Eternal Courage

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Chapter 1: First Day, First Friend

The bus was humming its way along with all its students in tow, all talking amongst one another so loudly and quickly, that you couldn’t tell what a single person said. All these students were about to begin their first day…at the worst academy in the world. The students that were sent, were for only one of two reasons. They either were motivation for the other students…or they were under achievers, One of those underachievers being Saku. The bus eventually came to a stop and the students, including Saku, climbed out of the bus to the academy stood before them.

The academy was very large and wide as it was also designed as living quarters for all the students. It was a chocolate brown in colour, and the size of it able to house a village. Saku looked up at the building “well…this is it, this is my only chance to become a bio-duellist. Oh boy…I need all the luck I can get” he then sighed “I wonder how long it’ll be before the insults start coming” as he thought a series of chimes echoed followed by a ladies voice

“Attention all new students. Please report to the assembly hall for your introduction ceremony” Saku sighed again

“Well…this will give me a chance to see the other students I suppose” with that he headed inside.

After a couple of minutes, because he got lost by the large crowds, he made his way to the assembly hall. The assembly hall was a plain square with a tall stage at the back. All the students (At least numbering between 60-70) were all stood in a grid formation. Saku then saw a woman with long dark hair in a long black dress like shirt address them all

“Attention! Attention! Thank you. Well welcome one and all to Green B.U.S academy. I am Ms Reapa. I will be your headmistress from this moment on” she then gave a polite bow and wore a nice smile. Her atmosphere seemed pleasant

Well at least she seems nice. thought Saku as the lady was joined by a man.

The man was bald, although had white hair around the sides and back wearing a white jacket and pants. He seemed to carry much confidence in the way he upheld himself in posture “hello to all you gracious newcomers today” Saku immediately sighed “I am your glorious headmaster. Headmister John” all the students began murmuring “Ahem, I mean Headmaster John” giggles erupted from the crowd “now I welcome you all here today, as the great headmaster I am, to this most brilliant academy. And as much…” Saku zoned out from his conversation

“I can see the rumours about this place were true” Thought Saku “A teacher who’s in love with himself, great. And what I heard about the students is true as well it was then he looked at the other boys and girls.

For the majority the boys all had similar physiques. All the boys, that were wearing the light black jumper over a white shirt, were all handsome and appealing. They all had nice builds, with fine or gelled hair. They were obviously popular due to several girls swooning over them. The boys seemed to hold themselves with an air of confidence and/or ego. However some boys just didn’t care how they looked. Some had partially tucked in their jumper, some had it tied around their waist or neck, a couple even had large tears in their jumpers. Saku wondered if they even bothered to look in a mirror before he turned to the girls.

The girls wore a looser dull white jumper over a black t-shirt, with a slightly long black skirt. Saku made an observation about the girls which made him sigh “yep…every single one. The men are all built like Ox’s or handsome brutes while the girls are both pretty…” he said glancing at them to see their visible growths “and well endowed, some more than others. Great…I can see why this school is nicknamed Green B.U.S.T.Y academy. Instead of motivation, all this school has done…is designed the school to get both genders staring and ogling…great” he snapped out of his daze as Ms Reapa spoke again

“Again thank you all for coming. Can you please exit the hall in an orderly fashion and go to the rooms you have been assigned? The number of your room is on the card you were given” Saku put a hand in his pocket and pulled out a card with the number 35

“well…time to make myself at home” he said as he left the hall with the others.

Saku was walking down the corridor with a map in hand “Okay so…I’m in the right place” he was coming to the corner “now to turn right” as he did he felt himself bounced to the floor landing on his bottom “ow…jeez. What did I run into?”

“Oh I’m sorry” he opened his eyes to see someone stood over him “I didn’t realise you were coming round” he looked up and saw a fellow student, a girl, her appearance making him look quite embarrassed.

