Author’s Note: And now we’re at Coy’s third “Memory”, only two more to go. I don’t have too much to say on this on in particular, but I hope it’s not too bad. Anywho, please enjoy?
It was at least seven in the morning when I heard a knock at the door. Normally I’m already awake, but Zeke and DJ wanted me to stay up longer and drink with them. It reminded me why I only associate with those two during work hours. I may had been feeling groggy, but I got to the door and opened it by a crack with the chain still locked.
“Excuse me, I am Captain Cecilia D. Flamenco of her holiness Francesca III’s elite guard. This is Mr. Coy’s dwelling, yes?” (Cecilia)
From what I saw, she had short blonde hair in a pixie-cut. Her eyes were blue and cold, this was someone who had seen conflict. She had a mole just below the left side of her lips. Her attire was mainly white, from her long-boots to her mantle, tunic, and gloves. The bottom of her tunic made up a short skirt, and she had an ornate broadsword hanging from her belt on her left. The hilt and guard formed a crucifix with the scabbard when it was sheathed. She only wore chain-mail on her upper half. Her white leather gloves and long-boots had pieces of silver plating sewn into them. The white tunic was made of wool and had a golden crucifix stitched to the front with the vertical line going across her left breast. The cloak was some kind of silk.
“I’m Coy. Just let me undo the chain lock and I’ll let you in.”
I closed the door to do it and signaled both DJ and Zeke to get up after throwing water on them. They didn’t like it, but realized why when I whispered that the pope’s guard were here. After letting Cecilia in, I got a better look at her underlings. They wore the same attire, but they all had longer hair and their broadswords were less ornate. After checking on the princess, Cecilia came up to me.
“Do you have a place were we can dress the princess?” (Cecilia)
“Just use the bedroom.”
She headed back to the bathroom and I saw her underlings carry Abby to the bedroom. Then two more guards came in. One had a wheelchair and another had a blue dress in her hands. I could only assume that having a topless mermaid in the pope’s parade would not be good in the public’s eyes. After a bit, one of them was wheeling Abby our way.
“Mr. Coy, how do I look?” (Abby)
The dress was short-sleeved and frilly. She was also wearing long blue gloves made from the same material. Even though her tail was visible from the bottom of the dress, she looked like a human princess.
“It suites you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Coy. I’ll see you in the crowds of the parade later.” (Abby)
After that, she had the guard wheel her out of there. Cecilia was the last one to leave. But before she did, she slapped me hard enough to knock me to the ground. DJ and Zeke were about to draw their revolvers, but I signaled them to stop before getting back up.
“What the hell was that for?”
“I don’t like your kind.” (Cecilia)
“Why you racist little…”
“That’s not what I meant.” (Cecilia)
“Then what the hell?”
“I don’t like criminals. Especially ones who would keep a royal princess in a bathtub at such a rundown place.” (Cecilia)
“Hey, it wasn’t my idea!”
“I don’t care. Personally, I think you and those other two should be cut down where you stand. However, her holiness wants to thank you herself. Insects like you don’t even deserve to breath the same air as her. Hopefully, I will never have to see your insect faces again.” (Cecilia)
With that, she left. After getting both DJ and Zeke calmed down, I had them go to their own homes and bathe. They complied and took the new suites that Walton gave us. I on the other hand had to drain my tub and wash it out as the princess was there for a few days. When it was cleaned, I filled it up at a decent temperature and finally got my first bath in what felt like forever.
“Man… this feels good…”
After a bit of soaking, I grabbed my shampoo. The bottle was nearly empty, so I would have to buy some later. But man did I love the scent of lavender. When my hair was done, I used what was left on my tail. It had been a while since I did some maintenance on it, it was starting to mat up. After I did some scrubbing on what wasn’t covered in fur, I got out and shook myself dry. I finished the rest of the job with a towel and headed straight for the bedroom.
“Those damn guards…”
The bed was still wet from when they set Abby on it earlier. You would think that they would had at least placed a towel down first? There was nothing I could do about it but let nature take it’s course. So I put on some fresh underwear and socks before putting on my new zoot suit. I liked how Walton made sure that the pants were custom fitted for my tail. For the shirt, my usual choice of light blue. I looked in the mirror as I put on my black tie for the first time.
“Man, I look good.”
Before leaving, I put on my fedora as it complimented the suit. It was agreed that we would be wearing them today. All that was left was to eat some bread and grab my keys. I did keep the place locked when not at home after all.
As I walked towards the parade route, things were looking good. But then… he showed up. It was Lobo, a wolf half-man. Like me, he had golden eyes. However, his hair and tail were a dark gray. Not to mention he had more muscle tone. And… he was almost eight feet tall! His attire was a vest that went down to his knees of brown fur that was made from a bear he killed with matching bands on his wrists, brown wool pants, and black leather boots that the tops were tucked under his pants. He never wore a shirt, but had bandages wrapped around his abdominal. Not to mention that he keeps a large hunting knife hanging from the back of his belt.
