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Thread: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

  1. #1

    Default Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Happy New Year, folks. Once again, this is a reboot, so check out the original if you want to.

    Chapter 1: White Fang.

    Hidden:


    It was one of those days. A day that would be different than an ordinary day in Gray Vale. Except neither residet of the Vale would know about it. Some travelers are about to arrive at that humble town of Constance. I say humble, but it has a very strong-looking fort right in the middle if it. In fact, the town was guarded behind four strong walls as well.

    Constance was the most well-know county in Grey Vale. Maybe because there is a saying that if you mess with the Vale the Tigers at Constance will come for you.

    But Grey Vale has no Tigers. It's most a barren land with rocks, sand, cacti and all that stuff. But there is one tiger around the place. That knows their way around the place better than a vulture. If you are caught doing something you shouldn't have then there is no escape from the fangs of the White Tigers.

    The visitors arrived on a black carriage pulled by a black horse. It looked like a giant black tortoise on wheels. As they arrive on the town's gates the carriage stops and a redhead man clad in a black uniform with a red jacket covering his top, carrying a sword on his side approaches the gate, showing an red emblem to someone , seeing through a small gap in the gate. A short while later the gate opens.

    The man returns to the carriage and reunites himself to the company of a elegant lady that he was scouting. The woman wore a beautiful scarlet dress and spotted a long hair with a strong hot brown colour.

    "You know, we could get out of this stuffy old wagon." Said the young woman.

    "It is not safe to walk around those filthy streets, princess. Gray Vale is infamous for being filled with criminals."

    "But you are here. There isn't a better security, right?"

    "Sigh. After we pay the mayor a visit, we can walk around."

    "Thank you. Also, you can skip the formalities and just call me Jessica like we used to it, Lars."

    "I take my duties as General very seriously."

    "...Sigh. You used to be cool when you weren't."

    They soon arrives at the town hall where they manage to arrive at the mayor's office. He was a old man with a black top hat sitting behind his desk with a cane on his side. Like most of his predecessors.

    "You two arrived earlier than I expected." With the help of his cane, he gets up to greet them. "Not that I was gonna be busy."

    "You don't need to force too much, Mayor Alberto." Said Jessica.

    "No, I insist. Not everyday one gets to see the Princess of Vermillion and the Red Knight, isn't it?"

    "Well, aren't you the one in charge of this place?"

    "I'm just a elected official that lived more than anyone else should. So, what does the whole Kingdom of Vermillion wants from my humble land?"

    "I believe you are already aware." Said Lars. "You know about the Mines from the west, right?"

    "Ah, yes. That thing. Isn't that Azure's? Why should you bother?"

    "Why wouldn't I?! Azure has found a whole Ore Mine and you are just okay with that?!"

    "Lars! Down your tone!" Complained Jessica.

    "I understand the concern of your generel, Princess." Said Mayor Alberto. "Is not that I think there is something funny going on? With no rhyme or reason, the northern kingdom of Azure found a mine where no would had the faint idea. Like finding a piece of straw in a mountain of needles if I must say so."

    "So you'll do something about it?" Asked Lars.

    "I'm afraid you don't know how things works around here. Unlike your homeland where you concern from everything that ranges from the capital to the sea and the borders with Vale, here I am can only concern of what happens inside the walls of Constance. The law of Vale is Fist Found, First Taken. That applies to everyone from even Azure and Vermillion. Don't forget this is a neutral zone."

    "But-"

    "And Azure already filled all the paperwork that grants them the right of the land."

    "You can't just let those damn bastards so close to us!"

    "Calm down Lars!" Jessica protested once again. "Don't make just a fuss over an Ore Mine."

    "If I were him, I would make a fuss." Said Alberto.

    "Why?"

    "Ores, princess. In this continent, Ores mean Power. You can answer on the waist of your general."

    "You mean...this?" Lars picked his sword and looked at the blade next to the hilt by opening the sheath.

    " The Vermillion Sword: Hannibal. One of the Four Swords. A blade made not with steel, but with Ore. That sword is almost as important as your only country. And yet you managed to bring over here as if it was an ornament."

    "I am not leaving anywhere without it."

    "I'm not critisizing or anything. Just pointing out what could it made with those Ores. Even if until now, nothing ever was made that could rival any of the four swords."

    "And it's exactly why those mines bothers me. Not only they are closer to Vermillion from a site in Vale, but at each second they'll have more and more ores."

    "Isn't your lands rich in Ores by itself?"

    "That doesn't changes the point here!"

    "You know what really changes the point. It's that the reason you came here has nothing to do with Azure."

    "Oh...Oh! That's right!" Said Jessica. "Aren't we supossed to overseeing that?"

    "Oh...right." Lars sighed.

    Suddenly, the door behind them opens by a kick and a woman appeared from it. She had a short white hair and a leather hat over it. She wore a white jacket over a brown shirt, a black short dress with clear white fangs hanging out in the waist area. Her thights were covered in bandages and she wore black boots. She had a katana on her left hand and she was pulling three beat-up man who seemed to be unawaken tied on a rope.

    "Oh? Am I interrupting something?" Asked the stranger.

    "Not at all. In fact, it's great timing you came, Valentine." Said Alberto. "But it seems you brought a few other guests with you."

    "Yeah." The Valentine lady pulled the rope with one hand that tossed the three men foward. "I have here bank robbery, tax fraud and...Scum. Sorry it seems I overdid."

    "I would say you almost went too soft on them. Anyway, these are Princess Jessica of Vermillion and General Lars. I was hoping you could show around the place to them."

    "I'm a Ranger, not a tour guide. But since it's two prized horses we are talking about so who am I to complain."

    "Mayor, who might this woman be?" Asked Lars.

    "Well, no other than Ari Valentine." Said Alberto. "The so called White Fang."

    "The White Fang? You mean, the leader of the White Tigers?" Asked Jessica. "I didn't knew she was a woman?"

    "Neither do I." Said Lars. "I mean, you don't think immediately think of a woman when you hear the name Ari Valentine."

    "I hear that a lot." Said Ari. "Pa once said that it would be better if in case my name would be know, no one would think of my gender. I guess he wanted to pull a joke or something."

    "Now that you are both acquainted, I hope we can get along on the following weeks." Said Alberto. "Anyway, mind taking our other guests to their places?"

    "Just fill the paperworks beforehand. Also, prepare the gallows as soon as possible. For the scum."

    "Very well then."

    After sending the recently captured criminals to the town's jail, Ari decided to scout Jessica and Lars through the town to a certain location.

    "By the way, sorry about all that." Said Ari. "I mean, have to witness other people's trouble on a bussiness trip can be rather stressful, huh?"

    "Oh, do not mind." Said Jessica. "It's not like we got involved or anything. Anyway, I am rather surprised that the legendary ranger, The White Fang, is a woman. I thought all rangers were dautless gentlemen or something."

    "There is a handful of them, yes."

    "But...When you mentioned gallows back there, did you mean like...You know...With a rope?"

    "Yep." Ari pointed at a gallow in the middle of the street with the rope on it. "I myself am not a fan. They just seem to die so quickly."

    "I know it's not my place to talk, but couldn't you think of another punishment instead of the death penalty?"

    "...Heh. Do you wanna know what charges gave that man a bounty of one thousand gold?"

    "One thousand? What did he-"

    "Rape. A lot of it. A very handful of them were young girls. Really young girls. His first victim in fact was his own cousin."

    "H-How terrible!"

    "You telling me those things don't happen back in Vermillion?"

    "Not in the way you describe." Said Lars.

    "Yeah, it doesn't happen a lot like this around, but...It certainly a thing that may happens everyday. And maybe we could like lock him in a cell for all of his life, but...We don't have a big jailhouse and we need free cells."

    "Alright then." Jessica stayed a little depressed.

    Later on, they arrived at the train station. They stood in front of a big black train in the railroads that quickly astonished Jessica with her eyes shining of excitement. "Oh. Sweet. Mother. It's beautiful."

    "So that's what this train thing is, huh?" Said Lars. "How did you managed to build this?"

    "Thanks for the patronage of your dear princess." Said Ari.

    "It's so much better than I imagined it. How long can it go?" Asked Jessica.

    "Right now, we have railroads conecting Constance to 4 other major locations and one path going to Vermillion. Hundreds of hard-working men were builting miles of trails non-stop for this."

    "They were being built out there, right? Not a very safe enviroment." Said Lars.

    "We had zero casualities until now, thank you very much."

    "Zero? How?"

    "Each group had a squad of well-trained rangers overseeing 4 different group of workers. And each of them had one of my best, leading them."

    "You don't mean...The Streak Leaders?"

    "Bingo."

    "Who are them?" Asked Jessica.

    "It said that right below the White Fang, there are four individuals that act as sub-bosses." Said Lars. "I heard rumours saying that each one of them can rival a commander of an army from either Azure or Vermillion. I doubted they even existed."

    "Not all four of them are tactical genius, but I do believe each one of them can look after a few people." Said Ari. "But of course, it just mean I have to take care of this place all by myself. Good grief..."

    "I am very glad things are procceding with good results." Said Jessica. "Speaking in the name of the Kingdom of Vermillion, the White Tigers have our sincerest gratitude."

    "Whatever."

    "The next in line to the throne of Vermillion sends her regards, but you take as nothing?" Said Lars.

    "Here in Vale, things like Kings and Princes means a grain of rice. In my point of view, there is only a man with a pretty radical sword and a woman with lots of resources. Nothing else matters."

    "Such arrogance. I knew Vale lacked class, but this is just insulting."

    "Class isn't the first word that came into my mind when I first saw you."

    "Are you trying to pick a fight with the strongest sword of Vermillion?"

    "...So what if I am?"

    Both Ari and Lars stares at each other.

    "P-P-Please Lars! We are not here to make more enemies." Said Jessica. "Let's just stop by someplace for a cup of tea and-"

    The sounds of thunderstorms echoed through the air and dark clouds were slowly approaching. "A storm? In the middle of this weather?"

    "Aw maaaaan. What a drag." Said Ari. "Sorry folks, but I have an urgent matter to attend."

    "What's going on? Is it serious? I mean, it just rain, right?"

    "It isn't a rain. It's a storm."

    "...Well then, soooo...How about taking us with you?"

    "Why is that?"

    "Yeah, why is that?" Said Lars.

    "I believe it's a good opportunity to know a little bit more of the White Tiger. After all we are gonna be here for quite a while."

    "...Fine. But protrecting you is the general's job, so do not blame me if anything if anything happens." Said Ari.

    "I'll eat my own feet if I would let the princess to be in the guard of anyone else." Said Lars.

    "Well, okay then." Said Jessica.

    "By the way, does any of you mind have to ride a steed?" Asked Ari.

    "No problem. I learned how to horseback."

    "Who said anything about horses?"

    "Huh?"

    Ari guided them to a stable that were filled with giant lizards with saddles.

    "....What are those...things?" Asked Jessica.

    "Basils." Said Ari. "We often use those for ride on it. You never saw those?"

    "You don't have horses?" Asked Lars.

    "We are using them for larbor works at the trails you see. But these things are way better for long walks on those barren lands even though they are weaker. Outside of that, it's just like a horse."

    "I admit...I am not very confident I can tame one of those." Said Jessica.

    "Oh don't worry about it. There is a big boy over there that can carry three."

    "Oh dear.."

    The three of them left Constance on top of a long lizard that ran towards the clouds.

    "Urgh! How do you folks from here ride these nasty beasts." Said Lars. "It doesn't stop shaking."

    "It is better when it run in two legs." Said Ari.

    "Wait. It can walk like a human?!" Asked Jessica.

    "Yeah, but I thought that maybe you lot would rather it-"

    "Do it! Do it! Do it!"

    "...Okay then. Heep!" With a command from Ari, the Basil stood up and started to run in two legs.

