Eternal Courage

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Chapter 8: Worry and Relief

News of the attack by Izanagi, known to some as Magatsu, had spread like wild-fire. However all were merely rumours as no-one had seen it themselves. Talks were of a man of darkness and an evil cloud that possessed the individuals caught in its grasp. Of course all of this was diluted truth passed on to each person a little different every-time. Those who knew the truth were recovering from the attack.

One of those was Saku as he slept in one of the beds of the nurse’s office. He began to awaken “Ahhh…ohhh…where am I?” he looked round to see only he was in a familiar room “This is…the nurse’s office”

“That’s right” he turned to see Ms Reapa walking through the doorway “You’ve been asleep for at least a day” she said as she sat on an adjacent bed “as has everyone else”

“Everyone…else? Wait…are they all okay? I remember this gas…and everyone going crazy and…” Ms Reapa gestured her hands forward

“Relax, relax” Saku calmed down “they are all fine and well. They all need a bit of time though”

“That’s good”

“Can you tell me what happened yesterday?”

Saku gathered his thoughts “I was training with Ivy to control my aura but then…this metal can fell and covered everything in red smoke. I wasn’t affected but everyone else except Mochi was. Their powers became out of control, all their auras were raging all round them. Then this man in black came down trying to take Mochi calling himself Magatsu. His power was…strange”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s like…he could control darkness” this made Ms Reapa look serious “he was strong, really strong. Even though I could easily tap into my power…he didn’t even have to try. Then Mochi got really angry and literally exploded but again Magatsu was too strong. Then…then” Saku appeared to be struggling to recall the event

“What happened after that?”

“he hurt Mochi real bad” said Saku finding it hard to remember “I got mad…and then…nothing. I can’t remember a thing”

“nothing at all?” inquired Ms Reapa

“no…just this sensation of a roaring fire spreading all through me and…that’s it”

Ms Reapa had a troubled look “so…they’ve begun to make their move” Saku looked confused “What I’m about to tell you is confidential so keep it a secret” Saku nodded “there exists a sort of organization whose interests is to exploit the latent power in all of us”

“B.U.S” said Saku

“exactly. They wish to tap into the full power and use it to control the world. We call them the Shadow league. We have no idea of how many members there are but that man is one of them”

After a moment Ms Reapa spoke again “The red cloud you spoke of is an experimental drug known as the Bio-amp. It was originally made to help people bring out their aura but…it proved too strong. It amplifies the power within us to very high and extreme levels. For those who aren’t used to that influx of power it can be devastating. For element users their powers are beyond their control…while for weapon and aura users their aura becomes a sort of paralysis poison”

“So…why didn’t it affect me?”

“because your body could withstand the power as could Mochi I can imagine. That’s the only explanation”

Saku thought about this. So…I’ve experienced power of that degree before. As has Mochi? How is Mochi anyway?”

“Uninjured and fine. She’s with Aries. All your friends are recovering in their rooms” she gave Saku a note with a list of his friend’s names and room numbers “This is a list of room numbers of everyone. Mochi is resting with Aries. Just give them till this afternoon” Ms Reapa placed a hand on his shoulder “just relax for today okay?” he nodded a bit sadly “hey cheer up they’ll be alright come tomorrow”

“Okay” Saku with worry on his heart walked out the room. Ms Reapa looked troubled

“poor guy. To see all that. He doesn’t remember a thing though. And Aries won’t really talk about it. Still it’s a good thing they are all fine. Right now Saku needs a bit of cheering up…and I think I know how”

Lexi was walking through a hallway of rooms, in her uniform minus the jumper, and stopped at a door. She knocked twice

“come in” called Marina from inside. Lexi opened the door to see Marina sat up in her bed mostly wrapped in a bath robe “I’m happy to see you took time out of your busy schedule to see me”

“What’s with the towel cocoon?” asked Lexi smartly

“to stop getting the bed wet of course”

Lexi realised her sarcasm wasn’t going to work and got to the point “Anyway you wanted to see me? So come on out with it”

“I wish to talk to you about the events that transpired yesterday” Lexi’s eyes narrowed “I need to ask you about Saku”

“Sorry I can’t help you, I wasn’t there. If that’s all, I’ll be on my way” Lexi was walking to the door “well, that was a waste of time. At least I got some exercise”

“It’s regarding Saku who had a red and black aura” Lexi froze in place and turned round “so you do know something about yesterday?”

