Eternal Courage

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 19: Rivals…And a Gesture

It was back to normal at the Green B.U.S academy…well mostly. The shock of the incident involving Saku and his explosive power had relaxed a little but the tone of fear was still imprinted among all the students. This made things very awkward for Saku who could feel all their fearful eyes fixed on him as he sat in class or wandered round the academy. Saku, with the support of his friends, has returned to the academy although still with much worry in his body. Saku is slowly coming to terms with his new power but fear still lingers.

Saku’s friends sense his worry and the fearful eyes all transfixed on him. They were doing their best to support him and help distract him but they too know Saku hadn’t completely recovered from the incident yet. So it was a rather…awkward time…even more so with a new addition to the academy.

It was the afternoon with Saku training against Sophie in close-combat training, who was doing her best to encourage him “That’s it Saku, block just like that” Sophie no longer had to hold back as Saku was now keeping up at an even pace “Now try striking Saku” Saku swung a kick which Sophie caught “nice try” she then swung and threw him away but Saku bounced off the floor with his hands flipping through the air and landing on his feet “nice one Saku. We’ll call it a day”

Only Anastasia was present at the time as she walked over to Saku “nice job Saku. You’ve definitely improved now”

“Yeah you have” said Sophie encouragingly “I don’t have to hold back anymore. You’re now my sparring partner”

“Yeah well…” said Saku “my body feels much lighter since…you know” they heard his slightly depressed tone “I mean we were training for a while but…I don’t feel out of breath”

“You must have conditioned your body rather well” said Anastasia “so…have you practised any aura attacks?”

Saku looked at her and shook his head. Anastasia than looked serious “then we need that sorting out. Look I know you’re still unsure about your new aura powers but you need to learn how to control it” Saku nodded while Sophie noticed Mia and Aureline come into the training hall

“I’ll leave you two alone” Sophie walked over to Mia and Aureline as Anastasia instructed Saku

“So first Saku I want you to produce a simple energy sphere, go on do it” Anastasia had a new tone of assertiveness in her voice that made Saku want try. Saku produced a small sphere of energy, white at the centre and turning red towards the edges.

Sophie joined Mia and Aureline as they watched as Saku fired the beam into the wall. Anastasia crossed her arms “You see, that wasn’t so bad. Now produce a bigger one and do it again” Mia noted Anastasia’s new tone

“she certainly has taken a more assertive attitude” said Mia as Saku fired another beam he was now producing his normal aura attack “she’s showing him his power is not to be feared”

“If anything” said Aureline “Anastasia understands, more than us, the fears that one’s power can bring”

“Yeah that’s right” said Sophie “Anastasia up until her match with Kieran was terrified of her powers. Maybe she feels like she’s repaying the favour back to him” Saku had produced a swirling and pulsing ball of energy which he held between his hands. Anastasia had produced a thick green vine some distance away from him

“now aim for the vine Saku” Saku thrust the sphere forward producing a beam of red and white. The beam hit the vine square on and slowly carved through it, hitting the wall ahead of it.

Anastasia made an observation “it seems your power is mostly the same as before”

“Yeah I’ve noticed that as well” said Saku looking at his hands “apart from the colour change it does feels the same”

“So you don’t feel any different?” asked Anastasia as Saku clenched his hand making the aura-coat glove

“No not really. It feels the same as before”

Anastasia put her hand to her chin “maybe it’s because you’re just using the same amount of power as before”

“I guess your right” said Saku “I do need to control it…otherwise…” Saku then looked very nervous “Anastasia…can you…help me…please?” Anastasia noted the tone of his voice “I’m going to try…and bring out…my power so” Saku then felt a gentle hand to his shoulder

“I’ll support you…so don’t worry okay” said Anastasia with a red face “I’ll stand next to you if it makes you feel any better” Anastasia stepped a little backwards

“Thank you” said Saku honestly “well…here goes nothing” Saku tensed his body and then clenched his arms.

As Saku began concentrating a mild wind was blowing from him. Then Saku’s body began producing his white and red aura. Anastasia could see the aura around Saku but didn’t feel anything menacing “there you go. Look” said Anastasia as Saku looked at his body “see there’s nothing wrong?”

