Eternal Courage

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Chapter 9: Insecurities

It was the morning of the next day. Today was the day of the selections for the representatives of the Green B.U.S academy. Saku was coming out of Ms Reapa’s room with Sophie waiting outside. Saku came out wearing his bio-duelling glove “well…that was odd”

“why what happened?” Saku’s glove simply vanished into thin-air

“Well…she said she wanted to analyse the data recorded in my glove”

“Did she say why?”

“not really. Well come on then”

With that the two began walking along “well today is the selection for the reps of Green B.U.S” said Saku “I don’t really fancy my chances to well”

“don’t think like that. I’m sure you have as much chance” said Sophie encouragingly

“nah. I don’t think so” said Saku “I don’t think I’m ready yet anyway. I mean…it’s only being a short time since I started. If anything I think you’ll get picked”

“You…think so?” she asked

“Of course I do. I mean you’re skilled, strong” she appeared embarrassed “I’m sure you’d do great if you were picked” she then seemed to be unconfident

“Yeah…I’m sure I’d be alright” Saku detected her tone but before he could ask the bell chimed “Oh it’s lesson time come on Saku” she began to ran ahead leaving Saku to ponder

“For a moment there…nah. Hey wait up”

The class started to begin with all the students gathered but strangely Ms Reapa hadn’t turned up yet. Anastasia found this odd “I wonder what’s taking the teacher so long?”

“Yeah” said Saku “Especially since she’s the one who so diligent and strict on attendance” just then Ms Reapa appeared

“all right Class settle down. I apologize for my lateness but I come with news”

Ms Reapa had in her hand a clip-board “on this board are the list of people I believe will best represent this academy. However you should know this before-hand. When your name is called out, you from now-on will be the chosen member to represent this academy. Details of fighting and challenges will be brought forth at a later date” Ms Reapa cleared her throat and spoke “Alright let’s begin with the seven representatives, Jason Moores” some of his girl fans applauded “Aureline Dawn and Marina Tydes” they both nodded “Mia Anslette” Mia gave a small smile “Anastasia Michaels and Sophie Brown” Saku looked very happy for the two

“congratulations you two. Nice one” Sophie forced a smile

“it…looks like you were right Saku” said Sophie as Saku also then turned to Anastasia

“I’m a…chosen representative?” her expression looked that of worry rather than happiness which perplexed Saku.

Ms Reapa then put the clip board down “and those are the chosen representatives” Marina then put up her hand

“Excuse me Ma’am. You said seven representatives but you only called out six”

“There are…complications with the final representative. We are still waiting for their permission on being able to take part. Now let us proceed with the lesson” as Saku returned to studying he was in thought

I didn’t think I’d get picked. Oh well, this time next year then I’ll be ready. he then looked between Sophie’s and Anastasia’s face. but…for some reason these two look like they don’t want to be picked. I don’t get it. Ms Reapa noticed Saku looking between them and thought

“Saku…for those with power, sometimes with comes with a burden. A burden so heavy, it comes with painful side-effects. However with any burden it can be lifted”

Soon afterwards the lesson had finished with everyone gathering their things. Ms Reapa spoke to Saku “Oh wait Mister Stritos, may I see you for a moment?”

“Okay yeah sure. I’ll see you both in a bit”

“we’ll…see you later Saku” said Sophie in a unconfident voice to which she and Anastasia left the room. Saku just looked on at them as they left

“What’s…the matter?” said Saku to himself

“They are just worried that is all” answered Ms Reapa “if anything they are going to need your help”

“huh? Me?” Ms Reapa nodded

“If anyone can help them it’s you. Now, I have something for you” Ms Reapa handed Saku an envelope “here you go.” Ms Reapa had a smile as Saku ripped open the envelope and read the document inside.

As Saku’s eyes scanned the document, he froze in place. His eyes could not believe what was printed on the paper before him. He looked at Ms Reapa “is…this real?” she had a happy smile “This isn’t a joke…is it?”