The girl looked to be of sixteen years of age, of average height with shiny waist-length dark hair, mostly in two pig tails tied by blue ribbons. The girl had cream skin and eye of bright brown eyes which seemed to shine of innocence. Also like every other girl wore the uniform. She approached Saku with a hand gestured forth “here” she said going down to one leg “let me help you up” offering a hand she helped Saku to his feet “again I’m so sorry”

“No it’s okay…I’m not hurt” he said with a red face “I should’ve been…paying attention to where I was going. I’m sorry for running into you…and bouncing off of you” Saku was namely embarrassed due to the girls physique, as she had a quite endowed bosom.

The girl looked a tad ashamed “I’m sorry for walking into you” the girl said crossing her arms under her chest “They do get in the way don’t they? I hope you’re not angry”

“No of course not” said Saku a bit quickly “It’ll teach me to pay attention. I’ve done it often enough” she looked confused “let’s say I had three…umm ‘Big’ sisters who liked playing practical jokes”

“Are you sure you’re…not angry?”

“Why would I? As my sisters always say…’it’s not your fault for being gifted, it’s my fault for being blind’”

The girl looked deeply relieved as she exhaled a long breath “I can only thank you for your kindness. I…don’t want to make a first bad impression only…now…ummm” she first smiled but then she looked troubled

“Hey what’s the matter?” said Saku recognising her worry “is something wrong?”

“Well it’s just…I can’t find my room” she put her hand in her white jumper and pulled out the card which read 36 “I’ve been looking for a while now…but I can’t find it”

“Didn’t you get a map?” she shook her head “Well it’s okay. As coincidence will have it, my room number is 35”

“So that means we’re neighbours” she said happily “so which way?”

“Erm…this way” with a smile the girl followed Saku.

A few minutes the two found their rooms to which the girl looked very relieved “Oh thank goodness we found them. Oh thank you very much erm…”

“Saku” he said holding out his arm “the name’s Saku” she took his hand with both of hers and shook it

“I’m Sophie. Well, I’m going in to rest for a bit but…I’ll come by later okay” she said with a smile going through the door while Saku looked happy

“Well she seems nice enough” he then became unhappy “but…I wonder what she’ll think when she finds out my surname” he sighed with a tone of sadness “well…might as well sit for a bit” he stepped through the door and came to a rather large room.

The room had a small kitchen area, a bed, a wardrobe and a small bathroom with a shower “so…this is my living quarters for the next year” as he said this, he heard the school chimes echo

“Attention all students. Classes will now begin, please head to your homerooms printed on the back of your cards, thank you” Saku pulled out his card and flipped it

“2A…I wonder what room Sophie got. Well…might as well get going…and prepare for the embarrassment” he left the room with steady steps but a heavy heart he left his room.

Saku managed to find his classroom and came to a rather large amount of noise. The class room was fairly moderate in size and spilt into two sections. At the front was a large open area in-front of a blackboard while the back section was a set of stairs with a long desk along the middle of each step. Around eight students could sit along each of the four desks. Saku looked to see a majority of the students already seated but talking amongst one another.

Three of them seemed to stick out more than most as they looked to be on their own. A muscular looking boy with wavy hazel hair appeared to be in deep concentration, with his folded arms and eyes closed. It appeared so deep he didn’t appear to notice three girls all staring at him with their heads on their hands.

The second appeared to be a girl sat right at the back. She was clearly visible as she had bright purple hair which seemed to cover most of her face. She looked to almost secluded as she kept to herself, despite students sat on either side of her, yet no signs of speaking out either. Saku wasn’t sure if the girl was shy…or something else.

The third person was to his surprise, and slight dismay, Sophie who appeared to be a little afraid as she looked round the room. She then noticed Saku and immediately beamed “Saku, Saku over here” Saku felt quite unhappy but put on a smile as he walked towards her “You’re in this class too”

“Yeah…it looks like it” he said trying to hide his shame

“I’m so glad I have a friend in the same class”

“You won’t feel that way for long” he said without realising it

“What do you mean by that?” before Saku could answer an ominous presence filled the room causing everyone to turn to the entrance door.

