Difference between revisions of "The Adventures of Decen and Merrow"
|Line 338:||Line 338:|
"Unlike you, I multitask just fine."
"Unlike you, I multitask just fine."
Revision as of 04:30, 30 June 2020
The Adventures of Decen and Merrow acts as a prologue in some sorts, and looks into Samuel Mason's old life, as Paladin Decen of Acadia.
The Paladins. A powerful breed of warriors, who served the mighty Acadians in the land of Acadia, a long time ago. Each Paladin stood for something innate to them, and as such, were feared and honoured by all those who are lucky enough to meet them... or unlucky enough to be targeted by them.
Strong, steadfast, and respected, each Paladin served the Acadians with an undying loyalty. But no Paladin was perfect. That was where their Guardians came in. Guardians assigned to serve as the companions of the Paladin, in an unbreakable bond. Guardians chosen to fulfill the Paladin in areas he or she lacks, and to become one unifying force to be reckoned with.
The most sought Guardians were the mighty beasts. The dragons, the wolves, the warriors, and the monsters. No man could stand against the mighty Paladin and their Guardian.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" I shouted after Merrow, who decided to dip on me after the ceremony.
"Girls night." She responded, packing up her things, and forming a portal, hopping in.
"Don't you dare leave. What the hell is this?! You're just gonna leave on your first day as my Guardian?!" I shouted after her, but Merrow was already through the portal.
"Yup." She held up her hand, wiggled her fingers, and gave me a sarcastic smile as the portal closed.
"RAAAAHH!!!" My arm pulsated with red energy as I picked up the nearest piece of furniture and threw it at the portal which had already closed. The sofa crashed onto the other side of the cabin.
"Damn... I'm no Guardian. But I'm a girl. And she's one bitc-"
"Jonna!" I clamped my hand on her mouth. "Don't call her that, even if she is. Otherwise he's gonna-"
"What will he do?" A voice boomed behind me. Great. Icarus approached me from behind.
"Oh uh, hey buddy." I tried to sound nice, hiding the urge to smash another sofa.
Jonna rolled her eyes. "Let it go, Ic. She is, okay? Besides, why you always gotta be like that. You let me say damn, hell, crap, but no.... if I so much as call someone that, you get all riled up!" She started making flamboyant gestures.
Icarus shook his head. "It is not for the reason of the swear word. We are Paladins. We must uphold our sense of honour."
Polyth slithered across Icarus' flannel, hissing at us. "My masssssssssster is correct.... we musssssssst act accordingly."
I clenched my fist. Merrow dipped on me on the first day. It was bad enough I had her as a Guardian. Now I had to deal with this. "Dude. Just talk normally. We all know you don't talk like that."
Polyth chuckled. "Well... you can't blame me, Child of War. I am a SSSSSSSSNAKE!"
I began grumbling about Merrow. Polyth slithered closer to me. "Come now, young Paladin. Perhaps it just takes time. I'm sure she feels the same way. Relationships often take time to start."
My hand instinctively turned into a blade, slicing the ground. "We are NOT in a relationship."
Jonna and Icarus laughed. Icarus put his hand on my shoulder. "Well, it is a day off. Perhaps we can spend the rest of the night together. Even if you are.... Guardian-less."
Celestia fluttered on Jonna's shoulder. "Gurllll I'm gonna give you the best makeover you ever seen!" Jonna grinned. "Aw hell yeah."
I joined Icarus and Jonna to the Acadian gate to check out the outside world. All the while grumbling.
"See why he gotta let hell slide but not bit-" I muttered before Icarus shot me a deadly look. "UGH YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!" I shouted, throwing my hands into the air.
Safe be said, this was not my day. And I've had some pretty shitty days. Welcome to my life, I guess. Yay me.
"Yeah, gimme five red bulls please." I told the lady operating the counter. She looked at me like I was a mad man. I looked over my shoulder as two girls stared at me with horror. I smirked. Yeah. I needed the energy. I hadn't slept for days because I was too busy getting in some extra work down to understanding and developing new moves. I was determined to get to the top 10 in my Paladin class.
"Here's your five cancer cans." The lady slid the cans to me. "Thanks granny."
The old lady glared at me. "Drinking that is going to kill you some day."
I grinned. "I don't know. I'm pretty hard to kill."
I joined Icarus and Jonna at the carnival. Jonna handed me some cotton candy. I noticed her face. "Dude, what is that?"
Jonna laughed. "It's makeup. Celestia hooked me up with some basics. What do you think?"
"I think it makes you look like a damn clown."
