A Vice-Captain's Tale
Disclaimer: I do not own the Legend of Sun Knight and make no profit from writing this.
Extra: The Captain is Always Perfect
"Oh no! Is that what I think it is?"
A group of holy knights stared as their captain carried a towering stack of papers past them. While they really didn't want to be stuck correcting paperwork all night, what kind of subordinates would they be if they let their captain, their super strong and amazing captain who trusted them with his real appearance, slave through the night over paperwork all by himself?
However, that didn't mean that they were enthusiastic about how their night was about to end up, so no one stepped forward right away, all waiting for someone else to do it first. Perhaps, if that "someone else" offered first, they could escape the same fate. After all, towering or not, it was just one stack of papers. Surely, that meant that one or two helpers would be enough, and the rest of them could continue on their merry way.
Yes, someone else spoke up!
"Please let us assist you."
No, why did that person have to be Tyler? He always volunteered every single one of them! And they couldn't say no because he was their vice-captain slash pseudo captain. It was pretty much like having two captains with both Tyler and their captain around.
"It's fine. I don't need to sleep," their captain said.
Wait, maybe they could still escape the fate of correcting paperwork through the night? Though, guilt was already taking tiny stabs at their hearts...
"Nonsen—! Uh, I mean, everyone needs to sleep," Tyler quickly corrected. "We're your subordinates, so it is our duty to help. It will be a lot faster with more people. This way, we will finish much earlier, and everyone gets to sleep."
Their captain paused for a long while, keeping them all on tenterhooks, before he said, "Is that so? All right, thanks."
Thus, their unfortunate fates were sealed.
As they walked into the room, they were still hopeful that this detour wouldn't take too long, since they did have a lot of people and only one stack of paperwork to go through. However, the sight that greeted them inside the room dashed all of their hopes.
Their captain walked over to a nearly completely covered table and dropped off the towering stack of papers he had been carrying, placing it next to another huge stack of papers, that was by yet another gigantic stack of papers, that was flanked by another two humongous stacks of papers...
"Have I walked into hell?" someone wailed.
"Where did all these papers come from?" Tyler asked, voice faint. "I know I finished going over our paperwork. Have they not passed inspection?"
"They did," their captain answered. "These are from Storm."
Oh. Oh no. Giving a hand to Knight-Captain Storm with paperwork was a slippery slope that led to only one destination—paperwork hell. There was no going back after the first offer to help.
They got to work with tears in their eyes, understanding that this was definitely not a one time deal.
"Tyler, you're right, this is going much faster with more people," their captain said as he circled a word on yet another document. "Your advice on how to respond to different matters is also excellent. I have much to learn."
"You praise me too much, Captain!" Tyler said. "You'll get the hang of it soon, too. See, this situation calls for..."
The rest of the platoon stared at their captain and vice-captain with envy, wishing they were the ones getting praised. If they worked faster, perhaps their captain would notice and praise them too? If not that, they'd settle for getting praised by Tyler...
"You made a mistake there," Tyler turned and pointed at one of the papers they held, immediately dashing their hopes of getting praised.
So much for working quickly.
Scritch scratch. Scritch scratch.
"Ahhhh, I can't take it anymore!" Faterlin shouted and threw his hands up. "My hand is aching, and my eyes are swimming! Who even cares about blueberries? Why are there ten pages of paperwork about blueberries?"
Tyler's pen stopped its scritch scratch over the paper. He looked up at Faterlin, trying to indicate to him with a stern expression to get back to work already. Too bad that expression of his had never worked on Faterlin before.
"We made good progress. This is enough for tonight," their captain said.
"Thank the God of Light!" Faterlin cheered. The rest of the platoon cheered as well and immediately began talking about which tavern they should visit. A drink would be well appreciated after this exhausting night. Paperwork was not a foe one could underestimate.
"But Captain, there are still a lot of documents left," Tyler said and gestured at the stacks of uncorrected paperwork that were still around them.
