Disclaimer: I do not own the Loud House or Witcher series
Redania, one of the great kingdoms sitting in the center of the continent. To the east there's Kaedwen, and the the south there is Temeria and Aerdirn. A land ripe for agriculture, filled with swamps and unmarked graves in the countryside. The king only cares about the farmers and peasantry when his spies pick up news of secession. Knights take up arms and burn a village or two and village leaders are replaced by poor politicians and nobles. Sympathy decided by a coin toss. After the conjunction of spheres, the swamps and countryside became a home for necrophages. The fertile land for the humans and the elven ruins to the winners who harnessed magic first. While the peasants and Oxenfurt scholars won't argue how ghouls and vampires are unnatural beings brought from another world, you won't convince a farmer how he was an invader as well. You've never seen an elf till the fields, have you? The races mix like oil and water. The more noble cities and ports have more soldiers to keep the peace so elves and dwarves and halflings and humans get along better, on the surface. Not so much on the countryside, you'll be lucky to have passing respect, fear if you show you can use magic. One thing everyone respects and fears are the sorcerers and witches who use powerful magic. Even worse are the ones who are employed by kings and kingdoms. The only miracles they provided were the new halflings, witchers. Bred like mules and just as sterile, peasants like them better as they don't curse your town like the passing witches do who live in the bogs or cities. They take coin, and dislike sorcerers even more. They no longer need witches or mages when taking apprentices. How they turn boys into witchers is still a mystery shrouded in conspiracies. They are still dirty mutants though and smell like the monsters they kill.
Glubrest, small village of the Redanian Empire. Barely registers as a town, doesn't stop them from getting taxed by the king's soldiers. Largest huts are the alderman's and the inn. You can tell which is which by what hut has the bigger stable. It's easier during the daytime so you can read the sign posts better. Normally quiet at night, farmers stop working when sun's down and it won't be up again in six hours. Only noises around streams from the inn. Until the sound of broken glass and fighting disturbs the night. More shouts and a man is thrown out the inn's window. Two figures step out to walk towards the man.
Five minutes earlier
Two figures riding horses are seen making their way through towards the rest stop. The sound of steel and spurs trinkling as the horses clop. One disembarks while his neighbor takes his time tying the horses up and securing the packs against easy theft. Pulling on his leather gloves and dusting himself off, checking the trophy his contract requested for, the first ashen one walks inside. Lanterns are on inside and the sign of life can be heard from men shouting orders for more ale or roast game. The rider hates the feeling of being overdressed, regretting not taking his gambeson over his brigandine. Being overdressed makes him feel like a soldier when the other inn goers are just wearing tunics and trousers. Bad enough when he's self conscious over his own looks. Hair a mix of white and grey, nose crooked, skin pale with a few freckles, the feature he hates the most about himself are his chipped teeth. The bags under his eyes hide the scars, almost. The rider instead focuses on his job. He was here to meet the village elder for payment, finishing his contract. He sees a table of familiar faces and walks towards that.
"Master Witcher, you're back!" The elder gets up to approach the griffin school hunter. The wiry man is no taller than the alderman, and shorter than his two "sons". Most likely had different mothers, or else the alderman is alot older than what he appears.
"You sure look surprised. You were expecting me to fail?" The young witcher states as he deposits a bloody sack on the closest table.
"No! Never master witcher! It's just that we've had fake witchers before, and even reavers who claimed they handled beast before, only to never return after taking the contract! We were losing hope!"
The alderman nods. "School of the snail, school of the rok, school of the isles, beast hunters who claimed that forktails are no different than bears and don't get that much bigger." The alderman sighs. "We don't know if they all ran away or died!"
"Well, I had some help." The witcher turns his shoulder so his employers sees another hunter behind him. A woman hunter, in the same looking gear?
"You trying to cheat us master witcher? We're not paying you two fees for the contract, you said yourself that you work alone!" The one son says as he and his brother gets behind their dad. Both imposing. Tending hay and grain has made these young men strong, that or they keep more of the taxes to themselves and eat better than the rest of the villagers who starve.
