Gilgamesh Tries his Hand at Baseball
As far as I was concerned, it had been a perfect day. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the sea breeze was nice and cool. I had crossed the bridge into that little slum called Miyamachou at noon. Even a King needs his exercise, but it is best to get away from the crowds. Kotomine had slinked off at some point. Knowing him, he had probably gone to that Chinese restaurant of his, and was now devouring bowl after bowl of that dreaded mapo tofu. How does he eat that stuff, much less enjoy it? It was as though that Chinese chef had harnessed the flames of Ishtar's wrath itself! I own Noble Phantasms less deadly; in fact, I probably have the origin of that particular platter somewhere in my treasury. I grinned, thinking of that. Perhaps I'll rummage through some time and find that particular Phantasm; nothing would make me happier than seeing that Faker's face when he gets hit by a bowl of magic tofu. Well, maybe a few things, but not many.
It was about two in the afternoon when I passed the riverside park. At this point, I was looking over my shoulder every minute. I was in enemy territory. Not that I was in danger, there is no one in heaven or earth that could harm me, but being spotted by my queen would be embarrassing considering my state of dress. Seriously Kotomine? A Hawaiian shirt? Ever since that Tohsaka girl left for London, I must have become his new chew toy. I'd protest openly, but I don't want to be kicked out. I've said before how I hate giving stuff away, and paying for an apartment would be troublesome to say the least. You would think that as a king I'd be recognized, but I was nearly stabbed the last time I tried to claim something without paying. That damn Dog is protective of his flowers.
These thoughts dominated my mind as I walked the artificial riverbank. The sounds of the ocean were becoming more and more apparent, and the troublesome thoughts were beginning to melt away. Out here, no one could bother me. I closed my eyes and listened to the bird calls. I had taken ten steps with my eyes shut (and only tripped once, I hope no one saw that) when a small bundle hit my leg and stuck to it fast. I opened an eye lazily. There, wrapped around my left leg, was a boy no older than twelve. He was wearing some sort of white uniform with vertical stripes, with an odd, billed hat.
"What is this?" I asked, more amused than angry. My charisma is magnetic, you could say (I laughed inwardly at that, I crack me up). The boy looked up at me with eyes on the verge of tears. It was then that I noticed the two others standing behind him.
"Hey mister," said the one trying to wrestle my leg into submission, "you look strong. You're strong right?"
I chuckled. "Of course boy, you look upon a King!" I raised my arm with a flourish, and subtly tried to kick the boy off. He was covered in dirt, that disgusting, and these are new shorts.
"Then do you think you could help us win?" said one of the other boys. He was wielding some sort of club made out of wood. Ah, that was it! These boys were in a battle.
"Where is the battlefield? And who is the enemy?" I was getting riled up. Kotomine keeps me from fighting a lot nowadays, citing "excessive damage to the city and church property", lazy bastard.
"Down there," said the boy with the club. He pointed at a field of grass and clay on the opposite side of the bank. Lines of chalk marked out a diamond on the clay portion of the field, and more children with the same uniform stood at the ready, each carrying some sort of glove on their hand. I spotted the enemy then as well. Hiding in bunkers at the edge of the diamond, the purple interlopers had armed themselves with clubs identical to the one carried by the boy near me. The white uniformed soldiers were outnumbered, and had the disadvantage when it came to weapons. Finally I managed to shake the boy off.
"I'll help you mongrel. Does this battle have parameters?"
The boy quickly described the rules of war, which he called "base ball", an odd name. This was highly ritualized, much more so than the battle for the Grail. One army was "at bat", while the other was "at field". Each army had specialized soldiers, but they could only attack one at a time, and it involved hitting a ball with one of those clubs.
After the explanation, I asked, "But how do we kill them?" A minor question if you ask me, but the boy looked at me as though I were a god, which is two thirds true by the way. He answered shakily, saying we didn't get to kill them. What kind of war is this?
The boys tugged at my legs, and I slowly followed them down the bank. Looking up at the scoreboard, no doubt hastily constructed by a mongrel craftsman, I saw that the white clad soldiers, the Sharks, were losing to the purple Panthers by almost fifteen points. It was the last 'inning' as well. This could not be allowed.
"Come on mister!" shouted one of the boys, "it's time for us to bat."
I nodded lazily and walked to the bunker where the Sharks were entrenched. On my way however, my ears caught sound of a familiar laughter. I spun on my heel, locking eyes on my quarry.
"Homunculus of Einzbern!" I shouted "Is this travesty your doing?"
The girl laughed. She was half my size, but her red eyes never wavered. "Silly! It's just a game. I'll let you play if you want, because Sella and Leysritt are filling in for some of our players."
