A Short Simple Love Story

A/N: Am an amateur RO player so details on places, equipment and other RO jargon are sketchy. Story and characters © YunCyn so please don't copy or sell the story without my permission. (Besides who'd want to buy this when they can read it here already? ^^;;) Inspired by a wallpaper that had an acolyte helping a swordsman with his shoulder.


There are many kinds of stories around. Dramatic ones where everyone gets injured and blood and gore fill the air, heroic ones where people who don't wish to be heroes, are unexpectedly thrown into a situation they can't ignore and have to go save the world…

And then there are those short, simple love stories.

-ººº-

Girl and boy meet…

"Dang it, will you just die?!"

"Not the kind of words I'd expect to hear from an acolyte."

She looked up just to catch a wink and a grin before the swordsman brought his weapon down on the bat which had had the misfortune to think it could claim yet another acolyte. (And yet acolytes can take down zombies. Irony is indeed rampant in the Ragnarok world…)

-ººº-

Girl thinks boy's a big obnoxious jerk…

"Now, if you'd just do your job like a good little girl and thank me, I'll be on my way."

Her mouth dropped open at his impression that she would have healed him in thanks. Well, she would have anyway if it weren't for the imperious tone and smug smirk on his irritating face.

-ººº-

Boy thinks girl's a rude ungrateful snob.

"Excuuuse me? Just who do you think you are, the emperor of Midgard and beyond? I'm not about to heal you at your beck and call even if you did help me. Not with that tone you're taking anyway."

He was taken aback. He'd saved this wretched girl and now she was yelling at HIM?! Of all the ingrates he had to save, he had to save this one. Trust his luck to go and help a person who had no manners what so ever.

-ººº-

Girl and boy are forced into traveling together with four other companions.

"You!"

"You!?"

"I take it you two know each other?"

They glared at each other.

"Too well," she said through gritted teeth. He returned the most poisonous look he could come up with.

The leader raised an eyebrow. "Well, live with each other. We're a party and we're going to have to stick together even if it kills the both of you. And us come to think of it."

"No doubt." He muttered. She gave him a fierce hawk eye glare that usually melted metal.

They then turned their backs on each other each with a rather strong "Humph!" The other three sweat dropped.

This was going to be a long and explosive journey.

-ººº-

They go across their land fighting evil monsters, battling each other's attitude quirks and learn to compromise and accept one another.

After an encounter with several of the undead, the party sat down to rest. For once, both acolyte and swordsman were feeling amiable enough to actually have a decent conversation.

"… I'm not surprised that you managed to bring down three zombies at one go. That's what's scaring me."

He snorted. "Trust you to be the only one unimpressed by my skill."

She raised an eyebrow but retained her smirk. "And trust you to be the only one who didn't say a word of praise when I managed to defend our friend from a wolf. And on my own no less."

He smirked. "Fine. We're even."

-ººº-

Girl realizes boy is more than the big obnoxious jerk he seems to be. He's actually pretty smart and will show emotion but only if you break his bones and threaten to snap his sword in half.

Or when he knows you're not going to tease him about it.

"Swordsmen aren't supposed to look soft. It'd bring us our downfall apparently. But…" He turned to her with a smile. "Is it my fault I happen to like Wolf Babes?"

She smiled as he continued stroking the little wolf who'd taken quite a liking to the swordsman. This was probably the only time she'd seen him so gentle.

-ººº-

Boy on the other hand, gains revelation that girl actually has a sense of humour and her heart wasn't made out of stone.

Well, if you didn't act like a jerk and got hurt.

He coughed weakly, unable to even sit up.

"Hold still and close your eyes. You'll be okay."

Obediently doing so, he felt a gentle glow surround him. His sapped strength rushed back and soon he felt like he'd never been almost killed by a monster. Sitting up, he saw her breathing hard and leaning against a wall.

"That was a lot of Healing she did. It nearly sapped her dry." Commented the archer in their party.

He looked at her again, shivering to think of what would have happened to him if she hadn't been around.

-ººº-

Boy and girl slowly turn into good friends….

Traveling companions are quick to notice this change of heart. At this point is when all the wisecracks about "first comes love, second comes marriage then a baby in a carriage" soon show up. Both vehemently deny such allegations.

They convince absolutely none of their friends.

The magician, Thermin and the merchant, Rinum smiled slyly at him. He raised an eyebrow.

"What?"

"Since WHEN do you simply just give Poring eggs to someone? Especially to someone you were so tempted to strangle about three months ago?"

Somehow, a tinge of red seemed to spread across his face. "AHA! He's blushing! That CLINCHES it!" whooped Rinum.

"What!" He snapped. "She helped me stay alive so I was just returning the favour!"

