And with that, we start week four.
“Should we help him?” Lucia asks.
“No,” Apolline answers. “He looks to have a handle on things.”
All in all, Lucia isn’t really surprised that they find themselves fighting bandits — that’s par for the course when you’re an adventurer. What she didn’t expect was that the fight would go like this.
Lucia, Apolline, Petra, and Alda watch as Roland singlehandedly fends off the bandits.
Lucia looks on as the muscular alchemist’s muscular fist comes sailing towards one of the bandits.
Protectively holding the girl’s hand in hers, Lucia looks down at Alda. “Why does he always yell like that?” she asks.
Alda shrugs. “He thinks it makes him sound cool.”
Lucia quizzically tilts her head, her furry ears twitching in bemusement. “Isn’t he just giving away his next move by yelling out his attacks like that?”
Alda shrugs again. “He doesn’t seem to mind.”
“His form is excellent,” Petra notes, the Half-Troll Amazon nodding in approval.
Alda gasps. “Roland look out behind you!” she shouts to her brother.
“Diffusion Spinning Back Fist!” The bandit attempting to attack Roland from behind has his efforts rewarded by a fist the size of a ham crashing into his face. The impact makes Apolline and Lucia wince, while Alda happily applauds her brother and Petra continues to nod in approval.
“So, uh, how many of these names does he have?” Lucia asks Alda.
“A lot,” Alda explains. He spent a couple of nights with our uncle’s copy of Aldenberg’s Glossary of Alchemy looking for words he could use as names for his moves.”
Lucia rolls her eyes and sighs. It’s amazing that everything Roland says or does is the stupidest thing she’s ever seen since the last thing he’s said or done. It all seems like an awful lot of work: looking for names, thinking up names, deciding which name goes with which move, then committing it all to memory. It strikes Lucia as a waste of time and effort. As far as she’s concerned, it’s easier just to fight the bad guys.
But, hey, she can’t argue with the results.
And if he wants to do all the hard work, who is she to say no?
Roland grapples with the last remaining bandit, hoists him up and —
— brings him crashing to the ground.
“Oh no!” Alda says, pointing to Roland’s scrapes and bruises. “You’re hurt.” She desperately turns to Apolline. “Quick! Use your magic to help Roland!”
With a nod, the Aurorean sorceress nods and begins to apply her healing magic on Roland.
Roland grins at his sister. “Yeah, but you should see the other guys!”
Lucia, Apolline, and Petra can, in fact, quite easily see the other guys. The attacking bandits have been quite thoroughly Alchemy Punched into submission, left strewn all over the ground like the pieces of a dropped and shattered plate and it about the same overall condition of a broken plate.
Grinning the same grin, Roland turns to Lucia, Apolline, and Petra. “So,” he says. “Lunch?”
I’m glad the month is almost over, because I haven’t had many good ideas for these stories lately.
On the other hand, once “Alembicplex” came to mind, everything else just fell into place. Incidentally, an alembic is this.
I’m hoping to have Charge of the Lyte Brigade ready to go within the next few days. Most of the heavy lifting is done and all that’s really left is the cover. Stay tuned.
And, as always, please follow along with me: