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Barian of the Void: Chapter 9

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Barian of the Void: Chapter 9

Post by Decade on Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:30 pm

Chapter 9

"You, just what do you think you were doing?! Do you have any idea what you've caused?!"

"I don't see how it's your problem. I'm the one dueling remember?"

Louise grit her teeth but restrained herself for the sake of the situation as she continued to follow her familiar and the maid. She was still trying to wrap her head around the insanity of it all. Of all the things her familiar could have done, of all the stupidity he could have caused, not even she had expected something like this.

A duel. A DUEL for Brimir's sake!

And with Guiche of all people too. While the boy may have been a womanizing idiot, he was still a line-class mage with decent control and skill in Earth magic. For any other noble it may not seem like much of a threat, as he was still a student and thus didn't have much in terms of experience or power. But for a commoner like her familiar, it was the equivalent of an ant facing a dog.

There was no comparison in that!

"That's the point! What do you think you're doing accepting a duel with a noble?!" Louise continued to question angrily.

"She's right Shark-san," Siesta spoke with a scared and worried look, "You promised me you wouldn't cause trouble, but this, this is beyond that. If you challenge a noble like this, you'll be-"

"I'll be what?" Ryoga stopped in step as he looked at the maid, "Beaten, hurt, killed? I've already been through all three before and it's nothing new to me. I'm sorry I broke the promise Siesta, I am. But I have no intention of backing down from a duel or losing to that playboy."

"Stop acting like an idiot already!" Louise shouted, "This is serious! A commoner can't beat a noble in battle!!"

"And who made up that rule huh?" Ryoga turned glaring at the pinkette, "Commoner this, noble that. All I've seen and heard since coming to this land is that the nobles have power and act like they're on top, while those less fortunate have to serve them without question. Who is to decide such a thing huh? Just because you have some power and Siesta doesn't, that suddenly makes you better than her? That suddenly means she isn't to be treated like a person?! Don't screw with me!!"

Siesta stepped back a bit in shock at the boy's defense. Never in her life had she heard someone, noble or commoner alike, speak such a way about the ruling classes before. For it to be spoken by this boy, who she had only met yesterday night, for some reason made her heart skip a beat, "Shark-san?"

"W-What are you saying?" Louise questioned in just as much shock. Yes not all nobles were exactly pleasant people, but they weren't all like that! Besides magic was a gift of the founder, and only those who were blessed were born with it. It wasn't her fault that the commoners were treated as they were because of it!

Shaking the thoughts aside Louise glared at him, "Listen, whatever you may think of nobles and commoners, it doesn't matter alright? You can't win against Guiche. You'll lose, you'll be hurt badly, heck you'll be lucky to even come back with injuries alone!"

"And what does it matter to you?"

Louise blinked in confusion at the sudden question, "W-What do you mean what does it matter? Of course it matters to me! After all you-"

"I'm your familiar right?" Ryoga interrupted coldly. Louise felt her breathe hitch as his gaze met hers, "That's really all I am in your mind aren't I? You don't even consider me human do you? To you I'm just some object or animal you want in your possession right?"

"N-No!" Louise stuttered out defensively, "That's not-"

"Truth of the matter is you could care less what happens to me," Ryoga stated with a very harsh tone causing Louise to flinch, "After all you're a noble, and from what I've seen of the nobles like Guiche, your pride is the most important thing to you. You wield power others don't, and because of that you think it gives you some kind of special privilege. That you can just command people and put them down whenever you please. But when someone actually takes a stand, when that pride of yours is damaged, you suddenly become defensive. You try to pin blame on others rather than take responsibility, and are willing to even hurt those who can't defend themselves!!"

"I don't do that!" Louise shouted as she felt her chest tighten, "That's not-"

"You keep saying I'm you're familiar, but I never agreed to it on my end! You brought me here against my will to make me a slave! A servant! A damn pet to you! You may not have purposefully done it, but you sure as hell didn't act like you were sorry about it either! All you cared about was trying to bind me right away so that I could start obeying you as soon as possible!!"

