Eternal Courage

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Chapter 4: Brains and the Sword

The next couple of days had flown by. The remaining transfer students were due today and tomorrow at the Green B.U.S. Then the school would be in full swing. The lessons overall were rather sparse. At first, many thought it was to allow the students to adjust and warm up for the remaining year but as Saku found out “What?” He said sitting next to Sophie in the canteen “So…they don’t have any lessons here?”

“Well…not really” said Sophie in a slightly annoyed tone “there’s only a couple of lessons. There’s only B.U.S theory where we are taught on methods to wield our powers. And…no that’s pretty much it”

“Wait” said Saku slightly confused “but, what about aura training?” Sophie shook her head “Individual trainers for each rank?” and again “P.E?” she shook her head again

“From what I’ve heard they just expect people to train” Saku let off a loud sigh

“No wonder this is the worst academy in the world” he said hanging his head “if I didn’t have you and Anastasia to teach me…I’d be sunk” she let off a small giggle

“May I ask what’s so funny?” said a familiar girl

At that point Anastasia had arrived with her lunch and saw down “so may I inquire the funny joke?”

“Oh” said Saku “I was just saying I’d be sunk if you two won’t there to teach me…considering no-one else is doing it”

“No thanks are necessary” she said shaking her head and bouncing her curls “That is what friends do right”

“Thank you. Although may I ask…why are you two here at this academy? I mean you’re both skilled enough” this made them blush slightly “to be accepted into different academies than this one” Anastasia looked a bit ashamed which meant her hair turn blue

“well…you are aware of what happened…before with my powers”

Sophie recalled the time Anastasia was training with Saku “yeah I remember” said Sophie “You got really scared and your powers got all of out of control right?” she sadly nodded

“Yeah well…” said Anastasia in a tone of sadness, to which her hair turned blue “It’s not the first time it’s happened. So…I was sent here”

“Well” said Saku “I’m sort of glad you came here” she was a bit embarrassed “because now I’ve got a good teacher” Anastasia smiled as her hair changed back to brown “Okay now you Sophie? Why did you come here?”

“well…I was just invited here and decided to come” Saku tilted his head “What?”

“That’s it? You just decided? Why did you want to come here?”

“Well…to make some friends” Sophie said with a pink face “well…how about we train some more after lunch? I mean it’s not there’s anything else better to do. We’ll meet in the training hall” with a nod they continued with their lunch.

Saku had arrived early at the training hall which as normal was rather empty “You’d think at least one or two students would be here…training that is. Do they just expect just to get better or something?” little did he know he was being watched “Oh well…might as well warm up” as Saku stretched his body he was approached by someone which seemed to send a shiver up Saku’s body

“No confidence with some fear…such a common mix” Saku turned to see a boy with a evil look about him.

The boy had dark brown hair, some of it covering his right eye so only his one red eye was visable. He wore a black tube top, over a greens shirt, with shorts and red boots. “Ohhh…so warm…yet cold. I can’t get enough of it” Saku stood up

What’s with this guy? He reminds me of a goth. I mean his outfit is…random to say the best. “Can I help you?” the boy smiled

“The name’s Akihiko” Saku then saw a small flash of purple and a ball of ice in his hand

“Wait…ice!? But how!?”

“That’s the last name” he held his hand back “You’ll ever hear” he then shot the ice at Saku which came out as a large pointed crystal.

Saku managed to dodge it on reflex and watched the ice crash into the wall. “hey…what’s the idea!?” demanded Saku but Akihiko’s response was just a fairly demonic laugh

“Yes, yes. I must be satisfied” he waved out his hands produced a few more ice spears “now defend yourself!” he threw them all at Saku. Saku dodged some and shot aura beams at others “ha, ha, ha yes, yes give me MORE!!!”

“What is this guy’s deal?” Akihiko continued to throw ice spears at him which Saku shot with his aura blasts “whoever he is he’s serious”

“Yes, fear” he said as if talking to himself “such a cold and dangerous emotion” Akihiko then produced a ball of water

“What the!?” stammered Saku “he has water too!?”

