Chapter 61: My Team
TESSIA ERALITH’S POV:
Arriving at my room, I jumped into bed, my hands covering my burning face.
“EEK!” I couldn’t help out soft shrieks of delight as I roll back and forth across my sheets.
“Hehehehehe…” Oh no. I was laughing like a pervert.
But…but Art finally kissed me. He kissed me!
“Heehee…” Not being able to calm down, I wrap myself in my blanket as I roll around. The image of him leaning forward to kiss me fills my head, forcing my lips to curl upwards. It felt different from when I kissed him. I couldn’t quite explain it but it was definitely a better feeling.
“I could get used to this…” I accidentally mutter aloud as I softly rub my lips.
And when he put his arm around my waist and pulled me in to kiss me… “Kyaa!” I roll across my bed again in embarrassment as I feel shivers across my body.
I begin to imagine what our marriage will be like. I want it to be super pretty. I wonder how our kids will look like? Arthur is good looking and I’m not ugly either. It should be fine, right? But in order to get kids, we need to…
I can almost feel steam coming out my ears as I imagine it. I mean, I learned about how babies are born from my home tutor but…
Nonononono it’s too early! And besides… Arthur wanted me to give him some time. I wonder what he meant by that? Did he mean we were going to act like tonight never happened?
I don’t want that!
But am I allowed to get mad at him for that? Am I being too hard on him? I know he has my best interest at heart but I can’t be so wishy-washy about this, right?
Grr…. What if another girl really does end up liking him too and he chooses her? I’m just a violent, spoiled girl after all; why would he choose me?
The more I thought it, the more disheartened I became. It’s okay Tess. We’re both still really young. Even if it does take time, I’m sure it’ll work out eventually, right?
Gah! Stop discouraging yourself and let’s just sleep, Tess!
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
I’ve been getting used to having Sylvie waking me up. Usually a loud mental shout is enough to wake me up but today, I was woken up by a sharp bite to my nose.
“Kyu!” I groan as I wake up, rubbing my red nose as Sylvie goes back to sleep after doing her job. Sylvie seems to be a lot more active at night as she takes frequent naps throughout the day.
After washing up, I watch Elijah breath loudly in his sleep while I have to wake up this early. We can’t have that now, can we?
“Good morning!” I slap my sleeping roommate in the butt.
“AHH! What? Huh?! What’s going on?” Apparently, the sudden impact on his bottom made him panic, because he got into a defensive position with his right hand straight out, ready to fire at his attacker.
“Nothing! Just said good morning.” I shrug, strapping on the knife to my Disciplinary Committee uniform.
“Ugh… I have another two hours before class starts. You woke me up just to say good morning?” Elijah groans as he wraps himself with his blanket into a makeshift cocoon.
“Yup! I’m off to my first Disciplinary Committee meeting!” I take one last look to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything when Elijah pops his head out from underneath his blanket.
“Did something good happen? You’re a little bit too happy. It’s unsettling.” Whether it was because he was studying me or just trying to focus his vision on me since he wasn’t wearing his glasses, Elijah squinted his slightly puffy eyes at me.
“You’re just imagining things, Elijah…haha.” I quickly put on my boots and make my way towards the door.
“Suspicious…” He mumbles before he succumbs to his sleep-deprived body, going back to sleep.
Making sure no one was around, I jump off the building and use wind augmentation to cushion my landing. Sylvie just floated down, which looked really silly to me with her oversized ears flopping against the wind.
Landing on top of my head with a soft ‘plop’, I took some time to test my body out with some stretches. I can’t say I was in great condition, but the improvement since yesterday made me nod in satisfaction. It’s times like these that I really feel the effects of going through the assimilation of Sylvia’s Dragon Will.
Which reminds me…I’ll have to help Tess with her assimilation. How was I supposed to act around her anyways? I can’t believe I kissed her yesterday.
Thinking back, I realized that even in my past life, I’ve never gotten passed the point of kissing and it was always the other party that initiated. I never had an interest in falling in love. Rather, I feared love. Even the aspect of unattached sexual relationships, I avoided because I feared that the start of a physical relationship could lead to emotional attachments. I secluded myself in training aside from public appearances and fights, making sure I didn’t have anyone I held in importance, anyone that could be used as a tool against me.
What I’ve learned most from this world wasn’t the magic or the fighting. No, what I’ve realized is that this life has forced me to open up my calloused heart and allow people to hold significance to me. What this also meant was that I had to be stronger than my past self since I had people to protect this time.
Lost in my thoughts, I almost passed by the Disciplinary Committee room. The DC had access to one of the bigger rooms in the academy so that it can double as a training room as well. I was a bit late since I woke up a little later than I expected but it wasn’t too loud so I hoped I wasn’t the last one.
