3 Want to use me?
Three figures were walking in the woods bathed by the moon light. An mid-age man with a very strong build wearing a silver armor, a very thin young-man with a tired expression and a confused little boy walking among then. Marceus and Daren were in the middle of delivering the boy back to the village when The thin lad broke the silence.
"I feel different..."
"... Different how?"
"When we were fighting the spirit... I felt like some kind of energy was covering me... And now Its gone..."
"Oh, that was me. Don't worry about it."
"What do you mean you?"
"While you were wearing me, i was wearing you. Your strength was my strength and my power was your power. The way you were fighting back then... You could never accomplish that by yourself."
"I see... So you can basically make anyone invincible."
"Well... I wouldn't say invincible... I can only boost what was already there. Even with my help i don't think i can make an ant defeat a rhino... It's like if any limitation that could possibly hold you back gets removed."
"... And such an amazing power had to fall on someone like you?"
"Oh trust me, there are much worse options than me out there ha ha."
The little boy stayed quietly while following these two strangers, not knowing what he was supposed to say or do.
"Is that so... I guess that's true... When we first met you looked just like another coward trying to make a name by killing a wanted monster."
"As if a coward would have the never to go up against a wanted monster..."
"But i guess you're not such a bad guy after all..."
"Is that the best you can say to the one who helped solve your long-life grudge? I'm not bad at all? Is that how you treat your friends?"
"We are friends...?"
"How rude!! You make me chase you for four months without even saying a word, dump all your problems on me, spent the night with me in the middle of the woods, went inside of me, used me to satisfy yourself, buried me in mud, and now that you are done you just wanna act like a stranger? What kind of man are you? No wonder your wife left you..."
"What are you saying?? Seriously what's wrong with you? I'm trying to see you in a new light and you just keep spouting nonsense after nonsense! Do you enjoy mocking me that much? And my wife didn't leave me she was killed!!"
"Here i was thinking you were different from the others but you were just after my body after all... You don't care one bit about my feelings..."
"Stop talking! Please just stop talking!! The boy is going to get weird ideas!"
"Listen boy whose name i forgot to ask for, when you grow up don't be like this skinny player. When you find someone you care about make sure you treat her with respect and care!"
"... Ok sir..."
Daren was about to go on another rant when he realized this was the first time he heard the boy talk.
"Kid, you're not scared...?"
"I... I was... But you two talk just like my parents so i thought you weren't as weird as i thought."
Daren started to think about it and he realized that as annoying as Marceus was he does make it easy to talk to. Rather, he seems to have a natural talent to start a conversation and keep it going. Daren had spent so much time as a beast hunting the spirit that he doesn't even remember the last time he talked so much with someone.
"So Daren, i have a proposal to you."
"Sir are you gonna ask him to marry you?"
Daren's body became stiff for a second. He really wanted to deliver this kid back to the village already before he got any more ideas.
"Huh... No kid, proposal don't always have to be about marriage. They can also be offers to strike a deal with someone. I'm sure that that's what he has in mind."
"Oh... i see."
"So Daren, i want you to be my life-long partner from now on!"
Daren started to gasp as if someone had punched him in the stomach. The boy looked at him with a proud smile as if saying "Ha! Called it!" while patting the young thin man in the back.
"... I think we should stop talking for now..."
"Say sir knight... You sure you want someone like this guy to be your husband?"
"Yeah i wonder about that myself... He doesn't look very faithful does he? He probably would cheat on me on the first chance he got."
"I'm going to bury you... I'm going to dig the deepest hole i can and i will bury you there so no one can find you... "
"Oh my, Daren! You really hate the idea of me being with someone else that much? Ok you convinced me! I'll take you after all!"
The sun had finally appeared and the village along with the knights were enjoying a commemorative meal in celebration of the beast problem finally being solved. Many were still afraid of Daren despite Marceus expressing he would not harm anyone but the damage was already done.
"Come to think of it... Why didn't you bring these guys with us last night?"
"What's that Daren? Am i not good enough for you? Ha ha. Jokes aside, i don't think a bunch of guys with swords swinging blindly after a invisible enemy would be a good idea. Besides... That was your prey wasn't it? Would you have felt good if someone else had took it?"
"I suppose so... For a knight you really put others felling before you huh? Anyone else would have just killed me on the first chance..."
"Oh I'm not a knight. I'm a mercenary."
"Oh... But that armor..."
"This? I made this myself. Protection for me and my friends."
"If you join us i can make one for you too."
