Disclaimer: I do not own Familiar of Zero, only the D&D character that causes mayhem and discord.
A/N: Well, here's my first foray into the realm of crossovers. I've had this idea dancing it's way around my brain, that I couldn't leave it alone. I had to get it out, else it take complete control.
Anyway, not much to say, aside from the fact that there will most likely be deviations from ZnT canon for the simple fact that Lyall is, well, kind of broken in certain situations, considering his classes…
Oh, and the length of this chapter will probably not be a norm for future ones. I have other fics I have obligations to, in addition, this chapter simply set the stage/tone for the fic as a whole.
Anyway, read, review, enjoy!
The Alpha of Zero
An Unfortunate Occurrence
I sprinted across the battlefield, my cloak billowing behind me. Arrows zipped by my head as I ducked the side, evading the barrage of missiles. Ducking behind the cover of trees, I drew my bow and knocked an arrow. Taking aim around my cover, I released the wooden missile, watching it fly towards my target. He hefted his shield and slapped it away, destroying it instantly. Clicking my tongue, I put the bow away and drew my twin blades, a pair of hand-and-half swords that have served me well these passed few years. I pulled my mask up and my hood over my head, deciding to vanish into the battle as I charged. Closing in on him, I leapt forward, flipping over the armored general. When I landed behind him, I quickly brandished my weapons, aiming to tear into the man's back and sever his spine. He spun and met one of my blades with his shield, pushing me back.
I danced around the man, using my superior agility to try and work around his defenses. He swung his single-handed long sword in a well-trained, well-versed form that made me believe that if he struck, it would definitely hurt, if not kill me outright. Metal clanged against metal; steel against steel; an immovable wall versus the constantly moving blades; we moved in such a way that would make an untrained warrior believe they were participating in dance. However, they would only be half wrong. To me, battle is a dance; a dance with death, in which missing a single step would result in losing your head.
Well, that could be a generalization, as a friend of mine would put it.
My battle-hardened senses started to act up as I quickly realized that someone was trying to strike me from behind. Ducking an overhead slash meant to decapitate me; I quickly bent my knees and pushed all of the strength I had into my legs. Kicking myself upwards, I watched as the general swung his sword one final time, trying to eviscerate me in the middle of my sudden, temporary retreat. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for him, he missed me by the skin of my teeth and instead tore into the very person who moved in to aid him, slashing the man open in the stomach.
I felt pity for the man, coupled with a feeling of triumphant glee, as I descended back down due to gravity's pull. Landing behind the general, I quickly capitalized on his momentary surprise and hesitation and brought my swords to bear. Three slashes ended our encounter; three slashes brought him to his knees before me; three slashes took the man's life.
The first went low, tearing into the man's inner thigh and cutting into an artery.
As he dropped to a knee, the second went downwards, black steel effortlessly carving through armor and into bone.
The third finished the fight. Soaring through the air with finality, it carved through his neck and removed the general's head.
At the moment of his death, I stabbed the sword in my left hand into the ground and reached into my pouch. Pulling out a small ball, I lifted my foot and struck it across my heel, generating a spark. Tossing the ball into the air, I waited and watched as it exploded in a shower of light and noise.
Leaning against the tree near my previous battle, I released a tired breath, feeling fatigued from the exertion. The last fight was nowhere near an easy one, taxing my agility and endurance to its limit. Though I was tasked with defeating the enemy army's general, I wasn't exactly confident with how it could've ended up. However, as I was known for my speed on the battlefield, I was trusted with quickly eliminating an opponent known for weathering attacks from several people at once.
I had gotten lucky.
But then again, fortune has continued to favor me in the end.
I looked over to the source of the voice: a tall, well-built man with medium length brown hair and blue eyes dressed in silvery Elven chainmail strode over to me. He was quite literally a walking armory, carrying a two-handed sword and a broken double-sided great axe on his back and on either side of his waist was a long sword and an adamantine battle axe.
"Evanger." I said, exhaustion evident in my voice. Lifting a hand, I pulled down the half mask from my nose and mouth, releasing a small breath.
"You did it." He paused as he continued to walk towards me. Extending a hand, he continued, "I stayed as close as I could…"
I gave him a tired look but grabbed his hand, letting him pretty much lift me from the ground without as much a grunt. "Thanks for the effort, but I wanted to finish it as soon as possible. Running all the way across the entire damn battlefield was exhausting and frustrating. Do you have any idea how many of our people happened to be firing arrows towards the very enemy regiment I was sneaking through?" I snorted, pushing my hood off and grabbing my swords from the ground. Sheathing them, I grimaced, "It was damn near worse than dodging a Chain Lightning."
The knight let out a small laugh. Smacking me on the back good-naturedly, he smiled, "At least we're one step closer to reaching Iuz's capital. This offensive was long in waiting."
"Yeah, whatever." My retort garnered a tired glare from him, but he shrugged it off. I leaned down and picked up the fallen general's long sword. Holding it to him, I said, "Here, take it. It's adamantine. I don't know of the enchantments on it, but it'll most likely suit you better than me."
Evanger gave me a slight look before nodding his head. Taking the weapon, he led me back to the camp.
"Well, I believe that's everyone." A bespectacled man dressed in robes and holding a wooden staff nearly as long as he was tall spoke amicably.
"Actually, Mister Colbert, Zero hasn't done the summoning yet!" A student called from the group of newly christened second years.
"Oh, is that true, Miss Valliere?" Mister Colbert asked the small student who stepped out of the crowd.
She nodded. Standing in front of the crowd, Louise closed her eyes and focused on the spell she was about to cast.
I pulled my armor back on and adjusted my dark grey cloak. Pushing a hand through my long black hair, I allowed it to fall over my subtly pointed ears and just above my pale grey eyes. Grabbing the extra cloth that hung in the front of my armor, I pulled it up and over my face just above my nose. Covering my face, at first, was just something I wanted to do when I just started in the military, but as I moved up in the ranks and joined the Grey Cloaks, it became a necessity. My group and I had done so much to stop Iuz and his army, that any information on us was prized almost as high as the House of Lords. So much has happened; so little rest to be had; it was still only a day since the latest skirmish, but it felt like I had just stepped off the blood-strewn field of battle.
As I strapped on my bandolier of throwing daggers, I felt something tug at the back of my mind.
"…servant that existed…"
I pressed a hand to my head and gritted my teeth, trying to fight off whatever attack was happening. Sucking in a breath, I reverted back to my specialized training and blanked my thoughts.
It did nothing to stop the voice.
"…heed my call…"
Shaking my head, I grabbed one of my sheathed bastard swords and strapped it to my back. Also, I took one of my short swords and slid it into the sheath attached to my belt.
"…bottom of my heart…"
I hissed out a breath, the incessant scratch at the back of my mind pulling me to the exit of my tent. Walking towards it, I pushed it open and saw something that brought forth a frustrated tick to my brow. "Are you kidding me?" I said through gritted teeth.
