RoAH: Chapter 4: Rock-Paper-Scissors

Update:10/1/12, fixed some typos and increased the length :D

Disclaimer: I don't own anything in this chapter other then Randall and the fictional town of Avirrals

RoAH: Return of A Hero
Chapter 4: The small town of Avirrals


As the sun shone down on two figures riding on horseback towards the town of Avirrals; one of them decided to open his mouth.

"Tch, 'not that far' he says" Zack mumbled under his breath as he rode on a borrowed horse next to Randall who was accompanying him for the trip.

"Hey! I can hear you, you know? It wouldn't have had be THAT far if we just rode on my gallant Grundoll, and you were the one who dragged me off here in the first place!" The brown-haired mage replied," Rather, I still can't believe I lost to you over such a childish game!"

"Well, I can't believe you actually wanted to sit on a Griffin, a brown furry hybrid capable of clawing your limbs off in seconds!" Zack retorted, ignoring the fact that Griffins have more feathers than fur.

"Besides, you were the one who insisted on rematches and hey, what are friends for if you don't help them out?" Zack asked Randall with a cheeky grin as Randall sighed once again for the umpteen time in the last hour.

"What do you have against Griffins? It's not like they have the ability to burst out of crates or treasure chests whenever you try to open them!" Randall retorted. Which made Zack go into flashback mode.

[Flashback]

Zack walked up to a treasure chest surrounded by scrap parts. "I wonder whats in her-" He could not finish his sentence because a Griffin had burst out of the chest and started attacking him.

It did not help either when it happened another three times...

[Flashback End]

"N-no what makes you think that they fit into treasure chests? I didn't mention that did I? Did I?" The fear of meeting a monster-in-a-box was much more noticeable in his voice as his eyes darted left and right.

Randall was about to comment on Zack's frantic panicking just as he caught sight of the town they were travelling to from the hill they were on now.

"Hey, Zack! I see the town we're going to reach...there...soon?" Randall trailed off lamely as he looked at the sight of Zack staring off into blank space mumbling about monsters being stuffed into chests. "Ok..." Randall leaned towards Zack and started snapping his fingers in front of his eyes.

"Hey Zack you there? Zack? ZACK!" The browned haired mage shouted right into the Ex-SOLDIER's ear; just as the Zack finally paid attention.

"You were sayin-"Zack was interrupted as Randall, not knowing that Zack has started paying attention again, yelled with all his might,"CAN YOU HEAR ME?" into his ear.

This only resulted in hurting Zack's ears as he clutched them in agony. "OH GAIA, IT HURTS!" Zack yelled just as his steed started increasing its speed down the road.

"Zack, hey wait up!" Randall made his horse go faster in order to close in to Zack's, both not noticing a sky blue-reptile flying in the air observing them.


"Ho, so this blasted familiar actually dared to leave the academy without my permission and just to go to a town?" said one of the three figures riding on a blue-scaled Dragon.

"Maa~ He probably did that just to spite you, Zero-chan" Kirche said as the now identified Louise turned around with a scowl.

"What did you mean by that, eh Kirche?" Louise replied as a tick-mark appeared and started twitching as Kirche opted to ignore her for her nails.

At least until one of the comments that Louise made hit a nerve, a nerve that was buried real deep and down in the hearts of the females who belong to the Zerbst family.

"...No fighting in the air..." Tabitha said as she looked up for a second from her book at the two rival mages.

"...Fine, I'll let you off this time Louise since Tabitha said so" Kirche said before she turned away with a huff.


"Where is this weapon shop at?" Zack asked as he followed Randall from behind, looking around the shops seems to be labeled by the signboards.

'pretty primeval if you ask me' he thought to himself as Randall took a turn into an alleyway, "Still looking for it, swore the last time i saw it the shop was right about, here it is!" Randall approached the door with a sword displayed in it's signboard.

As they entered the room, the first thing they noticed was the dusty outlook, "The owner doesn't clean up very much does he?" Zack mused as he start looking through the shop for his ideal weapon.

'The weapons in the display cases don't seem to have much durability though' Zack thought to himself as he approached a barrel full of swords.

"Welcome to my humble shop! May I help you?" said a voice just as an old man appeared behind the counter, correction, sleazy looking old man.