"I jus-"

"You call yourself a noble, but to me I don't see a 'noble'. All I see is some whiny stubborn brat. A brat who is trying to prevent her reputation from being tarnished because your so called 'familiar' is being disobedient right? Because if I do something that you don't like, it'll just reflect off you. RIGHT?!"

"I.."

"Well no need to worry about that then. Because I'm not your familiar. And you are NOT my master. I don't hold any ties to you or anything you do. So get off my damn back and leave me the fuck alone!!"

With that Ryoga spun around and continued his march down the halls of the school. Siesta, who had been silent the whole time, looked back and forth between him and the pinkette hesitantly. After a moment though she turned her head towards the direction the boy was walking.

"S-Shark-san wait!"

=========================================================

As Siesta chased after the non-familiar boy, Louise stood in utter silence and stillness. But while her body was frozen, her mind was racing.

"How can he say such a thing!?" Louise thought, her mind in utter shock at his words.

They had hurt. They had hurt a lot. But they had also angered her.

Who was he to judge her in the first place? He didn't know her! He didn't know what she was like or what was on her shoulders! She was a Valliere, a daughter of one of the highest and most powerful royal families in the kingdom. He had no idea the pressure and responsibility that was placed upon her.

It was her duty to ensure that the honor and reputation of her family name was kept intact. She had to make sure she succeeded and made both her parents and sisters proud of her actions. She had to prove to everyone that she was a strong and powerful noble, worthy of carrying the family name on her shoulders.

It was all that she had. All that she had ever really known.

And yet when it came down to the wire, it didn't matter how hard she tried or how much determination she had. Because it always ended the same.

Failure.

She could never use her magic right. She could never find an affinity with any of the elements. She couldn't even cast a simple spell right. All she could do was create large explosions and destroy things.

It was why when she had first summoned him, as frustrated as she was, she was also been filled with absolute joy.

She had succeed then where she had failed so many other times. It may not have been what she expected but it proved she could use magic. It showed that she wasn't a failure after all, and that she could finally prove that fact to herself and everyone else.

At least, that was what she had hoped.

He didn't understand that though! He didn't know what she went through with the other students or how she was treated. He didn't know how she was an absolute failure at magic, unable to cast a single spell correctly. He didn't know how she was labeled 'Zero', because no matter what she did, no matter how hard she tried, she always failed.

So how? How could he possibly say such things to her when he didn't know anything at all?!

"But why would he?" a small part of Louise betrayed deep inside her, "After the way I've treated him. After all I said yesterday. Why would he bother to know?"

Louise bit her lip.

The truth was she had long since realized how horrible she had been during their first meeting, but had tried to push it aside out of pride. Yes the boy didn't exactly help make things easy, but she had been just as responsible for the events that occurred. She should have been calmer about the situation and controlled herself better. She should have just waited like Professor Colbert had told her too, and then approached the boy in a manner befitting of a Valliere.

Maybe if she had, things wouldn't be as they were now. Maybe she would have a familiar at her side right now. Maybe there wouldn't be a duel about to take place that could take his life. Maybe she wouldn't be standing there in the hallway, confused, angry, hurt, and alone.

Maybe things would have been different.

But it was too late now. Her familiar, no, her non-familiar, hated her. He despised her. He wanted nothing to do with her in any way, shape, or form.

And strangely enough, as Louise fought back the wet feeling in her eyes, she felt absolutely terrified by that fact.

=========================================================

"S-Shark-san, are you alright?" Siesta spoke up as she watched the boy working on what looked like a strange looking piece of armor.

"I told you I'm fine. No need to worry about me Siesta. I don't plan to lose to that two-timer," Ryoga commented as he focused on the device in front of him.

"That's," Siesta paused as she looked down in thought, "That's not entirely what I meant. What happened back there, with Miss Valliere. I think you might have been a little too harsh on her."