Floating in front of the exit of my tent was a large, green oval portal.
Once again, I heard the voice in the back of my mind.
"…guidance and appear!"
A sudden pain erupted from my mind as I pressed a hand to it. Staggering forward, I suddenly found myself falling into the portal.
It seemed like my luck had finally run out yesterday.
…Or had it?
Smoke flowed around me after I seemingly came to a stop, resting on the ground. Sitting there in a wary crouch, I waited for a moment and stood to my full height. Allowing my cloak to hide my arms and allowed my hands to slowly reach towards one of the several bladed weapons I had sheathed.
When the smoke finally cleared, I was greeted by the sight of a young girl standing in front of me. She was smaller than most and had hair so light a strawberry blonde that I swore it was pink. Her eyes were a tinge of color that nearly matched her outrageously colored hair. She seemed to be frozen place, as if she was unable to move under my gaze. I blinked, slowly taking in the sight before me as I gradually turned and took in my new surroundings. I froze lightly when I saw a large blue dragon sitting behind a girl with equally blue hair. I felt my hand twitch lightly towards the short sword under my cloak, but stopped. Why hadn't it attacked yet? Blue dragons are evil…
"Children?" I whispered, barely moving my lips beneath my mask. I slowly turned back to the girl in front of me, who was giving me an irate glare, and spoke out loud, "Who are you and why have you called me here?"
She scrunched her eyebrows at me, then replied in a language escaped me.
I covered my face, trying not to breath in the smoke that happened from the backlash of my spell. I pulled my hand from my face, trying to get the first look at my Familiar. Did I do it? Was I able to make good on my boast? Did I something beautiful, powerful and majestic enough to put Kirche and their place? Was I finally able to relieve myself of that dreadful moniker of 'Zero'?!
When the smoke finally cleared, I finally saw the fruits of my labor…
A commoner clad in a long grey, fur-like cloak stood in front of me. He had the look of a commoner, I knew that instantly, but he had the feel of something…more. The commoner was a man with long black hair that fell over his ears and a few inches below them. The bottom half of his face was covered with a piece of black cloth, giving his a roguish appearance.
He may have had the garb of a commoner, but he had the bearing of a noble. I'm not a warrior, but I've seen enough from my father to notice how a warrior carried himself. The man before her stood straight-backed, shoulders pushed out and head held high. However, that wasn't what scared me the most. It was his eyes; those grey orbs of his were flinty and piercing. As he watched me, I couldn't bring myself to move, frozen under the scrutiny of the man before me. When he finally looked away from me, I was able to relax slightly.
However, as he turned, I steeled myself. I needed to show this commoner who his Master was.
When he finally spoke, I heard nothing but nonsensical sounds. Does my familiar not know how to speak properly?
"Familiar, tell me your name." I demanded from him.
Unfortunately, he did not answer me. Instead, he simply lifted his hand and rubbed his chin contemplatively. I managed to hear a mutter from him. He cleared his throat and began speaking again, this time in a sound that could be best described as a heavenly chant; I managed to conceal the positive tingle that shot down my back as I heard the glorious sound.
Shaking my head, I opened my mouth to say something, but was cut off by him saying something else. However, this time, he spoke with growls and hisses, causing the dragon behind Tabitha to perk up. I gave her a look, then looked back to my familiar.
After a moment, I heard him groan and saw him scratch his head.
Unfortunately for him, my patience was slipping enough as it is. Before he could try a third time, I lifted my wand and channeled my magic…
When I failed to understand the young girl in front of me, I debated on trying out some of my own languages, to see if I could find a connection. First, I decided to try Celestial; after all, what better way of getting on the good side of people is there if you speak the language of angels…unless they're evil, that is.
"Do you understand me now?" I softened my tone, as the words rolled off my tongue. Celestial was always easy on the ears, and throat, so I found it a little amusing when I noticed the girl shiver lightly in front of me, though I concealed the amusement.
When that didn't get me anywhere, I decided to switch to Draconic. Although it's the language of dragons, any self-respecting wizard or sorcerer knows the language. I should know, the one I've adventured with for several years learned it pretty early. As I spoke, I couldn't help but notice the dragon lift its head, no doubt in shock that I could fluently speak its native tongue.
That got me nowhere. So I decided to attempt Elven before venturing into my favorite language for cursing in combat, Orcish. The latter's not exactly the language you speak in front of impressionable children.
However, before I could say anything, I noticed her lift a wand and point it at me. I froze and felt my eyes widen. Before I could do a thing, something exploded in front of me. Jumping back, I flipped away from her and planted on the ground a few feet away from her and group of others. Planting my feet firmly on the ground, I placed a hand on the ground and another near one of my hidden blades. Narrowing my eyes, I allowed my voice to roll out in a threatening tone. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
In response, I heard a cough and a pleasantly feminine voice. "Aw, c'mon! I thought summoning a familiar would st-" She froze, the smoke clearing, and she looked as though she realized something. "Wait I understood you!"
I blinked lightly, surprised at the same revelation, but composed myself and replied darkly, "And I you; however, that doesn't excuse just what happened. As I asked before, who are you and why have you called me here?" As I spoke, I couldn't help but glance to the side, getting a very bad feeling that there was someone else here vastly more dangerous than the girl who blasted. My eyes honed in on the balding gentleman in what resembled blue robes. He carried a tall wooden staff and wore glasses.
In that instant, he noticed that I was a soldier in the same way that I did.
The man cleared his throat, "I understand your shock, sir." He spoke carefully, clearly taking this situation for what it was: a stand-off between a trained killer and a child. "But I assure you, this isn't what you think."
I stood slowly, keeping one hand hidden inside of my cloak. "I see…"
"This is simply a school where we teach young nobles. Tristain Magical Academy. Everyone here is a student. I assure you, this place is safe."
I blanked my thoughts, preventing any possibly mental attacks. When none came, I allowed myself to relax, but remained focused on the so-called teacher who was walking towards the girl. "A school? That answers one question, but doesn't answer the first two I asked."
He smiled patiently. "That's simple. My student, Miss Louise summoned you to be her familiar."
I couldn't stop my confusion from becoming apparent. "Huh?"
"What Professor Colbert is saying, Familiar, is that I summoned you and that I am your Master." The girl, who I'm guessing is Louise, said haughtily. I gave her an empty look, but felt myself unable to hold back laughter.
Reaching up, I pulled down my mask and leaned my head back lightly, letting the laughter just flow out of me. Letting my shoulders, I felt a relieved smile tug at the corner of my mouth. "I'm stuck here, aren't I? There's no way back?"
Colbert was shocked silent for a moment, but gave me a rueful smile. "No, I'm afraid it's impossible."
