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Barian of Zero: Chapter 11

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Barian of Zero: Chapter 11

Post by Decade on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:35 pm

Chapter 11

Kamishiro Ryoga stood perfectly still. His eyes were shut, his body relaxed, his breath tame, and his mind clear. Even as a soft wind blew around him, he remained un-moving and stoic in the middle of the open courtyard.

Then the wind stopped.

Ryoga's eyes snapped open as his left arm shot up in front of his chest, Duel Disk at the ready as his right hand flew to the top of his deck, "Draw!!" Pulling back hard and swift, the top two cards of the deck were removed from their place and into the boy's palm. His eyes quickly flickered between each one before he slapped both onto the Duel Disk.

"Come forth! Big Jaws!! Skull Kraken!!"

The Barian crest around Ryoga's neck flickered crimson as a torrent of water formed across the field before him and a familiar creature emerged and flew in the air. It was the same beast he had summoned against Guiche, Big Jaws. The metal-lipped shark let out a vicious gurgling sound as its' razor teeth seemed to glisten in the sunlight.

Suddenly though the earth below the shark rumbled and cracked, as suddenly several bone-like and clawed tentacles erupted from beneath the ground. The tentacles flailed about and hooked onto the grassy surface as a massive gray skull pulled itself from the ground and moaned, as the tentacles could be seen attached to the bottom of the skull. The skull itself was vertically inverted with a pair of glowing red eyes in each socket and a jaw that was crookedly formed into a demonic smile. Several small silver spikes also extended from the sides of the skull, as well as formed a spiked hole on the 'top' of its' head.

To any normal person, it would seem as if a creature from hell had suddenly been born from the peaceful grassy earth. To Kamishiro Ryoga though, it just meant another day of practice.

It had been a week since he had first arrived in this world, and three days since he had awoken from his duel with Guiche. The word of his victory had spread like wildfire, and now everybody in the academy from first-years to the common staff knew who he was. It was annoying because it brought a lot of unwanted attention and rumors towards him, most of which revolved around the idea of him being a noble or something.

Ridiculous as the idea was, Ryoga now found himself constantly hounded by morons similar to Guiche. They kept trying to befriend him in hopes he would use whatever connections they thought he had to their advantage. He felt insulted that they hadn't the brainpower to consider such an idea actually working. That didn't stop them from trying though, and the result usually ended with a Big Jaws to their face.

Sadly it wasn't the only negative as well. Many of the commoners and workers like Siesta now looked at Ryoga with uncertainty and fear, and who could blame them. He had displayed a form of 'magic' that they had never seen before and had summoned a scary looking creature alongside it.

Because of this many of the servants now hesitated to speak with or approach the young Duelist. In fact the only one who still spoke to him was Siesta, though Ryoga hadn't seen her as of late.

"Probably busy with work or something," Ryoga thought to himself. The truth was ever since he had awoken he wasn't sure what to think of Siesta.

She had said she didn't mind what he done and that she had accepted his strange 'powers', but he didn't know if she was telling the truth or not. It wasn't that he thought she was that kind of person to lie about such things, but the fact was his own actions had made himself to be the liar in her eyes. He had led her to believe he was just a regular person like her, and had instead done things no normal commoner could, and was now being judged as a noble because of it.

Was she really okay with that? Was she really that accepting of what he could do? Ryoga didn't know but it was constantly frustrating to think about, hence why he had been trying to find a private time to speak with Siesta about it, but she was so busy that he could never get a good enough moment with her.

It also didn't help that he was constantly having to deal with Louise.

That was actually one big change that had occurred. Ever since the duel the pinkette had lessened up on her attitude towards him and had started treating him more like a person rather than an object, though she stilled called him a familiar every now and then.

She still had her prideful and annoying personality about her, but it was still better than when he had first met the girl, so he found himself able to tolerate her better. It also helped that many who had originally bullied and mocked Louise had backed off out of fear of what he would do. That in turn had probably taken a great weight off her shoulders and helped to elevate her attitude.

There was still the whole issue of him being her 'familiar' and she his 'master', but he had found a solution to that.

Though whether it was something he had come to regret or not was still up in the air.

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

"Duelist?" Osmond questioned.

