Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by The Ero-Sennin, Jun 7, 2011.
Not much to go on yet, but I'll keep my eyes on you.
Chapter 2. So far, so bland, I guess...
= = =
Disclaimer: Andrew Joshua Talon provided the main inspiration for Ryan Ingram’s character.
Everything and Nothing
Louise the Zero
You’re gonna hate this place, kid.
“So I’m at the Tristan Academy of Magic, in the country of Tristan on the continent of Halkenginia.” Ryan reviewed with Louise as they entered the school’s dormitory tower. “No, there are no places like that in my world.”
Louise was having trouble believing that Ryan was not from her world, claiming that his Earth was entirely different from the one he was on now. Trying to make any sense of it was frustrating. There weren’t other worlds, there was just her Earth. “I still don’t believe it.”
“Well, it’s true. Up until I was summoned, I was hiking in the Zoar Valley and minding my own business.” It would do him no good to try to drop names for where he was from, since this was another world, no one would know anything about his.
Entering the staircase of the tower, they began to ascend and Louise frowned. “Zoar Valley?” She shook her head. “It’s impossible, there’s no such thing as other worlds.”
“Yes there are.” He shot back.
“You probably just don’t know better. I bet you’re from some isolated country on the other side of the world that still thinks it’s flat or something.” Louise said as they reached her floor.
She was a cheese-grater, and his nerves were a hunk of Parmesan aged ten months, Ryan noted to himself. Why couldn’t the short witch with a lot of hair be a shy bookworm or something? Still, he reminded himself that she was still stressed out about today and held on to his patience. “I’m not and I would appreciate if you didn’t insult my intelligence.”
Letting out a huff, Louise marched ahead. “The only intelligence being insulted is mine. Why did I have to be stuck with such a mouthy familiar?”
He held on for as long as he could. “My thought exactly.”
Louise stopped and then whirled around to face him. “Let’s get one thing clear! I summoned you, so you’re my familiar, you got that? Regardless of who is bound to whom, I’m the noble and you’re the commoner so remember your place!”
Ryan tried to get a hold on his agitation but it slipped right through his fingers. “My place is back where I came from! You should be lucky I’ve been this calm about my situation, you bratty midget!”
“W-what did you just call me!” Louise yelled at him as she went and drew her wand. Ryan promptly snatched it from her hand and tossed it aside. “Hey!”
“You don’t want to do that.” Ryan warned her before he brushed past her. Bringing his fingers up to the bridge of his nose, he rubbed it before looking back. “Where’s the bathroom so I can wash up?”
Louise had picked up her wand after Ryan had shoved past her, and was ready to fire a spell at him, but she hesitated. An uncomfortable feeling welled up in Louise, as she lowered her wand and put it in her pocket. Letting out an angry sound, she walked straight to her bedroom door and opened it.
“I have a bath in my room, you can use that.” She said tensely. “You should be honored; a commoner like you would never be permitted to use the facilities of a revered place like this!”
Ryan rolled his eyes and walked in. “I’ll be sure to clean up after myself.”
When Louise moved to follow him, he closed the door in her face and locked it. “Hey! What do you think you are doing?”
“Your bath is in the open like this.” Ryan retorted. “I’d rather not be indecent in front of a woman, it’s ungentlemanly.”
Louise snorted. “It’s not like I see you as a man anyway! You’re just a familiar spirit!”
“So says the girl with the familiar rune on her hand.” He called back.
Louise clenched her teeth, and steam rose off her head in anger before she drew her wand and pointed it at the door. “If you don’t open this door immediately I’ll knock it down!”
“It’s your door.” He shot back before Louise heard water running. “Oh, indoor plumbing and hot water, there’re anachronisms I’m happy to see. At least I’m not in the dark ages.”
“I’m going to count to three!” Louise snapped at him.
“Hey! Just sit down and cool off for a little bit! When I’m done I’ll let you in!” Ryan shouted back.
Louise tensed up, her face completely red with rage, before she lowered her hand, turned around and slumped back against her door before sitting down. The nerve of that commoner, how dare he just order her around? “It’s not even worth it, just so you know! I don’t want to have to get my door fixed over a commoner!”
On the other side of the door, Ryan slipped out of the last of his clothes and sat down in the tub. His back firmly against the wall of the tub, he relaxed in the hot water and looked over towards his sword, an ornate blade that looked more like a toy or display piece than anything. Turning his gaze up to the ceiling, he closed his eyes and sighed.