I allowed my smiled to spread into a grin. "Looks like the they have to finish the fight without me…"
Off to the side, I heard one of the other kids speak out loud. "It's just like Louise the Zero to summon a crazy Familiar! And a commoner at that!" I looked to the side, seeing a dark-skinned redhead leading the jeering.
After looking towards the group, I shook my head and began striding back towards Louise and Colbert. During my walk, I heard her speak. "Professor Colbert, can't I try again? Can't I try to summon another familiar?"
"No, Miss Valliere, the Springtime Summoning Ritual is a sacred event. You can't attempt it a second time." Colbert scolded the young girl.
I let a chuckled escape me as I strode purposefully towards the pair. "I'm insulted. You want to trade me in and you haven't even asked what I can do." I came to a stop in front of her, giving her a small smile as I paused.
Louise's face turned a shade darker as she looked up to me. I saw her clench her fist as she said, "Don't patronize me, Famili-"
"Lyall." My voice was soft as I cut her off.
She froze again, but quickly looked away from me. "Just lean down…" I smirked, doing as she asked. Though I was a little surprised when she said, "You should feel honored; it's not everyday a noble does this for a commoner…" Before I could question that, I was cut off by her soft lips pressing against mine.
After a few moments, she broke away from and took a step back. I arched an eyebrow at her and opened my mouth to speak, but felt a burning pain on the back of my left hand. Grimacing, I lifted said hand and gave the gauntlet a glare before pulling it off. "What did you do to me?" I said as I watched a set of runes burn themselves into the back of my hand. It was after a few moments of biting back the pain that the burning stopped and I stared at the finish product of runes on the back of my hand.
"What is that?" Colbert said as he leaned over my shoulder. I jumped away, completely caught off guard and surprised at the man's sudden appearance. It seems I may have a rival in the stealth department.
"I have no clue. Magic is not specialty." I watched as he wrote down the runes that had taken house on my hand. Sliding my bare hand back into my gauntlet, I looked over to Louise and spoke. "I believe that you and I have some speaking to do."
Several moments, I was lead into Louise's dormitory. After getting comfortable, I went about grilling my 'Master' for some info about this new world I found myself in. When I got everything I wanted, using my well trained skill of persuasion, I rubbed my face in frustration. After hearing the little mage explain to me about this school, Tristain Magical Academy, and that people who were born with magic were nobles. This was my worst nightmare or a wet dream if I was a sadistic bastard. Either way, I was currently residing in a school meant for sorcerers. A school meant to teach self-entitled brats who did nothing to earn their position.
Auren would have a field day with this.
My Familiar is freakishly persuasive.
That was the first thing I realized after we reached my dorm. I had planned on simply answering one or two questions, just to give him what I thought he needed to serve me. It didn't exactly go that way; he asked me about the country: the name, geographical location, and where the crown was. He asked about the academy: the students here, the teachers, and what rooms were what. He asked me about the nobility: about how they were chosen, why they were chosen, and how many I could tell him.
I swear if he asked me to tell him my life story, then I probably would have.
Shaking my head, I turned from him and approached my dresser. Opening it, I shrugged out of my cloak. After I removed my skirt, he spoke up, "What are you doing?"
"Then let me leave." I heard him stand and begin walking.
"Why would you leave?"
"I'm a man, you're a girl. The respectful thing for me to do would be to leave when you're changing." He said as he continued walking towards the door.
"Stay, Familiar." He stopped and felt myself smile as he finally listened to my orders. "While I commend you for desiring to treat me, your Master, with respect, you must understand something. As a Familiar, you are to stay by my side and protect at all times. You're not a man to me; you're like a dog."
"I see…" He said quietly, in a voice that struck me as…different. I heard him turn and clear his throat. "May I say something, 'Master'?"
I felt the corner of my mouth twitch as I turned to face him. "See here, Familiar, I do not li-" I was struck silent by the look in his eyes. He was simply looking at me, but the way his eyes were looking at me was just like earlier, cold, flinty and empty of emotion.
"I want you to understand something, Miss Louise. I am not an animal you can command. I am a hunter, a warrior and a killer. I have seen terrors that would leave a lesser man whimpering; I have stood against horde after horde of undead abominations. I have tasted death and stood moments after." He slowly walked towards me, like a predator approaching his prey. "All I ask from you is a single thing: respect. If my duty is to protect you, then you won't get so much as a scratch, but you'll have to let me do it my way. You will not refer to me as 'Familiar' but as the name I have given you." He paused, then continued after a moment. "Are we in agreement?" His voice softened near the end.
Against my control, I felt my legs buckle and nearly collapsed. But he caught me. Lyall caught me…
"I was brought here to ensure your safety. To do that, I require that you show me the appropriate respect. However, I know you have no reason to at the moment; you have yet to see what I am capable of. So, please, hold off on your judgment of me until after I can show you what it is I can do…"
"Just what in the hell did I get myself into?" I asked myself as I sat on the edge of the outer wall of the academy, staring in complete confusion at the two moons in the night sky.
I was out of my cloak and armor, having left it and my bandolier of daggers back in Louise's room. She had fallen asleep a few moments earlier and I had opted to use the time given to me to familiarize myself with the academy grounds. Why? I'm a soldier/adventurer. What self-respecting adventurer doesn't make sure he knows that lay of the land in case a fight breaks out?
However, I didn't leave unarmed; I still had my bastard sword and a short sword. I was miffed at myself for forgetting my second bastard sword, as I prefer wielding the both of them, but the smaller sword that rested in its sheath would have to do.
Releasing a breath, I turned and stepped off the outer wall, falling to the ground below. Planting my feet on the wall, I used it to slow my descent as I quickly the ground. Landing in a crouch, I found that I was next to another person, who jumped in surprised at my sudden appearance. She dropped her wooden bowl and jumped away in shock, except she caught her foot on the flat surface and began to fall backwards. Seeing it happen, I allowed my reflexes and dexterity take care of it instantly. Catching the bowl at the bottom, I smirked as not a single drop of the water inside sloshed out. Throwing out my second hand, I caught the falling woman at her lower back, holding her still.
"I apologize for appearing out of nowhere." I smiled lightly, helping her to stand on her own. "It's kind of a bad habit I have."
The girl nodded to me, seemingly accepting my apology. "Oh, it's okay. You surprised me, is all. I wasn't expecting someone to drop from the sky…" She blushed lightly as I held the bucket to her. "Ah, thank you…" She took it, making sure to get a firm grasp.
I paused, then released a small breath. "Where are my manners? I haven't introduced myself yet." I took a step back and bowed lightly to her. "My name is Lyall, Miss. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." I stood slowly, giving the girl before me my most charming smile.
She flushed and quickly placed her bucket on the ground, curtsying in response. "I'm Siesta, sir. I had no idea I was in the presence of nobility."
I couldn't hold back my snort as I shook my head. "I assure you, I am the farthest thing from a noble here. You could say I'm the exact opposite."
