Princess Maker 2 Refine: a warrior becomes a father
He never thought he’d be a father. To be honest, he never thought he’d live long enough to retire. Such is the fate of a man who spends his entire life trying to be a hero. He does his best, works his hardest, to take on any opponent in his path. He tries to do the right thing, hopefully to leave a better world behind him. Since there’s always someone stronger, someone better, he reasoned he’d do his best to defeat the monsters that go bump in the night and save humanity, then “walk off into the sunset.” By which he figured he’d crawl off and die somewhere. He never expected to settle down or become a princess maker.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened to him. The day was saved! The kingdom stands tall! The king and queen invite him to become an illustrious citizen, living on a yearly pension. He’d gone from a self-made man who could care for himself to someone soft and dependant on the society he’d saved to keep him alive. He’d gotten soft. He had a home and a butler in a peaceful town, and nothing really to do to keep himself busy.
He’d take walks sometimes. Maybe he was inviting a challenger? Maybe he was inviting death? He was nothing but a trophy now. The king could show off the legendary hero who saved the city, but what did this man give back? He had the skills to be a general or a teacher, but he didn’t use them. He remained in a sort of stasis.
It was on one of these walks that the gods approached him. The same gods he’d defied by defeating the demonic warriors spurred on to assault humanity. He fought back and proved mankind’s worth. Now, it seemed they were challenging him again with a new purpose. They placed a single life in his hands this time, instead of everyone’s. They gave him an eight-year-old girl and tasked her with making her into humanity’s best. They made him a princess maker.
But what does a warrior know of raising a princess? He was hardly refined. He spent his days before retirement training and fighting any and all comers. He spent his time after in stagnation, attending important festivals and events. He had no connections at the palace; she’d have to forge her own. He had no fortune aside from that 500 gold a month; she’d have to help support herself. He wasn’t good at connecting with people; father-daughter interactions each month boiled down to small talk, a gift of money or a lecture.
So, he taught her what he knew. He knew the importance of strength, stamina, sensitivity and combat skill. He sent her to work on a farm, around animals, to appreciate where her food came from and know what it was like to work from sunup to sundown. He had her work with his butler, Cube, because everyone needed to know how to clean up after themselves and take care of their own house. She went to the lumberjack camp, to build up her strength. She trekked alongside hunters, to learn how to catch her own food. She watched over graveyards, so she’d know there was more to this world than what she could see.
When her efforts paid off and they could afford it, he sent her to school. She’d learned how to fight and survive well enough at work, so he enrolled her in classes that involved subjects he knew the world might not otherwise teach. She learned how to cast spells in a magic course, in a controlled and safe environment. She picked up tactics and strategies, things a young warrior would need. He made sure she’d know what he knew. Maybe he couldn’t bring up a standard young noble, but a warrior princess? Sure.
Before long, the training paid off. By the time she was 15, she started finding alternative means of supporting herself. She no longer needed to take jobs to raise money for her equipment, food and schooling. She engaged in all sorts of errantry each month. By the time she was 16, she’d conquered all four areas surrounding the kingdom. She’d met unicorns, feasted with fairies, returned a spirit’s egg to its spring and even dared challenge and defeat a dragon.
It amazed him, sometimes. He’d always tried his best, but had trouble connecting with people. Yet, she seemed to have no such trouble. She visited with dragons every few months, talking with them without fear. She defended the fencing dojo’s honor, keeping its sign from being stolen. She was on her way toward becoming a hero, albeit one better suited to living and associating with other people. She was finding her own way in the world, thanks to his influence.
He worried about his task. The gods had wanted him to be a princess maker, after all. They expected royalty, but he wondered if he could, if she could, deliver. But really, he worried for nothing. He wasn’t a perfect father. He’d made mistakes. But, he’d provided the kind of guidance and schedule that allowed her an opportunity to become a different kind of princess. The experiences she’d endured, trials she’d overcome, had offered unique opportunities. She’d become a hero of her own accord, one who’d managed to win the heart of a dragon. And, not just any dragon, but a dragon prince.
The man had gone from a warrior to a princess maker after all. He’d done his duty, making not only the gods happy, but the little girl whose fate had been placed in his hands. After all, you have to have done something right to raise a heroic dragon princess.
Questions? Comments? Talk to us on Twitter or Facebook!