I do not own Kamen Rider OOO or Familiar of Zero. They belong to their respective creators and not me. I am only writing this for fun and for no other reason. So enjoy the end product.
Familiar of ZerOOO
By Ten-Faced Paladin
CHAPTER 1: The Summoning, The Strange Familiar, and Shocking Transformation
You know, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I headed off towards the convention this morning. Dressed up as Eiji Hino of Kamen Rider OOO, I had all of the necessary props on my person. I had the O-Driver, the O-Scanner, the Medajilabur, and I even had nine Core Medals from each of the Greeed. Heck, I even had the black and orange Core Medals just to keep the collection complete. I was packed up and heading off to enjoy my day with fellow enthusiasts like me as well as awesome deals on all sorts of things.
Then that weird circle appeared before me.
In hindsight, poking it was probably not the best idea in the world. Just by touching it, I was sucked inside and into a black void of some kind. The circle then disappeared and I was left to wonder if I was going to get killed. Well, I was sure that I was killed when the explosion just came out of nowhere and enveloped me in smoke. In a coughing fit, I was knocked to me knees from the blast and hit…soft grass? What the-?-!
Waving my arm whilst trying not to hack up a lung, I was met by a blue sky, shining sun, and trees. My next observation was that I was surrounded by people around my own age, if not a bit younger. They were all dressed in matching uniforms with white shirts, black pants (or skirts for the ladies) and cloaks held over their shoulders with a gold piece which had a pentagram inside of it. Off to the side was an older man with not a hair on top of his head wearing glasses and robes which I wouldn't have pegged outside of a fantasy anime of some kind. He was holding a notepad and looking on in fascination.
What demanded my immediate attention though was the girl standing in front of me. She was dressed like the other people her age, but she was somewhat shorter. She also sported long shoulder length hair that was actually pink if you can believe it. I first thought it had to be a dye job or something, but when I saw that her eyebrows matched the hair I thought otherwise. Her eyes were a deep brown that seemed almost like chocolate matching her cotton candy hair. However, the frown her face was set in and the way her hands were balled into fists and set on her hips indicated that she was not pleased to see me.
"Who are you?" she demanded of me hotly.
"Uh…" I blinked. Now remember I was thoroughly confused about just what the heck was going on. So confused in fact, I wasn't quite up to the challenge of answering such a simple question.
"I asked you a question, commoner!" she demanded. "What are you doing here…?" She seemed ready to rip into me, but it seemed that a dawning horror came over her features as she came to some kind of realization. "No…don't tell me-!"
The same realization seemed to have come to the other teenagers, but rather than horror it just came as great amusement to them. Every one of them suddenly broke out in huge fits of laughter, all of it pointed at the pink-haired girl in front of me. Her cheeks turned bright red in embarrassment as everyone was quite obviously enjoying a good laugh at her expense.
"As expected of Louise the Zero!"
"Ah ha ha ha ha!"
"Ah commoner! A commoner as a Familiar!"
"Oh my sides!"
"Shut up!" the pink-haired girl shouted at her fellows. "This thing is just a mistake! It's not my Familiar! I just have to try again!"
"That's what you always say," a particularly chesty redhead with lovely tanned skin who wore her uniform in a rather scandalous manner. The only difference in her outfit from the others besides how she wore it was the gold high heeled thigh-high boots. I had to be honest, it was hard not to pay attention to her body and just listen to what was going on around me. "Isn't this what always happens though?" Beside her, a short girl with short blue hair and red glasses was reading a book, but obviously following the conversation as she nodded.
"Shut your mouth!" Louise shouted at the redhead. "I said I'll fix it!"
"All right, that's enough everybody!" the older man in the audience called out. Immediately, everyone clammed up. Obviously he was someone of authority. I was still just wondering what the heck was going on. Seeing he had silence, the man continued with his eyes on the pink-haired girl. "Now, Ms. Valliere. This is the holy ritual of Familiar summoning. There's no such thing as 'fixing it' as you say. This young man was summoned and thus he shall serve as your Familiar."
"Wait, serve?-!" I cried, snapping out of my confused stupor and jumping to my feet. "Just what is that supposed to mean?-!"
"Now, continue the ritual," the man ordered Louise.
"…yes sir," the girl sighed in defeat. Turning towards me, her face was etched in what looked like a cross between a frown and a pout. Adding the flush to her cheeks and I had to admit that she looked incredibly cute, if not a little loli. Mustering up her courage, she spoke, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a commoner like you! You'd better appreciate it!"
"Huh?" I blinked. What the hell was everyone talking about? I just wanted to know where I was!
Stepping forward, Louise raised what looked like an honest-to-goodness wand which sparked at the tip. Raising her arm (with some reaching needed) she tapped the glowing end against my forehead and began to speak what felt like a chant, "Pentagon of the five elemental powers, grant your blessing on this creature and bind it as my Familiar." Now confused, and feeling a little tingly, I was caught off guard by what happen next. The pink haired girl stood on her toes and wrapped her arms around my neck and yanked me down slightly before planting a kiss right on my lips!
"Mph?-!" I tried to cry out. The girl held the kiss for only a moment before letting me go. We both backed away from one another, me feeling a little embarrassed as well as confused while the pink-haired girl looked bitterly disappointed still. "Um…not that I'm complaining I suppose, but what was that for?"
"It was for the ritual! Don't you know anything?" the pinkette snapped. "I can't believe I wasted my first kiss on you!"
By now I was quite certain that the pink girl was one of the biggest brats I had ever seen in my entire life. After her last outburst, I was ready to unleash some choice words of my own back at her when that tingling sensation in my head from her wand reappeared on my left hand. The sensation was there for only a moment before it quickly turned into a burning feeling. Gasping, I gripped my hand and watched as lines were etched onto my skin as if an invisible pen which was on fire would do. The lines quickly completed themselves, looking like a line of Nordic characters not unlike the ones I had seen in history books.