Ryoga let a tick of annoyance escape his mouth, "Maybe."

Truth was he had been over the top and he knew it. He hadn't meant to come off so cruel, but with the situation at hand and the memory of his first meeting with the girl still fresh in his mind, he wasn't exactly in the best of moods, especially when it came to the pink chibi. Besides, considering her attitude and pride was just like that blond two-timer, she needed to be knocked down a peg or two.

"Why are you defending her though Siesta?" Ryoga questioned as he tested the weight of the device he held, "And don't give me that 'she's a noble' bullshit. I can already guess how you've been treated by these so called 'nobles'. You serve these bunch of prideful idiots day and night, and yet are barley given a thanks for it. To them you're nothing more than a damn ornament or slave to do with as they please. So how can you stand up for something like that?"

Siesta remained silent for a moment, causing Ryoga think he had brought up a bad memory my accident. However before he could say anything her voice spoke out, "It's true, many of the nobles aren't very kind to us. Some are even downright cruel at times. But Miss Valliere isn't one of them. In fact, if I am to be honest between the two of us, I feel more sorry for her than I do for myself."

That caused the duelist to pause and turned his head slightly, "What?"

"Miss Valliere," Siesta paused again, unsure if she should continue before sighing, "She is not treated as well here as you believe," Ryoga's eyes narrowed in confusion as she continued, "As you know, commoners can not use magic because we are not born with it. It is what separates us from the nobles. But Miss Valliere, while she was born with magic, is unable to use it at all."

That statement caused Ryoga's eyes to widen.

"I've seen the explosions around the academy," Siesta continued, "From what I hear they are caused by Miss Valliere because she unable to cast a single spell correctly. That they always result in large explosions. She is ridiculed and mocked by her classmates because of this, and doesn't have a single friend to stand by her. Because of this she is labeled 'Zero Louise' by everyone in the school. Because according to them, no matter how hard she tries, she will always fail at everything she does."

Ryoga remained silent as he returned his gaze to the armor piece.

Siesta closed her eyes and held her hands to her chest, "I know I can not stop you from accepting this duel Shark-san. And as terrified as I am for your life, I will be there to support you. But I simply thought you should know that, despite everything that has happened, Miss Valliere is not as cruel as she seems. And that while she may be a noble, she suffers just as much as any of us commoners. Myself included."

A clicking sound was heard.

"Siesta."

Siesta looked up, "Yes?"

"Which way is the Vestri Court?"

========================================================

"You found nothing then?" Osmond asked as Professor Colbert stood before him with a large tome in hand.

"Sadly not," Colbert sighed, "I spent most of the night searching for human familiars, but I couldn't find anything helpful. I'm sure if I knew what runes would appear on Mister Ryoga I could figure something out, but well..," Colbert trailed off.

Osmond sighed, "But the boy refuses to become a full familiar."

"If it's not too troubling to ask," Colbert began as he pushes up his glasses, "What do you plan to do? We've never had a human familiar before, let alone a familiar who refused the contract before. If he continues this way and keeps rejecting to becoming Miss Valliere's familiar, will it become a problem for her time here?"

Osmond hummed as he sat back in his seat and closed his eyes, "That boy, he has a strong will. He isn't one who can be forced to do something he doesn't wish. Even if we forced the familiar contract on him, it would only cause him to resent Miss Valliere and this school, and he would more than likely consider us his enemies."

"But then what do we do?" Colbert questioned with a concerned look.

Before Osmond could reply however the doors to his office burst open as Miss Longueville ran in panting, "Old Osmond, there's trouble in the courtyard! A duel is taking place!"

Osmond and Colbert's eyes both widened, "What?!"

=========================================================

"My my, such a crowd. That familiar sure is entertaining," Kirche spoke as she leaned against the large outer wall of the school and watched the crowd of nobles gathered around, "I wonder what'll happen. Any opinions Tabitha?"