Celestia glared at me. But Jonna laughed even harder. "Then I guess it'll be perfect in a fight! Gonna scare my opponents away!"
We spent the night hanging out, going on rides, and eating out. Icarus and Polyth were in some philosophy debate, while Celestia was giving Jonna a tutorial on makeup. I leaned back on my bench. I felt like a total fifth wheel. But what was I supposed to do with my Guardian? Talk to her about shoes? Purses? We would end up just strangling each other.
I glanced at a hammer machine. It was one of those old machines used to gage someone's strength. You get a hammer and smack a platform and it gives you a score. I smirked. Maybe I could go shock some people for fun. Yeah.
I got up. "Guys, I'm gonna go chill out over there for a bit, I'll catch you guys later."
Icarus looked up. "Sure thing, just be back before 12am. We have curfew."
"We literally don't have that. You're the ONLY person in our class who reinforces it."
"Without curfew, we have no discipline."
Turned out I didn't need to worry about where my Guardian was, because the moment I was in line, I saw her. Merrow Rivenlight, with her "girlfriends" and a couple of guys. One guy was trying to make a move on her.
"Yo, Merr. If I hit the bell, I'll take you home with me. Even give you the bear."
Merrow laughed. "Okay there, hotshot. I don't date no wimps."
Aw yeah. This was gonna be rich. The guy went up, and smacked the platform, scoring level 7 out of 11, a new top score. The guys and girls clapped for him while he flexed his biceps to Merrow, who wasn't impressed.
"You didn't get the bell, hotshot. I guess I'm staying single."
"Babe, you KNOW I got top score. Getting the bell is impossible."
Uh huh was right. It was my turn. The announcer looked me up and down. "What's your name, son?"
The announcer turned to the crowd. "A new challenger! Looks like the last one, Decen!"
Merrow apparently noticed, because her expression went from laughter to horror to embarrassment. "You've gotta be kidding me." She muttered.
I took the hammer, and activated my red energy, swirling underneath my coat, hidden from everybody. I slammed the hammer down with just enough force as the slider shot upwards, smacking the bell.
The crowd went silent as I turned around, propping the hammer on my shoulder, giving the guys a cocky smirk. "Easy." I said, dropping the hammer on the ground.
I took the bear and stuffed it in Merrow's hands, who was still staring at me. "See you in mission briefing, fish girl." I glanced at her momentarily, before facing the guy. He looked pretty uncomfortable as he just witnessed his high score completely annihilated by mine. It was almost comedic, because he was at least a head taller than me, and definitely more muscular.
"Hitting on my Guardian without my consent, huh. Better head back to the gym after this L, bud."
I walked away, but not before the guy spitting at my direction. "Yeah, okay there, skinny bitch. At least Merrow WANTS to be with me, unlike you. She's only with you because of a job." My eyes flashed with a brighter magenta. I turned around, walking back to his direction.
"What's your name." I asked.
"Peter. Now get on out of here. No one wants your negative energy man."
I stepped closer to the guy, looking him in the eye, my magenta eyes glowing with a dangerous light. Peter suddenly started to sweat. I could sense his uneasiness from my hunting instinct.
"You got spunk, stud. To speak with that tone to a Paladin. Especially one..."
I grabbed Peter by the collar with one arm, lifting him off the ground. His buddies suddenly backed off. Merrow stepped forward but I didn't care. I hated people like Peter. The guys who were super chad. Super popular with the ladies. The popular guy, which everybody loved. The popular guy, who always gave people like me a bad time. Before I was a Paladin, I was always bullied by people like Peter. Now that I had powers... it was a completely different story.
I continued my little parade. "Especially one, that is a Paladin of War."
Peter's eyes widened. "I'm... I'm sorry dude. I'm so sorry. I respect you man. I respect the Paladins for all they do. They're real badass, you're real badass man."
I let go, as Peter cowered away, running.
I looked at his buddies, raising my eyebrow. They suddenly began to suck up to me. "Yeah dude, we don't know that guy. He was always a lurker in our group anyway."
Everybody began to leave me after witnessing my strength. My cover was probably blown, but it didn't matter. Paladin Trellis would probably just wipe their memories anyway. The only person who didn't leave was Merrow, who was glaring at me.
"The hell was that?!" She shouted at me.
"Payback." I replied. "Better start treating me with respect. I don't need to have some popular girl type ruining my vibe. But I need a Guardian for briefing tomorrow. Don't bail on me, or I'll find your next boyfriend and he's going to have a real hard time."
Merrow was fuming, as she walked off. "Let me have this night with my friends. I'll be there with you tomorrow. At least let me have some fun for the last time of my life."