“Lack of confidence” he said holding the wall of water “so smooth and tingly…now…take this” he swung his arm forward and Saku prepared to defend himself.

Saku readied himself as Akihiko was throwing his water forward…but it only went gently forwards a couple of feet. Saku was bewildered while Akihiko looked at his hand “hmm…that’s odd. Your lack of confidence is abundant yet…the power produced is small” Akihiko looked at Saku with his red eye as if scanning him “most interesting but never-mind” Akihiko raised up his hand to create two large ice needles “now…have this” Akihiko thrust forward one which Saku tried to avoid but the spear clipped his arm as it impaled into the world…which signalled a watcher to move.

The spear had ripped through his sleeve and cut his left forearm. Saku clutched his arm as Akihiko eyes widened “there…there it is…blood. The proof of one’s pain…yes…YES I must have MORE” as he was about to throw his second spear a large wave of water knocked him backwards, making the ice spear vanished into nothing. Saku looked a bit dazed until he heard a voice

“Saku!” Marina was running towards him “Saku…are you alright?”

“Well” said Saku wincing “besides the arm” Marina walked over to it

“It’s not too bad but it needs a bit of cleaning” just as Marina reached for his arm

“Oh…another one to the mix” Akihiko was getting up “Oh…this is…spicy”

“What are you doing?” said Marina in a disgraceful tone “You know the rules. No bio-duelling without the gloves”

“Who cares” he said in an odd smile “when I’m having so much fun. Now…first it was fear…that sensation…it reminds me of” suddenly his hand began to produce electricity “jealously!” he then shot the lightning at Marina smashing her into the wall.

Marina slid down the wall and sat slump as the smoke from the lightning rose from her. Akihiko laughed “yes, the tingling feeling of jealously” he shot more lightning at Marina who jerked “yes, yes lovely pain”

“Hey, knock it off!” shouted Saku who stared at him with glaring eyes. Marina looked at Saku as Akihiko sorted tilted his body while looking at Saku

“wait…I’m sorry could you repeat that?”

“I said” he clenched his hands “leave her alone!!”

As Saku said this a white milky aura rose from his body which Marina noted

“Oh…you want more pain” said Akihiko “Oh well” he raised his arm to produce an ice spear “to continue” but nothing came out “What?” Akihiko’s face had a tone of fear “the fear…where’s the fear?”

“Saku…Saku!” this came from Sophia who had appeared on the scene with Anastasia

“What…happening to Saku?” asked Anastasia

“We can ask later” said Sophie “Saku listen put your hands together to your side and channel your energy into your hands” Saku put his hands to his side and put his hands together, vertically, “now separate them” Saku did that to which a sphere of white pulsing energy, roughly the size of a football “now…let it go!!” Saku thrusted his hands forward to which a beam of a large size erupted from the sphere, hitting Akihiko smashing him into the wall.

Saku remained stood in his pose for a moment as he breathed heavily still producing the white milky aura. Marina was in awe as she saw Akihiko slump against the wall, with a cracked indent above him “incredible” said Marina in awe “He produced so much energy in a mere instant” then his aura dissipated he fell backwards which made Sophie and Anastasia run towards him.

Anastasia managed to catch him on the way down “Saku…are you unharmed?” asked Anastasia but then she saw the cut on Saku’s arm “Oh your hurt” but before she could look at it

“Marvellous” they all turned to Akihiko who was getting up “This is truly marvellous. The feeling…of one’s own pain…such a rare and truly…sensational event” he tensed his body “I must have more…I will have more” but as he was about to run forward a wall of fire blocked his path

“Akihiko…that’s enough!”

Everyone turned to another boy with his arm out at an opposite hallway. The boy was a bit short, with red-brown and rather tidy hair “the master has called for you” Akihiko looked annoyed “now!” Akihiko gave him a piercing glare and then back to Saku and pointed at him

“You…and I…will finish our fight later” Akihiko then, almost stomping his feet, went through the hallway where the boy was. The boy looked at the group

“I can only apologize for my…colleague’s rudeness. Please forgive us” he bowed “now if you’ll excuse me” he then left the group bewildered. From the second floor Ms Reapa had watched the events unfold

“as you can see” she said talking to someone “his behaviour is quite unique. Will he suffice?” the person merely nodded.