    "Hahaha! Yeah!"

    "What is she, a kid?"

    "Don't judge her character, okay?" Said Lars.

    The trio then arrived right where the clouds appeared.

    "Alright then. They will be here in a second." Said Ari.

    "Who do you mean by "They"?" Asked Jessica.

    "Not who. What." Ari pointed at figures in a distance. They were tall humanoids figures made of white rock. their heads were shaped like a triangle with a glowing crystal in the middle and were running with both arms and legs.

    "Those...Are Golems?"

    "First time seeing one?"

    "It certainly different from the ones in Vermillion."

    "Those are White Golems. So their bodies are made from White Ores. They do not exists outside of Vale so that makes my life more of a pain in the ass."

    "It's still doesn't make sense why there is a whole lot of them in one place. Golems aren't like that."

    "White Golems aren't know for being sturdy and strong, but rather quick and intelligents. They are able to communicate through some sort of telepathy and when so much of them gathers, a storm always appears in the sky thanks to the massive gathering of White Flame."

    "This sounds problematic."

    "It's still just the tip of the problem. It's gets worse than this later."

    Ari ran straight at the golems with her hand right next to the handle of her blade.

    "Is she mad?!" Said Jessica. "it's too dangerous to face a whole group of golems like that!"

    A golem tries to attack Ari with their claws, but Ari easily cuts the golem in three parts with her sword, making it break like glass.

    "W-What happened?" Asked Lars. "She managed to cut that golem like if it was made of paper. She said they weren't sturdy, but their bodies are made of Ore. And why didn't their bodies regenerated."

    "Say...Don't they do the same when you destroy the golems back home." Said Jessica.

    "Come to think of it...Yeah. Everyone else needs to destroy the core, but for me I...Wait...Could it be that..." Lars takes a look at Ari's swords outside of the scabbard and sees her katana with a clear white blade emmiting sparks of the same colour. "One of the four swords..."

    "What?!"

    "The White Sword: Musashi. So she is the chosen wielder."

    "A wielder of the White Sword. Who knew we would meet her..."

    Ari is surrounded by several of those golems. They attack by moving at a high speed like white flashes to approach her, but she reacts fast and attacks their cores in the head.

    "Hey, General! You better watch your back!" Shouted Ari as one of those Golems sneaked behind them.

    "Princess! Stay back!" Lars pushed Jessica behind him and took out his blade delivering an explosive attack at the Golem. The Golem is pushed back but it's still moving. "It didn't worked it?"

    The Golem attacks again, but Lars impales the sword in the ground, making a pillar of flames rise under the golem. He then manages to stab the core in the head, destroying it. "Are you alright, Princess?"

    "Y-Yeah. I couldn't even scream."

    "So Hannibal can't make work out of these like the Red Golems. The more you know."

    Ari started to chip down the golems little by little by cutting down their arms and legs and destroying the cores next. She swings her blade with amazing speed as if there was no weight on the blade. Suddenly the golems starts to gather at one point, making a small mountain of them. "Well shit, here goes."

    The golems started to shine and it fused to become one giant White Golem.

    "It got bigger?!" Jessica freaked out.

    "Well, this place really is worse than any volcano now." Said Lars.

    The golem tried to crush her with the arms. Even though it was bigger, their moves were still fast.

    "I really have no time for this sort of shit." Ari lifted her sword above her head with the blade pointed at the Golem's core. "Wait for it...wait for it..."

    The Golem attacked by swing the arm at Ari, but she manages to jump over it and starts to run towards the head. "There!" She shoots the sword at the golem and it flew like a lightning bolt, piercing the core and destroying the golem, being turned in pieces. "Urf. Another day."

    Ari goes to pick back her sword and put it back in her scabbard.

    "Ms. Valentine." Jessica went to ask her something. "What exactly was this event?"

    "For some reason around this region, a group like this appears from time to time. As you guys know, Golems don't really think, but their actions aren't out of reason either. It's just there is something around here that attracts them."

    "So there will be more?"

    "Eventually. But I did notice their attacks have been less frequent. But let's just get out of here." With a whistle she calls back the Basil and starts to return home.

    "...Why didn't you said you were the Wielder of the White Sword?" Asked Lars.

    "I just felt it wasn't important." Replied Ari.

    "Forgive Lars. It just that no one has heard about the White Sword for quite a while."

    "It was not a long when we knew that the Dark Sword: Jacques is wielded by Captain Wave, the Pirate King." Said Lars. "And as you know, Prince Heide of Azure has the Azure Sword: Ragnar."

    "And now that you know, what fo you plan to do?" Asked Ari. "As a fellow Chosen, you do know that stealing a sword from their wielder will do no good, right?"

    "I know that. But it is good to know who I shouldn't get on the bad side. And that goes the same to you."

    "Heh. Having you guys will be fun. Oh yeah, by the way, you two are gonna live with me until you leave."

    "Huh? What do you mean?"

    "We forgot to say this, but the place you guys are staying is in my headquarters. The White Tiger's Den."
    Last edited by KageKageKing; February 1st, 2019 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 2: Streak Leader.

    Hidden:


    2 weeks had passed ever since Ari opened the doors of her Den to Jessica and Lars. The Den once was a fort used to store supplies such as rations, water, wealthy and of course Ores. It was made up with the fort itself surrounded by a wall from the four sides with an outside area between them. Ever since the White Tigers lived on the Den, it functions as a Ore Bank. Such a burden could only be bear by the White Fang herself.

    Ores came in four types. Each type has a "Flame" of same colour with their own magic property. Azure is Freeze. Vermillion is Scorch. White is Energy. And Dark is Power. Each of them grows deep in the continent where magic flows and sprout like crops.

    As history progressed, several records of usage of Ores and research on their Flames for several uses were created and stored on the Den.

    Taking advantage of the situation, Jessica couldn't help, but check on those source of knowledge. She borrowed some books and studied their content from way early in the morning. "So that's where they knew about the train. Who knew there was something like this in basically nowhere."

    "Princess?" Lars came knocking her door. "Ms. Valentine wants to have a word with you."

    "Really? That's rare." Without a second wasted she decides to follow Lars to where Ari was waiting. "Are yet familiar with this interior? It's not as big as the castle, but it does takes time to get used to it."

    "It would help if every hallway didn't looked the same."

    After leaving the fort, the two of them see Ari without her coat, sparring in hand-to-hand combat against three young men, which she easily defeats finishing the last one with an arm throw. "Sigh. Alright, that's enough for today. Congratulations you bag of skinny worms. As of now you can survive 12 seconds out there. That's like 5 seconds more than 2 weeks ago. Now stay in the ground and give me 100!"

    "Yes, big sis!" Immediately the three of them started to do push-ups.

    "Bunch of amateurs. Heeeey! You two! How do you do?" Ari picks her coat and puts back on her.

    "Was that a training exercise?" Asked Lars.

    "Yeah. Someone has to put those inspiring future rangers into shape."

    "And what is that thing about "big sis"?"

    "It's because I'm too young to be their mothers."

    "Shouldn't you be training them with weapons instead of beating them like...like..." Jessica was struggling to find the correct word.

    "Garbage? Trash? Leftovers? Anything that can't be recycled?"

    "Yeah...One of those."

    "Baby steps, princess. Before you can use any sort of weapon, you need to learn how to punch first. I wouldn't be the chosen wielder of Musashi if I couldn't at least be able to knock down a guy two times bigger than me with a well-delivered punch. As a fellow chosen, you are the same, right Lars?"

    "I have no time to proof I can knock down a guy in one punch...because there is no need to." Said Lars.

    "Right. Well, I have some news...That can be either good or bad depending on what you think about it."

    "Oh dear. Tell us already." Said Jessica.

    "It seems some big wings from Azure are coming to Constance for some legal stuff regarding the land or something."

    "What?!"

    "And it seems they are aware of you two, so they also requested an audience. You know, for diplomacy and all that."

    "Oh! But of course! After all, there is still quite a time."

    "I don't like this." Said Lars. "How did they knew we are here in the first place?"

    "Oh. Mayor Alberto told them." Said Ari.

    "He what?!"

    "It's not like he wanted to. They asked if someone related to Vermillion were here and he politely replied the truth."

    "When was that anyway?"

    "The day after you arrived. An embassador at the middle of the day, you see."

    "You should had told us ever since."

    "I felt it wasn't important."

    "How dare you-"

    "Easy there man. You supossed to be a general, so you act cool. Remember that you are on Neutral Zone."

    "...Alright. Who is coming anyway?"

    "I believe his name is...Jabberwork."

    "But that's...One of the Three Great Drakes of Azure. Duke Jabberwork." Said Jessica.

    "Of all the Great Drakes he has the highest political influence." Said Lars. "It's possible it has something to do with that mine out there."

    "And it's also the best person to negotiate a deal. Perhaps we can walk one step further to a good relationship with our kingdoms. And since we are on Neutral Zone, I see no better place and time."

    "You know, you guys can ask for an audience here anytime you wanted, you knew that?" Said Ari.

    "Er...We are kind of stubborn in general."

    "Big Sis!" A woman ranger rushed to Ari. "Big News, sis! Big News!"

    "Little Tim fell on the well again?" Said Ari.

    "No! Well...That happened again, yes, but on other news, the Streak Leaders had returned!"

    "Woah! Really?! That's great! You three!" She addreses to the rookie rangers from before. "Go rescue Little Tim so there will be no worries this day, you hear me?!"

    "Yes, Sis!" The three of them went to rescue Tim.

    "Maaaan, it felt like ages have passed, since they were away."

    "How long were they away?" Asked Jessica.

    "6 months. Now this place will finally look cool again."

    "The Streak Leaders...I wonder how they look like." Said Lars.

    Meanwhile at the town, four figures were walking through the streets with other rangers following them from behind while the people gazed at them murmuring about their return. "It's them. They finally are back."

    One of them was a young lady with an eyepatch wearing a white top, black pants and brown gloves with a white bow on her back and a quill on the back of her waist. She had a white hair tied with twintails from below the back of her head. She stretched her arms while walking to the den. "Hmmmmmmm! Gosh, feels good being home even if the air seems the same! I just wanna play with sis."

    "I want to play banjo." Said a man with short brown hair with a blue scarf over his mouth. He was dressed with a blue shirt and a green leather jacket, gray panties and black boots. He had a kukri knife and a knife belt around his torso.

    "Who likes to hear you play that stupid thing anyway?" Asked the second man with a long red wearing a black poncho over a red shirt. He had a large black revolver on the said of his waist.

    "Even if no likes, nobody should stop him." Said a very tall man with a robust appearance. He had long black hair that reached his shoulder. He only had a dark green coat on his top and black pants. His arms were covered in scars snd burn marks. "Nobody should let others getting in the way of their goals."

    Soon they arrive at the Den. They pass through the gate after the lady among the four put a kay made out of a white crystal into a keyhole that opened the gates. When the gates opened, Ari was waiting for them alongside Jessica and Lars.

    "Sister!" Shouted the lady who rushed to Ari's arms.

    "Adrian! You are looking great as ever!" Ari picked Adrian and started to spin her around like a toddler.

    "You really are taking this Big Sister play seriously." Said Lars.

    "For your government General, I am not playing Big Sister." She shows Adrian by putting her right in Lars's face, holding her below her arms. "This one is in fact my biological younger sister, Adrian Valentine."

    "Boop!" Adrian pressed Lars's nose like a button, much for his annoyance.

    "Oh! You have a little sister?!" Asked Jessica. "You should have told me! She is so adorable!"

    "Meh? Sis, who are those people anyway?" Asked Adrian.

    "Guests from Vermillion." Said Ari. "One is a general and the other is a princess."

    "A princess?! Eeeeh! I always wanted to meet one!" She started to pester Jessica like a child. "Princess! Princess! Do you wanna be friends?!"

