"Hmph." Behind him Ayla turns away with a brisk shake of her head, keeping her hands to her hips and surveying the crowd of youngsters for all of five seconds. Then, she grins broadly and lets her sparkling gaze slide slowly downward. "You." "Um, me?" The 'smart one' peeks up at her through thick lenses rather like those sported by Lucca, his tiny eyes blinking behind these. "I'm not much of a sholdjer..." he glances to one side, voice adopting a whiny tone, but the cavegirl's having none of it. A hand raises, finding the boy's head, then twitches him to the side and around her, the second hapless child hitting the floor with a light thump - landing on his back right beside the fallen sword. "Your turn, you smart.. now be strong! Impress Ayla!"
Zarek chuckles "Oh a hero now? Well, if she's a hero, listen to what she has to say." He says, looking over to the cavegirl, his grin leaving "Just don't follow her dress code, Miriam would not approve, no she wouldn't." He says, twirling his cane before setting it on his side "Back to your fighting, little boy. I believe you'll need the help." He says, a friendly, if unsettling grin returning.
The boy blinks up at Zarek, considering his words for a moment. "You reckon?" He finally says quietly, all but breathing the words as he shuffles his feet and then looks back towards Ayla. "I guess.. but she doesn't seem all that heroic, I mean.. you'd think she'd have a sword, y'know?" He sighs again and folds his arms across his chest, falling quiet and watching. He'll be back to his fighting alright. He wouldn't let himself do anything less!
For the last few moments the group of youngsters have been muttering among themselves, and those of particularly astute vision might note various goods changing hands. Sweets, toys, even small amounts of money. Giggling breaks out throughout the posse, as eyes are subsequently turned to the nerdy child who is now hauling himself to his feet with a long sigh of exertion, one fumbling hand finding the wooden sword's hilt and the other lifting to adjust his glasses once he's upright. "Well, okay, but I won't do ash well ash Shaun did. He'sh the strongest boy in the whole village!" Beady eyes widen as he says this, staring up towards the cavegirl's mostly bare back.
"He not seem so strong, not like children of Ayla village..." the reply comes thoughtfully this time, Ayla glancing sidelong towards the wannabe and his new friend, sliding up and down his relatively athletic frame. Relative that is.. to the current challenger, whose build typifies an utter lack of exercise. "You do just as good!" The blonde woman proclaims with a nod, her booted feet digging in to the grass to propel her into a spin, her 'tail' riding off her shoulder with the momentum and slipping down onto the ground behind her as she once again sinks into a ready position. "Teacher always tell Ayla that even little ones strong when protect something important. You have important thing?"
Zarek twirls about suddenly, as the king approacheth, steadying his bowler with his right hand, as his other swings his cane about with him. Oh, just that figurehead of some kind. He's not of any importance to Zarek... yet at least. And promptly shrugs the king's arrival off. After all, tis guy's not -his- king. Oh, he's going off to the woman in slutty garb... Maybe he's off to see his mistress..." Oh my." He says, leaving whatever he was thinking in his head. Uh oh. The King's here!
Cue plenty of guilty gulps and sidelong glances in the group of kids. One of them even pipes up above those with less guilty consciences who decide to wave and call Crono's name, a girl with eyes wide and full of tears, "I DIDN'T DO-" her cry ends in a 'mmmff' as a friend claps a hand over her mouth, dragging her down behind a pair of waving boys. "Look! It's the King!" They call, smiling happily. Well... not -all- kids are miscreants. Shaun for his part turns abruptly, not joining either faction but instead straightening up to one side of Zarek, his moccasined feet clapping together and his right hand lifting to his forehead in a smart salute as the other hangs perfectly vertical at his side. His chest puffed out, he does his best to resemble a future soldier of Guardia. Again, there's always one...
Ayla's reaction is cut off in a similar manner to the young girl's, because as she blinks and relaxes enough to turn away from the field of honour her enforced challenger gasps and dashes forward in a rather pathetic attempt at a charge, slipping and sliding on the grass. "Crono!" The cavegirl calls out, grinning broadly, but then.. his words register, and she glances towards the group. "Ayla was ju-"
Yep. Cue the cutoff, as the small nerdish body smashes into her right flank and sends her stumbling a couple of paces to the left, the now-startled heroine looking down with wide blue-gray eyes at the creature now flattened against her, glasses mashed against his face and lips curled into a pained grimace. Like running into a rock wall? You bet... "Um.. we training..." Ayla finishes lamely, tentatively lifting a hand to poke at the side of the child's head. If ever there was a time for birdies and stars, it would be now!
