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Chapter 1: A Strange Woman

Another long day of trading to make a mere handful of silver, Cassandra thought as she walked with her pack mule along the quiet unlit streets towards her home city of Orisstin. Cassandra was a young woman of average height and tanned skin. She had a soft looking face with emerald green eyes framed by straight white tipped jet black hair that reached down to her chest. The roads were hard to navigate by lantern this night due to lack of a full moon but she swore she saw something falling from the sky off in the distance. Being the opportunistic trader she was, Cassandra sought to investigate what fell and hopefully find something of value before heading home to her little sister. The walk was a good twenty minutes out of her way but she had arrived at a rocky outcrop overlooking the small sand beach below and the ocean beyond that. After tying up her mule Cassandra began to search around for what had fell which should be easily visible due to the size of it. After a few minutes, there was no luck until she came across a wet spot on one of the rocks of the outcrop. Holding the lantern closer the wet spot glistened with a crimson red shimmer, a liquid that looked to be made of millions of little red shining particles. Cassandra paused thinking what this could be, it looked like blood but it wasn’t like any she had seen before. Investigating further she followed the red trail to the small beach below where she saw in the darkness an outline of something in the water. Cautiously she walked closer and found out it was a person lying face down on the beach in a black oversized cloak with what seemed like a backpack underneath. The waves of the water splashing over their legs. Cassandra turned the person over and was entranced by the face she saw. The woman she saw had a sharply defined face with very pale skin, crimson red hair, and her lips and around her eyes seemed to be stained nearly black. Cassandra was only broken from her trance when she had finally lifted her hand from the woman’s chest and realized that the red substance was this woman’s blood coming from an arrow wound. Cassandra pulled the woman further up the beach and out of the water then went to fetch the mule. Finally making it down to the beach after finding a trail leading down to it Cassandra found some logs and used the rope she had with her to make a crude sled for the mule to pull the woman on. Carefully she loaded the woman onto the sled and covered her with a blanket and began to make her way home.

Finally making it home she was greeted by her little sister Ayva at the doorstep. She too had a soft face but with blue eyes, shoulder-length unkempt blond hair tipped with pink hair dye that was cut a little shorter at the back and not quite as much of a tan as her sister. While Ayva was actually her stepsister, Cassandra loved her all the same even if they weren’t related by blood.

“Hey sis, what took you so long? I was starting to get worried.”

“Sorry Ayva, I came across something on my way home.”

“Oh no, you didn’t bring more junk home did you?”

“Hey, you know I do this to keep our place and food on the table since mom and dad disappeared.”

“Sorry,” Ayva smiled squinting her eyes. “So what did you bring home today?”

“Help me get her inside and on my bed.”

“Her?” Ayva said with a confused expression.

The two managed to drag the woman inside and lift her onto Cassandra’s bed.

“She’s really heavy you know and covered in a lot of blood,” Ayva said. “Are you sure she’s not dead?”

“Well she’s breathing at least,” Cassandra said as she tilted her head towards the woman’s mouth to listen for breathing.

“Oh, that’s good so she’s going to die in our house. The guards won’t be at all suspicious of that.”

“Oh Ayva, I couldn’t just leave her to die. Just get me some fresh water and cloths to clean her up.”

Cassandra lit the dusty mostly unused chandelier above for more light. She could now clearly see the woman’s face, blood smeared across it. She began pulling off the woman’s cloak expecting to pull her backpack off next but to her surprise only saw a pair of large feathered wings as black as the night. Was this the reason she fell from the sky, she thought. Ayva walked in with a bowl of fresh water and some clean white cloths as Cassandra quickly covered the wings with the cloak as she didn’t want to concern her sister.

“She looks pretty beat up. Where did you find her exactly?” Ayva asked as she looked at the pale woman.

“She fell from the sky and must have hit the rocks on the beach.”

“She fell? From the sky? Are you ok sis?”

“I swear I’m telling you that’s what I saw.”

“Well ok,” Ayva said in a sarcastic tone. “I’m going to bed, I have training early in the morning. Try not to stay up too late please, you can sleep with me in my room when you’re done here.”