Beside Kirche stood another girl. She had short blue hair that seemed to reach just past her face, and matching colored eyes that were focused on the book in her hands. A pair of reading glasses could also be seen on her face, and behind the girl leaning against the wall was a large wooden curved stave. Outside of that she wore a school uniform and black cape just like Kirche.

The girl, Tabitha as she was addressed, didn't respond however as she merely turned a page in her book.

"Well, you always did like to play the odds," Kirche joked. The sound of cheers and excitement caught her attention though as she turned and smiled, "And there is the man of the hour now."

The circle of nobles opened up a path at one end of the ring, as Ryoga calmly walked forward with hands in pocket and eyes forward. As the nobles re-closed the wall they had made, Siesta took a place behind several of them as she watched worriedly with her hands held together in prayer.

"Shark-san..."

From another side of the ring, another girl also watched in concern. Katie had been crying her eyes out from the betrayal that was revealed until she caught wind that Sir Gu-, that Guiche, had challenged the Ryoga boy to a duel. She couldn't believe it herself and had come to see if the rumors were true.

However as she watched Ryoga step forward, she wished they hadn't been. As much as she wanted to blame the boy for his involvement in her broken heart, she knew he was only exposing the truth to her. Plus he had helped her out earlier and had treated her kindly, so she was terrified of the fact he was going to get hurt in this fight she had helped caused.

"Mister Ryoga..."

Ryoga finally stopped near the center of the man-made ring, as his eyes glued themselves to the form of Guiche, who was also waiting at the center with his arms crossed, a rose in one hand, and an arrogant smirk on his face.

"You showed up after all. I at least compliment you for not running away when you had the chance," Guiche spoke, having now regained his confidence and pride back.

He admitted he had been caught off guard earlier at the boy's reaction and response to his challenge, but he had quickly gotten over it and prepared himself. He wasn't going to let this commoner get off easy, oh no. After all he had an audience around, so he needed to put on a show.

A show they would never forget.

Ryoga's eyes narrowed slightly, "I never back down from a duel. And I would never run away from someone like you."

Guiche simply grinned, "So I see. In that case perhaps we sh-"

"WAIT!!!"

The two boy's broke their stare-down as everyone's gazes were drawn towards the voice. From one corner of the crowd a figure moved through the pack of nobles. As the figure finally entered the open ring however, Ryoga felt his eyes widen in shock.

"You?"

Louise ignored the boy as she turned towards Guiche, "Guiche, you have to stop this now! You know duels are prohibited in this school!"

Guiche simply shrugged his shoulders, "What is forbidden are duels between nobles. He is merely a commoner so there is no problem here."

"T-That's only because we've never had anything like this happen before though," Louise replied back as she looked over towards Ryoga, who was simply standing there watching the event.

"Hmmm, could it be?" Guiche suddenly spoke as Louise turned back to him, "Louise, have you actually had your heart moved by this commoner?"

Louise gasped as her face felt very hot and she glared at the playboy, "WHO WOULD HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN?! Don't be ridiculous!! I just don't want to see my familiar spirit get beaten up is all!!"

"Who would get beaten up?" Ryoga muttered quietly to himself.

"Whether you say to stop or not, that boy has already accepted my challenge. There is no stopping this fight," Guiche shook his head and turned back with a smile, "Unless.."

Louise frowned, "Unless what?"

Guiche pointed his rose at Ryoga, "If you and that commoner both bow down and apologize to me, I may just be willing to forget this little incident."

Ryoga's eyes narrowed at the boy while Louise spoke, "Wha-Why should I do that?! I could understand him as he may have started this, but why should I have to bow to you as well?"

Guiche felt his smile break for a second but quickly recover as he closed his eyes, "Is it not the fault of the master as well if the familiar does something wrong? You are just as responsible for this mess for having such a disobedient familiar. As such, it is only right that you both apologize to me and admit your mistakes."

Louise frowned and looked down in thought. It was true, she was just at fault. The actions of a familiar, even a non-one, reflected off the master. Because of this Guiche had a point in what he said, but what he was asking was too much. She would be throwing away her pride and honor as a noble if she accepted this. But if she didn't, the the boy over there would be hurt.