Siesta cocked her head to the side, clearly confused. "Really, but from the way you speak…"
"Just something that was taught to me by a noble from my land. He was rather adamant that I learn to converse properly." I paused, rubbing my chin in thought. "I do slip up at times, but only under certain circumstances."
She gave me a contemplative look, and then I noticed her eyes moving to the hilt that stuck out over my right shoulder. "Mister Lyall, are you a warrior? That's a rather dangerous looking sword you have there."
"Just Lyall. I'm nowhere near old enough to be called 'Mister'." Then I looked to the sword on my back. "This old thing?" I shook my head, "It's no danger to you. I only use it under special circumstances…" Shaking my head, I let out a small laugh. "Enough of that, it's late. Do you mind if I walk with you? The night can be dangerous for a young woman, no matter the area."
Siesta's eyes widened as she quickly shook her head. "Oh, no. I couldn't ask you to do that! I mean, you must have other things to do, as a noble's familiar and all…" She leaned down to pick up her bucket, but I beat her to it.
Holding it out to her, I said, "You're not asking anything. I am." When she took it, I scratched the back of my head with small, apologetic smile. "Besides, I was planning on getting a feel of the academy, but I don't know where to start. I was hoping you could show me around a little bit."
Siesta brightened up, a small smile gracing her features. "Oh, of course."
After walking around with Siesta for a little bit, I found that she was quite the kind person. Though the more perverted side of me couldn't help but notice how…endowed she was. Keep it in your pants, Lyall. You have no idea how this world…plane…place, (whatever!) works… You can't go around seducing every female that catches your eye…
Wait…when the hell did Auren actually start influencing my common sense? When the hell did I get common sense?! Gah, whatever! I'll just wait for an idiot to challenge me to a fight and I can finally get some catharsis…
Of course, after that little mental tirade, I managed to notice someone that happened to remind me of my past. Coming to a stop at a doorway, I heard and saw one of the students from earlier flirting with a girl.
"Katie, I would love to try one of you soufflés." He had fluffed, curly blonde hair and wore a fluffy white shirt with a black cloak. In his hand, he gestured with a red rose.
"Really, Sir Guiche, you'll actually try it?" The girl was younger, clearly, and had long brown hair. She was cute, for a kid, but she was falling for a clearly rehearsed act.
"I cannot lie in front of your eyes."
When he said that, I knew instantly what the girl was thinking: she was thinking how lucky she was to have found a guy that wants to try her cooking. She's ecstatic that such an attractive guy is willing to give her the time of day.
Unlucky for her, I also knew what this 'Sir Guiche' was thinking: Oh, awesome, my line worked! I can't believe this girl is slow enough to actually believe me. Maybe I should try that one more often…
Unfortunately for the both of them, my self-control broke when I heard that cheesy, waste-of-a-breath line. Striding purposefully pass the two of them, I let myself laugh out loud as I shook my head. "I have to say, 'Sir Guiche', that is the most generic, if well-rehearsed, line I've heard anyone say."
"Oh?" He said, staying silent for a moment, the continued, "You're that commoner that Louise the Zero summoned?" He smirked, "Tell me, how much did she pay you to play the part of her Familiar?"
I paused, then simply chose to ignore the boy. "A word of warning, Miss Katie. That boy you're hung up on, he may not as monogamous as you think." I gave her small wink as I continued to head back to Louise's room.
"Watch what you say, commoner! Else, I'll have to show you your place!" Guiche called to me, no doubt trying to save face.
Like before, I let myself laugh; however, unlike before, it was lower and rumbled from deep within my chest. Looking over my shoulder, I simply narrowed my eyes. "Better men have tried…"
Resuming my trek, I made it to the front door of my new landlord. Releasing a breath, I saw that the lights were out and that Louise was in the bed, breathing softly. Stepping inside, I shut the door and ghosted my way towards the small haystack that was deemed as my bed. Giving it a small glare, then looking to the girl on the bed that looked rather heavenly, I scratched my head, causing my ears to become visible. The small point of my ears snaked their way out from under my hair. Looking out the window, I found that I wasn't anywhere near tired.
"Sometimes…I wish I wasn't half-elf. One of Auren's sleep spells would be very handy right now…."
I had gotten in bed after noticing my Familiar had disappeared. It was miraculous, really, how he had vanished without a sound. I also noticed that he had left some of his equipment on my table. Daggers. Lots of daggers. I sincerely hoped I hadn't summoned a psychopath…
After I had fallen asleep, though, was when the strangest thing of the day happened…
For some reason, I was outside. I felt the cool breeze of early fall brush my cheek as I examined my surroundings.
A ravine. I took a quick step back when I realized how close to the edge of a ravine I was. However, I when I looked forward, I noticed my Familiar standing on the other side, a rope held tight in his hands. His eyes were like they were before: focused, flinty, empty. He was focused on what was happening in the ravine, his body tensed and waiting.
Wondering what he was waiting for, I looked down to see what he was so focused on. There were three individuals, three men clad in full armor, though one seemed to shine with holy energy. Two were normal height, though the third was a stout man in spiked armor. I looked farther down the ravine to see three more individuals, but only one looked human; the other two were large, musclebound, one-eyed abominations.
When the two groups met, words were exchanged and they quickly broke out into a melee.
Quickly looking back to my Familiar, I noticed him race forward and leapt off the edge of the ravine. Swing to the side, he raced down the cliff-face and pushed off the rock. Flipping mid-air, I saw him pull out a small sword and land on one of the one-eyed beasts. He managed to stab it twice before the thing threw him off.
Lyall landed on his feet effortlessly and shot forward, rejoining the fray.
I stood and watched in awe as I watched my Familiar wade through his allies, covering their blind spots and striking the enemy with impunity. Even when he was hit by a stray swing of the large club, he got right back up and jumped into danger…
Maybe he wasn't lying when he said all of those things…
"I'm telling you, it's one of the Familiar's duties to dress a noble when they wake up!" Louise growled at me, though she wouldn't meet my eyes when I looked down to her. "As long as there are servants nearby, a noble should never have to dress themselves."
"And I'm telling you: I'm not your servant, familiar or not. I'm not your father and you're not a baby, so I won't dress you in the morning, afternoon or evening. Please drop it, because I'm not budging." I yawned lightly, feeling rather fatigued. I didn't get that much sleep last. I guess it's from all the excitement. "You're lucky I chose to wake you at all."
"But it's a Familiar's duty!" She screeched.
I felt myself smirk, "Be careful, Master, people are staring."
Louise's face instantly turned to a rather dark shade of red when she noticed our spectators.
We were approaching the dining hall for breakfast. That morning, I had the honor or realizing how much Louise was not a morning person. The simple fact that I was up by then was a miracle considering how little sleep I actually got. When she finally gained coherence after I awoke her, she demanded that I clothe her. Unbeknownst to her, I had pretty much ghosted out of her room, using my well-practice stealth to sneak out.
