How Appropriate, You Fight like a Cow is the second chapter of Lissa's Game High fanfic, Pixels and Polygons. It can be read below.
How Appropriate, You Fight like a CowEdit
The next day, Simon found his first class to be combat training.
Regrettably, it was Sofia’s first class too.
“Isn’t this going to be fun?” The Latina grinned as they entered a small gym, lined with various weapons ranging from firearms and swords to weird sticky-hand-like things and recorders that became beam katanas. Interesting. He took mental note of all their placements, just in case anything got messy. “Huh?” He took a glance at Sofia, then nodded. “Indeed, it shall be. I am more of a man of logic…”
“Then how did you get this class?”
“Did I pick my schedule? No.” Simon crossed his arms, observing students sitting on the heating vent and chatting, others rushing in late, still others staring at the weapons in awe and trying to pry them off the walls. They didn’t come off so easy, to their dismay. A whistle blew. The students stopped talking and attempting to steal the weapons, and the combat teacher came to the front of the gym, standing before some red gym mats. He was a lanky man, blond, wearing a white shirt and a brown vest… Simon paused. Despite his knowledge of other games being very, very slim, he did know a little something of pirate lore. But that couldn’t be. He wouldn’t. That just--That’d be too convenient. Right?
“Hello, students!” The teacher said, “I’m Mister Threepwood, and I’ll be your Game Combat teacher.”
It was. Simon couldn’t help but find himself smiling. Guybrush Threepwood was only, like, one of the greatest pirates in the world--And he was here!? Normally, he’d contemplate how the mighty had fallen, but here it seemed perfect. A legendary pirate! Teaching him, a legendary pirate to be!
“Here, you’ll learn to work all sorts of weapons. Even if you wouldn’t even conceivably see them in your home world, you’ll learn how to make ‘em work. Part of the curriculum, you know, it’s what I’m paid for.” Mr. Threepwood smiled, straightening up and clapping his hands. “Now! We don’t do anything so severe today--I’d probably be fired--But we’ll begin with something just as important: Insult fighting.” There were a few mutters of confusion. Mr. Threepwood exhaled slowly. “Really? That’s not--That was a thing before. No matter.” He picked up a clipboard and scanned it over quickly. “We’re learning. Swapping mental barbs can be as devastating as physical lacerations. I want...Sofia Flamenco and Magnilde Klug, on the mats.”
Sofia squealed, giving Simon a goodbye squeeze on the arm (he quickly began rubbing the spot) and flounced up onto the red mats. Magnilde came up next--She happened to be the German girl from on the train, now missing her dove. She blinked at Sofia, a steely glint in her eye, and smirked.
“Now,” Mr. Threepwood tossed them some fencing swords, and the two girls caught them with relative ease. “I want you to parry and thrust, and as you do, insult the other. Make it hurt. A good insult can throw an opponent off their guard, leaving room for them to be disarmed.”
“An’ zen the kill?” Magnilde asked flatly.
“Oh, goodness, no. Keep it rated E for now.” He stepped off to the side, giving the rest of the students full view of the opponents. “Ready? Begin.”
Another smirk from Magnilde as she straightened up and swept the blade of the fencing sword quickly in front of her. “Ich bin eine Kampfmaschine! Mein name: Magnilde!” She said loudly, giving a stomp before swinging her blade again and pointing it at Sofia’s throat.
Sofia was immediately taken aback. “Wh--How--”
“Father got a TV. Vat do you zink I vatch?” She chuckled, about to jab at Sofia’s collarbone, but Sofia quickly moved her own blade back up to block. “You’re clearly a geflenne dummkoph. Ditch ze boxing glofs an’ enter ze real vorld.”
“You like hats, don’t ‘cha?” She flicked her blade up, forcing Magnilde’s out of the way, then swiped the little nurse’s cap off her head with the tip. She then quickly swept it towards her, picked it up, spun it around a finger, and stuck it on her own head with a playful wink. “Hmm, I think I wear it better! What do you think?”