"Nothing much, just looking for some weapons" Randall replied as he thought to himself, 'Oh for Brimir's sake, the owner of the shop just HAD to look like a scammer. With the odds as it is, he probably is one...' He sighed mentally as he heard the shopkeeper speak.

"Well, what may i interest you in? Sword; axes or bows? Just ask away" the shopkeeper said as he glanced at the huge sword that was on Zack's back.

"Say, do you happen to have any broadswords? About the size of this one here but slimmer and more compact?" Zack asked as he held up the Buster Sword which combined with Zack's height and its own length, almost broke into the ceiling.

"Please wait" The shopkeeper said as he went into the room behind the counter and came back holding a shiny sword covered by an oily rug. "What about this one?" He asked as he spread the rug on the counter.

"This is the best thing I have although it may look fragile; it's made by the famous Germanian alchemist Lord Shupei. See this inscription here? It can cut through metal like butter because of the magic infused in it!" The shopkeeper proudly pointed at the words on the handle, "but that's something reserved for very strong men because the recoil from the blows of this sword is powerful. If not, just wearing it on your back can make your feel proud and gazes will be on you everywhere you go because everyone would be envious of this shiny sword."

Zack walked closer, his eyes surveying every nook and cranny of the sword. "That sword looks really powerful." Zack said as he tapped it with his finger but mentally, 'It only looks powerful, probably would break after a hard swing from me'

That was when someone or rather something decided to voice it's opinion on the sword, "That, a sword? Hehe heh he HAHA HAA HAH! You got to be kidding me if that is the average standard of swords they make nowadays" and the voice came from the barrel Zack was looking through previously.

"Hey, stop talking trash when I'm trying to sell something to a customer here" the shopkeeper shouted towards the barrel in anger as the voice started laughing again, "Hahahahah! Sell? Scam might be the appropriate word your searching for" before it paused as the shopkeeper started sweating bullets.

"Hey! You! The one in the weird black clothes" the voice started again.

"Me?" Zack asked as he pointed at himself with a questioning smirk while approaching the barrel to search for the source of this voice.

"Yeah, you seem to be quite adept with swords and I can definitely see experience with the way you carry yourself, though you seem more like a fighter then a swordsmen."

Right when the voice finished its sentence, Zack identified it as a sword.

A rusty broadsword that was practically a smaller version of the Buster Sword, except it had a weird-pommel that would clack and clank whenever it talks.

Giving a small 'hmm' Zack held up the now silent talking sword and examined it from different angles.

"You know you're making me blush just by looking at me everywhere right?" said the sword as the pommel looked as though it had a red hue on it.

"Hmm...What is your name?" Zack asked after he stared at the pommel for a few seconds"

"I don't really have a name, but my old partner used to call me Derlflinger" The now identified Derlflinger replied

"Derlflinger, eh? Nice to meet you, name's Zack Fair and I guess I'm going to be your new partner eh?" Zack said with a smirk as he turned towards the shop owner. "How much does he cost?" Zack asked the shopkeeper.

"Well for that, I'll just let you have it cheap" raising a single finger he smirked as he said, "Just 100 new gold"

Zack took out his wallet from his pocket and counted the correct amount before putting it onto the counter.

After careful counting, the shopkeeper finally nodded. "Thank you for your business!" the shopkeeper said with a wry grin as he sheathed Derlflinger after taking it out of the barrel and gave it to Zack.

"Don't say I didn't warn you but this guy is real annoying. If he gets noisy, just shove him back in the scabbard and he'll shut up."

Zack nodded and received Derlflinger from the shopkeeper with a smirk, "Will do". He said as he turned around and walked towards the door with Randall in tow.

Three figures watched Zack and Randall leave the weapons shop from the shadow of an alley. Louise watched the two from the shade as she fiercely bit her nail.

"That useless familiar, although he helped me raise my reputation by quite a bit doesn't give him the right to go out without telling me. What the heck? And whose that guy with him?" Louise turned around and looked at her accomplices as she stomped the ground in anger.

Tabitha, her job done, was reading as usual.

Kirche was just ignoring her as her eyes followed Zack and Sylphid circled around the skies above them.

They had followed the two here soon after they'd spotted them.