"What shall it be Zero Louise?" Guiche asked, "It's rather simple. All you both have to do, is get on your knees, bow your heads, and say 'I'm sorry Sir Guiche'. Do this, and I shall forget this whole thing ever happened."

Louise bit her lip as she looked at Guiche, who was standing there smiling that damn smile of his. She wasn't sure what to do. If she accepted she'd be throwing away her pride, but if she didn't, her non-familiar would be hurt. Unsure of what to do, and feeling the whispers of the crowd, the pinkette turned her gaze towards the one person she feared the reaction of most, as she forced her eyes to meet his in hopes she would know the answer.

And as their gazes met, Louise found herself frozen once more. But this time it was different.

As she stared into the ocean blue-eyes of her non-familiar, she didn't see hatred or anger like she had earlier. No, there was something else. Something she didn't recognize or understand, but for some reason, seemed to calm her heart and lessen her fear.

"Why? He was so angry with me earlier. He hated me, despised me even. So why? Why are his eyes so different now?"

"Well? What is your answer Zero Louise?!" Guiche spoke up, having had lost some of his patience.

Louise's gaze snapped from the boy to Guiche. As she looked at the fellow noble though, she no longer felt unsure or nervous. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breathe, Louise opened her eyes with a powerful look and spoke.

"I refuse."

The entire crowd gasped and chatter could be heard as Guiche himself flinched and felt his pride be struck, "I-I'm sorry? Could you repeat that?"

"Do you have earwax stuck in that brain of yours? I thought I made myself clear. I will not bow to you. Not now, not ever. Nor shall my familiar for that fact."

"What?!"

"Who do you think you are, Guiche de Gramont, to order me around? I am Louise de la Valliere, of the Valliere family! Do you really think I would ever bow to someone like you just because you got caught chasing skirts? Have you no sense in taking responsibility for your own actions? Clearly you have spent too much time putting on make up and perfume, and have poisoned that poor brain of yours. Not that there was much too it already."

Laughter broke through the courtyard as Guiche's fist tightened on his rose, "You dare!"

"Listen well, my familiar may have spoken out wrongly. He may have been disobedient. And he may be a rude egotistical and stubborn commoner," Louise stated with prideful eyes as Ryoga muttered quietly in the back, "But he is STILL my familiar! And whether he has done something wrong or not, I have complete faith in my familiar, just as I have complete faith in myself! And as such, just as I will not bow to you, neither shall he! So do your best Guiche de Gramont. Because by the end of this duel, it will be my familiar spirit who stands on top!!!"

A loud roaring of cheers could be heard from the nobles. The sheer display alone from Louise had riled up their blood and excited them! This was going to make the fight all the better now that the Zero herself had called Guiche out and said her familiar would win.

Kirche chuckled, "Well well, never knew Louise had that much bite to her."

Tabitha simply turned another page in her book.

Siesta smiled happily. Katie stared in amazement and awe.

And Ryoga, although he didn't show it, let a very tiny smile touch his lips.

Guiche however was furious. The Zero dared to mock him further?! She dared to make him look bad just like the damn commoner had?! He had been insulted twice now, twice in one day! He would not stand for this! He was a Gramont dammit, and he would teach them respect!

Guiche controlled his anger as smirk appeared on his face, "Your familiar spirit will win you say? What an odd choice of words. Considering what I've heard about you and your so called spirit."

Louise's eyes widened as Ryoga's narrowed.

"Hey, what is Guiche talking about?"

"Not sure, think he's trying to save face or something?"

Louise could hear the muttering sounds as she felt her heart race. There was no way, it wasn't possible. Guiche was just trying to mess with her was all.

"W-What do you mean?" Louise said nervously.