“I guess…your right” said Saku “So you really think there’s nothing wrong with this?” Saku then felt a soft feeling against his back making him flinch

“of course there isn’t anything wrong” said someone familiar behind him

Saku turned his head round to see Jessamine hugging him “Jessamine?” said Saku taken by surprise

“Don’t mind me...I’m just checking your aura power” she looked at him before pressing her head on his back “it feels so warm” Anastasia looked mortified and surprised

“Jessamine…what the? What are you doing here?” Jessamine had a cheeky smile

“just checking on my new best friend” said Jessamine with a smile

Jessamine then let go, walked in-front of Saku and saw his awkward face “You do look cute when you’re nervous” said Jessamine making Saku turn redder also making his aura dissipate “Oh I get it. You’re not used to such a…” Jessamine folded her arms under her chest “beautiful girl being so friendly are you?” Saku was now a bright red with almost visible steam ebbing from his head.

“Do you mind? We are training here” Anastasia said irritated before she then noticed something else “and why are you wearing our uniform?” Jessamine was wearing the loose black jumper over a white shirt

“Because, princess, from this day on…I’m a student here at the Green B.U.S academy”

This seemed to surprise everyone with Sophie running towards them “wait…did I hear that right?” said Sophie “Your now a student here at Green B.U.S academy” Jessamine did a twirl and winked

“Oh yes” said Jessamine smiling “I’m now here at Green B.U.S academy as your newest student”

“But…” said Anastasia looking confused “You were a student at quite a prestigious academy. So why did you choose to come here of all places?”

“well, I do admit this place could be better” said Jessamine looking round the hall “I mean this whole academy is full of fan clubs, from both genders. It’s also got useless teachers and pervs but…there is one good thing here” Jessamine then turned to Saku and almost jumped on him, pressing her face against his cheek “and it’s this handsome boy”

Both Anastasia and Sophie were both quite annoyed at Jessamine’s behaviour. Anastasia put her hands on her sides “Jessamine, come on” Anastasia said annoyed “We’re trying to train him here. And all you’re doing is putting him off”

“Oh am I messing things up?” said Jessamine as she looked at Saku with an apologetic red face “I’m not…being a bad girl am I?” Saku was completely embarrassed before Jessamine and unable to speak

“Jessamine” said Sophie almost angry “will you leave him alone. You know he’s not that upfront about it” Jessamine then let go and turned to them both

“Oh you’re just jealous that you haven’t got that confidence around him. I mean come on two-tails and princess. Just admit it” Saku was very nervous but a tug from Aureline slowly pulled him backwards

“Why would I be jealous of a overconfident red-head like you” retorted Sophie

“And you know Saku is too nice to tell you off” retorted Anastasia

Saku managed to retreat to a safe distance while the three girls argued amongst one another. Saku breathed out in relief “I never knew someone could be so tiring”

“She doesn’t lack confidence that’s for sure” said Mia also looking a little annoyed “Jessamine does seem very smitten with you”

“well…Saku did save her life” said Aureline “That and Jessamine, I think, had already liked Saku when he saved me.”

“Although I don’t regret saving her” said Saku “I…don’t think I can take…her upfront attitude. I’m just…not used to it”

“I’m surprised when you’ve had Aries all this time” said Mia with a small smile

“It’s different coming from a sibling than a friend. Especially a girl” Mia and Aureline nodded

“yeah I suppose your right” said Aureline “Well why don’t we resume training…” Aureline than leaned her head to the three girls “it looks like they may be a while”

Saku brought back his aura which Aureline held her hand towards it “Your aura does feel much better than last time. It looks like only the colour has changed”

“That’s one thing you have all said to me” said Saku looking at himself

“hey Saku, why don’t you try out your new power?” suggested Mia “it looks like you’re capable of producing the same aura-output as before. So why not…increase it”

“So you want me to produce something more powerful?” asked Saku as he looked at his body with uncertainty “well...”

Aureline then tapped his shoulder “it doesn’t have to be explosive” said Aureline encouragingly “just produce something with a little more kick”

“hey Saku” said Mia “why not mimic another attack from an anime you mentioned?” Saku looked surprised “do you remember that hammer of wrath? On Amethysts’ purple eclipse? You looked you enjoyed yourself”

“That did look quite a sight, how you smashed it into the ground” said Aureline remembering his move “so, why not copy another move from the same anime.”

“well…I could try” said Saku “I would like to mimic another one. Any ideas?” he said with a tone of enthusiasm

“I know” said Mia “why not a beam?”

