?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
18 November 2008 @ 09:14 pm
NaNoWriMo Entry: 06  

Chapter Five: Three Princes

Dino Cavallone woke up disoriented, and felt like he had sand in his mouth. He found, seconds later as he spat out hay, that he had been at least partially correct. He had also apparently been stuffed into a coffin during his sleep, because it was difficult to move from where he we was and it was dark.

“Whhhrrgh?” he groaned, feeling a headache thud-thud-thud between his ears.

“You’re awake,” someone observed, and it was suddenly a little less dark, the blanket over his head removeed. Night time, judging by the stars he was staring up at. He looked down, bewildered, and stared questioningly at the boy that was fussing over him.

“Sorry about the hay,” said boy was rambling off. “Prince Elsith was kind of upset when you started snoring and insisted that we do something about it. Rebi, that girl over there,” the teenager pointed at a tattooed girl behind him, “Stuffed hay in your mouth. You did stop, though.”

“Buh?” he answered, incoherent, but already attempting to take their surroundings in. He was in what appeared to be a rather crude, wooden cart being pulled along by two horses, with the teenager fussing over him, a man in the driver’s seat, and the girl next to him. Another man was ahead of the cart, riding on a black stallion, with a white one next to him. He could tell that the teenager was a Japanese student by the clothes, but he was unsure of what the girl and the man were. Dino, of course, noticed the guns.

And then Dino remembered the wish he had asked, the price he could not pay, and the deal he had agreed to in order to get back to his home.

“Is this Autopia?” he asked instead, hoarse, forcing himself to sit up properly, his back screaming in pain at the move. “I’m from the witch. Er. Here to help.”

“Ah, we figured. I’m Watanuki, and that’s Cairre and Rebi. The two in front are Princes Kalien and Elsith.”

Dino tilted his head. “There’s only one guy there.”

“Elsith is the horse,” someone said right behind his ear. Dino yelped and jumped out of the corner of the cart, and yelped again when he realized that the voice belonged to a ghost hovering right behind him.

“WHAT THE--” he yelled, shocked, and went for his whip.

“Oh, for crying out loud. I’m a ghost, not a monster,” Abe groused, and Dino would have attempted to attack him if he hadn’t tripped on the blanket he had discarded and sent himself flying to a couple of jars.

“… Ow.”

“Are you all right?” Watanuki asked worriedly. Dino groaned again, and felt a little offended as the girl scoffed at him and the man, Cairre, was it? Didn’t even so much as look.

“I suppose none of you would be willing to be my subordinate…?” he asked weakly, getting up and slipping on a wet patch on the floor of the cart. “Eurgh.”

“You could introduce yourself,” the ghost remarked, looking distinctly unimpressed. “I’m Abe.”

“Dino Cavallone,” he answered, closing his eyes against momentary pain before gingerly climbing back to his feet. The girl was looking at him now, but he didn’t really care. “Of the Cavallone family,” he added.

“Cavallone, hmm?” the girl purred, manic grin on her face. Did she recognize the name? Was she a part of another mafia family? Could he somehow hire her to be his subordinate for this trip, and prevent him from… probably cracking his head on some boulder and dying without a word to his family?

“Yes,” he said, warily. “Can I talk to the princes?”

“We are here, stranger.” Dino looked up and behind him, and found that the prince on the black stallion had already adjusted his position to trot alongside the cart. The white horse was next to him and was giving Dino a decidedly judging look from his place, however that was possible.

“We?” he echoed. “Where’s the other prince?”

“I am the other prince,” was the sharp voice that rang in his head. The white horse lowered his head to glare at him more effectively.

He paused. “Oh, all right! Very nice to meet you, I am Dino Cavallone from the Cavallone family. The witch has sent me to aid you.”

Elsith snorted and turned to his brother. “I am telling you, brother, we are not getting what we paid for.”

------

The first thing his new, temporary family did as soon as they found out about his… condition regarding klutziness, the lack of men, and the direct relationship of these, was to make sure he did not leave the cart. Kalien had said, very kindly, that it was to keep him safe, because while he was sure Dino would make a formidable ghost, he was bound to be more useful alive and they already had Abe, anyway.

Dino would be offended if he hadn’t found out about the complete lack of medical facilities in Autopia. Kalien assured him that he could heal, but the last thing Dino wanted to do was chance it.

He had to go home, after all.

Still, after the first three hours of their travel, Dino had become so bored of looking around at plain land left, right and everywhere that he took to humming to himself as the cart rolled along. This irritated Rebi to the point of threatening him, though she quickly caught herself and left him alone soon after that. That only confirmed what he suspected: Rebi recognized his name and was probably from a gang somewhere in Asia.

It was then that Watanuki, bless his patient soul, gave out a cry as water erupted from his hands to the ground outside.

“The fuck?” Rebi cursed as she put her guns away from the water. Abe floated over, and the princes turned around to see what the commotion was about. Dino gingerly crawled his way over, managing to not hit anything on the way.

