Title: The Knight and the Blacksmith
Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure and Humor
Summary: Cecily leaves Housman to hone her skills as a knight. Upon returning she finds out there are other things that have changed or perhaps have always been.
Rating: T for now at least
Part 5: Master's Calling 1
Later that morning…
"Why are you following me?" Luke asked as he walked down a forest trail bordered by tall trees where birds chirped all morning long. The one he spoke to, the person following him was his pupil, his houseguest, Cecily.
"I told you to stay behind." Luke continued dryly as she caught up to him from behind.
"Well I got tired of being stuck around that house and wanted some fresh air; is that so wrong?" She asked raising an eyebrow at him. Luke looked straight ahead and sighed.
"And another thing, why did you decide to skip practice today, I thought I had a lot of work to do since I missed out on most of yesterday." She crossed her arms, inquiring further. Luke remained quiet and kept walking. That wasn't going to fly with Cecily anymore, so she huffed and jogged until she caught up with him.
"Well Luke…?" She asked impatiently, poking her face into Luke's field of vision to try and get him to answer the best she could. It worked as Luke took a breath and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"I just decided to give you a break after this morning." He said. Cecily stopped in her tracks to think.
"You really think so?" Luke asked dryly, raising a curious eyebrow at his challenger who sat across from him by the kitchen table as she smirked in confidence.
"Yeah, I do as a matter of fact. Have an arm wrestling match with me right now…unless you're chicken." She antagonized him, pushing the right button as Luke's gaze shot up from his plate and at her. Putting her arms at her sides and flapping them like wings and making clucking noises, Cecily taunted Luke further until she got what she wanted out of him. Luke pushed his plate aside and held out his right hand in the middle of the table.
"Alright come on then, tough guy!" He said. No one calls Luke Ainsworth a chicken and gets away with it…NO ONE!
"Guy?! You called me a guy?!" She shouted back, getting angry and red in the face. Now Luke was getting to her and he was smirking. "Oh it is SO on!" She hollered, rolling up her sleeve as she assumed the same position as he and joined hands with Luke. Cecily felt how rough the blacksmith's hand really was. It made hers feel graceful and delicate when she knew she wasn't those things normally (as usually brought up by her mother). Cecily braced herself for the imminent struggle.
"Ready?!" She barked out, as she felt his grip on her hand tighten before she returned the favor, but unable to do so fully; that should've been her first clue…
"Whenever you are..." He smirked again. She grunted and counted down.
Three, two, one and they were off and running. Luke had to admit it, although he never would do so aloud, Cecily was really strong. Even for a girl she had rather impressive power, he thought. The muscles in her arm swelled to a considerable size from the stress it was going through. All of her training was really paying off. However as strong as she was, Cecily didn't have enough, not being able to make Luke's arm budge more than an inch. Deciding that he'd seen enough, Luke tightened his grip on Cecily's hand and smacked it down hard on the table.
Resuming play of the part of antagonist Luke smirked and crossed his arms as he turned in his seat, away from the table. "So much for that; oh well, not like I was expecting much." He shrugged before getting up and picking the dishes off the table while Cecily massaged her wrist.
"Oh shut up!" She pouted. Luke meanwhile, placed the dishes on the adjoining counter with his back to Cecily before quickly rubbing his strained forearm.
"Whatever Luke; where are we going anyway, we've been walking forever already." Cecily shook her head to try and forget her most recent defeat before walking faster to catch up with Luke.
"…Just don't worry about it. Where we're going has nothing to do with you; I don't even know why you came." He sighed and stuffed his hands into his pockets, looking straight ahead, paying Cecily no attention.
"I just told you why, now come on tell me where!" Cecily raised her voice, getting impatient. What a short fuse the lady knight had.
"…" Luke sighed again. Cecily could sense the stress that it carried and guessed it was directed at her. She clenched her fists, progressively growing more annoyed but stopped herself and took a breath.