“I…don’t know what you’re talking about” said Lexi groaning “You could’ve been hallucinating”

“I very well could’ve been. However the look on Aries face was no illusion. She was frightened…very frightened”

Lexi then sighed with her hands on her side “of course she was scared. Her darling brother was getting the snot beaten out of him. So why wouldn’t she be scared” Marina looked serious as she spoke

“What you saw is true but…she had the look of death in her face” Lexi’s eyes widened slightly “it was as if she saw the face of the Grim Reaper. Why would she be so deathly afraid of her own brother Lexi?” Lexi simply turned round to the door

“like I said I wasn’t there” she began opening the door “sorry…I have somewhere to be. Goodbye” she closed the door hard leaving Marina with suspicions

“She definitely reacted when I described the aura. Both of them know something about Saku, something…he doesn’t know about”

Saku was sat against the wall of the usually empty training hall. He was going over what Ms Reapa had told “the shadow league, a group of people trying to release the full power of B.U.S. Mochi practically exploded with power but was that as result of that red cloud? Or did she have that power all along” Aureline had walked into the hall and saw Saku sitting by himself “and…as for me” Saku said as he looked at his hands “Why can’t I remember anything?” he was holding his head “I remember seeing Mochi and…that’s it. What happened?” Aureline found herself unable to look away at Saku as he hung his head

“He seems…so lost right now. I can feel something…strange...flowing through me” she then slowly walked towards Saku who didn’t notice her.

Aureline came towards him “erm…Saku” Saku looked up

“Oh hey Aureline” he said sadly “I’m glad to see you’re alright” she looked surprised

“You…are?”

“well…yeah. I mean I’m just glad you won’t hurt” she looked a bit bewildered

“Oh…thank you” Aureline fidgeted a little “do you mind…if I sit next to you?” Saku shook his head and Aureline sat down next to him.

Aureline didn’t quite know what to say to Saku, trying to form some words “so…erm…what’s worrying you?”

“I don’t know” said Saku honestly “I guess…it was the fight in general. That guy…was so strong I…didn’t even stand a chance. I fought against him, but he was too powerful. Then he struck Mochi, who had fought against him”

“What happened?”

“I can’t remember…after that” he hung his head “and that’s the worrying part” Aureline looked at him and felt something a little painful from watching him

He is…really lost. What should I do?

Aureline began thinking. What did his comrades do when he was low? They placed a hand on the shoulder…and that seemed to calm him down before. Aureline slowly put her hand out and then gently placed it on his shoulder. Saku looked up at her and saw her dark sea-blue eyes “It’s…okay now. I mean…erm…everyone is fine aren’t they? So don’t worry…if you can’t…remember. Just take it slowly…okay?” Saku smiled slightly

“Yeah…okay. Thanks”

“So…are you…alright now?”

“Yeah I guess so. Thanks for trying to cheer me up” Aureline seemed to go a bit shy

“Oh…well…you’re welcome” Saku got up off the floor and offered her a hand

“Come on…let me help you up” Aureline looked at his hand and then his smiling face. She took his hand and he helped her up

Aureline looked a bit lost for words “so…erm Saku” she twiddled her fingers “do you consider me…a comrade?”

“A comrade? Oh you mean a friend. Well, yeah” she looked shocked “why is it a problem?”

“No, no it’s just…I’m not used to…the concept of friends”

“You and me both” he then sighed “I kinda wish that guy came just a little later. I was so close too”

“What do you mean?” she asked curiously

“I was training with Ivy to try and control my aura” said Saku clenching his hands “I was focusing like this and then it was almost…huh?”

Just as Saku started concentrating he found his white milky aura just came out. Saku looked at his body and saw he was producing the aura. Aureline was looking at him “Saku…is this your aura?” she asked

“Yeah it is” replied Saku surprised “but…I didn’t even try” he relaxed himself and the aura left “I wonder” he then focused and concentrated and to his shock the aura came back “It came out…when I wanted it to”

“Can you shoot those blasts like before?”

“Oh…let me try” he walked out a little “alright here we go”

Saku joined his hands, vertically, to the side “Okay…channel the energy” Saku then separated his hands and found a sphere of energy pulsing and pushing against his hands “I can feel it…well here goes nothing” he thrust his hands forward and produced a beam of energy which soared over the ground and collided into the wall.

Saku looked in astonishment at the burn mark he had made in the wall. And then back to his hands, then he clenched his hands “yes…yes! I did it!” Aureline saw Saku as happy as can be “I can finally do it” Aureline looked at him as he ran back to her and grabbed her hand “thanks a lot Aureline” he said beaming “I owe you a lot” Aureline looked lost for words

“I didn’t really do that much”

“are you kidding me? You helped a lot”

Aureline looked quite bewildered as Saku then gasped “Oh…oh I need to tell the others. It should be alright now it’s late enough. Alright Aureline I’m going to go and tell my friends”

“Oh…really?” Aureline said sounding disappointed

“do you want to come with me?” she looked caught by surprise from his reaction “well would you like to?