Meanwhile as Akihiko was let led through the boy groaned “just how many times are we going to go over this? You know the plan…we wait and then…we get rid of those underneath us”

“Oh…are you two falling out? oh poor Kieran…stuck with babysitting.” said the condescending female voice belong to a rather petite girl with long brown and black hair

“Oh get lost Chloe” said Kieran irritably “You try controlling this guy”

“Not without a whip and collar I’m not. Anyway come on let’s go…before HE gets angry” with that all three left.

Back in the hall Anastasia was looking at Saku’s wound while Sophie helped Marina “are you okay?” Sophie helped Marina to her feet but she was shaky “easy” Sophie took Marina’s arm

“I thank you for your assistance” said Marina while Sophie smiled “how’s Saku?” Anastasia was gently holding his arm but he still cringed

“It’s not bad but it needs cleaning up” said Anastasia

“Anastasia is it? Can you hold his arm out but still please?” Anastasia nodded and did so. Marina held out an arm to which a small column of water rose from the ground and then went round Saku’s wound, in a swirling motion, before then simply turning to vapour “That’ll clean the wound, you just need to dress it” Anastasia nodded and then with her left arm created a single vine from the ground with long green leaves.

Anastasia took a leaf and showed it to Saku “This is a kind of medicinal plant called a greenstem. It’ll feel strange but it’ll help the wound heal” she gently wrapped the leaf around his wound. Saku flinched at first but found it soothing “there you are. Just a couple of these and you’ll be fine”

“Thanks Anastasia” said Saku to which she gave a happy nod “and thank you Marina for jumping in when you did”

“Your thanks aren’t really necessary” said Marina “I became more of a burden than assistance” she then slightly blushed “but thank you”

“who was that guy anyway?” asked Sophie

After a moment Marina spoke “I only know him by rumours and name…Akihiko. It’s said he has the power of all five elements on his side but…he’s been registered as a C rank fighter” they all looked confused “it because his powers are always random, sometimes strong and other times barely existent. So he couldn’t be deemed a B rank”

“Whoever that was” said Saku “he felt…so cold like…completely sadistic”

“We’re sorry we couldn’t get here sooner” said Anastasia a bit ashamed “still, that white light seeping from your body…what was it?”

“I don’t know. It happened once more when I was fighting Jordan” said Saku “I could feel loads of energy surging through me for that moment” he said clenching his arm “but…I don’t know how it happened”

“I believe I may know what caused it” said Marina

After a moment Marina spoke “I believe that your aura is closely tied to you on an emotional level. What did you feel both times when the power emerged?”

“Just…to stop whoever’s hurting people” said Saku as Anastasia finished wrapping his wounds with the leaves

“Then…I believe that was the trigger” explained Marina “You must have a well of power somewhere that is opened when you feel that way. So tell me why are you rank D? When clearly you’re at least a C?”

“Well…when I was tested I had no fighting skills and couldn’t even release my aura let alone control it”

“I…see” said Marina thinking “does any of your siblings have this power?”

“No” said Saku shaking his head “neither have energy attacks…or least I don’t think they have. My two sisters who are still bio-duellists are Aries who’s a weapon user and Lexi who’s an aura fighter with influence over lightning”

“I…see” said Marina “it could be the case that it was the stress of the fight which triggered the power. But it could also be…”

Marina thoughts were broken off when another voice could be heard “Marina…there you are” they all turned to see a rather good looking girl walked towards her. She had long dark hair, down her front with tanned skin and green eyes. She was slightly muscular with moderate bust size. She had an annoyed look about her “I’ve been looking for you” she had a slight Spanish accent as she spoke but then she looked surprised as she looked at Marina “¿Qué ocurre a usted? You look like a mess” she then turned to Saku “Did this ra-fian do this to you?”