Once Ayva left the room Cassandra removed the strange woman’s clothes revealing all her cuts and bruises as well as a broken arrow shaft protruding from her chest. Cassandra began to wipe away the blood from the woman’s face and body leaving the arrow shaft last to be dealt with. She wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it but without any money, she knew the doctor wouldn’t even consider having a look at a patient, let alone a woman with wings. She thought it better to pull it out now while the woman was unconscious than later when the woman was awake and fully aware. Preparing herself with a new clean cloth in hand to soak up the blood, Cassandra grabbed hold of the arrow shaft and with a firm tug pulled the arrow out of the woman’s chest. In searing pain, the woman shot up from the bed grasping at her chest over her wound. Cassandra now for the first time was able to gaze into the woman’s black and red swirled irides.

“Where am I?” the woman barely managed to say.

“You’re in my house. Please relax you’re injured very pale and cold, you need to save your strength.”

Reluctantly the woman allowed Cassandra to continue to bandage her up as she closed her eyes and tried to conserve energy. When finished Cassandra placed a heavy blanket over the woman to keep her warm for the night.

“Please rest, we can talk in the morning,” Cassandra said as she snuffed the wicks on the chandelier leaving only one lantern to dimly light the room.

Cassandra then took a shower and went to bed hoping that the woman would survive the night. The next morning Cassandra found the woman still fast asleep in her bed. She thought it best to let the woman rest and she began preparing breakfast for Ayva. Not long after Ayva came into the kitchen rubbing her sleepy eyes.

“Morning sis.”

“Morning Ayva.”

“Thanks for making me breakfast. I won’t have time to pick anything up on my way to training.”

Even with Ayva being eighteen she still looked like a twelve-year-old not making it easy to enter the city’s special forces division.

“That’s right, you have a performance test today don’t you?”

“Yup most of the guards and soldiers will be there to judge us and the top three will be able to join the special forces and start earning decent money. You know you could always join too, it would probably earn you more money than your trading does and you’re twenty-six and don’t look like a twelve-year-old.”

“You know I don’t like violence and you are perfect the way you are my cute little sister.”

“Yeah but-” Ayva dropped her spoon making a clang as it hit the bowl she was eating from.

“Ayva what’s wro-”

Cassandra paused and dropped the cup she was washing into the sink nearly breaking it. There standing in the kitchen doorway was the woman that Cassandra had found last night. She was covered only with a thin white blanket and without a single cut or bruise showing, not even a scar to show where they had been. The two were stunned that the woman no longer showed any wounds with the amount of blood she was covered in last night.

“Where did you say she came from again?”

“She fell… from the sky.”

“Uhh she’s pretty much naked and… has wings?” Ayva blurted out breaking the silence.

“Oh right.” Cassandra darted out of the kitchen and outside to the storage house next door.

The two stared at each other for a bit allowing Ayva to get a good look at the nearly naked woman. She was nearly as tall as the doorway meaning she must have been around six and a half feet tall. She had a toned slender body but large breasts and Ayva swore she weighed more than she looked from when they dragged her into the house last night. Her facial features were sharp but somehow still good looking framed by long thigh-length shimmering dark crimson red hair. Her lips and around her eyes were darkened as if she was wearing makeup. Her wings were large and covered in feathers as black as a moonless night, the tips of which dragged on the ground.

“So,” Ayva began as she continued to eat her breakfast. “Why are you almost naked?”

“Because I don’t know where you put my clothes.” The woman spoke with a slightly deep firm feminine voice.

“I see, so what’s with the wings are you trying to fly or something?” Ayva began to giggle.

“Ayva stop that,” Cassandra said as she walked back into the kitchen holding a bundle of clothes. “I’m so sorry about my sister, you’re welcome to freshen up in the washroom it’s just down the hall and to your left. Oh and take these the top might be a bit of a tight fit though.”

“She means you have big boobs!,” Ayva said with a smirk on her face as the woman turned to go to the washroom.

“Ayva!”

“What? Those things have got to be at least thirty-six F and I know you have the hots for her, just look at how red your face is.” Ayva replied nearly laughing at her sister’s embarrassment.

