Chapter 2: The Obligatory Pretty Boy Smackdown
"Earth?" Louise asks, sitting on her bed and looking at Roy, who was sitting at the small table set up in the middle of her room, the brown haired teen nodding in response to the pinkette's question.
"Yup, basically, you summoned me from a world that's completely different from this one. No magic, at least not as far as the populace knows, exists, so we've come up with other ways to get through life." He tells her, tapping away at the screen on his phone as he looks through it, plans already circulating through his head for how he can use it in this new world.
"...I don't believe you. Do you have any proof?" Louise asks, making Roy raise his head and give her a deadpan look as he lifts his hand to show her his phone once again. In response, Louise simply gives a huff, crosses her arms, and turns her head to the side. "As far as I'm concerned, that's just some peasant contraption, and you're lying to me." She tells him, getting a sigh from Roy.
"Fine, more proof it is." He says, lowering his hand and tapping away at his phone again, before raising it again and making it so that the back is facing the pinkette, making Louise turn to look at him in confusion. That confusion leaves her face a few seconds later as she's forced to rub her eyes in surprise at the white flash that suddenly blinded her.
"Familiar! What did you just do to me?!" She exclaims after clearing her eyesight, a glare directed at the brown haired boy in front of her. In response, Roy turned the phone around so that Louise could see the screen, and the picture he'd taken of her. "Wha- How did you make a portrait of me that fast?!" She asks in shock, making Roy roll his eyes in response.
"In the world I come from, this is called a "photograph", though most people shorten it to "photo". Basically, I tap a specific area on my phone, and through various means that I don't fully know myself, it manages to "capture" the image it's looking at in the space of less than a second. Do you know anything kind of item that's used by the common people, or the nobility, that has the ability to do this?" He asks her with a raised eyebrow.
"No…" Louise says in shock and awe at the sight before her. A clapping sound broke her out of her shocked state, making her look at the brown haired teen in front of her, who'd clapped his hands together to get her attention after placing his phone on the table.
"So, you believe me now?" He asks her, making her regain her composure and look to the side with crossed arms.
"Well, I guess you might be telling the truth…" She states, getting a sigh from Roy in response to her switching gears so quickly and remaining the Tsun that he knew she was.
"At least that's been cleared up…" He mutters to himself, before clearing his throat as he picks his phone back up. "Anyways… What exactly am I supposed to do as your, Familiar?" He asks her, stressing the word slightly as he opens his notes. In response, Louise turns to look at him.
"Anything I say. You're a lowly Familiar, and I am your Master. You will do anything I tell you to do." She tells him. In response, Roy's thumb stays hovering over his phone, having been ready to take notes on specifics, before he takes a breath, turns off his phone, and puts it into his pocket as he leans forwards and proceeds to do the Gendo Pose, his hair slightly shadowing his eyes as he does so.
"I don't think you fully understand the situation here, Master." He says to Louise, who despite her status, couldn't help but feel slightly nervous, and the only reason she could think of for this feeling was the pose he was currently doing. "You see, from what I saw when I was summoned earlier, everyone else in that courtyard today had also summoned a Familiar. The thing is, they were all animals. I, on the other hand, am very much human." He says, raising his head just a bit to meet her eyes, his own seeming to glow just a bit from the light of the lantern beside him.
Any nervousness Louise was feeling promptly disappears when she hears how the boy in front of her, her Familiar, is speaking to her, and her face twists into a scowl as her own eyes narrow in anger. However, even as she opens her mouth to argue, Roy raises a hand to silence her, and even though that wouldn't normally work, Louise is surprised enough by the action itself, and the fact that her Familiar was the one to do it, that it does.
This is gonna be a bit mean, but it's likely the only way to get this across to her this early on… Here's hoping things get better as we go. He admits to himself, before mentally shaking his head as he gets ready to make his case… Or rather, give Louise her ultimatum when it comes to his role in her life.
"Now, I have no problem acting as a Butler, Bodyguard, or anything else like that. But, the second you start treating me like a Slave." He starts, staring her straight in the eye as he says all this. "I am going to walk out that door, I am going to walk out of this academy, and I will go find a job or something someplace else. It doesn't matter if you try to catch me, chain me up, or anything else like that. I will keep leaving you. So, you have a choice." He tells her, sitting up straight and holding his hands out, palms up, on either side of him.
"Either you treat me humanely, and I go along with your orders as a helper of some kind." He says, raising his right hand as he does this. "Or, you try to treat me like a slave, dog, whatever, and I walk out on you, leaving you as, what I assume, the only one of your grade without a partner of some kind." He says, raising his left hand, keeping his gaze focused on Louise's as he does so. "So, which is it gonna be?" He asks, his gaze never wavering from the pinkette's.
The first thing Philip did when he woke up was rub the sleep dust from his eyes. He had to prop himself up from his elbows to do it, further reminding him of the uncomfortable position he had to sleep in due to the state of his shoulder. Wondering if that had gotten any better overnight, he reached his hand up to touch his back. He winced at the feeling. The pain had certainly gone down, but it was still there. Another night or two of this, he figured, would be enough. Then again, he was no doctor, so he couldn't say for certain.
He wondered where Kirche had gotten to. The sun was shining quite a bit, so it was definitely morning. The odds were that she was already up. He wondered where she'd slept with him taking up the bed like he was. It made him nervous to think that his first impression on his new master, the one who had basically complete control over his life now, was depriving her of sleep for the sake of letting him have a more comfortable first night.
What a fool he turned out to be.
