?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
09 September 2013 @ 06:26 am
FIC: A new Knight  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: A new Knight
Part: 1/1
Rating: R
Configuration: Ekai/Mattis
Warnings: /
Word Count: 5.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Ekai/Mattis, Yaden
Summary: Three days since Ekai became a Phoenix Knight. And now he has to face his first task – to save the life of his beloved...
Feedback: Yes, please!





The shoes were too big, Ekai realized with creeping horror. If anything went wrong, and he would have to run, those big chunky boots the PR team had put him into would be more of a hindrance than a help to him.

Not that the rest of his outfit would prove particularly helpful if he had to flee, either. The baggy cargo pants with their suspenders over a super-tight white t-shirt stood in stark contrast to his coffee-brown skin created a striking silhouette that was easily spotted from a mile away. Which, of course, was the whole point of this outfit, but it made Ekai restless.

Phoenix Knights had to be recognizable in an instant, and under every circumstance. Whether they were in the middle of a fight or printed onto a collectible mug, standing in a crowd signing autographs or turned into a puppet for a play on some backwater market place – a Phoenix Knight’s look had to be unique, striking, unchanging.

Scratching his head, Ekai wondered how those people had managed his hair to feel even bigger than it had been before he had become a Phoenix Knight. Had this really been only three days? Three short days ago, he had been nothing but some slave boy on Tosca, wiping shit and blood off the walls of the gladiator school that had owned him. And then, out of the blue, his new friend had turned out to be Sir Yaden, the Phoenix Knight. And Yaden had insisted that Ekai was the potential new Phoenix Knight he had been sent to find.

No, Ekai corrected himself, the prophesied Phoenix Knight, shivering at the mere thought.

He was no Phoenix Knight. He was a slave boy. He was no warrior, no psion, nothing special, his greatest talent was his ability to work hard. But Yaden had insisted, every attempt of Ekai to explain to him that he was making a mistake met with laughter and increased conviction. If Ekai hadn’t been absolutely sure that Yaden would never trick him into something horrible, he’d have run away instantly.

It felt wrong, calling himself a Phoenix Knight, and no oath and no kindly smiling Emperor would ever change that.

“Ekai?” Yaden’s gentle voice reminded him from behind. “You will have to knock eventually.”

Smiling awkwardly, Ekai looked over his shoulder at Yaden who had been waiting politely behind him while he stood there, fretting.

“I am sorry,” Ekai started. “It’s just... I... “

“It’s okay.” Yaden sounded as if he had all the time in the Empire, and Ekai was endlessly grateful for that. “I know it’s a lot. Just go ahead. I’m right behind you.”

Again forcing himself to smile, Ekai nodded. Yaden was right, of course. There was absolutely no point in standing here in the dark, in front of the main gate of another gladiator school on Tosca, waiting for something to happen.

Looking at it this way, that had been the reason Ekai had agreed to become a Phoenix Knight. Maybe he wasn’t talented or strong or anything that usually qualified a Phoenix Knight. But even then, the title changed him from someone who waited for things to happen to someone who made things happen.

‘Maybe it’s nothing but a title in your hands,’ Yaden had said. ‘But look at how much you managed to accomplish with NOTHING in your hands. Can you even imagine what you could do with the third most powerful title in the Empire?’

Bracing himself, Ekai forced himself to calm his nerves. As Yaden had suspected, he couldn’t think of much he would do with such a title. But there was one thing that had popped into his mind almost instantly.

He would be able to free his lover.

With sudden resolve, Ekai knocked at the large wooden gate in front of him, loud enough to wake half the street. As after a few moments, no one answered, he knocked again, using his fist. This time, a mumbled shout from inside told them someone was coming.

Moments later, they could see the light of a candle move through the courtyard behind the tall gate. They heard the heavy sound of massive bolts being removed, then an elderly servant opened a small door within the gate, squinting at them, barely awake.