“Well if it isn’t lil’ Coy?” (Lobo)
“Is that the way to greet your friend?” (Lobo)
Friend? Yeah… right. Fiend is a better description. He is known as the town delinquent, the guy who is always picking fights or challenging people to contests of strength.
“Look Lobo, I don’t want any trouble. I just wanna get a good spot at the parade.”
“That stupid little thing? What’s so great about the pope coming to town anyway?” (Lobo)
Yeah, I forgot that he isn’t a follower of the Deity. The only thing he believes in is strength.
“Don’t tell me you forgot the reason she’s in town?”
“I don’t care about it, I think a parade for her is a waste of time and space.” (Lobo)
Time to play on his ego.
“Isn’t she looking for the Hero to lead the charge against the Demon Realm? I thought you would be interested in a fight with the Devil King… but I was wrong.”
“Wait a minute… the strongest of the whole Demon Realm?” (Lobo)
He took the bait.
“Yeah, the strongest. But only the pope can choose the Hero.”
“How does the Hero get selected?” (Lobo)
“I forgot, but Boss Walton knows. He’ll be at the parade grounds to watch. Wanna come with me?”
It was a bad choice of words, but I really didn’t know how and I didn’t want to get into a fight with Lobo of all people.
“Sure. But first… a drink at Stony’s.” (Lobo)
Before I could get away, he already had one of his massive hands on my shoulder. I had no choice but to accompany him. It’s not like he drinks a lot, but everyone in Anthill Bay knows that he has a thing for Clair. So he takes any chance he gets to stop by Stony’s Tavern.
When we got there, he lead me to a table. Not too long, a familiar cow half-man came to take our orders. Clair wasn’t too much shorter than me, but man did she have a rack. She had brown hair that was curly and went down to her back, but always kept it in a ponytail. She had little horn stubs on her head as she is a cow. Unlike me and Lobo who have canine ears at the top of our heads, her cow ears were on the sides of her head like a human. Both them and her nose had hoop rings. Her tail was brown with patches of white. As for her clothing, she wore a cream colored short-sleeved dress shirt that had to be tied together due to her ‘bounciness’, a short denim skirt, and brown rancher’s boots.
“What will it be, boys?” (Clair)
“A large ale.” (Lobo)
“Aren’t you going to drink a real man’s drink?” (Lobo)
“Sorry, but I have a busy day after the parade. I don’t need to be drunk.”
“Still being Walton’s lapdog?” (Lobo)
I hated when he called me that. Just because I’m a canine half-man under Walton’s employ don’t make me a lapdog.
“Well sorry if I actually have responsibilities.”
“That’ll be one large ale and one iced tea.” (Clare)
She immediately left. I couldn’t blame her, I wouldn’t want to be around either.
“So what’s so important that you can’t drink?” (Lobo)
“Not allowed to say.”
“Do I have to beat it out of you? I don’t even understand how you can work under that human.” (Lobo)
“Hey, he pays.”
“He may pay, but I can’t believe that you became a lapdog.”
Now he’s done it.
“I’m nobody’s lapdog!”
“Then prove it. Let’s arm wrestle. You win, I’ll drop it. I win, you must spill everything. Also, loser pays.” (Lobo)
I was getting looks from the few other patrons in the Tavern. No one would blame me if I were to just give up, but Lobo would not leave me alone if I were to walk away. He would be calling me stuff like ‘Fangless fleabag’ and such. I didn’t have a choice, I could still save face by taking the challenge. Losing is better than not trying at all in this case.
“Fine, let’s go to the barrel.”
The barrel is a metal drum filled with concrete that Stony had in the tavern for arm wrestling. It was due to the amount of tables that Lobo broke in arm wrestling matches. We each took a side, though he had to kneel due to his height. By the looks of things, I would surely lose. His hand freaking covered mine for crying out loud. But as usual, Clair was the referee for the event.
“Lobo vs. Coy. On your marks… get set… go!” (Clair)
Immediately I put all my strength into my right arm. Lobo is left handed, but he prefers to to use his right as there’s normally no one strong enough to take him. However, it wasn’t over in an instant like I thought it would be. I was actually holding my own against Lobo in an arm wrestling match. I could see the surprise in his eyes as I started to gain ground on him. I didn’t understand it, but I put all my force into slamming my arm. Lobo went flying and crashed through a table.
“What the hell…” (Lobo)
“For the first time ever, Lobo loses! Coy wins!” (Clair)
Clair raised my hand and the silence turned into cheers. I was dumbstruck with what happened. And I was a little scared when Lobo came up to me.
“Coy… when did you get so strong?” (Lobo)
“I don’t know…”
“It doesn’t matter, that is the most fun that I’ve had in ages. Congratulations, you win!” (Lobo)
He then slapped me on the back, but I didn’t mind. I did the impossible.
“In that case, you’re also paying for that table.”
“I don’t mind. Shame that I don’t get to know what you’re doing after the parade, but hell. I finally have an equal in strength!” (Lobo)
I didn’t like where this was going. But I did enjoy the iced tea, especially since I didn’t have to pay for it. After a bit of Lobo flirting with Clair, we left for the parade route. Well… that was after Clair had to close the place for the parade. She came with us, riding on Lobo’s shoulders as per her request. I was a little embarrassed being around them, and a little jealous because his head got to be in between those nice thighs.