While there were no official rules for for fighting, insult or otherwise, in combat training; if this were to be amended one rule to be added quickly would have been ‘don’t mess with a Valve character’s hat’. Magnilde’s hands tensed, and with fluidity she made quick jabs at every rose in Sofia’s hair, stacking them like a shish kebab on her sword and then swiping the sword in front of her so quickly that the petals fell and the flowers were left in shreds. The spaniard froze in panic, and with this opening, the German girl sharply poked Sofia’s stomach. “Round ofer. I vin.” She said, then marched up, snatched the nurse’s cap off Sofia’s head, and purposely stepped on her one exposed foot.
“Mis rosas!” She said, distressed, dropping the fencing blade and frantically gathering the petals. Magnilde laughed, walking off the mats with long strides, smiling at those giving her congratulations and replying, “Danke, danke.”
Mr. Threepwood popped his lips, looking back to the clipboard. “My, that was...Unconventional. Um, let’s try someone else…” He looked over to Sofia, who dropped the petals and rushed off the mat, petting her hair and biting her lower lip. He looked back. “I want Simon Centifolia…”
Simon straightened with pride at hearing his name read. By Guybrush Threepwood, no less! A true moment to be proud of. Unbeknownst to him, Sofia had snatched the rose from his breast pocket and put it in her hair mournfully.
“And Honey Syrup.”
The first to go to the mats was a girl with frizzy auburn hair. She smiled broadly, hands on her hips. “Ya’ comin’, Simon Seesaw?”
And his pride melted as his face became a frown. He straightened his sleeves and marched onto the mats, picking up his fencing sword. “That’s Centifolia to you.”
“You’re awfully pretty.” She thrust out her sword, and Simon blocked, the two beginning to parry and thrust like experts. “Where ‘ya from, pretty boy?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know.” He spun out of the way of Honey’s jab, making her chuckle. “Zack and Wiki. A game of logic and reasoning. Considering your simple mind--”
“Ooooh, pretty boy’s got a lip, don’t he?” She whipped her blade at his head, but he quickly dropped down to avoid it. “Brain means nothin’ if ‘ya don’t got strength.”
From his position on the ground, Simon could see her ankles. Perfect. He took a swing at them, but her sword jabbed the ground, blocking his strike. “Can ‘ya be more obvious?” She smiled, leaning on the sword’s hilt. “Pretty boy ain’t too bright, is he?”
“Pretty boy is still a pirate.” He jumped up and, with flourish, pointed at the spot between her eyes. She was nicely tanned, in jarring contrast to him. Yeah, if he had to pick the one who looked more like a pirate, he’d pick her, too. She glanced at the blade, realizing the tactic at hand, and swept her sword up to knock it out of the way. Parry, thrust. “Honey, huh? That your real name?”
“Honey Treacle Syrup. An’ I’m as sweet as I sound.” She smiled cheerfully. “But sugar gives ‘ya toothaches.”
“Taking a shot in the dark--Captain Syrup’s kid?”
“Wow, aren’t you smart! At least someone here’s not from some shovelware.”
“Shovelware!?” Simon spiked Honey’s sword down, making quick stabs for her chest, but Honey was able to frantically wave her sword back and forth in such a way as to keep any of them from touching her skin (with a few almost-too-close calls). “I’ll show you shovelware!”
Honey smiled wide, a weakness exposed. What a careless oaf. “Ooooh, pretty boy doesn't like that, does he? Bein’ called shovelware?”
“I am underrated--Not shovelware!” He thrust for her neck, and for once in the whole fight, Honey looked legitimately panicked. No matter. She skittered back, keeping the blade from her throat. “Ninjabread Man was shovelware! I’m a glossed-over gem, because people are to busy shooting and platforming to know quality when it’s right under their nose!” He took a few steps forward, trying to catch up with her. “And like you can talk! You’re not even mentioned in main canon! You’re from a spin-off!”
She tensed, going for his shoulders, but he saw it coming. “Spin-offs are the best!” She snapped, jabbing at his buttonholes now, and Simon had to make quick work of flicking her away. “Main-series are formulaic and stupid! All the cool people are in spin-offs anyhow.”
The two of them got back into the groove of things. Parry, thrust. “You don’t call me shovelware, I don’t insult your spin-off game.”
“I make no promises.”
“Nor I, then. Ever consider washing your hair?”
“Saltwater works wonders.”
“Yes, that’s why you look like a rat’s nest.”
“Better rugged and seaworthy than a prissy snob.”
“Better a prissy snob then a blathering lout.”