They all turned to see a familiar female walk into the room, who’s very presence, despite her demeanour, seemed to silence everyone. Saku saw it was the headmistress, Ms Reapa, from the hall “Attention everyone! In your seats!” Saku saw everyone quickly get into their seat but then he felt a gentle tug at his sleeve

“Saku” whispered Sophie moving across one seat “sit here next to me” Saku, a little reluctantly sat next to her.

The Headmistress exuded a sense of authority in her posture “The vibe I’m getting from her now is way different” Said Saku to himself.“It almost feels terrifying” Ms Reapa then spoke

“Alright everyone listen carefully. I am your academy teacher from this day forward” her tone sounded much more serious than in the assembly hall. Saku saw her dim yellow eyes which seemed to lock-on to every student for a brief moment “For the rest of this year you will address me as so”

The headmistress then made a mirage of invisible movements with her hands, as it weaving an invisible thread. Then with a snap of her fingers her name appeared, in a white light “when talking to me, you will call me Miss Reapa. I will not tolerate misbehaviour of any kind. If I see you behaving in appropriately” as she said this she thrust out her arm to which a brown smoky like scythe, suddenly appeared in her hand “You will answer to me”

The scythe was not made of metal but a white smoky substance which pulsed along the handle to the tip of the sharp looking blade “You will respect the rules of this school and behave yourselves” said Ms Reapa as she then pulled out an apple “or” she tossed the apple in the air “You will be having” she sliced through the apple with her scythe, cutting it cleanly in two “one-on-one sessions with me. Understood?”

The entire room was silence completely…no even dared to breathe afraid of what could happen. Ms Reapa relinquished her scythe, which vanished into thin air “so…did I make my clear?” Everyone nodded with only sounds being the muffled sounds of students gulping air “now, let’s begin with roll call” said Ms Reapa talking out an electronic tablet “As you may have noticed there are a couple of empty seats” Saku quickly glanced to see three spaces not occupied, one of which was next to him, one at the back and one right behind him on the row above “they will be appearing in the next few days. Anyway now to begin”

Ms Reapa held the tablet in her hand “since you are all new, you will state your names and rank. As in fighting rank” this made Saku quite sad which Sophie noticed “so…let’s start with…you at the top left” Saku watched as one by one the students called out their names and rank. He then saw the purple haired girl answer, in a plain voice

“My name is Aureline dawn. A rank” Saku then went in a slump as he rested his head on the desk which worried Sophie

“Saku…what’s the matter?” at this time the muscular boy spoke with a British accent

“The name’s Jason Moores…a B rank fighter” the sighs of girls could be heard in the background but a stern look from Ms Reapa soon silenced them.

Saku watched as his turn creeped up. Sophie was becoming quite worried “Saku…Saku what’s wrong?” said Sophie grabbing his shoulder

“Ahem excuse me” said Ms Reapa “Young lady with the twin tails, name and rank please”

“Oh erm…Sophie Brown. Rank B…ma’am” then Ms Reapa looked at Saku

“Young man…your name is?” Saku looked hesitant “Your name…now!” she demanded making Saku sigh

“Well…” he said looking at Sophie “You are going to find out sooner or later” he turned to the teacher “my name…is Saku…Stritos”

The mere mention of his name sent murmurs all along the classroom

“Wait he said Stritos” “he’s the member of the great Stritos family” “That means he really strong” again a mere look from Ms Reapa silenced

“And your Rank mister Stritos?” Saku looked quite ashamed but ready

“I am…Rank” most of the students all shared interest but Sophie could see the unhappiness in his face “I am Rank…D” this surprised all of them “I am Rank D…Ma’am” as he said that once more the murmurs emerged but were mocking ones

“Now I remember” “yeah he’s the failure of the family” “every academy turned him down” “no wonder he’s here in this dump” Sophie looked quite sympathetic as Saku took the hail of murmurs

“Silence!” called out Ms Reapa silencing them “Rank A or D doesn’t matter. You are here to learn. Now continue roll call” as the names continued Sophie looked at Saku’s eyes to see them staring into the distance

“His eyes…they looked…so lonely”

As the school chime sounded, all the students began streaming out of class room. News of Saku’s attendance had quickly spread throughout the school, for as Saku walked alone back to his room he could hear the whispers of everyone “there he is…the only D rank person in the world” “apparently he doesn’t even know how to fight” one insult was clearly audible “hey…loser. How does it feel to be the failure of the family?” Saku heard the sound of slapping hands as he continued unflinching to his room.