Ekai had positioned himself right in front of the door so that whoever would look out would have to notice the golden phoenix tattooed onto his right arm. Even if he wasn’t known yet, no one would dare to sport the coat of arms of the Phoenix Knights in such fashion without being one.

But suddenly, when he saw the poor servant struggle to make sense with the nightly disruption, all the carefully gathered bravado in Ekai dissolved like mist.

“Oh I am so sorry that we have to wake you at this hour,” he said, completely ruining any chance for appearing cool and assertive. “But I really have to speak to your master. It is really important.”

The servant harrumphed unhappily. “Don Gonzales does not like to be woken.”

“Who does... But it is really important. I swear if it could wait, we’d be here only after your master has had his coffee.” Completely ignoring the fact that he was supposed to be the direct representative of the Emperor, Ekai instinctively turned to the strategy that had so far served him best – he put on a pleading look like a young puppy. “Please?”

That brought out a dry chuckle from the man. “I’ll sure try. What names shall I give Don Gonzales?”

“I am Ekai – I mean, Sir Ekai. Of the Phoenix Knights. Sir Ekai of the Phoenix Knights, yes.” Seeing the doubtful look on the servant’s face, Ekai swiftly added: “And this is Sir Yaden. Also of the Phoenix Knights.”

Lifting his candle so he could take a better look at Yaden, the servant seemed frozen for a heartbeat, then nervously looked back and forth between them. “All the saints...”

“Please don’t worry,” Ekai said, hoping he was guessing the right reason for the man’s fear. “Neither you nor Master Gonzales are in trouble. We need your master’s help, nothing more.”

The servant calmed down, at least a little. “I – I will wake him immediately, milords. Do you – do you want to come in? I am sure we can offer you some refreshments, or maybe -”

“It’s okay,” Ekai interrupted the servant. “We’re going to wait in the courtyard, and you wake as little people as you have to so we can talk to your master. We don’t want to cause more of a stir than we already have.”

The servant nodded, stunned, but pleasantly so. “Master Gonzales will be greeting you in an instant.” He turned around and shuffled off into the building, leaving the door open for them to follow through.

Ekai smiled and took a deep relaxing breath. That had gone far less disastrous than he had feared. Not good, but not bad either. A bit apprehensive, he looked at Yaden again, who had been silent through all the discussion. But Yaden was grinning widely, an expression that was still very familiar to Ekai even though the man wearing it looked twenty years older than only three days ago.

“What?” Ekai asked, slipping through the door into the courtyard. “I didn’t think I handled him THAT badly.”

“Huh? I think you did great.” Slipping through the door after Ekai, Yaden carefully closed the door behind him. “We have enough great warriors among the Phoenix Knights already. Maybe it’s time for a skinny boy who can do the puppy eye thing even on grumpy old servants with the mood of a hungover junkyard dog.”

“He wasn’t THAT bad...”

“See? Not to you, he wasn’t.” Chuckling, Yaden added: “Just imagine what Sir Rage would have had to do to get in here. Or Sir Relais, God forbid, the whole town would be in uproar!”

Not quite sure how much Yaden was exaggerating, Ekai kept his mouth shut. Was it really that rare that someone talked kindly to people? Or asked nicely? He had always assumed this to be the minimum of any civilized behavior.

But even the Emperor had seen something special in Ekai.

When Yaden had brought Ekai to P2, into the Imperial Palace, it had taken them less than five minutes before they were standing in front of His Majesty, Emperor Elisander, the supreme ruler of the Phoenix Empire. Ekai had been a little too shocked to register what exactly was happening, but in retrospect he was rather sure that some Duke had been kicked out of the emperor’s office to make room for them.

The Emperor had been extremely kind and apparently overjoyed that Yaden had found someone. He had listened attentively while Yaden recounted his adventures on Tosca, chuckling at Yaden’s despair when all his attempts to force the potential Phoenix Knight to reveal himself came up with inconclusive results, until he realized it had been Ekai all along.