“No it’s okay” she twiddled her fingers “erm…Saku…is it alright…if we could talk…again?”

“of course. We’re friends now” Saku then began running “I’ll see you later Aureline…and thank you” Aureline watched him go with curiosity. She then looked at her hand

“his hand…it was…warm” she then felt a tingling feeling “it feels…nice”

Anastasia, in a blue dressing gown, was sitting up in her room reading a book when she heard a knock “come in” to her surprise it was Saku “Oh Saku hello”

“Hi Anastasia. At last I found the right room”

“well you’re here now. Grab a chair” Saku pulled a chair from the dining area and sat near Anastasia “so what brings you here?”

“Oh I’m checking up on you thats all” she blushed slightly

“You are. That’s nice of you but I’m fine. Have you checked on anybody else?”

“I haven’t checked on Mochi and Aries yet but Sophie is still asleep”

“Is she?”

“Yeah…I could hear her snoring” this made Anastasia giggle “so I didn’t want to disturb her. And Ivy from what I’ve heard is already back in class”

“How about you? Are you okay?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Oh yeah, there’s something I want to show you”

Anastasia watched Saku stand up in excitement. Saku then began to focus and his white milky aura appeared surprising her “look, I can finally do it”

“That’s great Saku” said Anastasia happily “but you look happy for a different reason” his enthusiasm dropped but his smiled remained

“All my life I’ve felt…I don’t know… isolated from everyone else” he sat down on the chair “everyone was shooting beams, punching and throwing rocks. And…I couldn’t do a thing. Between that and everyone laughing at me…I just felt…so useless” Anastasia grabbed his hand

“You are anything but useless you listening!”

Saku looked at her determined face “You are a very reliable person and don’t anyone tell you otherwise” she then realised that she had grabbed Saku’s hand and let go “Oh…I’m sorry it’s just” Saku to her surprise simply smiled

“Mo…thank you very much” she blushed as she let go “well…from now on. I’m going to keep going but before I do that” Saku then grabbed her hand with both of his “I owe you a big thank you Anastasia”

“You mean it?”

“of course I do”

Anastasia’s face went red and her hair turned blonde which prompted Saku let go “Oh sorry, I’m embarrassing you again” said Saku apologetically but Anastasia shook her head

“You’re doing nothing wrong. You’re just been a gentleman” Saku’s face went pink as he got up

“well…I’ll leave you to get some rest”

“do you have to?” she said in disappointment

“well it’s just your feeling hot again. Your hair’s going red” her eyes turned to her curls to see indeed a red shade creeping upwards “so I’ll see you later” she gave a meek wave and breathed out a relief. She looked the curls on her shoulders to see a good portion of it red

“That’s the second time it has happened now. Saku…could you be the one?”

Saku arrived at another door and knocked “coming” came a familiar cute voice and as the door opened “Big Brother” it was Mochi who out of happiness hugged Saku who hugged her back

“hey Mochi. Are you okay?” she nodded “how about Aries?”

“I am fine” Saku looked past Mochi to see Aries sitting up in her room. Aries’ room was larger than the normal ones as it looked more like a large hotel room. “come on in” Saku went inside the room and sat on the bed.

“And I thought Lexi was bad. Aries I’ve told you before about wearing that” Aries was wearing a long beige, pyjama shirt with her bust bulging outwards “That night-shirt doesn’t do you any favours. I mean it’s sort of pulling apart on the buttons a bit”

“Why not? It shows off my ample bosom. Lexi does it so why can’t I?” she pulled an innocent face

“alright, alright…you do only wear that at the night time” Aries smiled

After a moment Aries spoke “so…how are you?”

“I’m fine although something has been bugging me. Aries there’s something I need to ask you. What happened? After Mochi got hit in the fight”

“What do you mean? Don’t you remember?” he shook his head

“No I don’t. I just remember…getting angry but…that’s it. What happened after that? It’s being annoying me”

“You fainted then your teacher Ms Reapa came in and saw off that man” Saku believed what Aries had told him to her relief “so…is that what’s being annoying you?”

“yes but there’s something I wanted to show you as well”

Saku got up off the bed, focused and brought out his aura “look…I can finally use it” Aries looked delighted

“Oh that’s brilliant Saku” she reached out to him pulling him into a hug “Oh wait” she turned his head to the side “there we go. Now I won’t suffocate you. I’m so proud of you” she let go of Saku who had a red face “This means you’ll have to train harder to become a fighter”

“don’t worry I will”

Saku than turned to Mochi “Speaking of which Mochi…how were you able to fight like that? You didn’t half give that guy a run for his money. Have you always been able to fight like that?”

