Zell's Lollipop Ninja
“If I could reach out really far,
I’d get you the brightest star!
I really know that it would
Say the words I never could!”
The sunlight burst through Chris’ window, waking her from a deep sleep. She woke with a considerably larger amount of energy than usual, considering she had gone to bed early the previous night. Being up so early frustrated Chris a great deal. Considering the time, Louis had yet to deliver her freshly polished armor. She changed into her traveling clothes instead and headed out into the castle hall.
“Good morning, Lady Chris!” Borus chirped, still in his morning jogging clothes. “Beautiful day today! Would you like to join me and the others for a drink later?”
“Okay, sure! I have some things to do today, but I’ll see you when I’m done, okay?” Chris offered, smiling at her comrade. He nodded happily.
“Great, well, I’m off! You should join Fred, Roland, and me one of these days on a morning jog. It is a good way to start the morning, milady!”
Chris mocked, “Alright, Kenji, I will sometime!” Borus glared, slightly offended. He couldn’t stay mad at Chris as she giggled happily at her own joke. Borus merely smiled and headed down the staircase.
“‘Oh Milady Chris I must spend more time with you!’ ‘Oh wondrous Silver Maiden, you are the fairest and most beautiful!’ ‘Please pick me, milady! I am your loyal knight forever!’” Nash mimicked, walking down the hall. He was still rather unprepared for the day; he was without his scarf and was coming his hard as he walked.
“Why must you always mock Borus so?” Chris groaned, shooting a glare at the Harmonian man.
Nash just shrugged and replied, “I play it as I see it. Good morning, Chris.”
“Good morning Nash. I wouldn’t expect a man your age to be up this early!” Nash childishly stuck out his tongue.
“I really wouldn’t expect such for you. Oh wait…” Nash retorted slyly, “We all know that the Silver Maiden has a bit of a mean streak.” As Nash too went down the stairs muttering something about coffee, Chris did a mocking wave, signaling that she was merely brushing him off. Nash always knew just how to pull her strings.
After defeating both Borus and Nash, Chris had finally made her way to her first task of the day, the comment box check. Checking the comments was one of the most important things Chris did as leader of the Fire Bringer. The comment box told her everything she needed to know about the flow of castle life, and gave her helpful suggestions on how to keep the piece.
Chris quickly grabbed the oak chest and walked back to her room. Upon arrival she spilled the contents of the box onto the table. Eight letters lay before her. She immediately took out the three which she noted s being Nash’s penmanship, knowing that at this point they were all merely invitations or love letter.
Chris unfolded a neatly creased note, and scanned its contents.
Sir Jacques is really getting on my nerves! When I went to speak to him about important business, he ignored me. Can you believe how rude he is? --Borus”
Chris raised an eyebrow. That was strange. She had never received any sort of complaint from Borus like this. This Jacques person must really have frustrated him.
Putting the first piece of mail aside, Chris picked up the next scrap of paper. Unlike the letter from Borus, this note was on muddy paper and seemed to have been written quickly from the chicken-scratch penmanship.
“Dear Lady Chris,
I can’t believe this! Sir Jacques skipped out on night guard duty! I’m gonna give him a piece of my mind, the twerpish charlatan! Love Cecile!!! (the signature was followed by several hearts and smiley faces)”
Chris starred down at the piece of paper she held in her hands. Skipping guard duty? Twerpish charlatan indeed! That was a borderline treasonous act! Skipping guard duty put everyone in the castle at risk, and he really should be told that right away!
At that, Chris took the letters she received from Borus and Cecile, shoved them in her pocket, and marched off to see the irresponsible Jacques. She went to the room where the teammates of Geddoe congregated; being that he was a member of the Harmonian Force’s team.
Chris stormed down the stairs in an attempt to blow off some steam before she encountered the Defense Force Captain, stomping hard on the rock steps that led into the sublevels. She pushed past Ayame, who shot a vengeful glance after the unarmored female knight. Chris muttered an unconvincing ‘sorry’. The ninja mentally noted Chris’ rudeness, swearing some sort of revenge.