Crono blinks as he watches the boy run helplessly into the imobile blonde warrior. As she speaks he mearly nods his head, "...I see... Doing a good job of it too, obviously..." His sarcasm seems lost in his astonishment for the dazed attacker. Meanwhile his faithful guards, ever watchfull for their duties, begin to look over the cane weilding stranger trying to decide if he could be a threat to the king or not...
Zarek watches the ongoings with meager interest, until the young boy plows headlong into the harlotty one. A grin crosses the man's face. Clutching his bowler in amusement, the grin begins to give off a sound... A slight chuckle, which grows into a good long, laugh... Okay... Okay, now it wasn't THAT funny... Still, he laughs, finding obscene amusement for whatever reason at the young lad's taking the cavegirl by surprise "Oh how quaintly amusing." He says, his laughing fit finally drawing to an end.
Ayla loses the sarcasm as well, though this has less to do with any circumstance and more to do with... well, the obvious issue. The pneumatic blonde shakes her head sadly in response to Crono, "Children of village not like Ioka.. Ayla think we need lots more training." Offering a shrug she then glances back to the stunned boy, this time bringing both hands across and half pushing, half peeling him away. When the cavegirl releases his weight, he falls onto his rear with a *whumpf*, pausing to rub at his head and draw in a few deep breaths. "You no protect important person if hurt self." His instructor offers sagely, straightening up and adjusting the furs at her flank, meanwhile sending a sharp glare towards Zarek. This is a serious matter! How are the children supposed to hunt and survive if they can't fight properly? "Hmph." Her presentation once more perfect, Ayla now bends to scoop up the sword still gripped tightly in the boy's hand, "You practice before next lesson. Beat Ayla then, okay?" Swinging the toy weapon she sets off over to the group, looking them over with a critical eye and resting the blade on her shoulder. Any further lesson is interrupted as just behind and to one side of Zarek, little Shaun gasps and collapses onto his knees, desperately struggling to retain his salute as he huffs in as much air as possible.
Crono blinkblinks at Shaun in confusion. Suddenly he recognises it vaugly and sweatdrops. Walking over to the boy and knealing down he quietly says, "At ease..." Ruffling the boys hair he smirks, "I guess Ayla here forgot to tell you it's important to remember to breath when going into battle, even if it's just training..." Standing up once again he laughs and makes his way over to Ayla again, "Get tired of the castle too, huh? I was wondering where you'd run off to this morning..."
Zarek turns about to note the boy's seeming plight of lack of oxygen. "Oh, is the little child going to be a soldier?" He says, looking from the king to his guards "Well, I certainly hope THESE soldiers know to at least breathe when saluting." He says, a bit cruelly, but by the tone of his voice, it wasn't intentional. A quick twirl of his cane, and the man sets off towards a patch of flowers nearby "o/~ Flowers, flowers. o/~" He says, singsong as he remembers his purpose for being here.
Biggs stares at the strange man with his jaw hanging open. Wedge elbows him and shakes his head, "Seems like a nice man to me." Biggs glares, "He just insulted the royal guard!" Wedge rolls his eyes and taps him on ths shoulder, "You've said worse." Biggs sighs and nods, "Yeah.. but still..."
Shaun tries not to wince as the hand of the man he admires so much comes down upon his already-tousled brown hair, the tangled mess coming half free of its short ponytail as the ruffling is done. But the message is one he needed to hear, and a relieved grin smears itself over his lips, "Th-thankyou.. *gasp*... s-sir!" He reaffirms the salute to the departing Crono, then sets both hands to the floor and shoves himself back up to his feet, subsequently looking sidelong at Zarek, the grin gaining a distinct touch of pride. "Yeah, he's gonna..." the future warrior pauses his explanation as the cane-twirler wanders off, and with a quick embarassed glance to the nearby soldiers he makes a short dash to catch up, "He's gonna be my boss, one day!"
Meanwhile, the class of youngsters has fallen silent in the prescence of two of the legendary heroes, feet shuffling and grins almost as embarassed as Shaun's directed towards the grassy floor. Ayla looks notably amused at this, and tilts her chin up as she turns towards Crono, noticeably revelling in the apparent awkward admiration. "Mm hm," she replies, glancing sidelong towards the group and gesturing with her free hand - the other still holding the shoddy wooden sword to her shoulder. "Castle big yawn, Ayla get bored.. see nice day, and think to go out. But... what to do? So," she shrugs and turns away, facing the group now and lifting her hand in another sweeping gesture, "Ayla think of having class. Got much to teach, and Truce children need know how to fight."
