Eternal Courage

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Chapter 21: Waning Wills

The entire academy was in a state of shock at the proclamation of the new tournament. All the students were still a little woozy from the gas attack but were all forced to accept the reality that their aura powers were sealed. The only ones unaffected were currently warming up and exercising in the training hall…but for two of them worries and thoughts were dominating their minds.

Saku was still thinking about Kieran’s offer about join the shadow league. The supreme leader’s words still rung in his mind as he stretched his arms “…we are to show the world we exist. To show we have every right to be the fighters we want to be”

“What am I going to do?” Thought Saku On one hand, if I reject the deal…would the world really accept me? Who says they don’t all fear me as well. And if I accept the deal…then…I’ll be turning my back on everyone” Anastasia was also thinking

“The shadow league must sound like the perfect group for Saku. He must really be wrestling with his conscience”

Jessamine then stretched wide, making her chest bounce, and breathed out “well, I’m all warmed up now. I just wonder how we going to be paired up”

“The one fight that worries me…is the fight against the supreme leader” said Aries

“yeah…I know what you mean” said Mia looking at the crater still present in the training hall “That and he said two of us are going to fight him. Which means he isn’t lacking in confidence”

“What’s bugging me is” said Saku hearing them “is what they said…at the beginning. That he wasn’t expecting this many”

“So except you three” said Mia “Me, Jessamine and Anastasia weren’t meant to be…immune to that gas. I wonder why that is”

“don’t bother thinking about it” said Jessamine waving her hand “we need to focus on the task at hand. All we can do is warm-up and practise” they all nodded in response.

Saku relaxed himself and stood up but still looked very troubled which Mia could pick up on “Saku…you still seem…distracted. Before you were about to tell me what was wrong. Could you tell me now?”

“Right now, I have two answers…neither one having a positive reaction” said Saku with a tone of uncertainty “either choice…means something bad. And I don’t know what to do” Anastasia noted the worry in his voice

“well…for now. Why don’t you focus on the upcoming match?” suggested Jessamine “You could always make up your mind afterwards”

“Yeah I suppose so” said Saku sounding uncertain “I wonder how they are going to forecast the pairings anyway?”

“through…large tablets” said a familiar voice

This came from Sophie who was leaning on the wall looking quite tired “the garbed men…have these large tablets to…broadcast the pairings” Saku ran to her

“hey…you should be relaxing. Without your B.U.S your body will feel quite frail and heavy” said Saku

“I know, I know” said Sophie managing to stand up “I feel rather helpless, all I can do is cheer you on”

“hey don’t think that” said Aries “it’ll be good encouragement” Sophie looked relieved “well…it’s almost time. We should be departing to the nearest classroom”

“That won’t be necessary”

They turned to see Kieran striding towards looking confident “I’ve come personally to show you the outcomes” the reception to his appearance was rather dull “jeez don’t all thank me at once”

“What can you expect?” said Jessamine not happy to see him “I mean, you’ve just more or less turned a friendly tournament into a fight for our futures” Kieran smirked and shrugged his arms

“You have got a point” a small electronic beeping could be heard “well that’s my cue” Kieran pulled out a rather large tablet and displayed it to the crowd.

Everyone gathered round as the screen turned on to show Izanagi holding a large cardboard box “greetings everyone. Vice leader Izanagi here and it’s time to announce the match-ups” Izanagi gestured to his right to see two columns of empty holographic bars “first of all. Let’s start with this” Izanagi snapped his fingers to which three spaces on the left side became filled in. Kieran’s name was first, Akihiko was second and the Supreme leader was third “the shadow league will fight one representative each, or in supreme leaders case two. While the last match will be between two representatives…although there is a condition”

Izanagi then put his hand in the box “well let’s see Kieran’s opponent…la-de-da…dum-dum…aaaaaaand here we go” Izanagi read the name “and it’s looks like fire boy…fights fire-girl” Izanagi displayed Jessamine’s name which appeared next to Kieran “so bring your sun-screen since this going to be a hot fight” Kieran looked at Jessamine

“This...ought to be interesting”

“I hope you’re ready to burnt…fire-boy” said Jessamine lightly as Izanagi put his hand back inside the box.