“Someone will realize I’m missing eventually, but then what? Will they even be able to find me?” He said to himself.
Opening his eyes, he sank down into the water up to just below his nose. “If they can’t get me, I’ll have to find my own way back.”
“You shouldn’t worry yourself about it too much. You’ll end up depressed, or worse.” The other voice in his head spoke.
“I’ll do my best to stay frosty, Wulf.” Ryan retorted to the other voice.
“That’s the ticket.” The voice replied.
An hour later, an increasingly agitated Louise waited for the door to open. What was taking him? Did he drown in the tub? Part of her hope he did, though disposing of the body would probably be an issue. Before she could get up to pound on the door, it opened and she fell onto her back.
She stared up at Ryan, now wearing a T-shirt and shorts, as he stared down at her. He was also wearing his belt with his sword on it. “Okay, I’m done. Where do I go to get my clothes washed?”
Louise sprang to her feet. “What took you so long? I was waiting out here for an hour!”
“Well I had to get myself cleaned and then soaked for a while. After that, I had to clean out the tub when I was done. I was being considerate.” Ryan replied with a tense edge in his voice.
She was going to grind her teeth down to nothing dealing with this man, Louise just knew it. “Take it downstairs to the laundry room!”
“Ah, thanks.” Ryan smiled pleasantly and then walked off for the stairs. As he walked away, she growled and stomped into her room and slammed the door behind her.
“Why did I have to summon a commoner? I wanted something cool like a griffin or a dragon! This isn’t fair!” He heard her rant before letting out a small laugh and going down the stairs.
“She’s way too high-strung; she needs an outlet for that temper.” He mused aloud as he made his way to the bottom of the stairs. When he went out to the hallway, he stopped when he came across what seemed to be a romantic interlude. “Oh!”
Guiche de Gramont, Earth Elemental Mage, third son of a wealthy family with generations of military service behind them, and all around fop was chatting up a naïve First Year girl with the express purpose of getting into her pure white panties. Katie, the young lady, had been swiftly taken in by his stunning good looks, charm, and purple prose speech.
“I’m very good at making soufflé…” She nervously revealed, “…If you want I could make you one!”
“Oh? I would love to have a taste of it.” Among other things, Guiche added inwardly, as he put a hand on Katie’s shoulder and raised a red rose in his free hand.
“A playboy.” Ryan immediately identified with amusement before he began walking past with every intention to mind his own business.
“Really?” Katie asked excitedly.
As Ryan passed them, he heard Guiche say something to the girl that made him give pause. “Of course, I’d never lie to your eyes.”
Ryan turned and stared at the two, as Guiche continued his little game. “There’s never a hidden side of my affection for you, Katie.”
Guiche then noticed Ryan staring at him in parts amusement and disbelief. It took a moment for him to recognize him without his earlier attire, but the height and absurdly plain style gave him away. “You’re that commoner Louise summoned.”
Katie turned and went wide-eyed, he was so tall. “I heard about him, when he was summoned he damaged the school’s wall, right?”
“Right,” Ryan said, “My name’s Ryan Ingram and I’m sorry if I ruined your moment.”
Guiche smiled; how polite it was of the commoner to give his name and apologize. “There’s nothing to apologize, sir.” He looked aside to Katie. “Nothing can interrupt my passion for Katie.”
“Oh, I see! Pardon me then.” Ryan was going to let him get right back to that moment, but he couldn’t help laugh as he turned and kept going.
Hearing that, Guiche frowned. “Huh? Hey, you, Ingram. What was that just now?”
Ryan stopped and looked back. “What was what?”
“Did something amuse you, by chance?” Guiche knew a derisive laugh when he heard one; he’d done his fair share of them.
“Oh? I just had an amusing thought, that’s all.” Ryan quickly said as he raised his hands up, implying he wanted no trouble.
Guiche caught this as an opportunity to assert some dominance over the strange male to enter the domain of his school, and impress Katie a little more. “Why, I love a good laugh as much as the next. Do share?”
He had wanted Ryan to balk and try to placate him, but his adversary read him easily. Ryan lowered his hands and chuckled again. “I just thought your flirting was kind of bad.”
Guiche de Gramont was a man of many things, of women, of roses, of all things elegant and beautiful, but most importantly he was a man of pride! Pride he took in his skill as a mage, his beloved familiar, and most importantly his ability to chase and capture the hearts of pretty girls!