Kirche waited for them to walk far away before she ran into the weapons shop with Louise following closely behind her.

The shopkeeper stared at Kirche as if he couldn't believe it. "Whoa, two more nobles? What's going on today?" 'Usually it's hard to even get a single customer' the shopkeeper mused to himself.

"Hey there, boss…" Kirche played with her hair, a charming smile in her lips. The shopkeeper's face turned deep red under the sudden seduction as his eyes slowly moved down from her face.

"Do you happen to know what that commoner and noble bought not long ago?"

"A s-sword… he bought a sword, the commoner bought it but his noble companion was just browsing through."

"I see… so he bought himself a sword… what kind of sword?"

"A d-dirty and rusty one."

"Dirty and rusty? Why?"

"Because he thought it was interesting."

Kirche put her hand to her chin as she started thinking out loud. "Interesting? How is a rusty sword interesting?"

"Uh… is my lady here to buy a sword, too?" The shopkeeper perked up, not willing to let go of the chance to sell another one of his wares.

'This noble looks much more rich compared to the previous one, her pink haired friend looks like she's quite wealthy looking too.'

"Hmm, sorry but no, I'm kind of in a hurry here" Kirche said with an alluring smirk as she walked out of the shop while swaying her hips, "Come on Zero-chan unless you want to get left behind" Kirche said to Louise who was still fascinated by the variety of things that can be used as 'weapons'.

Ignoring the jab at her, she followed her red-haired companion out of the store leaving behind a sighing shopkeeper.

'No such luck I guess...' The shopkeeper thought to himself as he went behind the shop just like before he was disturbed.


Later that night

Zack stood outside of Louise's room after having a long conversation with Derlflinger after testing out the Intelligent-Sword, which was finished with a promise the ex-SOLDIER made to the talking sword.

Pushing open the door with one hand after turning the knob, he was greeted with the sight of Louise and Kirche bickering at each other as Tabatha just sat on the bed reading and ignoring the verbal insults and shouting the pink and red haired girls were throwing at each other for the benefits of her book.

Zack blinked once before raising his hand, "Uhhh..." He started dumbly as all three of them turn towards him.

It was then Louise looked down and her fringe covered her eyes, just as her face suddenly darkened and a shadow appeared behind her before slowly turning into the outline of a demon.

"Where did you go all day, Zack?" She asked with red eyes that glowed through her fringe and a really scary smile.

Seeing that she was about to quite literally blow up in anger, Zack backpedaled before opening the door and diving out of the room just as an his previous location was engulfed in smoke from an explosion that happened.

Quickly picking himself up; he started sprinting towards his goal, which was the open window at the far end of the hallway while dodging his master's attempts at murder.

"Where do you think you're going you stupid familiar!" Louise shouted as she chased after the ex-SOLDIER with only hatred and annoyance powering up her wand.

"Somewhere safe, where I won't get blown up because of everything I said!" Zack retorted as he finally reached his goal.

Placing both of his hands on the sides of the large window; Zack flung himself out into the open air which was three stories high.

Figuring that running as fast as you can in open space is much more better than dodging debris and destroyed objects indoors; he ran across one of the courtyards and focused on getting out of sight before Louise reaches ground floor and catches up to him.

Finding a giant pot that had a few cracks, Zack decided to use that as a hiding place as not many people would bother checking giant pots.

He quickly left the Buster Sword and Derlflinger, with strict instructions to stay silent, in a nearby bush as he dove into the abandoned pot and strained his senses to see if he was still being chased down.


Meanwhile with Louise

Panting slightly from the chase due to lack of exercise, Louise arrived at where she had last seen the raven haired warrior after he jumped out from the third storey window.

Grumbling to herself slightly in irritation, she scanned the area for her familiar before dismissing the only possible hiding place, a pot, as nothing.

Taking off in another direction, Louise paused for a moment when she felt vibrations from an unknown source.

Deciding to investigate the source, she started running towards the general direction of what was causing vibration, reaching the court where she felt the most shaking from.

What she did not expect to see was piles of soil and rock melding and joining together slowly forming a gigantic figure towering almost as tall as the tower it was created next to.

'An earth golem? Why would someone create a golem in the middle of the court late at night?' Louise thought as she tightened the grip she had on her wand.

