Of Confusing Afflictions and Walking Into Walls


Author's note: This was the result from the following prompts on my Tumblr: Arisen, plus walking into walls, plus Julien, plus Main Pawn wondering how the world is ever going to be saved if the Arisen is a love-sick putz.


Pawns do not experience emotion, and those who had the privilege of feeling some form of emotion were usually those who had served long with their Masters. He had little of such interaction and experience, and thus had to rely on the advice of other pawns who had, such as Barnaby of the guild.

His Master's behaviour was somewhat reckless and erratic at times, but the pawn had been told that was due to the Master's young age. However, when his Master had walked out of the duke's castle all wide-eyed, cheeks flushing ever so slightly, he was sure that the somewhat puzzling behaviour had nothing to do with youth.

So when their small party made a stop at the guild some days later so the Arisen could see if any new requests were placed at the notice board, he took the opportunity to inquire Barnaby about the Arisen's recent change in behaviour, carefully explaining all the symptoms he had observed in the last few days. The random sighing, the daydreaming, the unexplained blushing whenever the Master purchased a festival pie – it was all far too confusing for the poor pawn.

Fortunately Barnaby had an answer for him.

"Oh, that likely means that the Arisen is in love," Barnaby explained after giving it some thought. "Do you see the Arisen giving particular attention to anyone lately?"

He could not really answer that question, so he resolved to pay better attention to the Master's behaviour.

The answer came quicker than he thought, for when their small group headed back to the fountain square market to get some supplies, the Master froze, made a sound similar to that of a choking squirrel and turned bright red.

"What's wrong, Master?"

"Aack."

"Master?"

"Good day, Ser Arisen," greeted a tall knight – the very same knight they had followed upon Mason's request, to be exact – while the Arisen turned a rather fascinating shade of purple.

"G-good day to you, Lord Julien," the Master stammered, and then stared longingly at the knight's back as he continued to walk away, before giving out a most expressive sigh.

"Perhaps we should go, Master," the pawn said when the Arisen failed to move from his spot even though the knight had long gone.

"Yes, of course," the Master replied, and then promptly walked into a wall.

Oh.

So that was the subject of his Master's affections. Well, as long as it did not affect the Master's ability and reasoning—

He sighed as he grabbed and yanked his Master's arm just in time to prevent the latter from walking into a guard.

Perhaps the Arisen should be called the Afflicted, he thought privately, for the latter seemed to be more appropriate for his love-struck Master.

-x-x-x-

The sighing and daydreaming, and not to mention the random fits of blushing and walking into walls, rocks, people and the occasional saurian or chimera was bad enough, but to witness the gestures growing more intense as they escorted the subject of the Master's affections to Greatwall? (And how does one accidentally walk into a chimera to begin with? Saurians could cloak themselves, but a chimera? Surely one could not help notice the beast, unless this was yet another puzzling human affliction.) It was almost unbearable, even for a pawn just learning to experience feelings and emotions. He found himself wondering how was the Arisen to defeat the great dragon, if said Arisen seemed to be losing focus.

Alas, that was something he would have to ponder on later, for a raging cyclops was heading for them. He brandished his staff and started to chant a spell. He also hoped that his Master would at least have enough sense to shift focus from admiring Lord Julien's – admittedly – comely self, to attend to the upcoming battle. Especially since the approaching cyclops seemed to be particularly interested in their current charge—

"Don't you touch him, foul one-eyed beast!" the Master shouted.

Then all of them stared in a mixture of morbid admiration and horror as the Arisen swiftly dodged the cyclops' wild swings and clambered on the beast's back, then let loose with his twin daggers with such remarkable fury and speed that the cyclops toppled over in only a few breaths. The poor beast even looked particularly amazed in its death that it was taken down in mere moments.

The Arisen hopped off the cyclops' back just in time to avoid being crushed by the beast's carcass, and promptly went to their charge, who had the most surprised expression on his face. "Are you all right, Lord Julien?" the Master asked brightly.

"Y-yes… That-that was most impressive, Arisen!"

"Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you!" the Master announced.

Then their current charge smiled, while the Arisen promptly turned bright red.

"You've earned my thanks."

The pawn had been staring at this surprising turn of events all this while, his mouth still half-opened, spell now long forgotten. Then he realised that mayhap being love-struck could work to the Arisen's advantage after all, for now the Arisen had an ever stronger motive to kill the great wyrm. The Master would not allow any harm to befall Lord Julien, and what was the most threatening harm at the moment, but the dragon itself?

The pawn nodded, and then remembered to close his mouth.

Yes, the Master certainly had a good chance of felling the wyrm after all. With some more battle experience, and mayhap better weapons and more suitable pawns, he could actually see the Master slaying the dragon.

Now he just needed to keep the Master from walking into walls.