|Forest Dragon Slayer: My resolve becomes my blade.|
|The articles I make are mine unless it's a collaboration then it's their's too. If you use my content without permission, I will cut you down with my sword.|
It was a normal day in the guild hall of Unchained Soul, one that wouldn't be considered normal anywhere else due to its members. Kurogane was walking towards the dining hall for breakfast and then he came across one of his guildmates, Atsuko. "Um...Good morning Atsuko?" Kurogane said with a nervous smile. It was quite clear that Atsuko was trying to hold back from punching Kurogane because of her androphobia but to no avail...
"Kyaaa!" She exclaimed before punching him square in the gut with full force before running away. She was able to apologize though as she did. This was considered completely normal here. Usually, it'd be either Eugene Woodland or Kurogane himself that would take the blows from this girl. Knowing that she didn't mean to do it out of malice, Kurogane continued on to the dining room peacefully, albeit with some pain in his abdomen. It made him wonder how she got so strong as Kurogane had gone through tons of training and would normally not be affected by a normal punch. He entered the room to see Mune and Eriko already chatting and seemingly having already finished breakfast.
"Ah, good morning Kurogane-san." Eriko said while hand signing before bringing out to him a plate of bacon, eggs, and other such breakfast foods. Mune waved a hand in greeting as well. For once, he wasn't wearing the bandages that he usually had on but didn't really need. He didn't have any injuries nor was his face that ugly, it was actually quite handsome, that he needed bandages around his head but for some reason he usually had them on.
"Good morning Eriko, Mune." Kurogane said politely as he began to dig into his food. As always, the food made by Eriko tasted great. It was then they heard they heard tired sounds coming from the hallway.
"Good morning." Another member of the guild as well as the strategist, Ren said with a tired voice as he dragged himself to the table looking almost like a zombie albeit with a bit more color with the bags under his eyes.
"Ren, were you staying up all night doing research again?" Kurogane asked with concern in his voice as Eriko brought Ren breakfast and a large cup of coffee.
"No, video games." Ren replied simply as he put sugar in his already sweetened coffee and drank down the whole thing in one gulp.
"You shouldn't be playing that much video games, especially at night." Mune said, lecturing the slightly younger man who still acted like a teenager sometimes.
"With all the work I have to do around here, how else am I supposed to keep up with the other players?" Ren said weakly in response as Eriko refilled his coffee.
"Even if you fell behind, wouldn't you be able to catch up in no time flat with your gaming skill anyway?" Eugene said, coming out of nowhere and already sitting next to Kurogane with a plate of breakfast in front of him.
"Ahhhhh!" Everyone else shouted in shock as they did not notice him at all. Ren actually accidentally spilled his piping hot coffee on his shirt, causing him to scream even more from getting burned until Mune used his Temperature Magic to cool him down.
"Where the heck did you come from!?! How long have you been here!?!" Ren exclaimed, now fully awake.
"I've been here the whole time." Eugene said simply. "When I came down here, Mune and Eriko were already at the table eating breakfast so I greeted them and sat down. Eriko then reflexively handed me a plate of breakfast. Later on, Kurogane came in and sat next to me and then you came down looking all tired."
How are we not used to this yet? Everyone else thought in their heads, wondering how he kept walking around them without them noticing. In Eriko's case, she was wondering how she was able to give Eugene a plate of food without noticing him. It scared her a little. He really was deserving of his alias, "The Ghost Dragon Slayer". This was another thing that was (sort of) considered normal in this guild.
"Looks like you're causing a ruckus as usual." Said a young woman with long blue hair entering the room with a small smile. This was Shana, the guild's sniper.
"I didn't really do anything here." Eugene said in defense. In a way, he was right so Shana couldn't do much else but sigh at this as she sat down to breakfast.
"Good morning!!" An energetic voice came from the hall and a pink haired young woman entered the room full of energy. This was Sakura, the guild's second in command.
"So we got missions today?" Shana asked as she put a forkful of eggs into her mouth. She asked this because Sakura would normally come into the dining hall at the side of the guild master Ryuunosuke, whom she was obviously infatuated with but this time, she came alone.
"Aw, Why are you acting so cold Shana-chan?" Sakura said with a pout before brightening up again. "Indeed, we have some missions today." She said as she passed out the assignments for each person except for Eriko as she did not usually do any combat. Sakura also passed one to Atsuko whom was hiding behind the corner. Thanks to her training with Eugene and Kurogane, Atsuko can now be within 5 feet of a male without having the urge to hit them. "Ah, and Eriko-chan? Would you mind going grocery shopping today? It seems we're starting to run low."