As I open the door, Curtis flew and crashed into the wall next to me.
“Still too weak!” I see Theodore Maxwell’s face turn disappointed as his right fist was raised.
“Ah, Arthur! You’re here!” Claire Bladeheart, who was spectating the duel from the side, waves her hands.
“Ugh… I can’t believe I still can’t land even a single hit against you, Theodore. Oh, hey Arthur.” Curtis turns his head towards me while rubbing his back.
“Do you need help?” I put out my hand while Sylvie wags her tail but Curtis just shakes his head.
“No, I’m okay. Besides, the duel isn’t over yet.” Curtis grimaces as he gets back up to his feet and picks up his sword.
Taking a seat next Claire on one of the couches, I watch as the duel between Curtis and Theodore resumes.
“HAH!” Curtis charges forward after augmenting his sword in a blazing fire but just as he’s about to get into Theodore’s range, Curtis sidesteps instantly leaving a charred footstep behind before appearing to Theodore’s right.
Theodore’s reaction is almost immediate as he lifts his brawny right arm in an uncanny speed.
“Fall!” Curtis’ assault fails as he crumbles to his knees, his sword landing heavily on the ground in front of Theodore.
Theodore has a smirk on his face but it soon turns serious as he realizes Curtis’ plan.
“Explode!” Curtis shouts in a strained voice.
The sword that wasn’t burning but glowing in a dim red light shined brighter until flames exploded in all directions.
Claire focused on the smoke, assuming both the sword and Theodore was covered inside, but I tapped her shoulder and gestured her to look up.
Theodore was in the air with his arms a bit burned and steaming but otherwise unharmed. Using gravity magic on himself, Theodore was slowly floating down as he concentrated on his next spell.
Curtis was back up on his feet with his sword in hand, also preparing a spell using his sword. I notice Grawder restlessly swinging his tail from the other side of the room.
“All right! I think it’s time to stop!” Claire stands up and claps her hand but it didn’t seem like either one of them heard her even speak.
“Sigh… Kai, care to help me?” Claire glances back at the narrow-eyed, smiling man.
“Got it, Boss.” Kai’s sleeves covered his arms so I didn’t know what exactly he had hidden but with a swing of his arms, thin metal strings shot out towards Theodore and Curtis, forming a makeshift metal fence between them.
Augmenting my eyes, I can’t make out any specific elemental attribute in his skill, making me wonder what exactly it was that he did.
Both Curtis and Theodore stop their spells and turn their heads towards Kai in confusion.
“Boss’ orders. Let’s stop the duel now, shall we gentlemen?” Kai’s smiling face remains unchanged as he retracts the numerous strings back into his sleeves.
“What did Kai do just there?” I ask Claire who was shaking her head at Curtis and Theodore.
“No one really knows. He keeps it a secret and from what I can tell, there isn’t any specific elemental attribute in his mana whenever he uses his skills.” She responds while shrugging.
“Have you taken an interest in me, Arthur?” Kai comes behind me as he leans his head forward past my shoulder so his smiling face is right next to my face.
“Hardly. Just a bit curious as to what you just did there. It didn’t seem like you were manipulating metal, or use sound to control the metal strings.” I respond while pushing his face away from mine.
“So cold. I’d tell you but unfortunately, if I did, I’d have to kill you.” He says nonchalantly, making me lift a brow.
Was that a challenge?
Noticing that the conversation was taking the turn for the worse, Claire butts in.
“Looks like we’re still missing quite a few people! Feyrith, Kathyln and Doradrea still aren’t here… AH there they are!” She says while pushing the both of us towards the door.
Feyrith was having a little quarrel with Doradrea about something while Kathyln came in behind them. I raised my hand to wave at Kathyln but as soon as our eyes made contact, she immediately turned her head away before walking off in another direction.
“Ah Arthur, my rival! Have you healed? I believe we still need to duel but I think it would be better to hold that off until after I finish working on a spell I’ve been practicing! It’s not because I’m scared to lose to you or anything. Just giving you more time to recover…haha. Aren’t I generous?” Feyrith comes besides me putting his arm on my shoulder but refuses to look me in the eyes while making excuses.
“Now that everyone is here, I’d like you all to come sit down so we can start the meeting.” Claire ushers us towards the round table on the second floor.
The room consisted of two levels. The lower level was just a wide area with all sorts of equipment and also an arena for practice matches. To the side where the equipment was was a flight of stairs that led to a second floor balcony that overlooked the lower level. On the second floor were a chalkboard, some cabinets and a big, oval table with exactly 8 seats.