“no scarlet” said Marina “Saku here saved me from that weirdo Akihiko”

“Oh that guy” Scarlet held her body and shivered “él me asusta…he scares me. All right…well let’s get you to bed to rest” said Scarlet taking Marina “thanks, I guess, for helping Saku… but next time do a better job” Marina gave a reassuringly gesture as the two walked off.

Sophie, with her hands by her side, looked irritated “What’s her problem? She really didn’t have to be so cold you know. Anyway Saku how are you doing?”

“I’m fine thanks” said Saku smiling

“here give me your hand” said Anastasia helping him up “I must say that was quite amazing. That burst of power just erupted out of you. Which begs the question…how do you control it and…how did you Sophie know how he could channel it?”

“well” said Sophie “I can produce what I call an air bullet like that. Watch” she put her hands to her side and put them together vertically. Then as she separated them a ball of wind formed, that raged and swirled between and against her hands “see. Anastasia do you mind giving me a thick tree?” Anastasia nodded with a with hand raised upwards a thick tree appeared in-front of Sophie.

Sophie with her air bullet in hand thrust it forward at the tree. As soon as she did the bullet shredded straight through the tree and continued going until it hit a wall. Saku couldn’t help but clap his hands to which Sophie bowed “the air bullet is my only means to defend myself at close-range with my wind power”

“still…how did you incorporate Saku’s power” said Anastasia “with wind?”

“I guess…it was the shape of it” she said a bit clueless herself “Or it could’ve been the light breeze I felt from him. Other than that I don’t really know”

Saku looked at his body “I’d just like to know how I did it” said Saku looking at his hands “I can’t just expect it to come out when I need it”

“well…for now we should just concentrate on your training” said Sophie “Once you’ve got a good feel for combat we can move up from there” Saku nodded “Are you okay…with your arm and all?”

“Yeah it’s perfectly fine” said Saku “thanks to nurse Anastasia here” Anastasia couldn’t help but blush as her hair turned blonde

“Yhy thank you Saku. But” she said as her hair returned to brown “What can I help with?”

“hmmm” said Sophie in thought “Ah that’s it. Reflexes. You could teach Saku how to dodge and avoid element users. I mean, not everyone is going to use their fists and feet”

“Yeah that’ll be good” said Saku excitedly “You could attack me with your plants and I dodge. It’ll also help you with your training too” Anastasia smiled

“That would help us both indeed” she said liking the idea

“Now I would say we begin with warm-ups” said Sophie jokingly “but I think Saku has had enough of that” the three just began to laugh…much to the confusion of Aureline who was watching from the 2nd floor

“friends…trust…brought out great power once again. He became so strong…just from this bond between friends” she held the bar of the balcony but let go and shook her head “That’s just nonsense”

It was some time later as the training went underway. Sophie had left to get some beverages while Anastasia was attacking Saku with her vines. He was evading…somewhat badly. Anastasia looked at him with an annoyed face “no, no, no. You need to stop tripping up over your own feet” Saku was on his hands and knees breathing heavily “alright, we’ll call it break” with a drop of her wrist the plants simply dissipated “it doesn’t help that you had a fight with that strange boy”

“No. It’s just…no-one has ever bothered…to teach me anything” Anastasia tilted her head as Saku sat down

“but…surely some-one must have tried” Saku hung his head and spoke in a sad tone

“When you’re the talentless son of an esteemed family…no-one wants to associate with you. They think I’m a waste of time…and with no chance of helping anyone”

“well…I’d like to give them all a lecture in respect” said Anastasia in a strong tone

Saku turned to Anastasia and saw her hair had taken a black tone “they have no right to treat you like that. They think that they have the right to look down on you because of your family?” Saku felt for a moment her anger was directed at something else

“Anastasia…” she then looked at Saku’s worrying face and calmed down

“Forgive…I lost myself” her hair turned back to its brown colour “well…we’ll call it a day today. We need to try and draw out that…aura eruption of yours”

“maybe I can help with that” they turned to see a pair of girls walking to them.

