Chapter 7: The Princess and the Mercenary Pt.1
It's Sunday morning, Dea stay home watching soap opera. Then the front door bell ring.
"Coming." she said as she walk toward the door, when she open it, Handa and Eve in casual clothes greet her.
"Handa, Eve, it's nice to see you guys. Please come in." She said politely like she own the place.
"Pardon us." They said as they come in and take their footwear off.
Dea lead them toward the living room, "What do you want to drink?" she ask them. They both said "Anything will do.", then Dea went to the fridge and take a big bottle of oolong tea and some cup, she put it down on the table and pour the tea into it.
"Zero's not home?" ask Eve while Handa sipping the tea.
"He said he's off to the forest up north for training." she said casually.
Handa almost choke while drinking, Eve help him ease the pain by patting his back. He regain composure and said, "Up north?! Isn't the more north you go the stronger the animal get?"
"He said not to worry too much. 'I can take care of myself' he said." she said in Zero's tone.
Considering he can defeat a level S animal is not surprising. Handa and Eve though at the same time.
"When will he come back?" Eve ask her.
"Depend on his mood, sometime he came back the next day only to take a shower and went to school immediately."
"I see... What kind of training is he doing?! Where did he sleep then?! Outside?! In the forest?!" Handa got confused and worried at the same time.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the forest. Zero is fighting a pack of wolf with bare fist, he got surrounded by them.
Well well well, this isn't good... Zero take a defensive stance. The wolfs first attack come from behind and Zero counter it with a back kick, the other wolfs aggro on him and start attacking one by one. Zero calmly deflect all of the wolfs attack by either attacking or just redirecting their movement so they collide with each other and harm them self. The wolfs grow wary of Zero's possible threat and stay vigilant, not attacking him.
"My turn is it?" he said as he prepare to go offensive. The wolfs' leader came out from the bushes, its twice the size of the other wolfs. Holy crap, that's a level A*** threat beast, Fenrir! Nice! Zero's happy there's something strong to fight. The Fenrir dash toward him, the other wolfs movement is nothing compare to the Fenrir, it move extremely fast and reach him in just five seconds from at least 50 meters away. "Aren't you a fast boi!" he said as he prepare to uppercut it, the beast knew his plan and make a sharp turn to the left and running in circle while the other wolfs distract him by attacking. When the Fenrir think he got an opening on him, it charge in to attack, only to be karate chopped and got stunned.
Zero raise his feet straight up, preparing to smash its head to the ground, he unleash his attack but the Fenrir realize this and step back. His kick smash the ground and create a small crater. The Fenrir and the wolfs became afraid to him and start to walk back, Zero slowly grow impatient. He sigh and look dead in the Fenrir's eyes, "Hey, if you go away in five seconds I'll let you all live." he told them, the wolfs didn't understand a word he say but they do know danger is ahead of them if they stay any longer so they all ran away, except for the Fenrir.
They look at each other intensely, after a while a pup came out from the bushes and run toward the other side through the middle between Zero and the Fenrir. Then a giant bear covered in bloods came out from where the pup came from, the Fenrir aggro toward the bear knew it was chasing the little pup. It charge toward the bear but the bear raise its paw and strike the Fenrir but miss, it make distance from the bear. "Oy, let's truce for now and end this bear how bout that?" Zero said toward the Fenrir, it look at him and look at the bear and charge again. As it approaching it, the bear once again raise its paw and stike, the Fenrir once again dodge but this time Zero was behind it, the bear didn't anticipate it and got kicked on its elbow breaking it. The bear scared and run away limping, the pup came out from the bushes and walk toward the Fenrir, it looks at Zero and he look back for a while then it walks away with the pup. "See you later then." He said as she walk east, the opposite direction from the Fenrir.
After some walk without interference from other beasts, he made it to his destination, it was a river, it's not even 5 meters wide and only goes down to knee level, also most of the time the area always covered in fog for some reason. Immediately he strip and dip in the water. After he's all clean, he stand up and at the same time the fog cleared and revealed there's someone on the other side. The person has long hair and covering her flat chest, she's the girl next class from Zero's school.
Well, this is awkward... Though Zero as he just standing buck naked.
She look embarrassed as she's looking at a naked man that's not even trying to hide his manhood, she got the front seat of watching it with naked eye.
"Umm..." Zero said breaking the ice, she just twitch with face of disgust mixed with embarrass. "I-" before he finish his sentence, she snapped and scream while throwing a log using her chains, the log hit Zero and he got flung with the log toward bushes. Zero stand up slowly as he rub his head, she twitched again and got scared. "Please calm down and listen to me, okay?" He ask her with reassuring face, she nod and listen to his story.
