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%%%%%%I'm rescuing a princess with a mercenary, a sentient staff, and a ghost. It's like one of those RPGs I used to play when I was a kid . . . Another absurdity crashed his train of thought. When I was a kid the first time. He sighed again. This is definitely not what I imagined doing after college. He chose a random direction and hoped Kasile was at the other end.

%%%%%%“Ahh . . . Chief Bladi?” Eric asked.
%%%%%%Plas chuckled. “You don't work for me so you don't have to call me 'chief.'”
%%%%%%“Oh . . . uh . . . with all due respect, you guys look like bandits.”
%%%%%%%Plas chuckled again. “Yeah, we get that a lot. If you doubt me, here's my badge.”


%%%%%%Siron drew his sword and struck. As fast as lightning, Culmus couldn't dodge it. The blade slid past him and sliced an emil emerging from the muck. With a spirit flare, he shattered the stone and it dissolved back into sewer water. A faint smile graced his face.
%%%%%%“Speak of Death and he appears.”


%%%%%%“There are humans like that . . . sir . . . but they are a minority.” Then, because he felt a surge of patriotism he added, “We have many full-contact sports.”
%%%%%%“Like what?”
%%%%%%“Rugby. I've heard it called 'recreational pain.'”


%%%%%%One moment he was four feet away and the next his dagger was hilt deep in the orc's neck. He pulled it free and blood flowed from Tahart's jugular vein. He plunged again and again and again; orcs had the tenacity of monsters. Tahart fell to the carpet and his fall shook the room.
%%%%%%When he was sure the orc was dead, Eric's aura faded.

%%%%%%Sam was so excited, his scream of joy made the cabinet vibrate. Then he yanked his head out, jumped over the desk, and shook hands with Eric, Annala, and Basilard for good measure; thanking them for freeing him from the case of experimental cough drops.
%%%%%%I guess the hospital took action after all. Sam accepted the camera from Annala and danced out of the room, singing her praises. She and Eric sweat dropped.
%%%%%% “Rest assured, he is skilled in Advocate Martial Arts—kidding! Seriously, I don't think you'll need to appear in court.


%%%%%%“Yes,” the manager said. “As the princess's rescuer, I bet you know impressive magic.”
%%%%%%“Well, yeah, but . . . I can't perform! I'm a warrior, not a stage actor!”
%%%%%%Basilard whacked the back of his head. “You're not a warrior, you're a mercenary. That means you are whatever the client wants. Understand?”
%%%%%%“Yes, Daylra.”

%%%%%%. . . anything else?” Annala pointed to the collar and then to her stockings.
%%%%%%“Where did you get these?” Motsuc asked.
%%%%%%“A piece of shit!” Motsuc cowered before her rage but no one was more surprised than Eric. He'd never heard her swear before. “Can you remove them or not?”


%%%%%%trailed off when Basilard gave him a cold look.
%%%%%%“Wasn't! Anyone can drop a wrench once or twice. Team, let's go before I get an urge to ask Motsuc where he got these items.”
%%%%%%Motsuc gulped. “I assure you I run a legitimate business!”
%%%%%%“Relax, Motsuc. I do not care what you buy or sell. Unless of course, someone pays me to care.”
%%%%%%“That day will never come.”
%%%%%%“I hope not,” Basilard said. “I don't want you setting a bad example for my students.”

%%%%%%“Kasile, how do you feel about fireballs?”
%%%%%%Kasile tilted her chin down and stared. She flung her arms out at the fire symbols in the room of the most recent descendant of the fire goddess Fiol.
%%%%%%“Right . . . Stupid question.”


%%%%%%This only confused Kasile further. For her sake, Eric resumed his role as translator. Tent: a dainty and/or weak person, most often wealthy, who never does any sort of work and forces others to wait on them hand and foot.

%%%%%%Just like she said, they're all from the same academy. All the girls wore the same long pink dresses hemmed with gold, collars of darker pink and white gloves. All the boys wore blue floor length robes outline in silver, dark blue ascots and white gloves. One of them bore a striking resemblance to Norej Darwoss. Judging by his age, he could be an older brother, but with his long hair and feminine features, he could have been an older sister.