"Yeah. It's what I'm known as back home. I'm not a noble or mage. I don't have magic and can't cast spells or anything like that. I'm just a Duelist," Ryoga said calmly as he watched the reactions of everyone around him.

It had only been about twelve hours since he awoke before he had been called into the old man's office with Louise. He supposed it was expected considering his little showing back with the Gramont kid, especially since before then everyone had simply thought him to be a regular commoner.

It still brought into question though how he had managed to use his power of Chaos. He had thought it had been lost to him when he had awoken in this strange land, and yet now he could feel it inside of him. It brought a lot of questions with no answers.

So here he was, in the office of the head of the school with Louise and that Colbert guy, hoping to find some of those answers, as well deliver his own.

"I'm sorry but, is there something special about being a Duelist where you are from?" Ryoga's gaze turned towards Colbert who had suddenly spoken, "I mean no offense to you, it's just that as you well know duels held here are between nobles. Yet you claim not to be a noble or have magic despite what you displayed against Mister Gramont."

"Indeed. What you did certainly looked like magic to me. Can you clear this up and explain exactly why you claim otherwise?" Osmond asked.

Ryoga nodded in understanding as he held up his Duel Disk, "It's because of this. It's called a Duel Disk. Back home anyone can use it to do what I did. Think of it kind of like those wands you carry. It acts as a sort of catalyst that bends light and allows people to summon monsters using the cards you see in it. And before you ask again, yes, despite how it all sounds, it isn't magic. It's just something the people from my home created, and can be used by anyone. Though unlike here where duels are dangerous and even life threatening, back home it's simply used for sport and enjoyment."

Well it wasn't like he was lying, as Duel Monsters was originally made for entertainment and fun. But excruciating circumstance forced the once enjoyable duels to become battles of life and death for the former Barian. Not that they needed to know that. Besides, seeing the lack of technological advances in this place added with the use of magic, meant that they probably wouldn't be able to comprehend just how complex the device on his arm really was.

Better to let their imaginations run free rather than overwhelm then with such knowledge.

"Fascinating," Colbert said as he stared at the device with a curious gaze, "Bending light to perform a summoning? I've never heard of such a thing. And you claim anyone back at your home can do it?"

"As long as they have a disk and cards, yeah."

"Impossible!" Louise suddenly yelled, "W-What you're saying can't be possible! Only those born into nobility can use magic! No commoner can use magic or summon familiars! That goes against the founder's teachings and beliefs!"

"I already said it isn't magic," Ryoga stated in annoyance, "There is no magic or nobility back were I come from so none of your rules apply there."

Louise simply shook her head in denial, "But that doesn't make sense! Everyone knows of Brimir and magic! It's the entire basis of how the world is! And yet you claim nobody from whatever backwaters place you came from has heard of them? You can't just say such things like that so openly!"

Ryoga's eyes narrowed, "Are you even listening to me?! Heck why are you even arguing this? Didn't you say you believed me before back in your room?"

"That's different though!"

"How is it different?!"

"Entertaining as this is, I'm afraid Miss Valliere does bring a slight point," Osmond interrupted as the two looked towards him, "While you claim it isn't magic not many will take that at face value. I myself have no reason to believe you are lying to us, but after your display in the courtyard I doubt many will believe your words alone."

Ryoga grunted in annoyance but didn't bother to fight back. Even he knew that his summoning of Big Jaws wouldn't help him now. Now everyone would see him as another noble rather than a commoner. And even if he wanted to tell the truth he doubted it would go anywhere, as Louise had clearly shown. Hell at the moment she merely thought he had come from a land beyond the Sahara.

He didn't even want to imagine how she would react to learning he was from another world entirely.

"Still, it would probably be for the best if you kept such information to yourself from now on," Osmond continued, "While many will see you as simply another noble now, there are still those who would use such knowledge to their advantage against both you and Miss Valliere. Therefore I ask you both to be discrete and keep this a secret. Understood?"

Ryoga nodded, "Understood."

Louise glared at the Duelist but nodded as well, "Yes Headmaster."

Osmond smiled, "Excellent. I'm glad to see that worked out so well," Ryoga rolled his eyes, "Now with that out of the way, that only leaves one major issue left to deal with."

Ryoga raised an eyebrow curiously until Colbert stepped forward, "He means your status as Miss Valliere's familiar."