"I work alone but-"
"Your neighbors claimed you guys were losing your women to the beast in the swamps!" The new witcher interrupted. Auburn hair tied up in a ponytail with an odd grey streak, she was shorter than her partner by a hair, freckles adorning her homely face, a small bandage over her nose, clad in brigandine and leather like her partner, wearing a smirk as she talks. "They said witchers died before filling your contracts, that the men were just giving the women away for not putting out! Lincmeister here needed help!"
"I didn't need your help Lynn, this isn't the isles-" The ashen one tried to say before being noogied by the woman adventurer.
"So, she's a witch?"
"No, she's a witcher"
"She's not your wife?"
"Witchers don't take wives"
"I thought women couldn't be witchers, and that witchers have grey hair, and lose their emotions?"
"That's a misconception!"
"I thought witchers have three swords, where's her swords?"
"Look, she has a medallion, we're from different schools so she has a different medallion, and she has cat eyes!"
The alderman and the sons don't seem to be convinced though crossing their arms. If anything they look to be getting angrier seeing the "witcher" continue to be rude and make a mockery of them. Until the other son speaks up.
"How about a demonstration, master witchers?"
"ughhh." Demonstrations, that never bodes well. They'll either try starting a fight sucker punching them or drinking alcohol and other poisons that would kill normal men or asking to see a trick which is easy to do. Light a candle with igni, move a rock with aard, summon a genie with yrden which does not work that way-and this guy is now punching him, why oh why did Lincoln not invest in learning axii more? Witcher's code my a-
And all hell broke loose. Really only a little hell though.
Time slowed down for the two witchers. Enhanced reflexes from their mutations allowed the two to exchange looks before blows were dealt. While Lincoln was taking the punch by the first brother, Lynn intercepted the other one's swing just to deflect it. The dumb one even had a smirk thinking he connected with Lincoln's chin, only to be surprised seeing he was being pulled down as his wrist was caught by the white one. Lincoln merely allowed himself to get punched, only to put his opponent in an armbar. Not knowing how the hunter caught his wrist, he didn't know how to react until it was too late, his brother's fist crashing into his face. That suckerpunch deflected by Lynn burst the alderman's son's nose, knocking the brother. hard on the floor. The second one turned back to Lynn only to be kicked in the crotch, doubling over in excruciating pain, Lynn finishes with an uppercut. The blow so violent it sent the alderman crashing out a nearby window. The other inn goers weren't happy with broken chairs and bottles smashing from the results.
"Think we should catch the old fart before he runs away with the money?"
"Forget that! Take care of the brothers first!"
There wasn't much to take care of after the failed attack. The one that tried to suckerpunch Lincoln was punched down again after trying to get up. Lynn casually walked up to the other brother knocked down, placed bother her hands on his head, and rotated her wrists.
"Oh my god, she snapped his neck!"
"He was down! How could you you heartless beast!"
"Wait no! He was attacking us and-"
"He was on the ground! Very unsportsmanlike!"
Lynn simply rotated her wrists clockwise again as the inn goers were crowding her.
"I'M ALIVE! WHY CAN'T I FEEL MY LEGS?"
"Oh my god! She crippled him!"
"You monster! What's he going to do now that he can't walk?"
"YOU KNOW WHAT!"
A woman faints hearing the sound of a neck snapping again for the third time. The inn goers are just getting angrier again with the rude hunter. Before they could surround her, another SNAP was made and the young man was conscious again
"I'M ALIVE! AND I CAN FEEL MY LEGS AGAIN!"
"There, happy?" The inn goers just nod and go back to drinking and eating again. Not like a miracle was performed in front of their eyes or anything. People come back from the dead all the time now apparently. Ingrates.
"Why can't I move?"
"That's temporary, you should be able to get up yourself in a minute, nerves sending signals to your body, think of it like your foot or leg falling asleep."
"Ok! Can anyone help me up?" Lynn just leaves the man on the floor and the rest of the inn ignores the man.