Thermin snorted. "This from a guy who wouldn't even lend me his sword when I needed it. And I defended you against wolves, Mukas, AND PecoPecos when you were a mere novice!"

"Man, if you're in love, tell her." said Rinum. "No point in bottling it up, y'know…"

"Will you two grow at least half a brain between you?! I am not in love with her!"

"Denial is ALWAYS the first sign…then…" Rinum hummed the wedding march. Thermin filled in kissing sound effects in the background. Both cracked up in laughter some minutes after that.

Three seconds later, both the magician and merchant found themselves being chased by an irate man waving a sharp and dangerous sword, yelling for their guts.

-ººº-

The archer, Alaria folded her arms and cleared her throat. The thief beside her smirked.

"Ah!" The acolyte sighed in relief to see her friends and not some dangerous animal about to munch on her. "Don't do that!"

"I was behind you for at least five minutes, dear." Informed Alaria, not unkindly.

"…oh."

Wernca the thief sighed. "If you like him, it's always better to tell him regardless of the reaction, you know."

"Him? Who's 'him'? "

Wernca exchanged looks with Alaria. "The 'him' that has blonde hair…"

"The 'him' who's the swordsman…" supplied Alaria helpfully.

The thief raised an eyebrow at her acolyte friend. "The 'HIM' whom you've been staring at for, oh, the past ten minutes?"

"I… I WASN'T staring at him for the past ten minutes!"

Alaria grinned. "Then, for what? The past half hour?"

She spluttered. "NO! I wasn't staring at him at all! And if you keep this up, I'm NOT going to heal you two anymore."

Alaria placed her hands in surrender. "Alright, alright! You don't have to get so uptight!" She smiled. "Now, let's go wash up and go on our way."

They were walking to the stream when Wernca made an observation. "But honestly, he does have such deep blue eyes, doesn't he?"

"It's green."

The archer hid a smirk. "Pardon?"

"His eyes are green, not-" The acolyte looked up in horror. Her friends merely smiled, trying not to break down into fits of hilarity at her expression.

-ººº-

Something happens to both girl and boy….

Now, it's a common misconception that once you get teased with a friend, you fall in love instantly. What really happens is that you remain as friends and nothing more for a period of time. Then if Fate has a rather strange sense of humour and it does, something WILL happen to shake that happy bubble up.

And for either boy or girl to cough up the magic words.

"ILARI! LOOK OUT!"

The swordsman's eyes widened. "Wha-?!"

WHAM!

Everyone saw her hit points drop like a stone in water and the acolyte hit the ground.

"Ven, you idiot!" Rinum called out. He was never really known for his sympathy.

Thermin blazed in fury. "NAPALM BEAT!"

And with that, the monsters were turned to dust. Alaria rushed to her friend after shooting down her last foe.

"Ven, don't you quit on us! We NEED you!"

She breathed heavily. "I…won't…" She winced in pain.

Wernca tried hard not to think of her friend dying. "Come on Ven, you're an acolyte! Don't you dare!"

"I'm… trying…"

"Come on, Ven, pull yourself together… heal yourself!" said Rinum desperately.

Ven didn't respond as the pain seared through her.

Ilari, the swordsman then knelt by her, not caring whether anyone saw. "Why did you push me aside?"

"Because…you…were… about to…be…killed."

"Didn't you want to see me killed?"

"You…must have…mush…for brains. Of…course not."

"Why?"

Alaria was about to yell at Ilari for asking such pointless questions when Thermin, knowing his old friend very well, held her back. Rinum and Wernca exchanged confused looks as Thermin shook his head. No interfering.

"Because…" Ven smiled weakly. "I, I guess…"

Ilari took her hand. "You guess…"

Ven's eyelids were slowly closing. "You're…not the big jerk I met in Prontera…so…you didn't deserve to die. You're… my friend."

"Ven…?"

Her eyes were now fully closed and Ilari's voice seemed very far away. "Hmm?"

He leaned close to her ear. "I love you."

"Mm."

Her head drooped to the side. But Ilari never stopped holding her hand.

Alaria and Wernca gasped. Rinum gulped down a lump in his throat. "She…she…"

Thermin smiled. "Relax. Ven was healing herself over the time Ilari was talking to her. If she didn't have something to focus on, she probably would have…passed on."

Alaria stared at the magician then looked back to Ilari. She looked from Ilari back to Thermin again in wonder. "You mean he was…"

"Yes, he was helping her by talking to her. When you're hurt that badly, your mind tends to wander. But when Ilari talked to her, he helped her focus and then heal herself." He glanced at the acolyte. "She's too exhausted to fight. We better get out of here and now."

Although it seemed as if Ilari hadn't heard a word Thermin had said, he lifted Ven in his arms and turned to the others. "You guys will have to cover me and Ven."

The four nodded and off they went.

