The Ever-Loyal Knight
Owen has been assigned as Anne's bodyguard while they are both enrolled in the Mysteria Academy of Magic. Anne requests that they treat each other equally as friends; a
duty-bound Owen is reluctant at first but eventually changes his mind.
Knight Captain: Hm... It fits you rather well.
Owen has come to meet with the knight captain in the royal castle. He's wearing a special uniform as instructed.
Owen: Thank you, Captain.
Owen: But may I ask why I need to be in this uniform?
Knight Captain: You're going to need it for a special assignment.
Knight Captain: Let me explain, Knight Owen. I would like to entrust you with a certain task.
Owen: Yes, sir. What would you have me do?
Knight Captain: You are to be the princess's bodyguard. However, this is not a regular escort mission. You will be the only one posted to Her Highness.
Owen: Only myself? Shouldn't all of the knights be accompanying the princess?
Knight Captain: What I'm about to tell you does not leave this room. Understand?
Knight Captain: The princess has been accepted into Mysteria Academy.
Owen: Oh! That's wonderful news.
Knight Captain: Yes, it is. Unfortunately there is one matter of great concern regarding her enrollment.
Owen: The princess's safety.
Knight Captain: Correct. She is our national treasure. If anything were to happen to her...
Knight Captain: I dare say it would be a devastating loss for all of us.
Knight Captain: You will therefore be entering the academy with her. Treat her security as your only reason for existing.
The captain's eyes bore into Owen, never blinking.
Owen: I just have one question.
Knight Captain: Let's hear it.
Owen: Why was I chosen for such a crucial responsibility?
Owen: Wouldn't a female bodyguard be better suited for the princess's daily routines? I believe it would give her more peace of mind.
Knight Captain: I thought so as well, but you're about the same age she is.
Knight Captain: Moreover, you're the only one who possesses the strengths needed to guard the princess.
Knight Captain: There is also relevance in your lineage. I recommended you because of that qualification.
Knight Captain: Knight Owen. Will you accept this assignment?
Knight Captain: Will you protect the princess, the future of our country, with your life?
Owen: Yes, sir. I humbly accept this assignment you have entrusted to me.
Owen stands tall and salutes.
Knight Captain: Thank you. Next we shall greet the princess and inform her of this arrangement. Come.
Owen salutes again and follows the captain to the audience chamber.
Knight Captain: Pardon the intrusion, Princess.
???: Hey, Captain! You've got great timing!
Knight Captain: Princess?
The doors to the chamber open wide to reveal a girl wearing a uniform similar to Owen's.
???: What do you think of this uniform?
The girl hurries over to the knight captain and stops right in front of him.
Knight Captain: It's worthy of your personage, Princess.
Hm? And this person is? His clothes are...
Knight Captain: This knight will be attending Mysteria Academy alongside you as your bodyguard.
Owen: My name is Owen.
Owen: I may be young, but I promise to serve and protect you with my life.
Anne: Oh, wow... So you're around my age, huh?
Owen: It appears so.
Anne: Nice to meet you, Owen!
Owen: With all due respect, the pleasure is mine.
Owen gives the princess a salute.
Anne: Ahaha... You don't have to be all prim and proper, you know.
Anne: Since we're both going to go to school together, we ought to be friends.
Owen looks bewildered. He can't seem to wrap his head around what Anne wants him to do.
Anne: What? Why are you making that face at me?
Owen: Erm, no, I...
Ahem. Princess. I am your bodyguard.
Owen: To be a friend of the princess and all that it entails is an honor one can only dream of.
Anne: It's not like that. Once I pass through the gates of the academy, I'll be a regular student like everybody else.
Anne: So you don't have to make a big deal out it!
Owen: That is unacceptable. I am a knight. I am a servant of my lord.
Owen: I cannot be seen gallivanting around with the person I am charged to protect.
Knight Captain: Owen is right, Princess. Please try to understand this from his position.
Anne: Oh, come on. We finally get to go to school together. If we're going to build trust in each other, then I want us to be friends!
Anne: Please, Owen?
Anne looks at Owen with pleading eyes.
Knight Captain: Princess. Please be reasonable—
Owen: Understood. I, Knight Owen, shall heed your wish.
Anne: Thanks, Owen!
Knight Captain: Hm? Explain yourself, knight.
Owen: The most important aspect of being a bodyguard is to establish trust and rapport with whom you are protecting.