"Oh real mature Luke, that cold shoulder of yours isn't going to get rid of me, not one…" Cecily folded her arms and held her nose up all snooty like, trying to appear as the 'adult'.
"We're here." She heard him say quietly and stopped walking behind him. Their destination was, in a word…a dump. A small shanty sat under a couple of oak trees covered in their shade while basking in the babbling of the adjoining brook. It looked tranquil, Cecily had to admit, but that didn't mean it was a place she'd call home, not at all.
Cecily stepped next to Luke as she turned around and surveyed the clearing that surrounded this small house with flowers planted in every suitable spot. Nothing out of the ordinary, so why was it so important that Luke trek all the way out here in the morning?
'Why did I tag along?' She thought as she took another look around. Luke took a deep breath and stepped forward towards the house. Whatever the reason was for going there, it certainly had to do with whoever was in that house.
Luke approached the front door as Cecily followed while looking around for anything suspicious. The front door that Luke didn't even knock on swung open and hit the wall behind its swing before the two teens stepped through. The house had some unique flowers growing by the window sills as Cecily observed. Luke looked around for a minute. Dissatisfied with something he huffed before storming back outside and venturing behind the house and by the brook.
Cecily scurried behind him to keep close quarter with him in case anything unusual was to happen, the law enforcer she was.
"Luke, what are you…" Cecily began to ask a question until she saw Luke leap towards her.
"GET DOWN!" She heard Luke yell before he quickly reached a hand out and flung her down to the ground by the sleeve of her shirt. When she landed, Cecily heard metal clang. She jumped back up, ready to fight but the struggle Luke had with the stranger ended as fast as it began. The stranger jumped back and when he stood he spoke.
"Well, well, well look what we have here. What's up Ainsworth, I thought I kicked you ass six ways to Sunday already. Back for more I assume." The man snickered with a voice more arrogant than any other Cecily had heard. He stood rather tall, a little over six feet, pretty young, probably in his thirties, shoulder length dark red hair and a trimmed beard and rather built. This man wore a brown cloak that covered the green shirt with white sleeves and dark pants that hung over a pair of boots. Cecily couldn't help but notice that this guy was nice to look at as well.
"L-Luke, who is this guy…?" Cecily asked, not really sure of what was going on. Luke, who relaxed his fighting stance, stood upright and sheathed his sword.
"Cecily this is…" Luke started to say but the stranger butted in.
"Michael Lancaster, swordsman extraordinaire. Now please tell me how my stupid apprentice managed to bag a total babe like you." The man introduced himself, taking Cecily's hand and bowing all gentlemanly.
"Apprentice…?" She blinked. "Wait, babe…?!" Cecily shook her head as her face grew red in embarrassment before she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Allow me to explain sweetness; you see your boyfriend here didn't know his way around a paper bag, let alone a sword, so I had to show him the ropes. Now why don't you dump this chump and let's go out on the town." Michael said while his arm found its way around Cecily's shoulder as the confused knight blinked at him.
"Uh, Luke a little help here…!" She whined through an awkward smile as her face grew a deeper shade of red.
"Michael is the one who taught me how to fight." Luke rubbed his eyebrows, almost a little embarrassed to be associated with the man.
"But…But I thought you taught yourself?" Cecily asked as she pushed Michael's arm off and walked towards Luke.
"Ha, he wishes!" Michael snorted from the distance.
"Grr…! Whatever; alright let me explain. A long time ago, when my great grandfather first began as a blacksmith a feud in the nearby town was well underway. The feud was about politics, whether or not the town should be an annex of The Empire. It wasn't going well for either side as people were dying left and right, a bloodbath really." He began to say. Cecily leaned in with interest while Michael was already lying down on the ground picking his teeth with a stray weed he found in the ground.
"Having learned from his master, my great grandfather was able to forge katanas to near perfection; the only thing was, was that my great grandfather had his foot amputated from an illness during his childhood and was unable to use the swords himself." Luke continued as he and Cecily sat on the ground across from each other.