Next, the Emperor had asked Ekai a few questions, harmless stuff, really. Ekai had expected that the Emperor would thank Yaden for his work and that he would consider making Ekai a squire and see if he would grow into a proper Phoenix Knight over the years. But instead, the Emperor had ordered Ekai to kneel down on one knee, and had taken his sword out of its scabbard on the coat rack. And then he had taken Ekai’s oath as a Phoenix Knight, right there and then, less than ten minutes after meeting him. In return for Ekai’s oath, Elisander gave him the Voice of the Emperor, allowing Ekai to command and speak justice just as if he were the Emperor himself.

Within the span of a few minutes, the least relevant slave of the Empire had become one of the most powerful nobles.

Ekai was feeling close to throwing up every time he thought about it.

Maybe the Emperor was a kind and wise man, but he surely had to be missing a few points of his crown if he thought this had been a good idea. Giving an oath like that to a mere teenager like him? Ekai would rather die than disappoint the Emperor, but there was no way he would be able to make the right decisions, after all, he was just a barely literate slave, with no experience except for cleaning.

Ekai felt his heart beat in his chest so loudly he was sure that this time, he wouldn’t be able to hold onto his lunch. But luckily, this was also the moment when Master Gonzales stormed out of the building, followed by a whole flock of servants with torches and more candles.

Don Gonzales was a tall man with broad shoulders, his moustache trimmed to a fine line as current fashion dictated. Barely dressed in a wine-red dressing gown, he carried a torch in one hand and a rapier in the other as he stormed down the staircase into the courtyard where Ekai and Yaden were still waiting.

“Who are you to mock the Knights of the Emperor?!” Don Gonzales bellowed. “If there isn’t a perfectly good reason for this charade, I will have you -”

But then, the light of the various torches in the courtyard got bright enough to illuminate both their faces, the golden phoenixes on Yaden’s bracers glittering just as pointedly as Ekai’s tattoo.

“My Lords...” Don Gonzales blinked rapidly, then he dropped down onto one knee, smoothly offering his rapier to the two knights in front of him. “I humbly apologize, I did not recognize you. How may my house be of service?”

“Hi,” Ekai took off, once again shattering any illusion of coolness. "Please, please stop kneeling, it's really not necessary."

With a slightly bewildered look, Don Gonzales rose again, waiting for Ekai to continue.

"I am so sorry to wake you at this hour," Ekai explained, "but this cannot wait any longer. We need you help, Don Gonzales, the Empire, really, and I hope we will be able to sort things out quickly."

Don Gonzales still seemed more bewildered than anything. But apparently, Ekai's genuinely humble plea appealed to his ample vanity and sense of self-importance. With a gesture that looked positively ridiculous of a man of his stature, he brushed an imaginary lock of hair from his forehead, and nodded gravely.

"Speak, my lord, and I will do my best to assist you in any way," he declared pompously.

Inwardly, Ekai felt a stone the size of a medium mountain range drop off his chest. At least, the first few moments of their conversation had passed without him making a complete fool of himself. He hadn't even once called Don Gonzales 'master'.
That was good, actually much better than he had hoped for. And honestly, while Don Gonzales seemed like a terrible buffoon, he also seemed like a man of his word. Maybe there really was a chance of solving all this without turning it into a complete disaster.

"If I am not mistaken, Don Gonzales, you have bought a slave a few weeks ago, am I right?" Ekai inquired cautiously. "A Coron gladiator, tall and blond, with large blue tattoos on his upper arms, originally from the estate of Donna Esmeralda?"

"Indeed I have, Lord... Beg your pardon?"

"Ekai," the newly minted Phoenix Knight replied with a pained grin.

"Lord Ekai, of course." Again, Don Gonzales wiped his brow and corrected his pose, which actually looked rather striking even despite the fact that he was wearing nothing but PJ pants, a red dressing gown and a rapier. Or maybe because of it. "I did buy a slave that matches your description. What about him?"