Crono nods as if knowingly then shrugs, "Why...? You think they got something to worry about with me in charge?" With a grin he guestures around, "Come on, we fixed things, remember? What have they got to fear aside from eating too many sweets?"
Zarek stoops over, resting his cane on his shoulder as he begins to pick "Oh, so you are going to work for him? Hmm Hmm, Miriam would be proud of your ambitions, she would. Well, little boy, your dreams are grand. So tell me-" >rip< up goes a pretty flower, as he bundles them "-How many people will you kill for your king? Countless? Will you be a brave warrior and slay everyone your leige orders you to?" He says, a bit of excitement in his voice... O-kay, maybe it's time to call the moms.
Ayla blinks, her prideful air diminishing. Her head tips to one side thoughtfully, gaze finding one of the smaller girls in the crowd. "Um... Ayla think there always need to fight. If no fight, then how survive when something else happen? We solve things, but Ayla sure Ioka find new enemy and so Truce too, one day." She looks up with a nod and a bright smile, as if this was something positive and not the blatantly negative prophecy it sounds to be. "Besides," a pause. The is sword lowered from the cavegirl's shoulder and she hands it off towards a pair of grasping hands at the front of the gathering; a toddler, barely old enough to be in school at all, who grips the makeshift blade in both grubby hands and stares at it wide-eyed, biting down on her lip. Patting the little one once upon the head, Ayla then promptly spins to face Crono, feet coming together below her and arms spreading to either side in what for all the world looks like a glamour pose. "It fun!"
Shaun listens to Zarek with boundless enthusiasm, shifting from one foot to the other and watching intently as flowers are yanked up from the soil. As the bowler-hatted man reaches the end of his speech, a little awkwardness has come riding back and the boy lifts a hand to scratch at the top of his head, blinking slowly. "Er.. sure, I guess... but I mean... only bad people, y'know?" There's the briefest of pauses before he grins and punches the air, hopping up and down, "Yeah! Bad people who dare to defy King Crono and who wanna hurt all the villagers. They'll call me Sir Shaun an'.. I'll protect 'em all, with my sword and armour and..." he tails off, waving his hands frantically and forcing himself to settle down, arms slowly coming to rest tightly across his chest. "Yeah. I'll kill a lotta people, but they'll deserve it I guess."-The sword is c.c
Crono shakes his head at Ayla and then sighs as he hears the boy speak. Turning to face Shaun, the red-haired king comments, "No one deserves it... but some times you gotta do things for the greater good. There's alot of things I wish I could change, but if I could things would be worse." Shrugs, "It's just knowing what you need to do that's important. Even if it's not what you want to do..." Adjusting his crown he sighs and then takes it off, putting it in a pouch on his belt. On his head beneath the crown, he wears his lucky bandana as always. Pushing it up slightly he grins at Ayla, "...and yeah, could be fun.... or you could just come after me.... you think I like sitting up there doing nothing all day. Come on, Ayla! Winner buys a round of drinks, what'cha think?"
Zarek grins, jerking a thumb at the king as he leans in to the boy "See, kingly fancy types say stuff like that allt he time. You go on saying what you told me, and you'll be a fine soldier!" he says, grinning again... still with that unsettling grin. Looking over the flowers, he smells them "Ahh, perfect for the dinner table, Miriam will be happy." He says, offering the flowers to the boy "Care to smell them?"
Shaun barely stifles a gasp as he garners a response from the young king. The little wannabe is unable to stop himself from noticeably straightening though, his moccasins clapping together for the second time and his back going straight as a ramrod. "Th-that's what I meant, your majesty... but.. but sometimes you don't have a choice, right? Right." He nods as this is affirmed and looks to Zarek with a proud smile, which promptly fades with the words he hears, "But... oh. Um, sure." He takes a brief sniff of the flowers, though clearly not interested overly as he continues to chatter away, "So whadda you do? You're a soldier? Is Miriam your boss, like King Crono's gonna be mine? Coz.. one day he will be..."