“Bad, you say?” Guiche asked.
“Well, yes, it was corny.” Ryan said.
“Corny?” Guiche had no idea what that meant, but it sounded insulting.
Ryan nodded. “Very, you should be embarrassed.”
Embarrassed! Oh now that tore it. Guiche remained on the offensive. “It is poor taste to be so rude, commoner, especially in the presence of a lady.”
Katie, of course, swooned at Guiche’s defense of her honor, while a twinge of annoyance flared up in Ryan. That bugged him just a little more than Louise’s attitude, he didn’t care much for showoffs. He was only going to knock him down a half a peg, though.
Ryan performed a melodramatic bow. “I apologize, madam.” He then looked up directly to Katie. “And you too, Miss.”
Guiche recoiled at that, and Ryan turned and walked away, laughing to himself. He waved back without looking. “Have a good night, ladies!”
“Oh! How rude!” Katie gasped.
Clenching the rose in his hand, Guiche glared after Ryan as he turned the corner. “I will not forget this insult, commoner.”
Having ruined that fop’s night–well that or won him some pity sex–Ryan reached a large, circular room with a large and ornate fountain going in its center. There he found another couple in some sort of display and raised his brows. Wasn’t this supposed to be a school? Who let their students get up to things like this?
“It’s almost like a dream that I get to spend time alone with The Fervent Kirche.” The beau of the voluptuous and beautiful Kirche, a young man with crazy sideburns named Sticks, said to her.
Kirche leaned against Sticks. “I don’t think I can stop at being Fervent tonight…”
“Hey, can you tell me where I can find the laundry room?” Ryan asked, interrupting their moment.
Both stared at him, before Sticks spoke. “Isn’t that The Zero’s familiar?”
Kirche shook her head. “No, Louise is his familiar.”
Sticks turned to Kirche, surprised. “How, did she mess up that spell too?” He laughed. “First summoning a commoner human and then becoming his familiar, how sad is that?”
Kirche laughed herself. “It’s tragic, almost.” She turned to Ryan and pointed to another door. “The laundry is through there. But shouldn’t you have your familiar do that?”
“It’d be about all she’s good for.” Sticks added, and the two laughed together.
Ryan decided he didn’t like Kirche, and it was all the more insulting given who she looked like. His smile became a little nasty, as he walked past them towards the indicated doorway.
“I’m quite alright. I’m not so lazy that I have to have people clean up after me.” He said derisively as he walked past.
There was no mistaking the intent of his statement, and being a man in the company of a beautiful woman, Sticks fell into the same hole as Guiche and rose to his feet. “Hey, commoner, don’t take that kind of tone with nobility!”
Ryan ignored him as he pushed open the door and went through it, and Sticks growled. “There’s a man who doesn’t know his place.”
Kirche was staring after him, a little impressed by that attitude. “Yes…”
Sighing, Sticks sat back down next to Kirche, and smirked. “Where were we, oh Fervent Kirche?”
“Oh, I’m not in the mood anymore.” Kirche quickly said as she turned her nose up, and Sticks’ jaw fell in disappointment.
“Douchebags posturing to impress women, it’s a good thing that some things are…” Ryan stopped, and hummed in consideration. “…Multiversal? Omniversal?”
Maybe he was still in his universe and just on a different planet so he could use universal? Maybe, he didn’t know. “Some things just don’t change.”
A few doors later and Ryan had finally made it to the laundry room; where he found only a few people working in a few wash basins, leaving others open. “Providence!”
He quickly went to a basin, checked his pockets one more time before dumping his filthy clothes into the soapy water. The other washers turned and looked at him as he stirred the sweater and pants around in the water. As he lifted the shirt up, he began to sing to himself.
“There’s a moment you know…you’re fucked. Not an inch more room to self destruct.” He sang as he scrubbed the shirt. “No more moves–oh yeah, the dead end zone! Man you just can’t call your soul your own.”
He stopped, and then let out a chuckle. “But the thing that makes you really jump is that the weirdest shit is still to come. You can ask yourself: ‘Hey, what have I done?”. You’re just a fly–the little guys, they kill for fun.”
“Is that a song?” A woman’s voice interrupted Ryan, and he looked over to its source, a cute maid. She immediately added. “I didn't mean to interrupt; you just sounded a little upset.”
Ryan smiled. “A little, I’m sorry if I offended you.”