"We need him." The words were out faster than Ekai could think, and they were entirely true. He needed Mattis more than he could possibly ever put in words, and every second they were separated longer felt like an eternity to him. "If he is the slave we are looking for, we need him, and I humbly ask that you hand him over to us."

"Of course," Don Gonzales mumbled, pensively stroking his stubbled chin.

"I don't expect you to gift him to us," Ekai interjected, once again hoping that he was guessing right. "After all, a gladiator of his renown must have been a substantial investment for your school."

"Indeed it was," Don Gonzales confirmed gravely.

"And it would be petty of the Emperor not to pay you generously for what he asks of you," Ekai continued the little speech he had been training since he had been told where his lover was currently held. "But on the other hand, I see that you are a true man of honor, and charging the Emperor for something that you could gladly afford to give away for free would be below your own standard."

Now Don Gonzales looked doubtful, but at least he didn't burst into loud laughter. Grateful, Ekai continued immediately.

"To me, it seems we are both stuck here - I don't want me to pay you too little, and you don't want to charge me too much. So what about we agree that your slave is truly priceless, and come to an agreement that does not involve money?"

"No money?" Don Gonzales repeated, blinking, his sleep-addled mind struggling to keep up with Ekai.

"No money. But maybe a Phoenix Knight can offer you something equally priceless," Ekai suggested, putting on his best smile. "What about I owe you a favor?"

Don Gonzales didn't seem too impressed, but the soft murmur that went through the little crowd of assembled servants told Ekai he had been guessing right.

"It would be a debt I would publicly acknowledge," Ekai added, "so you could talk about it. And of course about the fact that you helped me in matters of Imperial Security, though naturally I have sworn you to secrecy about all the details..."

Slowly, it seemed to dawn even to Don Gonzales what an impressive suggestion this was. Maybe a favor owed was worth a little less than a smile. But a favor publicly owed was a huge boon in the game of public standing, something Don Gonzales sure was very invested in. Gradually, his angular face lit up with genuine excitement, and it didn't take long before he bellowed:

"Fetch me that Coron!"

"I am so glad we could sort this out," Ekai beamed, immensely relieved. "I hope the Coron is alright?"

"Huh?" Don Gonzales needed a moment to understand that question. "Why, of course he is. A bit slow sometimes, but really, a very docile slave. No need to do anything harsh."

In a way, this answer relieved and confirmed Ekai's worst worries at the same time. On the one hand, hearing that Mattis was unharmed was a great, incredible thing to hear. On the other hand, the huge Coron gladiator acting 'docile' only told Ekai that his lover had been planning on doing something stupid.

Well, how could he have foreseen Ekai turning into a Phoenix Knight all of a sudden?

"So..." Don Gonzales offered after a momentary silence. "Can I offer you anything? A glass of wine, maybe?"

"Thank you, Don Gonzales, this is a most generous offer." Ekai inclined his head in a manner that he had always found looked very gracious on Donna Martina. "But we really don't want to bother you any more than absolutely necessary."

A shy, sidelong glance to Yaden found the other Phoenix Knight smiling, another little detail that made Ekai almost sigh with relief. He was happy beyond words that his friend accompanied him on his first 'mission', even if it was just something as simple as talking a wealthy commoner into handing over a slave. On all future missions, Ekai silently hoped that he would have Mattis to accompany him, and that would help tremendously as well.

At the thought of his lover, Ekai felt his polite smile melt into a wide, glowing expression. How he had missed him, his huge arms holding him safe and warm, his silly smile and the golden fur on his chest...

A commotion somewhere deeper inside the mansion forced Ekai out of his reverie. From a corridor that led towards the courtyard, an irate servant's voice could be heard, and each word made Don Gonzales his staff flinch.

"Now MOVE, you god-forsaken oaf of a slave!" they heard the servant hiss. "It's not my fault they want to see you in the dead of the night."

