Lessons in Demeanor
Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Sun Knight and make no profit from writing this.
- Lesson Four: Practice -
Over the week, Ceo tried to keep in mind what Georgo had taught him. She's a p-pear, Ceo would think to himself whenever one of the females tried to talk to him. Thinking this way didn't exactly help, but the focus he needed to put into conjuring up images of fruits and veggies did help him keep his mind off the fact that he was speaking to a girl. Or even worse, multiple girls.
When Ceo's teacher noticed that he wasn't eating his fruits or vegetables, his teacher barged into his room with a plate full of them, forcing Ceo to eat the entire plate. It wasn't that Ceo didn't like apples, or pears, or broccoli, but when he was already being bombarded by them in the corridors, encountering them in his food as well was a bit too much. Still, he understood his teacher's concern about his sudden lack of appetite, so he forced himself to nibble on some cabbage, his face white as he did so.
Ceo's tutor, Georgo, wasn't doing much better either. Throughout the week, a splotch of brown could be seen shadowing the young Storm Knight, and it was even said that there were many "thunking" sounds heard that week, much like the sound of someone thudding their head against the wall. The sounds grew especially loud whenever Ceo blushed or ran away from female clerics.
When Georgo could no longer stand what he saw, he stomped up to Ceo after the latter's latest failure at speaking to a girl and threw down the words, "Come to my room this afternoon!"
It was an ultimatum, one that Ceo could not refuse. It was also the cause of much gossip, for many had overheard Georgo's loud exclamation...and had taken it the wrong way.
"So she was right."
"They're so adorable! No wonder the young Earth Knight has been stalking our young Storm Knight!"
"He must be jealous!"
"Jealous? The Earth Knight jealous? He's too magnanimous for that!"
Thankfully, none of the gossip had reached Georgo's ears, or else he would have flown into a rage in public and would have had to kiss his honest and down-to-earth image goodbye, as there would have been lots of swearing, and perhaps things would have even gotten physical. The scene certainly would not have been fit for innocent eyes and ears.
That brought us to the present, where Georgo's image was thankfully still intact, though his mood was far from happy.
On this beautiful day blessed by the God of Light, a day during which Georgo should have been drinking tea with a beautiful cleric, Georgo instead had a "date" with Ceo for more character training. Georgo now saw exactly why Ceo's teacher had so much trouble with teaching Ceo because he was now in exactly the same predicament and found that teaching Ceo was nearly impossible.
Drilling Ceo in the art of flirting was grueling work, even harder than learning how to stutter. Georgo had no control over Ceo's inability to stop himself from blushing, while Georgo could make himself stutter at any moment in time.
It was such tiring work that Georgo decided to sit down on his bed to munch on cookies he'd received from Ecilan. They were chewy and light. He'd wanted to share them with his date for the day, but he had no date to share them with because of stupid Ceo, and now Ceo was wasting his time. Georgo finished the cookie with a lick of his tongue, not at all ashamed when there was not even a crumb left for Ceo. Georgo didn't entertain guys.
Georgo watched as Ceo tried a smile at one of the posters he had put back up on his wall. Ceo's smile was shy, and tiny, unfit for a foot-loose charmer, but it was an improvement. Ceo himself seemed tiny in comparison with others like Grisia, but it wasn't his stature that made him appear small (if this was the case, then Grisia would have that title since he was a stick, so much that Georgo had once mistaken Grisia for a dainty girl from behind, but Georgo was never going to let Grisia know that, not unless he could make that into an insult toward Grisia instead of a jab at himself). Rather, Ceo appeared tiny because of the way he held himself, hesitant and unworthy.
Maybe what Ceo needed was a confidence boost. And lots of practice to brainwash him into thinking that he could do it. Posters weren't good enough. They didn't talk back at Ceo, and when it all came down to it, posters were flat and had nothing on the real thing.
After all, the real thing could flirt back. Once that happened, Ceo would be a goner.
"You need more practice," Georgo said suddenly.
Ceo turned his head toward him, face puzzled. "I'm practicing right now though...?"
Shaking his head, Georgo said, "Real practice."
It was time for Ceo to graduate from practicing on posters! That was getting him nowhere!
Georgo rolled his eyes. He could pretty much guess what Ceo wanted to say. But I can't practice on real girls! He could already imagine how that would end up. Either Ceo would end up in a faint, or he'd completely disappear from the room and give the Cloud Knight a run for his money with his disappearing acts.
Sighing, Georgo leapt off his bed and walked up to Ceo. It looked like he'd have to make a big sacrifice. Ceo had better be thankful because he wouldn't do this for just anyone.
"Try it again," Georgo said, hand waving in the air to indicate that Ceo should try whatever he had just been attempting on the poster on him instead.
Ceo stared blankly at him, eyes wide.
"Oh for the love of the God of Light!" exclaimed Georgo in exasperation. He crossed his arms and breathed out slowly. "Ceo, I'm a guy. You're not flustered around guys, are you?"
"...no," came the small reply.
"That's a start," muttered Georgo. "We'll work on your technique first and worry about gender later. What you need to do is change your demeanor. You need to exude confidence and believe that you're handsome, that people want you. Then, you have to make other people believe that you want them, that they're desirable."