Guiche laughed as he closed his eyes. He had honestly planned to use this on just the boy alone. To bring utter shame to that damn commoner and break his spirit. But his pride had now been damaged twice. By the commoner, and now the Zero. He had had enough, and with this revelation, he would completely destroy the commoner and be hailed as the one who finally put the Zero in her place.

Two birds, one stone.

Guiche suddenly turned towards the nobles as he opened his arms and eyes in a dramatic display ,"My fellow nobles, hear me now as I have a story to tell you all! About a Zero and her familiar!"

Louise's heart exploded with fear. No. No that wasn't possible.

"As you have all heard, Louise had declared that her familiar will win this fight against me. That same familiar stands before us today against me, Guiche de Gramont, in a duel he himself accepted despite his master's orders not to," Guiche announced with a smile, "Is that not strange though? Louise gives full consent now for the duel, but before that her familiar had defied her own orders and come here against her will. A bit odd wouldn't you agree?"

Ryoga's gaze hardened as he listened to the confused mutters.

"So how did this happen then? Why would Louise suddenly give her approval when before her own familiar had defied her orders when she said no?" Guiche questioned the crowd as they muttered to themselves. Closing his eyes and waving the rose in his hand, the boy turned his head upwards, "Quite simple. As we all know, it is impossible for a familiar to defy a direct order from their master because of the contract. It is the symbol of our bond and the sign of our trust in one another. When a direct order is given, the familiar is unable to disobey it because it is the role of the contract to ensure the safety and lives of our partners under any circumstance. As such they understand this and acknowledge their roles within the contract, because they are important to us as we are to them."

"However," Guiche's eyes opened as he grinned, "What happens if a contract is never made?"

Louise felt her heart stop. Siesta gasped in horror. Kirche raised an eyebrow. The crowd muttered and questioned over what was going on.

"Ladies and gentleman, a secret I have for you, one that will be shared for years to come at this school," Guiche continued as he looked back at the crowd, and then back at Louise, "Our dear Louise de la Valliere-"

"Stop," Louise spoke quietly.

"The failure of the academy. The Zero herself-"

"Stop it!" Louise spoke louder as she began shaking.

"Has done the impossible again! And this time better than ever! For you see, ladies and gentlemen, the reason the commoner familiar defied the orders of his master, Louise de la Valliere-"

"STOP IT!!!"

"Was because she is not his master! The commoner has no rune signs on him, no signs of the contract, nothing to symbolize himself as Louise's! That's right! The Zero may have summoned a familiar, but she has FAILED TO COMPLETE THE FAMILIAR CONTRACT!!"

=========================================================

Silence. Utter silence was what echoed over the courtyard. Silence over the sheer disbelief and revelation spoken from Guiche's mouth.

That silence lasted for all of five seconds.

"What? Now freaking way!"

"He's joking right? Even the Zero isn't that bad right?!"

"I don't know man, look at her. She seems really freaked out doesn't she?"

"Oy Zero, say it ain't so!!"

Louise heard them all but found her voice silent. Her body shook but was frozen in place as her eyes filled with absolute dread and her heart drowned in sheer terror.

How? How had Guiche found out? How had he discovered her secret? She hadn't told anyone! She hadn't spoken to a soul!

So how?!

"No way," Kirche whispered in disbelief, "Louise never made the contract?"

Tabitha simply turned another page in her book, though her eyes glanced up briefly at the pink-haired girl.

"Miss Valliere," Siesta looked at the scene with absolute sorrow and guilt. The poor girl. She wanted to help. To do something. But she was just a maid. There was nothing Siesta could do to help her in a situation like this. It just added to her reasons of despising the classes between nobles and commoners.

She couldn't help when it mattered most.

At the same time Katie stared at Louise in complete shock. She felt sorry for the pinkette, but even she had never heard of a noble never completing the contract with their familiar before. And the fact the familiar was Mister Ryoga of all people made her confused. If he wasn't bound to a master, then he had the freedom to do as he wished yes? He had no obligation to this school, or to Louise, or the duel.

Or helping her.

So why had he then?