“No…it’s not. Congratulations Saku and…I look forward to your response” she tapped Saku’s shoulder as he continued to stare in disbelief “I see this comes as a big shock. So go on and let it soak in and Saku…look forward to tomorrow” Saku just nodded and left the room. Ms Reapa just smiled

“This is probably the first good break he’s ever had. Also…he could the only one who can help those two girls…or in-fact any of them. However more importantly the secret…may show itself”

Saku was just staring at the paper as he walked down “This is…really real…I don’t believe” as he stared he was oblivious to the person approaching him “This is…amazing” he then felt a tap to his shoulder. As he turned round, a force of such power, which hit his head, sent him through a nearby classroom door, smashing him into a long desk.

The room was empty of its students except Saku who laid in a heap with the broken desk. Blood was running down his forehead as he started to stir

“Did that hurt?” the voice was familiar and angry sounding “Good” Saku looked to the door and saw Jordan angrily looking at him

“Jordan…” Saku was dizzy from the heavy blow

“Oh…are you dazed” Jordan jumped through the air “allow to put you out of your misery” Saku managed to roll out of the way as Jordan smashed his fist into the floor.

Saku managed to get but he was too dazed to really stand straight from the attacks. Jordan extracted his fist from the indent in the floor “You should have just stayed still” Jordan came walking over to which Saku prepared to defend himself “You…ruined me!” Jordan began swinging fists in many directions.

Saku did his best to evade the attacks but in his dizzy state it didn’t do much good as Jordan laid into him “I had everything, I had fame, fans and now…nothing!” he smashed Saku into the wall and then grabbed his neck “It’s all thanks to you” Jordan began strangling him “The great Jordan beaten by a rankless weakling!” the colour began to vanish from his face “so…I’m going to ruin you”

As Saku began to grow limp in Jordan’s vice-grip a completely cold feeling could be felt around the room. Then a sort of sinister touch landed on Jordan’s shoulder followed by a menacing female voice “I suggest…you let go” the grip tightened with such force the cracking of bone could be heard from Jordan’s shoulder making him let go of Saku. Saku began gasping for air while Jordan felt his shoulder

“Ahhhh….who the hell did…ah?” he turned round and felt his very blood freeze as he gazed at the person stood before him “Ahh…ahhh” the menacing voice spoke again

“so…you like hurting people do you? Does it give you fun? Does it give you pleasure?” a sinister smile appeared “May I try it?” the girl stretched out an arm to which a tall and large green hammer appeared landing on the floor with a smash. Jordan looked very nervous

“a…aura weapon …of that size” the hammer slowly ascended off the floor “still being that heavy…” however like a bullet, the hammer swung into Jordan smashing him through every desk in the room before crashing into the back wall.

Jordan was dazed but opened his eyes in a terrified state at the person stood before him “So…this is…the infamous blonde demon…Aries Stritos” Aries was stood holding her large hammer with great ease, her hair was stuck out on her as her aura rose around her. All traces of her kind demeanour had simply vanished as she gazed at Jordan with almost blood-thirsty eyes but still not without her sweet smile “What happened to you?

“nothing…I’m just…enjoying myself” she laughed almost innocently sending chills down Jordan’s spine

“What’s wrong with me?” he looked at his trembling body “I can’t stop shaking…” he then looked at Saku who was watching Aries with fear in his eyes “he’s terrified of his own sister! No…No, I won’t be terrified by a girl! Now have this”

Jordan began running towards Aries “You’ll pay for that” Jordan punched at Aries but she simply blocked his punch with her aura hammer “What the?” Aries then pushed back with such force he smashed into the floor. Jordan was getting up and narrowly rolled out of the way as Aries smashed her hammer into the ground, causing the very building to vibrate. Jordan got to his hands and knees “What power! She swings that around with such ease”

“Oh I’m sorry” said Aries in a cute tone “I didn’t mean to miss. I was aiming for your head” Jordan recoiled

“She’s gone berserk. She’s like…sadistic. As long as she’s got that hammer…there’s nothing I can do. So…I’ll have to get close” Jordan began running at Aries. Aries swung at him, Jordan he narrowly jumping over and seeing his moment prepared to strike “I’ve got you now” however he felt a blunt force hit him the stomach.