Owen: You were the one who taught me that, Captain.
Owen: I simply seek to follow your lessons and build a faithful link with the princess.
Knight Captain: ...
Owen: And above all else, a loyal knight of the realm may not refuse a request made by the princess.
Knight Captain: Sigh... Very well.
There's a twinge of exasperation in the knight captain's tone, but he doesn't bother to hide his bemused smile.
Anne: Hehe. Well then, let's have a blast at the academy, Owen.
Owen: As you wish!
From here on out, Owen's path as a bodyguard and a student begins.
Bound to Protect
Owen, Hanna, and William are having a friendly chat on the grounds of the academy when Mr. Bertrand and Ms. Miranda appear. They need help searching for some students who went missing the previous day.
Anne: Hey, Grea! Guess what?
Anne and Grea walk through the academy's courtyard while engaged in merry conversation.
Owen keeps watch over the two girls, pleased that all is well.
Hanna: Hey, Owen. Whatcha doin'? Spying on Anne and Grea again?
Owen: Ah, Class President... I was just thinking how beautiful a thing friendship is.
Hanna: Haha. Sure is, isn't it?
Hanna: Grea slipped into an awful funk while Anne was away.
Hanna: I can't tell you how much it eases me to see that smile of hers again.
Owen: Is that so? I guess that means Grea wasn't the only one to feel that way.
Hanna: Ooh, not the only one, you say? Are you talking about Anne? Was she depressed too?
Owen: Yes, she was.
Hanna: Aha! So you would've been the one in charge of cheering Anne up then.
Owen: Mm-hm. It is my duty to support her not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Hanna: Scandalous! Tell me, tell me! Did anything... blossom between you two?
Hanna: Aah... It's like a fairy tale of love...
Owen: Absolutely nothing of the sort happened.
Owen: I was blessed by the princess with her friendship right from the start.
Owen: Nothing more, nothing less. Your fairy tales will only come true in your own head.
Hanna: Phooey... That's too bad. I thought you two would've made a good couple...
Owen can only respond to Hanna's disappointment with an awkward smile.
Owen: Speaking of which, you have a knack for imaginative narratives.
Hanna: Well, that's just the type of girl I am. It's only natural that I have an interest in things like romance and fantasies.
Owen: Hm... She's that type of girl, huh?
???: Looks like someone's having fun, eh, Hanna? What are you teasing Owen about now?
Hanna: Hi, William. I was listening to Owen tell me about the time he and Anne were away on study abroad.
Hanna: No budding romance like I'd hoped though. What a shame...
William: Uh, I see...
William: Is he close enough with Hanna to talk about that stuff? Ngh, I don't even want to consider it...
Owen: Something wrong, William?
William: Um, no, forget it. Anyway, I have to say you get along pretty well with Hanna, Owen.
Owen: A friend of the princess is a friend of mine.
Owen: Furthermore, in my eyes the class president certainly lives up to her title.
Owen: She's always thinking about matters pertaining to the students and the academy. I find her resilient can-do attitude quite pleasing.
Hanna: Oh, do go on. You're going to give me a swelled head, haha.
William: Finds her p-pleasing? Is he saying he... likes her?
William's expression suddenly sours after hearing Owen's praise. He appears to be deep in thought.
Owen: (What's gotten into William? I wonder if it has anything to do with me...)
Ms. Miranda: Ooh la la! My heartstrings are plucking a bittersweet symphony watching this drama unfold.
Mr. Bertrand: Hoho... It's the springtime of youth, as they say.
Hanna: Hello, Mr. Bertrand and Ms. Miranda. Is there something you wanted to talk to us about?
Mr. Bertrand: Yes, there's a small task we'd like you to handle.
Ms. Miranda: So here's the story. Some students went into town to buy construction materials, but they haven't come back yet, mm'kay?
Hanna: Oh, I remember that. They left just yesterday...
Ms. Miranda: Right you are! That's why I'm very, very, very worried right now.
Ms. Miranda: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go find our missing students!
Ms. Miranda: But actually you'd be doing a huge favor for your poor teacher, mm'kay?
Mr. Bertrand: I know it's a bit of a hassle, but could you help us? As long as all three of you go together, I don't think any of the monsters on the main road should be a problem.
Hanna: All right. If that's the situation, then we'll help find those students.
Hanna: Is that okay with you two, William and Owen?