She had caught up to me as I waited outside of the dormitory. It was then that our argument had begun. As we entered the dining hall, I took in the extravagance of the building. A single thought came to mind as I looked it over: wasteful. So many possible resources used in here could be used to better help those in need. Then again, this is the nobility I'm talking about, and nothing can be spared for their comfort…
"Do you have to wear that unnecessary mask? It's drawing too much attention." Louise glared up to me, though when I met her eyes, she looked away.
I had opted to wear the same clothes as I had yesterday: my armor, cloak, bandolier and half mask. The half mash was currently pulled up and doing just as she told me: drawing strange looks from the other students in the school. I, a master of stealth and subversive tactics, was the focal point of literally everyone outside. Man, don't I feel stupid…more so than before…
"Ah… Sorry." I pulled the mask down, grimacing lightly. "Force of habit…"
Louise glared at me, but looked away when we stopped in front of a chair. Looking at it then at me, she crossed her arms and began tapping her feet.
In response, I felt myself grin in response. I looked from her to the chair, then back to her. "Yes?" She pointed to the chair, her face turning a shade darker. "Ah, this is what they call a chair, Master. Did you not have these before I arrived?" I could hear her grinding her teeth in frustration. Before she could do anything, I let a small a laugh escape me as I said, "Ah, you want to take a seat. Understood." I pulled out a chair and sat down.
"Familiar…" She ground out.
I turned towards her, giving her a small smirk. "Yes?"
"You're supposed to sit on the floor…" She looked rather comical at the moment, what with her face being beet red and her hair contrasting it.
"Hmm, I see your point…" I stood and gestured towards to the now open seat. "There, I warmed it up for you." Louise paused, then nodded to me, taking the offered seat. I pushed the chair in took a look at the plate on the floor next to her seat. Blinking once, then twice, I released a rueful sigh. Oh, well, I've eaten in worse conditions…
After I was given the food that seemed to be meant for Familiars, a measly loaf of stale bread, I picked it up and shrugged. I've had much worse. Lifting it to my mouth, I tore a piece of it off. Looking around, I noticed that the students were praying to their god, 'Brimee-something-or-other', before eating. Seeing as I no place in the dining hall, I quickly made my way outside, leaving everyone none the wiser.
Walking around outside, I chewed on the stale bread, which seemed to have the consistency of jerky. I turned and entered the overall courtyard, seeing all of the other familiars milling about. Finishing up my bread, I strolled over to the tree at the side and took a seat for a little shut eye. As I basked the shade, I couldn't help but hear the sound of slow footsteps approaching me. Cracking an eye open, I realized that it was the blue dragon I saw earlier.
"You'll have to try harder to sneak up on me." I said in Draconic with a smirk.
The dragon froze mid-step, its eyes widening lightly at the language I spoke. After a moment, I noticed that it seemed to have lost a balance and quickly planted its foot back on the ground. "You surprised me, kyuu! I didn't know humans could speak Dragon, Kyuu-kyuu! Not even Big Sister can!" She, I'm assuming from the feminine sounding voice, froze and dropped off her front claws, comically covering her face like a dog. "Oh noes! Irukuru is going to be in trouble!"
I arched an eyebrow, feeling a little entertained at the dragon's, Irukuru I'm guessing, actions. 'Oh noes'? 'Kyuu'? What kind of a dragon am I dealing with here? She acts more like a child than anything else… Cocking my head to the side, I continued speaking in her tongue, though it was a whisper, "Why would you get in trouble?"
She lifted her claws from her face and said, "Irukuru isn't supposed to speak with other people, because Big Sister said she could get in trouble, Kyuu-kyuu." Irukuru covered her face again.
"Well, I'm sorry making you break your promise, Irukuru. But your Big Sister couldn't have known that someone would know your language." I paused, and nodded, "How about we keep it between us? I won't tell anyone you spoke to me, so you won't have to lie to your Big Sister. It'll be a secret." I couldn't help it, I couldn't resist the urge to do it. I was dealing with a child, and I've been told I'm still a child at heart, so I had to add some playful ominous overtones to my last statement.
It seemed to work like a charm because Irukuru gave me a wide-eyed look…or what I assumed to be a wide-eyed look, (I'm not exactly a professional in dragon physiology) and whispered just as ominously. "A secret, kyuu?"
I couldn't help but play it up even more. "A super-secret…"
A part of me both regretted that action and didn't, considering the dragon's next action. She managed to scoop me into a bear(dragon?)hug and squeeze me in a slightly tight embrace. I could've escaped, I really could, without any trouble, but I had a feeling it would break her heart.
"Kyuu! It's a secret, kyuu!" She put me down and moved her head so that we were eye-level. "To held Irukuru hide, Big sister gave her the name Sylphid. Nobody can know Irukuru's real name, kyuu!"
I grinned, "It's a plan, then Sylphid. Call me Lyall. I look forward to being your friend."
At that, Sylphid scooped me into another backbreaking, bear(dragon? Seriously, what the hell do I call it?!)hug. "Yay! Irukuru made another friend, kyuu!"
Yep, I now could not, in good conscience, escape her clutches. Sometimes…it's tiring being the nice guy…
"No classes today, huh?" I asked Louise as the two of us walked amongst the courtyard and her classmates.
When she had left the dining, seemingly miffed by my disappearance, Louise had decided to walk amongst the other Familiars and search for me. However, she had clue that I wasn't even trying to hide in plain site. She had walked passed me three times before I decided to make my presence known. Needless to say, my Master was notably angry with me.
"No, we've been given today free so we can bond with and get to know our Familiars." She replied in an even tone.
I felt myself grin, "Aw, you want to bond with me, Louise? I know I'm lovable and all, but it hasn't even been a day."
Louise gritted her teeth. She opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off by a pair of people approaching the both of us.
They were a pair of opposites. Where one taller, the other was shorter. The taller girl had a darker complexion, with long, blazing red hair, while her shorter companion had lighter skin with short, blue hair. The red haired one stood with her…endowments…thrust out. The blue haired one simply stood there with her head in a book.
"Well, well, well, Zero. I see you're chatting I up with your commoner. Has he asked for more money yet?"
Louise opened her mouth to respond, but I cut her off. "You know, that's the second time I've been asked that question. Do you really pay commoners to do stuff for you? Cause if you do, I'd like to know when I'm going to get paid. I left all of my money in my tent… In another world… Amongst my greedy comrades…" I palmed my face. There's no way I'm getting them back…
The red head gasped, "So it is true!"
"No, it is not." I sounded regretful. "I was summoned here…against my will…in the middle of war…" I paused, thinking for a moment. "Maybe not completely against my will…"
"Kirche… Familiar… Please shut up, the both of you." I heard Louise ground out through clenched teeth. She sucked in a breath, no doubt trying to calm herself down. After a few seconds of silence, she continued, "I did not drag him off the street Kirche. I summoned a Familiar just like the rest of you."