A brief, cursory glance to his left revealed that she had not, in fact, gone without her bed for the night, but had simply crawled in beside him. He certainly hoped she was wearing something, because he didn't think his nerves would be able to handle it if she wasn't, but he couldn't tell because she had the covers over her. Truly, this was thin ice he found himself on, mostly with himself. He suspected he might pass right out again if he saw anything too… Personal…
Juuuuuuuuuust turn your head away. He thought to himself. Make out like you're still sleeping, or resting, or something, and just let her get up first… But that might make you look lazy. Okay, new plan: Stand the fuck up and try to give at least the impression of dignity so that she isn't disappointed too early. Okay? Okay. Okay? Okay.
That was when Kirche sat up, rubbing her eyes, and Philip Jonathan Butler discovered what a blood vessel-bursting anime nosebleed was like as the covers fell away from her. The force of the blood spurting out of his nose sent him rocketing off the bed and onto the floor, where he promptly, and without so much as a shred of the dignity he was trying to appear to have, landed on his ass. He squeezed his eyes closed and shook his head, as though trying to beat his brain with the walls of his skull, to try and bring it back into working order. Like a machine, he felt like abusing it would fix things.
"Good morning." Kirche said, smirking down at him, having crawled to the edge of the bed after hearing his collision with the floor. "You know, I put you in the bed so you'd be comfortable. Is this your way of telling me you prefer a rougher way of doing things?"
Christ, she works fast. Philip thought, not really surprised but really wishing she would act OOC for just a moment or so. "Um…" He wiped the trickle of blood that was still dripping from his nose with the back of his hand. "I, uh… You took me by surprise." To his immense surprise, he still had enough blood to blush with. "I guess I just wasn't expecting to wake up to, well, that…"
This only seemed to amuse her more. "Awww, not used to waking up with naked girls?" She asked with a chuckle. "Can't say I'm surprised. You've spent what little time we've had to talk so red that I was almost convinced it was your natural skin colour. Shoulder doing any better?"
"Good. That means we can give you a bath."
"Oh, thank God, I was starting to fe- Come again?" Philip had at first been relieved at the idea of being able to wash off the dirt, but the fact that a very attractive girl was saying this brought forward mixed feelings. Mostly of the "oh please, God, I wanna just bathe myself without feeling ten different kinds of awkward" kind.
Kirche smirked. "You heard me." Her smirk softened to a smile. "Calm down. I at least wanna wash your face and any exposed skin. You're perfectly free to bathe yourself later… But I ask you, Phil my dear, where would be the fun in that?"
There it was again. One of those little breaks in what he remembered her character being that assured him life wouldn't be terrible or, both praise and damn the gods, hip-breaking. The latter was certainly something he could live with if he had the confidence, but the simple fact was that he didn't have the confidence.
"...Okay." Philip managed to say after a while, sometime after his face had gone from hellish red to a simple pink colour. He made an effort to stand up and felt a familiar weight in his pocket. There was a flash of hope in him as he reached into his pocket and pulled out, to his immense joy, the mp3 player he had shoved into his pocket the day before. Yes! He thought with great enthusiasm. Music! Sweet, sweet fucking music!
What? He liked to listen to music when he had nothing to do… Or when he was trying to ignore people… Or when he wanted to dodge awkward social situations by shoving earphones in… Or literally any situation, really. He always had his mp3 player on him.
Holding down the options button, which was how this bloody thing turned on for some reason he'd never understood, Philip waited for it to turn on. When it did, he stuck one earphone in, hit shuffle, and "The Lady is a Tramp" by Frank Sinatra filtered into his ears. It was still in working order. He paused the song and looked to see how much battery life this thing had left in it. He had to blink and do a double-take when he saw that, where there was once a series of four white bars indicating battery life, there was now simply an infinity symbol. Huh… Neat. He thought. At least he had no real limit on how many minutes of music he could listen to. So long as it didn't break, anyway.
"What's that?" Kirche asked, sitting on the bed with her legs, crossed, dangling over the edge. Her voice was tinted with curiosity.
Philip did his best to ignore the very naked girl as he answered. "It's an mp3 player. We use these where I'm from to listen to music."
"I've never seen anything like that before." She said, leaning down and poking it lightly. She looked Philip in the eyes and tilted her head. "Where are you from?"
"That…" Philip said, hesitating slightly. "...Is gonna take some explaining."
He explained, as best he could, the fact that he was from another world. The words sounded mad to him even as they left his mouth, yet he knew they were true because he'd lived them. Or maybe he was mad. He considered that a distinct possibility, too. But he would roll with what his mind was telling him was real, even if it turned out to be some bollocks his mind was conjuring up just to troll him. By the time he was done explaining, he was fully expecting Kirche to have him taken to someone who could tell whether he'd had his mind hexed or not.
"So… You're from this world called Earth?" She clarified after he was done explaining. "They don't have magic, and you have other ways of doing things that we use magic for…?"
"That would about sum it up, yes."
"...Well… I can't say I've ever seen anything like that… 'Mp3 player' before, so… I guess you're telling the truth."
"What, just like that?"
"Well… Yeah." She once again grew a grin on her face. "I'm a witch, sweetheart. Magic can do basically anything, so long as you don't mess up, and even then, something will happen. You say you're from another world? That's pretty out there, even by our standards, but sure, I can work with that. I can work with you." She practically purred that last part, and Philip knew that she was very intentionally trying to get him to blush again. It worked.
"Well… Thanks, Kirche… Er, master… Boss?" He grew confused. "What do you want me to call you?"
"Oh, you can call me anything you want… But Kirche is fine." She smiled widely. "So, what kind of music does your world have there?"
"You wanna listen?"
"Okay, then. Just hold this by your ear. Best not put it in. Could be a bit unhygienic."