Stomping through the boat, Chris kicked lightly aside a spinning and screaming Gadget Z as it came tumbling towards her at a high speed. She was too frustrated to deal with that blasted machine and Belle was no where in sight. She spotted the door of Geddoe’s base, and flung it open with amazing speed and a loud bang. ‘Oops,’ Chris thought, staring cautiously into the room.
A half asleep Geddoe and a sleeping Queen sat at the table. Geddoe stared from his team mate to the Flame Champion in utter amazement. Queen continued to sleep, head propped up in her hands as she leaned against the table.
“What?” Geddoe asked flatly, giving an inquisitive glare at Chris as she stood furiously in his doorway.
“Er, my apologies for the interruption but where may I find Jacques?” Chris inquired, trying to restrain her frustration and maintain a respectful tone.
“At the bar,” Geddoe replied, giving only the necessary information. With her information gathered, Chris quickly bowed and exited. A rudely awakened Queen looked over at her boss.
Queen questioned, “What was that all about?” Geddoe shrugged, being that he was just as unaware of what just occurred as his female companion.
Chris tried to hold back her anger more as it continued to boil over. She flung open the door to the bar, followed by mentally cursing at her lack of care once again. The bards stopped practicing, Nadir tossed a script in the air in surprise, and Anne’s glance snapped over from the drink she was pouring to the furious knight while the liquid overflowed from the glass onto the table. Chris looked about at the astonished people. “Sorry everyone. Um… carry on!”
Just as Geddoe had said, Jacques was sitting alone at the corner table, drinking from a tall glass of orange juice. Jacques was far too concentrated on his drink to have even acknowledged the noise at the door. His eyes were fixated down, staring into the citrus liquid.
Chris walked over ‘calmly’ to the distracted archer, making sure to appear in control of her rage. The eyes of the residents were still on her. Chris stood opposite of where the archer sat at his table. Jacques didn’t look at her as she stood there, and continued to stare into his glass as he drank.
Chris leaned in close to the archer. When their faces were close to two inches apart, Jacques placed his empty glass down on the table. He stared blankly at her for a moment, noting the furious glare and bulging vein in her forehead. Chris glared back at him, silently letting her anger grow to monumental levels.
After several minutes, Jacques finally asked, “…May I help you?”
“Help me? I think perhaps you should think about ‘helping’ the people here at the castle?” Chris suggested, resting her forearms against the table.
“Skipping out on guard duty is a very inconsiderate thing to do, you know!” Chris sat down into the chair she was standing in front of. “Did you think of what would happen if the castle were attacked? All the casualties could be tremendous if someone wasn’t on watch and there to warn the residents. What do you have to say about that?”
The archer stared blankly at her, and signaled for another glass of orange juice. Chris became further enraged by Jacques utter disregard.
“You think I’m kidding, don’t you?” Chris questioned, anger tinting her voice again. She paused for a second, and put her thoughts into place. “You have night guard duty tonight, and I have every intention of making sure you serve out the shift. So, I want you to report to Cecile at nine o’clock. I will question Miss Cecile afterwards to make sure you were on time. I will arrive later after I finish with some tactical matters. Is this understood, Sir Jacques?” Jacques nodded.
“Good. I will see you later, then.” Chris bowed and exited the bar, rather nervous due to the silent glances that followed her out of the room. She nodded at Ace who smirked at her by the door, making her silent exit.
The castle occupants were silent for another moment, all intrigued by the ‘discussion’ that had just past. Anne whispered something to Samus casually, causing him to let out a slight laugh. Jacques blinked a few times. As Jacques analyzed the events that had just occurred, Ace slid into the chair the chair beside him.