"Though not a very strong-looking one." The newly named Kirche gave me a critical eye.
"Hey! I take offense to that!" I griped at her. "I'll have you know the last person who said that to me was hospitalized for weeks!"
Kirche rolled her eyes, or rather eye, since the other was covered by her bangs, flipping her hair to the side. "Probably from laughter."
Okay, I have to agree, I set myself up for that, but I refuse to let this injustice continue.
Releasing a tired breath, I growled, "One man can only take so many insults, before he's had enough. I'm done." I said with finality as I turned away from the group.
"Familiar, while you're away, get me a cup of tea." Louise didn't so much as ask, but flat out order me.
I paused, blinked once, then looked over to her. "First, I have a name; use it. Second…no." I said and began walking away from them. I released a tired breath as I meandered aimlessly amongst the group of students and familiars, trying to put a name to the various species I saw waddling about. It was rather strange to see all these strange creatures and not have them try to kill me or me them. It was both a relaxing experience as well as a confusing one, since my first reaction is normally to grab my sword and flank the bastard for maximum damage.
Of course, during my mental ramblings, I felt someone bump into my chest and managed to catch sight of something falling from the corner of my eye. Reaching down, I managed to catch the plate, but the pie slid off of it and crashed down onto the ground. Releasing a sigh, I looked at the person who had run into me. Smiling lightly, I said, "Well, hello there, nice to see you again, Siesta."
The maid blushed at our contact and took a step back. "Oh, hello Mis-, Lyall. How was your sleep last night?"
I grimaced, "Horrible, I couldn't get any sleep."
"Oh, are you okay? You're not sick, are you?" She asked me, worry present in her voice.
Smiling thankfully for her worry, I shook my head. "No, I'm not sick. I was just a bit a restless, understandably. Though my worries were alleviated after our short tour of the academy, so you have my thanks, Siesta." I bowed my head to her, garnering another full-face flush.
"O-oh, it's nothing Lyall." She then crouched down and picked up the pie that crash landed. Placing the pie on the plate I was still holding, she tried to take it.
"Do you mind if I help you out? I'd love to have the chance to pay back your kindness."
Siesta shook her head, though I could tell it wasn't whole-heartedly. "Oh, no, you don't have to do that."
"Nonsense. I make it a point to help. You're stuck with me." I motioned for her to lead the way, and from the thankful smile I saw her give, I knew my services were welcome. Though I really was willing to help, when I saw that we were walking towards Guiche and another one of his lady friend, I instantly felt like it was the right thing to do.
When I placed the plate on the table, he said, "It's about time. What to-" He looked up to see me smirking down at him. "I see; it's you. Is Zero so tired of you already that she'd let you go off on your own?"
"Nope. I'm tired of her domineering attitude, so I decided to leave her to cool off." Looking at him, I looked at his companion. It was a different girl from last night. This one was a blonde who had a frog sitting on the table in front of her. Looking to Guiche, I simply snorted, "What? Are you already tired of the girl from last night? Was her soufflé not good enough for you?"
The girl who sat across from him glared darkly, "Is this true, Guiche?"
He scoffed, though I could tell he was sweating crossbow bolts. "Of course, my dear Montmorency. You are the only girl for me."
Montmorency blushed heavily, flattery doing everything to lessen her anger towards the fop.
I rolled my eyes and looked to Siesta. Pointing to Guiche, I mouthed, Is he for real?
Siesta giggle lightly at my antics and I turned back to the inevitable mayhem I was going to cause.
He grinned, the act coming as naturally to him as the acidity of gelatinous blob. "Of course, My dear Montmorency. I canno-"
"Wait! Wait! I think I know this one!" I shocked the both of them with my interruption. "It's on the tip of my tongue; I think I can remember it…Ah! Is what you were going to say: 'I cannot lie in front of your eyes'?" When that garnered a dropped jaw from Guiche, I noticed Montmorency gave him another dark, violence-promising glare. I nodded sagely, "You have skill, young one, but you lack novelty. Everything you have in that empty head of yours, I have heard, used, and threw away in the past."
"Sir Guiche? Where are you?" I perked up at the sound of that voice.
"Oh, what do we have here?" I lifted a hand and waved at her, " 'Ello, Miss Katie, the 'Guiche' is sitting over here." Waving her over, I said, "Here he is, Miss. Though, he seems to have company…"
"Guiche…who is this girl?" Montmorency growled at Guiche.
"Sir Guiche, what is going on?" Katie looked to him with sad eyes.
I pulled Siesta to the side and out of the way and began my whispered commentating. "What you see is what I like to call the 'womanizer' in his natural habitat." I spoke with an accent whose name escaped me. "Watch as he tries frantically to calm the two distraught nobles. Observe the frantic look on his face as his former marks have turned on him." Siesta covered her mouth as she began to try and stifle the giggles that began to surface. "Oh-oh-oh, it's happening! The blonde noble has finally decided to retaliate, a deserving action long in the making. Watch as she rears back her hand and throw it forward!" At that, Montmorency let out an enraged screech as she slapped him across the face, leaving a rather comically, red handprint. "Now watch as the scorned noble stomps, vowing never to speak to the womanizer ever again. However, if you've seen enough these interactions, then you know that she'll probably be talking with him by tomorrow."
"Oh, Sir Guiche, how could you!" Katie then turned and took off running away from the group.
"Look as the womanizer stands there in shock and awe at what just occurred." I released a sudden, shocked breath. "What is this?! He's targeting someone to vent his anger on; could it be he's going to blame someone else for his own actions?!"
I stood and pointed at myself, then began to speak slowly. "Yes, me. Commoner." Then I pointed at him, "You. Noble." I clapped lightly and leaned towards Siesta, whispering, "It's a miracle! The infamous womanizer actually said something not pertaining to his marks. I would say that this needs to be documented for future study." Siesta finally laughed out loud, though she quickly covered her mouth and flushed in embarrassment.
Guiche gritted his teeth as he glared heatedly at me. "I see that I will be the one that will have to teach you your place, commoner. I will teach you to not make a woman cry."
I arched an eyebrow at that. "Really? I made them cry? Do I have a slap mark, dear sir? No, I do not. If my memory serves me correctly, then the person who made Miss Katie and Miss Montmorency was you. I simply pointed out that you are a two-timing, cheating waste of space." My words were immediately followed by a deafening silence. Even Siesta, who was busy trying to hold back laughter, fell silent at my declaration.
"What did you say, you lowborn garbage?" Guiche glared darkly.
I felt my grin turn feral, causing some of the other nobles watching flinch away from me. "What did I say? I said that you are a two-timing, cheating, self-entitled waste…of…space."
Guiche clenched his fist, but he remained silent. "It…seems I may have to force you to acknowledge your place in life, commoner. We'll have a duel."
I nearly jumped for joy. Finally! Catharsis awaits! "When and where?"