At that both the Duelist and pinkette stiffened slightly as they looked at each other. A awkward silence passed between the two, only to be abruptly broken by Ryoga as he glared back at the two men.

"No."

"What do you mean no!?" Louise shouted before either Colbert or Osmond could get a word out. Ryoga merely closed his eyes in annoyance.

"Do you people ever listen? I already said I have no intention of being your familiar. Nothing has changed my mind about that," Ryoga replied calmly. It was true, he had not changed his ideas over the whole familiar contract. Sure he saw how the nobles treated their familiars and he had accepted that rather well, but that was them.

This was Louise. And from what he saw he doubted she would be as gentle or kind as the other nobles were to their familiars. Plus despite what he saw, he had NO intention of being anyone's servant.

He didn't for Don Thousand and he sure as hell wasn't going to for Louise.

Louise didn't take that well as she glared at him, "But-"

"I thought as much."

Ryoga and Louise both paused and looked back at Osmond who simply watches the two with folded hands, "And you're determined to keep to this?"

Ryoga eyes narrowed in suspicion, "Yeah. Why?"

Osmond sighed and leaned back in his chair, "I see. I expected as such sadly, though the repercussions of this will be quite difficult to deal with."

"R-Repercussions?" Louise questioned nervously. Ryoga himself was also curious but stayed silent.

Colbert was the one to answer as he stepped forward, "Sadly Miss Valliere, we are not sure what to do in this scenario. Never before has a familiar rejected the contract with their summoner, nor has their been any record of a human familiar within the school. As things stand we are uncertain over how to handle your future here in the academy."

Louise eyes widened fearfully as Ryoga's narrowed, "What do you mean?"

"Simply put," Osmond spoke, "Without having formed a contract with you, Miss Valliere has not managed to fulfill the requirements necessary for continuing her studies here at the academy. Every second-year student is required to have a familiar in order to move onto the next level of classes. But as you have no intention of being her familiar, it means I will have to inform Miss Valliere's family of the situation and see what they decide to do with her."

If Louise looked scared before she now was downright terrified. Her body shook as her head hung downwards. Her family? Her family was going to be informed? That may as well as been the equivalent of hanging a noose around her neck.

Her mother would be punish so badly she would probably be killed, and that was if she wasn't disowned right away. Her father probably wouldn't say a word to her. Eleonore would be absolutely furious with her. And Cattleya.

Oh Brimir Cattleya.

"Louise?" Ryoga called out to the pinkette. However he was met with silence as the girl continued staring at the ground, causing a frown to appear on the Duelist face.

The fear on Louise said it all. He had seen that same look on the day of the duel he had with Guiche, when the students had discovered that he wasn't bonded to her through a contract.

Only now it seemed worse. Far worse. As if her whole life had suddenly come crashing down and any joy she had was shattered like glass.

And dammit if it didn't just piss him off.

"Hey old man, is it that big a deal?" Ryoga questioned as he turned to face Osmond, "I mean, so she and I aren't bound by a contract, so what? It doesn't mean she can't still learn or use magic right?"

Osmond sighed, "It's not that simple. While it's true she can still learn and practice magic on her own, I cannot simply bend the rules for her. Despite being a daughter of the Valliere's, I cannot show favoritism towards one particular student in a matter so dear, especially once word spreads."

"I don't get it. Does something like that really matter?" Ryoga questioned as Colbert stepped forward to answer.

"You must understand, the familiar contract is a cherished and sacred tradition here at the academy. It is a sign of maturity and growth for the students, as well as proves that they are ready to take the next step towards becoming true nobles. However because of this, the students must be able to display their ability and courage to take such a commitment on their own, as with that maturity comes a great deal of responsibilities and promises that will be required of them. Were we to show favoritism towards Miss Valliere in regards to failing the ritual, many would see it as an insult towards the ritual and themselves."

Osmond sighed, "Worse still is that Miss Valliere would continue to be seen as a child through the eyes of every noble out there. And that will only lead to a dangerous future for her."

"What do you mean?" Ryoga asked with a frown. He had a good idea what the old man meant, but he had to hear it for himself.