"A shame Louise," Guiche spoke out as the crowd listened, "You know I had planned to keep this little secret to myself, but I figured, why not spread the word? After all we always knew you were a failure, but this, this goes beyond being a Zero. Not even completing a contract with your own familiar? That's worse than any Zero, that's as good as being nothing," Guiche blinked and suddenly smiled, "Ah that's good actually. Congratulations Louise, from this day forward you are no longer a Zero. You're nothing! You're not a mage, you're not a noble, you're not even a failure! You're just nothing!"

"Hahaha, he's right!"

"Wow, to think the Zero could actually get worse!"

"Louise the Nothing, kinda catchy!!"

"Oy Nothing!"

"Hey Nothing!!"

"Louise the Nothing!!"

Louise fell to her knees as her hands dug into the dirt and her eyes stung. As the crowd continued to mock and chant, the pinkette felt her heart shatter.

It was over. Her pride, her hope, her time at the academy, it was all over. She had been exposed, revealed to the world that she had done the impossible. That she had gone beyond simple failure, and couldn't even complete a contract with her own familiar.

Such shame was unsalvageable.

What was she to do? Soon word would spread of this all across the land and reach her own family. She could never face them again. The shame she would bring if she ever went home would be too much for her to take. They would strip her of her name instantly if she stepped foot on the premise, if they didn't already do so when they heard of this. She could never return there.

But she couldn't stay either. The whole academy would know in a matter of hours. Everything she had gone through as Zero, it would be nothing compared to what they would do now! The laughter, the insults, it would only get worse and worse. She wouldn't be able to take it all in like before.

She was trapped. There was no way out. Dying would be a better choice than living in this shame! But she didn't want to die either. She didn't want to die for something just to escape the shame she had. There was no honor in it, just cowardice.

Which meant she had no answer. No solution.

Nothing. Just like they had called her.

Louise shut her eyes tightly as her body shook rapidly and face streamed with tears and snot. The sounds of laughter and mocks from the nobles around continued to pollute her ears and break her soul as she remained frozen to her spot on the ground.

"Make it stop. Please." Louise shouted in her head as her eyes shut tight, "Someone, anyone, please!"

"NOTHING!!"

"NOTHING!!"

"ZERO THE NOTHING!!!"

"MAKE IT STOP!!!!" Louise screamed.

BAM!!!!!!!!

The laughter and mocks had suddenly ceased. Louise eyes slowly opened as she realized there was silence. Why had they-

"Ahhh!! My face!! My beautiful face!! Gahaaaaa!!!"

Louise turned towards the sounds and her gaze caught sight of Guiche as he rolled on the ground clutching his head in pain. What just happened? Why was he-

"You alright?"

Jumping at a voice next to her Louise's head snapped towards the sound, only for her blood-shot eyes to widen.

"Y-You?" Louise hiccuped out as Ryoga leaned down in front of her. Cupping her chin with his left hand and reaching into pocket with his right, the boy pulled out what looked to be a handkerchief, as he began cleaning Louise's face.

"Honestly, you're such a pain," Ryoga spoke as he wiped away the snot and tears, "You're loud, annoying, prideful, rude, demanding, and you have the personality of a damn crocodile. It's a wonder you've lasted this long without someone babying you all the damn time."

"W-Why-" Louise muttered but stopped as Ryoga wiped her nose. As she tried to speak again she found voice still chocked up from sobs. So she just stared at the boy in confusion as he cleaned her.

"But," Ryoga spoke as he finished and placed the handkerchief in his pocket. Then he raises his left hand as it landed on Louise's head, as she felt his palm rub her scalp gently, "Unlucky for me, you remind me too much of an idiot I knew back home. Loud, stubborn, annoying. Just like you. But he also never quit and kept trying to prove himself to everyone. And sadly, I couldn't let him be on his own either."

Louise felt herself speechless as Ryoga stood up and looked towards the crowd, "Siesta!"