"The Vestri courts in five minutes. Come prepared to taste defeat, for I will not hold back." He turned and began to walk away.
I simply smirked, "I wish I could say the same, but…" I turned and saw that Siesta was looking at me in horror, then to Guiche back to me. "What?"
"You can't fight a noble! He'll kill you!"
I released a breath and was about to explain myself, but I was interrupted by my oh-so 'adorable' Master.
"Familiar! What are you doing!?"
I turned to see Louise glaring at me, "Ah, hello again Master. I'm just enjoying my time here. Your classmates are entertaining!"
"What did you do to Guiche?" She asked me, incredulous.
"Did you see the part where the girls were confronting him?" When she nodded, I smiled and pointed at myself. "That was me." I sounded just a little sheepish.
Louise gritted her teeth, pinching the bridge of her nose.
"You know, you remind me of a friend of mine. Auren used to do the exact same thing when I did something stupid."
Louise glared at me, "Like now?!"
I shook my head, "No…not really. I've done dumber…" I shrugged flippantly, "Anyway…" I pointed to a rather portly fellow with an owl perched on his shoulder. "You!" The student gestured to himself. "Yes, you with the owl. Where are the Vestri courts?"
"Oh, that way." He said pleasantly.
"Thank you. In payment, you get a front row seat to the ass-kicking that awaits!"
"Oh, thanks!" He said with good-natured smile.
"Malicorne!" Louise growled at the student who told me the location.
"Don't worry." I tried to placate her. "You'll get a front row seat as well. As will Siesta." As I began to walk forward, Louise over took me, taking hold of my hand. "Ah, eager to see your Familiar in all his glory I see."
"No, I'm eager to get you out of this troublesome situation. You're going to apologize to Guiche; hopefully, if you grovel, he'll forgive you." She continued to pull me.
That is, until I stopped dead in my tracks. She jerked lightly as she no longer had control over me. "Louise… I think you need to see me fight someone. At least, that way, you'll give me the respects that's due."
I stood across from Guiche in the middle of students who decided to watch someone become a punching bag. I think they have the positions opposite what they really are, though.
Louise stood between the two of us, in front of Guiche. "Please, don't do this! Whatever my stupid Familiar said, he takes back!"
"Actually, no I don't! I meant every word!" I called out, making sure Guiche would hear. Of course, my statement seemed to be funny to the group around us, as they seemed to laugh in chorus with each other.
"Shut up, Familiar!" Louise yelled over her shoulder. "Please Guiche, don't hurt my Familiar!"
Guiche sneered at her. "What? Have you fallen for your Familiar wiles? Do you not wish to see your new lover be hurt?"
Louise flushed in anger, "No! He's not my lover! There's no way I would ever be with a commoner, especially not one as uncouth as he is!" For some reason, I felt…wounded at that declaration… "Whatever, just don't kill him." Louise turned away from him and stomped away.
"Hey, Louise." I called out to her.
"Does that count for me too…" I asked her, a dark smirking appearing on my face.
"What are you talking about?" She turned and glared at me, but it faltered.
"Do you want me to not kill him?"
Guiche snorted, "As if a lowborn such as you could?"
I sucked in a breath and undid the clasp on my sheath, stabbing the sword, sheath and all, into the ground. "I won't even need a sword to defeat you…" I growled as I allowed my mind to go blank.
Stupid Familiar. Not only did he get himself into a duel with a noble, but he made him angry enough to ignore an apology. What could he, a commoner, do against Guiche, a noble? This fight was one that had a foregone conclusion…
Yet…why do I believe it's the one no one else would think of? When I saw that look on his face when Guiche proposed the duel, I was reminded of my dream. It showed him effortlessly fighting amongst people several times larger than he was. It reminded me of the look he had in his eyes yesterday, that empty gaze.
I am a hunter, a warrior and I killer.
Those words continued to ring in my head as I watched him remove the sword from his back and stabbed it into the ground.
"I won't even need a sword to defeat you…"
Those words scared me. I can't explain how or why, but the tone of his voice shook me to my very core. There was something about my Familiar that demanded I fear him, that I shouldn't push him. Earlier today, that feeling was there, but I was able to ignore, to simply watch as smiled patiently at me, taking everything I said to him stride. The feeling was the strongest when he was first summoned, an oppressive feeling of fear as he looked into my eyes; when his empty, emotionless eyes stared into mine.
"Oh, that is quite arrogant of you. Then humor me, Familiar, what will you use to 'defeat' me?" Guiche mocked him, lifting his rose wand.
My Familiar simply smiled; there was no emotion behind that action. He removed his cloak and placed it on the sheathed weapon embedded on the ground, revealing the strap around his body, from shoulder to hip, filled with daggers. "One of these will do." He then reached behind his back and undid the strap, allowing it to fall back. Placing it over top the cloak, he drew a single dagger and stood there. Clad in nothing but his chain shirt, which gleamed in the sunlight, he simply stood there, twirling the dagger in his hand. "You first…" He whispered, the tone sending shivers of anticipation and dread down my spine.
Guiche glowered at him. "I'll crush you for such disrespect. However, since you are below me, I'll allow my Valkyries fight you in my stead." He waved his rose, causing a single rose petal to fall to the ground. In an instant, a bronze Valkyrie stood in front of Guiche, wielding a sword and a shield. "What say you commoner?"
My Familiar simply frowned, "This fight isn't fair…"
Guiche simply smirked, "You finally realize that, Familiar? How do you figure?"
His mouth quirked into a condescending smirk, one that wouldn't look out of place on one of my classmates as he replied. "I mean, it's unfair for you. How 'bout you summon five more of those pieces of trash, and then, it might be even things out."
I felt my eyes widen even more. After pushing Guiche so far, he still decides to goad him even more? What arroga-
"You truly are arrogant, Familiar. Fine. I'll entertain your request, but do not cry when they beat you into the ground." He waved his rose again, causing not five, but seven more petals to fall to the ground. In response, seven more Valkyries rose from the earth, each armed a different weapon.
I watched as my Familiar simply stood there, his arms lazily hanging at his sides. He then whispered something I could barely catch, "Okay, but don't cry when I break them." That's when he disappeared.
My eyes widened even more when I actually saw my Familiar vanish from right in front of my eyes. Looking to Guiche, I saw that one of his Valkyries was instantly destroyed as if it exploded.
There he was, standing behind the stop where the Valkyrie once stood; the dagger effortlessly breaking through the bronze. He then spun around, twisting his body in such a way that allowed his crash the back of his armored greave into a second Valkyrie's side. The construct was violently thrown to the side and impacted into a tree, exploding into bronze chunks. Her Familiar continued the spin until both his feet were planted back onto the ground.
Everyone was dead silent. In an instant, the commoner that had insulted Guiche and accepted that everyone thought would end up dead had effortlessly dispatched not just one, but two Valkyries.