I let her leave with her friends, a grin on my face. Sometimes, you just gotta let your subordinates know who is boss. Welcome to the world of Paladins, kids.
"Quit texting on that stupid phone." I told Merrow as we were standing before the Paladin Elder, receiving our mission briefing. I was alongside the other Paladins, each of them accompanied by their powerful Guardians, beasts that looked so badass and cool. Why couldn't I had at least a dragon? I glanced over at Merrow again. This was such BS. Whatever. I could handle the mission myself. I always did anyway.
Merrow paid me no attention, as she smiled and giggled at the screen. I looked over and saw nothing but a bunch of love hearts. "What are you doing?" I asked her.
"It's called Tinder, but you've probably never heard of it."
"Paladin Decen, is there anything you wanted to say?" Elder Paladin Strixy looked at me from the podium. Shit.
"Erm, no, sir."
"Then you know what you and your Guardian must do."
"Slay the kingpin, and spare the low ranking workers."
Strixy nodded with approval. Hell yeah.
We walked back to the barracks, where I went to go get my stuff. Merrow scrunched up her nose.
"What is this place."
"It's the barracks. It's where me and my Paladin squad sleep. You would know if you didn't ditch me last night."
"It looks so gross."
"No it isn't. Maybe lower your expectations a bit. Paladin Icarus went out of his way to remodel and clean up the whole place. You should be honoured to be in the presence of a Paladin's living quarters. Not many are given the chance."
Merrow glanced at the sofa that was still sideways, halfway jammed into the window from when I threw it in a rage. "I'm sure he did."
My face went red in embarrassment. "That was from last night."
Merrow raised an eyebrow. "Got a little anger issue, don't you?"
I growled under my breath. "Hmm."
I took off my coat. The weather was a bit toasty, so having a coat on was pretty illogical. I kept my hoodie on and checked myself in the mirror. Merrow walked by my side and gave me a once over.
"Your clothes are so baggy."
I rolled up my sleeves. "What's your point, fish girl."
"Baggy clothes seems so out of style, these days."
I took a deep breath. "Let me just pack some stuff before we leave." I walked over to an old case, opening it to reveal my amulet. It was green, shaped like a circle, but having distinct patterns near the centre. Merrow gasped.
"It's... beautiful." She muttered.
"It was a gift." I put the necklace on. There were no magical items allowed during mission briefing or the ceremony, which was why I had it in the case to begin with.
Merrow sat on my bed, much to my disgust. "From who?"
"Someone I liked. She figured it could help me in my fights against healing suppressors."
"She?" Merrow's face looked amused.
"Is she your girlfriend?"
"No. Shortly after, she tried to kill me, and steal my powers. Turned out she meant for the necklace to be fake, but it was the real thing, and her plan failed. I was forced to kill her."
Merrow's smile faded. "I'm... so sorry."
I turned to her. She looked genuinely concerned. Not like it mattered or anything. "Whatever. That's just how it is. At the end of the day, you just have to trust yourself and only yourself."
Merrow tilted her head. "Even your friends?"
"If it comes down to that, yes. I don't need companions."
"You seem to have a hard time trusting people. I get it. But you shouldn't just give up all hope just because of one girl."
I clenched my fist. "They're all the same. I don't need em. All that matters is strength. Come on."
I walked out of the barracks, and went to the Acadian transport gate, ready to deploy. Merrow walked alongside me. "I, uh... sorry about earlier. I know it's a touchy subject."
"Don't mention it."
"But for the record, I think your dress sense and your living quarters is disgusting."
"And I think your personality is toxic and intolerable."
"Excuse me?! You're the anti-social nerd here. You literally scared away my date!"
"He wouldn't have done anything for you either way. Couldn't even meet his promise to hit the bell."
We sat on the train heading to the central teleporter. According to briefing, we needed to find and extract the kingpin of some terrible drug operation or something. Those details didn't concern me. As a Paladin, we were expected to do what we were told. Kill who we needed to kill, and spare who we needed to spare. It really was all there was to it. I didn't care if they were some kind of cartel, or a smuggling facility. It was just another contract.
As you may have expected, like most trains, we were divided into seats, groups of four. However, since not a lot of Paladins were being deployed at this hour (because Merrow decided to spend an extra 30 minutes on doing her makeup) we ended up deploying late. The train was basically almost empty.
Merrow sat on the far end, while I sat on the other side of the car. As far as we were from each other. I couldn't imagine spending an hour sitting next to her. Would have been the worst hour in my life, and I've had my body cut up, tortured, beat up, pummelled, and tossed off the side of a cliff before.