"Simply put, once word gets out about her failing something so sacred and cherished as the familiar contract, many nobles and commoners will leap to use such knowledge to their advantage. In fact her family name will simply make things worse, as the Valliere's have many rivals and enemies lurking about just waiting to take advantage over any tiny detail they can find. This means that Miss Valliere will become a target for such people, and as such will bring many enemies towards wherever she goes. While I wish there was another way to prevent such a future for her, I cannot risk bringing such danger to my other students or staff, and so must send her back home."

Ryoga's eyes narrowed as they looked over at Louise, who was still silent and had her head hung. Despite this he could see the fear in her eyes over such knowledge. It didn't sit well with him.

The Duelist turned his gaze back as he asked, "But it's not like anyone needs to know right? I mean the only ones who do right now are at the academy now right? Can't you just keep them from saying anything?"

Osmond simply shook his head, "You give me too much credit child. Even I as headmaster do not have full control over what my students and staff write or say to those outside these walls. Eventually word will spread, and when it does there will be repercussions based on what actions are taken towards Miss Valliere. It is why the best option is to let her family decide her fate."

"Bullshit!" Ryoga shouted as he slammed his hands onto the desk causing Louise and Colbert to jump.

"S-Shark?" Louise uttered confused.

"Mister Ryoga that's n-" Colbert paused though as Osmond raises a hand calmly.

"And why exactly is that so negative in your eyes Mister Ryoga?" Osmond asked calmly. The Duelist in question simply glared at him.

"Don't play games old man. You and I both can see clear as day that that is the last thing Louise wants. I may not know what the deal is, but it's clear she's terrified over the idea of her family knowing, meaning there's a good chance that her life here would be finished anyways. Am I right Louise?" Ryoga turned towards his summoner as the girl flinched back surprised.

"S-Shark? Why are you-" Louise started before Osmond interrupted.

"And why do you care?" Osmond questioned as he looked the Duelist in the eyes, "She is not your master, nor you her familiar. It has nothing to do with you correct?"

Ryoga simply nodded and pulled his hand off the desk, "You're right, it has nothing to do with me. Frankly I would rather just leave this damn place and would rather spend my time trying to find a way back home than sit around and be some stuck-up kids slave."

Louise's teeth clenched angrily. Despite her own fears and confusion at the moment she wouldn't stand hearing such words, "Y-"

"BUT," Ryoga continued suddenly, "If Louise doesn't want to leave this place than she shouldn't have too. Just because things aren't going like they should doesn't mean it should ruin someone's dreams and hopes. I won't stand by and listen to something so stupid as letting someone's future be decided for them by someone else!"

He would not let it happen again. He had seen it happen to too many people in his life! His people. His friends. The emperors. Rio.

He would not let another person's future and hopes be controlled by someone else again!

"Shark.." Louise looked at the boy with wide eyes.

She couldn't understand him. He clearly didn't want to be her familiar and had a distinct hate for nobles and how they treated commoners. And yet here he was standing up for her and trying to find a way for her to stay despite all the problems and annoyances she caused him.

For some reason it made her chest heavy.

Colbert and Osmond looked at the boy before turning towards each other. Clearly neither had expected such a reaction from the non-familiar. It was rather surprising and had caught them off guard.

Osmond recovered first though as he looked at Ryoga, "I see. However that does not change the current situation. Unless you suddenly wish to become Miss Valliere's familiar I do not see much other options available. Unless you have something in mind?"

Ryoga glared at Osmond but stayed silent. Much as he wished to deny it he knew the headmaster was right. Despite his words they would mean nothing unless he found a way to solve everyone's problems. And since he clearly had no intention of going through whatever ritual they had planned he-

Ryoga suddenly paused as his eyes widened in realization. What if?

"Actually, I think so."

Everyone's breath hitched slightly as Ryoga spoke.

"Are you serious?" Osmond questioned. At the nod of the Duelist the old man's eyes narrowed in seriousness, "Then tell us. What exactly do you have in mind?"

Ryoga remained silent for a moment as he gathered his thoughts, trying to figure out the best way to explain his idea. After a few seconds he opened his mouth.

"Is it possible to become someone's familiar, but not take part in the contract?"

Silence filled the room. Absolute silence.

Before it was shattered by a loud feminine protest.


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

Ryoga nearly chuckled as he recalled the faces of the old geezers and Louise after he had asked that. If only he had a camera on him at the time.