Saku got into his room and sat down at the small table, in his kitchen, putting his head on it “I knew it was going to be difficult but…there’s only so much I can take. I already know I’m a failure, you don’t have to tell me twice” as he sighed he heard a knock at his door “I didn’t think the practical jokes would start so early”

“Saku, Saku” it was Sophie’s voice “can I come in?” he was slightly surprised

“Yeah the door’s open”

Saku sat up and saw Sophie come through the door. Sophie looked a bit awkward before smiling “Hi Saku. I was wondering if you’re doing anything?”

“Erm not really. Why?”

“I was just wondering” she said looking embarrassed “If you would like to come for a cup of tea” Saku merely slumped his head back on the table

“You don’t have to pity me you know” this seemed to shock her “I know I’m no good. So…you don’t have to associate with me if you don’t want to” she heard the shamefulness in his voice

“Saku, hey you know…” she took a breath and looked serious “I don’t care you’re a rank D person” she said in a determined tone but Saku didn’t look up

“That’s what they all say…before they dump a bucket of water over my head” Sophie looked more determined and grabbed his arm

“Alright get up now” Saku felt himself being pulled up and then pushed out the door “now you’re coming with me”

“Okay, okay stop shoving. I’m moving” said Saku as Sophie closed the door behind him.

Saku was guided, or rather forced, into a similar looking room. The only difference seemed to be the make-up desk and mirror next to the bed. He was sat down to the similar looking table, in the kitchen area, with an awkward expression efpre Sophie then presented him with a cup of tea in a white mug “here you go Saku” said Sophie in a happy voice “I put in plenty of sugar for you” she said reassuringly as Saku gingerly took the cup. Saku slowly put it to his lips and sipped the hot tea to find the taste pleasant “is it alright?”

“Yes it’s fine thank you” she smiled and after pouring herself a cup, she sat down to the table as well.

After a drink Sophie curiously asked “So Saku…is it really true…that you’re a D rank?” this made his smile drop as Saku put his drink down

“Yes…it’s true” said Saku shamefully “I…can’t wield a weapon, control an element…or even fight”

“Saku…”

“I bet you must think it’s hilarious that I, the son of the Stritos family, is more or less a failure”

“Don’t talk yourself down like that! Have more respect in yourself” she said in a serious tone surprising him.

Saku looked quite surprised as Sophie had an angry look about her “just because you’re not very good doesn’t mean you’re a failure!” Saku gave a weak chuckle

“I’m sorry it’s just…you’re the second person, to say that to me…ever. The first being my father…and he’s gone”

“Saku…in my family we respect everyone, be they beginner or master and…we’re friends so that makes it more important” Saku seemed astonished as he near sprung

“Friends?” before he said more slowly “we’re…friends?”

“Of course we are” she said in a determined tone “You helped me find my way to my room. I probably passed about twenty others but you were the only one who helped me”

Saku watched her as she then smiled “so come on cheer up. If you want…I could also teach you a few moves”

“But…I can’t control my aura” he said sadly

“So” she said plainly “I can teach you how to fight at least. I’m alright in using my power but I like to fight physically much more. So we could train together?” she offered a hand out “so how about it?” Saku looked at her hand and then her innocent face

“Okay…if you’ll take me” he said shaking her hand “I know I’m not that good but I appreciate any help you can give me”

“Well…the rest of the day is free and I’ve heard there is a training hall. So why don’t we go now?”

“Yeah sure”

“Then…let me just get my Training Item” with a nod she got up from her chair and ran to her desk.

