throw his voice?"
Louise sighed, "Why does everything have to be about an attacker or a robber or an assassin with you?"
"Because it's my job to protect you from those things," Sousuke answered.
"Well said, partner!"
A new pause.
"There it is again," Louise whispered.
"I'm right here, y'know."
Both turned to find nothing.
"Are your eyes there just for decoration? Come on, partner, for someone who wants to protect you're not doing so good a job at finding something already on your person", the voice jabbed.
Sousuke's eyebrow rose as he realized the voice was coming from below him. He slightly frowned as his head slowly lowered to find the sword sitting on his lap.
"There ya go, partner! Ya finally found me!"
Sousuke's frown DEEPENED, "Louise... the sword is talking."
"Could it be… that this is a sentient sword?" asked Louise.
"Hit the nail right on the head, missy!" The sword confirmed. "Man lemmie tell ya, that guy was such a pompous little weasel! I mean the very fact that he left me, Lord Derflinger in with the bargain bin swords is proof that he doesn't know diddly about swords!"
Louise brought the horse to a halt as Sousuke pulled the enchanted blade from is scabbard. It was the same length as that huge broadsword that Louise had eyed in the store, though its blade was slightly less broad. It was more of a thin long sword, although its surface was coated with rust, and one could not with absolute confidence say it was well made to any degree.
"I take it that this isn't normal?" Sousuke asked Louise.
The sword fell silent, and it seems to closely observe Sousuke. After a while, it silently spoke. "So you found me... are you a user?"
Sousuke blinked and looked down at the enchanted weapon, "A user?"
"Hmm… you don't even know your true powers, do you? Hmm... oh well! You'll learn in time, my friend!"
"What is that supposed to mean?" Sousuke asked.
"You will understand when it matters, my partner." The sword said mysteriously. "Until that time comes, I believe I will rest for a bit."
Sousuke watched as the sword fell silent and sheathed the magical weapon. In a rare show of exhaustion, he rubbed his forehead at this latest development, "I don't think I will ever get used to the way this world works."
Louise turned and gave Sousuke a slightly sympathetic look, "Enchanted weapons can be quite a handful. That shopkeeper probably let us have it for cheap because it got on his nerves or something petty."
"It called me a user," Sousuke said as he clasped the weapon around his back. "Do you have any knowledge of what a user is?" As Louise's negative shake of her head, Sousuke frowned anew. 'This world grows more complicated by the day. Now I have a talking sword to add to the thing in this world that makes no sense.' He sighed internally. With all these odd developments and no information whatsoever on how to return home all he could do was press forward on the path he was already on. There was no point in complaining so early in the game at any rate.
He blinked at Louise's sigh, "Is something the matter Louise?"
"It's nothing big it's just..." she was frowning as she spoke, "It's quite annoying how that shopkeeper played me for a fool just to get rid of a weapon he had no use for." Sousuke said nothing as Louise continued, "Now that I think on it, he probably played me for a child and told me just what I wanted to hear so I would spend what money I had!"
"That is what an entrepreneur does," Sousuke reasoned.
Louise humphed, "Still, I'd like to see him get put in his place."
I think that's a cue for a segue way!
You know how I said that the author's a tease?
"Hey there, boss…"
Well... he doesn't hold a candle to this chick.
As that shopkeeper from a few scenes back was finding out.
Kirche was sitting atop the store's counter as she played with her hair, a charming smile on her lips. It was also noticeable that one of her buttons under her generous cleavage was long unbuttoned, giving the store's owner a peek at more of her generous assets. His face turned deep red under the sudden seduction that the young girl was giving him.
It is a good thing that Halkeginia doesn't have anything relating to Viagra, otherwise Kirche might have been the victim of a bad doujinshi at that moment.
Still, as she crossed her legs in front of the old shopkeeper there was a method for her madness. "Do you happen to know what that noble bought not long ago?"
The shopkeeper gulped deeply as he answered the question, "S...S...S...some ammunition... a. a...a few throwing knives... and a s-sword… she bought a sword."
Kirche nodded, "I see… so she did get him a sword… what kind of sword?"
The old shopkeeper's breathing was getting heavier as he pulled at his shirt collar, "A d-dirty and rusty one."
The young seductress's eyebrow rose slightly, "Rusty? Why?"
"B-B-Because that is what he requested," The man answered. 'Oh god, I saw lacey last time. LACEY!' "Uh… is my lady here to buy a sword, too?" The shopkeeper perked up, even in his lust induced haze he was first and foremost an entrepreneur.
Besides, the longer the girl stayed the greater the opportunity that he might get to see more of her goodies.
"Hmm…" Kirche crossed her legs once more, and the old perverted shopkeeper had to hold in his hoot of joy at the display between the girl's legs. "Show me your best blade and we shall see."