-ººº-

Girl recovers and well…it's anyone's guess what happens next.

Fate may have a strange sense of humour, but it has a purpose in that sense of humour. Of course, in stories like this, Fate must be a strong fan of romance.

At this point is where our short, simple love story really begins.

The party had taken shelter at an inn in Payon.

"Ilari, you're definitely a magnet for pain." Said Ven as she helped stitch up Ilari's shoulder pad. (His shoulder had been injured and Ven had been tending to it earlier)

Ilari snorted. "Right. And WHO nearly got knocked out a day before?"

Ven blushed in mild embarrassment but retorted. "Be grateful! I saved your butt!"

"And I carried you out of the darn maze, you ingrate…OW! You did that last stitch hard on purpose!"

Ven had an angelic smile pasted on her face as she dusted her hands. "I didn't. You know acolytes only heal and bring comfort."

Ilari rolled his eyes. "Not this acolyte." He muttered. "Ow!"

Ven smirked as she removed her elbow from his ribs. "I heard that, Ilari."

The swordsman decided he didn't want to return the jab and fiddled with his gloves. (In truth it didn't need fiddling with but he wanted an excuse to hang around) He looked at Ven who had her back turned and took a deep breath.

"Ve-"

"Ilari."

The swordsman blinked. "…yes?"

"…when I was injured… you asked me a couple of things."

Ilari wondered if that was a question. "…so?"

Ven never turned through all this. "And you asked me why I pushed you aside."

"…you said you wouldn't let me die because I wasn't the big jerk you met in Prontera and because…" he faltered.

"…because you're my friend."

Ilari returned his gaze to his gloves. "Yeah."

A very heavy awkward silence filled the air. And no one made any moves.

The swordsman coughed. "Um, the, the others are waiting for us… I'll um, go-"

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE."

Ven and Ilari looked up to see Thermin, Rinum, Wernca and Alaria.

More specifically, they saw Thermin's staff, Rinum's axe, Wernca's dagger and Alaria's bow and arrow. All of which were pointy, sharp and likely to kill them.

The acolyte and swordsman froze.

"You two will stay in this room," Began Thermin with an eyebrow raised.

"Until you say what you really want to say to each other." Finished Rinum sternly, his lips set in a manner that suggested they better take him seriously.

"Should any of you two walk out of this room without a happy ending," said Wernca with that thief glare she had perfected over the months.

"We will be forced to kill you." Warned Alaria, her orange eyes giving them that intense look that said she meant serious business.

In unison. "And trust us. We WILL do it." With that, all four tromped out of the room and slammed the room door shut.

Ven and Ilari blinked as they stared at the door. Then they stared at each other and broke out into expressions of indignity.

"They threatened us!" fumed Ven.

Ilari shook his head. "When it's not even their business!"

Ven continued fuming. "Of all things, they have to butt into this!"

"Like we can't sort this out on our own!" said Ilari vehemently.

"Exactly!" agreed Ven. "I don't need them to tell me to tell you that I love you!"

Ilari nodded. "Right! Like I can't tell you with my own mouth that I don't want to be just friends anymore!"

Ven felt like shriveling up and dying at that particular moment.

Ilari felt like bashing his head against his sword to end his misery.

They glanced at each other. Ven hugged herself as she looked to her feet. She TRIED to say something that would at least alleviate the tension by just an inch. She WANTED to say something that would at least dent the awkwardness a little.

"Um…"

Ilari on the other hand sighed. A swordsman was a man of action.

Besides, what else could he say in this kind of situation?

He went over to Ven and put his arms around her in a hug.

For a minute, she didn't know what to do and just stood there, feeling rather light headed and with the vague notion that the person she'd wanted to club to death when she first met him now had his arms around her.

Then, Ven came to her senses and circled Ilari's waist with her arms, returning his hug and leaning into him.

There was no kiss or ringing bells, it's true. Just a simple hug.

But it's a suitable ending for a short, simple love story.

The End.

Or not.

-ººº-

Girl and boy's friends fall in love with each other…

Thermin, Rinum, Alaria and Wernca smiled as they looked in through the window.

"Was there any other doubt?" said Alaria, glancing smilingly at Rinum.

Rinum discreetly took her hand and squeezed it a little. "Nope."

"So… how long do you think before they figure us out?" Wernca slipped an arm round Thermin's waist.

Thermin smirked and placed his arm round her shoulders. "As soon as they walk out the door and see us."

The quartet snickered. Trust Ven and Ilari to be so wrapped up in each other that both hadn't noticed that the archer and merchant had grown quite a fondness for each other while the thief and the magician had forged a strong bond between them.

Ven and Ilari walked out soon enough, saw their four friends smirking, noticed the positions they were in and sighed.

They should have KNOWN.

And everyone lives happily ever after.

The End.