“No, it’s because you’re embarrassing me by not being a good host to our guest.”

“Oh come on give it a rest! I know you like other women, I see the way you look at me sometimes and I know you hold yourself back because we’re sisters. There’s nothing wrong with loving another woman and I mean cmon look at her she’s so hot I would even go after her.”

“Alright fine but I don’t even know her. What if she doesn’t like me or like the way I talk or eat or what I wear. Hey, are you listening to me?”

“Thank you,” the woman said bowing in the doorway.

“Well I better get going I don’t want to be late. Bye sis.”

“Ayva wait!” Cassandra blurted out trying to grab her sister and stop her from leaving.

Failing to stop her sister from leaving Cassandra hung her head down and let out a sigh before turning around to see the woman still bowing in the doorway.

“Umm, here why don’t you have something to eat,” Cassandra said standing straight offering a chair with a nervous smile.

The woman said, “thank you,” once again and took a seat in the chair.

“Where did you come from?” Cassandra asked as she sat down opposite the woman admiring how beautiful she looked even in the simple gray tank top and white skirt.

“I don’t remember.”

“Oh I see you must have lost your memory.”

A loud banging at the front door made Cassandra jump. “By order of the Androme, open the door!” A man yelled from behind the door.

“Wait here,” Cassandra said as she made her way to the door.

What on earth could a Vanguard and a couple Valkyrie be doing here? She thought to herself as she looked through the peephole in the door to see a man in full combat armor with the Vanguard emblem on the chest as well as two orange haired women wearing light armor, one armed with a bow the other with what looks like a shortened lance and a shield.

“Hello, can I help you? Cassandra asked after opening the door just enough to make herself shown.

“We have reason to believe there is a dangerous person held up in this house,” the man said.

Was she really that dangerous that soldiers of the Androme Empire would risk coming into the city Cassandra thought as the man repeated the same statement again. “Look, sir, I don’t know what you are implying but the only dangerous ones around here are the three of you with your weapons.”

“C’mon just ax her and check the house,” the woman wielding the bow said.

Just as the man was about to force his way into the house a loud crash emanated from the side of the house. When the three soldiers looked they saw the woman fleeing from the kitchen window and promptly chased after her.

Meanwhile, Ayva was geared up and ready for her examination battle with the special ops instructor. Each member of the special ops is outfitted with their own custom armor with their own special abilities. Those in the special ops Academy all had the option to get armor pre-made at their own cost which would greatly improve their standing and final ranking once graduated. Cassandra worked hard to pay for Ayva’s armor because she knew how passionate Ayva was about joining the special ops. Her armor almost full plate but thinner and lighter than most, infused with magic that pulsated in pink lines along the armor all the way up to the helmet with cat-like ears that increased her detection ability.

“Do both parties understand the rules?” the announcer said as he pointed to both of them from his stand overseeing the arena. With Ayva and the instructor both nodding the announcer continued. “The setting for this battle will be the foggy afternoon forest, do your best. Let the fight begin!”

Instantly Ayva was surrounded by a forest with lingering fog. It was dark from the tree cover with just enough light to see outlines and shapes. Quickly she ran towards where the instructor last was even though she knew he wouldn’t be there. Standing still she concentrated on her surroundings with a hand firmly grasping the hilt of her sheathed dagger. In an instant, she pulled the dagger out in front of her and was met with an invisible force. She knew it, the instructor she was against, he has concealment abilities allowing him to be nearly invisible to those around him. It was such a typical strategy from the spec ops team against her detection skill. Even though she couldn’t see the instructor’s specific movements she knew exactly where he was and only had to move in a way to bait his attacks. Several moves in she was in the lead with one strike to zero before the instructor went into hiding again. Ayva smirked in her fully enclosed helmet and used her detection skill once again but something wasn’t right something that didn’t make sense. From her lessons, she knew there was only one person in the special operations unit that had concealment but this time she could feel the presence of five people in the arena now.

“Hey what the hell? You’re not supposed to be here. Stop the fight stop the fight we have intruders!”