Siesta jumped at his voice before realizing what he wanted. Making her way through the crowd the maid ran over and stopped before the boy, "Y-Yes Shark-san?"

"Take care of her would you? I have a duel to get too," Ryoga said as he turned his gaze towards Guiche as Siesta nodded and knelled beside the silent girl.

"Y-You damn commoner!" Guiche shouted as he clutched his head and stood up, "How dare you throw a rock at me! Do you-"

"Shut up," Guiche flinched at the cold voice emitting from the commoner. The entire crowd watched with whispers and anticipation as the boy walked forward.

"You know, I really hate you nobles," Ryoga spoke coldly as he glared at the boy, "Those with magic have power while those without are treated like servants and slaves? It sickens me. You nobles treat the world like your plaything and think you can step on whoever you want just because of your names and magic. Your pride is the most important thing to you, and when it's hurt even the tiniest bit, you do whatever it takes to destroy whatever or whoever hurt it. Like a child who's lost their toy."

Guiche grit his teeth as he crowd listened to the boy with mixed emotions.

"And the common-folk. They have to serve and do your biding just because they weren't born with your special power, and because of that you think you can do whatever you want to them and get away with it? Don't screw around with me!"

Ryoga stopped walking as he now stood directly in the center of the ring. as he faced Guiche.

"I can't stand this world's way of thinking. And I can't stand you fucking nobles. Hell the whole time I've been here, I've only met two people in which I can safely say I enjoyed my time with! One being a maid who defies what being a true noble is more than any of you! And the other a noble herself, but one who was kind and sweet, and wasn't anything like the rest of you! Only to have her heart broken because of a bastard like you!! Someone like her, she doesn't deserve to be labeled in the same category as you!!"

Within the crowd Katie brought a hand to her chest as her eyes focused on the boy.

"So yeah, I really don't like you nobles. And I really REALLY don't like how this world works!!" Ryoga closed his eyes.

"But you know...there's one thing I really can't stand more than a noble like you, Gramont."

Guiche growled and clenched his rose, "Oh? And what's that commoner?"

Ryoga remained silent, as the memories of the past came to him.

"P-Please Shark, don't take my deck!!"

"Stop! That's my father's card!!"

"No, don't destroy them!! Please!!"

"Give it back!! Give back my pendant!!!"


Ryoga's eyes snapped open, as he pulled his hands out of his pocket, as a blue metallic plate could be seen clenched in his left hand.

"What I can't stand, are FUCKING BULLIES LIKE YOU!!!"

Ryoga suddenly tossed the plate into the air as the crowd gasped at the sight.

"DUEL DISK, SET!!!"

The plate suddenly clicked and snapped as a segmented joint ejected from one side of it and open outwards, forming a t-shaped wing of some sort. As the plate fell it suddenly seemed to head right for Ryoga's left arm as it suddenly attached itself like a piece of armor.

"W-What is this?!" Guiche asked confused at the strange armor.

"D-GAZER, SET!!!"

Ryoga suddenly tossed up a small white and purple metal shard with a small yellow spike at one end. Suddenly the shard clicked and seemed to unfold itself into a long curved-shaped, while a purple piece of glass became exposed. Catching it Ryoga placed the strange curved shard over his left ear as the glass came to rest across his left eye.

"Duel target, LOCK-ON!"

The glass seemed to light up as rows of strange text and colors floated around it. After a few moments the light stopped as Ryoga held his left arm up, along with the strange gauntlet.

Guiche flinched at the strange new items the boy had but recollected himself and brought his rose up, "No more words then. Very well. It's time then for you to be taught a lesson in respect familiar!!"

"The only lesson being taught, will be what happens when you piss off a shark!!"

Louise's eyes widened as she watched the boy who was to be her familiar, stand with such confidence and strength.

And as the crowd cheered in excitement and anticipation for the main event, Kamishiro Ryoga shouted the one word he had been waiting to say since this whole thing started, never noticing his pendants flicker slightly in a crimson glow.

"DUEL!!!!!!!!!!!"
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