Moving closer, Georgo tilted Ceo's chin back and looked straight into Ceo's emerald green eyes. Damn Ceo for his pretty eyes. Ceo really didn't know how to use his natural charms to his advantage! All he had to do was wink those damn eyes of him, and the ladies would fall at his feet.
"Have I ever told you what a startling color your eyes are?" Georgo murmured softly.
Ceo immediately wrenched his face away and covered his mouth to muffle the laughter that was about to escape."That was, that was..." he gasped, unable to finish his sentence, for he ended up dissolving into giggles.
Undeterred, Georgo gently took Ceo's hand and brought it up to his lips, as if he were about to kiss it. This time, instead of trying to stop himself from laughing, Ceo immediately wrenched his hand out of Georgo's grasp, his face reddening, though he was still feeling the need to giggle.
"So, how did that make you feel?" Georgo asked.
"Very embarrassed, which is no different from usual..."
Georgo shook his head. "No, there's a huge difference. I didn't feel embarrassed. I was the one initiating. You felt embarrassed, but you were supposed to feel embarrassed because you were on the receiving end of my charm. That's exactly how you want to make other people feel. Kind of giddy. A little embarrassed. You just have to remember that you want to make other people feel that way, while your goal is to not feel that way yourself when you're putting on your charm. It's not that you can't feel embarrassed at all, but your opponent's embarrassment should far outweigh your own!"
"Alright, now try it on me."
Obediently, Ceo shuffled forward.
"Grab my chin," Georgo instructed.
Once again, Georgo found himself looking into Ceo's startling green eyes. Those green eyes of Ceo's bore into his, long eyelashes fluttering as he blinked. Damn, this was dangerous.
"Um, your eyes are a beautiful shade of...chocolate," Ceo said stutteringly.
"That's not bad for a first try, but you really need to stop stuttering and sounding so hesitant. You have to sound more confident! Try saying something else."
"I could stare into your eyes all day, and I would never tire of it." The corners of Ceo's mouth lifted up. Georgo thought that Ceo was probably feeling the urge to giggle again because of his corny lines, but the effect was a good one. Ceo's smile made him look much more confident.
"Heh, good! You sound and look more confident. Try saying more," Georgo urged. "And follow that up with a wink."
Ceo nodded and moved to take Georgo's hand. "You must surely have been blessed by the God of Light with your radiance," Ceo murmured. After speaking, he winked.
Georgo rolled his eyes. "Now you sound like Grisia of all people! But fine, I can play off of this, and that wink didn't look half-bad, though you'll need to work on it more. You looked like your eye was twitching. Why thank you, young Storm Knight. People often tell me that! Alright, how do you respond to that?"
"What, there's a continuation? Uh..."
"Of course, do you expect them to sit there like logs? They're going to speak back and giggle at your praises!"
"...they only speak the truth," Ceo finally said.
This time, Georgo couldn't help it. He fell over in laughter onto his bed when he realized that Ceo was following up on his "thanks" with these words.
"What! You were the one who made me come up with such a follow-up! How else am I supposed to follow your 'people often tell me that' statement? What kind of over-confident cleric are you pretending to be anyway?"
Georgo waved his hand in the air, brushing off Ceo's indignation. Ceo was getting into the right mind frame though. He wasn't even stuttering anymore. This might even work!
Still sprawled across his bed, Georgo tugged on Ceo's hand. "Young Storm Knight, you are quite radiant yourself. You must be well loved by the God of Light."
"No, I am nothing compared to you," Ceo answered.
Now, this was more like it!
Grinning, Georgo gave Ceo a harder tug.
"Now what?" Ceo asked.
"Now is when you lean down and whisper into my ear. I assure you, a sultry tone next to her ear will send her shivering, and then you can saunter away and leave her wanting you."
"I'm not sure I need to go that far..."
"Whatever, just try it out!"
Ceo wrinkled his brows, but he quickly smoothed his expression out when Georgo gave him a look. Instead, he smiled a crooked smile that Georgo was certain was going to break many hearts, and then he cradled Georgo's face as he leaned in and whispered into Georgo's ears. It was truly enough to make Georgo shiver, but that was because a guy was right up in his personal space.
Right at this moment, as if Georgo hadn't suffered enough for his generous offer to help Ceo out with Ceo's hopelessness (Georgo even had to make a huge sacrifice!), the door burst open.
Ceo's hand was still on Georgo's face. Georgo was sprawled over his bed and Ceo was leaning down, half straddling him. Both of them looked toward the door blankly, half frozen in their current position.
"Brother Georgo, today the benevolent God of Light has urged Grisia to come visit his neglected best friend..."
The annoyingly saccharine voice cut off.
"AKDJFL;ADJKLF;A!" The future Sun Knight swore, his elegance completely forgotten. "Y-You!" Grisia pointed a shaking finger at the two of them, his eyes accusing. He couldn't seem to force out any more than that one single word.
Slowly, he backed out of the room and shut the door. The door thudded closed resoundingly, finally waking Georgo and Ceo up from their stupor.
"It's not what you think!" came two simultaneous shouts, but they were a beat too late.
Only the door heard them.
to be continued
A/N: One part left after this. Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you~