Instantly the illusion consuming the arena disappeared and Ayva could clearly see the commotion happening on the opposite end of the arena. It was the woman her sister had found with three soldiers from the Androme Empire. The Androme soldiers began to attack the unarmed winged woman. The woman tried her best to dodge all of their attacks but was finally hit by several arrows making her stumble. The soldier with the ax then swung and lodged his ax into the woman’s chest.

“Hey, scum like you aren’t allowed in this city!” Ayva’s combatant trainer yelled out from across the arena.

“Come on Theo she’s down for the count and we’re outnumbered I’ll grab her and let’s go.” the woman sheathed her short lance and walked towards the winged woman.

“NO DON’T!!” the ax-wielding man yelled out.

The look of shock fell upon the orange haired woman. She didn’t feel a shred of pain but she was fully aware of what had happened. In front of her was the demonic look of the winged woman she was about to grab splattered head to toe in blood, her blood, she had somehow been cleaved in two from waist to shoulder.

“Rose!” the other orange haired woman screamed out as she fired as many arrows as she could at the winged woman.

“Candice! There’s nothing we can do now, we have to flee.” Theo grabbed Candice and quickly fled the building not wanting to fight the Orisstin forces in their own training building.

“State your name and affiliation,” Ayva’s trainer said with swords drawn walking closer and closer towards the winged woman. “I said state your-“

Ayva watched as the winged woman swiftly snapped both the man’s arms then fled out the building.

 

Chapter 2: Learning More

“Martin, have you ever heard of such a thing?” Cassandra asked.

“Well there is-”

Martin was interrupted by Ayva barging into his bookstore. “Marti- Cassy?”

“Ayva what are you doing here?”

“I need to know everything about that woman.”

“Right. One second.” Martine ran to the back of his bookstore.

Cassandra harshly whispered to Ayva. “Why are you here? You’re supposed to be at your performance test.”

Before Ayva could reply Martin returned with a very tattered dusty book titled ‘Ancient History’. “Here, this story.”

Long ago since the beginning of time, there was an entity of pure magic energy the original magic entity. This entity was sentient, able to perceive and feel. For eons, this entity scoured the multiverse until it came across a world, our world Ecluna. Here the entity found creatures of all sorts but most notably was the bipeds, the early humans of Ecluna. Try as it might for centuries the entity was unable to communicate with humans but in time humans were able to harness the magic energy in the universe. With this people could now sense when the entity was near. Places where people could sense the strong magical presence of the entity they built temples and monuments. One day a man visited one of the temples and communed to the magic of the universe his connection was strong stronger than any other human the entity has seen. With the entity longing for interaction with other creatures, it made a fateful decision. When the man visited the temple again the entity turned all of the boundless magic energy it was made of to flesh and blood. A woman appeared in front of the man, more beautiful than any other woman he had ever seen with pale skin, very long brilliant red hair and large white feathered wings. The woman befriended the man sharing her knowledge and powers. In time the friendship between the two saw the man rise up to be King of the people. The King had everything most people would want, agelessness, a beautiful wife, a healthy daughter, and the friendship of a Goddess. However doom was on the horizon for the Goddess, other magic entities began populating the planet and take on physical forms not all with good intentions. Many of these entities were jealous of the amount of power the original had at her control and sought to claim it for their own starting cults with humans along with other races. A grand festival was held commemorating the one-hundredth year since the King’s coronation. The entities plotting against the Goddess managed to forge a sword able to draw out the magic power from the Goddess when run through her heart. At the festival the Goddess was attacked and stabbed with the sword however what her attackers were unaware of was that there was a fine crack in the sword from forging and with this crack the sword could not hold all the magic it drew out and exploded sending crimson shards of it around the world with each piece containing some magic. Weak and barely alive the Goddess was taken away by her personal guards, the Valkyrie, and for years they hid her away as they fought off the unknown mastermind of her attackers along with the King’s Vanguard and searched for the strewn crimson shards. In time the Goddess’ body began to crave for the magic energy she no longer had. The Valkyrie eventually figured out that the Goddess could absorb the magic from other flesh and blood creatures by consuming their blood but she had to consume them alive. First, it started off with just small rodents but it wasn’t enough and the Goddess’ body began to change. Her lips and around her eyes began to darken and her hair became a deeper crimson. Her canine teeth elongated and her nails lengthened and became pointed resembling claws. The feathers on her wings turned black as a moonless night and her craving for magic started to become rampant. Soon she was starting to consume human blood, first it was prisoners of the Valkyrie then the Goddess took the life of one of her loyal soldiers, then an entire village of innocent people. The Goddess quickly saw the errors of her ways but it was too late, the changes her body has gone through were irreversible. Regrettably, the King knew what he had to do to protect the people of his kingdom. A magic gate was constructed and the Goddess was sent through never to be seen again.