Izanagi dug around “and the opponent fighting Akihiko isssss….Anastasia Michaels” everyone turned to her “An…odd match-up. I wonder who will win in this fight” Anastasia didn’t like this match-up

“great, I put up against the weird one” said Anastasia glumly “Oh well, I’ll pound him into the ground” Sophie was a little surprised

“since when did you do trash talk?” then everyone turned to Lexi

“What?” she said confused. Everyone turned back to the screen

“so…we’re left with four fighters” said Izanagi “two of you will fight the supreme leader and the other two will duke it out in the final match. Now like I said…there’s a condition in the last fight”

Izanagi cleared his throat “In the final fight both fighters may agree to a draw after reaching the 55% mark of their pain thresholds. Then there they then move on but…BUT there’s a catch if you declare a draw” stated Izanagi “only the one who reaches the mark, 55%, last will be healed. But if you reach it at the same time, then your both healed. Now let’s proceed” Izanagi put his hand back in the box while Mia spoke

“so any of you two get paired up” said Sophie thinking “all we have to do is hurt each other at the same time”

“That shouldn’t be a problem” said Aries “I see it as a win-win” Mia however was in thought.

Izanagi pulled out two names “and the fights against the supreme leader…are…Aries and Mia” Aries and Mia looked between each and nodded “These two are a powerful pair indeed but…that leaves the remaining two to duke it out being” Izanagi gestured to the board to which Saku and Lexi were displayed at the bottom row “Oh now this one is going to be the one to watch. A Stritos duel”

Saku and Lexi looked at each other with tension “well that’s the line-up” said Izanagi “Now to speed things, two fights will be playing out almost simultaneously to each other. So in forty-five minutes all of you will be guided into the two arenas. Pledge your support…since your futures are on the line”

The screen then turned off and Kieran tucked away the tablet “so that’s the line-up. I look forward to the match-ups” with that Kieran walked away leaving the group to talk. Aries was worried

“off all the two to get paired up…it had to be you two” said Aries looking between Saku and Lexi “still this might be a good time to release some steam”

“Could be” said Lexi “well I’m off. I’m going to go and relax and chill for the next forty-five minutes” with that Lexi walked off leaving Jessamine to sigh

“Does that girl ever get serious?” said Jessamine “Well Saku…how are you going to cope against her? I know you two don’t get along too well”

“Well…I know…we butt heads” said Saku submissively “but as long as we injure each other at the same time, you know for a draw. It won’t be a problem” Saku then walked around “I’m going to the bathroom. I’ll be back shortly” with that Saku walked out of the arena too.

Anastasia put her hands on her chest “I hope he’ll be okay against Lexi”

“to be honest…I do too” said Mia worryingly “those two were fighting just previously…and it was getting messy. Saku was fine for the most part but Lexi…was getting angry”

“I wonder why that is” said Jessamine “I mean, sure they don’t get along but they are siblings. What do you think Aries?”

“I can’t really say” said Aries crossing her arms “Lexi…has been acting odd since the whole event surrounding the seal. I don’t know what’s going on. And Saku has been very occupied lately”

“he has…lot on his mind” said Anastasia “he’s been thinking about something for a while…and it’s really bugging him”

Aries looked at her face and smiled “then…why don’t you go help him?” suggested Aries “tell him you’re worried and he’s sure to respond. Just try to understand his feelings and then respond in-kind. Just don’t ask him directly otherwise he’ll get too nervous.”

“So…don’t fish for it” said Anastasia “just help him understand his and my feelings” Aries nodded “alright then I’ll go help him”

“Oh no you don’t Princess” said Jessamine quickly “nowhere near am I letting you have some one-on-one time with my Saku”

Sophie quickly interjected “Jessamine…no offence but you’re not actually…very laidback” said Sophie “You’re more likely to make him nervous. I’d go myself but I’m not in the best shape”

“And me and Aries have to figure out teamwork” said Mia “and I know I can trust Anastasia to help him. I mean she has known him the longest besides Sophie” Jessamine tapped her foot and looked annoyed

“Fine…I admit I can be” Jessamine said as she flicked her hair and crossed her arms “very confident but it’s not my fault boys like Saku respond so well to my beauty and charm. So go on Princess…before I change my mind” with that Anastasia ran off after Saku. Aries watched her go with a smile.