    "Sure! Why not?" Said Jessica.

    "Hey! Hey! You can't associate yourself with the sole heir of the Vermillion Throne!" Said Lars.

    "And who decided that?" Said the robust man who overshadowed Lars with his giant structure. "She accepted her friendship without a second thought. You have no right to write over her decision."

    "You insolent...Do you have any idea who you are talking to?!"

    "Don't try to teach this guy a lesson, big guy." Said the red-haired man. "The famous Red Baron was always know to being a man who is not afraid to do the same mistake as much as he needs as long as he believes he is in the right. A lost cause if I ever saw one."

    "That's it...I'm burning those people down!"

    "No! I won't allow it, Lars!" Protested Jessica.

    "But-"

    "I said No!"

    "...Tch! Fine...But it's not good for you to being friends with commoners."

    "You should know by now that those sort of names means nothing around these parts." Said the red-haired man. "And you aren't the one to talk about it this sort of the stuff, right? After all, you are of common birth."

    "W-Wha?! How do you-"

    "Huh? You are like, a normal guy?" Asked Ari.

    "I'm afraid yes." Said Jessica. "Lars hasn't been born of a noble house. But he indeed deserved to be general after his exploits."

    "Hmpf. It's only because of Hannibal." Said Lars.

    "Hey, cheer up." Said Ari. "If the sword choose you, it's because you had potential. If anything makes me respect you more."

    "Ari..." Said the last member, who wielded the knifes. "...Banjo."

    "Oh. Right. I'll get for you later. First of all, could you tell me how it was those last months."

    "All of us did great, I guess. We ran into a few troubles, most of them involving Golems, but not something we couldn't take care of...But there was no banjo."

    "Aaaanyway, each team managed to get about 500 miles of railroads" Said the red-haired man. "Right now, they do not need the support of the Streak Leaders."

    "I see. Good job all of you. They may need us again, but for now rest a bit." Said Ari.

    "So, could you introduce your leaders, Ms. Valentine?" Asked Jessica.

    "Ah. I suposse. I already introduce you to my little sis, Adrian. She is eight years my junior, and the youngest around here, but she is an excellent sharpshooter."

    "Nice to meet you!" Said Ari. "I am in charge of the West Streak, so I am mostly taking care of the west side of Vale. it's my favourite spot by the way!"

    "This maniac for banjo is Stalk. There is nothing and nobody you can hide from him."

    "That's...not a good way to phrase me, boss." Said Stalk. "...I am in charge of the East Streak."

    "The redhead is Warlock. He is our magic expert. Anything about Ores, ask him."

    "Before you ask, my parents didn't called me Warlock. As if I need to explain." Said Warlock. "My group is the South Streak."

    "And lastly, there this human mamooth that can stomp a gang of a hundred thugs with nothing, but his own hands and feet, Walker."

    "I never did that, but I wouldn't say it's impossible." Said Walker. "I lead the North Streak."

    "You know...I noticed something a little off here." Said Jessica.

    "Yeah, they are a little weird themselves." Said Ari.

    "No. It's just...I feel like seeing a group of individuals that are very unique in their own way. Like, they all seem to be mixed from different places."

    "That's because they are. Of us five, only me and my sister were born and raised on Vale."

    "Oh! Fascinating! So they are foreigners."

    "Yeah. Each one of them came from a different place. Warlock for example is from Vermillion, just like you two. Walker came from the Outside Islands and Stalk is from Azure."

    "Azure? You have one of them with you?" Said Lars.

    "Hey, if it make you feel better, he is a wanted fugitive from Azure." Said Warlock. "So the enemy of your enemy, your friend."

    "...If anything it makes him suspicous."

    "I wish I would win a quarter everytime that was told." Said Stalk. "I'll just go fetch my banjo."

    "...What's a banjo anyway?" Asked Jessica.

    "It's a horrible device, your highness." Said Warlock. "Who knows what passes in the mind of those who taints their fingers in those strings."

    "Stop being so dramatic." Said Ari.

    "Hey, it's part of my charm, sister."

    "Ari, there is something I should point out." Said Walker.

    "I'm all ears."

    "On my way back, I encountered a Dark Golem not too long ago."

    "A Dark Golem? Here?"

    "Yeah. About 2000 or so feet to the north."

    "This close, huh? There hasn't been a lot of raids as of lately as well."

    "Are Dark Golems unusual here?" Asked Jessica.

    "They most respawn on a canyon from the north, close to the border with Azure. To think one of them went so far away."

    "That isn't even the weird part." Said Warlock. "It didn't mind to attack any nearby town on the way. As if the objective as only directed at this place."

    "Hmm...Yeah. Dark Golems in particular do not have this sort of reasoning. Or any reasonig at all."

    "If I say, somehow they are being manipulated. Or somehow have a certain idea imprinted. Said methods were know in the past."

    "Yeah. A long forgotten past. But no reason to discard the possibility either. I may have to invistigate the matter."

    "I have a question." Said Jessica.

    "Oh? What are you curious about?"

    "It was only one one golem, right? Would it be bad if it arrived here?"

    "It was a Dark Golem. Those things can easily break the wall by themselves."

    "It said those who witnessed such things dubbed them as Pure Forms of Destruction." Said Warlock. "Luckily, it it needs a lot of Ores to make one, so of all four kinds of Golem, they are the rarest."

    "And this guy managed to destroy one of those?" Said Lars who pointed at Walker with his thumb.

    "What? Jealous?" Asked Ari.

    "N-Not in the least!"

    "Sister!" A young ranger boy appeared running with a desperated tone.

    "What's the matter boy?" Asked Ari.

    "S-Something bad happened in Cruz! Like real bad!"

    "Well, you have my attention now. Spit it out!"

    After literally spitting on the ground, the young ranger talked. "You see...Cliff is dead, sis."

    "C-Cliff?! You mean...Our Cliff?!" Ari grasped his collar with a strong grip.

    "Y-Yeah. It seems he was victim of an ambush."

    "Cliff...No..." Adrian started to look down in the dumps.

    "I'll take the bait here. Who's Cliff?" Asked Jessica.

    "A Ranger of our group." Said Walker. "A young man with quite the potential. Only with an ambush someone could have beat him."

    "How cruel..."

    "Who did it?" Asked Ari. "Who was the coward rotten sack of worms that did it?!"

    "Apparently...It was Doctor Rat, sis." Said the ranger.

    "That dirty pervert son of a tick infested goat lacking a spinal cord. I thought I finished him off for good at that poisonous mines."

    "Where he is now?" Asked Warlock.

    "People said he went to hide on the abandoned mines." Said the ranger. "It seems Cliff went to rescue some hostages that he took not too long ago."

    "Luring people into a trap with hostages. How cowardly." Said Lars.

    "I agree." Said Ari. "But the bait here...was actually Cliff."

    "I don't follow."

    "Basically they are calling me straight to the jaws of the beast."

    "I see. You are being taunted."

    "Hmpf! Would it be the first time they do that...And it wouldn't be the last."

    "Sis...I'll handle this." Said Adrian. "Since Cruz is at the West of Constance, there is no problem, right?"

    "...Well, I did came up with that, so I won't complain. I'll be tagging along, okay?"

    "Very well. I'll pick up our steads right away."

    "Pick up a Basil. Not wanna risk losing a good horse."

    "Yes, ma'am." Adrian went to the stables.

    "Are you sure this okay?" Asked Jessica. "Maybe a group of ten people at least would be the smart move here."

    "Tigers are solitary creatures. Did you knew that?"

    "Hmm?"

    "If I would be hysterical for any fool of mine that died out there I would have died of heart attack years ago. Every man and woman under me knows they can die the next day."

    "And why does this Cliff seems to be different?"

    "Honestly speaking, he was just a bit better than most. But once you become more worthy than being vulture's dinner...You start to feel very disappointed in life when you become one. What I'm trying is that a tiger for another tiger is not a big deal. But you deal with his family, then expect to be bitten back. That's true for me and my Streak Leaders. And since Cruz at the West from here, Adrian can't feel, but having a sense of duty."

    "I understand your feelings, but how would you feel if something really bad happened to her?"

    "She may be my sister, but I wouldn't point her as a Streak Leader if she didn't truly deserved. I will protect her with all my might if it needs to, but things are easier when the people who you want to protect can take care of themselves. In fact, when it comes to dothe job with most caution, I can't think of a better person than her."

  3. #3

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 3: Plague Rat.

    Hidden:


    Ari and Adrian had just left Constance on top of a large Basil they took from the stables. Ari was taking control of the ride while Adrian was sitting on the back, facing the opposite direction with her gaze fixed on the sky. She repeatedly gave deep breaths at a certain interval of times.

    "You okay in there, sis?" Asked Ari, concerned about her younger sister's well-being. "It has been a lot of sighs ever since we left."

    "It's nothing." Replied Adrian. "It's just my first time that I have to kill somebody."

    "Wait. You never killed anyone before?"

    "No. Just the thought of stealing days of their future is just....Gloomy."

    "But you use a bow."

    "You can take down bandits and other targets with a bow without killing them. You just need to hit where they wouldn't die."

    "Even if they were to go to the loose after we catch them. That technically counts as one in your kill count."

    "Riiiiight. Can't we just like exile them to either Azure or Vermillion?"

    "Knowing those two places, they would blame us if we do that."

    On their way to Cruz, the two of them find what seems to be a group of wagons in the wilderness. The two of them went to check on it and see a unusual group of people.

    "You all...Are you from Cruz?" Ari asked straight away.

    "Y-Yeah." Said one of them. "Are you two by any chance from Constance?"

    "Pretty much. What's going on here?"

    "We are survivors. We were kicked out of town."

    "Kicked out? How the how one guy kicked out the lot of you?"

    "Gas. A very toxic gas. That man with a mask attacked us with a weapon that spilled a lethal gas."

    "I never seen or heard of something like that."

    "It's similar to gases that leaks on mines. I have sort of experience with that."

    "I see. Here." Ari hands over the man a wooden ticket. "That's a free pass to Constance. If I do not come back before the sunset, go straight there."

    "Ah! Are you from the White Tigers by any chance?"

    "That's right. And it seems we are needed to bear our fangs on a bad guy one more time."

    "Yeah...That's what that lad, Cliff used to say."

    "...I'll be careful this time." Ari than set started to walk towards Cruz. "Oh! One more thing."

    "What?"

    "You know about you don't fuck with the White Tigers, right?"

    "Yeah. So?"

    "You know...If I come back before the sunset and you aren't around....Then you fucked with me. And you don't wanna fuck with me, you hear?"

    "Ah....Okay....Sure."

    "And you better be!"

    After a rather peaceful goodbye, the two of them arrives nearby a town that they could see on top of a small hill. A town with a clock tower on the center.

    "Hmmm...Doesn't feel like a ghost town filled with deadly gas." Said Adrian. "That guy is definetly waiting for you, isn't he?"

    "There is a possibility he has some hostages with him." Said Ari. "Didn't felt like there was a whole town's population from that group from before."
    "Also, there wasn't other rangers from our group. How about I act as a scout and you as vanguard?"

    "That's a good plan, but remain hidden until I engage him. You will know when that happen, right?"

    "Sure, but...You sure you will be alright this time? We are dealing with a clever cheater here."

    "Unfortunately, it's not my time to die. I am just too much important to that."

    "Humility is a virtue, sister."

    "Geez. Sorry for not wanting to die. Let's go."

    Ari had reached Cruz. Not a single soul seen or head in the streets. She kept walking straight with her hand holding tight the handle of her sword. She suddenly stops and turns her head behind her.

    Standing right behind her was a shady man with a bloody white coat wearing a black mask with the shape of a rat head. On his back there was a black container that had a tube attached to a red gauntlet with a small cannon above it.

    "Martin Pratt." Said Ari. "Or should I say, Dr.Rat. You can conceal your face, but can't get rid of the stench of a murderer."