Don Gonzales smiled apologetically at Ekai, who in turn gave him an understanding nod.

"He's terribly crabby when he's woken early, really not a morning person," Ekai volunteered with a gesture that he hoped would convey that he wasn't taking offense at the treatment of 'his' slave.

"Oh for heaven's sake," they heard the servant bark again, little closer this time. "Stop dragging your feet, you mouthbreathing giant! I should have you flogged for being this obstinate, you - Waah! Let me down! Let me down!"

Don Gonzales' head snapped around, alarmed by this sudden development, but Ekai cut him off before he could say anything.

"Mattis, down!" he yelled, hoping that his lover would recognize his voice and manage to stay calm for just another minute more, mentally adding a soundless 'please' to his command.

For a long moment, nothing happened, then a head of blond tresses appeared in the archway, followed by massive, naked shoulders covered in crude tattoos that looked almost black in the low light.

"Muffin, is that you?" Mattis asked, blinking owlishly. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, Mattis. Just come here."

Again, Don Gonzales seemed pretty much overwhelmed, but when Mattis came out into the courtyard without any further trouble, he tried his most polite smile. "It seems this is the slave you were looking for, Sir Ekai, isn't he?"

"It's him indeed." Pretty much like he remembered him, Mattis was a massive hunk of a man, nicely muscled and naked except for a cheap loincloth and the slave collar around his neck. Ignoring Mattis completely confused expression, Ekai added: "Thank you so much for your assistance, Don Gonzales, and please let me know if there ever is something I can do for you. I'll have the tower write some sort of confirmation of our exchange tonight, so you have something you can hold on to."

"It is always a pleasure to help our Emperor," Don Gonzales replied, sketching another deep bow. "And it was a pleasure meeting you, Sir Ekai."

"Thank you," Ekai repeated instead of the polite phrase that probably would have been appropriate. "Really, you have no idea how much you have helped us."

Visibly stunned by this personal and apparently genuine admission by a Phoenix Knight, Don Gonzales nodded and for once smiled guilelessly himself. "You are welcome, my Lord."

For a heartbeat, Ekai wondered how often they would have to reconfirm their gratitude before they could leave. But then he realized that Don Gonzales treated him as a Noble, and that he would never dare to even suggest an end to their talk before Ekai did so.

"I... I think we will be on our way, now." Ekai stumbled a little over the flowery words. "We've kept you up long enough already."

"When the Empire calls for assistance, who are we to reject that call?" Don Gonzales joked amiably, hitting much closer to the truth than he could have known. "I wish you all of the best in your travels, Sir Ekai, Sir Yaden."

"Good night, Don Gonzales," Ekai firmly ended their conversation and forced himself to turn around. With a simple nod of his head, he gestured Mattis to follow them, then he walked out through the gate and down the narrow alleyway.

Only when he heard the gate being closed behind them, Ekai stopped and turned around to take a proper look at his lover. Mattis looked unchanged, tall and handsome, a deeply worried and slightly reproachful look on his face.

"It's okay, Mattis," Ekai said, not really knowing where to start. "It's just a very long story."

"You really shouldn't be pretending to be a Noble," the huge Coron whispered. "You know how dangerous that is."

"He isn't pretending," Yaden chimed in from the sidelines, a boyish grin on his face. Apparently, he had been enjoying this whole scene immensely. "He IS a noble, now."

"Okay..." A confused look on his face, Mattis stared from Yaden to Ekai and back again.

"Just one more moment," Ekai said, trying to sound calm and in control of everything. "Yaden, can you please arrange a port for us? I'm so riled up I can’t even properly concentrate on breathing."

"Sure thing." Yaden didn't even close his eyes, but his look grew distant while he contacted the local prime, asking him or her to port them back to P2.

"Mattis?" Ekai asked. "Come, take my hand. We will be teleported now, then I will explain everything."

"Okay..." Still rather apprehensive, Mattis took Ekai's hand, his huge paw closing like a shell around Ekai's fingers.

