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Out of the Sky

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Disclaimer: I own nothing involved in this story unless I invented it myself. This is written for fun, not for profit.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal
Title: Out of the Sky
Characters: Nasch & Durbe
Word Count: 2,340||Status: One-shot
Genre: Friendship||Rated: G
Note: This was written for Zexal Shark Week on tumblr.
Feedback: All forms eagerly accepted. Concrit is loved the most, but everything is welcome.
Summary: [one-shot, Nasch & Durbe, past life, written for Zexal Shark Week] You will meet your destiny today, young prince. And no matter how you try to avoid it, it will always find you in the end.

“You will meet your destiny today, young prince. And no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it will always claim you in the end.”

Nasch managed to keep a polite smile on his lips as the priestess bent her head and moved onward. He respected their faith –and shared it, of course- but he’d never had one of them simply look at him and say something like that. Normally any predictions they made were for the overall good of the kingdom, not the royal family on any kind of a personal level. He wondered if talking to Merag would clear any of it up. She’d learned quite a lot over the last year or two, and had made an odd prediction once or twice herself. None of hers had come true, at least not yet, but she’d seen things.

No, he decided, at least not yet. Whatever this ‘destiny’ was, he didn’t see any reason to try to avoid it. She hadn’t said ‘doom’ or ‘the kingdom will fall’ or ‘someone important to you will perish’. Only that he would meet his destiny. There were so many ways to interpret that, Nasch couldn’t count them all.

Sometimes he wished the gods would simply say what they wanted mortals to know in clear, simple terms. Cloaking everything they said in confusing words just gave everyone who heard them headaches.

He had too much to do with his day to worry over what the priestess said, though. He had lessons with his teachers, training with the warriors, and he wanted to slip down to the marketplace and look for a gift for Merag. Their birthday would be soon, and he wanted to make certain he found something special for her. The hard part would be doing that without her finding a way to go with him, or digging the gift up before the proper time.

The words still floated in the back of his mind, even as he pored over maps and identified locations and people for his geography instructor and worked over long sums for mathematics. He determined, as he did every day, that when he was king, he would abolish the very subject of numbers from the curriculum.

“Are you almost done?” Merag poked her head into the library, coming over to him almost at once. “We were going to go riding, remember?”

And he’d forgotten about that, too. He didn’t let on, though. “I’m almost done.” He did have an hour of time in between the end of these lessons and the sparring scheduled against his swordsmanship trainer.

Merag picked up one of his assignments and read it through. Ever since she’d begun her own training as a priestess, their lessons hadn’t coincided. She still liked to keep up with what he did, though. “You did this one wrong.” She pointed to one of the complicated math problems and Nasch pushed it away.

“I don’t care.” He’d seen it enough times. He didn’t need to look at it again.

His twin shook her head, hints of amusement hovering around her lips. “Some king you’re going to make when you can’t even add and subtract properly.”

Nasch thought of a thousand remarks he could’ve made, but another thought distracted him. “One of the other priestesses said something strange to me earlier.”

Merag lifted one eyebrow, a curious gleam to her eyes at that. She was always interested in anything that the priestesses had to say.

“Something about meeting my destiny today.” He looked over his work with a slightly annoyed grunt. “I doubt it, unless my destiny is hiding in here.”

“Then let’s go. You’ve finished, haven’t you?” Merag waved one hand at the books and papers before him. “And you can finish it later if you’re not.”

Nasch didn’t really need that much persuading. He’d always preferred being active to sitting around going over books anyway. He knew that he needed to know all of this, and much more, but it never quite caught his attention the way that fighting and riding and hunting did.

It wasn’t very long before the two of them, each mounted on their favorite stallions, rode out of the castle and into the forested lands that spread out on one side of the castle. Nasch breathed in the fresh air, letting some of the tensions that bending over his books pressed into his shoulders slip away.

“I’ve heard some rumors, you know.” Merag said as they cantered along the familiar path. Nasch gave her a look; what was she going on about now? “People have seen some kind of flying monster around here. They couldn’t really say what it looked like, only that it was high in the air and terrifying.”

Nasch rolled his eyes. “Of course it was.” He almost wished something like that would turn up, just so he would have a chance to try his skills at fighting it. If it was anything, it was likely a giant eagle or falcon or something like that. As much as he loved his people, most of them weren’t trained observers. They wouldn’t know one of the great birds from a genuine monster no matter how hard they tried.

Merag shrugged. “What if they’re right? A monster like that could be a lot of trouble. We should at least look into it if we see anything.”

“If we see anything.” Nasch repeated. He doubted that they would. Still, he had his sword and dagger with him. On the outside chance that something happened, he would be ready. It was never prudent to go anywhere unarmed; even this close to the castle, sometimes bandits or brigands would make the mistake of attacking travelers.

Father should get some kind of regular patrols through here. That would help. He’d bring it up to him when he had the chance. For now, though, he enjoyed riding with Merag. He kept enough of his attention on the surrounding territory to have warning if anything unusual happened, though.

Such as the sudden swoop of something far overheard, and unexpected voices coming from just out of sight on the road. A bowstring twanged, and a sharp cry echoed from somewhere, and off to one side, something crashed down from high above.

All of it happened too quickly for either Nasch or Merag to do anything about it, though they reined in the moment they saw the first flicker of a shadow from overhead.

“That way!” Nasch jerked his head to indicate which way and headed off the path to where he’d heard the creature, whatever it was, land. His heart raced with eagerness to see just what it was that whoever had shot had brought down. From the cheers and yells he heard, the archer and companions felt much the same way as they also headed toward their prey.