    "It has been far too long." Said Martin. "I was starting to feel concerned about your healthy. When was the last time you checked your cholesterol?"

    "Sorry, doc. I just been feeling do great nowadays that I didn't seem to look myself very much."

    "What it matters is now that you are here. And you have to pay your debt for all the gems you stole from me?"

    "Gem? Those were organs you took from people that were needing them, you degenerated prick shit-for-brain."

    "Dead people do not need them."

    "More like murdered people, right?"

    "Enough!" From his gauntlet, he shoots a green gas at Ari. She quickly rushes to an alley to avoid it.

    "So that's the gas, huh? It's probably comes out from liquid being overheated on that barrel at his back. I shall took it and send it to Warlock." Suddenly she smells the scent of something burning. "...Oh dear."

    Ari jumped into an window just in time before she could be taken on a massive explosion that destroyed the wall of the house she entered.

    "It's also flammable? Give me a break."

    More gas started to leak inside the house that made Ari to jump outside of the house before getting caught in another explosion that decimated the whole house.

    "There is nowhere for you to run." Said Martin who appeared from the fire. "Even if you hide, I just need to put fire on any shelter you try to run."

    "Jeez. That's very problematic. It would be so much better for both of us if you weren't a sociopath."

    "Don't try to give me a morality lecture. You came here because of one guy and yet quite a lot of your tigers have died before him and yet you didn't lift a finger."

    "Yeaaaah, it does seems that way. Like, have you ever tried to make a castle out of cards just to somehow they fall apart? You would get more upset the bigger the castle was."

    "Bah! Quit the excuses. You just a weak that can't protect anything in the end. Just die like a cockroach!" Martin sent another wave of gas, but Ari standed still with her hand ready to unsheat the sword. "You gone mad or something? Oh well. Fine by me!"

    At the second the gas covers Ari, Martin releases a spark from the cannon and it releases a massive explosion aroun Ari.

    "Heh. There is no way she could survive this." As the smoke from the explosion fades away, Ari appears from within, standing on the same spot without a single burn mark on her. "I-Impossible! What sort of sorcery did you do?!"

    "When I arrived, I saw that there was no gas around. A smart man would fill the whole place with gas when I have arrived, but you didn't do that until you appeared. My hypothesis...Your gas can't exists long enough in the atmosphere, right?"

    "Tch! Yeah, so?"

    "Then all I needed to do was move it fast enough to blow the gas away from me."

    "Impressive as it is that doesn't explain how you are alive!"

    "Fire needs oxygen to exists. So in the process, I also pushed back the oxygen away from me."

    "Y-You kidding me? Are you saying...You created a vacuum around you to protect from both the gas and fire..."

    "It looks like a gamble, but believe me...I trained for this kind of stuff."

    "So that's how it is, huh? Very well." Martin twist a wheel on the cannon of his gauntlet and he shoots a jet of a green liquid at Ari that flew like a beam.

    "What in the grey hills of Vale was that?"

    "This liquid not only produces a toxic gas, but it's also very corrosive. It can pass through your body like a hot knife on a butter. And thanks to the White Ore energy in this rare item I have, it can shoot faster than an arrow. I just need it to hit you once."

    "I see...Okay then. I give." Ari put her sword back to her scabbard and stretched her arms.

    "....What the hell?"

    "It's just...It's so troublesome you know. It's better off having someone more qualified to this kind of thing."

    "Like who?"

    "Me." Adrian appeared a few meters behind Martin with a bow in one hand and an arrow on the other.

    "The Leader of the West Streak. So even you need to call reinforcements from time to time, White Fang."

    "It's not that I need it, just that it's better if I let her take care of you specifically."

    "Hmpf! Fine by me." Martin prepares her cannon and looks at the clock tower showing it one minute left for 12 p.m. "Say, how about we do this right way. When the clock hits 12, we both shoot. What do you say?"

    "...Fine." Said Adrian who got in position.

    "Hehehehe...Stupid brat. There is no way she can shoot that arrow fast enough."

    The two of them standed still, meters away from each other. As the seconds passed, none of them took their gazes away from each other. Then it was 10 seconds left for midday. And then 5 seconds passed.

    4....

    3....

    2....

    And finally 1....It was high noon.

    Martin managed to aim first and shoot straight away at Adrian. But at the last second, Adrian jumped in the air and spinned to the left, making the poison pass it away. At that instance, she shot an arrow that became covered in a white spark and shoot right at Martin, piercing his right shoulder.

    "G-Gaaaaaaah! You...You!" Martin tried to send another shot, but Ari sneaked on him and knocked him out by hitting his in the neck with her scabbard.

    "And target has been caught." Said Ari as Martin falls unconscious. "Nice job, sister."

    "Phew...I thought he was gonna shoot way before noon." Said Adrian.

    "He may be a lunatic, but he likes when things are interesting...Now then..." Ari picked up the container that was on Martin's back. "Hmm...As smart as he is, I don't think he made this himself."

    "This looks like an item an Ore Researcher would develop. There is certainly no one in Vale that I can think of."

    "My thoughts exactly. Maybe the Warlock or the Mayor could tell something about."

    "Anyway, I found a few hostages stuck on a basement down there. We were lucky that the one house that got blasted away wasn't there."

    "I see...There is still a bunch of towns in need of help far away from one another, even with us to look after them. Perhaps it's time for us to grow ours streaks even further."


  4. #4

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 4: The Great Heist.

    Hidden:


    Every day, Lars hone his skills even when he is faw away from Vermillion. Luckily, the White Tiger's Den had a room only for training their skills that he uses when no one is around. After intensively practicing with a wodden sword for a hour he decides to leave it for the day.

    On his way out he hears a song coming from some sort of a string instrument. "Just what is this noise?"

    He follows the sound and they guide to the mess hall. There, he saw Cecilia dancing towards the sound of Stalk's banjo with Ari and Adrian happily watching them. "W-What's going on here?!"

    "Hello Lars! Come here!" Cecilia grabs Lars by the arms and starts to dance around with him.

    "M-Milady! Please..."

    "Oh, that's so cute." Ari commented the scene. "A princess and his knight, how classic."

    "Heehehe. He kinda sucks at it." Said Adrian.

    "What a wonderful music, isn't it Lars?" Said Cecilia. "I wanna bring it back to Vermillion in the near future."

    "Please, anything but that." Said Lars.

    "Ari? You there?" Mayor Alberto appeared, walking with a cane. "Sorry for interrupting...whatever this is. We have an emergency of sorts...Urgh."

    Alberto stops to rest on the nearby seat he could find.

    "Uh...Are you okay, mayor?" Said Cecilia concerned of his well-being."

    "I'm fine, your majesty. I am just old." Alberto takes a time to look at the surroundings. "I must admit, you need a fine job rebuilding this old place, Ari. Amazing nothing is falling apart. But it's still hard to walk around it."

    "Something tells me you didn't come here to talk about carpentry, old man." Said Ari. "Because if you had the trouble to talk to me in person, it must be serious."

    "Yeah, it's big. It seems a robbery happened."

    "Really? Because you could just ask the rookies. A lowly ranger can take care of it."

    "Perhaps. But I guess when it was a heist of the town's bank, I suposse I should call an expert?" A quick moment of silence filled the air when he said that statement.

    "The bank...Good grief. Yo Stalk, I know you are having fun, but I need you to tag along."

    "As you wish." Stalk and Ari both started to leave out to the bank.

    They arrive at the bank alongside Alberto and Lars with the safe all open. Inside there was an empty room with depressed well-dressed man with a monocle inside, planting his face on the wall. "I failed...I failed as a banker...I have no choice but to pay for my mistakes..."

    The banker tries to stab his head with a knife he had, but it quickly stopped by Ari who held his wrist in time. "Easy there Mr.Terest. The undertakers has already ten to bury this week."

    "So what are you doing here again, boy?" Alberto asked Lars.

    "The princess is concerned about how this will affect Constance's economic status." Replied Lars.

    "She is very thoughtful. Even when it has nothing to with her kingdom."

    "Anyway, should you really rely on the White Tigers? I know they are rangers, but they do not strike me as detectives. Why doesn't this town have any police or sheriff?"

    "If it's about safety, the White Tigers easily fill that gap already. And this town used to have a sheriff, but like many of them, he did not live long...Rest in peace, Sheriff Valentine."

    "Wait...Valentine? As in..."

    "Yes. Ari and Adrian's father. William Valentine."

    "Hey you two!" Ari called the two of them over to the inside of the vault. "I kinda prefer you two close by, if possible. I may need some questions from you, Mayor."

    "But of course." Said Alberto as he and Lars enters the vault. An empty space, like a full cleaned house. There, Stalk was crawling through the floor, carefully touching the tiles.

    "What is he doing? There is no evidence to be found." Said Lars.

    "He isn't looking for evidence." Said Ari. "He is looking for how the money was stolen."

    "...Boss. Check this." Stalk called Ari over and he revealed a trap door in the middle of the room.

    "A-A door in the floor?" Said Lars.

    "It seems to lead to some sort of tunnel underground. Most likely man-made."

    "H-Hold on a second. Did you suspect there was a way under the floor?"

    "There were no signs of holes or any forced entrances to inside this vault. By that, the only to get in an out is through a door that is managed to get open and close. The ceiling and the walls would be out of question because of the layout, but a door on the floor would be way more efficient."

    "But looking closer this door is way too well-made." Said Ari. "It would take too much to make it."

    "That brings the second point. This door wasn't put here yesterday. It was put way back. All this was being planed for months...Years, even."

    "...Has the bank passed through a reform?" Asked Ari to Alberto.

    "Last time it was about 3 years ago." Said Alberto. "Now that I remember, we did made a bigger vault."

    "Which turns out to be this one, correct?" Asked Stalk.

    "Precisely. So when this vault was built, that door was placed down there?"

    "Pretty much. Who was in charge of the construction?"

    "That was Mario. He lives not far from here."

    "...I'll go follow where this tunnel leads to. I recommend the rest of you check on Mario." Stalk then dives into the door to below the bank.

    "Is this a good idea?" Asked Lars.

    "He knows exactly what he's doing. We better go check on Mario. I got a bad feeling from all of this."

    They went to the house Mario lived and knocked the door. "Anyone home? This is the White Tigers calling it!" Nobody responded.

    "Maybe he went to get the groceries or something?" Asked Alberto.

    "Hmmm..." Ari then turned the door handle and the doo easily opened. "...This is very weird."

    "It isn't uncommon for people to leave his houses open around here."

    "I think is too much convenient."

    "...What the hell is this?" Said Lars after he went to investigate the kitchen. Ari and Alberto arrive there and sees a dead man sitting on the table with the neck stained with blood.

    "Oh dear..." Said Alberto. "It's Mario."

    Ari went to check the body and notices a deep wound on the neck. "Just like slaughtering a cow with one swipe."

    "What should we do?" Asked Alberto.

    "Call the undertaker. We will have to bury someone today after all. And leave this whole case to Stalk."

    "Is this something one man can solve?" Asked Lars.

    "If the problem is to find someone, then he is the man for the job."

    A while later after they wrapped the corpse to be buried, Stalk came back.

    "So, what do you have to say?"

    "The path led to a warehouse outside of Santarez." Said Stalk. "They probaly took the money there and went to another location."

    "And the solution?"

    "...I need a steed. And supply for one."

    "Alright then."

    "You talk as if you know where they went. Did you find any clues?" Said Alberto.

    "A couple, yes." Stalk looked at his hands, feeling a sandy substance between his fingers.

    "When will you return?" Asked Ari.

    "I will try to come back before dusk. If I arrive, it will be with the money and the culprits. And after that...I'll play banjo."

    "....Fine by me."

    "By the way, I kinda had to tie Mr.Terest on a rope because...He tried to hang himself."