"What the-?" I grunted, still feeling the after effects of the burning sensation.
"Ah, the runes signifying the Familiar contract," the man with glasses observed. Stepping closer so he could take a look at the markings in question, he took my wrist so he could get a good look. "Hmm, seems to a rather precise contract. Most Familiars don't get markings like that. I don't think I've personally seen such a marking before."
"That's…nice," I grimaced, taking back my hand.
The man nodded and turned his attention back to the rest of the teenagers, "This concludes the summoning ceremony. You are all dismissed back to your dormitories."
The announcement caused many of the students to begin milling about, grouping off with friends and such things teenagers are prone to do in groups. The pinkette was still huffing about her apparent bad luck. I was reaching my limit on the daily weird shit meter and was preparing to just up and shout something, even if the girl was going to hit me for it. However, I was halted in my action when someone decided to comment on the pinkette's performance.
"My my Louise, you've summoned a 'marvellous' Familiar," the chesty redhead from before smiled as she approached. Behind her was the blue-haired girl still reading her book. Hmm…the redhead seemed hotter up close than from a distance. She seemed to notice how I was admiring her and her smile grew slightly. Unfortunately, the pinkette 'Louise' noticed too and pinched my ear to make me stop. You know, I never quite realized just how sensitive my ears were until the shorter girl had gotten a tight hold on one.
"Listen, Kirche!" Louise growled. "I don't need you-!"
"Oh, I don't intend to do anything," the redhead 'Kirche' smiled. "For now anyway." Turning away, she and the blue-haired girl motioned with their hands before suddenly rising into the air as if their feet had wings. It was a motion that several other teenagers followed as they began flying into the distance towards someplace I obviously couldn't see. Waving down at us, Kirche called, "I'll greet you properly later!"
I could only gape at the sight of the various teenagers flying away. Could you blame me? They had nothing but their clothes and they were still managing to fly like it was a completely normal thing to do. Still, it gave me a spectacular view of Kirche's underwear which I was pretty sure she did on purpose if the way she tried to fly ahead of and higher than the other males in the crowd were was any indication. That or she was a shameless exhibitionist who didn't care who saw what she was sporting.
"Hmph!" Louise huffed, snapping me out of my shock. "Come on Familiar! We're going back too!"
"Huh?" I blinked. I was doing that a lot recently. "Back? Back where?"
"The academy! Now come on!" Louise shouted as she continued walking.
"Academy?" I asked. Receiving no answer, and absolutely no idea where to go I reluctantly followed Louise towards her destination.
The tiny pinkette walked along a path while making sure I stayed behind her rather than beside her since I apparently wasn't worthy enough to be in such a position. It wasn't a long trek before were came upon a sizable castle with white stone and large walls protecting the inner buildings. It was truly an impressive sight, but what had really caught my attention wasn't the castle itself, but the two suns sinking towards the horizon.
"I…don't think I'm in Kansas anymore," I gaped quite openly.
"Of course you're not," Louise frowned. "You're in Tristain and this is the prestigious Tristain Academy! Now follow me and don't get lost!"
Again having no choice, I followed after Louise and through the castle gates. Everywhere around were teenagers of various ages reading books or talking with their friends. They were all wearing the same uniform as the one Louise had on. However, many of them were accompanied by animals and some of them were rather fantastic beasts. The pinkette continued guiding me deeper into the building which seemed more like a posh castle than any kind of school I had ever been in. Everywhere was decorative art, sculptures, and even a few maids were skittering about with trays, laundry, or cleaning implements.
Finally, Louise brought me to one of the towers and into a single bedroom which was filled with just as many expensive and artistic pieces, but just as frilly as I expected a teenage girl would have. Since I hadn't really been in a girl's room before, this was a little awkward for me. Still, this wasn't the time for hormones since I was quite obviously far from home in a place that seemed to be making very little sense and had to deal with a bratty pink-haired girl who seemed to consider quite the lower life form.
"This is the worst day ever," Louise growled, dropping onto a chair next to a small round table. She reached to a small lamp and turned a knob to brighten it, proving it to be an oil lamp or something which had been lit. It was just as well since it was dark by the time we had entered. "I was supposed to summon a magnificent familiar to show everyone that would talk bad about me! Instead I get a commoner!"
She was acting like I wasn't in the room. Bratty and rude. How lucky for me. Despite how upset she was over…whatever she did to bring me here, I really couldn't bring myself to give any kind of sympathy for her. Maybe if she tried puppy dog eyes or something I'd feel more forgiving but since she had been a brat thus far, I had nothing. So instead of trying to get answers or comfort the girl, I stuck my hands in my pockets and decided to amuse myself by seeing just what kind of things this girl had in her room. She was certainly extravagant enough to act like a rich girl. I had next to no clue about some of the things I was looking at value-wise but I could tell they were expensive.
"You, Familiar!" Louise snapped, bringing my attention to her. "Make yourself useful and make me some tea."
"And how should I do that?" I asked. "I don't even know how. Come to think of it, why should I do anything you say? You kidnapped me!"
"You will do as such since I am your master!" the pinkette snapped back. "I did not kidnap you either! My magic brought you here! You should be honoured to be of such service to a noble!"
"You just admitted you brought me here against my will! That's kidnapping!" I snapped back. "Being honoured to serve my kidnapper? Not likely!"
"How rude!" the pinkette growled. "Obviously you're in need of learning some manners!"
"I know my manners just fine!" I growled. "I just don't think you deserve me using them!"
"How dare you!" Louise snapped back, hopping to her feet. She yanked out what appeared to be a wand and held it high. "Know your place Familiar!"
I lost consciousness after that. I'm pretty sure I was in a lot of pain too.