Jordan sort off hung there, almost choking while Aries spoke “Oh did I hurt you…I’m so sorry” Jordan was almost hanging off Aries foot as she had kicked him in mid-air “I didn’t mean to hit you so hard. I just…got…carried away” she then gave an innocent laugh “now…to peel you off” Aries, in an odd-way, threw Jordan backwards with her foot. Jordan landed with a mild thump and although stirring found himself very badly winded

“What the hell…just happened? It felt like…I just got hit by a lead boot” as he looked he saw something strange “a…second one!?” Aries had around her shoes green greaves which covered her feet to her knees “she has two aura weapons?”

Aries stamped her hammer down which she dragged along the floor towards Jordan who began retreating “now…I am going to make this very clear” said Aries “Now I don’t mind competition. But…you hurt one hair…on my friends or brother ever, I repeat ever again” she leaned down towards him “Then you will eat all your meals with a straw. Is. That. Clear!?” Jordan only had to take one look at her eyes to which he replied

“yes ma’am”

Aries leaned upright “good boy. Now run along” she turned round and began walking back to Saku. She relinquished her hammer and her green grieves disappeared. Her hair also drooped as she walked back to Saku. The room began to warm up as she knelt down “Saku…Saku are you okay?” Saku snapped out his scared daze as the kind vibe of Aries came flooding back

“I am now” Aries helped him to his feet “remind, never, ever make you mad” Aries looked a bit confused

“I wasn’t that bad was I?” Saku gave a nod “Oh…sorry I didn’t mean to scare you. I just…lost my temper” Saku nervously laughed but then Aries saw his forehead “Oh…you’re bleeding” she pulled out a handkerchief “here let me get that” she tried to be gentle but Saku still winced and cringed

“Ow…ow that hurts”

“Will you stop being a baby?” the bleeding stopped “there we go” Aries stepped back “Now let’s go to the Nurse’s office and…ahhh….ahhh” Saku stared in place not moving a muscle.

Jordan in his aura-coat of brown gloves and cape had his fist bore into Aries side “There…does this hurt?” Aries looked be in a lot of pain. Saku was just stood in place “No…then how about another?” he punched her again this time making her cough up blood. Saku felt something begin to envelope him…something he couldn’t control “there we go…not so high and mighty are you”

With the 3rd punch he sent Aries into the front wall “You really think I was just going to get up and walk away like a dog. I am the great Jordan, see how great I am”

“What’s so great…about a coward?” he turned to Saku who looked at him with glaring eyes “You are nothing but a big heartless spineless coward…with no honour” Saku had clenched his fists to which his aura came out

“You really think that you’re little power boost is going to save me?” his aura thickened to which it looked like Saku was producing the aura himself

“You’re just…a monster. Who skulks in the shadows” said Saku angrily. His anger was reaching great height which in turn seemed to affect his aura

Aries was shrugging off the attack, not too badly hurt, and turned to Saku “Ahh…Saku?” she saw his body was now producing the white aura but now…something else “no…no” his aura had red crimson stripes running through it “Saku…” while Aries began to fear, Jordan looked unaffected

“Oh…did the little boy get angry” he said mockingly “well…” Jordan ran forward “big deal” he then thrust his punch forward but to his shock Saku had caught his punch.

Jordan was struggling with his brown like gloved hand “he…caught it with his bare hand” Saku then turned Jordan, so his back faced the back wall “hey let go!” as he looked at Saku’s glare he felt a deep chill

“Now…how about we finish this” Saku held out his spare hand to which threads from his aura began swirling around. The threads eventually forming a sphere of red and white that radically spun round “Now” Saku thrust his sphere into Jordan’s chest “get lost” Jordan began to get carried backwards by the sphere of energy at a fast speed smashing him, and pinning Jordan, into the back-wall.

Saku then tensed his hand which seemed to make the sphere spin faster pushing Jordan harder. The sphere kept pushing Jordan into the wall, cracks started to form with Saku holding his hand out. Aries rushed over to Saku

“Saku…Saku you need to stop!” Saku didn’t respond “Saku…calm down now!” Saku finally responded and snapped out of it. As he relaxed the sphere simply vanished to which Jordan remained in-printed in the wall “Saku…are you alright?”