    "Urgh. Nothing bad can happen to him."

    Stalk went to a journey alone on Vale. He went North to the hills on top of a horse. After arriving in front of a gorge, he dismounts his horse and manages to go down the gorge by climbing the rocks.

    He arrives at a cave at the bottom and enters it. Inside he discovers an abandoned mine. "Right on the mark. I just hope I'm not too late."

    Walking through the gallery, he notices traces of human presence, like marks of a wagon passing through. He soon finds a three wagons, containing bags of money. "Well, that's half the work done."

    Suddenly there was the sound of a gunshot from behind. Stalk manages to dodge a fireball by leaping into the air and landing safely.

    "Bah! You got lucky." Said man pointing a gun with a red crytal on the handle that was alongside several men wearing cloths over their mouths. He wore a black top hat and a blue coat. "You are either too brave or too idiot to come here alone. But I am impressed you managed to find this place. I was sure no one would find."

    "Your mistake was coming to this place before the heist. In that warehouse of yours, you left a little something that sold you." Stalk shows a black powder. "Coal. There is only one place in Vale that you can dirt your shoes with those that nobody usually would go. Here."

    "Very clever. But it appears you didn't expected an ambush. Well then." He raises his hand and all pf his men points a pistol at Stalk. "Die."

    All of them shoots a fireball out of their guns. But at the same time Stalk snapped his fingers and time seemed to have slowed down.

    "Let's see....1...2...3....15 heads...Yeah, no need to take them all."

    Stalk passed through the fireballs easily by walking and time went normal again.

    "Huh? How did he-"

    Stalk quickly tossed several knifes from his belt at the henchmen right on their elbows, freezing the area that got pierced.

    "Blue Ore knives?!"

    "Your fate...is sealed." He picked up a kukri knife and a sickle. With one in each hand he delivered a slash that had a freezing effect on their fleshes. He managed to kill each of them quickly with a few swings.

    "Y-You damn meddling-" He tries to shoot at Stalk, but he tosses his sickle at him and slices his arm off.

    "A-Aaaaaaaaah!!! You...Do you have any idea who-"

    Stalk kicks him in the face and knocks the man down.

    "I wouldn't give a shit of who you are. What matters is that you disturbed peace in Vale right under the White Toger's nose. And you do not mess with the White Tigers."

    "T-The White Tigers so you are...Wait! Please, hear me out! I'm actually a nobleman from Azure! All this was to weaken Constance's economy! If you wish for...You can take all the money! It was supossed to be given to the bandits anyway!"

    "...Siiigh. You are really bad on making deals. Nothing would stop me from killing and still take the money. But anyway, that wouldn't do. For this to work, I had to leave Vale forever...A thing I would rather not do."

    "Y-You madman...Curse you...Curse you!"

    Stalk slices up his neck with both his weapons, killing him in the process.

    "Well...Two thirds of the job done. Now...How do I take all this money back home?"

    When the sun was almost setting, Ari and Alberto were sitting on a bench on front of the White Tiger's Den.

    "...If he doesn't come back, am I allowed to charge you for his mistakes?" Asked Alberto.

    "We can make this a bet if you want." Replied Ari as the sounds of several wagons were being heard. Stalk appears with three Basils pulling the wagons.

    "I came back." Said Stalk. "But I am not counting those bills."

    "Well, look at that. I escaped from a bet that I would lose." Said Alberto. "Leave the rest for the bureaucrats. Thank you very much, you two."

    Alberto went to talk to Terest to resolve the problem with the money.

    "Not gonna lie, I was starting to doubt that this might have gone south." Said Ari.

    "I would say we got lucky." Said Stalk. "The culprit was a nobleman from Azure. I don't know exactly why, but his goal was to turn Constance weak."

    "I see. It would take quite the search if the money would reach Azure, right?"

    "Call it a gut feeling, but this does not seems something one man would pull...Or rather not a normal person would."

    "So there is someone else pulling the strings?"

    "We still need to know how Mario got tangled on all this. Too bad he kicked the bucket."

    "Speaking of which, whonever sliced his throat might still be around. Not that there is a stabbed victim there and there sometimes."

    "I also found this." Stalk shows one of the pistols. "They were using a load of those."

    "Magic Hancannons, huh? Looks very sophisticated. I'm gonna hand to Warlock as always."

    "I wonder who would go all the trouble to destroy a neutral area. There has to be more than greed involved. Do you think it has something to do with war?"

    "Stressing yourself over this issue will take you nowhere, Stalk. If peace is disturbed, then is the time to the White Tigers to act. That's all."

    "You know boss, you should be a little more vigilante from time to time. You never know when the world may end."

    "Hah! As if someone could do a thing about someone who could destroy the world. Besides, at the end of the day, aren't you only looking foward to play the banjo?"

    "...Yeah. I wanna play the banjo. I really just wanna play the banjo.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 5: Red Knights.

    Hidden:


    There was a dark room hidden below the Den of the White Tigers. There wasn't much inside besides what seems to be a gravestone and a set of clothes right next to it.

    Ari was there, standing right in front of it. She lighted up two incenses and put them on a pedestal right in front of it.

    She then kneeled in front of it, holding her sword on top of her lap, with her eyes closed. "...How are you doing, pa?"

    "Ari? Ari!" Jessica was walking around the Den looking for Ari. "Where is she?"

    "Do you need the boss for something, you majesty?" Warlock was nearby, examining a Vermilion Ore that was on his hands with a magnifier.

    "Warlock. Have you seen her?"

    "Today is the day her father perished. She is probably at his gravestone right now."

    "I see. That's unfortunate. I had a favor to ask, but I guess it's better for another day. Is she at a graveyard nearby?"

    "The grave of the late sheriff is actually closer than you might expect, but not a good time to be there. The graveyard however is a bit far from Constance. Honestly, it's just a place where we must toss away the dead out of town. Kinda like a garbage dumpster."

    "Well, I think the dead deserves a place to be remembered and be respected."

    "Sorry, but here in Vale we do not have that luxury."

    "Sigh. I suposse it's not ideal to cross this land filled with golems to go to a graveyard."

    "Funny you say that. We actually have two guys from our group whose special job is to take care of those corpses. We call them the Undertakers."

    "So Rangers are also responsible for those kind of things. Interesting."

    "Mr. Warlock!" A Ranger appeared to talk to Warlock. "Is the boss available? A group of Vermillion Golems was spotted around the area of the graveyard."

    "Vermillion Golems?!" Said Jessica.

    "...Any idea of the overall number?" Asked Warlock.

    "About 30." Said the Ranger.

    "30? Not a high number, but still unusual."

    "Did they came from Vermillion?" Said Jessica. "Because that would be quite a walk from Vermillion to here."

    "And another thing." Said the Ranger. "There was a Dark Golem mixed on the group."

    Both of them became stunned by that detail.

    "A Golem of a different color among a group of red? And yet a Dark Golem? Hmmm...Call Walker for me."

    Later that day, Warlock and Walker went to a graveyard on the top of a wagon alongside Lars.

    "You sure have been hanging around with us, isn't general?" Said Warlock.

    "What do you mean by that? It's the first time I went out of Santarez with you people, right?" Replied Lars.

    "Yeah, but...I think you have been meddling a lot on our affairs."

    "I am doing this to preserve the princess' safety. Do you expect me to do nothing about a horde of Golems ready to invade?"

    "Jeez. Are we a joke to you?"

    "Yes, definetly."

    "Fine, fine. But don't go think you are too much above us because you happen to have a sword of unimaginable power next to you."

    "We arrived." Said Walker as they arrived at the graveyard. There, an old man was pulling out coffins from a wagon.

    "Gus." Said Warlock. "Long time no see."

    "Warlock...And Walker." Said the old man. "I was expected the boss, but I guess this is okay."

    "You know him?" Asked Lars.

    "This is Gus. One of the Undertakers." Said Warlock. "He is also a member of the White Tigers alongside Jonas. By the way, where is he?"

    "Oh. Right there. On watch." Gus pointed at a young man wearing a hood over his head with a mace right next to him. He had a gloomy look on his eyes, gazing at the tombstones.

    "What is he doing?" Asked Lars.

    "Watching over the tombstones. Looking out if any skeletons comes out of their graves."

    "You will all thank me when the skeletons do not eat your flesh." Said Jonas.

    "Why would they eat our flesh?" Asked Walker.

    "Because they do not have flesh."

    "It makes sense, I guess." Said Warlock. "By the way, do you where the golems were spotted?"

    "Around the west. Right where the sun sets." Said Gus.

    "Well, let's try finish this off quick. Wanna joins us, Jonas?"

    "Nope. Skeletons." Said Jonas.

    "...Alright then."

    The three of them arrived at a gulch, looking at the way the sun was setting.

    "...Are they really arriving from here?" Asked Lars.

    "Golems don't really change their paths...If they even have a path at all." Said Warlock.

    "...We should have brought Stalk." Said Walker.

    "That sucker would rather play banjo to do anything else, so why even bother?"

    Later, they spotted a red glow coming at a distance. It were massive crimson bodies of rock approaching. Bigger than White Golems and having more of a rock-like appearance.

    "Well shit, it really are Vermillion Golems." Said Warlock. "Well then, before they get here I'll...Where's Lars?"

    "Over there." Walker point at Lars charging at the golems.

    "W-What the blazes! What is that idiot doing it?!"

    Lars pulled out Hannibal out of the scabbard and creates a wall of fire by stabbing it to the ground. The Golems stops for a brief moment and Lars leaps through the flames, cleaving one of the golems with one sweep of his sword.

    "I took care of your pile of rubbles everywhere in Vermillion. Here is no different!" Lars procceds to slice them one by one with his sword. The golems react by sending fireballs from their cores that Lars managed to counter.

    "Is that all you got?" Lars stabbed his sword to the ground and created a massive explosion around him that decimated the nearby golems. "If you were humans, then you all would already run away in fear."

    But the fallen pieces of the bodies of the golems started to glow and started to fuse with the remaining golems. The golems then started to rise their own temperature.

    "Huh? What is this phenomenon?"

    A golem them created a giant fireball from it's core and sent straight at Lars.

    "This...Is too big for me to counter!"

    A red ray of light came from behing him passing right above his shoulder and pierced through the fireball and the golem's core, destroying it in the process.

    "It's evident that you never faced this many golems before." Said Warlock who approached him with his gun showing signs of being shot. "It's uncommon everywhere, but here in Vale we spot Vermillion Golems in groups one time or another and they always do this trick."

    "That thing...was like with the White Golems from that time."

    "White Golems can freely fuse together when in high numbers, but with those types, it similar to beasts eating their fallen. You need to destroy most of them as fast as possible."

    "Any ideas?"

    "I'll stop them with one shot. And you then try to finish each one of them with a single blow. Can you do that?"

    "I am a Chosen. It's worthy a try."

    "Alright." Warlock loaded a white ammo into his gun and shot a red lightning out of his gun that when it shot a golem, a spark came from it that hit the other golems, paralyzing them. "Now!"

    With both his hands on his sword, Lars pulverized the golems with a explosive attack that came from each swing of the sword. When it seemingly seems he took out the last, a golem tries to attack him from behind. "Shoot. I missed one."

    Then Warlock managed to stood in between them and he forms a sword of fire from the cannon of his sword and destroys the core of the golem.

    "A...sword of flame?" Lars stared at Warlock with curiosity.

    "Don't relax just yet. The party is just getting started." Warlock points at a figure coming at a distance.

    "What...What is that?" Lars spots a bigger golem that was dark. It was like a giant knight armor with horns with a boulder instead of legs, rolling like if it was a wheel.

    "A Dark Golem. Your reaction is natural. Of all golems, this one is the rarest to come across. And it's way more rare to find more than one in the same spot."

    "I don't think I can break it as easily as the others."