It was then that moment that she noticed a figure standing on one of the golem's shoulder gesturing towards the tower.

Heeding its master's commands, the earth golem smashed one of its massive fists onto the walls of the tower creating a shockwave that travelled though the court. As the shockwave travelled past Louise, she could practically feel her insides shaking and being jumbled up.

"Gyah!" Which in turn elicited a yelp of surprise from the pink-haired mage as it was not everyday that you come across a tremor strong enough to rattle you as though you were placed in a jar.

Opening her eyes after she closed them in reflex, she looked up only to see the earth golem and its master face her direction with their eyes seemingly gleaming in the darkness.

Just she was about to scream for help, she was hit by a Silence spell by the mage who created the earth golem. Taking a step back as she prepared to run like there was no more tomorrow, one of the golem's fist closed around her and lifted her off the ground...


With Zack back at his new hiding place, the Pot

At this point of time, Zack had already relaxed and was just thinking about what he should do with his new life now.

His thoughts ranged from trying to get himself a to creating his own mercenary unit in Tristain.

Although the latter might end up with him being hunted down by more people than appreciated.

Feeling slight tremors coming from a nearby court, Zack poked his head out of the pot before cautiously exiting his safe haven to investigate the cause of the tremors.

Scratching his head slightly in confusion, thinking that he heard a voice yelp almost an instant after feeling another round of vibrations. Shrugging, Zack picked up the Buster Sword and placed it back onto its magnetized holster after a few swings. He then picked up Derflinger and after some adjusting, both Derflinger and the Buster Sword were vertically strapped to his back next to each other.

Making his way back to the nearest set of stairs, Zack had just passed the door when images started appearing in his mind and started playing like a movie. Non of it made to sense to Zack at all, at least until he caught sight of pink hair at the corner of his 'view' and his eyes widened. 'Am I looking through Louise's eyes?'

Louise's view started tilting left and right, not unlike the action people do when they try to fumble something out of their pocket or coat.

Recognising the tower that was shown party in Louise's sight, Zack sprinted to a nearby court and looked up to see the girl he was looking for. Pink hair reflected a little light in the darkness as she struggled for something. Which kind of explained why the vision he saw was from a high vantage point, she was held in the hands of a golem that was the height of the tower.

Drawing Derlflinger, Zack hoped that the golem or its master who was standing on it's shoulders wouldn't notice him.

Luck was on his side as the golem had its back facing him and its master was too preoccupied with something to even check his surroundings. Studing the golem and looking for weak points like cracks or loose soil (Good thing the he was awake during the lesson on 'How to take down an enemy mage's creation'). Finding two of his intended targets, Zack homed in on his target which was the left knee of the golem and started unleashing a dual flurry of attacks with Derflinger and the Buster Sword.

The knee finally collapsed under the strain of the attacks and with too much of its weight laying on only it's remaining leg, the golem fell forward as Zack went under the arm holding Louise and cleaved it off with a Climhazzard.

Quickly grabbing Louise as she fell out of the disconnected limb, he retreated some distance before putting her down...


Author's notes and random stuff

...Don't butcher me...Please? D: Not sure if I'm going to continue this fic though...


Omake

'The Game'


"Rock, Paper, Scissors!" two teenagers swung their right fists out together at the same time, one of them showed paper while the other showed rock. "Rock beats paper Randall, and that means that you'll gonna bring me to the town you mentioned yesterday for some weapon shopping" Zack said as he started to walk away.

"Oh, not so fast, Fair" Randall said as he looked up with gleaming eyes,"Best eight out of ten!" He declared with his manliest tone of voice ever as he got back into the basic Rock-paper-scissors stance.

"Seems like you just won't admit defeat will you, you ignorant fool!" Zack said with an air of superiority around him," Then I shall teach you manners young grasshopper!"

Zack too went into the stance and readied his fist,"Rock...Paper...SCISSORS!" the two males cried as one as they swung their respective right hand forward...

Fifty seconds and 7 victories later

"I- I can't believe I lost to you in a game that relies on luck and memory more than anything in this world!" Randall cried as Zack patted him on the shoulder and turned around towards the horizon before he started walking away.

"Daybreak tomorrow morning Randall, don't be late!" Zack said as he 'disappeared' into the setting sun.


End