“Yeah…I guess so” he then looked at Jordan. Jordan was out cold with a circle section of his shirt ripped showing a part of his torso with a deep and bloodied indent “Did…I do that?” Aries looked at him

“No…I did that” Saku turned to her “I got a bit…carried away and ended up smashing him with my aura-hammer”

“Are you sure?” he asked curiously to which Aries smiled

“well look at the shape. See the circle” Saku looked at Jordan’s wound before “and does this face lie?” Saku shook his head “Good boy” she hugged him against her bust making his face go red “now you go and relax while I deal with this ruffian” Saku gave a clueless nod and left.

Aries looked worried “His power…is somehow coming back. Is it slipping?. I hope not” little did she know however Marina had witnessed the whole fight from the outside. She quickly retreated and watched Saku leave in the opposite direction

“What did she mean by slipping? She speaks as if there’s something locked away. I wonder”

Saku was walking through the hallways thinking back on the fight “What happened? And again…my memory is all fuzzy. Did Aries really do that to Jordan? Then again Aries isn’t known as the blonde demon for nought. It’s probably best I didn’t remember” as he turned a corner he saw to his surprise “Aureline hey” she turned round

“Oh Saku…hello” she was taken by surprise “What brings…you here?” she felt her purple hair until she noticed Saku’s injury “Oh your head what happened?”

“I…kind of got ambushed by Jordan and…smashed through a door and into a desk” Aureline leaned in close making Saku very nervous

“well…it doesn’t appear too bad. It stopped bleeding but it should still be bandaged” she then leaned back seeing his red face “What’s the matter? Your face is…red” Saku looked a bit awkward answering this question

“Well…it’s because…erm” Aureline took his arm

“Come on, let’s go to the nurse’s office” as she sort-of dragged Saku away.

Saku was sat down on the bed by Aureline as she had a bandage in hand. Saku was still a bit red as she took out a long strip “Right…here we go. Now to begin wrapping it around” Saku felt a bit awkward

“So…Aureline, well done on becoming a representative”

“Oh…erm…thank you”

“so…what did you say was your rank?”

“Oh, I’m a rank A. A weapon wielder”

“A second one? Mia’s a weapon wielder as well” the two appeared to be struggling to continue the conversation “so…ummm…how did you train?” Aureline hesitated at first

“I learnt…in the jungle. It’s…how I learnt all my survival training”

As Saku pondered Aureline finished bandaging his head “there we go, all done” at that point Lexi had walked in

“There you are” said Lexi “I’d thought I find you here” she then saw his head “Aries said you had a fight with Jordan but that creep didn’t half slug you”

“Yeah well, thanks to Aries he won’t be walking anytime soon” Lexi had a strange look of relief

“is that so? Well anyway, your friend Anastasia is having some trouble. She’s in the training hall. She looks really lost for some reason”

“Okay then”

Saku stood up “alright then I’ll go see her. Thanks for the help Aureline”

“Oh…no problem. And it looks like your fever wore off” Saku looked shocked “just a while ago your face was red” Aureline leaned in close looking at his face “and now it’s coming back…” Saku retreated

“Oh it’s okay. I’ll just go outside…thanks” and with that he practically ran off. Aureline tilted her head

“erm…Lexi is it? How come he ran away?” Lexi let off a quiet groan

“You don’t know much about boys do you?”

Aureline looked a bit ashamed as she shook her head “hey, hey don’t take it the wrong way” said Lexi sounding unusually apologetic “look…the reason he had a red face was because he had a girl come close to him”

“I…don’t really understand. Could you tell me what it means?”

“It means, he has some affection for you” this really shocked Aureline “or in basic terms…he likes you”

“he…likes me?” Lexi placed a hand on Aureline’s shoulder

“Saku is a doofus but…he does care deeply for others. That much credit I have to give him. He’ll be slow but you’ll soon see a side of him…not many others see” Aureline nodded “he is different though isn’t he?” Aureline had a pink face as she replied

“yes…yes he is”

Saku was out of breath from running down towards the training hall “phew that was close…and Lexi being there didn’t help. Aureline seems pretty clueless about people” he then began thinking about Aureline’s words “Now that I think about…when she spoke about survival training…her eyes” he remembered her gaze was empty and full of sadness “she looked…so lonely. I mean…I can kind of relate but hers felt…much worse” he shook his head “I might just be overthinking things. Well…time to find Anastasia” as he journeyed onwards to the training hall “and should just around here and…oh” he saw the training hall filled with plants and flowers with Anastasia in the middle “it looks like she’s already practicing”

Anastasia with a cane in hand was guiding her plants around the room. Saku approached “hey Anastasia” she jumped from surprise

“Oh Saku, you scared me”

“Oh sorry” said Saku rubbing his head “I didn’t mean to surprise you” she then noticed his bandage

“Oh Saku” she said shocked as she ran over “What happened to your head?”