    "Don't sweat it. That's why I brought the big guy. You ready, Walker?"

    "I'm on it." Walker walked straight to the golem. Warlock then put a black ammo on his gun.

    "Hold on. He is just going there alone?" Said Lars. "And without any sort of weapon?"

    "I'll give him support. Whe he is close enough, it's all up to him."

    Walker then started to run towards the golem that started to charge a dark purple glow from the core in the head.

    "Don't stop Walker!" Warlock shoots a red sphere that surrounds Walker. The golem shoots a beam at Walker creating a dark explosion, but Walker kept going unharmed.

    "It did nothing? Just what did you do?" Asked Lars.

    "This equipment I have with me is mostly a Vermillion Class Weapon, but I can combine White and Dark flames to more magic effects. Right now I combined the Dark Flames to create a shield of fire around Walker to protect against the attack."

    "That's a very complex item. I never heard of someone able to use more than two flames."

    "I am not a Streak Leader for nothing."

    Walker then reaches the golem and it tries to punch him. But Walker retaliates and punches the golem's arm with another of his punches. After delivering a rush of punches, he breaks the golem's entire arm and jumps to the head, crashing the core of the golem with one punch.

    "O-One Punch..." Lars couldn't believe what he saw.

    "Hmm...That golem wasn't too big." Said Lars. "Usually it takes at least five punches in the core. Oh well, better this way."

    "Who...What is he?"

    "I don't know about his past. Just that he is from the outside islands in the north sea."

    "Hey Warlock. Are we done?" Said Walker.

    "Yeah, sure. Just pick up some of the fragments for me. I wanna salvage what got left."

    "Very well."

    After picking up the wagon at the graveyard, Lars and Warlock waits for Walker to collect enough material.

    "...Does Ari got to do these sort of stuff everyday?" Asked Lars.

    "Not everyday, but she certainly did it way more than you had." Said Warlock. "But even a situation like this would be a bother for her. That's why she have us."

    "So she did became stronger here than she could be in a battlefield?"

    "Let's just say she learned things you can't learn on organized violence. Sometimes humans can be worse than golems."

    "...For a moment, you had a sword of fire in your hand."

    "Eh? What about it?"

    "I heard that not too long ago there was a knight in Vermillion that didn't had an actual sword, but was know for being a magician able to cut down any foe with a blade of flames."

    "Huh. How do they call this figure?"

    "Sunblade. Perceval, the Sunblade."

    "Sunblade...That name is nostalgic."

    "So you are Perceval after all."

    "...Yeah, what you gonna do about it? It's not like I deserted or anything, so you can't bring be back."

    "You were a Captain from before I became a knight. You were one fo the fews I used to look for. What happened for you to throw everything away?"

    "Let's see...I need to find myself you know."

    "Huh?"

    "There comes a time a man needs to throw away some burden to keep going foward after facing it with a obstacle."

    "And what exactly is this?"

    "...It's right at the left of your waist."

    Lars looks at Hannibal on the scabbard. "You mean Hannibal?"

    "A lot of knights wanted this sword. I was no different. But in the end I realized that I wasn't a chosen no matter how I tried. After a while, I left the army and went to Vale after hearing about rumours of the Chosen of the White Sword. That's how I met Ari and learned what a Chosen really is."

    "And do I live from that expactation?"

    "..Why are you asking a former knight like you want his approval?"

    "I-I don't-"

    "It's not the swords that turns you into a formidable warrior. It's the the warrior that needs to be formidable to make it use of it's power. Perhaps it's because you were around that the sword didn't chose anyone else. You certainly don't gave me the same impression I had of Ari, but that's because you are a different person from her."

    "I see then. To be fair I didn't wanted to be chosen or anything, but...It just one I felt that this sword called for me. And I knew I had to answer it. All I wanted was to serve my country. Being a chosen or not."

    "Well, perhaps it's better than a greedy bastard to get the hand of it."

    "About Ari Valentine...I don't know much about her after all. Can you tell me what sort of woman she is?"

    "...It's better if you ask Ari herself. She doesn't forgive when we gossip about her."


  6. #6

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 6: Bull.

    Hidden:


    The day was about to rise over Constance again and before that Ari was awoken doing push-ups with one hand inside her private quarter, wearing her usual attire without her coat.

    "97...98...99...100."

    After finishing her exercise, she starts to stretch her legs.

    "Guess I'll run in the outlands before everyone wakes up. Hope no one needs me today."

    Soon as she opens her door, Walker was standing right in front of her.

    "Oh Goodness, Walker! Can you at least knock."

    "...I was about to do that."

    "...Feh! What do you want?"

    "Someone arrived." A hare with antlers standing on his two feet appeared behind Walkers's legs with a red scarf with the number one stamped on it. That animal was know as a Jackalope, the quickest animal in Vale.

    "Ah. It's Jack-One. How is it, little fella." Ari handed her palm to him and he slapped it with his little paw.

    "He brings news from Aval." Said Walker. "...It's Bull, boss."

    "Bull...Yeah, gotta skip warm-up."

    Before leaving, Ari and Walker went to Lars' room and knocked the door at very short intervals.

    "Aaaaaah...What?" Lars opened his door. "I don't know about here in Vale, but in Vermillion we wait the sun to be at least this high to do anything in the morning."

    "Alright, hot head. I understand." Said Ari. "I just thought that since Aval is somehow important on an issue that came up, you would be interested, but if you think it's-"

    "Wait...Aval? That's Vermillion's territory. Did Azure do something?"

    "No. But if I would say...It's even worse."

    "...When do we go?"

    "Yeah! When do we go?!" Said Jessica who was right next to them.

    "Goodness! Is everyone here half-ghost or something?" Said Ari.

    "Sorry. I am just excited to see both of you two getting along and work for a common cause."

    "Uh-hu. But it's better if you stay out of this."

    "No way! You mentioned Aval, right? That's a important land that belongs to Vermillion. It's my duty as future sovereign to watch this through."

    "Hmm...What does your knight have to say about it?"

    "Hmpf. It will take a lot of time to persuade her otherwise. As long as she does not risk too much then-"

    "Alright, let's go!" Jessica went off ahead.

    "...She is quite a handful."

    Later that day, the four of them were riding a wagon pulled by horses towards Aval, a mining town created by the Vermillion Kingdom and was a valuable income of Ores.

    "I never been to Aval even though it's such a important location. I hope things aren't bad." Said Jessica. "And by the way, who is this little angel?" She mentions Jack-One on top of Walker's shoulders.

    "A Jackalope. His name is Jack-One." Said Walker. "It's takes lot for a man to cross town-to-town in Vale, but those guys can cover more ground faster and safer. So we use them as our eyes and ears on Vale."

    "Ooooh. A Jackalope. It's like a hare, but with antlers. Can I pet?"

    "Sure."

    Jessica picks Jack-One and rubs her face on his fur.

    "How many of them do you keep?" Asked Lars.

    "About...Thirty-ish...And growing." Said Ari. "Walker over there takes care of them."

    "I wasn't expecting that."

    "So Ari, what is this Bull, anyway?" Asked Jessica. "Is he a bandit from here?"

    "He is an outlaw, yeah." Said Ari. "A tough cookie who appeared out of nowhere not too long ago. He is kind of a regular of us. His favorite thing is burn the place until there is onlt ashes."

    "I don't care who he is." Said Lars. "This guy alone waged war on Vermillion. If I could I would bring a whole platoon on top of him."

    Tremors then happened and were getting slowly more intense.

    "I-Is this an earthquake?" Asked Jessica.

    "No..." Ari then looked outside and saw a stampede of wild bisons rushing towards the wagon. "Hmm...Those are some huge ones."

    "Ah! Bull!"

    "Actually, they are more like buffaloes."

    "I don't care what they are, we gotta do something!" Said Lars.

    "Walker."

    "On it." Walker then jumped out of the wagon and stood right in front of the stamped approaching.

    "Aaaaah! Why did you let him die?!" Shouted Jessica.

    Walker extended his arm and the buffaloes suddenly stopped right before passing through him.

    "What did he just do?" Asked Lars.

    "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. He is a animal whisperer." Said Ari.

    "Neat!" Said Jessica.

    The bisons started to emmit noises to Walker who seemed to understand.

    "Ari." Said Walker. "It seems those bisons aren't wild. They are from Aval."

    "In other words, they are cattle?" Asked Ari.

    "Yeah. It seems a scary man who I assume is Bull, sent them out on this stampede. They ran in fear from all the way here."

    "I see...So, those guys are technically your property. What do you wanna do?"

    "Hmm...They are a way of resource too much valuable to Vermillion to lose depending of what left of Aval."

    "Very well then. Walker, would you kindly take they back to Constance?"

    "Understood." Walker hoped on one of the bisons and guided them to the opposite path. "See you later, boss."

    Walker went with the animals to Constance.

    "I guess it just you and me, knight boy."

    "I don't need help to take care of a thug." Said Lars.

    "Right. Don't forget we are talking about the only guy I still didn't put behind bars."

    Some time later, they arrived at a town in cinders next to a rocky hill behind a wall with a hole on it.

    "How dare they put a hole on the wall?!" Shouted Lars. "If the live after this I'll force them to re-build all of it."

    "Dude, it's just a wall." Said Ari. "At least we do not need to find the door."

    The three of them enters through the hole and finds themselves walking through the burned ruins of Aval.

    "This is horrible." Said Jessica.

    "Don't bother it. It just houses." Said Ari. "You can always built new ones."

    "Can you stop being so insensitive." Said Lars.

    "I'm the insensitive one now? Great. Anyway, it has been like a minute and there is still no sign of Bull and his gang. Are you even around you assholes?!"

    "You don't need to shout." A robust and tall man appeared from behind them. He wore a single jacket and pants with armored leggings. His face was covered by a helmet shaped like a bull head and he carried two spears with the blade shaped red horns.

    "Oh jeez. What's up with people sneaking from behind me as of lately?"

    "So you are this Bull person?" Asked Lars. "Did you know your actions were basically means war."

    "Yeah. Why did you so something so terrible for those people?" Said Jessica.

    "Because I wished to call your attention, General Lars. I couldn't help myself after I heard you two were here."

    "What do you mean?"

    "You will see." Bull then started to remove his helmet. He revealed a face with a burn mark on the left side. He had a short brown hair and a goatee.

    "Oh my...It's...I have no idea." Said Ari.

    "...That's impossible." Said Lars. "It's actually you?"

    "Lars? You know him?" Said Jessica.

    "He...was a knight from Vermillion. Ornestein Bartre."

    "A knight?! Him?! He was one of us?!"

    "We did seen each other on many ocassions princess." Said Ornestein. "And I wasn't that different from what I am right now. I turned into a knight shortly before Lars by the way."

    "O-Oh! I'm very sorry. I didn't meant to."

    "Of course you did. You never really cared besides your precious Red Knight isn't it?"

    "That's not true. I think all our knights are-"

    "We are getting out of track here." Said Ari. "Never pictured you were somehow important in Vermillion after all this time Bull. What's the matter with this now?"

    "I just really hate those two." Said Ornestein.

    "Huh? What did we do?" Said Jessica.

    "I was promised for greatness. I came from a noble lineage. And then you had to show up, didn't you Lars?"

    "Lars? What did you just do?"

    "He stole from me. What was supossed to be mine." Ornestein points at Lars's sword. "Hannibal."

    "...Is that it?" Said Ari. "The reason why you became a pain my ass is because someone else was chosen?"

    "You telling me, that this peasant with no good name is more deserving for the power of one of the Four Swords than me?! There is no way I could swalow a nobody to become the most prestigious knight of the kingdom. It was supossed to be me!"

    "It wouldn't necessarily make you better than him, but do you have any idea how does those things work? Like, have you ever held one?"

    "I did in fact! But...I was like a rusty dagger instead of a blade of flames."