I woke up to a world of pain.
I remember reading lines like that in fanfiction, books, and hearing it in other aspects of media. I had always thought that it was just an expression meant to relay someone being in pain. At the moment I woke up, I discovered that it wasn't an expression. It truly felt like all of my senses were relaying nothing but pain. My eyes stung, my ears rang, inhaling through my nose caused pain, my body ached, and I was pretty sure I had bitten my tongue in the explosion which certainly explained the taste of blood and the accompanying pain.
Grumbling, I sat up. A moment of trying to get my senses back revealed that straw was poking my butt. Shaking my head, I looked around and to my dismay found myself in the same room I had fallen unconscious in. Rubbing my eyes some more, I glanced at the frilly and ornate bed to see the pinkette from before. She was under the covers and dressed in frilly pyjamas. She was also snoozing soundly as if nothing was wrong and despite how cute she looked, I remembered her bratty attitude from the previous day.
The room was dark and it was obviously in the middle of the night. Willing some of the pain away, I got a better look at what was going around. The room seemed to smell a bit of smoke, likely from the explosion which the pinkette hit me with before I passed out. I was sitting on a sheet with a pillow, which would normally have seemed like a courtesy on Louise's part. However, the straw beneath it was quite noticeable and it showed just how little consideration the pinkette put into making my bedding. Looking down revealed that the straw had been heaped into a pile with a sheet and pillow tossed over it.
Grumbling, I stood up and felt my Eiji Hino props sticking into my sides. I felt all sorts of negative feelings which weren't appropriate for print run through my head towards my situation and the people around it. I was quite willing to bring violence down on somebody, but didn't see any truly deserving targets. Louise may have qualified, but I wasn't about to attack someone who was asleep; that and the fact that despite believing in equality for all and such, hitting a lady for mouthing off at me was not the ideal reason.
Dragging myself to my feet, I decided that being in that room was the absolutely last place I wanted to be. I headed to the door and managed to open it before slipping out into the hallway. I needed some space, away from people or else bad things were going to happen.
While I didn't know exactly the layout of the place that I had been all but dragged to, I knew where the ground was, how to traverse stairs, and was too wired thanks to pain to really feel tired. So with some wrong turns, stumbles on the dark stairs, and nearly interrupting what seemed to be a tender moment between a pair of students, I found the ground floor and immediately made for the nearest exit I could find. It didn't take me too long to find one and soon I was in the open air with the night sky above me and a courtyard around me.
"At least these people have taste," I muttered bitterly, seeing all of the expansive and artistic plants decorating the area.
Finding an ornate stone bench, I sat down and took several deep breaths. I was agitated, in pain and still confused. Did I mention agitated? Feeling the Medal Book jabbing my side again, I lifted my shirt and yanked it out from a pouch I had sewn into my pants. I didn't have any normal pockets big enough to stick it into so I had to get semi-creative in how to hold onto it. It was a custom prop I had made myself. The Medal Book from the series wasn't able to hold all of the Core Medals from all of the Greeed. I personally made the book with several pages with seven complete sets of Core Medals. Green, red, yellow, grey, blue, purple, black, and orange were all there. There were even a few Cell Medals to go with them. I had to go through a lot of pages of eBay and other sites just to get the complete sets.
"The whole collection and no one to impress with it," I muttered, pulling a Taka Medal out to admire it…
Wait a minute. My eyes narrowed on the Medal in my hand. This didn't feel like the light plastic of the toys I had collected over a period of a month. It felt like an actual piece of metal rather than an imitation of some kind. Trust me; the difference between plastic and metal is very distinct. I remembered heading out of my house that morning with plastic imitations, but now I had solid metal Medals.
"What the…?" I frowned.
I pulled out the Tora and Batta Medals, finding them to be the same as the Taka Medal. Running my fingers over the rest of my collection, I discovered that they all felt the same. Every single one of them had turned from plastic to solid metal. How that had happened I wasn't quite sure. I had to admit it was kind of cool though.
Clutching the three Medals in my hand, I set the book aside and stood up. I was still wearing the O-Driver, the prop somehow surviving everything I had been through. Letting the three Medals jingle in my hand, I considered what it might mean. Honestly, I didn't have a clue. Still, I was somewhat agitated over what I had been through for the day and decided that some stress relief was in order.
"Might as well," I shrugged. "It would go to waste otherwise."
Taking the Batta and Taka Medals, I slipped them into their appropriate spots. The Tora Medal was slipped into the centre. Shifting the buckle to a diagonal position, I heard a pulsing noise from the buckle. That wasn't anything new since it made that noise whenever I put it into position. Plucking the O-Scanner from my side, I gripped it and moved into the position which Eiji Hino used before swiping the O-Scanner across the three Medals, a chiming noise sounding off like always.
I couldn't help myself, "Henshin!"
My world then lit up with colour.
"TA-TO-BA TATOBA TA-TO-BA!"
I didn't get much sleep that night. I was just too wired. First it was because of the pain that Louise put me through with her explosion. Then it was because I had just discovered something absolutely awesome and was too excited to sleep.
"Look down on me eh?" I grinned travelling the halls back to Louise's room. "Treat me like a dog? Oh, won't you be surprised if you try that exploding trick again!" I cackled at the thought of the pinkette attempting to blow me up for my 'disobedience' again and what I would spring on her if she tried. Oh revenge would be sweet.
"Um…excuse me?" a soft voice suddenly spoke up.
I blinked, brought out of my cackling thoughts of revenge. Turning to who had spoken to me, I saw that it had been one of the maids that were employed in the school. She was wearing a dark dress with a white apron over it and a simple hair decoration that maids would usually wear. She had short dark hair and a gentle look on her face. However, she did look reasonably concerned as she gazed at me.