“A run in with an old friend that’s all. It’s alright Aureline patched me up. What are you up to?”

“just…practicing that’s all” Anastasia was a bit unsure in her voice “I have to make sure I’m…trained enough to be a representative” she had an unhappy face to which Saku had an idea

“well…then…I know what I’m going to do”

Saku began climbing on the vines and sliding along them “This is a lot of fun” he was swinging from a vine branch like a monkey bar “I used to do this kind of thing all the time”

“What arree you doing?” asked Anastasia

“Playing in a jungle gym” he said with a cheeky grin “come on. Jungle…gym. Get it?” Anastasia then smiled and gently laughed

“Saku…that’s such a terrible joke” Saku smiled and began climbing and jumping between the vines and trees

“This would make an excellent training course. Do you think you could help me out?”

“of course” Anastasia then began to create plants for Saku to traverse over “So, Saku…do you think I’ll do well?” she said making a set of stairs

“of course” he said with confidence “I mean…look at all this. This isn’t exactly easy to fight against” he was at the top of a tree, standing on a branch which stood at least 10ft over the floor “I don’t get what you’re worried about” he didn’t get an answer “Anastasia?”

Saku looked at Anastasia to see her transfixed in place “Anastasia” Saku slid down the tree “Anastasia” he jumped down to the floor “Anastasia” she was trembling as she stared in one direction “What’s the matter?” he followed her gaze and saw the familiar but odd flower “It’s the black tulip again” he then saw Anastasia hold herself

“No, No…please no” her hair turned silver and she went to her knees “not again…not again” the flowers vanished as the vines once again began to randomly grow rapidly in different directions

“uh oh” Saku ran over to Anastasia “Anastasia” he knelt down to her “Anastasia…it’s okay” he placed his hands on her arms drawing her gaze “It’s alright now”

“You’ll…stay with me?” she began to slowly calm down

“yeah of course I will” her eyes widened and her plants stopped.

Anastasia’s hair gradually reverted back to light brown as Saku helped her up “there we go. It’s a good thing I came to find you after all” she looked tired and ashamed “is this why your so worried…because of your powers going crazy” she gave a sad nod as her hair changed blue

“yes…whenever that…black flower comes…I get really scared”

“Anastasia it’s okay to be scared” she looked at him

“it is?”

“Of course it is” he said with a smiling face as the plants began to vanish “let’s go to my room for some tea”

“Okay” he placed a guiding arm over her shoulder and walked her out of the training hall

“Well…one things for sure thought Saku quickly looking at the disappearing black tulip. “That flower is the cause of her worry. And…I’m going to find out why”

Anastasia then stopped “What’s the matter?” she then leaned in closer to him making Saku very nervous as her bust pressed against his side “Ana…stasia”

“I’m sorry…I just…” she then looked at him “I know they’re touching…but” Saku put on a smile

“It’s…okay. Come on…I’ll make you a hot chocolate”

“I thought you said tea?”

“well…there’s the thing I haven’t been shopping in a while so…yeah no tea” Anastasia couldn’t help but giggle as the Saku nervously walked out with her

It was the next day with everyone in class. Anastasia was notably happier but Sophie still had a worried look on her face which she tried to hide under a smile. Saku could only ponder her worry as Ms Reapa came into the room with Lexi and Aries “morning everyone” said Ms Reapa “Before we begin, I have an announcement to make. I am proud to state that one person among you has been upgraded” this sparked murmurs amongst everyone, even Aries and Lexi didn’t know what was going on

“someone’s being upgraded” “That means…they have gone up a rank” “beyond rare man” “I’ve heard it has only happened a few times ever” Sophie looked confused