"You sure you're talking about the ear things and not something else?"
"...I believe that particular innuendo was below you, Kirche. Now, take a listen to this." He pressed shuffle again to get a new song. This time, "This Will Be The Day" from the RWBY soundtrack came on.
Kirche listened for a few moments, then hummed in interest. "You people have interesting music." She said. "We should listen together sometimes. Could be sort of a bonding experience for us. But I think we should get moving. They'll only be serving breakfast for so long. Get up and we'll get you cleaned up. Oh." She grinned as she began to get her clothes on. He didn't like that grin. Not at all. "And even if you don't want me fully bathing you… You're still gonna have to take those clothes off."
Knowing exactly what she'd just done to his blood pressure, she kept on getting dressed as though nothing had happened.
This is going to be a loooong day. Philip thought.
In the bedroom of one Louise Françoise Leblanc de la Vallière, the pinkette in question was sleeping without the faintest bit of discomfort. Her mattress was soft, the blanket covering her was light enough to keep from restricting any movements she made, but kept out the cool air without a problem, and her pillows were fluffed to perfection.
Unfortunately, this tranquility left the room the moment a loud sound started blaring and echoing through the room, prompting the pinkette to let out a startled shriek as she bolted up in her bed to look around the room in shock. Said sound stopped a few seconds later, and Louise looked in the direction it came from to see Roy tapping away at his phone as he sat up in the pile of hay that was his bed the previous night.
After shutting off the alarm, the brunet turned to look at Louise, giving a grunt as he started to stand up. "Mornin'." He greets her, stretching in an attempt to get rid of the soreness he felt from sleeping on the floor. Fully rested, but my body disagrees… Whatever, I should have a mattress or something similar soon enough. He thinks to himself as he rolls his shoulder to get rid of the dull pain there.
"What was that?!" Louise exclaims, making Roy turn to face her in confusion, before clearing his eyes as his mind slowly wakes up.
"Ah, right. Summoned by Louise. Currently her Familiar." He mutters to himself, before clearing his throat as he picks up his phone and puts it into his pocket. "That, Master, was an alarm. Basically a loud sound meant to wake me up for the day ahead. I probably made the sound too loud, and it woke you up as well. Sorry about that. I meant to only have it wake me up so I could get your stuff ready for the day, then wake you up." He admits while rubbing the back of his head.
Louise was still slightly shocked, though it slowly faded into anger. "Well don't let it happen again!" She exclaims as she starts to get out of bed. "Now, get me my clothes." She tells him, leading to him giving her a blank look in response to her command, making her gain a tick mark at him apparently ignoring her. Getting ready to yell at him again, she pauses as she sees him raising an eyebrow, almost as if he was waiting to see what she was going to do. Confusion and anger circle around in her at this, before she remembers the conversation from the night before, and the agreement that came out of it.
It had taken a good bit of the night to work out the specifics, but now that she was slowly waking up, and the shock from the loud "alarm" from earlier was leaving her, she remembered how the two of them had actually had a conversation about Roy's current status as her Familiar. And it had taken quite a while on his part to convince her of some points. Mainly the fact that despite being summoned as a Familiar, he was, for all intents and purposes, still human.
As such, treating him like any other Familiar, would be very similar to treating him as if he was her slave. Something he was very much against, and he'd made perfectly clear to her the night before. Slowly remembering the events of the night before, and their conversation, allowed Louise to calm down her anger and clear away her confusion, before taking a deep breath to make sure she was calm.
"My clothes, please." She tells him as she stands straight, getting a nod from the brunet, with the edge of his mouth twitching a bit into a slight smirk before it disappears.
"On it." He says, walking over to her wardrobe to grab the clothing she would need for the day as Louise thinks about the agreement they'd reached the night before. In essence, Roy didn't have anywhere to go in this new world, thanks to Louise taking him from his old one. As a result, his best bet was to stay with the pinkette and live out his new life helping her. (Especially since he had a vague idea of the events that would occur around her, and could make slight plans to make things go better.)
However, as stated before, he'd made it quite clear that he absolutely refused to be treated in such a way similar to a slave, dog, or anything similar. So instead, he would act as a helper of some sorts for her. After all, he had no idea how to act as a servant of any kind, and it'd take too long to learn how to be one, or how to act like a Butler. And without a weapon at the moment, he wouldn't be much of a bodyguard either. So for now, he'd do the simple tasks until he could fill one of those roles.
After gathering the clothes Louise would need for the day, he gave them to her, before heading to the door. "I have no idea how you nobles dress, and seeing as I'm male, I'm sure as hell not gonna assume that you'd want me to try and dress you, and as a result, see you without clothes. So, I'll wait outside till you're done." He tells her, getting a nod from the pinkette in response. If the conversation the previous night hadn't happened, she very likely wouldn't have cared, since she would've seen him as nothing more than a regular Familiar. Like a dog or something.
However, because of the agreement they'd reached the night before, she realized that he was, in fact, very much human. Unlike other Familiars, he had a completely free will. He could make his own decisions, such as whether he wanted to follow her orders or not, and if he even wanted to stay near her, or leave the academy grounds altogether. Sure, it took about an hour and a half, but in the end, Louise had realized that she had summoned a fully functioning person as her Familiar. Not some animal that would follow any order she gave without question.
After she finished getting dressed, the pinkette got her hair ready for the day, picked up her wand, and walked out her door to find Roy standing there waiting for her, tapping away at his phone once again,looking up to meet her eyes when she closed the door behind her. "Ready for the day, Master?" He asked her, getting a nod from Louise in response.
