The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
The pair of Nonpareil and writer reached the fountain in no time. Rheba was nowhere to be seen, and unknown to Gwyn, she was engaged in battle with Thorir.
He sat on a bench and leaned back to look at the sky. The lights of Nun seemed to filter the blue of it away in a wash of other bright colors. The only spot without light was a building that was being newly constructed next to the fountain square.
Kako sat down and looked in the same direction.
“Is there something interesting up there?” she asked.
“Oh, no, I was just thinking.”
Don’t hurt yourself, Mem chimed in Gwyn’s head with a chuckle.
“What were you thinking about?” Kako asked with a tilt of her head.
“Just about whether or not I should have chased Ripple or not. I’m wondering whether or not we should have had a good brawl in the streets, then I could defeat him, and maybe we could become friends or something!” the Nonpareil said with a hopeful glint in his eye. He simultaneously wondered if he could have reached an understanding with Grimes as well.
“This isn’t some shonen story,” Kako replied in a quiet, disappointed voice.
“What was that?” Gwyn asked. He had not heard clearly and thought the Resh native had said something strange.
“Nothing, dear. I think your outlook, while noble, is a little naïve. That Ripple fellow seemed like a dangerous person.”
“You may be right, but I can’t know for sure without trying,” the Nonpareil answered.
“Your setting yourself up to be let down,” Kako warned.
Gwyn wasn’t sure he agreed with the writer. He wanted to try to win a villain over at least once while on Resh, childish as the idea might have been. He figured he could at least change the subject since Kako and he didn’t see eye to eye.
“Where did you learn your... uh… character magic?” Gwyn asked.
“Oh, it's something I spent a long portion of my life studying,” Kako answered with a smile as she turned to look at the fountain.
“You could say it furthers some goals I have in life.”
Gwyn wasn’t sure what goals would require such a specific type of magic, and he got the feeling Kako wasn’t going to answer, so he focused on a broader question.
“Is it hard to learn magic?” he asked. The writer had to hum in thought a moment before replying.
“For people nowadays, it is; most have been reduced to using what are known as the seven simple spells, and even those are going out of fashion now.”
“Seven?” Gwyn asked.
“Ah, yes. That beauideal you fought happens to know the spell of weakening, and the spell I demonstrated on the ship was the spell of binding.”
“And are your characters… coming to life a simple spell?”
“Oh no, dear, that is an advanced spell almost lost to time. That’s why I asked you to keep it on the down low!” Kako said in a flirty tone
“Do you think I could learn?” Gwyn asked. Kako shook her head.
“Needaimus have been all the rage since the Rush period began. Even if you learned, you would only make yourself taboo among others.”
“Captain Stone seemed to think you were alright. I don’t think the others had any complaints either.”
“An old seadog like him isn’t the best frame of reference, and your companions consist of royalty and soldiers. Most nations have a secret magic squad they would be privy to know about. The average citizen, however, is going to be uncomfortable at best,” Kako explained.
“You seem very informed,” Gwyn said.
“I have to be; I’m a writer!” Kako said with a sly smile. Gwyn doubted her claim was anything more than dodging his comment, but he let it slide as a new thought came into his head. He recalled Dia’s spell, which had incapacitated Odell back in Quenth’s castle.
“Wouldn’t Dia win every match with a weakening spell? Come to think of it, what are the other spells?”
“Well, I think the beauideal rules prohibit magic; Needaimus are the popular thing right now,” Kako rolled her eyes before continuing, “As for the other spells, I can explain them to you in due time. For now, I think we might have some company!” The writer turned her head to one of the streets that left the fountain square.
Ripple stood with his orange, scaly arms crossed. Next to him stood a giant metal Needaimus.
Gwyn’s mouth hung open as he eyed the hulking metal form. He jumped up from the bench to face the two opponents.
“Do Needaimus come that big?” he asked.
I shudder to think about it, was all Mem replied with.
“Well, I think you will be getting your fight after all! Do be careful what you wish for next time,” Kako said with a smile as she stood up next to the Nonpareil. Her hands began to glow with a purple hue. The Needaimus on her shoulder jumped off and sat on the bench.
“Your not bonding?” Gwyn asked.
“He’s more a writing aid than a fighting support anyway!” Kako explained. She waved her hand, and Basil, the dwarf, popped up from a bush. He spat out leaves and stepped forward.
“I could have come from around the fountain,” he muttered as he readied his hammer.
“Nighthawk, you take good care of the Nonpareil; I will see to this other interloper,” he said to the giant Needaimus.
“Understood,” the mechanical voice of Nighthawk rang out.
A loud bang echoed across the rooftops, and Rheba flew across the sky. She crashed on the top floor of the building under construction, but Gwyn did not have time to rush to her aid. The opponents in front of them suddenly charged forward to attack.