William: Fine by me! Those missing students have got me worried too.
Owen: I will go as well.
Hanna: Great. We'll set out as soon as we're ready.
William and Owen look at each other and give a resolute nod.
Bound to Protect: Scene 2
The trio find a wrecked academy carriage, and Owen deduces that it was ambushed by monsters, causing its passengers to flee into a nearby forest. Owen saves William from a monster and tells him and Hanna to get the missing students to safety.
Owen, Hanna, and William walk along the main road in search of the missing students from yesterday.
Hanna: I see something!
William: Hanna? What's up?
Huh... She just took off all of a sudden.
Owen: Come on, William, we need to follow her!
Owen: What is this...
As the boys approach the scene, they find an overturned stagecoach bearing the academy's insignia.
Cargo that the stagecoach had been carrying lie strewn about the ground.
Hanna: What in the world happened here?
William: A monster attack maybe? Which is weird considering the monsters around here aren't supposed to be super aggressive.
Hanna: Gasp! What about the students? Do you see any signs of them?
Owen: It seems to me that they probably came in contact with a large group of monsters.
Owen: After which they abandoned the carriage and fled into the forest to escape.
William: Hang on. How do you know that's what happened?
Owen: I'm guessing based on the debris from the wreckage and the grouping of these footprints.
Owen points to a column of numerous normal-sized footprints being chased by a pair of giant footprints leading into the brush.
Owen: What does the class president want us to do?
Hanna: Good question. Okay, let's split up to cover more ground.
Hanna: Right now search and rescue is our highest priority.
William: Just what I was going to say. I concur with Hanna one-hundred percent.
Owen: Very well. However, I'd like to suggest one minor change.
Hanna: What's that?
Owen: I think you and William should stick together instead of splitting up.
William: Why? We'd be three times as efficient on our own.
Owen: Please don't take this the wrong way, but the problem comes down to ability.
Owen: I've logged countless battles against monsters as a knight.
Owen: I'm afraid you two do not have enough practical combat experience. Entering the forest with that level of ability is a recipe for disaster.
Owen: That's why I think it would be better for you two to move as a team.
Hanna: I see the logic in that. Like you said, when it comes to actual fighting, you're the veteran.
William: Uh, if Hanna's good with it, then I've got no complaints.
Owen: Thank you. Okay, let's go.
After parting ways with Hanna and William, Owen heads toward the center of the forest.
Owen: This is odd... It's far too quiet here...
Owen: I have a bad feeling about this.
Owen: Huh? An explosion?
Hanna's Voice: Run, everyone!
William's Voice: I'll guard the rear! Hanna, get them out of here!
Owen draws his sword and races to where his schoolmates' voices are coming from.
William: Get back! Back, I say!
A giant monster bears down on William, its jaws gaping wide.
Owen: Not on my watch!
Owen bursts out of the tall grass and repulses the monster with a swift strike of his sword.
Owen: I'll take over from here.
Owen: You and Hanna make sure the students get to safety!
William: G-got it!
Hanna: I'm on it! This way, everybody!
Owen: Here I am, monster! Show me what you've got!
Bound to Protect: Scene 3
The number of monsters begins to overwhelm Owen, but Anne and Ms. Miranda arrive just in time to save the day. Owen realizes that his desire to protect what's important to him is not limited to Anne.
Owen: Phew. That was a tough enemy, but there's no monster that can withstand my magic sword!
Owen stands triumphant over the defeated monster.
But in his fleeting moment of victory, more monsters jump out from the thicket.
Owen: What? There were more than one?
Owen: (This isn't looking good. I can deal with one, but a group will be tricky...)
Owen: (I can't falter now, though, or else the others will be in danger.)
Owen: (I must not allow any casualties at all costs. But how?)
???: I'm gonna wipe the floor with you little baddies for attacking my Owen!
A voice rings out from somewhere and with it a barrage of magic rains down on the monsters.
Owen: I've seen this magic before...
Anne: Are you all right, Owen? Are you hurt?
Owen: The princess and... Ms. Miranda? Why are you here?
Anne: Some of the students you found made it back to the academy.
Anne: They told us they got attacked by a bunch of big monsters.
Anne: As soon as we heard that, we were out the door to come rescue you!
Owen: I see. Thank you for coming to my aid.
Ms. Miranda: Think nothing of it! Protecting students is all in a day's work for a teacher like me!