“Well, that looked like fun!” Ace laughed, punching Jacques’s shoulder playfully. Jacques slid slightly away from Ace out of sheer embarrassment. “She reallllllllly let you have it,” Ace glanced around the room, grinning broadly, “And in front of all these people!”
“She’s a hot-headed one, huh? Pretty too.” Ace murmured, nudging his friend again.
As Chris reached the top of the stairs, she was already beginning to feel guilty. She had really let Jacques have it. True, what he did was wrong but she didn’t need to humiliate the poor man, not to mention herself.
“Chris! Hey Chris!” Lilly screeched, looking down over railing of the upper floor. Chris waved to her friend, and hurried up the stairs. “Ooo, you don’t look too happy. What’s up?”
“I just made a huge scene that caused Jacques some severe anguish, I’d guess.”
“Oh,” Lilly squealed, “that cute quiet guy? He ticks me off so much! You know what? I was talking to him once and he didn’t even make eye contact with me! He’s weird.”
Chris raised an eyebrow, “Maybe he just isn’t social?”
“Well, I don’t really care! He’s just a jerk!” Lilly stamped her foot angrily. Chris let out a sigh of defeat. Lilly glared at her friend barked, “You shouldn’t bother with that guy!”
Jacques arrived at the castle gates early, as to not be faced by more humiliating wrath from Lady Chris. He had had similar confrontations before, but being yelled at by Lilly wasn’t nearly as horrifying as being stared at and whispered about after facing Chris remanding.
“Hello Jacky!” Cecile chirped, waving her spear as he approached. “Whacha doing here? You aren’t on duty tonight…” Jacques nodded. “Oh, so you want to be on duty or something?” Rather than explain everything to the Cecile, he nodded again. “Okay, I’m gonna go get some sleep then! I’ll go inform Louis he doesn’t have to come for next shift either!”
Cecile headed off, her armor clinking and clanking as she ran. Jacques plopped down onto the steps that led into the square. It was already getting dark. Very dark. Jacques didn’t mind though; most of the travels with Geddoe had been under the cloak of night. Several minutes went by with only the sound of chirping of crickets.
The sound of moving armor came from behind him again, this time, the steps seemed far more calm. Jacques didn’t turn around, but listened intently to each step.
“Good evening, Sir Jacques.” Chris said calmly, taking a seat on the step beside Jacques. Jacques acknowledged her greeting with a nod.
“I want to apologize for how I was this earlier. I just, well, had a really bad morning, I suppose. I took it out on you and that was seriously wrong of me to do. I bet you had a perfectly good reason for not coming to guard duty yesterday. I just got a note from Cecile in the comment box and it seemed rather severe.”
Jacques raised an eyebrow. “…That’s not possible.”
Chris continued, “I really shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I’m sorry.”
“…That note couldn’t be authentic.”
“…I was in the play last. Cecile said she’d cover for me.”
“Where would she get the time to… Ah. I see! Hmm… then who was it from?” Chris thought for a moment. “By any chance, have you ever heard someone say ‘twerpish charlatan’?” Chris asked.
Then the entire thing dawned on them both. Ace. He had set all this up. Of course, Chris did not know the underlying reason for all of this. But, just about anything could make the older man pull a fast one.
“So that means I was completely wrong. Great. I jumped to conclusions, reprimanded and punished you unjustly. What a great leader I am!”
Chris looked over at Jacques. Despite the darkness of night, she could still see all his facial features clearly. His eyes seemed to say, ‘go on, I’m listening’.
“You know, I really didn’t want to be the leader of the Fire Bringer, you know. I just thought I was the most able and the others didn’t pose any opposition. I never wanted to be a leader, but I’m always put in the position. Now I’m in charge a humongous army, things look so grim, and most definitely some people are going to die. Do you know how painful a thought that is?”
“…Yes….” And from the look across Jacques’s face and in his cerulean eyes, she knew he actually understood.
“How may I make it up to you?” Chris pleaded.
She explained, “How can I repay you for how poorly I’ve treated you?”
Jacques looked up at the sky in a moment of thought. “…Hunting.”
“You want me to go hunting?” She asked, slightly confused.
“…With me. Tomorrow morning.”
“Oh! That’s alright, I suppose. I don’t think I’ve been hunting out on the plains in a while. There really isn’t much to catch, other than rabbits.” Jacques smiled. Rabbits were just what he wanted. Chris detected this from the light shimmer in his eye and returned a grin. “Oh, I like rabbits too… the cook at my house makes the best rabbit stew… ”
Arthur beamed, watching the events that were unfolding. He scribbled down furiously into his notebook, continuing to hide behind the fountain. He quickly turned to the shadowed figure at his side. “Thanks for telling me about all this!”
“Oh, it was my pleasure,” whispered an angry, feminine voice.
“So, you want to be listed as an ‘anonymous informant’, right, Miss Ayame?”
Ayame agreed, “Yes, that’s fine.”
“If you ever have any more information you want to share, I’m always here to listen!” The female ninja smirked underneath the scarf that covered her mouth.
“I will, boy, I will.” Having completed her short vengeance quest, Ayame decided to retire for the evening. “Now I must take my leave.”
“It was nice working with you!” Arthur extended his hand, and the ninja shook it with a smile.
Chris awoke much later than she had the previous day, happy memories of the night before swimming in her head. Louis was hover about the room, cleaning up what little mess there was. Chris stood, stretching her aching limbs.
Louis chirped, “Good morning, milady! I have everything all prepared! I retrieved a copy of the paper, polished your armor, and purchased you some breakfast.”
“I have plans for the morning, Louis, so I would like you to retrieve the comment box letters and remove the letters from Sir Nash. Also, I want you to confirm with Borus that I will accompany him, Fred, and Roland on a jog tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, Milady!” Louis hurried off with his list of tasks.
After her squire had exited, Chris quickly changed into her armor. She drank down all the coffee in three gulps and ate the bran muffin quickly. She quickly put the newspaper aside, knowing that she didn’t have time to read it.
Chris quickly ran down the stairs, heading to the bar. She noticed the strange looks she was receiving from people, but didn’t bother to ask why. Upon reaching the bar, she found Jacques sitting at the same table, drinking some orange juice.
“Hello Jacques,” Chris greeted cheerfully, “how are you faring this morning?”
Jacques blinked several times and handed the paper to Chris. He pointed at and article, and continued to drink his juice. The knight’s eyes widened as she noticed the title
Lady Chris’s New Love Interest
Lady Chris is by far one of the most popular
women in Budehuc. But, Chris has never
publicly dated any of the men at this castle.
Now it appears she has finally settled for one
of the castle residents! Via information from
an anonymous, I was informed and saw that
last night, Chris was seen having a late night
meeting with Sir Jacques, a member of the
Southern Frontier Defense Force. Also, the
scheduled a ‘date’ for today. This reporter
will bring you more information as events
“What tripe,” Chris murmured, placing the paper back down on the table. For a moment she considered her reputation, but dismissed the thought quickly.
“…Still want to come…?” Jacques asked, eyeing the silver-haired woman before him. Surprising to Jacques, she nodded.
“Um… Yeah,” Chris thought for another moment then nodded. “Yeah, I still want to go. Do you?” Jacques nodded in return. As the two walked out of the bar together, every eye was on them. Usually, this would bother the knight severely, but she was in far too good of a mood right then to let the speculation of others ruin her morning.
I would consider this a project of a fic. I posted the original version and was yelled and screamed at. I edited it into this beauty of a doozy, and no one really cared. I like it now, though. In the revision, I tried to capture the shy nobleness of Chris and the antisociality of Jacques. I really do see them as being friends. As I believe and have been told by several others, Budehuc is the perfect place for new friendships to start and flourish. I hope you all enjoyed this story.