Lincoln sighs at the scene that just befell them. "You always make a show, you know that Lynn?" The other witcher just scoffs back. "Hicks want a show? I give them a show! Circuses don't travel these roads you know."
"You shouldn't use signs either, there are other people and-"
"Really? The old man just flew out the window by himself? A draft came in then!"
"I totally didn't mean to, it's these gauntlets I swear!"
"You didn't take those off? You don't see me swinging my blades on peasants, do you Lynn? Whatever, let's just get paid." The two turn towards the door to the outside, to find the alderman that was knocked out the window. They didn't have to go far as the old man was struggling to get up still. Lincoln just sighs and crouches next to the elder man.
"Look at what you made me do! If you just paid us this wouldn't have happened! Think Al, think!" The witcher chastises. "Where is our money!"
"We are a poor village! We don't have that much money!"
The witcher grabs the man by the shirt and searches his clothes. Coming up with a bag of coin and tosses it back to his partner.
"This isn't a hundred crown like we agreed on." The partner notes feeling the bag.
"Where's your hut?" The chief's eyes widen with the question. "Please master witchers! We are a poor village, we don't have that much!"
"We know you got a chest somewhere for safekeeping, every village chief has one, you're not special."
Lincoln sniffs around the chief to his confusion, he's heard of them having senses like a bloodhound but the rumors can't be true he thought!
"If you don't remember, we'll help you remember!" The ashen one grins to the horror of the elder.
Witcher mutations give hunters enhanced senses. They can hear better, see better, smell things a normal person can't, they can track any person or creature better than a dog can and you can even feed them the same food and they won't complain. With the proper potions witchers brew themselves after years of teachings from magicians and experimentation, one can brew elixirs that allow them to see in the dark or even match the strength of wild beasts. None of which the witchers needed to find the alderman's house. They just had to follow his scent back to his cabin.
"Master witchers please! I swear to you we will get your money for you! Have mercy! You don't need to look in my house, I have nothing!" The elder pleads as he's being dragged by his lapels through the small town square. Searching frantically for help or for any passerby. His neighbor's houses his only option.
"HELP! HELP I'M BEING ROBBED!" But he doesn't see any help coming. He sees a couple of windows open and husbands murmuring to their wives that it's nothing. Just soldiers collecting taxes again and nothing to do with them. The alderman is in despair. If they search his house they will-
"We're here." The party stops at a larger hut with a picket fence, a yard furnished with simple decorations. But unmistakably the village chief's house.
"Master witchers, I beg you! You don't have to do this, my wife is sleeping and I don't want to bother her! She's sick!"
"Your wife isn't here, you sent her 'away'. This house is empty" The witchers see through the lies of the alderman as if they were transparent. "Hmm, we need a key huh? Not too many houses with locks here." "I got it here, Linc." The other witcher brings up the key the alderman thought he hidden on himself. He didn't even feel himself get pickpocketed! They enter the domicile and the two start lighting candles and lanterns without the elder's help. The hunters didn't need matches to light wicks, and the chief knew now with despair from the flames alighting without a source that the two really were witchers.
"Ok, so about that-Lynn, what are you doing?"
"Let's see if he has any gold first actually, we're collecting the fee for the contract first, we're not bandits!"
"It took me less than a minute to find his wife's jewelry box and perfumes, family is loaded." The two started to argue. Meanwhile the chief is trying to inch his way to his study room door but got noticed immediately.
"Oh, great, your "office" I presume?" The white haired witcher says catching him. The two drag the alderman in and go to his desk. A cabinet full of liquor and books catches Lynn's eye and she wanders there. Let the men posture and talk while she takes!
"You keep your safe here I presume? Got a hidden door here, a false floor? We'll find it and take everything if you don't make it easier for yourselves."
"Uhh, Link, this looks like one of your books."
Something Lynn has found has gotten Lincoln's attention. A book with a symbol of serpent. The symbol of the School of the Viper.