Claire sat at the very end of the table with the chalkboard behind her while Kai and Theodore sat to her right and left. I didn’t really know if there was an assigned seating arrangement so I stayed standing, waiting for everyone else to sit down first. On Kai’s side sat Curtis and Feyrith while on Theodore’s side sat Doradrea and Kathyln. The only seat available was directly opposite of Claire’s seat so I just took my seat there and waited for the meeting to commence, my drowsiness from being up so early slowly overtaking my body.
I glanced over at Sylvie who hopped off my head and began playing with Grawder until our leader began talking.
“This is the first meeting with everyone present, as well as the first day where we will actively start duty.” Claire announces in a serious voice.
“Although this is the first year that this Committee has existed, I’ve been working with Director Goodsky and our Student Council President on how we should efficiently structure and run the Disciplinary Committee in order to create an environment in this academy that will not tolerate bullying, dissented duels as well as intruders. For that, we decided to split the Disciplinary Committee into two teams. These two teams are separated by underclassmen and upperclassmen. The upperclassmen, which includes Theodore, Curtis, Kai and myself will split into pairs and watch over the campus in the morning since we don’t have classes. The underclassmen: Kathyln, Feyrith, Doradrea and Arthur, will also split into two teams and go around campus during the afternoon while the upperclassmen have classes.” Claire writes all of our names on the board in the teams she has already decided on.
Before I fully raise my hand, Claire already knows what I’m about to say and interjects.
“Since Arthur is taking both upper division and lower division classes, he will be waived from that duty. However, he is to be on standby at all times in case backup is needed. Also, I’ve gotten permission from Director Goodsky to allow you to be 10 minutes late to classes, so just take your time between classes and be on the lookout for any troubles.” She smiles in satisfaction as my hand goes down.
“That being said, I’ve already discussed the matter of who will be scouting the campus alone between the underclassmen and Kathyln has volunteered to take on this task. Kathyln, remember that even though the upperclassmen are in class we will still help you. You are a part of the Disciplinary Committee so if you’re caught in a situation where you’re not confident in being able to handle it yourself, call for help.” She turns her gaze to Kathyln while saying this. Our Princess just nods while Curtis has a slight look of concern on his face.
“How are we going to communicate with each other?” Feyrith raises his hand while talking.
“We haven’t told you guys yet but if you imagine any of the members in the Disciplinary Committee while placing your hand on the insignia on the sheath of your knife, the recipient’s knife will emit a bright light and a soft shock, notifying them who is in trouble. Each of the Disciplinary Committee members’ knife has a distinct color so remember them well.” While Claire announces this, she begins writing the different colors that our DC knife will glow in depending on who asked for help.
Claire – Pink
Kai – Silver
Theodore – Yellow
Feyrith – Green
Doradrea – Dark Red
Curtis – Red
Kathyln – Blue
Arthur – Black
I wondered how a black light would look while she wrote down what color the DC member’s knife would glow in if I called for him or her but everyone else’s colors were pretty self-explanatory and corresponded with their elements for the most part. It seemed like Feyrith got the green color because of him being an elf. I wonder if that can be considered racist.
“The last matter of business is surveillance at night. I know that this might be a bit too much for one person so we’ll be taking turns in pairs with this task.” Our leader looks around for anyone in case there are disagreements to this.
“Can I volunteer to take over my sister’s shift as well? Call me overprotective but I’m not comfortable knowing Kathyln might be in danger while I’m fast asleep.” Curtis speaks up while scratching his head but looks at me specifically.
“Are you sure you can handle that, Curtis? It’s going to be tough doing two people’s shifts at night.” Claire looks at him with a concerned look on her face.
I look over at Kathyln and I can sort of tell that she wants to interject but keeps silent.
“Kathyln is my assigned companion for night duties, right? I can do it by myself.” I speak up, knowing the real reason Curtis wanted to take over his shift. I can sort of understand from his perspective being an older brother myself.
“You don’t have to…” Kathyln stands up and speaks but I could tell she was conflicted and couldn’t find the words to say after.
“Hmm… well, since Kathyln is scouting by herself during the afternoon, I think this would be fair. Okay, I’ll allow it, but Arthur, Kathyln, I can already tell you two are the type to try and handle things on your own but I’m requesting as the leader that you to call for help immediately as soon as you think you need it.” She leans forward on the table as she states her conditions in a firm voice.
Kathyln stares at me but I just look at Claire and respond with a nod, closing this subject.
“Okay, since all of the technical matters are settled, you guys are free to leave or stay here and practice until classes start. The room will always be open for DC members so think of this as a second house! I’ve already camped here for a couple of nights haha!” Claire scratches the back of her head in embarrassment.