“What did you just call me?”
“What are you, eighty? Nobody says that.”
Simon rolled his eyes. “At this rate this banter could go on forever.”
Honey’s eyes glinted, apparently accepting this as a challenge. “I wouldn’t be opposed to that.” She looked over to Mr. Threepwood, smirking. “Until he ends this, we’ll keep going.”
“That’d take far to long. He’s part of a major series--He has work to do.”
She shook her head with a snicker. “Get up to date, pretty boy! Monkey Island was canned--Finished! And so…” Parry, “Are…” Thrust, “You.”
The sword jabbed at his collarbone, right on the nose of the stylized skull upon his bandanna. Applause came from the other students, and Honey took a bow, waving to her adoring fans. “It was a cinch!” She cried, grinning wide.
Simon dropped his sword and went off the mats, back to Sofia’s side. Her eyes had lit up again, despite the lack of roses in her hair. “Fantástico!” She gushed, grabbing his arm in excitement. “That was great! Holdin’ your own with a pirate, well, it’s almost inspiring!”
His eyelids lowered. “I’m a pirate too, y’know.”
“Really? Vaya, lo siento. I wouldn’t have guessed!” She paused, and then, “Well, yeah, Captain Rose, I really shoulda’...Heh.”
The next two students came up, though Simon found himself distracted. His eyes wandered through the crowd until he found Honey again. She was eagerly whispering to everyone around her, pulling a navy blue scrunchie out of her bright red hair. It fell into a frizzy, poofy mess, and she shook it out with a hand. He smirked. He glanced over at Sofia, who was making threatening gestures to Magnilde across the crowd, the German following suit. What loons.
But Simon and Honey’s little sparring match took longer than expected. The bell rang, and Mr. Threepwood hurriedly dismissed everyone, assuring everyone that everyone would eventually fight. Everyone rushed out, looking to their schedules to see their next class. The pirate’s son and the boxer’s daughter left the small gym, Sofia eagerly looking at his schedule, then sighing loudly when his next class (history) wasn’t the same as hers (science). “Hmmph.” She frowned, a hand going off to finger a rose, but she came up empty. Her eyelids lowered.
“Hey! Pretty boy!”
Simon looked back over his shoulder only to see Honey, the scrunchie around a wrist. “Where ‘ya headed, pretty boy?”
“History.” He said quickly, “And why?”
“Sweet--That’s down the same hall I’m headed. C’mon.” She rushed over to Simon’s side, Sofia visibly flinching. “Weren’t half bad out there in the fray, pretty boy. Better then I expected.” Honey leaned slightly, taking a look at Sofia. “Uh...Guess you coulda’ been worse.”
Sofia huffed, crossing her arms. “She’s gonna pay for messing with my roses.”
“Yeah, stick to boxing, m’kay? Y’might actually get somewhere with that.” Sofia dipped down a small hallway to go off to science, and Honey rolled her eyes with a smirk. “Nah, she won’t.” She went on, muttering to herself, “Seriously I know diddly squat about boxing, but Don Falalalala shouldn’t have gotten so high. What a sap.”
He blinked, frowning slightly. “So, if I may...What on Earth could have possibly enticed you into following me into a conveniently placed hallway?”
Her smirk faded and melted into a frown as her eyelids lowered. “You always talk like that?” She asked, but didn’t wait for a reply. “You seem like an okay guy, pretty boy. I thought maybe you’d wanna be pals or something. Keep on fightin’, I could make you into a bona-fide perfect pirate. Worthy of the Sweet Stuff, even!” Honey paused, eyes glancing up and down Simon’s body, as though evaluating him. “Okay, maybe not. But better than what you’re doin’ now, right? Whadaya say?” She stuck out a hand as they turned into the next hallway. “Allies?”
The captain of the Rose Rock’s son looked at her hand, and with minor hesitation, he shook it. “Allies.”
The captain of the Black Sugar Gang’s daughter beamed, retracting her hand and turning for the door of her next class. “Perfect! See ‘ya, Centifolia!”
“See you!” He replied, going off to history. His mouth twitched into a smirk. She’d actually called him by his last name.
First Chapter: We Begin by Entering
Previous Chapter: We Begin by Entering
Next Chapter: Prince and Slime