I fingered my necklace, remembering how I got it. That girl took me in, after I had escaped a monster that was stronger than the ones I was contracted to kill. It was when I first received the Restoration Force connection so I didn't know how to use it that well. She was the first to actually care about my wellbeing, and in return, I protected her from the monsters that would always come and invade.
One day, we were faced against that same monster, who tried to kill us. The girl took out an old amulet, the one I'm wearing right now, and told me that it was an old ancestral item passed down to centuries, telling me that it was capable of negating regeneration dampening effects, which was how the monster nearly killed me in the first place.
I ended up killing the monster, but it was a really close match. I was pretty much shredded and torn up. Regenerating from the bottom up. The girl stared at me, horrified. When I asked her what was wrong, she took out a shotgun and began shooting me over and over again.
You weren't supposed to survive that guy. She told me.
I was supposed to be killed by that monster. She had fabricated the entire contract, planned that particular monster to kill me, and then steal my cells to get the Restoration Force. But what she didn't know, was that the amulet that she had lied about having negation effects, actually worked. The girl was capable of deception word magic, which basically made whatever she said a reality if she believed enough. It was a broken power that she didn't even know she had.
Of course, upon realizing the betrayal, I didn't give her a chance to use it again. Ever again.
I wished absorption would let me take in magical powers too, but I didn't get her deception word magic, which sucked.
I still wear this amulet to this day, not just because it is useful in fights against regeneration dampeners, but also serves as a reminder. Never put your life in someone else's hands, because you can damn be sure they will choose themselves over you.
"We're here, Cheesen. Hey." Merrow was shaking me awake.
I got up and exited the train, which had already gone through the teleporter. We were in the middle of some kind of festival like place. Downtown, with signs everywhere. I had to find the Kingpin.
"Merrow, can you reach into my bag and take out my notebook?"
I turned around and gave her an annoyed look.
I took off my backpack and sifted through the stuff inside. Papers, water bottle, empty Red Bull cans. I guess I should probably throw them out. I took the cans and threw them on the ground.
"What are you doing?!" Merrow yelped.
"What is it now." I muttered.
I looked up at her. She looked like I had slapped her grandmother. "You can't be serious."
Merrow's eyes were filled with fury. "It's bad enough you're the weirdo in class nobody likes. You're also a earth dweller, a litterer. Do you know how much toxin gets thrown into the ocean every day? The least you can do is be mindful with the environment."
I took a deep breath. If I was gonna finish this quest and add merit to my Paladin profile, I needed to move. Arguing with Miss Student Council would only just delay the mission even more.
My hand extended into tendrils as I grabbed the cans and threw them into the recycling. "Happy?"
Merrow's face went from enraged to disgust. "That's... really gross."
"They're tendrils, Merrow. Relax. You probably swim by octopi all the time."
I opened my notebook and read off the notes. The Kingpin was apparently located in some giant building that advertised their product. Why was he located in the most obvious location ever? No idea. All I needed to do was eliminate him. But I could not kill anybody else. Meaning I needed to stick to good old fashioned clobbering.
"Alright Merrow, I'm just going to make the assumption that you listened to jack shit in our mission briefing. So I'm gonna lay it out to you strai-"
"Kill the Kingpin in that building over there without killing anybody else, right."
I stared at her. "How the hell did you-"
"Unlike you, I multitask just fine."
I stuffed the notebook in my bag. "Whatever. Let's just go into the building and get this contract done."
"Hold on, you're not seriously going to do that right?"
"Huh?" I was starting to get annoyed with this girl.
Merrow looked surprised for some reason. "You're just going to waltz in, demand to see their boss, and beat everybody up? What if the police show up?"
I walked off, heading to the building. "Then I beat them up too for interfering with my mission. This is a Paladin contract. Petty law enforcement officers mean nothing to me."
We finally arrived. A huge building with a gated grid, probably electric. I peered at the doorway, which was guarded by a couple of very hunky dudes. Easy clap. I'd just walk in, then reach the top floor. If the guy tried to escape via. helicopter or some shit I'd just slice it up. Mission donezo.
Merrow knelt down next to me. "What's the plan, Decen?"
I looked at her. "Okay, here's the plan. I want you to sit here, watch the guards. Take careful note of everything happening as I breach the defences, beat the shit out of everybody and complete the mission. Capeesh?"
Merrow glared at me. "Are you serious? What if the Kingpin gets away? You're being too reckless. There's no way you're serious."
I got up, my hand transforming into a blade as I sliced the fence in half. I walked in as Merrow began calling me names.