I let out a deep breath in relief. Looks like I can have a little less than an hour of sleep before my first class starts. There were a couple of couches that looked perfect for a powernap on the lower floor.
Curtis gives me meaningful pat on my back before he goes down but as I walk down behind him, I feel a tugging on my pant waist from behind.
“Lets spar for a bit, pretty boy! I’ve sparred with everyone else here but you.” Doradrea gives me an excited grin as she drags me from behind onto the area designated as the sparring arena.
“I’m still not fully healed Doradrea, I don’t think this is the best idea.” I groan as I’m dragged helplessly.
“Stop being a baby! The best way to get rid of that soreness is to move around, don’t you know?” She lets me go and walks over to the other side of the arena.
Claire comes towards us and looks at me. She was about to stop the spar when Theodore walks past her and goes towards where Doradrea was stretching.
“Move it.” He growls.
“Aww… no fair.” Doradrea grumbles as she slumps her shoulders, disappointed.
Great. A muscular male replaces my muscular female opponent.
Claire just sighs in defeat. “All right but Arthur is injured so this will only go on for a minute. Let me activate the barrier this time so we don’t have any more cracked walls.” She looks at Curtis who just chuckles.
Sylvie, who was riding on top of Grawder, asks if I’ll be okay so I just nod in response.
I may be injured but I was excited since I’ve wanted to duel against Theodore as well. I figure fighting against deviants might help me learn a thing or two from them.
“Anything you want to say before we start?” Theodore barks while he cracks his neck.
“Sure. Can I call you Theo if I win? It’s only fair for me to give you a nickname since you already gave me one, right?” I give him a smirk while I stretch my still aching body.
I can literally see veins popping on his head, as everyone’s expression turns surprised.
I wonder why everyone’s that shocked. Come on… Theo isn’t nearly as bad as being called twerp.
“You sure are full of yourself, twerp. Fine, but if I win, you’re going to be my little minion for the rest of your school life.” He has a confident smile on his face as the rest of the DC members all got situated around the arena.
“Remember, this duel will last one minute or until someone lands the first strike. That’s final!” Claire barks as she unsheathes her sword and stabs it in the ground.
The both of us nod in consent and Claire signals for the duel to begin.
As Theodore charges towards me, I augment my body using wind attribute mana to skirt around the arena, keeping my distance. Theodore’s gravity magic wasn’t something to take light of since his powers have simultaneous offensive and defensive powers.
It usually takes a bit longer to use earth magic while also using wind magic. I will shards of earth the size of my leg and kick a couple of them towards Theodore while I kick the rest further and further away from him. I needed to gauge how far he can use his gravity manipulation and how much stronger it was.
Theodore didn’t really get what I was doing as he kept charging at me, growing more and more frustrated from me running away and kicking rocks at him.
“Do you think I’ll let you keep running around?” He roars as the rocks that I kicked towards him all started floating.
Theodore kicks off and while the decrease in gravity around him increases his speed tremendously. He fell for it a lot faster than I thought he would.
I will the earth around me one last time while jumping backwards and send a boulder the size of my body flying directly at him a kick. Theodore smacks the rock up easily with the decreased gravity but in that moment where his vision was blocked, I dashed directly towards him.
Draft Step was a foot technique that was inspired from the Flicker Step, the dash skill using fire magic. Draft Step allowed me to either suddenly accelerate or change direction using a force of wind directly against my foot to use as a sort of platform. I couldn’t use this spell if I was moving too fast but with practice, I hope to be able to instantaneously change directions freely, even in the air.
Theodore’s annoyed expression changes to surprise when he realized I was almost in arm’s length of him with my right fist surrounded by a condensed sphere of wind.
“Fall!” He snarls as he clenches his right hand into a fist as well.
The sudden change in gravity knocks the wind out of me as I stumble a bit forward to regain balance.
With a victorious grin on his wild, unshaven face, he takes one last step to get in range to punch me when I shoot him a smirk and point upwards with my finger in response.
The boulder that Theodore knocked up fell directly on top of him from the abrupt change in gravity. The weight of the rock from the increased gravity flattened Theodore flat on his stomach in an almost comical position.
Claire gets in between the two of us and checks up on Theodore, who already regained consciousness and removed the rock on top of him. He would probably get a big bruise on his back but his mana-enhanced body allowed him to avoid any serious injury. The rock wasn’t too big after all.
“Good duel, Theo.” I squat down and pat him on the shoulders before bouncing out of the room with Sylvie trotting behind me.
‘Let’s go find a bench to take a nap on.’ I say to Sylvie.