%%%%%%Casandra addressed the camera. “For those of you at home who don't know, Valentine Tolis is the Abbot of Our Lady of Benevolent Mischief in Rlawader. He leads the international protest of Latrot's use of ordercraft on sapients. Since the start of the new year, he has survived three attempts on his life. Tell me, princess, who is responsible for saving him?”

%%%%%%Dinner ended and so did dessert, leaving both mages stuffed and satisfied. They briefly argued over who would pay until they agreed to split it. Kallen said goodbye and wished him luck. It was only after she was gone that Eric realized, This is the closest I've ever had to a date!

%%%%%%Soldiers rolled their cages to the arena. These were replacements for the last batch, which escaped a month ago and were last seen at the opening Joust, dead and rotting. Selen Esrah, Duke of Esrah, led the investigation and his wife personally captured the next batch in time for the challenge.

%%%%%%All the students were like that. They were smart and powerful, but lacked experience. When faced with someone who survived mana storms or monster dens, they were routed. Every match until the semi-finals ended as soon as it started if the name “Eric Watley” or “Kallen Selios” was drawn.

%%%%%%Eric shrugged and fired a mana sphere. There was enough willpower behind this one to transform it into a blue blur. Getis didn't move. His staff hung limply in his sash. When the mana sphere approached, he swung his right hand in a small arc and caught the sphere. Then, with the same motion, he threw it back at Eric.



%%%%%%Eric fired a gust of wind, but Getis parted it and shot a fireball the size of a mini-fridge. Eric countered with a waterball and the resulting steam enshrouded the arena. Marble cracked and broke free as Getis chanted a rockball and threw it at Eric. The mercenary blew it away along with the steam. The two mages Rock-Paper-Scissored through all ten elements and back to fire. This time Eric simply dodged and cast a rock spell between his legs. The noble screamed extra girly.
%%%%%%“You . . . you . . .dare . . .”



%%%%%%“Mercenary.” Eric pushed his staff head into Getis' chest. “This battle is a bore . . .” Air currents gathered on the point of his staff. “Show him the door! Wind Hand!” The air currents formed an ethereal hand that pushed Getis out of the arena. Eric was so elated he couldn't resist a one-liner. “Leave the battlefield to the professionals, schoolboy.”

%%%%%%Lemony Narrator
%%%%%%The new party left the repository to confront the evil mastermind: a disowned princess, a noble with more loyalty than sense, and a two thousand-year-old mage in a teenage body.


%%%%%%The smug traitor stood before his defeated adversaries and looked down on them in triumph. First, he stopped at Kasile and told her to get used to prison because she would spend the rest of her life there until she acknowledged him as king. Then he stopped at Siron. He spoke at length of how foolish his son was and how poorly planned his betrayal and then he gave him advice on how to patch up his relationship with Kasile, up to and including the name of a florist he himself frequented. The boy's ensuing red-hot blush mixed rage and embarrassment. Finally, he stopped before Dengel.


%%%%%%Eric focused all of his willpower into a mighty mental shove and he succeeded in jarring his own spirit. In a parody of his previous lectures, Dengel explained how Eric was too weak to best him in a trial of wills. He went further to say Eric was too weak to best him at anything. It was his knowledge that found Kasile; it was his spells that allowed Eric to triumph in the Black Cloak hideout; it was he competing in the New Scepter Tournament; it was his power that defeated the soldiers.
%%%%%%Compared to me, you are second-rate trash.


%%%%%%“There are many reasons, but a likely candidate is my deal with my glorious patron, Emperor Uinatos Cath Marius Xia Kintsan of Cehia; unlimited resources and academic freedom in return for revealing the location and defenses of elf villages.”
%%%%%%“In other words, backstabbing; like you did just now.”
%%%%%%“Exactly. Unlike my brethren, I know when to make deals.”
%%%%%%Deals; black outs; the night at Tahart's apartment; the pieces flew together and a new hatred was born. You! You caused the blackouts! You took over my body and made a deal with Tahart!


%%%%%%“I don't know what I was thinking.” Eric said. “You're so much more powerful.”
%%%%%%“I would advise you to remember that for your next life . . .” Dengel created a mana blade on the tip of his staff. “But you are not going to have one.” He thrust it into Eric's chest.