“At least that’s how the legend goes,” Martin said. “From what you had described it sounds like she at least looks like the Goddess in this fable.”

“I knew it!” Ayva slammed her fist on the counter then stormed out of the store.

“Ayva! Hey Ayva!” Cassandra yelled but was unable to get Ayva to come back. “Thanks, Martin I appreciate it.”

“Hey, Cassandra.”

“Yes?”

“Be careful okay?”

“Of course.”

“Don’t go and get yourself killed, princess.” Martin softly said to himself after Cassandra had left.

Cassandra knew she had to find the woman she had to find out if what Martin had told her was true. First, she tried searching at home with no luck then along the markets also with no luck. Without a solid lead, she decided it would be good to see if her sister ran off back to the academy.

“What in heavens happened here?” Cassandra asked as she walked into the arena as people were running around and a man was cleaning up the blood on the floor.

“Ha, you wouldn’t believe it a winged woman stormed in here with three Androme soldiers following her.”

“Where did they go?” Cassandra said as she grabbed the man’s shoulders.

“Uh, ugh,” the man stuttered. “I don’t know but she was injured pretty badly you could probably follow the blood.”

Cassandra followed the drops of blood all the way to the edge of the ancient forest that surrounded the city. She had heard tales of insidious monsters that live in the forest and it’s the main reason why the Androme Empire hasn’t taken over the city as of yet. The forest was dark even though it was the middle of the day with trees that loomed far overhead. The air was thick with moisture almost suffocating Cassandra. She pushed on following the trail which led her to the opening of a rocky cave covered by bushes and between two large trees. Once inside she could hear voices echoing along the wet rocky walls. Then she could clearly hear only two voices, one was the woman’s voice and the other was her sister’s. She started to run as she listened to their conversation.

“Please I just need to get to that stone then I’ll leave. I’ll never come back.”

“I can’t let you leave knowing how dangerous you are. You’re, a demon I can’t let you live.”

Ayva lept forward throwing a punch and a kick both of which missed. Now she knew the speed at which the woman could move which was a lot slower than previously due to her injuries. Ayva assumed her battle stance, left arm in front of her body ready to block and right hand placed on the hilt of the dagger sheathed behind her back.

“As I thought, even injured you’re still able to put up a fight,” Ayva said.

She charged forwards towards the woman dashing left and right at an incredible speed making her movements blurred and nearly impossible to predict. Ayva thrust her dagger forward with as much force as she could muster. When she opened her eyes she nearly collapsed, she had just stabbed her sister in the back.

“No no no no,” Ayva said crying as she cradled her older sister. “Why why did you protect her?”

“Because, she’s all alone.”

The woman no longer obstructed by Ayva walked towards the glowing red crystal. The woman held her hand out and the crystal dislodged itself from the rock, floating over and landing in her hand. Turning the woman saw Ayva still cradling and crying over her sister’s limp body. With a slight movement of her hand the crystal burst into a mist that swirled and covered her hand she then walked over to Ayva.

“Go ahead finish me off!” Ayva struggled to say through the tears. “I’ve got nothing left anyways.”

The woman then cast the magic towards Ayva and her dying sister and everything went black.

 

Chapter 3: Commandant

“Up! Get up soldier!”

Ayva squinted her eyes as she tried to make out the black cloaked figure that loomed over her. Sitting up she could make out a female face with lightly tanned skin, golden eyes and black colored lips. Ayva knew who this was, it was the daughter of the Commandant, Eve. She had only heard gossip from her superiors about seeing her. Others have said that she was one of the most cunning and combat capable soldiers in the academy short of the Commandant herself and the combat scores confirmed it.