"It's fine. I can do the rest myself," their captain said.
Everyone froze and turned toward their captain.
"Captain, aren't you coming with us?"
"Captain, you should come with us!"
Their captain blinked in confusion, as if the thought hadn't crossed his mind at all.
Tyler removed the document that was in their captain's hand, placed it down, and said, "Captain, one's efficiency with work goes down greatly when one is tired. Taking a break is beneficial. You should come join us. You are one of us, after all."
"Is that so?"
"All right, then."
It was a little scary how easily Tyler could convince their captain about something, when their captain was usually so steadfast about everything else. Tyler's ability had gone through the roof ever since he started carrying around a piece of parchment with him. He would pull the parchment out every now and then, and bam, their captain was saying "all right." He'd gotten so good at it that he didn't even need to pull out the parchment anymore to get their captain to agree.
As they headed out, Tyler said, "Wait."
Could they not? That one word was making them shiver. If only Tyler wasn't Tyler, their vice-captain slash pseudo captain! Then, they wouldn't have to listen to him!
At the tavern, Roland sat down, surprised that he was the first to arrive. He pulled a strand of his hair forward, checking that it was indeed black. It would not do for this part of his disguise to fail, considering that he—
"No way, is that Captain?" someone gasped. "He's wearing normal clothes. Why is he wearing normal clothes? Where's his mask? Are my eyes deceiving me? Maybe I'm remembering his face wrong? But no one could forget a face like that!"
—wasn't wearing his mask.
Roland looked up and did a double take.
"Um, Captain, you're not wearing a leotard."
"I'm not," Roland agreed.
But the rest of his platoon were.
Roland couldn't figure out why.
Much awkward staring ensued.
As one, the Hell Knight Platoon turned toward their vice-captain and shouted, "Tyler! This wasn't how it was supposed to go! Now what?"
"...Now we... drink?" was all Tyler could say as he stood there awkwardly. Behind them, several barmaids were enjoying the sight.
They rolled their eyes at Tyler while Roland was still puzzling over their choice of attire. Perhaps... they always dressed this way to go out drinking, as a disguise to make it less obvious that the Hell Knight Platoon was at the tavern en masse? Maybe he should have worn his usual disguise after all. He had thought he'd be able to blend in.
Roland felt his face warming up, and it was getting difficult to focus on what his platoon members were saying. Faterlin was gesturing wildly and going on and on about... blueberries...? If that was the case, then Roland had no problems joining the conversation.
"What was that, Captain?"
Roland turned toward the voice. It sounded like Tyler. Roland frowned at him. Did Tyler not understand what he'd just said? Grisia wanted blueberries... Twelve of them...
Roland blinked, his hand suddenly empty. The drink he had been holding was gone.
"I think you've had enough to drink for tonight, Captain."
Roland shook his head and blinked hard. Tyler was holding something that looked suspiciously like his drink. "Why're you holding my d-drink?"
Tyler responded with, "Captain, will you allow Tyler to have this drink? I could really use a drink right now. Meanwhile, you can lay your head down to rest. It'll make you feel better."
Tyler always had great advice, so while Roland's thoughts were sluggish, he said, "All right, then."
He lay his head down and closed his eyes, the table soothing under his cheek.
"I can't believe you tried to get Captain drunk!" Tyler said as he tossed back the drink he had just taken from their captain.
Faterlin held his hands up. "Hey hey, that wasn't me trying to get him drunk. He really didn't drink much, you know."
"Hm." In an instant, a piece of parchment appeared in Tyler's hands, and he scribbled away at it, much to the alarm of the rest of the platoon. They were even more alarmed when the edge of his lips started twitching upwards.
"Um, Tyler...?" someone ventured to say.
"Hahaha! There actually is something I can do for my captain!" Tyler shouted and jumped up.
"Weren't we all already doing paperwork for him?" Faterlin asked.
Tyler blinked and sat down. "Oh, you're right. Huh, there are more things that I can do for him than I originally thought."
