Adventures of Zeleon
The sun had barely risen, and Leon didn't just meet Serena's expectations, but exceeded them. He was already awake and in the sparring room within the castle. By the time she arrived there at 5am sharp, he'd picked up a broadsword already and was doing test swings.
"Well this is a pleasant surprise. I thought you'd be barely out of bed. But, I suppose a dull, letter based education doesn't give the same motivation does it?"
"Yes, but also making a bunch of ritzy rich people mad, is really, really comical to me."
Serena laughed at his words, retorting in a sarcastic tone. "So you seek to be the nuisance of my existence as well?"
Leon shook his head. "Milady, you may be a refined classy woman, but my gut nags at me at thoughts that you were born into this kind of life."
"Hmm...you think so? Well, how about this? You put that blade up to my throat and I'll tell you."
"Sounds like a deal."
Serena went to one of the walls grabbing a skinnier more piercing looking blade as she walked back to the center of the room, readying herself in a fighting stance.
Leon took a step but stopped himself before he moved any further.
"I almost forgot...she can hear everything in my head, any plan, any strategy, is compromised. Shit. All I can do is go for the gusto."
Leon went at Serena with a headstrong charge. He closed the gap between them sooner than expected, and gave a powerful swing that knocked her out of her stance while blocking it. However, her skill showed through. In a few swift slashes, she forced Leon to go on the defensive, something he wasn't used to. She countered any move he attempted to make before reaching her sword at his throat. Leon had an initial look of shock before letting out a sigh, realizing how steep a mountain he must climb.
"If this were an actual fight. You'd be dead. If you charged like this at a vampire, you'd easily get outmaneuvered. Your initial strike was powerful, but you can't expect results off a singular strike. However, it's a good starting point. Now, let's try that again."
Serena stepped back into the same stance once more, as Leon steeled himself and came after her. The end result was the same. Her blade against his throat.
That cold word is one Leon would become accustomed to hearing. The room was filled with repeated clashes between their two blades, while Leon continued to struggle mightily. Again, again, again, and again. Hours had passed before he finally had a breakthrough.
He faked an initial hard swing that he'd normally go for and knocked the tip of her blade off course, making a half spin up into her throat, holding the blade mere inches from it. Leon's eyes grew big once he realized what he did.
"Looks like I got you to break your habits."
Leon pulled the blade away feeling his exhaustion hit him all at once. He sat down and put the blade next to him as he let out a large exhale. "Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh….you were a lot tougher than I expected. My hunch was on the money. There's no way you're born royalty."
Serena stifled a laugh as she looked down at Leon. "You're correct. I was born in a poor, small village and married Atticus so my village could flourish without the worry of food on a day to day basis."
Leon had a question that he struggled to ask at risk of being completely impolite, though, Serena answered for him.
"I'm 34, in case you were wondering."
Leon gave her a blank stare as the sarcasm of what she said came through despite her refined tone of voice.
"Yet….your daughter is a year older than me?!"
"Arranged marriage is still the norm on Zeleon, especially amongst the upper class. I sold myself to a 39 year old at 15 to better the lives of my people. I had a son who's 2 years older than you, though my presumption is that he's no longer alive, as he's been gone for 3 years. Which is why in spite of where you come from and who you are, Katrina was legitimately concerned over your safety. It was an unsettling reminder."
"I'm just gonna leave my comments off on how I feel about the first half of what you said. But, there's a lot more clarity with Katrina. I honestly thought she wouldn't care if I was dead or not."
"She wants you to fail. Not die."
Serena looked down at herself as she'd actually worked up a sweat, she let out a faint giggle that Leon could hear just narrowly.
"I must clean myself off unfortunately, but keep practicing with one and two handed techniques. Breakfast should be ready in a couple hours, so try to not get too carried away, and wash yourself off."
Leon nodded at her words, and she left the room shortly after. He stayed and practiced on sturdy wooden pillars for another hour or so, until the feeling in his arms was essentially numb and gone.
He placed the blade where he found it before stepping out in the halls looking like he just had water dumped on his head. In the hallways he bumped into Katrina and two girls who also looked like royalty all chatting away before all three of them stopped and stared at Leon, giving him a dirty look as if he were a criminal. He spoke to the three without eye contact with a sarcastic tone.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer."
He continued forward to head upstairs as they continued muttering amongst themselves. Until one of the friends shouted at him.
"Why don't you die then Earth scum?! I'd happily take a picture of your pathetic gravestone as a keepsake!"