She opened the desk drawer and pulled out a thin but long yellow scarf (Not far from a Neckerchief) “That’s the Scarf you were on about?”

“It’s my training scarf” she loosely put the yellow scarf around her neck which hung down past her chest “now…just to I can’t…quite” Saku noticed she was having difficulty tying it in an appropriate knot

“If you like…I can tie it for you…if you need help”

“If you can…yes please” she said red face

Saku began tying the scarf, Sophie being rather embarrassed “I was never was too good with Scarf, that’s why would always have my mom help me with this” she noticed his rather plain face as he gently rested the neatly tied scarf on her chest

“There you go. All done” she was looking at his face with interest, shifting her view from left to right “What is it?”

“Hmm…you don’t seem…the slightest bit embarrassed” she then crossed her arms under her bust “Don’t these…bother you?”

“Hmmm…not really. Besides, don’t be ashamed of how you look. I think you look quite lovely” this comment seemed to make her instantly shy

“You…really think so?” he smiled and nodded “why thank you” Saku saw her beam at him with a red face “come on then” she said grabbing his arm “now I am determined to help you. ” Saku made no effort to resist as he got pulled along

A friend huh? A first time for everything I suppose.

The training hall was nothing special. It was just a plain open square. The floor was layered with a sort of brown spongy mat while people could see from the 2nd and 3rd floor balconies. It was completely empty with only Saku and Sophie present “Okay Saku. I’m going to teach you some basics of combat and general fighting” Saku nodded “so first I’ll show you how to defend yourself first”

Sophie showed Saku the proper poses and stances to which he followed quite quickly. Sophie ended up adjusting his body a little “Slightly fold the arm a bit more”

“Like this” said Saku

“That’s it…that way you can block a punch easier. Now don’t put so much weight on one leg, balance it out”

“Oh…okay” after some short tutoring and how to defend with the poses “there you go. Now remember those stances and…ahh!” she immediately thrust a punch forward which Saku managed to defend “see…there you go. Alright we’ll try a few more”

Sophie began throwing more blows to which Saku managed to defend but then with a low sweep of her leg tripped him “It’s alright to protect your top but” Sophie offered him a hand “You need to watch your legs too” she helped Saku to his feet “in the case of low kicks, position your weight to your feet okay? Okay that’s basic defence, now we’ll try offense. Just try attacking me” Saku looked reluctant “It’s okay I’ll be fine”

Saku began to randomly throw punches and kicks which Sophie had no problem dodging. Then as Saku thrust a punch forward, Sophie grabbed his hand, bent his arm and pushed him to the ground “You’re putting too much power into your attacks” she once more helped him to his feet “power is all well and good but you can’t rely on it. Try again but this time don’t stretch your arm fully out” Sophie grabbed his arm and showed him “pull out, a bit more…no not quite there. Strike with your arm this far out and focus” Saku nodded “Okay…now try again”

Saku began to attack once more, now focusing his attacks. “there, there that’s it” said Sophie encouragingly “You’re already hitting harder” Sophie then deflected a punch away and proceeded to attack him but Saku deflected her blow away using the moves she had taught him “That’s it. Now” she went for the low sweep but to her surprise he blocked it with his foot “That’s great. Now back on offense”

After a short while of training, Saku was panting, with his hands on his knees. Sophie was a little out of breath but impressed “Saku, you picked things up really quickly”

“Thanks…ah…ah…” he said panting

“At least you know the basics. We can go on from there now” Saku stood up straight regaining normal breathing speed “I’m really surprised you were able to learn that quickly. I mean…I have been told I’m not the best teacher”

“Are you…kidding me?” said Saku quickly surprising her “You’re the only person who’s gone out of their way to teach me” this comment made her happy “and…thanks to you” he performed his defensive stances and thrust a few blows into the air “I actually have some moves. So…thanks” Saku said rubbing his head

“You’re quite welcome”

“Are we alright to keep going? I’d like to learn more about this”

“Okay but we’ll take a break first”

“Alright. I’ll go get us a drink then” with a smile and nod Saku ran away from the hall while she giggled

“He looked so happy just then” she then looked troubled “Still…It took me weeks to learn what he did in a day. Has no-one really bothered to teach him?” since she was deep in her thoughts she had failed someone approaching behind her with a sinister smile on his face.