“So are you going to get up or will I have to drag you to the Commandant?”

Once the woman mentioned the Commandant, Ayva instantly sprung up and followed Eve to the medical ward of the academy. When she entered the first thing she saw was her sister lying on a bed with the medical equipment hooked up to her. She didn’t even realize the Commandant in the room until a few moments later.

“Commandant,” Ayva said while kneeling. “Thank you for bringing my sister here please help her.”

“Your sister is fine she just needs rest. She should come to in about a week.”

“Thank you, Commandant. Thank you.”

“You shouldn’t be thanking me you should be thanking her,” the Commandant pointed over to where Eve was drawing back a privacy curtain.

There on the medical bed was the winged woman bleeding out and gasping for air with her eyes rolled back in her head. She had several broken arrow shafts protruding from her body as well as a deep ax wound. Ayva sprung forward pulling out a concealed dagger and aiming for the woman’s throat only being stopped by Eve with a silver and blue magic pistol pressed squarely against her forehead.

“I- I don’t understand Commandant. Why did you bring such a dangerous being here and why are you keeping her alive? Let me finish off this murderous demon.”

“You may be among the top fighters of the Academy but you are still ignorant of the ancient ways of this world. This woman was going after a gem in the cave a gem containing some of her lost magic energy. I suspect she was going to use that magic to heal herself but when you intervened and accidentally stabbed your sister she gave that magic to her so she wouldn’t die. It is unfortunate that you still want to kill her.”

“Of course, she’s a demon, the very ones trying to destroy the world and now she’s infected my sister with her magic.”

“She may look like she’s a demon but this woman was once and still is a goddess among the people and creatures of this world, before those who were jealous turned against her and turned her into what she is today. I know what you’re thinking ‘How could anyone in their right mind consider a woman this weak and fragile that’s near death to be a goddess?’” The Commandant paused a moment to let the gears in Ayva’s head to turn and work away before she continued. “Her greatest power wasn’t her agelessness or her immunity to illness not even her ability to seemingly heal any injury instantly. Her greatest power was the ability to take the pain, suffering, and injuries of others, even those who are near death such as your sister.”

“I don’t believe you,” Ayva contested.

“Believe me or not your sister is only alive because of this woman,” the Commandant said as she continued to pace by the foot of the bed. “But there’s no need for you to spill blood in my infirmary.”

Ayva took her dagger away from the woman’s neck and concealed it again. Even with Ayva backing away from the bed and her dagger resheathed Eve still kept her pistol trained on her.

With Eve and Ayva seemingly less on edge, the Commandant began to talk again. “As she is, the goddess will die in a couple days because without the magic from the gem she doesn’t have enough to heal herself let alone sustain her own life force. She will die thanks to you whether you kill her now or not.”

“Is there anything I can do? I owe it to my sister to at least be able to thank this-” Ayva paused and took in a deep breath. “This woman, alive rather than dead.”

“Unfortunately there is nothing you specifically can do for her now. However, if you feel you need to atone for your actions I want you to teach a special class here at the Academy.”

“Me teach? I don’t think that I-“

“If you don’t want to do it then I order you to teach this class,” the Commandant said firmly as she walked over to the dying woman on the bed. “My daughter will be there to aid you and your sister has already been enrolled as well as the goddess. You will be training them to battle the other Academies and keep our city and country safe. Just remember she may be a goddess but she has to make her own sacrifices as well.”

Before Ayva could ask any more questions the Commandant raised her hands over the woman on the bed and magic began to flow from her into the woman. As the magic finished being transferred into the woman the Commandant collapsed and transformed back into her original form, an orange-haired fox with white tipped ears and tail.

Two weeks had passed and Eve found herself atop one of the school buildings that looked out over the city below. The woman’s crimson red hair flowed in the light breeze as tears dripped from her face.

“You know you shouldn’t feel so sad about what happened,” Eve said as she took a seat beside the woman. “Mom had no regrets giving back the magic that belonged to you. Because of your magic, she was able to have a life she could never have had otherwise.”