Leon stopped in his tracks and turned around walking straight back to them as a sinister smile was plastered onto his face; with his voice matching in his retort.
"You want me dead, do you? Allow me to remind you that I will be the next Guardian. Allow me to remind you that I didn't grow up in a posh lifestyle where everything was handed to me! Remember what you said today, because I guarantee it'll come back to haunt you. I won't help you even knowing that I can, or I'll wait until you piss yourself scared when your safe bubble bursts if shit hits the fan! I'll save a commoner before I save a pathetic, useless, rich bitch who will never know the word struggle! I…."
Leon was cut off by Katrina. "You've said enough. Go upstairs and get washed off."
Leon growled before walking off as the girls with Katrina were shaking in fear.
They yelled at him before Katrina silenced them.
"That wasn't necessary you two. He's not a demure personality like your typical commoner. In fact, his personality isn't normal whatsoever. So, it's in your best interest to not provoke him."
She sighed as the pair looked at her with fake smiles.
"Wow. Did she really just stick up for a pathetic Earth human commoner like that? I would get it if he was a hot gentleman, but he's nothing of the sort! Katrina, I've never necessarily thought a lot of you, but you are pushing me to hate you."
"Ugh! She didn't even try to back me up in what I said! We used to make pathetic commoners like him grovel in unison! Sheesh! Go figure this girl would be a bleeding heart, especially after her brother disappeared."
A half hour passed as Leon stepped out of the shower, drying off before wrapping the towel around his waist as he stepped out into his connected bedroom seeing Courtney on his bed and quickly retreating back into the bathroom, shutting the door.
"WHY ARE YOU IN MY ROOM?!"
Courtney looked at the door after he retreated and exclaimed. She giggled softly as she walked to the bathroom door.
"Why do you ask? Am I not allowed to be?"
Leon's frustration grew as she continued to bug him.
"I have to head down for breakfast in thirty minutes, and I'm barely covered right now. In what way is this ok?!"
"I guesssss you have a point. Except, why hide yourself from a girl...unless..do you have a girlfriend back at home?"
Leon sighs heavily.
"Do you have any idea who you're asking? Of course I don't."
"Then why the nerves? I thought sixteen year old guys can't get women off their minds long enough to think."
"I'm not saying that it's NOT there. It's a matter of decency and not being nearly naked in front of them! Plus, I don't let that sort of thing guide me around.
"You're no fun, Leon."
"I don't live for your entertainment, Courtney."
Courtney thought for a moment before shrugging as she backed away from the door. "You know why I'm in your room? I just wanted to get to know you better. Cause I can't wrap my head around just how and why you're exiled amongst your own race. You're all human on Earth, so what could be so different?"
Leon shook his head at her words. "You have no idea how petty humans can be, trust me. Now, can you please give me some privacy so I can change."
She smiled softly and stepped out onto the roof as Leon peered in and frantically changed before he sat on the bed.
"Alright, you can come down and bug me as you please."
She hopped down onto the balcony and launched herself onto the bed.
"Bug you, hmm? Is that how you think of me?"
"You don't just break into a person's room whenever you please."
"Leon. Most guys would welcome a beautiful girl bugging them as they pleased. Think of it this way, someone cares enough to nose around in your life and make sure you're never lonely. Is that so malicious?"
"Eh...I just like having space. That's all."
Courtney sighed as she leaned back into Leon's bed, with her silver eyes fixated on him.
"No matter how much you resist Leon, you can't make me hate you. I know your tactics because I've used them. So, face facts. You're stuck with me!"
Leon looked at her dismissively before putting his hand on his forehead with a sigh.
"I hate you."
"And I respect you."
The two sat in a weird silence as Leon was hiding his frustration with yet another one of her untimely drop ins. "I miss being home where I had some kind of peace and quiet. Also a room of my own that no one would invade on a daily basis."
As Leon was about to head downstairs, Courtney broke the silence while laying on his bed with her eyes closed.
"Whatever it is you fear in yourself, stop fearing it. I can deal with a lot, Leon. I just wish you'd come clean and be honest."
He looked at her for a moment before heading down without a word.
"He reminds me of me when I was his age. Always wanting to be the loner, fearing the intentions of others. It took someone else to make me think differently. My almost husband. But Leon is much less receptive, not because of how the outside world views him, but because of who he believes is in the mirror. If any higher beings are listening, please send me luck. As he is going to test the limits of my patience."
Courtney sat in her thoughts pondering how she should go about breaking Leon's shell.
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