Saku was at the drinks machine, just outside the hall, getting himself and Sophie a can of cola. He had a wide smile on his face “This is great. Even if I can’t use my aura, I actually have some fighting moves” the second can popped out which Saku picked up and began to walk back “and it’s all thanks to-” he was interrupted by her voice which sounded desperate

“Hey, hey give me that back!”

“Sophie!” he immediately ran towards the hall to see Sophie on the floor in-front of a rather tall and evenly built boy. Saku ran to Sophie “Sophie, hey are you alright?” she gave a small nod

“And who would this loser be?” Saku turned to the boy.

The boy was tall, slightly muscular and had short brown hair in a mohawk. He had this intimidating air about him and Saku slightly shivered “where have I seen you before? Oh…wait, you’re the Stritos loser. What are you doing hanging out with a…charming lady such as this?”

“I was about to ask you the same thing, jerk” this seemed to annoyed him “Sophie” he helped her to her feet “hey….are you alright?” she looked quite upset “What’s wrong?”

“He…took my scarf”

Saku immediately turned to the boy to see the scarf in his hand “hey…you have something which doesn’t belong to you” the boy looked casually at the scarf

“What…this rag? Why is it important?” he said mockingly

“Does it matter?” said Saku in an annoyed tone “give it back!”

“Ermmm….no” he said with a laugh “if this rag is valuable I may keep it…but…I may surrender it if you beat me in a bio duel”

Sophie looked at him “Saku, no you can’t”

“Fine…you’re on” said Saku in a determined voice

“Saku…no really it’s fine”

“No Sophie, bullies need to be put in their place” this comment seemed to make her happy but it worried her more “Okay then let’s go”

“Even if you’re a failure you’re not chicken” said the boy “so…I’m feeling a bit…generous. The fight will be a survival match with a condition” The boy displayed three fingers “three minutes. If you can…survive” he said with an evil smirk “for three minutes. You win the bio duel. If you win” holding the scarf in his hand “You get this rag back…but if I win. You will bow before me” Sophie looked quite worried but before she could say anything

“You’re on”

The boy let off a loud laugh “there you go. This bio-duel is now on” this attracted the attention of those close by coming inside to watch while Sophie went up to Saku

“Saku! What were you thinking?”

“No sweat” said Saku “All I have to do is survive three minutes and I win. No biggie”

“Have you even ever participated in a bio-duel?”

“Erm…no” this shocked her “but…I won’t tolerate him. I don’t care how strong he is, he needs to learn some respect!” Sophie heard the passion in his voice and had a strong belief in his words.

“Okay then. I’ll be cheering for you”

Saku watched her go into the now forming crowd while he faced the boy. Saku watched as the boy stretched out his arms “Ah…my public. They are all here to watch me pound you. Alright let’s get this duel underway. So state your name”

“Saku Stritos” this sparked murmurs among the coming crowds

“That guy is really going to fight?” “does he even know how to fight?” among the watchers was a girl, with long flowing brown hair with the tips being blue, was watching with interest and curiosity

“I don’t see much reason to tell you mine” said the boy smugly “but…I’ll be courteous. I am…Jordan Smith”

This name created more murmurs “he’s one of the champions of the world” “I’ve heard no-one walks away in-tact” “That Stritos boy is going go to lose” the girl was still watching

“Okay now that the world knows ours names” said Jordan as they each tensed their left arms

“LET’s DUEL” they said in unison each fully extending their left arm to which a white glove, with a leather feel, appeared on their hands. Saku readied himself as did Jordan who had a smug smile

“It’s time I teach you what it means to be a bio-duellist” a girl with brown hair looked carefully at Saku

“hmmm…interesting. This match…is going to show us, something we won’t expect”

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