That was another thing they'd agreed upon. While Roy had no problem addressing Louise as his "Master", since she technically was, he himself refused to be referred to as "Familiar", since despite that being the term for what he technically was to her at the moment, being called "Familiar" was way too degrading, and was basically the same as saying he was no longer considered "human". Something that, as stated before, he'd taken quite a lot of time to stress he was to Louise.
Making their way down to the dining hall, the two made their way towards Louise's seat, pass all the whispering students. Roy had a good feeling that a rather large number of those whispers were about him and his new Master, based on the glances that the two received on their way to the pinkette's chair. Louise sat in her chair after Roy pulled it away from the table, before he pushed it back in so that she could eat her breakfast.
"I'll go ahead and wait outside with the other student's Familiars till you're done Master. I don't usually have much of an appetite for breakfast anyways, so I should be fine right now." He tells the pinkette, surprising Louise, but getting a nod in response. Giving his own nod back, Roy then proceeded to turn towards the entrance to the dining hall, and walk towards it in order to head outside and wait for breakfast to be over with the other student's Familiars out in the courtyard.
Philip felt like he looked: Vaguely traumatised by the morning's events. He knew he would get over this issue quickly and move on to a whole other one, because that's just the sort of shit his asshole of a brain likes to do to him. The aroma of the food floating up to him and Kirche as they walked down the stairs was pleasing to the senses, at least, and he hoped, against what he thought was likely to happen, that he would be eating some of that soon.
Forever the pessimist, his mind completely ignored the fact that Kirche, bar the playful teasing, had actually been very nice up to this point. He wanted very much to stuff his earphones in his ears and just drown out the world, but knew that such action would likely be a lot less accepted among the massive amount of entitled snobs in this school than it was back in England.
Fuck them. He thought to himself with a certain amount of excitement. If Roy is the Saito replacement I suspect he is, pretty soon all these noble assholes will be well aware that peasants aren't to be taken lightly… Jesus Christ, where did that come from? Am I turning into a watered down Social Justice Warrior? Oh, please say I'm not, I hate those fuckers. I don't wanna be the guy telling people to remove washbaskets and shit 'cause it might offend the fucking ex-cleaners.
He longed to hear his music. The world always felt so big, loud, and chaotic without it. But, knowing he had to look polite (even if none of these ponces knew what earphones were), he didn't do so. His mouth compressing to look like a thin line was the only sign of his discomfort.
He and Kirche got to the dining room table at almost the exact moment the door had closed behind Roy.
"So, should I wait outside?" Philip asked, uncomfortable. He didn't particularly like the idea of eating among these people who looked at him like a piece of dirt, he was also really hungry. This, as you can imagine, left him conflicted: Food vs standards. It was a conundrum.
Kirche waved him off with a smile. "No need for that, Phil dear." She said. "Stay in here and eat. Oh… You'll have to sit on the floor, though. I'd let you sit at the table if it were just up to me, but your presence at the table might offend the sensibilities of some of my peers."
Translation: Some uptight pricks will feel tainted if the peasant is treated like a human being in their presence. Out loud, however, he said: "It's fine, boss. I'm not overly bothered about where I'm sitting." Upon reflection, there was something about being basically naked in front of someone while washing that makes you remarkably more comfortable with speaking. He still didn't have it in him to let loose the full might of his British sarcasm, but baby steps. He took a seat on the floor, where a plate was placed for him.
"Just take whatever you want." Kirche told him. "Or you can just point it out and I'll pass it to you." She chuckled. "I could even feed you, if you'd like? Oh, my, imagine the sight we'd be…"
"I'm… Good to feed myself." He said. Now there was an offer he didn't think he'd ever turn down if he experienced that particular anime cliché. He had the feeling he would get used to that sort of thing happening. "And, if I'm being honest, I don't know what most of this stuff is. Like that round, brown thing with the leaves on top. I haven't got a clue what that is."
Kirche laughed. "You should try it, then. I'm sure you'll be trying new and interesting things quite a bit if you're as foreign as you've led me to believe." Her face took on a slightly more serious look. "Before we start to enjoy ourselves, I feel like I should remind you to follow my orders. I'm not some tyrant or anything, but especially around other nobles, you disobeying or arguing could make me look bad."
Philip took this in both stride and good humour, trying to ignore the persistent little voice in the back of his head that was panicking about the possibility that he may have already made her look bad in some way, the one that was urging him to just nod and give a one-word response like it normally did during social situations.. "I don't do what I'm told, but if you ask nicely, I might do what you want." He said, with just a tad of his humour. The voice of his anxiety shouted at him so loud, he felt like it was trying to bludgeon him to death.
Kirche just looked amused. Philip got the feeling that she wanted to to make some comment on the things she would "want" from him, but then everyone started speaking.
Everyone in the room, bar Philip, said a prayer before they started eating.
The only reason Philip only ate enough to fill his plate was that he didn't want to look like a pig.
He could have easily eaten three times as much as he did.
After finishing breakfast, Louise left behind her dishes for the Academy servants to clear, before walking out the door amongst her peers. While everyone else headed over to where their Familiars were waiting for them, she found Roy waiting right outside the door for her, tapping away at his phone once again, a thoughtful look on his face. When he noticed Louise walking over to him, he shut it off and placed it in his pocket, a small smile appearing on his face.
Unfortunately for the pinkette in question, while her new "helper" may have been a nice change in pace at the academy, some things would remain constant… Such as a certain redheaded annoyance to the pinkette who made herself known a few seconds later.
"Wow, Louise. You made him wait outside?" Kirche said, shaking her head in disappointment. "That's pretty cold."
"Oh, God, what the hell is that thing?" Philip said in faux disgust while looking at Roy, a small grin playing on his lips. "What hideous abomination from the depths of Hell itself was summoned here yesterday?"
