Challenge Accepted

"I don't get it…You should be madly in love with me right now…"

It didn't make any sense. The hex Vivienne dazed on Rubio had been strong enough to make Sir Demiri pine for his own mount (She HAD warned him forcing her into morning training would not go unpunished).

"The sex was good, but I'll pass on the madly in love," Marco donned his robe.

"Why? Why do none of my hexes work on you?"

"For the same reason that if Rikkert got into a fist fight with Dakota, his punches would do nothing to her body," Rubio let Vivienne mull that one over.

"You're saying I'm Rikkert?" Vivienne glared.

"I'm saying my will is greater than your will and my magic is greater than your magic. That is why you will never be able to hex me."

"I WILL hex you. Noire says that in the future, I hex you all the time."

"Egelard says that in the future you hex her Father all the time," Rubio clarified. "I don't recall her ever mentioning that was me."

"Of course you're the father!" Vivienne insisted. "Who else would I ever give myself to?"

"Egelard's blonde. You haven't figured out how this works yet?"

"NO! I do NOT wind up with Gylex!"

"…or Euriki…"

"Don't be stupid. Two women can't make a baby."

"Euriki's a man."

"EURIKI'S A MAN!?"

"Euriki is indeed a man."

"…Well that's not so…NO!" Vivienne still would not accept it. "It has to be YOU."

"Well this has been fun, but I must be going now." Marco took his leave. "Strategy meetings and what-not."

"I'M GOING TO HEX YOU!" Vivienne called after him. "I'M GOING TO HEX YOU SO HARD!"

"You're certainly welcomed to try," Rubio puffed his pipe and laughed as he left her tent.


Fifteen failed attempts later Vivienne could come to only one conclusion: Marco was hexproof.

At first she thought she just needed an item of personal importance to hold power over him. This proved false, as not even scrapings from his snuff box (his most treasured possession, in Vivenne's expert stalker opinion) had made the magnificent bastard do anything more than snicker and say "What the hell was that supposed to be?" when she hit him with turn-to-frog.

Next she thought that if his body was too resilient to be hexed directly, she might have better luck with a curse doll. She had taken a lock of his own hair to craft the voodoo puppet and dipped the hexing pins in his ichor before putting them to work.

"Silly bitch; your curses cannot harm me. Don't you know who I AM!?" Rubio crowed as she examined him for signs of warts and boils.

"…" Nothing. Vivienne screamed on the inside.

"You do know I'm packing enough spell resistance to no-sell Garuga's Truth, right?"

"…Shut up…" Vivienne stalked off.

Next she tried potions. It occurred to Vivienne that Rubio resisted magic by repelling spells directed against his body off his aura, and that this being the case, he might prove less invulnerable against magic imbibed willfully.

"…Tasty…" Marco glugged a cursed concoction and belched loudly. "Could be better. Needs whiskey."

"Are you feeling tired?" Vivienne probed. "Nervous? Confused? Sweaty? Irritable?"

"Needs whiskey," Rubio repeated and discarded the empty bottle.

After that, Vivienne had to get creative. She had no idea if stacking the various methods of strengthening hexes together worked any better than using one method alone. It probably didn't. But in the great spirit of fuck it; why not, Vivienne submerged her Rubio doll in a potion of sickness and put an activation trigger directly on his pipe before cursing him with dysentery.

"Ohhhhhhhh…that one felt nasty…" Marco puffed thoughtfully. "What's it do?"

Vivienne told him, and Rubio belly-laughed like she had never heard him belly-laugh before.

"What's so funny?" Vivienne glowered.

"Few men follow the path of both the warrior and the mage," Marco answered. "Fewer still advance far enough down both paths to learn Counter AND Tomebreaker. And I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who figured out you can combine them into a single skill to get Spell Reflection."

"What does that have to do with-OH GOD!" Vivienne doubled over and spewed out of both ends, and Rubio BWAHAHA-ed.

"GET IT OFF! GET IT—BLARGHHHHHHHHHH!" Vivienne vomited up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"So when you're wearing see-through leggings and you shit yourself, how does that work?"

"GET IT OFF!"

"Alright, alright…calm your devastated anus…" Marco lifted the spell.

"...No one is to ever know of this…" Vivienne excused herself with what little dignity she had remaining.

Rubio puffed and shook his head and walked away.


"Oh Marco. Marcoooooo," Vivienne called for him in a sing-song voice that was too sickly sweet to be sincere.

"I have a war council to sit," Rubio was late and Sokara was waiting. "If you're going to try and hex me again, make it quick."

"Oh noooooo. I'm done trying to hex you. In fact, I wanted to apologize. I made you this!" Vivienne handed him a green, liquor filled beverage.

"…this is a potion of sickness…" Rubio sniffed the magic out immediately. "Didn't you JUST try this spell?"

"No-no-no; its cucumber juice, mortared kale, and Gudorian Vodka!" Vivienne pressed. "It's REALLY good."

"Whatever…it's not like it can do anything…" Rubio drank. "Oh wow. That IS good. I need to come up with a name for this."

"Do go on; don't let me keep you from your council," Vivienne snickered. Gotcha.

"Stupid woman…trying to curse me with a potion of sickness…" the dracoknight moved to attend his duties.

Sokara was displeased to find Rubio tardy, but found his strategy impeccable as always.

"So when the griffins try to flank us on the northern front we're going to…" Marco's stomach rumbled violently, and he lost his train of thought. Huhthat's alarming…

"Are you unwell, Marco?" Sokara voiced his concern. "You're sweating, and you look paler than usual."

"…Never better…" Rubio nervously sweated while he clenched his sphincter. "So anyway, when the griffin's try to flank us on the northern front we're going to—OH GOD!"

Marco ran from the command tent and made it just through the opening flap before he explosively diarrhea-ed.

"Hahahaha hahaha!" Vivienne was waiting for him and laughing her ass off.

"Damn it woman….what did you DO!? BLARGHHHHHHHHHH!"

"You said I would never be able to put a hex on you. And I realized you were right. THEN I realized that if I gave you something with a hex in it you would take it just to prove that you could—thinking that the hex was the dangerous part— never thinking that I would be trying to get you with something else."

"You POISONED me!?"

"…Poison…" Vivienne scoffed. "As if I would ever stoop so low."

"How?" Rubio moaned and groaned and shat himself anew.

"Dakota told me about your seaweed. That wasn't mortared kale in your drink."

And with that, she left him to his wretching.

"Mother!" Egelard caught up with her. "I heard there was trouble at the command tent. Is everything okay?"

"Everything is—wait—what did you do to your hair?" Vivienne couldn't help but notice that something about her daughter was different.

"Oh; I stopped dyeing it."

"Dyeing it?"

"I started going blonde to look less Gudorian after the Garugi rose to power. My natural color is silver."

"…"

"…"

"…"

"…"

"Oh, this day is FANTASTIC!"