Cecily opened her mouth to ask something but she heard another voice interrupt her.
"So he found someone to use them for him." Michael butted in; still holding the piece of weed in is teeth. Luke sighed in annoyance before continuing.
"Right…as Michael said my great grandfather looked for someone to use the weapons he created in battle. However, not just anyone would be allowed to use them; the person he chose had to be just of heart so the power the katana wielded wouldn't fall into the wrong hands." Luke said. Cecily heard Michael rise from his spot on the ground and approach her and Luke who still remained seated.
"And soon enough old man Ainsworth finally found the right guy, my great grandfather Lance Lancaster." Michael added but Luke didn't look too appreciative as he glared at him.
"Sorry, please continue." Michael rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, letting Luke continue.
"Lance Lancaster, a knight in his own right was finally chosen to wield the katanas my great grandfather, Alfred created. The two collaborated so Lance would learn the techniques of a katana faster and it paid off. With the help of each other, out great grandfathers were able to aid in fending off the Imperialists and our families have been tied together ever since." Luke finally finished his story. Cecily leaned back on her outstretched arms and crossed her legs.
"That's some story, but just so I get this straight; your family has been making the swords and Michael's family has been using them." Cecily inquired. Luke nodded before getting up off the ground with the lady knight.
"That's right babe, and that's not all. You still owe me for helping you clean that dump you call a house, chump!" Michael pointed at Luke who grew very annoyed. Cecily stood back and let the sparks fly; after all it's unusual to see Luke get riled up like he was.
"Just can it will you!"
"What happened, you got yourself a girl and you get a pair Ainsworth?"
"He/she's not my…ugh!" Luke and Cecily both shot back in unison which amused Michael briefly but he soon grew serious.
"Well whatever you came for kid, you can forget it. You walked out in the middle of your training twice on me, don't think I'm gonna let that slide! Now go into town and grab me some beers will ya?" Michael told Luke off before turning to walk inside the little shanty of a house with the door closing behind him.
Luke turned away from where Michael was standing, fists clenched, gritted teeth, anger clearly in his expression. Despite all the stress Luke simply sighed and looked up before starting to walk away. Cecily watched everything from a short distance away but felt she had to approach Luke now.
"Luke, you're not seriously going to do what he said are you?" She asked with a hand placed on his shoulder. Luke looked her in the eyes as he lifted her hand off him.
"Go back to the house." He said quietly before walking away from her. Cecily couldn't believe what she was seeing, she wouldn't accept it. She looked up from the ground.
"Luke!" She shouted but saw no trace of him, only kicked up leaves slowly falling to the ground. She looked around; thinking about what just happened then it hit her.
"You're a jerk, you know that!" Cecily yelled as she slammed the front door to Michael's house open. She found him in the middle of potting a plant and unfazed by her sudden action. Without looking up from his current task, Michael answered her.
"Wow you sound like my ex-wife." Michael huffed as he stopped what he was doing and leaned back in his seat and put his hands behind his head.
"Well…wait you were married?" Cecily did a double take.
"Once upon a time I was. Now, if you're gonna try and stand up for that jackass, don't bother." He continued as he put his feet on the table.
"And why shouldn't I?! As long as I've known him, Luke's always done the right thing, and I know how good of a swordsman he is and…" Cecily defended her current teacher and friend but Michael didn't seem to care.
"You're in a knight guild right?" He asked randomly, interrupting the ranting Cecily.
"Huh?" She blinked, before she caught up to what Michael asked.
"The pendant around your neck, that means you're in a knight guild, and from the looks of it you're from the trade city." Michael explained, pointing at the light blue pendant that always hung around Cecily's neck. She usually wore it underneath whatever she was wearing but it seemed to have found its way out during the day.
"…Y-yeah, how did you know…?" She clutched the pendant in her hand.
"I come from a family of knights myself, but I'm a little curious now." Michael got up from his seat and headed for the front door.