"Ready?" Yaden asked, still smiling cheekily.

"Yes," Ekai replied, his voice unsteady now that he was so close to his lover again.

"Ready what for?" Mattis barely managed to ask before the world around them blinked out of existence.

For a heartbeat, Ekai feared that something had gone wrong, because everything remained dark. Only bit by bit, his eyes got used to the low light. The pale shapes in front of them became the huge window of his new flat within the Phoenix Knight Tower, and beyond that, the rain-blurred skyline of P2 in the distance. Apparently, Yaden had arranged for them to be ported directly into his living room.

"Computer, light." Ekai ordered calmly, and softly, several lamps lit up all around them.

"Where are we?" Mattis asked in hushed tones.

"My place."

Ekai turned around to have a proper look at his lover for the first time since they had been separated. And instead of the calm, sensible explanation he had planned, all he could do was give a soft, yelping sound and then he found himself clinging to Mattis as if his life depended on it.

Instantly, Mattis returned the embrace, his arms just as huge and comforting as Ekai remembered, maybe even a little more so.

"Oh my god, Mattis" Ekai whispered because he didn't want to scream, "you are all right."

He wanted to say so many things, all of them important and all of them urgent, and he couldn't do anything else but hold on tight to his lover.

"I love you so much," was the first thing he managed to say. "I don't know what I would have done if anything had happened to you.

"And I love you, muffin..." Mattis gently replied, adding another squeeze. "I am fine. Are YOU okay?"

He sounded more worried than confused, and Ekai really couldn't blame him.

"I will be. A lot has happened, but it's really okay. I did nothing illegal."

Mattis harrumphed doubtfully, but humorously. Ekai felt a big smile creep onto his face as he felt the old, familiar calm spread inside him that came with having Mattis around. Maybe his lover wasn't the smartest person around, but at least he never got worked up about things as Ekai did.

"I whacked Don Santiago with a rolling pin," Ekai started at the completely wrong end of the story, "but it's fine. I didn't kill him, and the Emperor has given me retroactive orders to defend myself, so that's pretty much settled."

"I shouldn't be surprised that you figured out something to save me before I could," Mattis said, his slightly hesitant tone clearly telling that he was just a little worried about Ekai's sanity. "But did you have to involve the Emperor?"

This time, Ekai couldn't help but give a slightly overwhelmed giggle.

"Wasn't my choice." Taking a deep breath, Ekai gently unwrapped himself from Mattis embrace and took a step back, all the while never letting go of his lover's hand. "But I didn't lie tonight. Look at me."

Mattis looked Ekai up and down, his face clueless. "Have you grown again?"

"Probably." Ekai felt so happy the thought he would burst into tears every moment now. Of course this would be the first thing Mattis noticed. He always noticed the important things first. "But no, I didn't mean that."

"A new outfit?"

"No. Look at my arms."

Carefully, Mattis took Ekai's hands and turned them so he could have a better look at the golden phoenixes that glittered on his upper arms now.

"These are new. And very beautiful," Mattis remarked, obviously not getting the connection. "You look like some movie star."

Ekai flinched at the description, knowing that it would be the other way round - one day, a movie star would look like him, on screen, in a movie bearing his name. It was a sickening thought, but not really worse than all the rest he had been through in the last three days.

"The Emperor and his oracles think I am cut out to be a Phoenix Knight," Ekai said with a soft shrug. "So he sent Sir Yaden to find and get me. And then he made me a Phoenix Knight."

"So, you are telling me you really ARE a Phoenix Knight, now?"

"Yes. It's totally absurd, I know, and I will never -"

"Awesome."

There was so much conviction, so much honest admiration in Mattis' remark that Ekai stopped his long-winded excuse and just looked at him.

"You really think I could do this?"

"Of course! If anyone can, then it's you." Mattis took another long look at Ekai, the way only he could really LOOK at him, and then pulled him back into his arms. "Oh god. You've been worried all the time that you weren't good enough, weren't you?"