“But it doesn’t excuse the fact that she gave up her life for me.”

“Well if you feel bad about it at least make use of the time she was able to give you. Now wipe those tears away, we’re already late for class.”

 

Chapter Four: New Students New Problems

There on the cold stainless steel desk in front of her were her papers outlining the subjects being covered in class. She dragged her thumb under the name on the top right corner of the papers which read ‘Serena Skyfall’.

“I hope you don’t mind. When they were registering you they didn’t know what to put down for your name so I-”

“Ok sit all your asses down!” Ayva yelled out as she stood at the front of the class making everyone take their seats. “You are all new or have scored the lowest in your previous classes. Because of this you have been placed in this class, Class Nine. As such we need a benchmark for your combat capability. So for today, we will be at the arena measuring your combat ability.”

Ayva and Eve led the students to the arena as the students chatted among themselves. Serena kept to herself at the back of the line as she knew the others were talking about her. Of all the other races she has seen she still hadn’t seen anything that looked like herself. A nudge to her arm made her look to the right. Beside her was the same woman who had talked to her earlier and given her name.

“As I was going to say earlier I hope you like your name and I wanted to thank you,” Cassandra whispered.

“Thank me for what? All I managed to do is hurt those around me.”

“But you saved me. When I woke up Eve told me everything that happened. I wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you.”

“And if you hadn’t saved me you wouldn’t have been stabbed by your very own sister.”

Cassandra’s face went red with frustration as she went off into the group as they entered the arena. As Serena entered the arena she could see Ayva confronting a giant.

“We have the arena booked for today you’re not supposed to be here,” Ayva yelled looking up at the giant.

“Too bad we already here you have to come back other day puny lil hooman,” the giant replied.

“Our class is newly formed by the Commandant and we need the arena.”

The giant laughed before replying. “You have problem you go see Commandant.”

“May I interject here. I know your father is the new Commandant Dulak but that does not mean you are entitled to take advantage of his position of power. If I remember correctly if two or more parties are contested as to who uses the arena they may settle it with a one verse one battle between one person from each party. Or am I wrong about one of the rules that is grounds for immediate expulsion if broken?”

While Dulak was contemplating what Eve had said Ayva pulled Eve back and whispered to her. “What do you think you’re doing? We have the greenest and weakest students in the whole Academy. None of them even have a chance at a one on one battle with a giant even if they were fully trained.”

“You greatly underestimate your students and what you fail to realize is that the rule doesn’t specify a student has to battle.”

“So you expect me to battle him? My battle score is high but not in the range of the giant race. Nobody can compete with their battle scores one on one.”

Eve sighed a little. “I didn’t say you have to battle him.”

“Ok,” Dulak said. “We battle for arena. We choose Dulak for battle.”

“Very good and we choose myself as your opponent.”

The two took their places in the center of the arena and the magic generated environment surrounded them beginning the battle. Serena watched intently as Eve sprung forth delivering several hard-hitting punches to Dulak’s torso causing him to take a step back. Dulak grunted and drew his large gladratum sword which was the traditional sword of the giant race. A massive rectangular piece of steel sharpened on one edge with a hilt attached. Dulak swung the sword over his head missing Eve and smashing a rock she was standing on.

“For all your strength it’s too bad you can’t apply it,” Eve’s bodyless voice said as Dulak looked around trying to find her.

“You can’t run forever.” Dulak swung his sword again to where he thought Eve was, cutting a large tree down.

“You need to learn Dulak,” Eve said with her pistol drawn pointed at him. “Power can’t get you everything unless you can apply it.”

Dulak lifted his sword over his head once again and swung at Eve as she pulled the trigger. A massive blast of magic energy came from the pistol stirring up dust around both of them making it hard for anyone to see what happened. When the dust settled both were standing in the middle of the arena. Dulak’s sword was inches from Eve’s face her pistol letting off blue smoke.

“Dulak you have just been hit with paralyzing magic which causes all your muscles to lock up causing full body pain. Don’t worry though I only charged it enough to last four hours.”

 

 

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