"Of course, I'd be happy to!" Eriko said happily as she hand signed. She was always eager to help in whatever way she could since she was well aware of how dangerous the missions the others were going on were. She wanted to lessen their burdens even if by only a little bit.
"Don't worry Mune, my mission is in the same town as the one I'm sure Eriko is thinking of shopping in." Kurogane said to assure Mune who was quite protective of her. "I'll be within range to help her if necessary."
"Fine, stay safe Eriko." Mune said before getting up, wrapping the bandages around his head and set out to leave from the Dokodemo Door.
"Of course! Have a safe mission!" Eriko said happily as she waved him goodbye.
"I wish Ryu-chan and I would also act as lovey dovey." Sakura said with another pout.
"Try actually getting him to fall in love with you first." Eugene said with a teasing grin as he and Shana left next.
"Now then, let's get going." Kurogane said to Eriko as he set the coordinates on the Dokodemo Door. After it activated, the two of them went through and walked into a town. "I'll be going on my mission then. Let's meet back here after we're both done." He said to Eriko who nodded in response and the two went their separate ways, Kurogane going to take down a dark guild on his own and Eriko who was going grocery shopping.
Walking through the market, bystanders whispered to each other as the 240cm male strode in, his face lit up with happiness, saying to himself, "Aah... what a nice day.. I feel like it's good barbeque weather! I guess I should buy more than usual, huh?"
This question was only directed at himself, as he often shopped alone. Walking up to a meat stall, he bent over, smiling at the butcher who looked quite terrified. "Hello sir, i'd like to buy a kilogram of sausages, a few beef steaks, a roast chicken and.... some ham legs, if it's ok?"
The butcher, too terrified to refuse, shakily nodded. Sighing, Mikhail placed the required money on the table and wrapped up his meats, walking away. The butcher's reaction had dampened his mood somewhat, as he was determined to keep being happy, no matter what.
Large crowds had never been a problem for Mikhail as they parted quite quickly when he walked by. It made him feel uneasy, but he wasn't going to be upset by that either. Still, it hurt a lot and as a result, Mikhail wasn't watching where he was going when he bumped into a girl, spilling both their groceries onto the ground. Caught off balance, Mikhail bumped into a stall, breaking the woodwork, causing it to collaspe in on itself. Fumbling to apologise, he slipped on a stray piece of meat and knocked another one over, a plank of wood hitting a man on the head.
This wasn't at all good as a crowd soon gathered, angry at Mikhail as if he had intended for all this to happen. Many looked sympathetic towards her, but only hostile eyes gazed at Mikhail, who at this point was both mortified and sorry.
The small crowd that gathered had already begun throwing out derogatory words filled with malice and spite. It was quite obvious from their voices that they were both angry and somewhat fearful at the large man. Some even began to literally throw things at him to drive him away. Shielded behind the tall man's body, Eriko kept shouting out to tell them to stop but to no avail, the crowd persisted. At this point, the tall man was already dripping with the juices of the produce that was thrown at him and was even hit by some fish. Some extremists within the crowd had more dangerous ammunition such as small furniture and even blades. Seeing that the man in front of her was in danger, she immediately began to ready Barrier Magic. But then, the sounds of slashing filled the air...The furniture and blades thrown had been cleanly split in two and harmlessly landed on either side of Eriko and the man in front of her. Now in front of them stood a young man with a katana in his hands. He held a stern expression on his face. "Kurogane-san!" Eriko exclaimed in surprise. Kurogane didn't immediately respond as he kept his gaze on the small crowd before him.
"You people should be ashamed of yourselves, attempting to harm a person who merely caused an accident like that." Kurogane said calmly but it clearly showed his disappointment towards these people. "He wasn't even violently resisting, it was unnecessary to resort to such measures!" He then finally turned around and walked over to Eriko. "Eriko, are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine thanks to this person." Eriko said in response as she pointed towards the tall man next to her.
"Thank you for protecting my guildmate." Kurogane said to the man with a smile. "Now then, why don't we get you cleaned up? There is a stream nearby here that we could go to for that. Besides, the people's attention will soon be directed somewhere else in 3, 2, 1..." At the moment, a nearby building collapsed, causing everyone to look in the direction of the building in question. At this time, Kurogane led the man and Eriko towards the stream.
"I take it your mission was successful?" Eriko asked knowing the answer already.
"Indeed, I defeated the dark mages in their and then made their building collapse." Kurogane said in response. "Please do not worry though, they are all alive, I made sure to keep them alive."