“Alright let me think” Saku paced around a little “no, no, let’s see…yeah that one!”

Saku held out his hand “Right first I’ve got to produce a sphere of energy” Saku began focusing and threads of his aura began forming together. The threads swirled and formed creating a swirling energy sphere of red with a white core. Saku looked at it “That felt easy. And…you’re right. It doesn’t feel bad” Aureline put her hand towards it but got a surprise

“This…sphere is solid” Aureline even knocked on the sphere producing a sound as if she tapped a crystal ball “You actually condensed your energy”

“What? I did?” said Saku throwing the sphere between one hand and the next “wow. I just pictured a sphere…and this came out”

Mia looked at the sphere with curiosity “so what do you plan on doing with this?” asked Mia

“well I don’t really need this. It’s just to help me focus on a point of origin. Could you do me a favour?” he passed the swirling energy sphere to Aureline “could you throw it directly above me when I give you a signal”

“Oh sure” said Aureline happily. Saku got to his hands and pressed on the ground with his toes.

The three girls were still arguing with Jessamine arguing back “…I’m only being grateful to Saku for saving my life”

“but you’re suffocating him” retorted Sophie “can’t you give him a bit of breathing space” Anastasia than notice something

“hey you two” said Anastasia “Look Saku is preparing to do something” they saw Saku on his hands and feet “he looks…worry free” said Anastasia noticing his enthusiasm “Let’s move out of the way and see what he does” the three girls moved to the side as Saku nodded to Aureline

“Alright let her fly” Aureline threw the sphere above Saku who responded by jumping in the air.

Saku got quite high off the ground and began somersaulting forward in a ball. Saku then reached the airborne sphere and uncrossed his legs over the sphere “X…Blaster!” a red X cross appeared where his legs crossed and a beam of red, with a light red thread spiralling around it, burst from the origin of the X. The beam carried all the way to the other side and hit the wall with considering force, breaking away the plaster and making a small dent into the concrete foundations.

Saku landed on the ground and stared in awe at the attack he did “whoa…I did it! I did the X Blast. I added the er from the Japanese language version” all the girls ran over

“whoa Saku that was amazing” said Sophie

“yeah what the heck was that!?” said Jessamine “it looked like a move straight from an anime” Saku rubbed his head with a grin

“Actually it was. The sphere you saw in the air was just to help me focus” said Saku “it was actually a shooting move from a striker”

“A…Striker?” said Anastasia before tapping her hand with her fist “Oh you mean football!” Saku nodded and chuckled “well you look happier anyway”

“yeah well…” Saku brought back his red aura “since this aura is in me. I might as well get used to it. But there’s one I’d like to try” Saku turned to Mia “during the match me and you aura-merged to produce that sword. Can we try it again?”

Mia smiled and stepped away from the group and swung her right arm out producing her blue aura sword. Saku stood next to her arm holding her right arm “Okay…just channel my energy through your arm” Saku aura emerged and channelled down his arm and up Mia’s. Mia could feel his power through her arm and then feed into her sword

“hey girls look at that” said Sophie pointing. “the red energy is swirling around Mia’ sword joining at the tip” Then in an instant the blade extended to four feet long, with the blade blue and a red thread tying around it. Almost like a chain.

Sophie looked upon the blade “whoa…Saku merged his aura with Mia again” remarked Sophie as Mia held the blade firmly in hand and swung it out

“It’s bigger but doesn’t feel any different” said Mia before turning to Saku “hey Saku look you did it” Saku stared at the blade in Mia’s hand

“but how?” said Saku scratching his head “I heard that bio-merging only occurs between two aura-fighters of similar power and traits”

“Don’t know” said Mia “but I want to test it! Anastasia, do you mind giving me something to slice?”

