Notes: I appreciate all sort of reviews and criticisms! And finally, TvTropes will ruin your life. : )

The Squishy Wizard

- merei-chan -


With a bloody splat, the monster fell to the mossy ground. With a grunt, Hale shifted his blade onto his shoulder, one hand rubbing his side where one of the creature's tendrils had managed to cut him. The buggery thing had the meanest appendages he'd ever seen. They were similar to a cat's brier, or rose vine, in that sharp little hooks covered the service, giving the monster remarkable tearing power.

Normally, on quests such as this, he had reliable back-up, such as a archer or another warrior or knight. This time, since he had started out late, all that was available from the local town was a mage. Wonderful! Hale had thought at the time. Now with magic, surprise sneak attacks and damage handed out from far away was within reason! Perfect for a quest like this!

With a disgusted frown, he looked back at the still form of the mage, laid out under the base of a tree where Kasen, the cleric he'd been traveling with for the past year, was tending to the wounds of the weak.

"You're damn weak." Hale said with a sigh.

"Shut... Up... You One... Man Army..." the mage managed weakly, his voice muffled slightly by the heavy, coolly-wet cloth draped over his face.

The warrior dropped to the ground. "The truth hurts." He ran a hand through his shortly shorn hair and yawned widely. "Damn, I'm tired." He laid back against a rock, letting himself stretch out and continued. "I thought you'd be more help that this. Even a glass canon is of more use than you."

"Now, now..." Kasen smiled absently as he put the finishing touches on bandages around the mage's midriff. "Let's not fight over something like this..." Ignoring Hale's disdainful sniff, the cleric helped the mage into a sitting position. "There now, Elymas, let's get you righted. You should be fine, it was just a light injury, but to be sure, we'll put on some salvia on you after dinner tonight."

"Hmph. That's if he'll live until then. If this keeps up, we'll have to end the quest early. Honestly, you'd thi-" The warrior choked off when size ten boots ground into similarly sized groin. Eyes the size of watermelon, he clutched at himself as waves of pain radiated throughout his body from down there.

The mage stood, leaning heavily against the tree, largely indifferent. "You shouldn't let our guard down, you dumb warrior."

"You...! Ba-bastard!" Hale tried to glare at the worn-out man, but failed rather miserably. Still in deep pain, he turned to Kasen. "Do something! That damn mage's clunky-ass shoes hurt!"

The cleric laughed absently and stepped backwards a step or two. "Sorry, but my healing hands stay away from that sort of territory."

"Dammit... You're no help." The warrior managed to get some semblance of casualty back. "And you..." He stared at the mage and gripped himself protectively. "What's your problem?! Why'd you have to stomp my jewels?!"

The mage grinned scathingly. "Well, I'm glad I managed to hit them, considering their small size."

Hale saw flames, red and hot. "Hey! You better apologize before I slam your face into the ground!"

The mage similarly took up defense. "And why should I? I think that I was within my rights. You've been tearing me to pieces since we started this trek!"

"Well, maybe if you weren't so damn useless! Even Kasen agrees with me! Right?!"

At the warrior's stare, Kasen laughed weakly and raised his hands. "I'd much rather not be involved in this fight..."

"Hmph. Even is he doesn't say it, he agrees with me!" Hale growled.

"Well, I'm so-o sorry then!" The mage stamped his foot ineffectually. "Don't bother to mention that I used up my energy to blast away those other three Solaris Vitis and then that one Petra Avitus the hour before that! And don't worry about remembering that we've only been hiking all and every day and night and sleeping on rocks and all that! So excuse me for attempting to expend my abilities through the difficult mental path than the much easier physical path. So I ask you to kindly fuck off!"

"Well, maybe if you didn't collapse after you try to do anything, I would!"

The mage's face turned a brilliant red. "Rocks fall, everyone dies!" he shrieked.

With that said, the still trembling man stumbled off down down to where the supplies had been dropped for the duration of the fight. As he left, Hale scoffed at the figure before turning the other way (saying something about getting dinner), muttering under his breath. "Nothing but excuses! And calling my physical powess easy! Asshole!"

Kasen forced a grin at the two before slumping against the tree, suddenly feeling very tired himself. "My, my, my..." He said softly. "Oh, how troublesome..." He looked up with a weary smile as he spoke to peer at the hunched form of the mage as he piddled around in a bag. "What will I do if they start courtin'? Perhaps I should have become a indigo dyer like Mother wanted."

This was going to be a long, long quest indeed...