The man walked inside, brushing his hands in excitement. He returned, of course, with the broadsword he just showed to Louise.
"Ahh… a very well-made sword!" Kirche chirped as he handed her the golden weapon.
"You have a good eye, my lady. That noble not so long ago had a servant that really wanted this one, but it was too much for them." The shopkeeper lied.
The bombshells' eyebrow rose at the shopkeeper's lies, 'Is that so? The noble's servant? So Sousuke wants this! Perfect... this is too perfect!' Kirche laughed, her hand to her chin. "She went broke! Vallière! Your Duke's house will cry for this!"
"Of course… this sword is made by the famous Germanian alchemist Lord Shupei after all. It can cut through metal like butter because of the magic infused in it! See this inscription here?" The shopkeeper repeated his sales pitch from earlier.
Kirche nodded. "How much?"
The shopkeeper asked for more, seeing how Kirche looked a lot richer, "Hmm… for new gold coins, forty five thousand new coins."
"Hmm… that's a bit pricey." Kirche frowned.
"Well… great swords need to be paid for their worth, you know?"
Kirche thought for a while, slowly moving her body towards the shopkeeper. "Good sir… you honestly don't believe this isn't just a little bit expensive?" Upon being caressed at the throat, the salesman suddenly lost his breath. Damned hormones.
The shopkeeper gulped one more as he fought off his ingrained sexual desires, "Perhaps… but… great swords are…"
He was almost reduced to a pile of gooey hormones at the stacked redhead placed a foot on the man's chest. "My... oh my goodness," he croaked as his eyes locked onto Kirche's well toned thigh.
"Isn't the price a bit too high?"
"You... you're right… then… four thousand new gold…"
Kirche raised her skirt further so that he could almost see in between her legs.
The poor horny man whimpered, "Ah… nonono, three thousand would do…"
"It's getting hot in here…" Kirche ignored him, furthering unbuttoning her shirt. "It feels as though there is a sun in here. Would you be a dear and help me take off my shirt, please?" She threw her most attractive expression at him.
"Ah… I got it wrong, I got it wrong… it's twenty five thousand!"
Kirche undid one button, and the shopkeeper almost lost it in his pants.
"A thousand! A thousand's fine!"
Kirche stepped down from the counter, quickly wrote a check, and slapped it on the counter. "SOLD!" She then picked up the sword and left the shop, "Thanks mister!" she said as she left, leaving the salesman to stare at her check.
After a moment, he suddenly regained consciousness, holding his head. "DAMMIT ALL TO HELL! I SOLD THAT BABY FOR JUST A THOUSAND?!" He took a bottle of liquor from his cabinet. "Women... they are the most pleasant death of a man."
Well said, you horny bastard.
The two moons shone warmly on the battered courtyard of Vestri. In the past few days it had been host to an unenviable bevy of battles involving the displaced sergeant that was quickly garnering an infamous reputation around the academy.
Tonight, a new player would add yet another battle to its worn out field.
Fouquet the Crumbling Dirt crouched down upon the ground, clutching a small clump of dirt. Despite it being the middle of the night, the two moons made for clear vision. Fouquet's green, long hair moved with the wind, and Fouquet briskly stood, as if realizing something.
"Yes... the time is now..."
It was a whisper that somehow carried throughout the wind, as if it was the calm before the storm. Fouquet started chanting a long spell, waving his wand at the ground. When finished, a mild smile formed on his face.
"Now then... let's see how they handle this."
Elsewhere... a slight bit earlier...
"What are you doing here, Zerbst?" Louise frowned as she looked at Kirche and Tabitha standing in the hallway.
Tabitha didn't look up from her book while Kirche simply smiled at her rival, "Is that anyway to greet a fellow classmate, Louise? I simply came to bring you good tidings!"
Louise folded her arms across her chest as she eyed the buxom beauty hostility, "You don't honestly expect me to believe such a fantasy do you? You're up to something."
Kirche simply giggled, "Dear Louise... there is no need to hold such a hostile tone with me. I honestly came with the most noble of intentions!"
"Supposing I was fool enough to believe you Zerbst," Louise began. "What are these 'noble intentions' of yours?"
"I've come to make peace with you and your familiar," Kirche answered. "I would like to give the man who's stolen my heart a simple gift to show my love and affection!"
Louise barely kept herself from visibly rolling her eyes and settled with raising her eyebrow at the buxom redhead. "A gift," she repeated for confirmation.
Kirche nodded, "Indeed. A simple gift that I know my beloved is looking for. So... is he in?"
Louise stood outside her door and gazed back at Kirche and smirked. "Yes, he is." Before Kirche could move forward Louise went through the door, "You can wait until tomorrow." With that, Louise slammed the door shut.