“yeah sure” said Anastasia bringing out her cane

“no wait!” said Saku startling “can we try to aura-merge? I mean if I could with Mia maybe I could do it with you too” Anastasia smiled and produced a second cane which she gave to Saku

“Well it doesn’t hurt to try does it” Saku smiled and took the cane and walked a couple of steps with Anastasia “well Mia are you ready?” Mia nodded clasping the red aura-sword in hand “and Saku…shall we begin”

Anastasia started by waving her cane upwards with Saku following her movements. Anastasia produced a green vine from the ground which began embalmed in a red aura like coating. Aureline looked at it “That’s quite amazing. You bio-merged with a second person” Mia stretched out her spare arm producing her standard blue aura sword

“let’s see how my normal blade works” Mia swung her blue sword at the red vine but the sword simply shattered and smashed “now that’s thick. I can normally cut through steel with my aura-sword” Mia then clasped her hand around her enhanced aura-sword “now for this one” she sliced straight through the vine making it land with a heavy clump “whoa…” Anastasia looked overjoyed

“whoa” said Sophie amazed “Saku your aura is making their powers so much stronger than before” Saku couldn’t quite believe his eyes “That’s amazing”

Saku looked confused “But, I thought you couldn’t bio-merge with two completely different people” said Saku “and since my power is fully released, that makes it even weirder”

“Maybe, it’s because your power isn’t of a nature” said Jessamine “maybe your power is fully adaptable” this brought up a question mark over Saku’s head “well think about it. Your aura power is unique”

“she has got a point” said Sophie thinking “I mean, you can meld it, condense it, release or give it to someone else”

“Then can we keep going” said Saku to Anastasia who looked surprised “I want to see how much Mia can get out of that blade. That” Saku then looked a bit shy “and I like conducting with you”

Anastasia looked surprised at his comment but smiled “of course we can keep going ” but then Jessamine tugged on Saku’s arm

“no fair. I want a turn with bio-merging” said Jessamine pulling on him “I mean we would get on so well together” Anastasia then tugged on his other arm

“Didn’t you hear him? Saku said he wanted to go with me” the girls then started pulling on his arms. Aureline then spoke

“Why doesn’t Saku take it in turns? Saku continues his turn with Anastasia then he practises with you” Jessamine then let go

“yes okay that’s fine” Saku gave Aureline a quick thumbs-up making her smile before then continuing training. Saku and Anastasia together made several red-coated vines which Mia would cut away with her enhanced aura-sword. Sophie looked at Saku and then to Jessamine who had a look of relief

“I’m not sure it she really feels like that about Saku” said Sophie “or if she’s putting it on for him. Saku…must still have scars over his heart but…I guess if we keep him smiling. We can get him to come to terms with his power”

It was now early evening with Saku almost collapsing on his bed in his dorm room “can girls be as forward as that? I’ve never known anyone so mentally exhausting in my life” Saku then simply fell, lying on his back “still…it was rather good today” Saku produced a small energy sphere of red and white and looked at it “Maybe…this power isn’t so bad after all. Still…I can’t get the memory of that time out of my head.” Saku recalled back to his rampage during the tournament “was that really from the result of a stock-load of power…or because I lost control?”

As Saku pondered he received a knock at the door “Come in its open” as Saku saw the door open he got a surprise “Kieran!” Kieran walked through the doorway prompting Saku to quickly stand up “What the hell are you doing here?” Kieran closed the door and held his hands out

“I am just here to talk. That’s all” Saku still looked on guard

“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t pound you” said Saku producing a sphere of energy

“because…” Kieran had a unusually low expression “I know…what it feels like…to be feared”

“His words. Are…strangely sincere. Kieran also…doesn’t feel threatening”

Outside the dorm room Anastasia was walking to Saku’s room “I wonder if he’s doing okay. I’d better check him on him” just as she was about to knock

“Like I said…I know what’s it like to feared” Anastasia recognised the voice as Kieran

“yeah and what of it” Anastasia then heard Saku

“What’s Kieran doing here?” Thought Anastasia. “It sounds private. I’d better just listen and not interrupt Anastasia pressed her ear against the door listening to Kieran as he spoke

“Both me and you have caused damage” Kieran produced a small flame “with our power” Kieran the closed his hand “and instead of supporting us, everyone else chose to fear us”

“So…you’re family feared you as well?” asked Saku

There was another moment of silence before Kieran “let’s just stick with…plenty of people weren’t worried about us” Saku noticed he dodged the question “All we wanted to do, is be the best we could be. You were ostracized and I” Kieran clenched his hand in what looked like “was cast out. So if anything…I know what it’s like to be as you are,t be worried about your place in this world. You’re worried too…aren’t you?”