"Oh, sorry," I grimaced, feeling my cheeks heat up. "I was sort of cackling uncontrollably there, wasn't I?"
"A little," the maid nodded. "So you're okay then?"
"Better than okay!" I grinned, feeling the excitement of what I had discovered coming back to me. "Sorry to have worried you."
"That's okay!" the maid beamed. "If you'll excuse me though, I have to go help serve breakfast."
"Sure," I nodded. "Sorry to keep you."
Smiling, the maid left to go about her daily tasks. I personally found it refreshing that there was someone who was actually nice around this whole place. So with a somewhat brighter disposition, I continued through the halls. I had a marginally good idea as to where Louise's room was and I knew that I just had to get there. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face when she tried to blow me up again only to see what I was capable of doing. The sheer shock which would no doubt appear on her face would make all of my suffering totally worth it.
Finding the proper hallways, I found Louise's room with ease. Just to make sure I wasn't going to walk into an explosion, I slipped the Taka, Tora, and Batta Medals into my pocket in preparation for their use. Preparations complete, I grabbed the door handle and opened the heavy wooden door. Coming into the room, I found that Louise was awake and as usual, irritated. She was still in her frilly nightdress and was tapping her bare foot impatiently on the floor. Looking to her door, she saw me and her frown darkened further.
"Familiar…." She growled out.
"Usually we begin the day by saying 'good morning'," I retorted, pretending not to notice her growing ire. "I see that the concept escapes you right now. I'm sure we can try again tomorrow though."
"Enough of your tongue!" she snapped, stomping towards me. "Why were my clothes not set out for me? They weren't even cleaned either!"
"I was supposed to pick up after you or something?" I blinked.
"Yes! A commoner is always supposed to serve a noble! You should know that!" Louise snapped at me a second time. "It seems you're in need of training. We'll get to that today anyway. Now set out my clothes and dress me."
"You heard me," Louise frowned. "You are my Familiar and thus must tend to my needs. Nobles need not dress themselves when they have their servants with them."
"I'm sorry, I was under the impression that you were a teenager, not a two year old!" I growled, my good mood at my discovery souring instantly. Louise squawked in outrage as I continued. "You must 'obviously' be a two year old since you 'obviously' can't seem to dress yourself. Would you like me to change your diaper too? Show you how proud I am when you go potty?"
"Of all the insolent-!" Louise raged. Somehow her wand was in her hand again. I was sure that she hadn't been holding it before.
"I have every right to be insolent!" I interrupted her. "You KIDNAPPED me! I don't care if it was for some holy ritual or what not! I did not want to come here! You took me against my will! Where I come from, that is called KIDNAPPING! I don't owe you squat!"
I at this point expected Louise to just blow her top at me again, maybe try to blow me up a second time. Instead she simply seemed to tremble on the spot, still gripping her wand. I was sure that her temper was beginning to boil over before the inevitable explosion occurred. I could see that her face was turning red, a sure indication that she was cheesed off. I had gripped the Medals and bent my legs slightly, ready to leap to the side when she would come after me with her explosions. She looked up at me and I prepared for the worst…
…but I saw tears instead.
"GET OUT!" Louise sobbed/screamed. "JUST GET OUT!"
Frowning, I did just that. Were she angry at me, I would have stuck around to mouth off a little more. Since she was crying, I figured I had done enough damage and some space would be necessary. Turning, I left the room while shutting the door behind me.
Louise sobbed as she curled up on her bed. Why was she always such a failure? Why did she always have to screw up? Had she offended the divinity or something? All she wanted was a powerful Familiar. A Familiar she could be proud of, that she could use to prove that she wasn't a Zero. Instead, she got a commoner who was mouthy and showed absolutely no respect. Despite the runes on his hand which marked him as her Familiar and the one she summoned, he showed absolutely no loyalty or respect. She may as well have dragged a commoner off of the streets and paid him for all the worth her current Familiar was. Every argument they had was just another shove in her face about how badly she screwed up. She had thought that after a good night's sleep as to get rid of the tension and a firm hand in the morning things would begin to smooth over. All of the teaching and advice she got on Familiars seemed to agree with that. Instead, her Familiar only got mouthier and his insults more hurtful. Her pride was seriously wounded of course, but she herself was hurt more by the insults and how they reminded her of how badly she had screwed up.
What had she done wrong?
I grumbled as I walked past all of the other students in the great hall, which served as the closest way out of the castle. Of course, they all took notice of me and whispers began. Most of them were wondering why I wasn't with Louise to serve her or something along those lines. I just ignored them and slipped through the double doors and out into the entry halls to make my escape. I was feeling pretty rotten about making Louise cry and despite how much she may have deserved it, I still felt bad about it.
"Why couldn't she have been angry?" I asked myself, reaching the double doors which led to the courtyards. "It's always easier to deal with someone who's angry."
"Well hello there, Louise's Familiar," a sultry voice spoke up as I exited, halting my brooding thoughts.
I turned to the source and just past the doors I saw several outdoor tables set up with white linen tablecloths with several of the students drinking tea with friends and their Familiars. Most of them were dogs, cats, and other things. The one who had spoken to me was the redhead from yesterday, Kirche. Beside her was a large lizard which was bright red and had frills on its head. I was pretty sure that it was exhaling steam, as if its internal temperature was much higher than the temperature outside. With them was the blue-haired girl with red glasses, still reading her book. With her was a large blue dragon which had a large pair of wings, solid green eyes, and a frilled head.
"Uh…?" I blinked, more at the two creatures than the hot redhead.
Kirche apparently thought that I was stunned by her if her giggle was any indication, "Don't be shy! We don't bite."
"It's not you I worry about," I muttered, but nonetheless took the unspoken invitation. Walking to the table, I took a seat. I kept an eye on the dragon and the reptile in sight in case they tried anything funny. The blue-haired girl merely glanced at me before returning her gaze to her book. Kirche on the other hand just smiled at me.