The woods opened up into a small clearing and the first sight that Nasch had was of a gleam of white, almost too brilliant to look upon. On a quick doubletake, he realized what he was looking at was a beautiful white stallion, roughly the same size as their own mounts, but with something that they didn’t have: spreading white wings.

Something moved on the far side of the stallion, but before Nasch could get a good look at whatever it was, a group of half a dozen teenagers broke through the brush and pitched to a halt. Most of them held bent bows, arrows halfway pointed toward the stallion. Nasch didn’t stop for a moment, leaping off his horse and striding over to stand between them and the winged creature.

“Stop! What are you doing here?”

“It’s the prince! And princess!” One of the archers bent his head at once to both of them as he spoke. He cleared his throat a bit as Nasch gave him a stern look, one he’d worked hard to perfect. “We were on a hunting trip, highness, when we saw the monster flying over us.”

“Mach isn’t a monster.” The voice came from the direction of the stallion, and Nasch quickly looked over to see who spoke.

He stood next to the winged horse, one hand resting on the beauty’s neck. He wasn’t that much taller than Nasch himself, clad in armor that would’ve been white if it were clean. A smudge of dirt stained one cheek, and a fresh rip ran down the side of the cloak that fluttered from his shoulders.

The first coherent thought that ran through Nasch’s mind at the sight of him was He’s got fluffy hair. His fingers itched for the briefest moment to run through that hair, but he put the notion aside. He needed to get all of this cleared up before he could…he needed to get this all cleared up.

“Who are you?” Nasch rested one hand on the hilt of his sword. However fluffy this strange armored warrior was, his first priority still remained his own people.

“Sir Durbe.” The strange looked from Nasch to Merag to the group of young hunters. “Mach and I were simply passing through when…” He held up an arrow, gesturing with it to one of the marks on his armor. “I thought it best to land and find out what the problem is.”

The hunters glanced among themselves, clearly disturbed by Sir Durbe’s calm demeanor. The one who’d spoken first fidgeted a little. “That was me. I’m sorry. But we’d heard talk about a flying monster in the area, and…”

Durbe lifted his head a little. “That might well have been me. We’ve been traveling around here for a few days. We should’ve spoken to your leaders directly, but we’ve been away from home for a long time, and I was looking for a place to clean up at first.”

“Where are you from?” Nasch thought he had heard Durbe’s accent somewhere before, probably from some of the foreign merchants who visited on occasion, but he couldn’t place the kingdom offhand. He almost regretted not having paid proper attention to his studies now.

“Far enough away that I’d like to rest before I try going back there.” Durbe smiled, and for the life of him, Nasch wondered how someone so clearly a trained warrior could look so innocent.

He caught a glimpse of Merag from the corner of his eye and wondered what she seemed to find so funny, since she appeared on the verge of laughing herself silly. Seeing him look at her, she stepped forward. “Welcome to our kingdom, Sir Durbe. I am Merag, and this is my twin brother, Prince Nasch. You’re welcome to come to the castle with us and stay until you and your friend are rested again.”

Durbe glanced between the two of them before he stepped around Mach and bowed in the grandest courtly manner. “It would be my honor, your Highnesses.”

“Do either of you need any help? Were you hurt?” Nasch didn’t think either of them was injured; he couldn’t see any blood and they didn’t move as if they were hurt.

“No, the arrow didn’t pierce the armor very deeply.” Durbe offered the arrow to the archer, who took it, his cheeks flushing a deep red, mumbling something that sounded like an apology to Nasch. “I will need to get it repaired, though.”

Nasch nodded; they had plenty of armorers who could help there. “Does your mount require anything special to eat?” What did flying horses eat? Nasch had never met one before, and always considered them in the same realm as dragons, creatures that he would never see in his life.

“No, he’ll be fine with grass and grains.” Durbe moved along with them, Mach following along. Nasch led his own horse along by the reins, wanting to talk to this strange knight.

“How long have you been traveling?”

“Weeks. Mach and I serve the king of our country, and he sent us out to discover new places for trade and alliances.” He glanced toward Nasch and the young prince did not argue with the shiver that whispered its way down his back.

“I’m certain that my father would love to speak of such matters with you.” And Nasch knew that he would be included in those discussions, as part of his education on becoming king one day. Spending time with Durbe already seemed a far more interesting way to spend his time than poring over books.

“I look forward to that, your Highness.”

Nasch shook his head quickly, coming to a decision. “Call me Nasch.” Hearing ‘your highness’ coming from Durbe didn’t sound right at all.

“It’s an honor, then, Nasch.” Durbe’s smile sent that same shiver down Nasch’s spine. Never before had he met anyone who made him react like that. Especially not someone who, out of that armor, would likely look more like he should be holed up in a library and not on a battlefield.

Durbe ended up staying for a month, and every day the bonds between the three young people grew stronger and stronger. For the first time in his life, Nasch knew he’d met someone who understood him, who wasn’t his sister. Someone who knew when he wanted to be alone and someone who would always be there when he wanted someone there.

The night that Durbe left, Nasch remained awake in his bed, staring up at the ceiling in thought. He didn’t like knowing that when he woke up, he’d face the first day in weeks without his new friend to show around and enjoy everything with.

Then the words the priestess spoke that day came back to him. No matter how you try to avoid it, it will always claim you in the end.

He’d only met Durbe and Mach that day. If that was his destiny, to be friends with the young foreign knight, then Nasch couldn’t see why he’d try to avoid it, or him. But he also couldn’t help but smile.

Guess that means I’ll see him again. He looked forward to it already.

The End