Kirche jerked her head back as the door was slammed in her face. A scowl adorned her lovely features as she pulled out her wand, "Ok Zero... if that's how you want to play it... let's play little girl!"
Tabitha turned the page.
Sousuke looked up from his small area with a curious glance at Louise's satisfied smirk, "May I ask who was that?"
"Just an annoying little bug who's forgotten her place," Louise said smugly.
Sousuke shrugged, "If you say so."
"GET DOWN!" Sousuke cried as he tackled Louise and hovered over her protectively. Pulling out his pistol, he pointed it towards Kirche, "You again..."
Kirche coughed as she and Tabitha entered Louise's room, shooing away all the dust and wood chips that had fragmented in the resulting blast. "Goodness! -coff coff- Sousuke, my love are you all right?"
Louise growled from her position on the floor, "Zerbst?! What the hell?!" She frowned as she felt Sousuke's hand on her chest, "And you...Sousuke get off of me!"
Sousuke complied but continued to have his weapon trained on the buxom redhead, "Don't move. If you refuse, I can't guarantee that my finger won't slip."
Kirche pouted as Tabitha walked over to Louise's bed, to engrossed in her book to notice or care about the standoff going on around her. "Beloved... you don't believe that I caused that explosion do you?"
"OF COURSE YOU DID!" Louise cried out. "You can't wait one day to see Sousuke, you damned barbaric woman?!"
Sousuke's eyebrow rose, "You're here to see me? Why?"
Kirche smiled as she pulled out her bundle from behind her, "Well darling, I heard you went shopping for a sword earlier. Word also got out that you were unable to get the weapon that you really wanted and had to settle for a rusty blade. I believe a man of your caliber deserves a fine weapon, so I came here to give it to you."
Louise had her arms on her waist as she glared at her rival, "So that's why you blew up my bedroom door?! You... you damned harlot! Have you no regards for anyone but yourself?!"
Louise's eye twitched as the air that rushed by her was indeed Kirche who pointedly ignored her to present her gift to Sousuke.
"Please take this weapon as proof of my devotion and loyalty my dearest Sousuke." Kirche pleaded as she presented the weapon to Sousuke.
The scarred sergeant blinked as he took the weapon. He unsheathed the sword and stared at it. 'This is... that expensive weapon from the store.' he thought. Louise's eye twitched all the more as she too noticed the extravagant weapon from earlier.
'So that's the harlot's plan,' Louise thought irritably. 'Do your worst, Zerbst... I won't let you have your way with my familiar!'
Sousuke frowned as he felt a familiar pulse upon his left hand. When he looked down to find the inscriptions in his left hand glowing. A part of him wanted to swing it around, but he was indoors. He still couldn't figure out what the deal about his left hand was. All he knew is that it glowed if he held a weapon. 'Although... I have to wonder how true that is,' Sousuke thought. He would have to investigate it further when he had the time.
"Sousuke!" Louise cried, rousing the sergeant out of his thoughts.
"Give that back! Don't you already have that talking sword?"
"Jealous words are quite unmannerly, Vallière!" Kirche trumpeted triumphantly.
Louise's lips formed a thin line, "Jealous? Who's jealous?"
Kirche smirked, "Aren't you? I, Kirche, easily got Sousuke's most desired sword as a gift. You can't say you're not jealous, can you?"
"Jealous, my arse! That aside, I will not accept even a tiny little bit of generosity from a Zerbst! That's all there is!"
Kirche looked at Sousuke, who stared at the decorated sword in Louise's hands. "You see that Zero? My dearest loves this sword, got it? This sword was created by Germania's very own alchemist Lord Shupei!" Kirche threw a seductive glare to Sousuke. "Listen Sousuke... and listen good. All that is good under the sun, be they swords, wine, or women, can only come from Germania! Tristainian women, like Louise, are all extremely jealous, impatient, miserly, and snobbish, and nothing can change them!"
Louise glared at Kirche her teeth grinding. Kirche simply smiled confidently at the smaller girl, "Whatever is wrong little Zero? Did I strike a nerve? I'm just telling the truth. My darling deserves that much."
"Oh… how… amusing. Women like you are all romantic-minded idiots! Did you hook up with too many guys back in Germania, making nobody trust you, and ending up dropping out and running all the way over here to Tristain?" retorted Louise with a cold, uncompromising laugh, interspersed with angry shivers.
"You have guts, Vallière…" Kirche's face darkened.
"Whatever is wrong Zerbst? Did I strike a nerve? I'm just telling the truth." Added Louise victoriously, "My familiar deserves that much."
The two noblewomen glared icily at one another for several moments.
"Hey." Kirche turned to Louise. "Guess it's time to get this over with."