Upon Phil's question, Roy simply gave a smirk as he placed his hands into his pockets. "My Master, Louise Françoise Leblanc de la Vallière simply summoned one hell of a Butler." He says, making both a pun, and a reference, at the same time.
"...You turned our surname into a pun. I hate you now. You disappoint me so much."
Roy gave a slight chuckle at that, before removing his right hand from his pocket, and taking his phone out with it. "...With a working iPhone."
"...I completely stand by the fact that she summoned an abomination from the depths of Hell itself." He looked to the sky, shaking his head. "Do not try to save us, whatever passes for God here. We are all dead. A student's summoning ritual has killed us all. Fuck you very much for allowing this to occur."
During this conversation, the summoners of the two in question could only look on in confusion, for once agreeing on something. Louise turned to Roy, an eyebrow raised in questioning. "Roy… What is Zerbst's Familiar talking about?"
"Yes, Phil dear, why do you seem so scared of this man?"
"Because back home we had physics he knew a lot about." Philip said. "Here? We have physics he can fucking weaponise. I do not like my chances of survival under these circumstances. Once again, please pardon my French, but also note that I do not really care." He surprised himself a little with just how much he let go of his inhibitions. Though, he supposed, having someone he knew relatively well around was probably having some effect.
At Phil's words, the two could only turn to Roy in confusion, with Louise clearly expecting more information. In response, Roy simply tilted his head as he gave them a small smile. "To give you two an example, if Phil here were to make me mad enough that my facial features changed to that of a shark, I would use that change in order to bite off a part of his head."
"And I like my head how it is." Philip added. "It's a good head, it's served me well, this head. I would rather not go around looking like something out of Sleepy Hollow."
"They're both insane." Both masters said, for once in agreement about something. This is an occurrence that would often repeat whenever Roy and Phil were in the same vicinity.
"Anyways, I'm feeling a bit thirsty. You want anything Master?" Roy asks, turning to face Louise. In response, the pinkiette could only give a slight nod, still a bit surprised at the conversation that happened between the two in front of her.
"Tea please." She manages to say through her surprise, getting a nod from Roy as he heads off to get the drinks for himself and the pinkette.
"See you later, Sebastian!" Philip called after Roy as he walked off. He grinned slightly at his own joke, then mentally slapped himself. Stop it! Never laugh at your own jokes! It just kills the comedic value. His grin faded back to a content smile. Finally, he was beginning to enjoy himself.
"So, where to now, boss?" He asked Kirche, mostly in hopes that it would completely avoid a scene between her and Louise now that the other half of the distraction had left.
"Hmm." She turned to him. "Oh, right. Now I think we'll go find a table. With a little luck, Tabitha will be here. She's a friend of mine. Come along, now." She started walking, and Philip followed her dutifully. He may not have gone full Butler (God, did that pun make him want to gouge someone's eyes out!) but he would still do his job to the best of his ability. So long as there was nothing really wrong with his situation, he wouldn't argue against it. There was just no real reason to. The fact that his Master was smoking hot and flirty had nothing to do with it. Honest. ...Shut up.
Wasn't it Tabitha who put me out when I was on fire yesterday? Philip thought. He figured it probably was. He had passed out immediately after, but he remembered. I should really thank her if we see her.
They did see her. She was pretty hard to miss, considering her Familiar was what Philip would likely refer to as "a massive fuck-off dragon." Tabitha herself looked mostly unconcerned with anything going on around her, keeping a plain expression on her glasses-wearing face as she buried it in a book. That was a feeling Philip immediately sympathised with. Reading was something he did a lot of, too, usually with his earphones stuffed in. He was antisocial like that.
"Hey, Tabitha." Kirche said happily as she walked over, Philip in tow. "How's it going?"
"Okay." Tabitha said blankly. She never looked up from her book.
"Cool. This my Familiar, Philip. Don't be rude, Phil dear, say hello."
"Hello." Philip said. He then bowed his head in what he hoped was a polite gesture. "Thank you very much for putting me out yesterday. Any shortage to the burning is much appreciated."
"You're welcome." Tabitha said.
A lady of few words. Philip reflected, unsurprised. I can work with that. Should be easier than what it took to talk to Kirche casually, anyhow. I doubt I'll have to strip, for starters. He was made slightly nervous by the presence of the dragon, but he was sure he would get used to fantasy creatures hanging around eventually. The main problem was simply that there was a massive fire-breathing lizard stood nearby and that was a bit intimidating, no matter how much human intelligence it might have.
"Phil, be a dear and get us some drinks, would you?" Kirche asked, sitting down. "Get yourself one, too, if you're thirsty."
"Right away." Said Philip. He was all business mode now that he was actually on the job. He turned around to go and get the drinks… And promptly turned back around to ask the obvious question. "What would the two of you like to drink?"
They were about to tell him, but their attention was drawn away by something not too far away. Philip turned around to look and noticed that a crowd had gathered together to watch something unfolding. It was only when he saw a certain blond boy storming away from the scene that he realised what was happening, and a large grin wormed its way across his face. Time for shit to get fun. He thought.
A Few Minutes Prior:
Leaving his Master, his friend, and his friend's Master behind, Roy searched through the square for two things. The first was easy enough to find, a waitress serving drinks. After getting a glass of water and a cup of tea from her, he went searching for his second objective. It took him a few extra minutes, but eventually he saw a familiar fop of blond hair belonging to a pretty boy sitting at a table with a rather large mole draped across his legs. From there, Roy simply made his way over to a nearby wall, and leaned against it, taking the occasional sip from his water.