"So where is Louise?" asked the chesty redhead. "Today's the day that we and our Familiars are supposed to get to know each other. Did she send you ahead to find a table?"
"No," I sighed, massaging my temple. The image of Louise crying wouldn't leave my head and it was making me feel crappy. "She and I had a fight so she sent me away. As far as I know she's still locked up in her room."
"You fought?" Kirche blinked in surprise. "That's odd. Surely a Familiar and their master should get along splendidly. Myself and Flame are nigh inseparable and it has only been a day since we met," The large red lizard perked at the mention of its apparent name before the rest of Kirche's sentence reached it. The beast croaked happily before Kirche smiled and rubbed the ridges along its head.
"Well, where I come from Familiars are animals and such, not people," I muttered, crossing my arms. "I didn't quite appreciate being yanked out of the middle of the street in my hometown to end up being expected to obey a girl just because she said so."
"Point," the blue-haired girl commented before continuing her reading.
"Hmm, that's true isn't it Tabitha?" asked Kirche, a finger on her chin. "If I just found myself someplace new and told to obey someone I've never met before than I suppose I'd be rather irritable myself. Then again, we should have known that Louise the Zero would summon something besides a normal Familiar!"
"Louise the Zero?" I blinked. I think one of the students called her that back when I was summoned the previous day.
"It's her nickname, one I coined if I must admit," Kirche grinned impishly. Leaning forward slightly so to show off her cleavage better, she let her eyes turn smoky before she explained, "You see, there are five elements of magic: fire, water, earth, wind, and the lost element of the void. Every magician can be categorized into one of the four elements. I myself have the affinity for fire. However, Louise on the other hand seems to have absolutely no aptitude for the known elements. Every spell she tries ends up a failure, usually signalled by an explosion. Most of us doubted that she'd get a Familiar at all."
"I see," I nodded, half distracted by the girl's breasts. Honestly, they had to be the biggest pair I had ever seen in my age group. Wait, what was I thinking about? …oh yeah, "So Louise doesn't have much skill with magic so she screwed up the ritual and got me instead of a normal Familiar?"
"Odd," the bookish girl Tabitha commented.
"She means that you're the odd point," Kirche translated. "As far as we know, Louise did the ritual correctly so we're not too sure how it came to be that you were summoned." She licked her lips and played with the plunging neckline of her blouse. "That makes you quite the mystery. I would love to investigate…"
'Oh I wish you would,' I thought treacherously with some red coming to my cheeks. It was painfully obvious that Kirche was pulling some kind of seduction move. It was tremendously effective in my opinion. Kirche knew just how to use her body so to bring out the maximum hormonal effect from a boy and I am far from too proud to admit that she was doing a fine job on me.
A loud bell ringing snapped me out of the growing hormonal haze. Compared to the world of pain Louise treated me, it was almost like touching heaven. However, that slice of heaven remained out of my reach as the bell alerted both Kirche and Tabitha of something else.
"Poo! Classes again," the sultry redhead huffed. Finishing her tea, she stood up. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Louise's Familiar. I look forward to another talk." With a saucy wink, she gestured at her familiar. "Come, Flame."
"Come," Tabitha echoed to her own Familiar as she and her friend left the table. The dragon and reptile snapped to attention and quickly hopped after their masters. I was left alone at the table with the fanciful images of Kirche's flirting and saucy speech. At least I would have some fuel for some nice dreams tonight.
With not much else to do and refusing to go back to Louise after our latest argument, I decided to wander around the grounds some more to see what else was hanging around the school. After a bit of exploring, I found that all of the students looked to be well-groomed and rather fragile-looking in some cases. The teachers seemed to have a bit more grit to them, but for the most part looked like the kinds of folks you'd see in a library rather than out and about. The groundskeepers, cooks, and even the maids all looked much hardier and sturdier. You didn't have to be a genius yourself to know that there was a clear line between classes of people.
There was also an absurd amount of animals hanging around the place as well, obviously Familiars of the other students. For the most part, they appeared to be like regular animals like dogs, cats, the odd bird, and even a frog or two. What made them stand out was their actions. I spotted the birds delivering messages, the dogs and cats fetching items, and I even saw a mouse actually peeking up a woman's skirt as if trying to memorize her undergarments. Of course, there were some exotic ones like Tabitha's dragon or Kirche's salamander which really stood out. The weirdest thing of all was the floating eyeball which I later learned was called a bugbear, although how it got such a name was well beyond me.
So with my hands in my pockets and letting my three Core Medals jingle I wandered about, wondering what I was going to do with myself.
Wandering about through some kind of courtyard, I just kept to my thoughts as the various students around me simply pretended that I wasn't there. It miffed me a little bit, but since everyone there was apparently some kind of spoiled rich kid I guess that shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise. I couldn't just lose my temper on them for my wounded pride at being so casually ignored. Well, not in good conscience anyway. Once I did have a reason though…heh, heh, heh.
"Ugh," I grumbled, looking at my stomach in irritation. The savage growling in my stomach reminded me that I hadn't had anything to eat since the previous night. In all of the concussion and arguing, I had forgotten to feed myself. With my newest priority noted and set, I decided to try and go discover where the kitchens of the massive castle were and maybe beg myself some food. Maybe if I was lucky, the chef wouldn't be a spoiled snob like the students around me.
I blinked and turned to the speaker, pleasantly surprised to see the black-haired maid from the morning glancing at me in concern once again. Chuckling slightly, I scratched the back of my head in slight embarrassment, "Ah, sorry. Just hungry I suppose."
"Didn't Ms. Valliere feed you?" asked the maid, looking more concerned than over my cackling episode. "It is the responsibility for the master's to care for their Familiars."