“do you two know anything about this?” she asked Saku and Anastasia

Anastasia and Saku shook their heads as Ms Reapa spoke again “however just before we do that…Saku Stritos”

“Ma’am”

“What is your answer? From yesterday?” this seemed to make everyone else more confused while Saku nodded making Ms Reapa smile “very good. I am pleased to announce that Saku Stritos will be chosen as a representative of Green B.U.S” this seemed to come as a shock to everyone except his friends who looked quite pleased for him “yes Saku Stritos our final member. He is to represent Green B.U.S academy…as a C rank fighter”

The words didn’t seem to register in Saku’s ears as he stared in place “What…did you…say?” was all he could reply with as Ms Reapa spoke

“I analysed your aura reading yesterday” she presented Saku a certificate “And due to your current status…you have now being deemed…as a C-rank fighter” Saku stared at the certificate which read out Saku Stritos C-rank Aura fighter “congratulations” Ms Reapa then clapped followed by Aries. Then Sophie, Anastasia, Mia...until pretty soon everyone joined in. Saku just looked round the class in wonder, as he saw everyone clapping. Aureline clapped too, as did to his surprise Lexi although casually.

Sophie then spoke “well done Saku” the happiness flooded through him as tears came to his eyes. Saku covered his eyes with arm as he began to softly cry from happiness beckoning Sophie and Anastasia to comfort him. Even Mia came down to check up on him while all Aries could do was just smile

“I’ve never seen him this happy…in my life. You kept trying and trying and now finally…it’s paying off” Marina was in thought

I thought as much. He truly deserves this, but the question is…why didn’t he get upgraded sooner. There’s no way his talents could’ve been unrecognised for this long…there must be a factor involved at this academy. Still. she noticed an expression of worry in Lexi. From what I saw…there could be…a lot more.

Marina recalled an event from yesterday. Marina was waiting behind a corner watching a room “Marina…Marina” she was being called by Scarlet who ran to her but Marina shushed her “sorry…I just got your text. What’s the matter?” they soon heard footsteps to which Marina hid round the corner . She saw Ms Reapa come out and walk in the opposite direction

“come on this way” Marian ran into the room

“Marina…hey…what you doing?” as Scarlet ran into the room which was an emergency room of some kind “whoa” she saw an unconscious Jordan lying on a white bed “What the?” he had a visible indent in his torso covered deeply in blood and grazes “¿Qué diablos pasó? what happened to him?”

“He…got into a fight”

Ivy cocked her head “This…was from a fight? Are you serious? It looks like he went toe-to-toe with a shredder”

“yes…look can you examine his wound? We don’t have long”

“Alright, fine, fine” Scarlet looked carefully at his wound “It’s like…he got hit by a spherical shredder. The amount of cuts suggest that he got continually slashed by a razor or sharp object”

“Will it heal?”

Scarlet looked at the wound and felt it lightly. After a moment Scarlet shook her head “no…in-fact…he may be injured for the rest of his life” said Scarlet “Jordan is quite a muscular fellow and whatever did this…has actually shredded through muscle and tissue. He’ll be…able but probably never be able to fight again”

“It was his own fault so I have no sympathy” said Marina coldly

“too right. Still…for a person to do this…they must be very…” Scarlet was distracted by something

“What…what is it?”

“Marina…could you get me some water and a tissue?” Marina confused looked round the room. She found some wipes and a sink.

Marina pulled out a wipe, soaked in water and gave to Scarlet. Scarlet began to sort of gently wipe away the blood “I’m going to need a couple more, it’s actually still bleeding”

“I’ll help too” the two began wiping away the blood to which they noticed something shocking “What are these?” between the bruises and cuts the skin were dark red patches

“muy extraño…very strange. These are scorch marks…like from burns”

“So…what you’re saying is Jordan got pulverized, shredded…and cooked?”

“That’s exactly it. For one person to do this…is someone you want to stay clear”

Marina then looked at Saku who wiped his eyes at his desk “Saku doesn’t remember anything about the event. Maybe the feeling but not the actually event itself. Which could mean he is being overwhelmed but the question remains…what? And why?”

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