Ekai only managed to nod against Mattis' chest. Finally, all the tension of the last days washed over him like a flood, and he found himself crying against his lover's chest and laugh with relief at the same time. Mattis was here. All would be good.

"Shh, little muffin. You will do great. I promise."

Mattis held Ekai a little while longer, until he started to calm down a little.

"So this really is your place, huh?" Mattis asked. When Ekai mumbled something vaguely confirming, he added: "I bet there's a proper bedroom somewhere. With a proper bed."

"Huh?" Now feeling a little overrun himself, Ekai looked up. "Bedroom's up those stairs - why?"

"Because I missed you." His voice had taken on a deep, almost growling quality, and when he took Ekai by his waist and easily threw him over his shoulder, Ekai couldn't help but squeal.

"I missed you, too." Ekai said, laughing.

In fact, he was laughing so hard that Mattis had to struggle getting him upstairs, and he dropped him quite unceremoniously onto the bed.

"Damn, this is one big bed," Mattis said, bouncing on the mattress with anticipation. "Now let's properly break in this fancy bed of yours and then get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, everything will look much better already. I promise."

There was a simple reason that his loved this huge, barbarian gladiator so much as he did - Mattis always thought of the important things first.

Smiling widely, Ekai pulled down Mattis by his braids, kissing him passionately.

"I love you," he whispered.

"And I love you," Mattis replied. "And now shut up and help me get you out of these fancy clothes."

And there really wasn't anything in the whole Empire that Ekai would have rather done.


 
 
 
Meridaemeridae on September 9th, 2013 09:30 am (UTC)
Heee heee, so funny - the very reasons Ekai thinks make him unsuitable to be a phoenix knight are the very things that everyone else thinks make him perfect!

Also, whatever you do, don't tell the PR team that Mattis calls him Muffin!

Lastly, if Ekai doesn't need to be a squire, why did Ivan have to be a squire?

Second lastly, I have chilli and rice. Nomnomnom. (It's not quite rat on a stick. Hey, you should come and visit our 'West Coast Wild Food Festival'. I don't think they have rat on a stick, but they do have possum on a stick. And huhu grubs . . . peanut buttery, nommy)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 10th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
I won't. But I'm afraid it's only a matter of time until they start marketing him as Sir Muffin.

Ivan wanted to be a squire, and there never was the question of him becoming a Phoenix Knight himself. It would have been normal for a future Phoenix Knight to spend a few years as a squire first, to learn some tricks of the trade. But Leesha is desperately short of Knights, and as he picks them more for character than for experience, he skipped the squire stage for Ekai.
debbiemethosdeb on September 10th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
loved it soglad that he went back for his love,he will help him with his new position I am sure.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 10th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
Oh, You can bet they will make a gorgeous team. ^^
Milady OMlady_om on September 10th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
Ha. I was going to write a fiery open letter to Leesha regarding those knight wages... but after 12-hour day at work, I can barely put a sentence together. Please use your own imagination to add inspired fury sprinkled with righteous indignation.

Basically, that's what you get when you don't pay your people enough: going 'round at night and begging and trading favors for simple transactions like buying a slave (Yaden did the same thing). Now some sleazy slave trader in middle of nowhere will have knightly bragging rights. It cheapens the whole knight image. Soon enough merchants will figure that knights have no cash and will start bargaining. And 'Phoenix knights' will become 'Phoenix beggars'. Basically, pay your people well.

/end rant

Ekai is so nice. Muffin, huh? What's Mattis' nickname?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 10th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
I'll have your rant passed on to Leesha. He'll probably roll his eyes and tell me that his knight would only have to ask, and he'd gladly give them anything they need. Even more money.

But seriously, can you see Yaden or Ekai negotiating a raise?

Ekai IS nice. That's why we gave him a Teddybarian. ^^
Milady OMlady_om on September 11th, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
Ha! I knew it would be something 'teddy'! Psychic powers activate! :) BTW, is there a pic somewhere of Mattis?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 11th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
No, sadly, there's no picture.