“Watanuki just proved himself capable of magic,” Cairre told them, his usual solemn self. Watanuki looked pleased, though still surprised, and it made Dino wonder what his wish had been, to be sent here. “Now I can teach you all.”

Cairre turned to Dino, then, and the blond smiled uncertainly back. The man hadn’t talked to him the whole time he’d been there, but Dino knew that this was being done for his sake. They probably didn’t know that he could fight. Not that he’d be able to show them.

Still. Him doing magic? SO COOL.

------

Apparently, not everyone could do magic. Watanuki could, but it seemed that Rebi and Abe were not capable of it. Beyond being a ghost, Cairre had explained that Abe was too sensible that he ruined the magic, and Rebi did not seem to have the will for it.

Dino was actually doing best out of the four of them, at least with the tricks. He supposed it helped that he was used to strange things happening around him, with things like dying will bullets and abnormally huge turtles and babies that sent people forward ten years using their bazooka around. Kusakabe’s hair itself was magical. There was nothing he couldn’t imagine.

“Hahaha,” he laughed, juggling water balls and fire balls in his hands, “Watanuki is really good at conjuring kitchen stuff!”

“DON’T LAUGH!” Watanuki screeched, already on his second frying pan and third butcher’s knife. “Anyway, it’s useful! I can cook properly now!” The clay pots had, apparently, ruined all of his attempts at proper soup. Dino didn’t really understand, since he had just been in the process of learning Japanese cuisine when he decided to make that wish. Perhaps he could get Watanuki to teach him, too, and he could surprise Kyouya when he came back.

“This shit sucks,” Rebi was muttering darkly, still attempting to set a rock on fire. “I have plenty of will, goddamnit.”

“I think that just means you’re lazy,” Abe put in. He didn’t look too bothered at being unable to do magic, though he hadn’t looked very pleased to hear that he was exactly like Elsith in that way. Dino was baffled on why this was insulting, because he found the princes relatively fine to interact with. Abe had informed him that it was probably because he had a lot of things in common with them. It hadn’t sounded like a compliment, but Dino couldn’t be sure.

“What’d you say, you dead brat?”

“You’re a slob, that’s all,” Abe replied, looking bored. Dino didn’t know if he was gutsy or if he really didn’t think about his words. Then again, he was a ghost and Rebi couldn’t hurt him.

“D’ya want me to fuck ya up, ya little shit?!” And there it was, the killer in Rebi that Dino had felt since the beginning. She looked frightening, in a way, though he wasn’t too bothered because the girl sorta reminded him of Squalo. It must have been the angry, spitting action. It made him wonder what her wish was, too.

“As if you can,” was the very truthful retort. Rebi made a sound that was a lot like an angry tiger and the small rock in her hand abruptly exploded into smithereens.

They all paused. Rebi made a pleased sound, and shot Abe a smug look.

“Your anger seems to trigger your magic,” Cairre announced quietly, putting the small fire that popped up from the rock pieces out. Dino admired him for his calm, even as he woefully dusted debris off his hair and made his water and fire blobs dance around the edges of the cart.

“Shouldn’t you be teaching us more destructive magic?” Watanuki was a sensible kid, although he tended to yell a lot when someone annoyed him. He was annoyed a lot. Dino supposed that was a good thing, for family to be this comfortable with each other. And it was more fun, definitely, even when the horse came between the lot to scold.

“If you do not believe in destruction, then you will not be able to do it. It is not so easy to kill and destroy with magic.” The magician paused, and looked at Rebi. “There are a few exceptions, though. At any rate, it is better for you to learn magic that you are comfortable with. There is no other way.”

Dino looked down at one of his fire balls and promptly decided to name it Ryohei, sunny as it was. This was very comfortable magic for him, indeed. He’d have to learn some offensive magic, though. Rebi was unreliable if she could only do it when angry, and Watanuki didn’t seem the type to use his kitchen knives for anything of the sort. Temporary as this family might be, Dino already felt strongly about protecting it.

He tossed Ryohei experimentally to a tree. A chunk of it exploded off.

------

Watanuki had explained to him that their direction was dictated by the compass hanging from his neck. It didn’t tell them which route to take or anything useful like that, just the direction of where their goal could be found. So far, they told him, they had been making a beeline for that goal.

“What if it tells you to go off a cliff?” he had asked out of curiosity.

“Then we send ‘ta stupid dead brat to look for another route,” Rebi said, sprawled out at the back of the cart beside him. She didn’t seem too affected by the cold despite being hardly clothed, though he had obliged when she stole his blanket for herself.

“And,” Dino said, looking at the general direction that they were going to, the edges of the forest already starting to loom, “If it’s right into a wall?”

“Same thing, I guess,” Abe muttered, rising higher to see what Dino had seen. “Well. It is a wall. Full of caves.”

Kalien had slowed his horse down to trot beside them again. “Young Watanuki,” he started, and Dino thought that it’s useless to call just some of them young when they all were, by the Summorn standards. How Kalien could be eight-hundred-years-old when his brother was twice his age, though, he didn’t want to know. Old people procreation. Ergh.