Saku found he couldn’t retort or disagree “Yeah…I am” Saku made his white and red aura fist “I’m still…wary about my new aura-power. And not only have I got my family scared…I’ve now got this entire academy. If it wasn’t for my friends…I’d be dead already”

“Saku…here is what I want to offer you” Kieran put his hand to his jumper and pulled out a black band which he offered to Saku “I want you…to join the, what do you call it, the shadow league”

Both Saku, and Anastasia still secretly listening, were both caught off-guard. Saku then spoke “You want me…to join…the shadow league? You do realise that’s-” Saku was cut off by Kieran

“Just hear me out before you preach me here” Kieran pulled up his sleeve to show the black band over his arm “I know from what you’ve seen…we do go a bit extreme. And coming from…I’ll put it politely, a sap like you, this is a bad idea” Saku groaned a bit “But…you are one of the ideal candidates we need for our cause. The shadow league not only exists to bring out the full potential that lies dormant in us all…it’s to take revenge of those that fear us”

Saku saw Kieran’s body language it saw a mixture of anger…and sadness. His head slightly hung but his fists were tensed and clenched “Not everyone is readily accepted by the world. For those of us with potentially destructive or strong B.U.S we are looked down upon and ostracized. We the shadow league aim to show the world we have as much right to remain as they do” Kieran handed the band to Saku who took it from him

“And…what do you expect me to do?”

“Show the world…that Saku Stritos is not a weakling. I mean…can you honestly say you can forgive the world for the pain it caused you?”

Saku thought about Kieran’s words seriously as he spoke “we’re not asking you to hurt people but to merely deliver the message” Kieran held up his hand and clenched it “That we are here” Kieran than took out a small device “here. If you need truth behind my words. Look at this” Saku took it and found it to be a small tablet with profile info.

As Saku scanned through it…a look of shock came across his face “That’s…horrible” said Saku reading though “I can…sort of justify your choice of action” Kieran seemed to appreciate his comment tapping Saku on the shoulder in a friendly motion

“I can see you understand our reasons” Saku handed him back the tablet “so…how about it?” Saku looked at the band in his hand

“well…before I think about…may I be permitted a two-part question”

Kieran nodded as Saku spoke “What does the league have to do with Mochi?” Kieran’s expression darkened as he spoke

“She is…or was…our first real success” Saku was confused by his words “That’s all I can tell you”

“And the second part. Will you be leaving her alone?” asked Saku to which Kieran nodded

“Yes, I’m being blunt here but…Mochi is now useless to us. So there’s no need to come after her” Saku found truth in his words “so…what is your answer?”

Saku looked at the band with uncertainty which Kieran noted “I’ll give you some time to think” Anastasia quickly retreated from the door “if you wish to join us. Simply place the band on your arm…and come find us” Kieran opened Saku’s door “just…don’t take too long” Kieran looked away “cos pretty soon. We need to know if your friend…or enemy”

Saku watched Kieran leave his room. Saku looked at the band in his hand “To take revenge…on those that fear us. I have to say…I agree with his reasons” Saku then shook his head “No…No I can’t join them” Saku then held out his hand to the band “I mean look at all the pain they’ve caused” as Saku charged an attack “but…they only did it because…of the pain they’ve been dealt” Saku put down his arm “And…I can’t really blame them” Saku then put the band in his pocket “I need to think”

From outside the room, round the corner, Anastasia was thinking “Saku…you can’t join them. You just can’t” Anastasia then folded and gripped her arms “I mean…I won’t blame you for…joining them. But…do we mean nothing to you?” Anastasia then looked to her curls to see a tinge of red “Saku…I believe in you…as do everything else”

Kieran had made it to the meeting room. Only Chloe and the supreme leader were there. Chloe fiddling with her now rainbow hair “So…how did he respond?”

“I’m not too sure” said Kieran “I did just more or less ask a hero to join the dark side. Saku didn’t accept my offer…but he didn’t turn me down either”

“He will steer towards our cause” said the supreme leader “Hate and pain runs very deep within Saku. And to help things along…I have a nice back-up. And now we move on with our plan. Akihiko…is now too badly hurt. If he should fight again Akihiko could fall apart. The only upside is Izanagi is now able to move around…but he still can’t fight. ”

“And I take it you still haven’t told those two...what their real purpose is?” said Chloe with an evil snigger.

The supreme leader didn’t answer but merely showed his white teeth visible as he smiled “No I left that part out. Come tomorrow the next stage of our plan will begin. Kieran, Chloe I expect much from you. Through all of our research, we can now ascend above the plains of humanity. We will become the ultimate beings of this world…with Saku as our leader”

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.