Saku might be clueless to your…colour changes but he’s very good at letting his feelings be shown. I know you’ll reach him.

Saku was wandering back from the bathroom full of thoughts and worries “What do I do? Either one…means something bad…and neither one having a certain outcome”

“What’s the matter Saku?” Saku jumped and readied himself to see Kieran “whoa, whoa” Kieran put out his hands “easy, easy it’s just me” Saku relaxed himself “I actually got worried for a moment then”

“Oh hey Kieran. What brings you here? Considering your first in the matches”

“I know, I just wanted to know…have you made your decision yet? I mean, we’re going to need to know…pretty quickly” Kieran put emphasis on the last two words

“then let me ask you question. How should I…decide?”

Kieran crossed his arms, thought for a moment…and then rubbed his orange and black hair “if a normal person asked me that…I would just say…come to us. However for you…it’s different. I mean…I will admit…those friends of yours…are good to you” Saku wasn’t sure if Kieran sounded sad or was just stating fact “so…think…where would you be happiest?”

“Where would I…be happiest?”

“Just decide on that” said Kieran tapping Saku’s shoulder “where do you think your place is? If you find the answer to that…” Kieran than began walking away “then you’ll know where your place is” as Saku watched Kieran walked away

“hmm…he made it sound like he’s just supporting me. Still he has got as a point” from a nearby corner Anastasia had heard the conversation “well might as well head back” as Anastasia breathed in deep ready to speak

“do you want to tell me why Kieran is meeting you with you?”

Both Anastasia and Saku were surprised by this new voice. Saku spun round, and Anastasia peeked round to see a unhappy, and a little unsteady, Marina. Marina had her arms folded “for an enemy, Kieran sounded very friendly with you” Saku looked away “is there something you’re not telling anyone?” Saku looked at her serious face and knew he couldn’t lie

“yes…there is. A day before this…whole incident, Kieran knocked on my door, with a proposal. One that gave me food for thought” Marina then thought

“it was to join the shadow league…wasn’t it?” Saku gave a slight nod “no wonder you look so uncertain. The shadow league…especially to you, must sound appealing”

“Then let me ask you this. Being serious, what would you pick?”

Marina put her hand to her chin “common sense dictates, reject the offer. I mean, that is the logical solution. But, if I was in your shoes, yo have gone through what you went through …then…I would take the offer” Saku looked quite surprised

“can I ask why? I mean, I wasn’t expecting that”

“I like to be frank. I mean think about it…do you have anything to really to look forward not taking the offer” Saku thought about this “I’ll leave It to you to decide” with that Marina walked away, occasionally leaning on the wall. Saku just crossed his arms and tapped his foot

“now I really don’t get it. Just what am I supposed to do?” Anastasia waited a couple of moments for Marina to walk way

“alright…take a deep breath. Remember…don’t fish for it” Anastasia placed her hand on her chest and took a deep breath “here I go”

Anastasia first called out “Saku…Saku!” Saku turned round “What did you do fall in the basin?” Saku saw her coming round the corner “Oh Saku there you are”

“Oh Anastasia…hi there. Sorry I was just thinking…to myself” Anastasia sighed

“Look, if something is really bugging you. Then tell me, I mean you do trust me…” Anastasia then put her hands behind her back and smiled “Right?” Saku felt a bit happier looking at her smile “so…tell me what’s wrong?”

“I’m…conflicted that’s all. I’m stuck between two decisions” Saku held out his arms “…neither one…having a certain outcome”

Anastasia saw him struggling to decide “Saku…can I ask you something? What do you think of all of us?” Saku looked a little embarrassed but mostly surprised “come on tell me”

“well…erm…really good. You have all been really…great to me” Anastasia noted his happy expression “I mean, I’ve so much fun with all of you. I’ve made so many friends. I’m finally a qualified aura fighter. It’s just been…fantastic”

“And…what do you feel about me?” Anastasia saw Saku suddenly become a bit nervous which made Anastasia realise what she said “Oh I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” Anastasia’s hair had turned blonde “I didn’t realise…what I said…I mean”

“Anastasia…I think….you’re” said Saku with a red face “amazing. I mean…you’re one of my…precious friends”