"About what?" Cecily's curiosity rose further as she followed him outside.
"You; let's see what you got, I haven't had a good fight in a while and I want to see how a knight from the trade city fights." Michael pointed at her and telling of his intentions. Cecily instead, looked like a deer in the headlights.
"Um…but I don't have my sword…" She stuttered as she placed her hand on the spot on her waist where her sword or Aria was usually sheathed. Michael smirked, reaching at his side and pulled a second scabbard out from his waist.
"Here take this. It's a katana I hope you can handle it." He tossed her a concealed katana. Compared to what she was using during her training with Luke, this sword Cecily was just handed felt as light as a feather.
"…I'll make do." She smiled back at him; a certain air of confidence in her voice as she shuffled the sword in her hands and adjusted the band on her pants that she'd been wearing all throughout her training and stuck the scabbard at her side.
"Well it's good to hear some confidence out of my opponent; and who knows if you beat me, I just might change my mind about the jackass. And that's a big 'if'." Michael rolled his neck, cracking his knuckles to loosen up for the battle that was about to ensue. He smirked confidently as he pulled his sword from its sheath and spun in around with his hand in a windmill pattern.
"Come on, I'm waiting sweetheart." He egged Cecily on as she furrowed her brow and pulled her sword out. The sunlight danced off the polished metal and sliced through the wind as Cecily moved into a good fighting stance.
"Pretty solid stance alright, okay then here I…" Michael adjusted the sword in his hand and began to make way towards his foe as she hollered back.
"Haven't you ever heard of ladies first?!" She yelled as she braced for impact as Michael seemed to fly towards her. She almost lost sight of him entirely but the reflection of sunlight from his sword caught her eye, allowing her to react in time. Their swords clashed, Cecily had to use all of her strength to keep Michael at bay, who was only using one arm to strike with.
"If you ask me, it's common courtesy." He smirked with a wink before he jumped back from their struggle. It took Cecily a second to catch onto the dirty joke Michael made and didn't like it when she did.
"Argh! You jerk…!" She cried as she charged at him again, striking with a swing across her body and twist of her hips. Both hands holding on tightly to the sword, Cecily tried her best to push back her opponent.
"Heh, you fight just like him." Michael snorted before pushing Cecily back several feet with just the flick of his wrist, nearly causing the lady knight to tumble over. How strong was this guy? Cecily figured he had to be good in order to teach Luke new tricks. Michael's obvious power wasn't going to stop her though. Cecily dug her feet into the ground to regain balance and when she did she readjusted her feet.
'I've only seen this done once before but…here goes nothing.' Cecily thought as she sheathed her sword, holding her hand right above the sword's hilt. The stance caught her opponent's eye as he cracked his neck one more time and smirked.
'Yep, definitely the same as him…' His smirk grew into a full blown grin before a chuckle found its way through Michael. Instead of preparing a defense, Michael put his sword away and stood upright with his hands at his sides.
Cecily had no idea what Michael was doing but it looked very good to her. This final strike would make her the winner; especially if her opponent has no response. Cecily thought quickly about the move she was about to pull; how she remembered being awoken by the sharp noise of Luke's katana swinging through the crisp nighttime air, practicing the move. She knew it had to be good if Luke went through such lengths to practice it.
Cecily made her move, and as fast as she could she lunged towards Michael, unsheathing her sword from its scabbard as quickly as she could. Before she knew it, Cecily was at the other side of the clearing but something wasn't right. Michael was now standing where she was before she attacked, his cloak fluttering in the wind and his sword just being put away with the click of the scabbard. Then Cecily felt cold air dance along her torso; looking down she saw little cuts all over the top of her training outfit
"H-huh?! Wha…?" Cecily stammered as she wrapped her arms around herself, trying to wrap her mind around what just happened.
"Sorry about that, but I couldn't resist." She heard Michael 'apologize' as he smirked, looking over his shoulder at her.