Owen: Wait! Hanna and William are still—
Ms. Miranda: Relax! Mr. Bertrand and Grea have that base covered!
Owen: I guess I can rest easy now.
Ms. Miranda: You betcha! Now park your rear over there and take a breather!
Ms. Miranda: Let Ms. Miranda and Anne take care of the heavy lifting!
The teacher-student pair turns to face the threat.
Ms. Miranda: Hello there! Ms. Miranda is very, very angry with you.
Ms. Miranda: Not just angry. Furious!
Ms. Miranda: Bad little monsters need a time-out to think about what they've done.
Anne: I won't let you off the hook for hurting my fellow schoolmates!
Ms. Miranda: Miranda Dominia!
Ms. Miranda: Miranda Beam!
Anne: O Spirits! Raze the obstacles before me!
Anne: O Spirits, heed my call! Deterrent Thrust!
With Anne and Miranda's combined magic assault, the monsters are obliterated in seconds.
Anne: I... think we got all of them.
Ms. Miranda: Sure looks like it!
Hanna: Are you okay, Owen?
William: Say something, man!
William and Hanna come running into view, worried about their friend.
Owen: Yes. Anne and Ms. Miranda came in the nick of time.
Hanna: Oh, thank goodness.
William: Man, you really saved my hide back there. I don't know what would've happened to me if...
Owen: Please don't trouble yourself over that. It was simply the normal course of action.
William: Jumping into harm's way to protect others without a moment's hesitation is what you call normal?
William: Shoot. With a line like that, I could totally see Hanna falling for him.
William: You know what, Owen? I respect you. And it's because of that respect that I'm just going to come out and say it!
William: I won't let myself lose to you! Sure I might be a bit wet behind the ears, meaning I'm no match for you right now.
William: But someday... Someday!
I'll be the one to stand atop the mountain of victory!
Owen: (Is that his way of acknowledging the bitterness of feeling helpless?)
Owen: (If so, I can't allow his motivations to waste away.)
Owen: You're on, William. I'm ready for whatever you throw at me.
William: Nice! Let's not go easy on each other, Owen!
Owen: (You're too hard on yourself, William. You were able to recognize and admit your own deficiencies.)
Owen: (I must learn a thing or two from your shining example.)
Hanna: What is going on here? Feels like there's some friction or something.
Ms. Miranda: All right, boys and girls! It's about time we end this field trip and head back to the academy.
Ms. Miranda: Otherwise we're going to get trapped spending the night in pitch black darkness!
Hanna: We wouldn't want that. And there are still injured students who need to be tended to.
Hanna and William nod in agreement with Ms. Miranda and slowly walk off.
Anne: Psst, Owen.
Owen: Yes, Princess! How may I be of service?
Anne: I wanted to say thanks. You know, for saving everybody.
Owen: It is my duty as your bodyguard to safeguard all aspects of your well-being, Princess.
Owen: In addition I cannot ignore the cries of people who are in trouble.
Owen: Especially those who learn with us, study with us, and rival with us.
Anne can't help but let out a gleeful giggle.
Owen: Princess? Have I said something humorous?
Anne: Sorry, sorry. I just think you've changed a bit, Owen.
Owen: Have I? In what way?
Anne: The old Owen would have focused solely on me, right?
Owen: That is a given. I am your bodyguard after all.
Anne: But today's Owen is different.
Anne: It wasn't just me you were worried about. You clearly thought about everyone else around you too.
Anne: You've expanded your horizons.
Owen: You're probably right...
Anne: I know I'm right!
Owen: You've really been watching out for me, Princess...
Anne: Well, yeah. That's exactly what good friends do for each other.
Owen: It's an honor to hear you say that.
Anne: That reminds me. This is a good time to ask you this.
Anne: Are you enjoying the student life at Mysteria?
Owen: Yes, I am...
Owen: Partaking in academic endeavors with you when I should be remaining vigilant is not something I generally allow for.
Owen: On the other hand, I have to say that life at the academy is quite pleasant.
Anne: Well, that's good enough for me.
Anne lets out a sigh of relief and breaks into a grin.
Hanna's Voice: Hey, what's keeping you guys? The sun's not going to wait for us.
Anne: That's our cue to go! Let's not keep the others waiting!
A different Owen is slowing beginning to take shape, molded by the various experiences he's come across.
As for the young man himself, he proudly acknowledges the growth within.