When we reached the parade grounds, I was greeted by DJ, Zeke, and Walton. I had to explain that Lobo caught me on my way here. Not too long later, Lobo finally asked about the selection process.
“You mean how the Hero get’s chosen? Her holiness wears a special ring. The stone is called ‘The Deity’s Tear’. The closer it get’s to the one chosen by the Deity, the brighter it glows. That’s the reason that everyone’s here, to see if it will glow.” (Walton)
“That’s it? A little sad as everything’s about strength! But I’m sure that if the Hero is in this town, that it’s me.” (Lobo)
“Calm down, boyo. There’s a greater chance that it’s no one here.” (Zeke)
“And not to burst your bubble, but our race doesn’t exactly have the best track record of being selected.”
I had to say it. Even though it made me, Lobo, and Clair all sad, it was true. It had been at least a thousand years since a half-man got to be chosen.
There wasn’t much time for sadness as the crowds started to cheer. I looked and saw it starting. First was Cecilia and her underlings on horseback, which made me mad. All I could feel was pissed off for earlier this morning. And then, her holiness’s open carriage. I could see Abby sitting next to her, waving at the masses. But when she saw me, I could see her pointing me out.
“Wait… you know the princess?” (Clair)
“Long story that I’m not allowed to talk about.”
Before things could get even more complicated with the issue of how I knew Abby, a new commotion happened. I could see the ring on the pope’s waving hand, it was starting to glow. That meant the Hero really was in Anthill Bay.
“Stop the carriage!” (Francesca)
The parade stopped and Cecilia herself dismounted to help her holiness from the open-topped carriage. Everyone in the crowd was silent in respect for her holiness. As she stepped down from the carriage, I got a better view. Other than her pope robes, I noticed her face. She looked too young to have the position of pope, around my age. She had long dark ginger hair that was let down with a fringe in the front. Her eyes were a darker brown, and she had a smile of innocence. Something about her seemed familiar, but I didn’t know why. I never seen her before.
As she walked closer to our group, she held her hand out to see the Deity’s Tear glow brighter. She started with DJ, then Walton, then Zeke, then Lobo, then me.
“Nope, nope, nope, nope, huh?” (Francesca)
When it got to me, the stone glowed the brightest. I tried moving to the side, but it dimmed until she held it out in front of me again.
“You dear sir, come with me.” (Francesca)
The next thing I knew, she took me by the hand and led me straight to her carriage. I could hear a lot of things coming from the other onlookers. Stuff like how it wasn’t possible or that it couldn’t be a half-man. After we got to the carriage, she spoke to me.
“Good sir, what is your name?” (Francesca)
“Your holiness, that’s Mr. Coy. He’s the one who saved me.” (Abby)
Dammit Abby… couldn’t even let me introduce myself, could you?
“Is this true?” (Francesca)
“It’s true, your holiness. I am Coy.”
Her Holiness then addressed the crowd.
“People of Anthill Bay, I have good news! The Deity’s Tear has found the new Hero! He is Coy of Anthill Bay!” (Francesca)
With that, the crowd started to cheer. I didn’t have much time to take it in as I was asked to sit in front across from both the pope and the princess as well as remove my fedora. I was instructed to just smile and wave until the carriage made it to it’s destination, the church’s personal embassy. It was embarrassing, but I complied. At least I’m wearing a new suit?
After we made it, I was told to exit. As soon as I got off, Cecilia gave me a dirty look before helping her holiness from the carriage. A few of the other guards helped Abby into the wheelchair. With Abby safely in the chair and being pushed, we followed her holiness and Cecilia to an office. When we got there, Cecilia had the first word.
“Your holiness, surely the Deity’s Tear had made a mistake? Right?” (Cecilia)
“Cecilia, I am disappointed in you. You question the will of the Deity?” (Francesca)
“It’s not that I question the Deity’s will, but… this man is a criminal!” (Cecilia)
“Is this true?” (Francesca)
All I could do was gulp when she asked me.
“Well… I have spent a few nights in the jailhouse, your holiness.”
I was then asked to kneel. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but she had a smirk when she slowly touched me with her staff.
“Coy of Anthill Bay. By the power invested in me, pope Francesca III, by the grace of the Deity, absolve you of all your past crimes.” (Francesca)
I couldn’t believe what was going on. Neither could Cecilia, but I was too dumbfounded to even smirk at her. However… Abby was getting a little giddy.
“Mr. Coy, you are no longer a criminal. Isn’t that grand?” (Abby)
“I… don’t know what to say.”
“You needn’t say anything, Mr. Coy. You are the Hero chosen by the Deity to lead the charge against the denizens of the Demon Realm.” (Francesca)
If anyone had told me that this was going to happen, I would had laughed it off. I don’t know if this was some kind of cruel joke made by the Deity or not, but I did know this much… I miss being a criminal already.