“It’s alright, are you a new student? Usually the staff comes and takes care of your clothes.” The maid explained. “By the way, my name is Siesta.”
“Hello Siesta, I’m Ryan. I’m not so much a new student as an errant summon, I guess.” With that he resumed scrubbing his shirt.
Siesta stared at him in bemusement. “Errant summon…?” It then dawned on her. “Oh! You’re the familiar that Miss Vallière summoned! I had heard something had gone wrong with the contract binding, is she alright?”
“She’s angry and humiliated, and I don’t blame her for feeling as much.” Ryan held up his sweater and examined it. Finding it satisfactory, he ran it through the wringer mounted on the basin.
Siesta looked a little sad. “I see. After gaining her reputation, something like this must’ve crushed her.”
What reputation, though? Not many people seemed to care much for Louise, not so much as hate her, but he knew the butt of a joke when he saw one, personal experiences and all. “What is her reputation, why do people pick on her?”
Siesta had expected him to find out by now. “Well, you see…as a mage Miss Vallière has no talent. Every spell she attempts blows up. Because of that, she has a zero success rate for any magic.”
“So that’s where Zero Louise comes from.” Ryan felt a little bad, knowing this. The poor girl’s self-esteem was shorter than she was.
“It’s terrible, really, because she tries so hard to be a good mage and nothing comes of it. If she can’t do magic, then she’ll be no better than a commoner.” Siesta lamented.
Ryan hummed. “That’s been been bothering me since I got here, is that the difference between nobles and commoners around here, the ability to use magic?”
Siesta stared at him. “Yes, you mean…you didn’t know?”
Ryan shook his head and focused on scrubbing his pants. “No, I didn’t. Those who have the ability to use magic are nobles, and those that don’t are the commoners that serve them?”
“Yes, that’s how it’s always been.” Siesta replied.
Ryan…didn’t like that notion one bit.
“Typical of nobility, I hate that kind of thinking.” Wulf stated.
“Yes, but I have no intention of causing a revolution. If we do find a way back, I don’t want to leave this place in flames because of some radical ideas.” Ryan replied to the disembodied voice.
“Do draw up plans for one in the event we are stuck here forever.” Wulf teased.
Ryan shivered at that thought. “Don’t even joke.”
“What’s it like where you’re from?” Siesta inquired.
Finding his pants sufficiently clean, Ryan ran them through the wringer and answered. “Our nobles are dead. The commoners killed them a long time ago; they were more trouble than they’re worth.”
“Nerd.” Wulf called out.
Siesta gasped at that revelation, but before she could inquire further Ryan stood up and bowed. “Well, it was nice talking to you Miss Siesta, have a good evening.”
His damp clothes folded up, he got up and left the laundry room.
When Ryan returned to Louise’s quarters he was happy that he didn’t run into anyone on the way. Opening the door, he found her in the midst of dropping her nightgown down over her nude body.
Hearing the door open, she immediately turned and glared at him. “Knock first, you lout!”
“Mm, I apologize.” Ryan said as he draped first his dried off pants and then his shirt over the back of a chair. Removing his belt and sword, he hung it off the back of the chair before taking a seat in it.
Getting the last of her exceptionally long hair from under her gown, Louise climbed into bed and slid under the sheets. Not that she cared, she most certainly didn’t, but something seemed to have changed his attitude a little. “I’m going to sleep; you had better not try anything.”
“It’s not even the last thing on my mind.” Ryan replied.
Raising her wand, Louise put out the candles in her room and lay down. As she got comfortable to dose off, however, Ryan spoke. “Are you going to leave because of this?”
What kind of question was that? “Of course not, I’m going to be a great mage one day, the greatest in the world.”
And when she was, Louise was going to rub it in everyone’s faces. Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière was going to be respected and admired, any reference to Zero will be nothing more than a silly memory!
Louise sat up a bit, and stared at Ryan as he finished making himself as comfortable as he could in his chair. “What?”
He explained. “I heard about your trouble with magic, and I think it’s cool that you’ve hung tough through this. Don’t ever give up on being a great mage, okay?”
Well, that was nice of him. Lying back, Louise sighed and stared up at her ceiling. “Thank you. I won’t give up, no matter what.”
Ryan nodded, and smiled a little. “Good night.”
“Good night.” Louise pulled the sheets to her chest, and smiled a little bit. That was actually really nice of him, even if it was one little compliment.