After Zero done telling his story and they got dressed, she understood the situation. Zero sit in seiza position and she's standing in front of him.
"So, you're here for training. Team up with a Fenrir to defeat a giant bear. And went to clean yourself here, is that correct?" She asks with red face.
"Yep, I didn't know anyone from the city dare enough to come this far into the forest so I got careless."
"At the very least cover your thing that between your leg."
"Sorry..." is all he could say to her.
She sigh, "I'm not going to say 'it's okay' so consider you have a debt to me, keep that in your mind."
Zero stand up, "Okay, if its for you to forgive me, I'll do anything you say." he relieve she would forgive him. "By the way, what are you doing this deep in the forest?"
"Same as you, training." She answered as she walk away toward the city.
"I see, though you were just another damsel in stress that got lost."
She stop and look back at him. "If I were, my father would force me to do something I don't want again. That's why I train so I can choose my own path."
"Fate might know your future, but your effort will determine it." Zero said something inspirational and she got surprised by his sentence. That sentence isn't just an inspirational sentence but also her life principle that she got from someone she want to see again. "Well then, see you later." he said as he walk the opposite direction.
"Wait! Where did you know that sentence?!" She shout as she ask him, stopping him on his track.
He look back and smile, "Who knows..." and continue his walk.
Is he... There's no way... she's thinking to herself, she continue her walk toward the city while mumbling about something.
She kept thinking of the possibility that she lost track of time and already near the city gate. She got snapped back into reality.
One of the guard block her and said "Ma'am, please scan your hand for identification before entering the city."
"What? Oh, sorry. I lost in my own though there."
"It's okay ma'am, right this way." The guard guide her toward a pillar with a hand sized scanner on it.
She put her hand on it and it began to scan. Her data revealed on the monitor screen, the guard on computer duty nod to his colleague signaling she's clear.
He nod back, then look at her and said "Thank you for your cooperation, have a nice day." allowing her to enter the city.
"Thank you for your hard work." She said as she walks in leaving them.
"Thank you for your hard work, huh..." He said with a sigh.
"Not many people give us a 'good job' sentence like that." the Guard manning the computer said.
"You're right, at least there are people like her that appreciate our work, let's do our best to keep the peace of this city."
The two guards' morale has been boosted by a simple compliment.
As the girl walk some neighbor greet her and snap her back to reality.
"Ara, isn't it the young Honda sister." said the old lady.
The girl stop and bow to greet her, "Nice to meet you too, auntie. Back from shopping?"
"Why yes, some ingredients are in sale today." she rummaging her shopping bag and pull out an apple. "Here you go sweet heart."
"Can I?" she ask the kind lady and she nod. "Thank you very much auntie."
"Well then I take my leave, bye bye." she said as she walk pass the girl while waving her hand.
She bow once again and walk the opposite direction.
After a fer dozen meters of walking, she walk next to a 5 meters wooden wall and she closing to the gate of the wall. Two men in suits stand at each corner of the gate. As she almost in front of one of the men, he said "Welcome back, my lady." as he bow to greet her.
"I am back, thank you for both of your hard work."
"I am honored to be praised by you, my lady. The master is waiting for you."
"I'm afraid I do not know."
"It's fine." she said and walk inside. She arrived at the doorway and open the sliding door revealing a woman in traditional Japanese clothes with a fan over her mouth.
"You're back dear little sister." she said with a soothing voice.
"I am back, dear sister. Is father looking for me?" she ask as she removing her shoes.
"Yes, he said he want to talk with you."
She sigh as she knew what he's going to say. "I'll take a bath first then."
"Please do, you do need a calm mind when talking to father."
She pass her without saying anything.
In the bathroom, she dip her body in a large Japanese bath trying to calm her self. It's probably about 'that' again... I'm almost out of time. she though as she close her eyes. One of the maid stand in front of the door to inform her something.
"My lady, your father awaits your arrival."
"I understand, I'm coming out now."
"Your clothes is ready and I'll leave it here, I will take my leave."
"Understood." she said as she stand up and the maid leave the room. At the changing room, she dry herself off and change her clothes. After she done, she leave the room and walk in the hallway toward the family room.
In front of it, she stand as she inspect herself to see if she's untidy. After done, she prepare to enter. "I am here dear father." she said.
"I've been waiting for you, come in." Said someone in an old man voice.
She open the door revealing an old man and a woman sitting next to each other and her elder sister sitting as an audience. She walks in and sat across from her parents.
"We need to talk about 'that'" he said with a serious tone.
The girl knew this would happen sooner or later, but didn't expect it to be this soon.