I should have known. That girl had planted elite units. Her maids (also homunculi, but easier on the eyes if you ask me) were strong fighters, more than a match for these boys. With stiff shoulders I strode into the dusty bunker, where the other soldiers sat with looks of imminent defeat on their young faces.
"Hmph, you children are lucky today," I said as I opened my treasury. Out of the golden Gate, twelve iron clubs dropped out and clattered onto the concrete floor. They looked similar to the ones the boys wielded, but those clubs did not provide a 200% AGI boost.
"Take these treasures," I said with open arms. "Let us crush those mongrels! How dare they oppose us!"
Ahh, the look on that girl's face. I didn't even need to take the field myself when my subjects were armed with E rank Noble Phantasms. Every single ball that was thrown was sent over the fence, and in ten minutes, the Panthers had been overtaken by a more worthy team. Eventually, I decided enough was enough, and returned the weapons to my treasury. Soon, the other team had earned their allotted 'outs' and my subjects were forced to take the field again.
On a whim, I decided to join them. As I walked out of the bunker, or dugout as they called it, the Einzbern girl stormed up to me.
"Using Noble Phantasms is against the rules!" she screeched. "That's cheating."
I laughed heartily at that, silly girl. "And what of your meat puppets? Are they 'cheating'?"
She fell silent, muttering something about the rulebook being incomplete. Then she jumped back a few feet and raised her hand into the air. "Fine," she shouted, "If that's how you want to play, come on out Berserker!"
The ground shook as the giant manifested. For some reason, the boys around me did not flee screaming at the sight of Heracles. Perhaps this wasn't uncommon. Humorously, the giant was clad in the same purple uniform and cap, and held a comically sized club between two of his fingers. Some rules, it seemed, could not be broken. He stood outside of the Panthers' bunker, waiting his turn to bat.
I decided to observe from left field. The boy there was happy to give up his position to the only true king. The difference in skill became apparent. Even without Berserker, the Einzbern girl's team was much better than the Sharks. They were skilled enough to keep the balls away from left field, and by extension, me. Not to mention, every time Berserker went up, he broke the sound barrier with his swing. Soon a pile of shattered wood surrounded home plate, the remains of dozens of broken bats. The score began creeping closer and closer to a tie. These Sharks truly were weak, but they called out to their liege and as a just ruler, I must help when undying loyalty is pledged. The score was tied, and there was only one course of action for a true Hero King.
As one of the homunculi maids stepped up to bat, I walked to the mound, taking the ball from the pitcher. "Let a King handle this, child," I said. Three pitches later, and the well dressed maid sulked back to her bunker. The other maid was next, and though she gave me more trouble than the one before, I can throw with a speed of two hundred miles an hour. This was not a battle between humans, no. The footsteps of an angry god rang out as Berserker took the batter's box. This game would be decided now, as a battle between Heroic Spirits, not that a mindless beast like Berserker could compare to me however.
I threw my first pitch low, trying to get under his guard. He swung, and the force of air buffeted me, spraying clay in all directions and messing up my hair (it took twenty minutes to get it to settle this morning you bastard!). As expected from me however, he was unable to stop it. My next pitch, he grazed, and though the ball flew into the stratosphere, it was deemed a foul by the terrified umpire. It would come down to this final toss.
Berserker howled as one of the maid's handed it another bat. The crowd had long since left, and most of the children had taken cover. I grinned, and opened my treasury. Portal after portal opened behind me, and from each, a sphere hung in mid air. Berserker roared, and in its insanity, it may have realized my intentions. Of course, that mongrel could not hope to counter this. Each of these spheres was the first of their kind, the catalyst for the creation of hundreds of sports throughout the ages. I chopped my hand forward, and hundreds of my 'weapons' shot towards the batter's box, controlled by my will. That fool! Berserker could not hope to stop them. Every pitched passed his guard. Even if he managed to hit the balls, the force of the impact shattered the bat in his hand, while my weapon continued onward. By the end of it, the benches behind home plate had been annihilated by a storm of magical sports equipment, and the rest of the field destroyed by Berserker in his rage. It wasn't any of my concern. Leave it for mongrels to clean, it was a King's duty to protect his honor and then leave when victory was established. And besides, listening to the Einzbern girl scream at me is not my idea of a good time, so I ran before she decided to sic Berserker on me. It was nightfall when I returned to the church on the hill. With nary a nod to Kotomine, I stumbled into my room and fell asleep. Doing a King's job was certainly tiring, but it felt good occasionally.
I hope you enjoyed this. Its really my first foray into comedic writing. I decided to use a 1st person perspective for Gilgamesh, as I feel comfortable getting into his head. It is lighter and softer than his normal personality, mainly because I see this story as more Carnival Phantasm than a serious work. I plan to release more on occasion, its too fun to pass up.