After all, Mattis Keel was my wife's Diablo II barbarian, that she played until they nerfed the chain lightning of my sorceress... Anyway. No pic.

On the other hand, I personally could see Thor from 'The dark World' playing Mattis in the movies, even though it wouldn't be a perfect fit...
Charischarisstoma on September 11th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
How very sad that Phoenix Knights are slim on the ground. That good people like Ekai are tapped to be one on the basis that he likes to help people and can schmooze his way around obstacles. And It Works.
Still...“had to be missing a few points of his crown” – I totally understand Ekai on this.

This made me laugh, especially considering your comment back to my comment about Leesha's authority.
“ His Majesty, Emperor Elisander, the supreme ruler of the Phoenix Empire.” Uh. Huh. If his mommy says he is.

Edited at 2013-09-11 02:24 am (UTC)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 11th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Phoenix Knights, as per job description, are people pretty skilled in making a lot out of nothing. They don't particularly mind that Leesha pays them only a pittance. (Legally, as direct representatives, they technically own the entire Empire, and could just commandeer anything they fancy.)

And I see we really need to write more about Leesha and his mom. Maybe I can get my lovely wife to write a few scenes about his wedding... ^^
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on September 11th, 2013 02:50 pm (UTC)
Writing more about Leesha and his mum? YES PLEASE! :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 11th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'll let her know. ^^
Charischarisstoma on September 11th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC)
YES more about Leesha and his mom BUT YES! Scenes from the wedding.

Will hug you (plural)so hard.
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on September 11th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)

Aww, I love this so much. It's just perfectly warm and squishy for a cold and rainy day here. <3
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 11th, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re:
Sounds as if the weather in Berlin is as dispiriting as it is in Kassel - at least it's good for the garden after weeks without rain.
GLad you liked it, and thanks for commenting!
Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainenmissingkeys on September 11th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
Re:
My balcony garden died in January and I didn't replace it this year, so I'm mostly huddled inside reading fic. :) It's funny, though, because since I don't want the cat out when it's so cold I'm trying to keep her inside, and she's basically yelling at me to let her out now, thank you very much! Poor love.

Very welcome. :)
idolme922idolme922 on September 11th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
To quote Mattis, 'Awesome.' That was sweet and fun. It's lovely how you weave facts and background into the action of the story. Wonderful!!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 13th, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
Thank you, dear! It's so hard to fight down the urge and just pile on the fact, so it really means a lot to me that you think how we do it is working. :)
ccris3ccris3 on September 12th, 2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
Its weird sometimes how there are characters you desperately want freed, and then Leesha waves a hand and some boy gets a Knighthood. I feel bad for all of the other slaves now :< Leesha needs to introduce new laws.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 13th, 2013 07:33 am (UTC)
Well, you can't save all of them at once.

Which isn't to say Leesha doesn't do anything in that direction. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
(Anonymous) on September 12th, 2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Just a headsup that there was no post made in the orig_slavefic group :-)
Oh, and the usual keep up the good work, etc etc...

PS: I should really get me an LJ account
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on September 13th, 2013 07:36 am (UTC)
Hmm... I thought this story didn't have enough slaves doing anything to qualify for the group, as this was mostly a noble and a commoner negotiating.

I'll check with my wife to see what we will do, but thanks a ton for pointing this out to me, and for enjoying our stories!
BerthaBlueberthablue on February 6th, 2014 10:31 am (UTC)
Yay! The reuniting of Mattis and Ekai :) They are so sweet together, and something tells me that Mattis will perfectly balance out Ekai's anxieties and make him into the strong, awesome knight he is meant to be!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on February 6th, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
OMG, I re-read this only the other day, and now you comment on it! They are a perfect couple, the two of them. They will have some growing up to do together, but they will be awesome. ^^

Thank you!