The one who waved to them had mid-length ebony black hair with a fringe. Her eyes were green and silver and she had an average built. “sorry I couldn’t help but overhear and would like to offer my assistance”

“Sorry but may I ask who you are?” asked Anastasia in a demanding tone

“Oh…right sorry” she said rubbing her head before pointing to herself with her thumb “the name’s Ivy Jones. I’m your senior at this academy. I’m an aura fighter with some power over wind. Not a lot though” she said embarrassingly “and my quiet friend here is called Mia” the girl she gestured too had a calm vibe about her. She had shoulder length brunette hair, in a pony-tail and green eyes.

She oddly appeared to be wearing a boys jumper as she bowed “I am Mia Anslette” Mia then spread out her hand to produce a thick and large sword which surprised Anastasia “I’m a rank A fighter. I’m pleased to meet you” her voice was quiet but didn’t lack strength

“Right well” said ivy “I’d like to offer in helping you wield your power in fighting. It’s vital you can control it. You can’t expect fists to win against element or a weapon?”

“well no” said Saku “but how can you help me? When I don’t much to begin with”

“Oh don’t be silly” she said encouragingly “I witnessed the fight against Jordan…and I wouldn’t call that…much to begin with. So what do you remember what you felt…at the time your aura burst came out? Don’t tell me. Just think it” Saku closed his eyes

“To…help my friends…and save them Saku’s clothes began to slightly flap

“Right now feel the power running through you. Don’t control it just…let it flow”

Saku felt a warm sensation flow through his whole body. Ivy could sense his power “What you are experiencing is the energy within you flowing through your body. Now comes the difficult part…picture moulding your energy around your right hand. Think of a shape it could take…and imagine as if you’re wearing it” as he imagined this everyone’s face remained transfixed in place. Sophie had just come in with cans of pop

“hey guys and…whoa” she stopped as she too saw what was happening.

Around Saku’s hand was a white, almost fiery, fingerless glove. Saku’s hand was shaking, as a sort of white coat covered the top of his hand. At the wrist the white would flicker and pulse, like flames on a fire. Ivy looked with great surprise “alright now look at your hand but don’t let go of your thoughts” Saku did so and he too just stared at his hand “and…there you have it” the glove then vanished and Saku staggered backwards.

Anastasia quickly caught him as ha panted “easy there” said Ivy quickly “You’re not used to this so don’t strain yourself” Sophie came in

“What just happened? What was that white glove he had?” asked Sophie

“Saku performed an…aura-coat” said Ivy “it what you describe when an aura is worn over the body. Like the gloves and cape on that Jordan creep. But…I’m incredibly amazed” Ivy also formed a fingerless glove but hers was green with a hint of silver “This took me…two months just to create this” she relinquished her glove “the glove itself isn’t tiring it’s summoning the energy” Saku looked at his hand “still…to do that on your first try is incredible”

“It did look amazing” said Saku “and you could teach me how do that?”

“Aha. You can channel your energy into your fight skills and techniques enhancing their strength. So how about it?”

“yes please. The more I learn the better” Ivy gave a good smile

“You’re a lot more humble and nicer than the jerks in this campus. Okay then. I know which number your class is, so I’ll come get you when you’ve got some free time”

“Wait…how do you know which class he’s in?” asked Sophie curiously

“Oh that’s because Mia here is in your class from this day forward”

Mia gave another small as she spoke “I’m in your class from this point on. I hope we can get along”

“wait…your name is Mia?” said Sophie to which Mia nodded “It’s good to meet you. My name is Sophie brown, this is Anastasia Michaels” Anastasia gave a nod

“And…I’m Saku Stritos” said Saku in-between breaths

“so…you’re Saku” she said as if realising it “I have something to tell you” he looked a bit bewildered as Mia pointed her sword at him “from now, you and I will become partners” she then turned round “I look forward to working with you” Anastasia looked shocked while Saku spoke

“What did she mean by that?” he sounded rather clueless which made Ivy giggle

“I think you’re friends have an idea but…I’ll leave it to your imagination” Saku was left confused while the girls thoughts got carried away

“She just…declared Saku was her partner? Does that mean?” thought Anastasia while blushing

“No…she couldn’t have” thought Sophie. “Well she is a girl…and she just said it to a boy” Saku looked between them and felt perplexed

“Is this a girl thing?”