Letting out a huge sigh, Mikhail turned to Eriko and expressed that he was glad she was safe. He then explained to Kurogane that thanks wasn't necessary as he was merely there at the right time. "I'm truly sorry about all this... I usually have a friend do the shopping for me since not a lot of people can be around me without causing an uproar.. Except I wanted to shop by myself today since it's such a nice day..."
Shaking himself a little in laughter, he wiped a few things off himself and then straightened himself, his face bright and smiling once more. "Yes, I would love to get cleaned up, especially since smelling like refuge isn't my thing.." it was clear from his attitude that he had paid the destruction no mind. Being a local, Mikhail was aware of the dark guild's existence, like many others. It being destroyed didn't shock him as it was inevitable after its existence being reported.
Scraping off any excess, Mikhail began to wash off the stains on his tabard and shirt. Rubbing at a few sore spots that would definitely bruise soon, he splashed a bit of water on himself to alleviate the aches. After a few minutes of that, he got up and wrung out his slightly damp clothing.
"Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Mikhail Stormhander, a guildless mage from around here. You coming to my assistance was a blessing. I honestly can't be more thankful for what you've done for me. If there's anything you need, I'll help."
"It's nice to meet you Mikhail." Kurogane said with a smile. "My name is Kurogane Kenshin."
"And I'm Eriko Kazeto." Eriko said with a kind smile that gave off a motherly feeling. "It's nice to meet you as well Mikhail-san." She said this with a polite bow.
"At the moment, we don't have anything that we need help with but we thank you for the offer." Kurogane said, having already finished the mission that he had been assigned. Even if he still had yet to complete it, he wouldn't want someone unrelated to get involved. "If you ever need any help though, just call us." He said as he gave Mikhail a card for communication. "Now then, we shall be going. Let's meet again."
A few minutes after bidding both Kurogane and Eriko farewell, Mikhail once again walked into town, intending to buy everything he needed again. As the townsfolk were still a bit shaken up from earlier, he avoided them and walked towards his home, where he knew there was a smaller market nearby. While the shopkeepers of the stalls were just as scared of him, they managed it a bit easier, so Mikhail was able to shop in a reletively good mood.
Carrying everything he had bought home, Mikhail's mind began mulling over what had occured that day. He realised that he had been ignoring the townsfolk's perceptions of him on purpose, to keep himself in a happy mood. Today, those rose-coloured glasses had been torn off and he now became aware of how unwelcome he was here.
Trembling, he restocked his pantry and walked out of the house as if in a dream. He couldn't stay here anymore. Most of the people here now hated him out of fear, the worst kind of hatred. But where could he go? He hadn't a job so his money was minimal at best. There was just too much to think about and he needed to set his mind right, so he decided that a stroll through the woods near his home was the best idea. With that, he left the outskirts of the village and entered the woods.
His walking was slow as he thought of what he should do now. Joining a guild was put on the backburner as Oak Town didn't have a guild anymore and Mikhail couldn't afford transport. So many thoughts threw themselves at him at once, so he was so engrossed in these contemplations that everything seemed to disappear around him.
"You seem to be really troubled aren't you? You okay?" A voice came from out of nowhere. There was now a young man who was all of a sudden in front of Mikhail with a empathetic and a curious expression on his face. This was Eugene Woodland, nicknamed as the Ghost Dragon Slayer due to his sudden appearances and disappearances and like usual, he came out of nowhere. He doesn't even try to do this, it just naturally happened.
The male's voice promptly snapped him out of his reverie and simultaneously scared him. Mikhail jumped and if he could, would have shot up to the heavens. "Uh.... um.. yeah I guess I am sorta troubled... Sigh.. i've just had a really bad day. Now i'm just questioning my entire mindset and where I should go from here.. On the plus side, I met some really nice people. A black haired swordsman and a really kind deaf girl. I really wish I could've payed them back for helping me... Oh, i'm sorry for rambling. I've just had a lot on my mind."
"It's fine, better to say what troubles are in your mind out loud rather than just let it stay cooped up in you head. Eugene said in response with a smile. "By the way, I'm Eugene Woodland, what's your name?" He didn't show the slightest bit of hesitation or nervousness as he stuck out his hand for a handshake. This was because he was already used to his father who was a dragon that was much larger than the young man in front of him. "So what are you doing out here?"
"Oh, i'm Mikhail Stormhander. As for the answer to your first question, i'm just taking a breather and whatnot. The town i'm from has never been all that okay with my presence as i'm quite tall and most find me to be scary and imposing. I bumped into the girl I mentioned earlier and tripped, accidently destroying some stalls.. Then people started hurling stuff at me and the swordsman protected me. We had a nice talk and they gave me this card for communication.." Curious, he pulled it out and looked over it, then handed to Eugene to look at. "I'm not sure how it works but it's quite interesting."
