AN: So, I've travelled to the world of Albion from the deep space of Mass Effect. For those of you who followed me over here, I promise I will update soon…blame Fable III for my distraction. :)
This will be a Princess/Ben story as he was my favorite character, and I was vastly disappointed that I could not romance him. Please enjoy the story.
Special thanks to iNf3ctioNZ, my unofficial beta! That guy is a bloody genius. This would probably be the time for me to tell you that I'll wait while you go read his stories over in the Mass Effect world, but you would never come back. So, read this first and then go take a look at his stuff. :)
Lionhead Studios owns all.
"Now, use the power in your legs to bring up your sword and block!"
Lara rolled her eyes as she brought up her sword like her "uncle" had suggested. It was just like Walter Beck to be giving her advice in the middle of a fight. She loved him, sure, but the man had literally no sense of timing…
"Atta girl! That's it!"
"Must you always do that?" Lara shouted over the sounds of swords clashing and weapons firing. Her dog, Ares, lunged for an attacker, letting out an evil growl.
"Do what?" Walter called back, bending his body in a way Lara would never have thought possible to dodge an attack. Walter might be getting up there in age, but the man could still fight.
Lara threw herself in a forward somersault and pointed out her gauntleted arm at the nearest enemy, sending a shock of lightning his way. His body convulsed violently as it coursed through his body, leaving the bandit's corpse charred and smoky as it fell to the ground. One down, two more to go. Lara drove her sword into the next bandit just as Walter brought down the last one, kicking the attacker's knees out and decapitating the helpless enemy. Man could still fight, indeed…
"Do what?" Walter repeated walking over to her.
"Make comments and give me advice in the middle of a sword fight," Lara replied, wiping her sword clean off the dead man's trousers.
"I thought you liked when I did that," Walter said, using the back of his sleeve to wipe the sweat from his brow.
"Yes, when I'm training, not in the middle of a bloody battle. I'm normally a bit busy trying, you know, not to get killed? Instead of listening to instructions?"
Walter clutched his heart feigning to be hurt. "If my lady wishes for me to cease giving her advice, I will gladly obey her command. Is that what you want, Princess Lara?"
"Oh, come off it," Lara retorted. "Since when have you called me 'my lady' or 'princess'? Just Lara, please." It annoyed her to no end when people treated her like royalty. Granted, she was a princess, a fact that she was reminded of every day of her life, but that didn't mean she had to like it. Besides, what kind of princess roams around the country with only her mentor and her dog for company, regularly getting into fights? The title seemed almost pointless given her current situation.
Walter let out a loud chuckle.
"What I want is for you to trust me," Lara raised her voice over his thunderous laugh, slightly annoyed that he wasn't taking her seriously. "We've been out of the castle for two weeks. Surely, I've proven that I can handle myself in a fight."
"That you have," Walter replied, this time wiping the tears of mirth from the corner of his eyes. "But must you always be so serious? It wouldn't hurt for you to crack a smile every once in a while, girl. People prefer approachable royalty, after all."
Lara let out a small sigh as she finally sheathed her sword and strapped her rifle to her back. She had become serious the day she started training with Walter. Jokes and random one-liners weren't going to get her to the top. As a woman (and the princess), she had to work twice as hard to best those training to be in the Royal Army. What she lacked in bulk, she made up for in speed and endurance. Her naturally small, lithe frame became an advantage when she was pitted against the taller, stronger men. It had taken her years to finally achieve her goal, and, in the end, she was the only one left standing in a room full of seasoned soldiers.
She had earned their respect that day, really earned it, not just because she was their princess. She had become a warrior, a fighter just like them, and that's what got you respect. Who you really were, not what your title dictated you should be.
"Smiles don't kill bandits," she merely said, whistling for Ares to follow her as she began making her way down the road. "Though if they did, Albion would be a much happier place."
Walter considered her for a moment, before silently following her lead. Avo help the man who falls in love with her, he thought wryly. Poor bastard is going to need it.