Anastasia looked really surprised by this but was very happy as she fidgeted with her hands behind her back “I feel…the same way about you…Saku. Before I came here…I didn’t have any friends and was so terrified of my power. And now…” she then put her hands over her heart “I have friends…and I feel…more happy than I have done in years”

“I’m glad…you feel that way” Saku then closed his eyes “I think you just helped me...make my choice” Anastasia hid her enjoyment in her head

“I think…I just helped him stay with us” Anastasia than beamed

“That’s great Saku. I’m glad I could help”

Saku looked now happier and more relaxed “I guess…I was thinking too hard. I’m just glad you helped me Anastasia” Anastasia saw his smiling face

“It’s only fair” Anastasia was blushing and twiddling her fingers “I mean you helped me…before. And you’ve been really kind…to me. So” Saku than noted her hair changing and walked to her placing a hand on her forehead “huh…what are you…”

“well…you don’t feel hot at all” Anastasia looked through the corner of her eyes to see a red shade going up her blonde hair. Saku placed a hand on his own head “well not compared to me” Anastasia quickly thought on the spot

“Oh…it’s just. I’m a bit…nervous that’s all…of the coming matches” Saku then went to the side of her putting her arm around her back

“then we’re better off relaxing for the next half-an-hour. So come on” Saku then began walking her along “let’s go get a drink of tea” Anastasia looked at Saku as he guided her and saw the happiness in his face

“His head might be mess…but his heart is clear as day” Anastasia than smiled to herself. “Now we definitely have a better chance of conquering the shadow league”

It was only fifteen minutes before the matches begin, to decide the fates of the students. The matches were taking place at two identical indoor arenas. The arenas were large in scope and built just like the outdoor arena, converted from abandoned gym halls.

The fights weren’t far from starting with Lexi walking to the first arena “so…it’s me against my own brother. I wasn’t expecting that outcome…but it should be a simple one” little did Lexi know someone was coming to her “all we have to do…is hit each other at the same time”

“You make it sound so easy” Lexi than turned round to see Chloe looking very smug “a fight between two sibling slash rivals and you want to end it on a draw”

“and what do you want?” said Lexi annoyed

“I’m just saying that I’m disappointed that’s all. I was looking forward to an epic match between the two of you”

“it wouldn’t be epic in the least” said Lexi folding her arms under her chest “I’d walk all over Saku”

“now you know as well as I do…that isn’t true”

Lexi looked at Chloe with surprise and slight shock “What are you talking about? My brother is no match for me” Chloe with her hand on her forehead shook her head

“jeez…that is the worst case of denial I’ve ever heard. Alright, alright” Chloe walked in-front of Chloe with her hand “let me sum it up” Chloe than used her fingers to count “one, Saku is now a recognised aura fighter and his fighting style is nothing to sniff at. Two, that so called invincible shield of yours Saku has broken twice with a fist and aura attack. Three, Saku’s aura power itself is fully adaptable and mouldable…and finally Saku’s power is now completely unrestrained”

Chloe then walked around Lexi looking quite smug “from…my point-of-view. I think Saku, would be more than a mere challenge. In-fact…I’d put my money on him on winning” Lexi had a strange look of bitterness in her eyes

“then you’re going to lose your money” Chloe simply shrugged her arms

“if you say so. But can you honestly say…if it came down to it” Chloe gave a small pause “That you would beat Saku?” Lexi clenched her hands

“Of course I could”

“Who are you convincing…me or you?” Lexi looked ready to punch her “well no skin of my nose but because we’re girls…I thought I’d give you something”

Chloe put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a clear tube like object, white at the top and black at the bottom. Within the tube is what appeared to be a green swirling air-like substance. Lexi took the tube from Chloe and looked at it “What…is this? A funky drink?” said Lexi looking at it

“Call it…an aura booster” Lexi looked at it “it’ll amplify your current power to an incredible height. To use it, just press the white end on your hand…and picture yourself absorbing it. It’s as simple as that and it’ll blend with your own power. But a word of warning you must give it half-an-hour to blend”

“why’s that?”

“well…let’s just say…it won’t be pretty. I suppose you could say…your body succumbs to incredible pain and you could…possssibbly die” Lexi’s eyes widened “So in English you have it to use it now…or not at all” Chloe began to walk away “I’ll leave it up to you” Lexi just looked at the tube in her hand…contemplating.

