The first time Kensai met Gladiator, he was not impressed.
“So, who’s that? The new guy?” he asked, slightly peevishly, because this was the second new-comer to the Knights’ faction, while his own Samurai had only one so far – Shinobi, who was something else, BTW.
“Yes! I’m Gladiator!” the other (other?) man said brightly. “Nice to meet you?”
“Nice to meet you,” Kensai nodded, with just a dash of sourness – lately he was beginning to feel as a member of the Knights’ faction, as both Peacekeeper and Centurion tended to stick with him during group factions, rather than with the other Knights, and while it was fine, Kensai was still a Samurai, not a Knight, and-
“Um, are you here? Like, entirely here?” Gladiator asked hesitantly, seeing how the other (oth-er?) man possibly was not entirely here after all. “Because if we’ve caught you at a bad time, we can always-“
“The timing isn’t entirely bad,” grunted Shugoku, as he joined the other men, his trusty kanabo at his side. “Your fellow newbie, buddy-boy, is something else,” he added to Gladiator.
“Well,” Gladiator looked away first. “Sorry about him. It’s just that it has been the two of us for so long, and-“
“Wait, you got another newcomer?” Kensai blinked.
“No, Highlander is with the Vikings; Warden is fighting him right now; the idiot’s dream has come true,” Centurion commented sourly.
A slight aside might be useful here. While Warden was never as bad as Raider of the Vikings, he still had a yen about swords – his own longsword, Kensai’s blade, (apparently a ‘sabre’ rather than a proper sword), the shorter swords of Warlord, Peacekeeper, and now – Centurion’s as well. While normally this was tolerable, sometimes it would be too much, as Centurion must have discovered some time in the past; that said…
“What do you mean?” he asked Centurion. “The new Viking also has a sword?”
“Yes, it’s shaped like Warden’s own blade, but bigger than – as big as Shugoku’s kanabo,” Centurion said brightly. “Warden got his work cut out for him, I suspect!”
Kensai, who knew that Centurion still had not mastered the art of winning against Warden, (or Kensai himself, for that matter), did not comment on this.
“Right,” he spoke mostly to Shugoku instead. “I think we have to see this Highlander for ourselves, and after this? We’re going to have our fight,” he told Gladiator. “Lead on and let’s see what this Highlander has!”
/ / /
“Right,” Highlander said brightly, in that overly perky Viking way, as Warden had enough (for the moment) and withdrew. “Who’s next? You Samurai, maybe?”
Kensai looked askance at Shugoku. Their heaviest hitter was in no hurry to volunteer, which meant that ‘the Highlander situation’ was especially bad. Ah well, he opened his mouth—
“Ah, here’s the newcomer!”
--when Nobushi showed up. And she was drunk.
Another aside was probably useful here as well. Unlike the Vikings, the Samurai tended to keep their feelings bottled in and keep a solemn, stiff upper lip to the world. This was fine, but while Nobushi did this – usually – as well as the rest of them, sometimes she still got drunk instead, and as such, she was both morose and mean. All of the people here had amazing fighting skills, of course, but Nobushi – when she got drunk – upped herself by a lot of levels, and was much harder to stop than when she was sober. Peacekeeper – who was also here with the rest of the Knights, BTW – had once gotten on the wrong side of the other woman by confusing her proper-ly (i.e. Nobushi) with Nobushi’s own naginata as well as Kensai’s sword the nodachi, and since then she didn’t really like fighting the other woman in question…
And now, that ‘other woman in question’ faced-off with Highlander, who honestly did not know what he was in for, at first.
“Now I say,” he said, when Nobushi defeated him the first time.
“There may be a mix-up in the communications,” – the second.
“But are you drunk?” – the third.
“Yes,” Nobushi finally replied, as Highlander got his bearings after that third beating as well as got back onto his feet. “I am. Want to make something of it?”
“Well,” Highlander sheathed his claymore and slung Nobushi over the shoulder in the same motion. “Why don’t we go somewhere and have you sober up and then we’ll talk about where’ll we go from here?”
“Okay,” Nobushi said, sounding almost happy, (especially for her), as she made no move to use her naginata to free herself. “Let’s go, you!” And they left.
“…What was that?” Warden was the first to speak and break the silence.
“I think that Nobushi finally found someone who likes her,” Peacekeeper said brightly. “Hey, Valkyrie! Our new-new guy utilizes a one-two weapon combo kind of like you – want to try him?”
“Don’t see why not,” Valkyrie gave Gladiator a thoughtful look of her own. “Feel like going the proper introduction with me?”
“Sure!” Gladiator replied, eager to fight someone who was not Highlander, and the battle was joined.
(“You know,” Peacekeeper commented sotto voce to Kensai as the attention of most of the others was on Gladiator and Valkyrie instead, “I think that those newcomers will be just fine here.”)