"Y-y-you pervert…!" Cecily stammered, snapping her head at him, red in the face. Poor girl, she always seems to get into these situations. Michael stood up right and removed the cloak that draped along his shoulders and threw it towards the lady knight.
"Here, come inside, I think there's something you should know." He said, as he walked into his house and left the door open for Cecily who had just covered herself with the cloak. She blinked and looked around; Cecily now had a better idea of where Luke gets his…awkwardness.
Realizing that she was standing outside, covering her exposed torso with a smelly old cloak, Cecily scurried through the door and closed it behind her. Standing in Michael's house yet again, Cecily stood there, looking around. The same plants were still sitting by the windows, as she observed, but Cecily was taking a closer look around. While investigating, Cecily came across a small portrait that was framed and resting on a small table in the corner of the room.
Upon closer observation, Cecily discovered that in the frame was the portrait of a young woman that couldn't have been much older than herself. Black hair, blue eyes, fair complexion; the woman in the portrait was beautiful in every sense of the word. Cecily was about to lean in closer until something hit her.
"Here take these." Michael said as he threw some clothes at her, causing her to stumble about blindly, bumping into the small table behind her and knocking the portrait off the table in the process.
Michael lunged forward and managed to catch the picture inches away from hitting the floor.
"Careful!" Michael shouted, getting up as Cecily finally regrouped and held the clothes in her arms.
"Sorry, he-he. I'll go get changed…" She said awkwardly, tip toeing out of the room while Michael grumbled as he placed the picture back on the table. Cecily showed herself into the next room where she was getting changed. Off with the torn up clothes and in with the…blouse? Michael lived by himself, why would he have women's clothes?
"Well he did say he was married once." Cecily mumbled to herself as she slipped the blouse on. It was a bit tight in the chest area, but that was to be expected by the young knight. Once the blouse was on properly, Cecily stepped back where she left Michael and spotted him placing cups on the table.
"Alright sit down; I made some tea." He said in a more somber tone than he used normally. Whatever it was that he wanted to talk about, it was serious.
"Oh, thanks." Cecily thanked Michael quietly before taking a seat on the opposite side of the table from him.
"Um, Michael…?" Cecily asked as she stirred her tea. He looked up at her from his cup and was silent to let her continue.
"Can I ask why you have these clothes? I know you said you were married but…" Cecily asked, gesturing to the light green blouse she was wearing. Michael's expression dropped and he scratched the back of his head. Before speaking, he sighed deeply.
"Oh well, you see my marriage didn't end in divorce…it ended in death." He said, bringing a melancholy air with his words that loomed heavily in the small room.
"Oh, I…I'm so sorry to hear that." Cecily said, and she had to admit she felt a little heartbroken. Michael himself was a pretty young guy, and he and his wife must've been even younger when tragedy struck.
Sipping his tea Michael gave a hollow 'yeah' in response through gritted teeth as he placed his cup back on the table. He looked up again and nodded towards Cecily.
"There's a picture of her behind you if you want to take a look." He said, not knowing that Cecily had already seen it. But Cecily twisted in her seat and grabbed the frame and looked down. The same portrait of the blue eyed girl as before, but this time Cecily didn't feel as curious, but rather sad.
"She's beautiful…!" Cecily said as she looked on the portrait, holding it in her hands.
"Yeah, she was wasn't she?" Michael added after he took another sip of his tea while Cecily placed the picture in front of her.
"Yeah…but c-can I ask you how she died?" She was almost too nervous to ask him; but she wouldn't be able to sleep if she didn't know, and the question came out.
Michael looked at her, again with a saddened expression. With another heavy sigh, Michael looked down at the cup in his hands.
"I…killed her." Cecily spilt her cup over the table and froze.
Ok, that's done; tell me what you think of the oc Michael and the rest of the chap!
This 'part' is going to be longer maybe another chapter or two but I promise you it's really good.
Also a villain/antagonist (idk what I want he/she to be) will be introduced before this 'part' up.