Only a short time later and the arenas were completely filled with all the energetic, if terrified and worried students and teachers, as the matches were about to go underway. The students watched from the stands above them. Saku with all his friends were in arena with Izanagi addressing the audience “welcome to the quarter-finals of the tournament. Now let the first match begin. Can Kieran and Jessamine step up?”

Kieran walked up onto the slightly raised arena ground. Saku turned to Jessamine “good luck Jessamine”

“I won’t need luck Saku” said Jessamine “all I need…is skill” Jessamine then confidently strode onto the arena while Izanagi raised his arm. As soon as he did, both Kieran and Jessamine let loose fierce flames both clashing with display of colour and light.

Izanagi walked around them, ducking a beam of flame “can the fighters for Arena two come this way?” Izanagi went through a doorway. Mia then spoke to Saku

“well, we can only wish you luck” said Mia “Once this match ends, our match will quickly start”

“yeah we’re sorry we can’t support you” said Aries

“don’t worry me and Aureline” said Sophie “will cheer them on”

“yeah, we’ll give them support” said Aureline “just focus on your matches” with that the four of them headed to the doorway “we we’ll see you later”

With that the four began to walk towards the walkway. Saku then noticed Lexi was in thought “Lexi…Lexi…hello?” Lexi looked at him with a troubled look “alright don’t give me the death stare” Lexi didn’t reply and simply walked towards than past him without a word “jeez what’s up with her?” Saku turned back briefly to the fight to see Jessamine knocked Kieran backwards

“go on Saku” Kieran was getting up looking hurt “Leave this chump to me” Saku nodded and began to ran after them “I’d say your prayers Kieran”

Kieran’s gaze was on Saku. Jessamine hands were covered in flames “well let’s wrap this up. Considering you look beat up already” but as soon as Saku couldn’t be seen

“there we go” Kieran simply stood up straight showing his pained demeanour was a façade “without Saku here…” Kieran flexed his arms “I can really let loose” Jessamine noticed something odd

“why did you put on that act up till now?”

“Because I don’t want Saku or his friends to see this” Jessamine eyes remained on Kieran but widened as a blazing blue flame appeared “so…shall we?” Jessamine’s eyes widened and sweat dripped down her face.

In the second arena Saku just made it to see Anastasia on the arena. Anastasia appeared to breath out in relief when she saw him as he ran to his friend before she then looked at her opponent. Akihiko was stood, still looking menacing but oddly perfectly fine. Izanagi raised his arm “so let the second match of this tournament begin” Izanagi pulled back his arm, in an arc, signalling the start of the match.

Anastasia readied herself making her cane appear. Akihiko then looked her with a strange gaze “now then, it looks like I get a nice done and prim girl. Let’s see…what’s running through your soul?” Akihiko than put his hands out as if feeling the air “hmm, an interesting mix. Oh, you’re absolutely filled to the brim with delicious fear” Saku’s eyes narrowed “Oh fear…the cold embrace of fear” Akihiko waved his arm in an arc producing series of ice spears “now taste the lovely embrace of this cold fear” Akihiko launched all the spears of ice at Anastasia who responded by waving her cane sidewards making a vine go across blocking the ice, with some tears, before swiping at Akihiko slamming him against the wall.

Akihiko shrugged off the heavy blow, but staggered slightly as he stood up “hmm…interesting. Such an interesting mix this is” Akihiko raised a single arm and began producing a large ball of ice “yes, yes, I must taste the pain as well as I receive” Saku was looking at Akihiko with curious eyes as his ice boulder finished forming “now…time to deal the…” Akihiko failed to notice the vine which had coiled around his foot. Anastasia tripped up Akihiko causing his ice boulder to drop and smash on him.

As then ice crumbled around Akihiko his first warning flashed “the pain…the pain” Saku noted Akihiko was cringing “It’s marvellous…just so…marvellous” Sophie noted Saku’s expression

“What’s the matter?”

“something…doesn’t feel quite right about Akihiko” said Saku. Anastasia at this point had picked up Akihiko, using the coiled vine, and was slamming him against the floor repeatedly “This seems…I don’t just strange”

“You’ve noticed it too” said Aureline “the vibe that Akihiko is giving off…doesn’t feel, I guess…correct. It’s almost as if…he’s acting” Anastasia had given Akihiko a last great smash making his second warning appear.