    "You weren't chosen. It's simple as that. The sword will only give their power to someone worthy. And you weren't. Deal with it."

    "Deal with it? Deal with the fact that rat deserves to be chosen over my noble blood!"

    "...Yeah. You suck. Deal with it. Good day, sir."

    "Enough!" Ornestein put back his helmet. "This isn't about you anyway. It's about him and me!"

    "Why are you putting me out of the equation?"

    "Because if you and the princess interfere, I'll signal my men to explode the mines where I am keeping your precious people as hostages."

    "Ah!" Without a second thought Jessica ran away looking for the hostages.

    "Er..Lars." Said Ari. "The princess just-"

    "Go after her." Said Lars. "I will deal with him."

    "...But."

    "Go!"

    "Okay, jeez." Ari went rushing after Jessica.

    "I have waited too long for this." Ornestein picked up his spears that had the blades glow with heat. "Maybe if you die, that sword might need a new chosen."

    "You may be a despicable wench now, but we were once allies under the same nation." Said Lars. "It pains me to fight a fellow knight, but it can't be helped."

    Meanwhile, Ari followed Jessica's tracks that led to the mines. "I can't believe she ran such a long distance. I never knew she could even run in the first-"

    For her surprise she encountered Jessica armed with two red daggers fighting several thugs at once. "..What the?"

    The bandits attacked her with glaives and cleavers, but she manages to gracefully dodge their attacks and deliver blows that delivered a burning effect. "Daggers made of vermillion ores, huh?"

    One big bandit went to smash her with a hammer, but she steps back and stepped on the hammer's handle when it came down to the ground, delivering a somersault kick into the bandit's chin.

    "Phew." Jessica stopped for a small breath, but a bandit came jumping right behind her with a knife.

    "Since when you can kick butts?" Said Ari as she delivers an uppercut on the sneaking bandit.

    "Eh?"

    "I just saw you kicking butts. Why didn't you told me? That's right the most important thing you could have told me."

    "W-Well...I don't think it's proper for my image as princess, but..."

    "But what?"

    "I think...As future sovereigner of my kingdom, I have to do my best to keep my people safe. So if I there is any hour that I have to hone a blade then I wanted to be ready, so I had Lars to teach me how to fight."

    "...It's kind of dumb for you to hide something like that because of your image."

    "O-Oh...I see."

    "But you are willing to put yourself in danger for something you believe. That's really nice."

    "You think so?"

    "Your technique lacks power but you compensate with your quick feet by moving away from danger. Like if it was some sort of dance. But it requires to much stamina, so it's not fit to fighting multiple opponents."

    "Ah. That's a very helpful insight out of nowhere."

    "Stop right there!" A bandit with a knife above a young boy's neck appeared. "You two drop your weapons! Or this piglet dies."

    "Heeey...The kid is not that fat. He is more like a lamb." Said Ari.

    "Shut up! Just do what I say."

    "...Alright, you win." Ari put her hands in the air, carrying the scabbard of her sword in the right hand.

    "I saud to drop your weapon!"

    "Fine, fine. I was about to do that." Ari then opened her hand, making her scabbard to fall, but before it landed, she kicked it straight at the bandit's face, knocking him out. "I call that one "I surrender, sucker"."

    "Do you think there has to be more up ahead?" Said Jessica.

    "Mostly likely. What really matters is that you have people to save. Are you in?"

    "Absolutely."

    "That's the spirit, girl."

    Outside, Lars was facing a fierce battle with Ornestein, who fiercely attack with his spears spinning on his hands. Both striking against each other blades.

    "We fought together! At the same side!" Shouted Lars. "And you decides to turn back to your people?! To your people?! Because you weren't chosen?!"

    "I would rather have the whole world to fall into an abyss than acknowledge a nobody like you as my superior!" Ornestein tried to stab Lars with his spear without success. Lars countered with a exploding blow on his elbow. "Urgh!"

    "It doesn't need to end like this. Surrender yourself and you might keep your life."

    "Don't think your opponent is a mere knight. I play dirty!" Ornestein dropped his spears and tackled Lars with a headbutt, sending him away.

    "Urgh!"

    "By the way, this helmet is made of Dark Ore. Not only protects the head, but it's a useful weapon as well."

    "Not that I need to strike your head to beat you."

    "You wouldn't even have a chance." Ornestein removes the horns of the helm and changes with the blades of his spears. "Let me show you how I really fight!"

    His helmet started to glow red of the heat until it covered in flames.

    "H-His head is on fire?!"

    "Graaaaah!" Ornestein charged into Lars with a headbutt. He dodges it and Ornestein pierces through a house who got destroyed by the impact. He quickly recovers by rising from the scrambles.

    "How is he able to stand with his head burning like that? Is it anger alone?"

    Ornestein delivers another tackle that Lars tries to counter by creating a pillar of fire between him and Ornestein, but he passes through with no problem.

    "Huh?" Ornestein wasn't able to see Lars. "Where is he?"

    "Above you." Lars managed to attack from Ornestein's blind spot by launching himself in the air with the fire of his sword before Ornestein passed through the pillar. Lars attacked the head, knocking over the helmet away.

    "You!" Ornestein tries to attack again, but Lars pierces his sword into his gut. "Aaaaaaaah!"

    Ornestein falls to his knees.

    "You are a fool." Lars took out the sword out of his gut. "See what your ambitions took you? You fell from grace because of your jealously."

    "Why I would I feel envy...From a piece of trash!" Ornestein kicked Lars's knees, knocking over.

    "Augh!"

    Ornestein then manages to kick the sword Hannibal away and grabbed Lars face with one hand. "Who did fell from grace, punk?"

    He procceds by smashing his head into the ground kicks him on the side. "Though a guy like you cannot fell when you start at the bottom!"

    Ornestein then held his hands on Lars's throat and started to suffocate him. "Without that sword, you are nothing! I will snap your neck like a twig."

    "Cough! Maybe I am not much without Hannibal...But I am still...Better than you!" Lars picked up a dagger hidden on his clothes and stabs him in the shoulder.

    "Gaaaah!" Ornestein releases his grip and is receives a headbut from Lars. "You damn-"

    Lars picked Ornestein's helmet and started to hit it several times on his head. "Take that and that!"

    On one final blow, Ornestein passes out.

    "Wheeew. You really are a bull....Bullshit!"

    Lars went to pick up his sword, but without him noticing Ornestein woke up and picked one of his spears, going for an attack from behind his back. But before the blow could be delivered, a red lightning struck him. Lars noticed it and turned back seeing Ornestein falling on his back.

    "Pro-tip. Always hit twice after you think he is down." Said Warlock who appeared right on time.

    "Warlock? Where did you came from?" Asked Lars.

    "I happened to crossed paths with Walker with a bunch of bisons on the way back. I found the situation a little sketchy so I came to see what was about it."

    "I see. I guess I'm owning you."

    "Nah. The fact that you made it easier for me to catch this son of a cow is already enough." Warlock then stops to check on Ornestein. "Hmm...I feel like I seen this guy before."

    "He is Ornestein. He is...Was a Knight."

    "Ornestein...Ah, I see. The House Bartre's boy. It has been a while, but it certainly looks like him. Damn he got big. So, what's the deal with him?"

    "It seems...He didn't accepted the fact I was chosen."

    "Is that so? So he is like me then?"

    "No. It's the fact that particulary me was chosen."

    "Hmm...Still, we are not so different. The only difference is that he didn't accepted to move on and took the wrong path."

    "....I don't think I can blame him totally. Maybe if I was on his feet, I would do the same."

    "...Nah. Unlikely."

    "Huh?"

    "If you were still you, then it wouldn't happen. It's just an assumption, but you would still be you. Noble ot Commoner."

    "How do you know?"

    "I told you, it's just a theory, but I have some facts that backs up. Facts from...another theory, actually."

    "...And what are those?"

    "I asked myself what does it takes to be a Chosen. It's not uncommon that one of the Four Swords chose someone with nothing on their name. And it really don't chose based on labels like Good or Bad. What I think it's matter is something I seen after observing Ari for so long."

    "Which is?"

    "It's how much of a difference someone could do with them."

    "Huh?"

    "Let's say someone like him would have been chosen instead of you. He could pass his whole life as a chosen and do nothing noticeable until he dies, because of how blind he would be with his greed and pride. But someone like Ari managed to create something like the White Tigers from nearly nothing. What I came up is that the Will is what really matters. Without your will to guide the hand you hold the sword, then you don't deserve to wield a sword at all. Tell me, Lars. What really motivates you to keep fighting?"

    "My motive..."

    "Lars!" Jessica and Ari appeared with several hostages behind them alongside several bandits tied on ropes.

    "Princess-Ah!" Lars tries to walk towards her, but stops because of the pain he felt on his side. "Urgh. That kick hurt."

    "Lars!" Jessica rushes to his side, trying to help him stay on his feet. "Are you hurt somewhere?"

    "I'm fine. I just need to lay low a bit."

    "I having you checked out when we go back to Constance."

    "There is no need."

    "There is! Do you understand?!" Jessica gazes at Lars with conviction on her eyes.

    "....As you wish."

    "Good...Let's go to the wagon." Jessica scorted Lars out of town.

    "Hmm..That's a good motive, I guess." Said Warlock.

    "Yo, Warlock." Said Ari. "Did you had to help him?"

    "Nah. He got all done, technically. What do we do with Bull anyway?"

    "I has that talk with the princess. Let's just send them to Vermillion. Better like that, one less cell to fill up with people. Can I leave this place and those guys to you while I take those jerkasses to Constance?"

    "Fine by me."

    "...So, do you think those two over there looks...good toghether?"

    "Well...They do get along well, at least."

  7. #7

    Default Re: Four Swords-Reboot Version.

    Chapter 7: Blue Flame.

    Hidden:


    Somewhere in the middle of the somewhere in Vale, there was a wagon on his way carrying hay to a nearby town next to Constance. There was the carrier and a passager laying on the hay. He was man with a long brown hair possessing a tall and muscular body. Next to him there was a broadsword inside it's sheath. His attire consisted of leather clothes and a pair of boots.

    "We are arrived at Constance, lad." Said the carrier as they passes near Constance. "Still, weird of you to try to come here all alone. Lucky for I was passing by."

    "Yaaaawn. Yeah, thanks dude."

    "You are not from around here, are you? Are you sure you be fine there?"

    "The White Tigers are there, right? Then I am on the right place."

    "If you say so..." The man gets out off the wagon. "Oh right. Here." He tosses a golden coin to the carrier.

    "Woah. Gold. Where did you get this?"

    "You know. Laying around. See ya."

    "...You don't find gold laying around, much less like a coin. At least not as easy." The carrier then sets off on his journey leaving the mysterious man behing.

    On the White Tiger's Den, Jessica was happily on his quarters writting some sort of letter. Later, someone knocks her door. "You may enter."

    The one who enters is Lars, who was missing his coat and had some bruises on his face. "You called me?"

    "Yes Lars, I....What happened to your face?"

    "I had a hand-to-hand practice with Ari earlier today. I swear, she is better with her arms and legs than with a sword."

    "I see...Anyway, would mind handing me over your signature?"

    "What for exactly that it cannot be back in Vermillion?"

    "I'm doing a letter of recommedention."

    "Oh? For who?"

    "Hee hee...To Ari of course."

    "Ari? You want her to become a Vermillion Knight?"

    "Why not? As a princess I can appoint anyone the title of knight."

    "I mean, it's one thing you give the title to a commoner, but someone from Vale is entirely another thing."

    "I can if it's an honorary title. But don't you think having that woman in court someday might give so much benefits to both Vermillion and Vale?"

    "No."

    "Yikes! I thought you were friends at this point."

    "Not VERY good friends at least. And also, I fail to see there is any advantages for us with this deal."