"You don't say," I sighed, closing my eyes. Heaving my breath, I opened them again to gaze at the girl. "Well, my 'master' and I got into a pretty big fight so I'm more or less having to fend for myself at breakfast."
"Oh no!" the maid gasped, covering her mouth in shock. Apparently, having to fend for myself as the Familiar of one of these students was something of a big deal. The level of shock this girl was showing seemed equal to that of hearing someone was abusing animals. I wasn't sure if I should have felt better or not about that. Clenching her fists under her chin, the maid's face turned resolute. "That's not right! Don't worry! Just follow me and I'll get you a nice meal for breakfast!"
"Uh…," I blinked, slightly surprised by the sudden show of determination. "Okay."
Hey, if I was getting some free food out of it who was I to complain?
The maid introduced herself as Siesta as she guided me down to the kitchens. There she managed to scrounge up a bowl of stew, two large buns, and a glass of juice for me. She had sheepishly admitted that it was the only things that the staff could eat, but I wasn't complaining. It was delicious and the bread was warm and soft, just the way I liked it. Siesta was of course delighted to hear that.
Eventually I started asking questions about just where I had ended up and the happy maid was more than willing to explain. Apparently I was summoned to a world which had magic occurring as a daily event. I had guessed that much from the markings on my hand, the weird creatures, and the flying students from the previous day. What Siesta told me that was news though was that the only ones who could use magic were the nobility and royalty. Everyone else was just referred to as a commoner since they couldn't use magic at all. It was a fact that a lot of nobility didn't mind cramming into the faces of those they considered 'beneath' them.
"No wonder you got upset when I mentioned I had a fight with Louise," I commented, taking a sip from my cup.
"Yes. You have a lot of courage to stand up for yourself like that!" Siesta nodded with a smile, but then her brightness faded away as concern and more than a little fear appeared. "…but if you anger her too much, it could bring down horrible consequences. Commoners just can't stand up to the nobility."
"Hm," I muttered around the edge of my cup before I drained it dry. Setting it on the table, I collected my now cleaned plates into one pile. "Well, enough about that for now. I kind of owe you one for giving me that meal. How about I help you out with something?"
"Really?" Siesta blinked. Seeing me nod, she beamed. "Then could you please help me deliver the cakes for the lunchtime desert? Most of the other servants are out with their other duties and it would take me a while to do it myself."
"I'd be happy to," I grinned.
Siesta showed me where the boxed deserts were and we both loaded up some fancy trolleys with the cakes. Stocked up, she showed me to the main dining hall where they would be served. I remembered seeing the place that morning when I stormed out. Now I was able to get a better look at it. The place was certainly fancy enough for nobility, which went far to explain why the whole castle looked so damn good and why the students were so snobby. There were long tables like I had seen last time and of course many of the chairs were filled with students who were apparently waiting for the cakes Siesta and I were delivering. Some were still eating lunch, talking about their studies or bragging about their families. If it weren't for the obvious snobbish speech and some practicing their minor spells at the table, I could have mistaken the students for regular people my age.
They ignored me as I helped Siesta set down cakes for them to take part in. They were already pre-sliced and ready to take so the students politely and properly began taking pieces for themselves. I was just glad that they had gotten over the novelty of me being Louise's familiar. I didn't need more people gawking at me or whispering about me behind my back.
Setting down one particularly good-looking chocolate and strawberry cake, I began to hear some kind of commotion coming from the end of another table. Looking up in curiosity, I saw three people having an argument. The first was a cute girl with long brown hair who seemed very homely and humble. The second was another girl who just screamed noble with her long blonde hair done up in large curls with the rest tied by a large ribbon. The last was a boy who had short golden hair which seemed to be perfectly windswept. His face was devilishly handsome and the collar of his uniform was unbuttoned to reveal a bit of his chest. He was even holding a rose in his hand and posing dramatically as if the two girls arguing with him were physically wounding him. All in all, he looked like a true bishonen.
"Why didn't you tell me about Miss Montmorency?-!" demanded the first girl.
"You've been putting the moves on this first year, haven't you?-!" snapped the blonde, assumedly named Montmorency. "Fess up already!"
"You misunderstand!" the boy sighed, posing quite dramatically. I could almost see the beautiful flowers appearing behind him. Oh wait…there were beautiful flowers behind him in some kind of vase. No doubt from the girls' viewpoint, he had that beautiful image rising up from behind. Hm, the guy knew his posing. "Why? Why must you speak of such things?"
His posing didn't seem to work on the girls, with the blonde become visibly enraged, "You've been two-timing! Admit it!"
"I know you have!" cried the brunette.
"Now really?" the boy sighed, twirling his cloak. "What makes you think such things? What proof do you have?"
As he was twirling around, I noticed a stack of what looked like letters fall out from the folds of his cloak and land on the floor. He didn't seem to notice, but I of course wasn't going to turn down the chance to teach this joker a lesson. Waltzing over while avoiding the attention of everyone else, I scooped up the letters and eyed them. They were made a rose-print stationary and they had been addressed to someone named Guiche, the boy I assumed. However, they were from two different girls. Half were from someone named Katie, while the other half were from the blonde Montmorency.
Oh he was going to go down hard.
"Hey playboy," I grinned, catching the attention of the two girls and the boy. I waved the small stack of letters, making the boy's face pale quite dramatically. "You dropped something here. Rose-printed envelopes too. That just screams love letter to me."
The boy, Guiche, paled further while the girls began to gather steam. The blonde playboy reacted quickly and waved his hand in a dramatic fashion, "I do not know what you are talking about, commoner. Obviously you are mistaken and someone else dropped those letters. You may as well dispose of them."
"Maybe," I shrugged. "But they're addressed to you, if you name is Guiche. Also, these letters are from two different girls named Katie and Montmorency."