Tyler smiled at that.
Shared Rule of the Twelve Vice-Captains: The Captain is Always Perfect (With Help)
Vice-Captain Storm: Confident but worries that people might think his captain is not a big flirt, so he periodically sends his girlfriend to yell at his captain. He makes sure others from the Storm Knight Platoon do it too.
Vice-Captain Cloud: Shy and nervous. He always has a difficult time finding his captain and can often be heard calling his captain's name fretfully. Likes to clean.
Vice-Captain Blaze: Boisterous and hard-working. He used to be quiet but has learned to project after being assigned to the Blaze Knight Platoon. He can sleep through having his door kicked.
Vice-Captain Moon: Whiny. Bad with a sword. He is meticulous about appearances which is what made him decide to join the Moon Knight Platoon. He views the Moon Knight as the epitome of elegance even above the Sun Knight.
Vice-Captain Ice: Stoic but finds the Ice Knight utterly adorable. Even if he has a stomachache, he will still finish off anything his captain makes.
Vice-Captain Leaf: Nature-loving. He greatly enjoys being outdoors. When his captain is unable to say no, he does it for him. He is skilled at haggling.
Vice-Captain Metal: Brotherly. He is good at taking care of other people and is always trying to help his captain come up with new insults. He secretly thinks of his captain as a little brother.
Vice-Captain Stone: Lacks confidence. Is prone to rambling and thinking out loud. Good at processing information at a quick speed. He helps his captain on diplomatic trips and does well as long as he keeps his mouth shut.
Vice-Captain Earth: Honest. Easy to trick. He often falls for his captain's deceit, gullible to the point of having his captain regret appointing him as the vice-captain. His captain fears he will be taken advantage of by the sun knights.
Vidar: Baby-faced. Although he can't mask his emotions very well, he is a capable swordsman. He admires how hard-working his captain is, but sometimes, he can't help but wish his captain would rely on him more.
Adair: Sly but well-liked. He is one of the Holy Temple's top swordsmen and interpreter of the Sun Knight's speech. He used to be idealistic but a cliff incident brought forth an epiphany that changed his world view. Now, he enjoys thinking outside the box.
Tyler: Proud. He cares greatly about his position and his duties. Recognizes strength. New to the vice-captain business so the other vice-captains decide to give him a helping hand. Whenever he goes drinking with his captain, he will drink all alcohol placed before his captain to the last drop.
A/N: It took forever, but this fic is now complete. \o/ Truthfully, this entire story was supposed to be a oneshot titled "The Woes of a Vice-Captain," and I had planned to write it in 2nd person. Somehow, that fic never got off the ground, and I instead wrote this story. This was meant to be a quick fic, considering the original inspiration was just a oneshot, but alas, I am not friends with timely updates. Some of the chapters also got a bit out of hand. My favorites are actually the shorter ones because the chapters got to the point a lot sooner and didn't need to go on long, rambling journeys to accomplish the same thing.
I hadn't expected to write an entire story focused on Tyler, but it was fun being in his head, considering that he's out of the loop with a lot of things. I wrote him to be a bit oblivious, yet at the same time, he's pretty sharp with other matters. Once we get to see him from his platoon's POV, especially after all the visits from the other vice-captains, you can see that he can be quite the vice-captain too.
I loved exploring all the different vice-captains and showing how they interacted with their captains. I tried to give each captain a cameo at one point during their vice-captain's chapter. I'm actually surprised that Grisia never showed up in Adair's chapter, but since that chapter was "Think Outside the Box," I wanted several things to break the patterns from earlier chapters, like the chapter title being four words instead of three, and Adair's captain never showing up. XD
The format of the story is modeled after the LSK books, with prologues and extras being in 3rd person and the main story in 1st person. It was an interesting exercise! Since I decided to follow the format of the LSK books, I included some character introductions too. ;)
And thus, we welcome the end of Tyler's journey. Thanks for reading! :D