    "Easy there. I'll assume responsability for this. All I need now is your signature and her own formal answer."

    "Hmm...I have a bad feeling about this."

    Later on, Jessica finds Ari playing cards with Warlock and tells her about the situation.

    "I refuse." Said Ari without taking her sight to her cards.

    "What....Whaaaaaaat?!" Jessica was shocked.

    "I knew something like this would happen?" Said Lars.

    "B-But do you know about the benefits?"

    "Well, Warlock used to be a knight and he seemed to have dropped out of it fine." Said Ari.

    "Whaaaaat?! Mr.Warlock used to be a Vermillion Knight?!"

    "Didn't Lars told you?" Said Warlock.

    "Laaaaaars!!!"

    "I thought it wasn't important." Said Lars.

    "It is important!"

    "I don't have any ties with Vermillion anymore by the way." Said Warlock.

    "Still, it would be enough for you to be very close to the Vermillion's court. Don't you wish to participate on the high society?"

    "Did you forget that Vale is a Neutral Zone?" Said Ari. "I may not be into politics, but me and my men are know everywhere around here. Just being buddies with you makes us more into the Red than the Blue. And here is the thing. We LIKE being Neutral. It's what makes us more special than you guys. Take those away and everyone will want my head pierced into a stake. Understaaaand?"

    "O-Okay." Said Jessica who left the area looking depressed.

    "Groan." Lars followed her looking mildly annoyed.

    "You know boss, you could have tried to be less aggresive." Said Warlock.

    "That was me being not aggresive. You know that." Said Ari. "Also, Full House."

    "Urgh. Rhinoceroses."

    Meanwhile on a tavern out of town, the wanderer from before had entered the place and went to have a talk to the barman. "What's up? What's the best drink you have?"

    "There is no sich a thing as a best drink because that very comcept appled to bevarages is very subjective." Replied the barman.

    "Uh-huuuu...Well, I would like to have what the White Fang would want."

    "...Why is that?"

    "I really wanna know what sort of taste that guy have."

    "That "guy", huh?"

    "What was that?"

    "Nothing of sort. Well, if I was that "guy", I would choose this one." He picks up a whole barrel of beer with the name Oasis labeled on it.

    "Isn't there like a bottle?"

    "The White Fang likes to pick a mug and dive down straight inside the barrel."

    "Haha! That's my sort of dude."

    "Excuse me." Walker walked in. "We are in need of...supplies."

    "Heh. Good timing. I have one here right now. You can take it." Said the barman.

    "Thanks."

    "Woah. Look at the size of the guy." Thought the wanderer while he observed Walker. "His arms are like made of hard rock. And he doesn't look like, but I can feel his guard is on even if there is no apparent danger. It has to be him!"

    "...Is something the matter?" Asked Walker.

    "Heh! You there!"

    "...Yes?"

    "Your the form and essence of a mighty warrior.

    "Thanks. I do work out a lot and have a balanced diet."

    "A serious guy, I see. I'll cut to the chase. I came all this way...To have a chance with the White Fang!"

    "Oh, I see. You wanna have a talk at the White Tigers, right?"

    "Haha! So invinting me to enemy grounds already! You are bold. Very well, I accept the challenge!"

    "...You are not from around here, huh?"

    "Well, more or less."

    Later, back at the Den, Jessica was sitting on a table with her face planted on it. Stalk walks in and noticed it while carrying a shovel. "...Did I miss something?"

    "Oh. Hi, Stalk." Said Jessica, still planting her face. "Don't bother about it. It just that Ari rejected my proposal to make her a knight."

    "I'm pretty sure she can't do that considering Vale's neutral grounds."

    "I thought I could get away somehow. I wasn't aware neutrality was so important."

    "...Was it too much important to you?"

    "Not necessarily, but I think she is far too good for what she currently have. Think how much she could so for Vermillion as well."

    "So you are thinking only on your own self-interests after all."

    "...Yeah, I think you are right. But I am a princess. I need to put my obligations on first priority. And yet, I guess I can't do anything right."

    "...I don't really understand politics, but what if she also becomes a honorary Azurian?"

    "Hmmm?"

    "I mean, if you became a knight of Vermillion you basically have Vermillionese citzenship, so the same thing must apply to Azure. And that way, she wouldn't be taking sides, so..."

    "That's it!" Jessica changed to a cheerful attitude. "Of course! Of course! If we get in contact with Azure Nobility, we can persuade them somehow to turn Ari into a honorary Azurian. And just like that, we are free to turn her into a honorary knight!"

    "We just need to find a way about the whole thing about your kingdom being currently at war with them."

    "Oh...Right. We need to figure out a way to contact one of them."

    "Now that I think of it, isn't one of them coming for an audience or something?"

    "Oh, right. I forgot about it. But it's Jabberwork we are talking about."

    "And? He is a Duke, right?"

    "Yeah, but the rumours I hear about it's...unsettling. By the way, why are you wielding a shovel."

    "Don't ask questions you can't handle the answers."

    "I must say it's quite a nice place you have here." The man who met Walker at the tavern entered the room alongside him. "It's almost like a palace. I know because I...Huh?"

    "Huh?!" Jessica got astonished by the man's presence. "Y-You are-"

    "...Isn't him the Prince Heide of Azure?" Said Stalk. "Yo, Walker. Why is the prince of Azure with you?"

    "I didn't knew that. He just said he wanted to meet the boss." Said Walker.

    "Wait, you aren't the White Fang?" Said Heide.

    "I never said I was."

    "So you are like a underling or something?"

    "Something like that."

    "Then this White Fang must be really amazing then...But anyway, isn't that Princess Jessica of Vermillion?"

    "H-Hello." Jessica was shaking from anxiety.

    "What are you doing so far away from your kingdom? This looks very fishy if you ask me."

    "She can ask the same thing for you." Said Stalk.

    "Princess, where are you?" Lars appears looking for Jessica. "Oh, there you are. I was wondering if...Huh?!"

    "Oh. Hello there, Lars." Said Heide.

    "You..." Lars didn't hesitate and pulled his sword to attack Heide. The latter pulled out the sword on his back to block Lars's attack. It was a broadsword with a deep blue blade that emmited light-blue flames. The Azure Sword: Ragnar.

    "That was so predictable." Said Heide.

    "I don't care for your opinion!" Lars and Heide started to trade blows at one another, destroying several chairs and tables.

    "Ah! Please no! I-I am so very sorry!" Jessica apologized to Walker and Stalk.

    "Relax. Furniture break in this hall all the time." Said Stalk.

    "How long has it been since the last time, buddy?" Said Heide as he pushes back Lars.

    "Don't call me buddy!" Lars delivered a swing that sent a wave of fire at Heide, who counters by creating a wall of ice from his sword.

    "Come on, hothead. We know each other from so looong."

    "Tch! It should not take too long to kill a man you know!"

    "Hey, come on. People die if you kill them, man."

    "That's the idea! How did you know we were here in the first place?!" Lars delivered a powerful swing to the left that Heide avoided.

    "I was not here for you." Heide dent a powerful swing with both hands that clashed with Lars's sword. "But, it's certainly suspicious that the two of you are here. You aren't plotting anything nayghty, are you?!"

    "Shuuut up!"

    The two of them starts to trade blows, equally matching in strenght and speed until in a flash, both of them are pushed back by Ari who deflected both swords upward. "...What the hell is going on here?!"

    "A white blade..." Said Heide.

    "Staaaaaaalk!"

    "...Yeah?" Said Stalk.

    "Who is this dumb-looking meathead?!"

    "That's Prince Heide of Azure, boss."

    "And why in the name of my father's grave is the mess hall filled with ice and flames?"

    "I blame Lars."

    "Blame accepted."

    "Why?!" Protested Lars.

    "Shut it!" Ari pointed her finger at Lars. "I don't know what is going on, but that fire over there is certainly your work. I didn't opened the doors of my house so you could just burn it down like a pile of old wood. Princess!"

    "Y-Yes?" Said Jessica.

    "Give your knight a proper scolding later on. And don't forget the belt."

    "Why a belt? He already has one in his pants."

    "...Bah! Forget about it. Just yell really loud at him or something. Walker. Stalk. Go put out that fire. I'll have a talk with this fatso here...And I'll need the shovel for later, Stalk."

    "You think I'm fat?" Asked Heide.

    "You certainly weights a lot. Come on now." While Walker and Stalk put out the fire with buckets of water, Ari silently takes Heide to outside.

    "If I may ask...Are you the White Fang?" Asked Heide.

    "Isn't this white sword proof enough?"

    "So you really are the wielder of Musashi as the rumours said. So you must be hella incredible, right?"

    "I have no time for flattery." When they arrive, Ari turns back and stares at Heide with her arms crossed. "Now tell me. Why is the Blue Flame of Azure suddenly decided to pass by?"

    "Funny story. I actually thought the big dude over there was you and he thought that I wanted to see you and that just happens to be the case and...Yeah, it's really funny, haha!"

    "Yeah, you thought I was a man. I'm used it already. Aaaand do you need something?"

    "Yes. I do need something."

    "Huh? Okay. What is it?"

    "...A fight."

    "Huh?"

    "You see, I spent quite a while fighting against Vermillion. But those campaigns were just not going anywhere, specially after you guys appeared. Anyway, I just couldn't feel anything. As if something was missing from all that."

    "War just feels complete when one side loses. That's why it's better to not start them at all."

    "Right, right. But you see...I'm a warrior."

    "...And?"

    "A warrior fights you know. So I have to fight, see? It's complicated."

    "...Sigh. Alright, I get it."

    "You do?"

    "Basically, you wanna fight me because you want a challenge. Okay, I give you one."

    "Oh...Oh! Neat! Very well! I'll let you make the first move!" Heide pulled out his sword. "The Azure Blade: Ragnar against the White Blade: Musashi. This will be a clash for the ages. Come on then!"

    "No."

    "Huh?"

    "I never said it would be today, you oaf. I may not look like, but I have a busy schedule. You are free to stay here as long you don't misbehave yourself. Now if you excuse me, I have to do things with a shovel." She heads inside the building, leaving Heide silently standing still.

    "...Yeah, I can wait."

    At the west of Constance, there was a mining town by the name of Wonderus. This town is actually Azure's territory, founded not too long ago. Besides the mine inside the town, it also inspects others nearby. The man responsible for the town was someone with great influence of Azure. He was Duke Jabberwork. His most distinctive features was a blue gauntlet on his left hand that looked like a dragon's claw. Outside of that, he looked fairly young with a long red hair, a deep-blue suit and blue eyes. One day he was visited by a man in his residence. He had a short black hair and an eyepatch. He was alongside a red dragon. That man was the Captain of Azure's Dragon Knights, Basil.

    "Let me see if I get this straight." Said Jabberwork. "You lost sight of Prince Heide. The man who you were supossed to escort. And you noticed right before coming here?"

    "Dude, like...I messed up. Sorry." Said Basil.

    "You certainly not look like someone who just lost a DAMN PRINCE in the middle of nowhere."

    "I mean, he is probably fine. You know...Chosen Wielder and all that."

    "...Hmpf. No matter. I'm sure he'll appear someday."

    "Yeah! Right? That would be so Heide and all that."

    "I'll just go to Constance without him. I'll need you to escort me this time."

    "Really? Bummer."

    "Now hold on a minute." Appeared a man with a black hair that covered half of his face with a forelock. He wore a black coat and dressed like a sailor. On his side, there was a cutlass with a large blade. "You aren't thinking of keeping me alone here, aren't you?"

    "It would be smart of you to stay here and be nice if you know what is good for you." Said Jabberwork.

    "Hey, hey. All I ask is to come along. Don't worry. I will not bite."

    "...Very well then. After all, Lars is there so it would be natural to have you another Wielder as some sort of countermeasure...Right, Jet?"

    "It's Captain Jet Wave for you."

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