A dark aura emanates from the two witchers. It's not uncommon to find books on them and their history, but it's limited to a few volumes. This is a poor village, and any magical or witcher relic would cost more than this town is worth. Not to mention this isn't any witcher school book, but a journal belonging to a Viper School journeyman. The Viper School are an order of witchers that don't only specialize in taking contracts against monsters, but two legged creatures as well. The two now notice both their medallions humming, detecting another artifact close by.
"Why do you have a Viper School Journal here?" Lincoln growls out, approaching the old man. "Please master witcher! I simply purchased it from a travelling vendor!" "You're lying!" Lincoln growls out as he kicks a chair to the wall breaking it. Lynn meanwhile starts searching the other bookcases for similar rarities.
"How much did you buy this for?" Lincoln indicated the journal. "Three crown, I swear!" Lincoln only drags the alderman close up to his face. "You want to know how I know you're lying? Your stink, and your heartrate increases each time you lie!" "Master witcher please! I'm telling the truth." Lynn whistles to the two to get their attention, the alderman's eyes go wide as he sees her at his desk, false drawers open.
"A snake medallion here, and the old man's journal. Even some engram sketches. Viper passed by through the town on the way to the capitol. Two days ago. Sworn the chief to secrecy not to tell any king's men he came through here in exchange for his family's lives. Another journeyman will come by to see the old man. If the medallion isn't here then the village chief and his family will be killed. If no medallion and no chief, village will be killed."
Lincoln just scoffs in response. "Well why didn't you say so? Copy the journal and engrams, we'll leave and leave the medallion here as well. Unlucky for you Al, looks like your town is gonna see more spies and assassins here."
"what, why? How?" The chief just asks perplexed now. "Next spy who comes through town will ask and see if the medallion is here or not. And leave it here for the next messenger and so on." The hunters get up and collect their things.
"Master witcher please! The other man was big! And scary! Will you please help us!" The chief asks, starting to look pathetic with his hands clasped as if in prayer.
"We're on our way to the capitol. But there's really only two solutions, three if you count doing nothing. Knights may be assigned to guard this town, that means more taxes, or raze it. You can convince your town to leave and leave with them. Or again, you just continue following orders and do nothing."
I-I have to think about it!" The alderman looks on in despair. The nests of nekkers plaguing the town far from his mind. The ashen haired one can only pity them in their misery. They took care of the contract so more of the trade caravans will return, only to make the way easier for spies and soldiers to use the roads as well.
"Here we thought you just took the stuff off a dead witcher!" Lincoln and Lynn laughed. The alderman just looks at the two witchers with hatred in his eyes. "He said he was going to take care of the contract! Only to put a knife to my throat when he wanted to discuss the pay in private, then left town leaving his necklace and journal! We lost two women! And two men trying to find them when we made a search party." The alderman cried.
"And what about the rest of the women?" Lynn growled back. The alderman only stood up and puffed out his chest. "We sent them away to the city, where it's safer!" The two witchers snorted. "He's not lying." Lincoln states as he looks at the alderman's journal. "Heart rate hasn't increased either, let's go Lynn."
"Ohhh I curse you witchers! A pox to all your kind!"
"Curse us all you want! The more you curse us, the more witchers you'll need!" Lynn laughed out loud as the hunters made their way to leave. The two returning to the inn's stables to retrieve their horses. Turning away to return to the city of Novigrad. Sun breaking over the horizon.
"It's a shame we didn't get paid much, sorry Lynn."
"don't sweat it, you'll make it up to me. Found some jewelry to melt down, pearls, perfumes, and some blackpowder!"
"Blackpowder! I can use that!"
"That and those sad excuses of bodyguards had some gold on them too."
"Why do you always go through everyone's pockets when we fight."
"Spoils of war Stinkolnovitch!"
"Spoils of war, but not in the middle of a fight!"
The two argue as they make their way to the city.
A/N Not the first I wrote but first published story. Got a lot of help from other author friends including BluePerson2021. Next chapters might take a while to write, better authors make this look easy. Will edit disclaimer and A/N at a later time.