It didn't take long for a certain brown cloak wearing brunette to walk nearby, looking around the area in search of someone. Stopping fairly close to teen, the brunette girl, who Roy knew to be named Katie, looked around in slight confusion. "Lord Guiche…?" She asks herself, looking around the area to try and find the boy in question. Taking this as his cue, Roy allowed himself a small smirk, before walking over to the girl.
"Excuse me." He says, getting her attention. "Are you looking for Guiche?" He asks, getting a smile from the girl in response as she nods. "Ah, in that case, he's over that way." He tells her, pointing over his back with his thumb in the direction the blond two-timer was sitting. Katie gives the teen a quick thanks, before heading in the direction he'd pointed her, Roy following a few steps behind.
What followed was… Well, pretty much what Roy expected to happen. Katie walked over to Guiche, the blond boy tried to turn things in his favor, Montmorency realized something was going on, Guiche fumbled over his words, then he was promptly found out by both women, before being slapped by Montmorency as the two girls stalked off, leaving Guiche as the laughing stock of the surrounding Nobles, Roy joining in with the laughter.
"Guess even pretty boys aren't exempt from the consequences of two-timing." He says between laughs, immediately drawing attention to himself from the pretty boy in question.
"You!" Guiche exclaims, making Roy stop laughing as he looks around, before pointing at himself. "Yes, you! You were the one who directed Katie to me, were you not?" He asks, seeing as Katie had made an offhand comment about being pointed to the blond teen by someone else.
"Uh, yeah. She asked about you, I recognized you from what Louise told me about you yesterday, and pointed you out to her." He says with a shrug, already knowing where this was going.
"...I see, yes, you do look familiar. You're the peasant Familiar that Louise the Zero summoned, aren't you?" Guiche asks. "But I suppose at the moment, that does not matter. What does, is that your actions have caused two noble ladies to cry!" Guiche exclaims, pointing at the brunet with his Rose-Wand.
"...Me? Dude, you're the one who was two-timing. If anything, you're the one who broke their hearts… And even then, the blonde one seemed more livid than sad. As evident by the bright red handmark still on your face." He says with a slight chuckle at the end, making the surrounding teens laugh at the jab. In response to the teens words, Guiche could only glare, before waving his Rose-Wand with a flourish of his hand.
"It would seem you do not understand how things work around here… Very well then, because of your recent transgressions, I challenge you to a duel!" Guiche exclaims, making Roy raise an eyebrow in response to the challenge.
"...Alright, give me a time and place." He says with a shrug, making Guiche give a light grin at the chance he'd been given to humiliate this peasant for what he'd done to him.
"Vestori Square, in fifteen minutes. Prepare yourself peasant!" He exclaims, leaving the circle of students that had surrounded the two with a flourish of his cape. Watching him go, Roy shrugs at what's to come, before turning around to ask one of the teens where the square in question is. Doing so, he sees Louise stalking over to him with a glare on her face. Upon seeing it, Roy said the first thing that came to mind.
"Okay, first… I was minding my own business." Roy states, raising one of his hands in defense.
"BULLSHIT!" Came Philip's voice from the sidelines. In response, Roy was silent for a few seconds at the input of his friend, before shrugging.
"Okay, so maybe I had some input on the current events happening… Like making it clear to everyone the blond pretty boy was a two-timing bastard… Maybe…" He admits, getting a groan from Louise in annoyance in response.
"You walk off to get some drinks, and this happens… I can't believe it." She mutters, Roy holding up the cup of tea in his other hand in response.
"Hey, I still got your drink." He says, handing her the tea. "...The walk to get the tea just turned out to be a bit… Enthusiastic…" He admits with a shrug, and a light smirk, before turning to the crowd, or more specifically, a boy with an owl as his Familiar. "Oy! Which way to Vestori Square?" He asks the boy.
"Over there, that way." The boy responds, pointing in the direction Roy would need to head.
"Thanks." The brunet says, raising a hand as he does so, before walking in the direction he'd been pointed.
"Wha- Roy!" Louise exclaims, leaving the tea cup he'd given her with a passing servant as she takes off after the teen she'd summoned.
A Few Minutes Later:
In the middle of Vestori Square, Roy and the pretty boy were standing across from each other in the center of a ring of students that had surrounded them to watch the upcoming duel between the two. Amongst those in the crowd were Kirche, Tabitha and Phil.
"You know what?" Kirche said when the three of them had settled. "Louise's Familiar is beginning to amuse me."
"Don't get used to that." Philip said, just a bit too quickly. "I'm the funny one. And I'm English. I have class and all that crap. Cheerio, pip-pip, etcetera."
"My, my." Kirche smirked. "Is that a hint of jealousy I detect, Phil dear?"
Philip's cheeks went red, but, knowing that anime logic would dictate any attempt at lying would be horrifically bad in embarrassing situations, he kept his mouth firmly shut. This only served to amuse Kirche even more. She put a hand on his shoulder in what he chose to think of as a reassuring gesture, and was just glad she wasn't trying to embarrass him any more.
Tabitha remained silent. Philip decided that he liked her.
"I must say, you have gained some of my respect for actually showing up." Guiche tells Roy, making the brunet smirk in response as he crosses his arms.
"Please. Who in their right minds would run from someone like you?" He asks the blond teen in front of him. However, before anything else can be said, an exclamation from the side draws everyone's attention.
"Guiche wait!" Louise calls out, rushing forwards to stand next to Guiche. "Stop this, right now! You know darn well Duels are forbidden!" She tells him, making the pretty boy give a light shrug.
"True, but only duels between two nobility are forbidden. Your Familiar, on the other hand, is nothing but a Peasant. So, there's no problem." Guiche states, making Roy give a deadpan stare to no one in particular.