During that night the boy called Kieran was in a dimly lit meeting room. Only the front half was visible in the dim light with the back half completely dark. The only other person was the girl he called Chloe who kept fiddling with her hair as it changed from black to grey, to red then back to grey. Kieran was getting annoyed “can’t you just stick with one colour Chloe?”

“like you’re one talk. You’re is a mixture of a sunset and night-time. Anyway I thought you were keeping an eye on Akihiko”

“You wanna try controlling that guy? The only one he listens to is our supreme leader…since he hates the vice leader”

“That’s enough” they both turned to a figure just barely visible in the dark half “we need to be careful”

“yeah, yeah…we get it vice leader” said Kieran in a sarcastic tone

“erm you will respect my authority”

“Silence” this masculine voice came from the darkest part of the room. It silenced everyone as it carried much strength and intimidation “We can’t quite come out yet…but patience. Then…” his smile was visible by his pearl white teeth “we have our fun”

It was morning time as Ms Reapa spoke to the class “alright now silence everyone. I have two announcements to make so shut up and listen. The first announcement is this…we have a new student today” the door opened to which Mia walked through “This is our new…and last student Mia Anslette” Sophie then whispered to Saku

“I looked her up and apparently she’s hired to track down dangerous criminals and animals” a cough from Ms Reapa silenced her

“And there’s another issue to do with Ms Anslette. She has chosen to investigate a strange occurrence at a nearby forest but she requires two to accompany her. This could be dangerous so you don’t have to accept. So now she will be picking her two chosen assistants”

Mia’s gaze turned to the top corner where Aureline was sitting “I would like to choose you. Ms Aureline, your survival skills would be most useful. Do you accept?”

“yes…I do” Aureline simply replied

“Thank you…as for my second assistant” the boys began murmuring

“I wonder whose she’s going to pick” “must be someone strong” but to their astonishment Mia looked at Saku

“I pick you Saku as my second partner”

All the boys sighed while Anastasia and Sophie breathed a sigh of relief. “So when she said partner thought Anastasia “She meant working partner”

“I was so silly thought Sophie To think…that she meant…that” Saku looked at Mia

“Saku…I would like you to accompany me on this trip” Mia asked earnestly “If you please?”

“Well if you think I can help” said Saku a little nervously “then yes” Mia had a small smile as Ms Reapa addressed the class

“so it’s settled. Ms Dawn and Mister Stritos will accompany Ms Anslette. You’ll be notified in the next couple of days of your assignment. Can you go find a seat?” Mia nodded and picked the spare seat being in-front of Saku “Okay now the second announcement. For the remainder of this year, these two students will be here at this academy. They are still a little young so will be in classes like the rest but will also instruct and assist the other students”

The doors opened to which two girls walked in…to which all the boy went nuts over the girls except for Saku who groaned “Oh no” he then hung his head on the table “of all people…why them?” The younger one, who brimmed with confidence, looked at Saku and had an annoyed looked about her

“Oh great…” said the younger in a sarcastic tone “like I don’t see enough of you at home”

“the feeling’s mutual” said Saku annoyed while the other one looked ecstatic

“Saku!” she waved frantically while Saku groaned again as he saw all the boys staring “It’s so good to see you again” Ms Reapa then looked at Saku

“Saku…since you know these girls” said Ms Reapa “would you care to introduce them?”

Saku got off his place and walked to the side of the girls “everyone…this is Lexi” gesturing to the confident girl “and Aries” gesturing to the well-endowed girl. Sophie and Anastasia looked between each other

“Saku…that…means?” they stammered together

“yeah…they are my sisters. Lexi and Aries Stritos”

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