Akihiko, fairly bruised, was getting up with some difficulty “This is indeed fantastic. I’ve never…felt so satisfied. But it’s strange…the fear that was once great is rather meagre in you” Saku was looking at Akihiko with suspicion “but…there’s something else I feel. What is the…delightful feel” Akihiko’s body began to spark “yes, jealousy its jealousy” Saku at this point reacted “now…to send a shock to your system” without warning Akihiko thrust his hands forward shocking Anastasia making her jerk in place.

Anastasia could feel the electricity go right through her causing her to cry out and jerk in place. Sophie was getting worried “come on Anastasia, shrug it off” Sophie then saw Saku looking through the audience “Saku, who are you looking for?”

“Something is not right here. In this situation, no-one in the audience would be jealous at this time. So where is it coming from?” he then shook his head “nevermind, Anastasia come on you can do it!” Anastasia heard his support and began trying to resist. Anastasia jerkily moved her cane upwards making a vine slowly rise out of the ground taking the hit from the electricity.

Anastasia shook off the lightning and became serious, thrusting her arm forwards in an arm in a right arc hitting Akihiko hard off the ground. Anastasia than formed another vine at the centre coiling it around Akihiko’s whole body. She then once again repeatedly slammed Akihiko on the ground by simply tapping her cane in the air. Then Anastasia began twirling, making the vine swing Akihiko in circles. Than Anastasia stopped and swung her cane outwards making the vine throw Akihiko, literally smashing him into the wall.

Akihiko came loose from the wall and landed on the floor. Akihiko showed no signs of movement with Izanagi checking him. After a moment “well folks it looks like Anastasia Michaels win the round” cheers erupted from the audience while Anastasia performed a bow. Saku, with Sophie and Aureline were also clapping as she walked to them while several garbed men carried Akihiko away

“nice job Anastasia” said Sophie “we’re now one shadow leaguer down”

“it was thank to your support Saku” said Anastasia smiling “I just wonder how Jessamine is doing?”

“well I’ll go check” said Aureline “I’ll be back shortly”

Aureline ran down the doorway while Izanagi spoke “well that’s the end of the second match”

“the second?” said Saku “does that mean the first is already over? Wouldn’t a match between fire users last longer than…a couple minutes?”

“so can Lexi and Saku please step up to the arena?” said Izanagi. Lexi without a word stepped up to the arena stepped up to the arena

“is something wrong is Lexi?” asked Sophie “she’s been…unusually quiet”

“tell me about it” said Saku “she hasn’t even uttered a single sarcastic comment. Oh well, I might as well start”

“Okay” said Sophie “well don’t get too rough. All you need to do is hit each other at the same time” Saku nodded and stepped onto the arena.

Saku prepared himself as did Lexi who still appeared troubled “Lexi…are you alright? I mean I’m not complaining but by this point it’s usually the sarcastic put-down comments from you”

“no…nothing’s wrong” said Lexi in a plain voice “let’s just get it over with”

“Okay…if you say so. Let’s just end this in a draw alright? The more people to fight the shadow league the better. So let’s get started but we might as well have some fun before the 55 mark” Saku moved first and struck at Lexi. Lexi blocked his attack and kicked Saku backwards. Saku used his hands to jump off the ground and land on his feet. Saku then bounced forward and landing several kicks knocked Lexi backwards. The two then resumed blocking and fighting each other.

In arena 1…things were very bad. Aureline had found Jessamine on the floor, her clothes burnt and singed with smoke ebbing off her. Her opponent Kieran was stood against the wall looking rather unharmed. While at the same time Mia and Aries with aura weapons in hand were relentlessly attacking the supreme leader who was with ease blocking their attacks. Mia called back “Aureline, is Jessamine okay?”

“well…sort of” said Aureline “It’s just good that’s she a fire-user. It could’ve been much worse” Aureline took Jessamine’s arm, put it around her neck, and helped Jessamine up

“don’t worry. I just need…a few minutes” Jessamine lurched forward

“stop being cocky for once” said Aureline putting an arm around Jessamine’s back “let’s go check on Saku” Jessamine gave a slight nod as Aureline more or less carried Aureline through the doorway.