"...Never thought I'd be thankful to ever be considered a Peasant…" He mutters to himself. Unaware of his comment, Louise continues to try and talk Guiche out of this.
"But… That's because a case like this has never happened before…" She says quietly, realizing that it isn't much of an argument since Guiche was right. However, the blond teen takes her words, and the intent behind them, differently.
"Hm? Now Louise, I don't mean to get too personal, but… Could it be that you're feeling attracted to this Peasant?" Guiche asks her, making Louise's brain stall as she stares at the blond teen in shock at the question, before a pink blush becomes apparent in her cheeks as a tick mark appears on her forehead as she starts to yell at the pretty boy in front of her.
"How dare you?! No one with any decency would just sit by and watch silently, as their Familiar is beaten up to a tattered heap!" She exclaims, getting a blank look from Roy in response.
...I'll let her have this one since she's been flustered by Guiche… Though if she starts to go back to referring to me as "Familiar", I'm stopping that train before it can start moving again… The brunet thinks to himself with a roll of his eyes. Meanwhile, Guiche turns to look at the teen in question, raising his Rose-Wand as he does so.
"Well, Louise, no matter what you say, the duel has already started!" He exclaims, flicking the rose, and causing a petal to separate from it and fall to the ground.
"MORTAL KOMBAT!" Philip shouted from the sidelines, doing his best impression of the opening line of the (admittedly not very good, but not as awful as most video game movies) movie's theme song. His exclamation got him a good number of confused stares, which made him immediately shrink back in on himself.
A few seconds later, a bright circle appears on the ground where the petal fell, before an armored figure rises out of it. "My name is Guiche the Brass, therefore, a brass golem, a Valkyrie to be precise, shall be your opponent." He tells the teen across from him. In response, Roy rolls his eyes and sarcastically claps his hands.
"Of course, absolutely brilliant… The Noble needs to use magic to fight against the defenseless commoner… Not even the offer of a weapon or something to make this a proper duel. What? Is your pride so badly hurt that you need to settle for having a punching bag in front of you?" Roy asks the pretty boy, crossing his arms with an unimpressed stare as he does so. "That will toootally make it so that everyone here sees how strong you are. Right?" He asks with a raised eyebrow, making the blond teen grit his teeth, before relaxing and putting that "pretty boy smile" back on his face.
"Ah, but of course. This is a duel, after all." Guiche says, flicking his Rose-Wand once again, and causing a petal to separate and float to the ground in front of the brunet, another burst of light occuring as a sword with a green crossguard, with a red jewel in the center, was created for Roy to use. "Go on and pick up the sword Peasant. I shall be lenient enough to allow you that much." The blond teen stated, Roy mentally rolling his eyes as he walks up to the sword.
Riiiight… You know, after I talked you into giving me one… It's tooootally you being "lenient". He thinks to himself, instead of saying so out loud. Better to not antagonize him right now, when he could likely get rid of the sword before he even had a chance to use it. Grasping the sword with his right hand, Roy pulled it out of the ground, and almost immediately, the runes on his left hand began to glow.
And like that, Guiche brought literally everything that happens here on himself. Philip thought in amusement as he watched.
The first thing Roy noticed when grabbing the sword was how much lighter he felt, and not weight wise. The second was how everything around him seemed to have slowed down just the slightest bit, giving him a bit more time to focus on things. The third thing he noticed was that the Valkyrie in front of Guiche was already charging at him, likely commanded by Guiche to charge forwards the second he grabbed the sword, since it would be counted as "fair" since he'd have already touched the weapon.
As the brass golem charged him, Roy took notice of the fact that instead of attacking with its spear, it was instead aiming to punch him in the stomach, likely to draw out the fight and make him a laughing stock of the surrounding nobles. In response to this, Roy made a quick sidestep to avoid the jab, before bringing his newly acquired weapon up in a swing that severed the arm from the rest of the body, both parts continuing passed him, but the arm, because of the force behind the punch, flying through the air and falling to the ground at the edge of the circle of nobles.
In response to this sudden event, the muttering that had been going on since the duel started suddenly stopped, everyone watching going silent as they watch Roy bring the sword back down in another swing, now using it to point at the Valkyrie. "...Bring it." He says with narrowed eyes as the golem turns to face him, now using it's only remaining hand to wield its spear. Charging him once again, this time with the intent to pierce him through the head. In response, Roy brought the sword up so that he'd just barely deflect the weapon, then grind the sword along the handle as he stepped towards the Valkyrie, and brought the sword slicing down the middle of the golem.
A few seconds later, said Golem separated into two pieces, each one falling to the ground on either side of the brunet teen. Taking a few seconds to remain in the same position, Roy then turned around to face Guiche, who was now looking quite a bit less confident than he did earlier. "Is that all you've got?" He asks the blond pretty boy, raising an eyebrow as he asks this.
I'd have gone with "it had to split," personally. Philip thought. He hated himself for the pun, but still had to admit that he would have used it.
In response to Roy's question, Guiche could only grimace, before giving a slight growl as he waved his Rose-Wand again, this time multiple petals falling out of it and onto the ground, summoning 6 golems at once, all of them wielding spears. At the sight, Roy could only roll his eyes, even as the Valkyries charged at him.
The first two were easy to deal with, he ducked under their swings, before bringing his sword around in a swing that cut them clean in two at the waist, all four halves falling to the ground around him as the second two charged him. This time, he used the sword in his hands to cut through the handles of the spears themselves, leaving the golems without weapons, and then proceeded to cut off both their heads. For the final two, Roy jumped above their respective attacks, before coming back down on top of one, stabbing it through the head, before removing his weapon from the body, and then twisting the sword into a reverse grip, and stabbing the second through it's back, before turning around and bringing the sword up and splitting it from there to the top of its head.