'One day' is right; the scamp is six or seven if he's a day. But he can dream... something his nerdy companion doesn't seem to be doing, as with his breath finally regained he's slinking off towards the back of the class, sending brief looks towards Ayla with an uncertain grimace. Some homework to be set... Ayla doesn't notice him, too busy flickering her attention back and forth amongst the conversationalists. Zarek gets a rather odd glance, considering all he's been saying. The cavegirl seems to have a bit of suspicion there, and might even be contemplating pursuing this line of things, until Crono catches her attention with something far more appealing... her eyes flash and she breaks from her pose - yep, retained all this time - to punch the air with both hands and leap back into a half-crouch, looking at the floor as she does but quickly turning her gaze up to her old travelling companion with a game grin and her hands clenching to fists, "Crono want fight Ayla? Sound good, but Crono better have money this time." A little mischief creeps into her expression. Well, well. Who's she been talking to?
Crono stares in confusion at the money comment and then sweatdrops, "Yeah, yeah... I got money...." With a sigh his hand goes to the sword at his side, "So, how serious we gonna be? All the way, or just practice?" With a wicked grin he pushes the top of the sword out of it's sheath revealing the pearl looking blade within. "I'd assume all the way, huh?"
Shaun blinks several times, watching slightly stunned as Zarek walks away. So he'll have to ask his questions another time, but.. well, his curiosity can be considered piqued, the boy unable to do much more than stand there and scratch his head for the moment.
A castle guard in the back of the room watches intently...
Ayla glances towards the departing Zarek only briefly, before her attention's back on Crono, the cavegirl keeping her position halfway to the floor. "Crono know answer already! Ayla only play with little ones, when we fight, we be strong!" Her blue-gray eyes slide sidelong to the group, and a hand lifts to motion them back, "Dummies clear way, we watch real fight now. And learn!" With that said, the crowd of staring youngsters beginning to shuffle nervously back, the fur-clad woman sinks onto all fours and propels herself in a light bound away from Crono, making her way up to the very edge of the cliff before turning around and bouncing up to her feet, beckoning him on with one hand as she tosses her hair with the other. "Crono come when ready!"
Crono, drawing his sword, drops into an attacking stance. ...but is cut off as his two guards jump in his way. "What?" He demands. Biggs throws up his arms, "Sir, we can not allow you to be in danger." Wedge nods in agreement, "Yes sir, this is not an activity befitting a King." Crono groans and locks his eyes on Ayla while guesturing she come help him out with a nod of his head... oO(Now while they're distracted she could just....)
Ayla hesitates, both hands trailing down to hang at her side as she watches the two guards interrupt. She blinks once.. twice... and a third time, before Crono's gesture registers and a smirk turns up one side of her mouth. "Oh, dummies..." the pneumatic cavegirl sighs as she sets off back down the slope at a loping stride, covering the distance back towards Crono. "Crono chief of Truce, and chief do what -want-!" The last comes with a note of urgency as she springs into a pouncing leap, landing with a foot braced on the shoulder of either guard. Bending over them, a bright smile is offered as Ayla's hands find the sides of their heads and...
...bring them sharply together. "You sleep now!" The heroine of time hops down and dusts off her hands, before bracing them to her hips and sending a triumphant grin towards Crono over the falling forms of the two guards. Good enough?
Piette leans against the wall, as if the last thing he would do is get involved in that situation...
Crono grins manicly as he watches the two guards drop to the ground. "Thanks! Now, where were we?" Stepping aside from the unconcious guards, the King holds his sword out before him as once again he adopts an attacking stance. As he clutches the blade tightly accross his chest the blade begins to shine brightly as if burning from some unseen energy. As the light reflects off the blade it seems to burst into thousands of colors. Yes, the legendary Rainbow Sword in all it's glory. "Should I go first, or you?" Apparently he's chosen to ignore the surprised looks of the children standing around him..."Wooooah!" Not one child, but nigh-on all of them lift their voices in this single chorus at the sight of the irridescent blade. Shaun doesn't join in, but he does snap his attention to the blade, dark green eyes all but bursting from their sockets at the spectacle. It's a big enough deal to have -the king- here, but... the legendary sword? Even for those dead set against this class to begin with, this is a treat.
Ayla just offers a shrug, scratching at the top of her head and pouting a little in thought, glance sliding this way and that. "Hm... Ayla think..." she clicks her tongue, hand lowering from her head to find an accustomed place on her hip. Finally she reaches a decision, and smiles, suddenly springing back into a deft backflip, tail twisting around in the air behind as she springs off her hands and flips over to land at the cliff's edge. Her former starting point. This time she's less casual, sinking into her customary stance with both powerful hands balled to fists and held around her form, blue-gray eyes reflecting the light from the Rainbow Blade as she rivets her attention back onto the young king. "Crono go first!"
Piette narrows his eyes in an unsucsesful attempt to discern something more...