Guiche gulped before both girls' faces turned into a form I can only describe as pure righteous feminine fury. It had happened almost too fast for me to follow, but both girls gave off what I could only describe as an Amazonian war cry before their hands smacked Guiches cheeks at a pace which I was pretty sure broke the sound barrier. The boy hit the ground with smoke practically coming up from his head while both of the slighted young women stomped off to do whatever girls do to get over being jilted.
"Well, that's my good deed for the day," I shrugged, dropping the letters onto a table. I looked around and saw that a small ring of students were watching what had happened and they looked rather shocked. If it was about what Guiche had done or my intervention, I couldn't be sure though. Anyway, I had to help Siesta finish serving the cakes and maybe if I was lucky there would be an extra one I could get a slice out of.
I blinked as I heard the playboy's voice. Turning, I saw that he had rolled over and was sitting on the floor. His face was no longer looking like someone who was trying to woo a lady, but a guy who had a serious bone to pick with someone.
"I hope you are prepared for the consequences of your actions," he frowned, getting back onto his feet. "A commoner showing such attitudes towards a noble. You are asking for trouble with that kind of tongue."
"At least I can stay faithful to a girl I like," I frowned, crossing my arms over my chest. "I thought a noble would be capable of doing that much."
The ring of students gasped at the proclamation I made. Several were looking on in rapt fascination, no doubt sensing that violence was about to come down. Guiche merely gritted his teeth while his cheeks flushed in rage at my very clear and intended insult. He produced a rose from his sleeve and held it in front of his face to hide his somewhat disgraceful emotions before speaking, "It seems that the only way to teach you some manners is to beat them into you," he pointed the rose at me. "I challenge you to a duel!"
The students gasped, but I remained unfazed. After all, I had something of a secret weapon, "Accepted. When and where?"
"Noooo!" a female voiced cried out. I was suddenly assaulted at the side by a distraught Siesta as she tugged at my arm, trying to drag me away. "You can't duel a noble! Didn't you listen to anything I said in the kitchen? A commoner can't beat a noble!" she began to tear up. "Just apologize and maybe he'll let you go!"
"I am feeling generous today since you are new here and all," Guiche nodded, hearing Siesta's cry. I think he was only feeling generous because Siesta, an admittedly cute girl, was trying to get me to see things his way and thus he wanted to impress her with his 'generosity'. "If you apologize right now, I'll forget about the duel and even forgive you for your slanderous words."
I immediately forgot Siesta was on my arm and scowled at the spoiled snot. Just the tone in his voice set me off. His arrogant voice and that sheer smugness he exuded made me want to punch his teeth out. He probably already saw himself as the victor in the duel since he knew he could use magic and thought that I couldn't. Well, I couldn't use magic like he probably could, but I had something which I was damn sure was magic that would definitely let me at least even if not dominate the playing field.
"I will not apologize for something you brought on yourself," I frowned. The students gasped again while Siesta's tears began to grow larger. Guiche just got a vein on his head to indicate he was getting angry. "I will duel you, and I will win."
"Very well," Guiche shrugged, playing it cool. "We will duel in one hour hence, in Vestri Court."
"I'll be there," I nodded.
Shrugging, Guiche left while all of the other students began to talk excitedly about the upcoming duel. Others immediately darted off, no doubt to tell their friends about it. I had a feeling that Guiche had made it an hour from now so that the whole school would hear of it and bring about a huge audience for him to show off to. Still, I didn't care. It would just mean more people would see just what I was capable of and how I was in the right for what I did rather than he was.
"…you'll be killed."
The heartbroken murmur snapped me out of my thoughts. I looked down to Siesta who was now crying, looking like I was already dead. I would have tried to say something to her, but she merely let go of me as she tried to wipe her eyes in vain. "YOU'LL BE KILLED!" She turned to run away, but I reacted quickly. Reaching out, I grabbed her arm and abruptly turned her around to face me. Her cheeks were blotchy already and the tears weren't stopping. Strangely, she reminded me of a kicked puppy.
"Siesta, I can win!" I stated firmly, making her look up to me in shock. "I know that I can win and more importantly, I know how I can win." Somehow, the sheer confidence I had in my voice made Siesta's eyes widen even more. "But I'm going to need your help to make it a guarantee."
Louise sighed, washing her face to get the last of the tear tracks out of it. It had taken her a while, but she had finally gotten over the hurtful things her Familiar had said to her. Of course, now she was going to have to punish him immediately so to help force some discipline into that thick head of his. Less than stellar at magic she was, she was still a noble and nobody talked to her that way, Familiar or not!
After getting her clothes on, a job which she grumbled should have been her familiar's, she stepped out of her room and began to head down to the main hall in order to get some food. Perhaps if she saw her Familiar first, she could make him watch her eat while he got nothing. Taking his meals away for a while would be a good start, but she didn't want to overdo it since not eating would eventually become unhealthy.
"Hey, did you hear?" she heard one fellow student ask another while she travelled in the halls. "Guiche has challenged that commoner of Louise's to a duel out in Vestri court."
"He did? Wow, that commoner must be dumb then," the second snickered. "When is it happening?"
"In a few minutes," replied the first. "Want to go watch?"
Louise immediately ground to a halt as she felt the blood drain from her face. Her Familiar? Duelling Guiche? Granted that Guiche was only a Dot Class mage at the moment, and he was just a womanizing flirt as far as the pinkette was concerned but he was still a mage while her Familiar was just a commoner!
"That idiot!" Louise cried, starting to run in the direction of Vestri Court.
With Siesta's help, I managed to arrive at Vestri Court on time. As expected, it was a courtyard which was expansive and had more than enough room for a duel. It was mostly open grassland but the ivy creeping up the walls was a nice touch.