After taking care of the last golem, Roy turned to face Guiche, only to be surprised by the sight of one last Valkyrie. This one wielding a sword. Taking in the sight before him, Roy gave a shrug, before bending his knees slightly to get ready, and then charging the new Golem. The Valkyrie brought up it's sword to block the swing that was surely aimed at it's head, only to be shocked when instead of blocking the strike, Roy's sword instead severed that arm at the elbow, causing the arm, and the sword, to fall to the ground.
The Valkyrie staggered back a bit as a result of the attack, but Roy simply stepped forwards with it, bringing his sword across in a swipe that cut the Golem clean in half at the waist. However, before it could fall to the ground, Roy grabbed the head of the top half, allowing the bottom half to fall. Then, seconds later, Roy threw the top half into the air where all could see, and as it fell back to the ground, stabbed it through the head with his sword, allowing the top half to remain suspended in the air on the end of his sword, before it turned to dirt and began to fall back to the ground, the surrounding nobles watching the scene in shock.
Well, someone's airing some leftover frustrations from SAO. Philip thought idly. Can't say I blame him. I wish Rapey McGee had died, too.
Upon the destruction of the final Valkyrie, Roy then turned his attention to Guiche, who couldn't help but flinch at the brunet's attention now being on him. He attempted to raise his Rose-Wand to summon more Valkyries, only for Roy to slightly bend his knees, before rushing in a quick burst at Guiche, who could only blink when a few seconds later, he realized that the sword in Roy's hands was now practically pressing against the front of his neck.
"What's it gonna be pretty boy? Is this gonna turn out to be a duel to the death, or no?" He asks, the sword in his hands not wavering. The blond teen is silent for a few seconds before his shaking hands drop to his side, his Rose-Wand falling to the ground a few seconds later.
"I… I yield." Guiche admits, making Roy pull the sword away from his neck, and allowing the blond teen to fall to the ground on his ass in relief. Seconds later, the surrounding nobles cheer at the spectacle they just witnessed.
Philip could now forgive the missed pun opportunity from earlier. That was easily the most badass thing he'd ever seen. I don't think I'll tell him that. He thought. Unfortunately, his mouth disagreed, and out loud he said: "That was easily the most badass thing I've ever seen." GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!
Stabbing the sword into the ground beside him, Roy turned to face Phil, shrugging in response. "I honestly can't take credit for that. Guiche was just the Rosalia to my Kirito… After his Valkyrie was Sugou." Roy admits with a smirk.
"...Well, I certainly hope that doesn't mean you'll be yelling his name in private circumstances, but hey, whatever you're into, mate." Philip said. His face, as well as his voice, was flat and serious, but they both knew exactly what he was doing.
"...Hey, if I ever get with someone before him, who knows, maybe I will." Roy states with a shrug, his smirk changing into a smile.
Philip thought he'd love to see Roy try to talk his way out of screaming a man's name during sex before he gets hurt. It would be unlikely to accomplish. Not letting onto this thought process, he shrugged. "Fair enough." He said. "Just don't go burying your sword in anything dirty in the meantime, okay? Those things are impossible to clean sometimes."
"...Knowing you, that was a reference, or innuendo, or something like that, but for the life of me I can't tell which." Roy states with a deadpan expression aimed at his friend.
"So he can do it…" Kirche muttered. She seemed oddly pleased by the fact.
What followed was the crowd of surrounding nobles slowly starting to thin out and return to their daily activities, leaving Guiche to sit on his ass and lament his loss, Roy to talk to Louise about the fight, and Phil to try his best to interact with Kirche without dying of blood loss due to his whole supply winding up in his face; surprisingly, it had gotten somewhat easier. He also tried to make conversation with Tabitha, but got mostly one-word responses. He still liked her.
Key: PJ, Boblinator
And that's Chapter 2! ...It took a little while, but definitely less time than it usually takes to get out new chapters for our regular stories… -_-
Yeah, tell me about it. I have even less excuses because I have significantly less than you.
True enough. Anyways, I'd say this chapter is the first one where we're seeing more "major" changes to canon, as opposed to the first. Sure, OC replacement for Familiars in the first, but that's normal for these stories. This chapter, on the other hand, has "me" getting across to Louise practically right away that I am still very much a human being… Not a mindless Familiar.
Whereas I got to start the struggle of portraying both my, at times, crippling social anxiety along with my relentless sarcasm without overdoing one or the other, or making the anxiety look like less of an issue than it really is (granted, since we're working with anime logic rather than real world logic, that was always going to happen). What fun. (I know that sounds sarcastic, but it isn't. I promise.)
Very true. Honestly, the further we get into this, the more is going to change… Especially when we get to the points where we're separated from each other. Like Spring Break, and when "me" and Louise get missions from the princess…
Or even next chapter, if we're being honest. Since Kirche isn't stalking "you", there's no real reason for "me" to be there when you're getting Louise to take you weapon shopping.
No kidding. Anyways, I think that's about it for this chapter… Now to just go over it one more time and then post it on Fanfiction and Ao3… Yeah, for those of you reading it on Fanfiction, it's posted on my account. However, PJ decided it was a good idea to post this story on Archive of our own as a joint story, so it's there as well.
'Tis my gift to the people of that site… Not that any of them can be arsed to comment currently. Shrug
Eh, what're you gonna do. Anyways, that's all for now! Hope you all enjoyed, and see you in the next chapter!
Happy Spooktober, scary internet people!