Granted it hadn't been the best thought out idea, as he had come up with it on the spot, but it certainly wasn't the worst either. After all it wasn't like he didn't know how pretend and act a certain role in front of others, and really all he had to do was stay with Louise and do a few minor chores.

It definitely took convincing though of the others. Osmond was the easiest, as while the old man was certainly doubtful at first, he kept an open mind and seemed to have weighed the pros and cons rather quickly. Colbert took a bit more persuasion, and while seemingly unsure about such actions, did agree it would solve many of their problems so long as nobody outside of them knew the truth.

The only one who had really put up a protest was of course his new 'master'. Her damn pride as a noble clearly hadn't taken the idea of him only pretending to be contracted to her very well. It was only due to his reminder of her other options that shut her up and got her to accept, rather grudgingly though.

Since then word had already spread throughout the academy that he had now formed a contract with the pinkette due to his time spent with her. Rumors varied over his reasons but he didn't care because it simply meant his plan was working. As long as he continued to play the part of 'familiar' when it was required, Louise wouldn't have to leave the school, her family wouldn't have to know, and he would be able to keep his freedom from the contract.

Plus he got paid. So bonus for him.

Pushing the memory aside though Ryoga focused his thoughts and looked back towards his two monsters. He was still trying to understand what exactly happened during the duel.

When he had been summoned to this world by Louise he knew he had been reborn as a human once more. His body had felt the same as it did during his time in Heartland City, and he could no longer feel the power of Chaos within his veins or hear the voices of his deck.

And yet here he was, able to use Chaos once more and bring his monsters to life. How was that possible? Did he not lose his powers when he lost against Yuma and Astral?

And furthermore why did his Chaos feel so different?

Chaos had always had a certain density and weight to it, mostly due to the conflict of emotions between light and dark that it was born from. This conflict made the power of Chaos wild and savage in nature, and gave birth to many powerful and destructive abilities such as the ability to twist reality or corrupt the minds of others.

But now whenever he channeled the power of Chaos, he didn't feel the same savage nature he was used too. He hadn't noticed it at first, but after experimenting these past few days he realized that the Chaos inside of him had felt lighter than before, almost cleaner even. The tension between light and dark had dwindled significantly, and he now felt a sort of semi-balance between the two forces. The conflict was still there, but at a much tamer level.

Even now as he summoned both Big Jaws and Skull Kraken, Ryoga felt that same lightness through the Chaos that flowed in his veins.

"What does it all mean though?" Ryoga questioned to himself.

"Who are you talking too?"

Ryoga turned around surprised at the voice only to relax at the sight of Louise standing behind him, "Oh, it's only you."

"And just what is that supposed to mean?" Louise questioned annoyed.

"Nothing. Just forget it," Ryoga said as he removed the cards from the Duel Disk causing the monsters to fade away, "So what's up? You need me for something?"

Louise huffs and crosses her arms, "Obviously, why else would I be searching for you?" Ryoga opened his mouth to answer but Louise glared darkly causing the boy to keep quiet, "Did you forget that my morning classes are starting soon?"

Ryoga blinked but shrugged, "Yeah, what of it?"

Louise's eyebrow twitched as she forced herself to be calm, "Don't you remember our conversation yesterday? I told you, one of your duties of a familiar is to always escort their master to any class they take. It's to ensure that the master arrives safely and appropriately to their destination. And seeing as you are my familiar y-"

"Pretend," Ryoga interrupts suddenly causing Louise to grit her teeth.

"PRETEND familiar," Louise spits out rather calmly, "Regardless you were taking too long to get back, so I had to look for you. Honestly, why was I stuck with such a lazy familiar."

Ryoga bit back his tongue, though it was VERY tempting not too.

"At any rate, class will be starting soon and I don't want to be late because of your lack of recollection. We're going now and I expect you to be on your best behavior, understood?" Louise asked as she pointed at her 'familiar'.

The Duelist in question simply rolled his eyes and nodded, "Yeah I get it. Let's just get this over with."

With that Ryoga calmly walked past Louise, ignoring her shouts of him going in the wrong direction. Sometimes he really did question if he had made the right choice with his little 'agreement' with Old Osmond.

As he walked off though, he never noticed a pair of amber eyes watching him from the distance, matched along side a very sultry smile.
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Decade
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