%%%%%%“That's strange,” Kallen said. Her crystal impaled his heart and sucked a glowing grey mass into orbit around the central light. “I didn't think he had one . . .” She shrugged. To the remaining soldiers, she shouted, “Hey! Since your lord's dead, doesn't that mean his son is your boss now?” The soldiers paused, then sheathed their swords and backed away.


%%%%%%Finally, Kallen turned to Eric, who was just waking up, and said, “You know, it took you long enough. Did the old fossil give you trouble?”



%%%%%%“Tasio, what's going on?” Eric asked. “What is that?”
%%%%%%Tasio's bright smile clicked on. “Oh, hey, Eric! Long time no see!”
%%%%%%Eric scowled. “Tasio, answer my question.”
%%%%%%“Mercenary Watley!” Siron exclaimed. “It is the behavior of mad men to speak with such disrespect to the God of Tricksters!”
%%%%%%Tasio waved away his concern. “Aw, it's all right. Me and Eric go way back.” He turned a mischievous smile on said mercenary. “Don't we?”
%%%%%%“Unfortunately. Now tell me what that thing is!”


%%%%%% “I was checking for a heart,” Kallen said casually. “It would explain why he was so pale.”
%%%%%%“If you thought he was evil, then why'd you hire yourself out to him?” Eric asked.
%%%%%%Kallen winked. “A girl's gotta live.”
%%%%%%“Have you ever given a straight answer in your life?”
%%%%%%“The hypothesis would not be entirely inaccurate to explicate, that at some point in the past, I may or may not have submitted a response that was not entirely and completely curved.”
%%%%%%Suddenly Eric's head hurt. It could have been the strain of his duel with Dengel, but it was more likely talking with this twisted girl.


%%%%%%The next day, they were called back to the castle by its unofficial queen. On the way, Nolien was pooped on by the blue jay and the crane on their way to the next castle.

%%%%%%The girl held her arms behind her back, tilted her head, and leaned forward. “I'm sorry to trouble you, but there's something you should know: I am the one who hired you for the Joust.”

%%%%%Tasio shook his head. “Oh no, not at all. Have you forgotten our chess games? I planned something of that nature, but I had no idea you would sprain your soul.” The Trickster smiled brightly. “It worked out well, though!”


%%%%%%“That's a good label, but we called them 'enforcers'. They're mindless drones for a controlling spirit, The Anti-Thesis of Mischief. I'd been looking for it since Kyraa.”


%%%%Eric pocketed it. “After high school, I had the acting role of a mage in a mercantile company. My roommate sent me this when I lost it.”




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I stumbled onto this site one day, I forget exactly how, and one of the first pages I read was {{FLCL}}. That should tell you all you need to know about my name. Though another early one was XanatosGambit....Anyway, since then I have struggled mightly to prevent TVTropes from ruining my life, and in fact, I found [[TVtropesWillEnhanceYourLife the opposite to be true]]. I've learned so much about literary devices and story telling since coming to this site. Particularly vocabularly; it's easier to brainstorm now that I have quick references to character traits and plot elements.

Member of the former {{CHOPSTICKS}} group and in the past I completed a wick clean up for YamatoNadeshiko. Also the self-proclaimed curator of BeyondTheImpossible and working on its clean up; I removed over six thousand old definition/misuse wicks before I finished. Now I'm on the look out for future misuse. I also do clean up on XanatosGambit and brought it down to the 800s while spreading ThePlan. Yeah, I've got a lot on my plate.

My Activities
* Wrote the redefintion of BeyondTheImpossible: 'breaking internal logic'
** Created its Playing With page
** {{Trope Transplant}}ed its original definition to SerialEscalation
** Cleaned up its wick list and currently monitoring it
* Cleaned up XanatosGambit (one of many dedicated tropers)
* Spotchecking YamatoNadeshiko
* Created a Character Sheet for DaphneInTheBrilliantBlue
* Spreading WikiMagic on
** SilkHidingSteel
** AllWitchesHaveCats
** OpposedMentors.
* Created a Work page for the following
** Anime/{{Windaria}}
** Literature/PrincessBen
** WesternAnimation/TheCorsicanBrothers
** Literature/TheShadowOfBlackWings
** Literature/TrappedOnDraconica
** Literature/LightAndDarkTheAwakeningOfTheMageKnight
** Literature/JourneyToChaos
** Literature/AMagesPower
** Literature/LoomingShadow
* Launched TheFace