Tabitha paused in her reading as she noticed the ground shaking slightly. Sousuke simply frowned at the vibration, 'An earthquake?'
Louise nodded, "Hmm… you're right."
"I really hate you, you know that Vallière?"
"Same to you Zerbst."
"We think quite alike." Kirche smiled and raised a brow.
Louise, too, defiantly stuck her chin up. She frowned as she felt Sousuke grab her arm, "What?!"
"Don't you feel that?" Sousuke asked.
"Feel what?" She asked irritably.
Sousuke once more pulled Louise close to her and towards the floor as Louise's bedroom wall exploded in glass and dust. "What the hell was that?!" Sousuke asked.
Tabitha had gotten up from Louise's bed and was now near where her door used to be, "Golem" she said. Her voice barely carrying over the breeze.
"A what?!" Kirche cried out in shock from where she was crouched. Right then, Kirche felt something behind her. She turned around. She couldn't believe her eyes. "That... that's impossible!" Her jaw dropped. What she saw was a huge earth golem's hand moving towards her. "Kyaaaaaaaaaa!" Kirche cried as the golem grabbed her and pulled her outside.
Sousuke frowned as he looked at the titanic earth construct. It was easily as big as an M9 Arm Slave from what he could see. "What's going on here Louise?!" he asked as he got off of Louise.
"I'm not sure… but it's one gigantic earth golem! Somebody must have summoned that!"
"Something that big?!"
Louise frowned, "...whoever summoned this must be at least a triangle level mage." She then gasped as she felt herself being pulled up from the floor, "Wha?"
"We're getting out of here. NOW." Sousuke's tone broke no room for argument. "This is the last place we need to be against something like that." Grabbing his bag and holstering it over his shoulder, he dragged her towards Tabitha, "As your guard, I would be remiss If I let you die on my watch after all.
"What about Zerbst?" She asked.
Sousuke frowned at the mage, "We'll let the staff get to her. We need to leave now!"
Louise nodded absently as she and Tabitha were dragged by the sergeant out of her ruined room. Looking behind her, Louise saw Kirche continue to struggle in the golem's grasp. 'But... but what about Kirche?' she thought, 'I can't just leave her there... right?'
She shook her head of these thoughts, 'What am I thinking? That's my blood rival! This golem has given me an opportunity to end our war for good! I can't worry about her!'
She jerked her arm free of Sousuke's grasp. Sousuke frowned as she stood still, "Louise?"
'...No... no I can't do that. I'll see her humiliated and humbled at my feet. ALIVE and humbled.' She smirked as she turned back towards her room, 'Saving her life is a good start to her humbledom.'
"Damnit," Sousuke growled as he took off towards the mage.
Tabitha looked on for a moment at the sprinting duo before she two followed their charge.
Louise brandished her wand as she stepped back into her room. "You're going to owe me so much for this, Zerbst." The golem had yet to notice her as he was busy making havoc in the main courtyard. By now a few of the assembled guards had gathered around the golem, and Louise was assured that the teachers wouldn't be far behind. Still... if she was to save her rival and have her begging for forgiveness, she had to approach this carefully.
'Spells like "fireball" have high accuracy rates, and as long as the target doesn't move I can hit it.' Louise thought. Of course, Louise had more than that to worry about – she had to make the spell work in the first place. 'What would work? Wind? Fire? Water? Earth is out naturally… and it has to be strong enough to get that behemoth to drop Kirche. I can't fail this one!'
She picked fireballs. Aiming a large one at the target was risky. If she failed, it reasoned to assume that the golem would target her next. With this thought in her head, she recited the short spell. She finished reciting, and with her utmost concentration, flicked her wand. If it worked, a fireball would come out of the tip.
Naturally, nothing came out of the wand.
Near the golem's feet, the border wall of the academy exploded. The shock wave shook the assembled forces off their feet and even wobbled the golem slightly. From her position in the golem's hand, Kirche growled.
"It has to be Zero. No one else could mess up a rescue as badly as she could!"
Louise collapsed, hitting the floor in frustration. "Damnit!" She cried. "Damn it all, I missed!" Angry tears began to flow down her face, "Why?! Why can't I even do a spell as simple as a fireball at a time like this?!"
Louise let out a bitter laugh as she saw the golem walking towards her. She laughed bitterly, "Perfect. Absolutely perfect. A perfect end for a Zero, isn't it?" As the colossal construct neared her room, Louise could not move her legs. Be it from exhaustion or a small part of her resigning to her fate she could not say. "So this is how I die?" she whispered.
The golem's fist rocketed towards her.
Louise squinted her eyes, feeling the hot tears roll down her cheek in humiliation knowing that her failure again would lead to her death.
End Chapter Five
A cliffhanger?! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU~!
Oh well, see you in four years!