In short order, she drifted off to sleep, and after she had begun gently snoring, Ryan opened one eye and sat up before reaching into one of the pockets in his belt and pulled out a black tablet PC. Hitting the power button, he sighed in relief when he saw it worked.
“I just remembered…”
He opened up the main screen of the tablet and began searching through the files. A while ago when he got the tablet, a close friend of his–ever the pragmatist–put this in his computer in the event that something akin to this happened. While it’d do Ryan little good, it did give him an idea to help Louise out a little with her school life.
“There it is!” He smiled as he highlighted the name of the file, a simple image of a long list of items.
Hang this up in your Time Machine!
Down in the Library, Colbert scratched his gleaming bald head as he searched through yet another tome on ancient runes. In all the books he’d checked so far, there was no sign of an asterisk, not even in the elfin texts. What did it mean; he wondered as he put away one book and picked up another. Who was this young man that Louise summoned, and why an asterisk?
Letting out a sigh, Colbert opened the book and resumed researching.
= = =
...But I'm a crazy person, I may flip out at any second.
Hang this up in your Time Machine...
This...is the buildup, the calm before the storm. I can feel the awesome hanging in the air. It's not the type of awesome you've put out previously. No, you appear to be branching into an entirely now kind of awesome. Your previous works were like Gurren Lagann- crazy, completely over the top, and burning with energy. This fic...it feels more like Codex Alera. Calmer, subtler, more intellectual- but no less incredible. Rather than a burning font of madness from the word go, this feels like it's setting the foundation, laying out hints of the truth before the reader and easing him slowly into what promises to be a complex web of mystery and intrigue.
Or maybe he's just made a clunker for once. Time will tell.
It is just a Time Travel Cheatsheet to allow yourself to monopolize every technological invention that the new timeline hasn't caught up with yet. Colbert's head is going to explode when he sees it!
This is gonna be great
I'm interested. I hope to see more soon.
So... Ryan is like a scientist? or his friend is a scientist... a MAD Scientist...
El... Psy... Congroo...
Seriously, awesome update is awesome!
Siesta better discover the wonders of the internet now Ero.
Interdimensional Internet Connection? Hell YEAH!
I'm laughing very heavily because of the "Hang this up in your time machine" thing.
Or maybe you're both wrong and he's just trying to make something normal-ish.
Silly Fourth, I'm never wrong.
So does that mean you're omniscient, or that you're omnipotent?
Or maybe he went back in time and that was a warning that he can't acess something?
Or maybe I'm out of ideas and leaning curiously towards the screen tapping the refresh button religiously?
Indeed. I'll give this one more chapter to do anything interesting and/or make me give the slightest shit about the OC.
Grr, back to the Writing Cave, Mizuki! Back, back I say!
Jokes aside, this seems decent enough so far, but not up to the standard that his other stories have been so far.
Yeah, it's not as exciting as his other work so far, but this is just starting, so plenty of time to make up for it. I do admit that I don't care for reading this in the quote box though.
Louise the Familiar has been discussed, but I'm fairly sure it hasn't been done.
Louise getting summoned I think has been done, though, at least a little bit. But that didn't happen in this fic.
And the timetravel cheat sheet is going to be of great use, though I wonder how he's going to get a hardcopy of it - the computer will eventually run out of power (or it should, at any rate, unless something special has been done with it), and it'll take at least a while for Colbert to figure out how to power it (he did it with Saito's computer in canon, IIRC). Unless he's got a printer, transcribe it to a piece of paper? Memorize it? Also, the original is made on the assumption you go back in time on Earth.
We'll see. So far I havent giggled or smiled once during the reading, which is odd since I usually have at least a huge grin while reading ero-sennin.
Not that bad so far, still seems a bit meh, but the quaintly of the writing is really good.
Still the OC is somewhat interesting, if a bit bland*. But so far you have managed to avoid the God I am or super-competentness you see in alot of them
* Actually this may not be a bad thing, because it is not a cross-over or a alt-Sato, the reader does not have any investment, good or bad in the character.
There's this invention called a pen. Using it with a piece of paper...
Nice OC so far. Just try not to imitate some of the OCs in ff.net
or even a pocket solar charger. Though said charger will take forever to recharge a high density lithium battery
It's a good thing I don't read OC fics on FFN. Ryan's well characterized and built as an OC, thanks in large part to Andrew Joshua Talon.
Separate names with a comma.