Mia and Aries looked at the Supreme leader who looked a bit bored “This is really the power that comes from two accomplished aura fighters? I’m somewhat disappointed”

“Aries…” said Mia looking nervous “we haven’t landed on blow on this guy”

“tell me about it” said Aries holding her large green aura hammer “I don’t like the look of this” the supreme leader than sighed

“Ahh, I was so kind to let you have the first attack. So…I think…I’ll go now”

Aureline with Jessamine in tow came to the arena to see Lexi and Saku fighting it out. They each had their aura’s out and were both fighting each with a strange sense of aggressiveness. Sophie noticed their arrival “Jessamine…what the?” Aureline brought her over “What happened to you!?” Saku took a glimpse while avoiding Lexi

“That Kieran” said Jessamine “is not the same guy…from the tournament. His power…was unbelievable” at this point Saku and Lexi punches had collided into each other deflecting both backward by a considerable distance

“What’s up with these two?” said Aureline “if they trying to tie, they are getting there pretty quickly”

“and what’s weirder is Lexi has barely said anything” said Sophie “something is going on here” Sophie than noticed something “hey what’s that? Saku…there’s something by your feet”

Saku looked down and saw an odd-tube object “What is this thing? An instrument? Oh well Sophie can you hold on to this for me?” Saku threw it to her to which she caught “well Lexi we’re near the fifty-five percent mark. So let’s end in a draw” Saku held out his hand producing a swirling sphere of red and white “we’ll hit each other with a blast of energy” Lexi didn’t answer and was producing a ball of plasma “once we’re ready we’ll throw it”

Back in Arena 1…another grim sight greeted the spectators. The supreme leader stood strong…with Mia and Aries sprawled out on the floor. Blood laid in small splats on the floor with the girls looking very battered and bruised. Only Aries was conscious with the supreme lord “Now…I’m just a little disappointed. So far only Anastasia has made it, things aren’t looking good for you”

“don’t be…so…sure” said Aries straining just to look upwards “Lexi…and Saku…will stop you”

“Ah…about that…that could be a problem. Don’t you know…we just got a new recruit” Kieran eyes narrowed and turned to the leader “Just right now, we’re about to have one more addition to our cause” Kieran upon hearing this left the arena with Aries finally passing out.

Kieran walked to arena 2 with Saku and Lexi each preparing a blast of aura energy. Saku looked ready “alright Lexi, on three. One, two…Three!” with that they both simultaneously threw their energy blasts. Saku crossed his arms as Lexi plasma hit, knocking him hard backward Lexi did the same thing but she became covered in smoke. Kieran looked curious “it looks like they trying to end it on a draw. I guess Saku made up his mind after…all?” Kieran than noticed the tubular object “hey you…Sophie is it?” Sophie became alerted to his voice “where did you get that?”

“So this is yours?” Sophie retorted “then take it back. I don’t want it” Kieran caught it and he looked a bit puzzled by it

“huh? Why is this cold?” Kieran turned it round and saw the tube was empty “It’s being used?” before she felt a strong wind “What the?” everyone turned to Lexi as the smoke simply dissipated showing something very unsettling for Saku and friends.

Around Lexi was a cyclone of green wind which made everyone stare “Wind?” said Aureline “when did Lexi acquire wind?” Kieran understood perfectly while Saku eyes were wide with shock

“Lexi…why…do you have…Ivy’s power?” said Saku making everyone look very surprised “Lexi...answer me. Why did you do that? We were going to end on a draw”

“because it’s simple little brother” said Lexi looking determined “for once and for all…I’m going to prove that I am the stronger one than you. With this new power…I no longer have anything to be afraid of”

Saku’s demeanour simply dropped upon hearing this. His body looked loose while his arms hung limp “so…even you…were afraid of me too?” Saku sounded emotionless “so…there really isn’t a place for me here. So…I was right after all. There is only one place…I can truly belong” Kieran looked on with a strange sense of annoyance

So…Saku decided after all. He wanted to stay…with them. Saku…had found the place…where he was happiest…which is what the shadow league exists for. Saku had hung his head while Kieran clenched him hands. I know I wanted him to join us…but not like this. While Lexi looked ready to fight…Saku began reaching towards his pocketwhere his black sash remained.

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