The boy took off the compass and set it flat against his palm. The needle quivered with the movement, but remained pointed at the expanse of flat rocky surface ahead of them. The caves gaped like mouths, and Dino felt a shiver run down his spine. Still, the wall seemed too wide for them to go around, and was too tall for them to climb.

“So our destination is the Wall of the Thousand Mouths.”

“It might be beyond it,” Abe interjected, prompting everyone to look at him. “We might just have to go around that. I can check for routes.”

Cairre shifted in his place, and spoke up. “I think what we are looking for is inside the Wall. I cannot be certain, but what I am sure of is that my master spent some time exploring those caves. Many of his creations were made there, until he found the draft bad for his lungs and changed locations.”

Elsith sniffed at the other side of the cart. “Give the compass to me. I shall run some distance around the Wall, and see if the compass will continue pointing beyond it, or at it.”

“We cannot let you go alone, brother!” Kalien cried the same time Cairre said, “No, you must not!”

The horse didn’t look happy. Dino blinked at the sudden conflict. “I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “At least we know if we should chance going in there or not. It’d be better if we could avoid it, but we have to make sure before we do.”

“The Cavallone speaks sense.” Elsith seemed pleased with him for some reason. “I shall return soon, so it is not necessary for you to fret, brother.”

“You could let one of them go with you, though,” Dino suggested kindly. “They’re just worried. Lotsa monsters around.”The look he was given told Dino that Elsith had just readjusted his impression of him. Everyone gave Elsith expectant stares. He buckled.

“Fine,” the horse snapped, and the voice was painfully sharp in his head. “Kalien, I will let you on my back. Stormbringer, I will leave camp to you. Protect everyone while we are gone, we shall be back soon.” The younger prince lost no time and halted his own horse, sliding off and transferring to Elsith quickly, picking the compass up from Watanuki as they passed. He seemed surprised, and Dino realized that it was probably because Elsith had never let anyone on him before.

“Huh,” he said, and chuckled. “He really likes acting tough, huh?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah.”

“Yep.”

“Uh-huh.”

He laughed and swung himself out of the cart, somehow managing to not trip and hit his head anywhere. “I guess we’re setting up camp here for a while?”

“You guys do that.” Abe hovered over him, and Dino could see the trees through his chest. “I’m going to go check what those caves are about. They’re mostly interconnected, I take it?” Cairre nodded. “Right, I’ll see if I can find a good path inside for us.”

Dino playfully ruffled his hair, even if he couldn’t touch anything. Abe automatically dodged his hand. “Be careful, k? You may be a ghost, but there are things that might hurt you!”

“Not in this world,” the boy said grumpily, already floating away. Dino grinned and turned to the horse Kalien left behind, taking it by the reins and tugging it over to the cart. It pawed at the ground but willingly let him pat it on the nose.

------

The princes came back just as Watanuki was serving lunch, Kalien walking aside Elsith and the latter trotting along. Dino was first to notice the smear of blood on the white hide and immediately came over to see.

“What happened?” he asked briskly, running his hand down the marks to look for wounds. There were none, no breaks on the skin at all.

“A wolf came at us and clawed him,” Kalien explained, and Dino could see another streak of red on his temple. “It was a little large and we were in the woods. But it is all right, I slew it and healed him.”

“I was not hurt much,” Elsith put in, irritated. He shrugged Dino’s hands off and moved off to join the others near the cart, but otherwise made no other comments. Dino could hear him already bullying Watanuki to clean his side for him.

“And?” Dino prompted.

“Our target is in the cave,” Kalien answered. Dino noticed that he had not even bothered pretending to not know the question. Some leaders would have avoided answering. “We can leave after we dine, although I think we should prepare some things before diving into the caves. If the Thousand Mouths swallow us, it will not be easy to get back out.”

“Hmm.” They made their way back to the rest of their companions and broke the news. Watanuki and Rebi didn’t seem too affected, though Watanuki started fussing more about packing stuff to bring.

“You will bring nothing.” Cairre had gotten up from his spot near the pots. “It would be harder for us to run if you are burdened by things.”

“Run? Run from what?” Watanuki demanded, panicked.

“I’m sure my master left a lot of obstacles in those caves for anyone seeking to save Autopia.”

“He’s right.” Abe had returned, floating from the distance. “I ran into at least three monsters navigating my way in. And it’s pitch black. I don’t think we can go in without losing a few limbs in the process.”

“There will be a way to light out paths, and we will fight.” Elsith had lowered himself onto his belly to allow Watanuki to reach him without the boy having to strain himself. “I do not see why you fret. You have the best fighter and possibly the best magician in Autopia with you.”

Rebi started laughing, and grinned, fangs looking sharp all of a sudden. “Sounds like fun.”
 
 
 
Lynlynkye_kestrel on November 19th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
... Dino sounds like a daddy. :'D I wonder if the others know that he'd just adopted them? I like your Dino. X3 He's just the right balance of klutzy, caring, Kyoya-centric boss that I think he'd be if he got thrown into another world.
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: <3yukitsu on November 19th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
;;; hahaha, this Dino is so hard to write, I want to hit him with a brick. Thanks~