"Nice to meet you Mikhail." Eugene said as he glanced over it before handing it back to the tall man. "It's a really simple type. Just apply magic on the speaker section of the card and it will activate and call the other person on the line." Eugene explained knowing who made the card. "Man, you must have had a rough day." Eugene said empathetically towards his comment about people hurling stuff at him. "That's a horrible thing to do to a person, treating other people like that. Well, At least you met some nice people right? That's a good thing."
"Yeah. Thanks for explaining how this works by the way." Despositing the card back into his pocket and smiling, everthing was quiet for a while until noise in the underbrush caught his attention. On the alert, he used Requip to summon his sword Fragarch, the blade causing a slight breeze to stir up from the wind turning around its blade. Looking around, he barked out, "Who's there? Show yourself!"
Look like Sakura was right about there being a few enemies that weren't inside the guild hall when Kurogane destroyed it. Eugene thought to himself as he drew his own sword. Coming out of the bushes were a few dark mages each wanting to take down the foes in front of them. Although Eugene had his sword out as well, he wasn't tense at all compared to Mikhail. "Relax a little." He said to him. "I'm not saying to drop your guard but fighting while being all stiff like that isn't going to help." He calmly walked towards the enemy and one of them out of tension, all of a sudden charged at him. Eugene smiled as he readied a sword technique. "Kofuna Shizen Ryu: Lightning Strike." He said as he swung his sword faster than the human eye could track and in the next instant, that dark mage fell down. "Don't worry, I used the flat of the blade so he wouldn't die." He said to the Darkmage's comrades. He then looked back at Mikhail. "Come on big guy! Don't be afraid to join in!" As he said this, he could feel the uneasiness of the remaining 5-6 dark mages towards Eugene because of his attack.
Cracking his neck as he turned it from side to side, he locked eyes with one Dark Mage who was trembling as Mikhail was taller than him by 2 feet. Staggering back, the Dark Mage readied a Darkness Magic spell when Mikhail swung Fragarch down, a small spiralling column of wind rushing towards the mage, taking him out by pushing him into the trunk of a tree. Readying his stance, another Dark Mage used a spell which caused a beam of light to charge towards him. Thinking fast, he unequipped Fragarch and Requipped the shield Svalinn, which he brought up to meet the attack. "Hey Eugene, you know these guys?"
"Can't say I do and it doesn't look like they're here to become my friends either." Eugene said calmly as he summoned out a cactus to shoot needles at his foes. There was no need to go all out so he was just playing around. "By the way, look out." Eugene calmly said without even looking at Mikhail as he summoned out a plant to protect the large man from a sneak attack before using the same plant to knock the attacker out. "Let's hurry and finish this up. We shouldn't have to take to long to deal with small fry like this."
"I suppose not." Shrugging, he unequipped Svalinn and Requipped Gungnir, the large and heavy spearbutt slamming into the ground with a resounding 'thud'. "Time to show these Dark Mages a real giant's weapon." Pointing the large spear at the remaining Dark Mages, magic circles appeared around the spear head, multiple spears shooting out at the mages, pinning many of them to trees by their clothes or limbs.
"Well, that was easy. And here I was thinking they'd put up a bit more of a fight." Eugene said nonchalantly from behind Mikhail's back. If Mikhail were to turn around, he'd see that there were several enemies more numerous than the earlier ones defeated and plants were restraining them. And he had done all that within a few seconds. "Just as expected though, they hired some mercenaries to help them. how distasteful." He said as he sheathed his sword. "You okay on your end Mikhail?" He asked the half giant with a carefree smile.
Dispatching a final enemy by knocking him out with a spear butt, the tall male grinned wolfishly. "Ah yeah, i'm done. I was hoping they'd get a little close to me. Long distance fighting feels boring when they can't do anything." Leaning on Gungnir, he scratched the back of his head. "So what do we do now? Are we gonna carry them off somewhere or do we leave them here?"
"Hmm? Did you say something?" Eugene said having brought a door out of nowhere and was throwing the enemy in there. If Mikhail glanced to see what was on the other side of the door, he'd see that it was linked to a prison cell. And Eugene acted as if it were completely normal to pull out a door our of nowhere that leads to prison so that he could convienently throw them in. "Well, that's over and done with!"
Standing stock still with an unamused expression on his face, he sighed and unequiped Gungnir. Having not expended much energy, Mikhail was immensly unsatisfied with the fight at it didn't excite him too much. While this would put him in a bad mood normally, he was still happy to have found people that he could hang around with no issue. "So... uh... What now, Eugene?"