Chapter V: Gato
As soon as I had told her my "name," the orange-haired girl smiled and shook my hand warmly. "Nice to meet you, and sorry about crashing into you earlier. So, how are you enjoying the fair, Larse?"
As soon as she said it, I realized what a terrible name I had given myself. But it had been said, and to change it now was past suspicious. And, for some reason, I really didn't want to anger Crona. So I didn't mention anything, just replied, "Yeah, it's one of the best things I've seen all year--no, in all of my life!" At least that much was true.
"Yes, I'd have to say the same..."
Crona smiled wider, and before I realized what I was doing I interjected, "Hey, festivals like these are always more fun if you're not alone, right? Want to look around together?"
"Why not?" Crona replied. "Say, my friend Lucco set up some sort of game here... I think Claire called it, 'Gato.' Have you heard of it?"
"No," I answered honestly. "I... didn't really pay much attention as they were planning the fair."
Crona nodded pensively, her eyes staring off into space as she contemplated the elusive Gato. "Ah," I added, "That sign behind you says something about it."
That "something" turned out to just be a hasty scribble of "Gato" with an arrow pointing down a short flight of stairs. However, it was no question whether we would follow it or not. I've always been a curious person, and I suppose Crona had been too, since she descended along with me without so much as a word. The alleyway was not near as crowded as the main paths: I only spotted an old man clutching a box of some sort and a stray cat laying down amongst the excess litter. Crona and I continued forward until the path took a sharp left, and sure enough, another sign reading "Gato" and pointing to the left greeted us there.
The alley soon gave way to a small clearing surrounded by trees. I did a double-take as soon as I took my first look, because I thought I saw some sort of pink humanoid thing holding a microphone. Turns out that I wasn't hallucinating, since it was still there when I looked again. I heard a giggle from my right. "This is exactly the kind of thing Lucco and his father would come up with," Crona chuckled.
Upon apparently spotting us, the metal monstrosity raised its microphone to what might or might not have been its head. "They call me Gato, I have metal joints, beat me up and earn 15 silver points!" sang a nearly-human-sounding voice.
Crona and I glanced at each other. Then, in tandem, we both smiled mischievously.
It was a good thing I had brought my crossbow with me, as getting into a fist fight with a steel machine was not on my to-do list for today. As soon as the mechanical voice sang, "Do you think I'm wrong? Do you think I'm right? Doesn't matter, let's go fight!" Crona drew her katana and I loaded my crossbow.
The machine--"Gato"--was faster than it looked, and within seconds its fist was coming straight for me. But years of escaping from my tutors and nannies had taught me well, and I rolled out of the way just in time. There was a yell from behind the robot, and then it whipped around, singing a quick, "You may have hurt me, but it won't last, I'd hardly call you 'fast!'" Another fist struck Crona right in the face as she attempted to retrieve her sword from where it was lodged in Gato's back.
I winced just seeing the blow, and knew that it certainly couldn't have felt pleasant. Luckily, I did know a trick... if I could only remember what my mother had taught me so long ago...
Another fist flew at me. I dodged, but knew I couldn't wait long. I tried it just as she had taught me: forcing all of my power into my hands, then at the one I wanted to help. Something like an electric shock flowed through my body, and Crona glanced around alertly, realizing that something had happened. "It was me," I explain quickly as I dodge another of Gato's attacks. "You should feel better now, right?"
Crona caught my eye, smiled, and nodded. "Thanks, Larse." The she rushed forward and, with the agility of a leopard, pulled her katana out of Gato's belly. "...Oh," she murmured with disappointment, noticing that the wood was splintered and nearly destroyed.
"Don't worry; I'll handle it," I assured her, trying to sound as heroic as possible. I had to jump out of the way again just as I said it, so I wasn't successful. I was successful, however, in shooting an arrow straight into the monstrosity's head. I pumped my fist in a silent cheer.
Gato wasn't quite done yet, however. It swung a fist at Crona, however the robot seemed to have slowed down so she easily dodged it. Smiling with excitemed and a minute bit of blood-lust, Crono gripped her decaying sword tightly, and, forcing all of her energy forwards, swung it around in circles until she collapsed in exhaustion. And as she did, so, too, did Gato. We were victorious.
"These fifteen points had better buy me a new sword..." grumbled Crona sullenly, though she was still grinning. Splinters that had broken off of the now-useless katana were falling like rain.
"It seems I have lost, and you have won, here are your points, now have some fun!" sang the hidden speaker, with a bit of dejection, I noticed.
"Well, it was definitely an adrenaline rush," I commented.
"I'll say..." Crona glanced guiltily at the now-broken robot. "Sorry, Lucco. But it did break my sword."
I chuckled, and with much laughter we set off to visit the next wonder.