"Pass... My skin is harder than any armor."
"True... I could feel your skin last night, you were indeed very hard!"
Many of the villagers started to spit their food when they heard that but for Daren's surprise Marceus teammates looked rather calm. Being friends with that weirdo they probably had already heard that kind of joke many times by now.
"You really don't stop do you...?"
"But you make so many good openings! I think i could write a book on ways to mock you just from our little adventure last night alone! Imagine what i could come up with if you joined our group!"
Suddenly the teammates started to take glances at the two. It seems like that topic had grabbed their attention.
"You mean that weird proposal from before...?"
"You see Daren these guys are not just mercenaries, they are also candidates!"
"Candidates for what...?"
"For using me of course!"
"... Using you... You say..."
"Everyone here has some kind of hidden talent just like you beast form. Adrian over here can manipulate the wind which allows her to cut anything as far as her eyes can see and move with tremendous speed! Bastion can turn into a creature with four arms, allowing him to cover any possible weak spot when covered my power. Coren can levitate things for short periods of time which allows me to pretty much fly around everywhere."
Daren started to pay attention to the candidates as Marceus kept describing them. He suddenly realized that he was eating in a table full of really extraordinary individuals, and it seemed like each one had a unique way of using Marceus in his weapon form. More and more he kept realizing that he really could have died last night if he had made a mistake. He felt glad he didn't engage in battle.
"And then there is you! A guy that can turn into a really ugly faced creature with tremendous strength, speed and defense!"
Daren realized that he had stopped listening for a second while lost in his own thoughts and missed the chance to listen to the powers of more than half of the candidates.
"But... Do you even need me by this point...? I think you could conquer a country with the people gathered here alone..."
"I told you, these guys are candidates! I'm looking for the right person to wield my power."
Daren suddenly felt like his life was in grave danger. These people weren't friends... They were rivals, competing for the right to use the living weapon. If he joined he would become their rival, their enemy. Half of then had abilities that could prove a great challenge if they decided to attack him, and the other half he didn't even know what their abilities were because he got distracted.
"I... Think I'll pass..."
"You don't want my power? You don't want me?"
"I want nothing to do with you to be honest... Ever since we met you either mocked me, angered me or weirded me out..."
The candidates started to make faces as if they could sympathize with his complaint. Daren started to wonder what the daily life with this guy was like for them.
"You felt good, didn't you?"
Daren was shocked when one of the candidates started talking as well. It was Adrian from before, the wind user girl.
"When we first saw you, you looked completely dead inside. You mentioned the deaths of your loved ones without a single sign of pain or anger... You were probably fighting that spirit for so long that you were just moving by instinct by that point. Even if you had killed him i don't think you would have felt any satisfaction."
"But i did kill it! And i feel much better now!"
"Yeah, but after meeting Marceus."
This time Coren was the one speaking.
"You may have felt like he was just making fun of you but every time he mocked you and teased you you would slowly start to show more and more reactions. You went from someone who just wanted to end everything to someone who wanted to win!"
Daren was confused for a moment. All Marceus had done was anger him non-stop. Could it be he was actually trying to re-awaken his anger before the fight? If he had defeated the spirit before... Would he have felt any joy? Was Marceus honesty trying to help him remember how to feel?
"You guys... Why are you trying to convince me to join you? Do you want more competition?"
"Competition? We just want to see the living weapon at it's peak!"
Coren answered again.
"We all want to see what it's like when the strongest weapon is used by the strongest warrior! If you can do that for us then we will gladly welcome you!"
Marceus started to speak again.
"So what do you say Daren? Wanna find out if you are the one who can use me the best?"
Daren didn't know what to say. This annoying weird man that he barely knew had in one night managed to solve many of his inner demons. He said before that he had seen every story already, he probably was used to seeing through people and knowing how to help them. If Daren decided to join this amazing group of people he could probably help many more lives as well.
"Marceus why do you want a partner?"
"I want someone who can help me eliminate all the evil from the world! People talk all the time about bringing world peace and ending wars and conflicts and creating an era of nothing but prosperity. I feel like i wanna try that too!"
"You wanna try that too... "
Daren was baffled with how this person could talk about bringing world peace as if he was talking about trying to eat something. "I hear strawberry pie is better than orange pie, i wanna try that too!" is what it sounded like.
"I feel like it's going to be a pain..."
"Don't worry... I'll take care of you ha ha!"
Thus a new member was added to Marceus already extremely bizarre amalgamation of individuals.