I walked across the grass to where Guiche was waiting, who apparently had an entourage of his fellow students that wanted to see the action. I myself had Siesta following me, the Medal Book clutched in her hands. Her knuckles were turning white from the pressure she was gripping the item with. When I got within several feet of Guiche, I came to a stop.
"I commend you for not running away," Guiche smirked. "If nothing else, you are a brave commoner."
"A backhanded compliment, but I suppose I'll take it," I shrugged. Staring at Guiche, I got down to business. "What are the terms of victory and defeat?"
"The first to surrender or be knocked out will lose," Guiche replied, stepping away from his fellow students so we wouldn't get them involved. "Fair?"
"Fair," I nodded. "One question though. Is there a rule preventing the participants from swapping weapons which are in the care of an attendant?"
"Hmm," Guiche frowned, closing his eyes to ponder the question. A few girls tittered among themselves about how meditative and charming he seemed when he was in thought. After a moment, he shrugged and looked back to me. "So long as the attendant does not take part in the battle, I suppose I could allow it. You'll need all of the weapons you can carry though."
"Your generosity astounds me," I muttered flatly.
"Yes, so it should," he chuckled, raising his rose. "Shall we begin?"
Both Guiche and I looked out to the sidelines and saw a familiar head of pink hair cram her way through the students before coming into the open field. I almost groaned at seeing Louise. Of all the times she could have decided to hunt me down, it had to be now?
"I forbid this duel from happening!" she snapped before pointing at me. "You! Apologize to Guiche now so we can forget this foolishness."
"Denied," I replied, making Louise growl with anger and everyone else gape in surprise. No doubt that stemmed from how Familiars were supposed to be completely obedient to their masters. "Louise, this duel is a matter strictly between myself and Guiche. You have no say in it."
"No say?-!" Louise screeched.
"My, what a disobedient Familiar," Guiche snickered, a sound echoed by his classmates.
"Shut up," I frowned. This guy was really beginning to agitate me. "In this duel, I'm not a commoner and you aren't a noble. Right now, we're just two men putting our pride on the line and fighting for what we believe is the right thing. Forget status, forget stations and simply duel."
"How eloquently put," Guiche nodded. "If you spoke like that when we first met I may have mistaken you as a fellow noble. However, now our battle must begin." He raised his rose as a pool of light surrounded him. He then waved it as a petal drifted off and floated towards me. "Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am Guiche de Gramont. My runic name is Guiche the Bronze!" The rose petal landed on the ground several feet in front of me before it flashed and from the ground appeared something new. It was the same height as Guiche, and covered in armour despite showing all of the curves that a woman would have and eloquently decorated with flattering armour and wings on its helmet but it was completely made out of bronze. In its right had was a simple spear with a decorative tip that seemed razor sharp. The only way I could tell that it wasn't human was by the limbs and how thin they were. No human save for perhaps an anorexic model would have limbs that thin. They looked like they would belong on a puppet of some kind.
"My Bronze Golem, Valkyrie shall be both my weapon and your opponent," the blonde finished with a twirl of his rose.
That…was a pretty impressive trick the guy just pulled. I had some difficulty trying to not gape at the instant creation of a bronze knight and focus on what I was going to do to fight it. Still, I managed to pull it off and keep my composure, "Then allow me to introduce myself," I pulled out the O-Driver from my pocket and pressed it to my waist. It was with some relief that I felt the belt section wrap around me, much to the surprise of the witnesses. "My birth name is Matthew MacGregor. However, I have a second name too."
I pulled the Taka, Tora, and Batta Medals out of my pocket and quickly inserted them into their respective slots. I wasn't sure if Guiche was going to attack or if he was politely waiting for me to finish so the duel could begin, but I couldn't take the risk. As the Medals were inserted, the Driver began to pulse as I let it shift diagonally. Grabbing the O-Scanner, I struck the Eiji Hino pose and scanned the three Medals with three chiming noises.
"TA-TO- BA TATOBA TA-TO-BA!"
I became surrounded by spinning coloured Medals which accompanied the transformation so I couldn't be too sure how everyone around me was reacting to the event. The gasps and cries of shock were a good indicator though. I stood up straight to allow for a smoother transformation process, if it could be interrupted anyway. In front of me, I spied images of the three Medals I was using appear. Taka was of course on the top, Tora was in the middle, and Batta was at the bottom. The three images then combined into one large crest which flew backwards and into my chest. My body then became enveloped in energy which swiftly hardened into solid armour.
I knew the suit by heart. My helmet was mainly black, save for the red faceplate which looked like a hawk with its wings spread out in flight. On my forehead and acting as the hawk's beak was a red crystal. I could see through the large eyeholes, but everything was tinted green. Running from my chin and down my neck was a red line that was connected to the top portion of the image on my chest. My torso armour had rounded shoulders that had yellow lines on them. Yellow lines ran down my arms and into the yellow gauntlets I wore decorated with what looked like folded claws on the forearm. Lastly my legs were minimally covered with segmented green armour not unlike that of a grasshopper's legs, connected by green lines to the lower section of the crest I bore.
When the armour was on, my vision cleared and I could see everyone's reaction. As I had half expected, everyone was gaping at what had occurred. I could guess that it was of course going to be a shock, seeing what I did. It was without a doubt magical and up until that point, everyone assumed that I was a commoner and completely incapable of standing up to a noble verbally, much less use magic myself.
I think Louise put it in words first with her cry of, "Wh-wh-WHAT?-!"
"Now allow me to introduce myself with my other name," I snickered, ignoring Louise's sputtering.
"I am Kamen Rider OOO!"
A/N: Well, say hello to my summer project. It took me a while, but I managed to get through Familiar of Zero Season 1 and got hooked on this story. I managed to get a lot done so expect daily updates for this fic barring time for editing.