Even Guiche was struck still, unable to move due to the shock. He was, however, pulled from his stupor, when the Familiar simply let out a small laugh. "That can't be all you have…"
Guiche snarled and pointed forward, "Get him!"
The Valkyrie's descended on my Familiar from all sides. Before could be considered a fluke; he surprised Guiche, so that explained how he destroyed them, but now…now there was no way for him to win…
Or at least that's I thought at first…
My Familiar simply moved in tandem with the attacks. Evading each and every attack as it came, he weaved effortlessly out of harms way, nothing coming close enough to even graze his armor. The strangest things wasn't the fact that he was able to dodge everyone of the attacks, or even make it look easy; it was the fact that he actually looked at home. Her Familiar actually looked more comfortable in the middle of a life or death battle than he did standing in her room!
It was ridiculous to even consider such a possibility! Surely no one in their right mind would feel more comfortable in a life or death battle than they would amongst other, civilized people.
Yet, my Familiar gave no indication that he was in his right mind.
Yet… He did…
I froze in anticipation when I noticed my Familiar lightly touch and push one of the Valkyrie's spears. The path of the spear was adjusted ever so slightly, yet it made all the difference when it impaled one of the other Valkyries. He turned again, then lightly pushed the flat of the blade swung by another Valkyrie, causing it to carve into the spear-wielding Valkyrie. He ducked, throwing a leg out to cause a halberd-wielding Valkyrie to fall and impale the sword-wielding Valkyrie.
Miraculously, against all concepts of logic, my Familiar slipped through the mass of Valkyrie and stand back in his original spot, casually brushing his shoulder. As if on cue, the three Valkyrie's he had indirectly damaged simply fell apart.
If looks could kill, then Guiche would won this duel the moment my Familiar destroyed the first two of the Valkyries. "You-you-you-"
"Commoner? Is that what you were going to call me?" My Familiar snorted, casually flipping the lone dagger in his hand. "Go ahead, keep calling me that. You're not the first, and I know you won't be the last. I've been a commoner my entire life and that fact hasn't changed. However, unlike you,everything I have, inside and out, I earned through hard work and perseverance." He threw the dagger forward and it slammed into a Valkyrie's chest, nearly tearing all the way through it. In an instant, it flew out of the golem and back into his hand. The golem crumbled into dust. "You did nothing to earn what makes you who you are. Yet, you believe yourself to be better than the people who weren't lucky enough to be born with your 'blessing'." He threw the dagger again, which destroyed the final golem, returning to its master and wielder, her Familiar. In response, Guiche fell back onto the ground, staring at the man before him in fear. "Call me a commoner. Call me lowborn. Call me whatever you want, but you should remember this: not every 'commoner' you come across is as weak as you believe. You just may meet someone who can put you into your place." He pulled back his arm, preparing for the final throw to finish it.
Until I called out to him.
"Fam-. Lyall! Stop this now!"
I had never felt as exhilarated as I have now. When I grasped that dagger, it felt as though someone hit me with a spell that was a combination of Bless, True Strike, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace and Haste all rolled up into one epically broken spell. My body moved as quickly as thought and sometimes even faster.
It was liberating, being able to move as well as did. Whatever was happening to me, I hoped it was permanent, lacked negative side effects and never had to be recast.
Needless to say, I utterly destroyed Guiche's Valkyries. Seriously, Evanger gave me a better fight when I managed to convince him to fight me with one arm tied behind his back. That he actually agreed when asked him was Divine Intervention of the highest accord.
Though, I kinda wish I didn't fall into the monologue. I mean, I wanted to scare the kid, but I guess I did lose my temper when he continued to insult me. I'm supposed to be the adult, too… Though…when do I actually act my age? Then again, when I fight, I do tend to rid myself of all emotion, kind of like a coping mechanism of sorts…
When I pulled back for the final throw, I heard Louise's voice. Looking over my shoulder at her, I said, "Are you sure?"
She looked frightened, scared enough for her to shake lightly…though she hid it well. My Master really does have expressive eyes… "Stop fighting now, Lyall… I think you proved your point well enough."
I was still for a moment, then nodded. I was used to following orders anyhow. Letting my arms to fall to their sides, I allowed myself to fully relax. Closing my eyes, I released a breath and allowed my mind to reopen to the outside world. Opening my eyes, I turned to Louise with a wide grin. "So, what'd you think?!"
She froze at my sudden change in attitude, but quickly released a tired breath. Shaking her head at me, she said, "Just shut up and come with me. I'm too exhausted to even react appropriately right now."
I simply stood there, my smile in place. I looked around to everyone in the crowd. The blue-haired girl, who I recognized as Sylphid's Master, was no longer engrossed in her book, but giving me what I assumed to be a tired look. The girl next to her was, once again, an exercise in the opposite. She was flushed heavily and giving me the 'come hither' look; if a woman from my world gave me that look, I'd jump on the chance, literally, but from her, it was unnerving, almost frighteningly so. I then looked to Siesta, who was giving me a shocked look with which was accompanied by nearly saucer-sized wide eyes.
Everyone else, well…let's just say that the looks ran the gamut from shock, to fear, to some just passing out. I was sure that if I yelled out 'boo', they would probably soil themselves from the shock.
As a psychotic dwarf I once knew would say, 'Hello, Highlord Heavypants.'
I cleared my throat, causing them all to jump in shock. "Before I leave, I have one decree to give. As I have shown all of you that I am not some commoner you can walk all over, I can confidently do this." I cleared my throat again, adjusting the collar of my chain shirt. "I, Lyall Greycloak, newly appointed alpha male, any challengers are welcome, I hereby give my first decree, more may come if I feel like it." Lifting my dagger above my head, I said loud enough for all to hear. "There shall be no womanizing of any sort!" I turned and the dagger as hard as I could with my newly enhanced strength towards the prone Guiche.
He yelped as the dagger tore into the ground only a few scant inches below his crotch.
"Especially from you, sir." I grinned evilly towards him.
He gasped in fear and jumped in shock when the dagger ripped from the ground and landed back into my open hand(gotta love the Returning enchantment)!
"W-w-what are you!?" He asked me, already hyperventilating from fear.
I simply grinned and casually the dagger into the air, letting it back onto my open hand. "I'm a mage hunter."
A/N #2: Because I'm sure you'll ask, I'll tell you here. Lyall is 18th level: 10 levels of Rogue, 3 levels of Ranger, and 5 levels of Occult Slayer. Also, seeing as most high level D&D characters are unnaturally prepared when it comes to noncombat/combat equipment, I purposefully had it so he wouldn't have his bag of holding, his numerous Alchemist fires, thundersticks, an overabundance of rope, everything else he's stashed away in that freakin' bag and his bow.
Also, I'd like to give my gaming partner, King Under the Mountain, a shout out. Auren and Evanger are his characters and he's graciously given me permission to them in my fic, and I've given the same to him for Lyall.