“I guess so, I don’t really remember that much about it. It just…came to me that was all”

“Well I remember” he rubbed her head “You were really strong and brave. Nice one” she giggled in embarrassment

“thanks Big brother. You were great too”

“Alright now that I know you’re both fine I’m. I’ve still got Mia left to see. Mochi could you stay here and look after Aries for me?” she nodded

“Okay then I’ll you later Saku” Aries said as she waved him goodbye as did Mochi. As he shut the door Aries breathed out in relief. Thank goodness. He doesn’t remember anything. That…must have just been from that red cloud, yeah that’s all it was. Mochi looked curiously at Aries and then back at the door.

Saku with note in hand was wandering through a hallway “according to this Mia’s room should be just…around here. Oh…” he saw Mia leaning against the wall in the academy uniform “Mia?” he turned towards him

“Saku hi. What brings you here?”

“I just came to check up on you”

“I thank you for checking on my welfare but I am simply tired. I was going to the bathing facilities they have here”

“Would you like some help getting there? It looks like you’re struggling a bit”

“Yes, I’m afraid my body still hasn’t fully recovered yet. I don’t want to impose though”

“No it’s okay. I was planning on going to the bath-house after I checked up on everyone”

“Then I would be grateful for the assistance” he took her arm, put around his neck and put an arm around her back

“There you go” he then started helping her walk along

“I thank you very kindly” she was blushing oblivious to him

It was a short while later with Saku relaxing, again by himself, in the third bath-house in his swim shorts “Ah…this is lovely as normal. It’s a shame I have this whole thing to myself though” He then heard a splash to his side to see Mia shakily walking in

“Oh hello Saku” she was wearing two piece cream swimsuit “I didn’t think anyone would be in here”

“well…I definitely didn’t want to be in there with those drooling idiots” Mia smiled “come and join me” Mia got in the water and crawled towards him sitting near him “I thought I saw you go inside the ladies one with the other girls. What happened?”

“Yes well…let’s say your statement applies to the other gender too to a degree” Saku sighed “are you okay? I didn’t see the fight so how did go?”

“That guy Magatsu, was really strong. I tried as hard as he could and he just knocked me aside. I guess that means I still have long way to go”

Mia looked at his adamant face “Saku…do you have a dream?” he looked bewildered “or a goal to work towards?”

“well…yeah but” he rubbed his head in embarrassment “It’s rather silly”

“no it’s okay. Go on tell me”

“well…it was…to make some friends” she felt a feeling of sympathy “I just felt…really lonely for a long time. And…that’s all I wanted” Mia placed a hand on his shoulder

“well…now you have accomplished that goal. Rare have I seen someone with qualities as good as yours. I think its worthy calling you a friend” Saku smiled gratefully

“Thanks Mia and yeah your right. I’ve now got Sophie, Anastasia, you, Ivy and Aureline”

Mia looked a bit surprised by this “You consider Aureline your friend too?”

“Yeah I do” said Saku “It’s hard to describe but…back then…at the training hall I was really down. Aureline was really trying hard to cheer me up although…it looked like she wasn’t too sure” Mia nodded “so…maybe if I keep reaching out, she’ll reach out in return” Mia smiled “there is Marina as well I guess but I’m not too sure yet”

As Saku thought Mia looked slightly shy “Saku…there’s a favour I’d like to ask of you” he turned to her “when I was recovering, Ms Reapa told me you give good massage’s. I was going to ask before but…” she put her hands under her mildly-moderate “I’m not quite as proportional as the other girls” she looked at Saku who had a red face “is something wrong?” Saku snapped out of it

“no, no nothing’s wrong” Mia found his reaction amusing “just turn round and I can start” Mia nodded and did so.

Saku then began gently massage her shoulders “there you go. I’m not being as hard because you don’t have a lot of tension here” Mia was enjoying it “alright now turn to the side” Mia did see “and your arm” he then began bending and kneading her arm to which she thoroughly enjoyed “being physically stronger you have more stress in your arms. How does it feel?”

“Amazing”

“This is what I do with Lexi. She’s a powerful aura fighter so she often gets cramps in her arms. Alright now the other arm” Saku went round to her other side and began massaging that one “there we go…and done”

Mia began flexing her arms “how is it?” asked Saku curiously

“My arms feel revitalised. I never knew you had such skill. There must be something I can do to repay you”

“well…then could you train with me?” she tilted her head “well…I thought it would be good to train against a weapon user. I mean I won’t get many opportunities to train against one”

“I would feel very obliged to train you. But know I don’t hold back too well” she then placed her hand over his “although for you I can make an exception” she smiled sweetly which seemed to make Saku go bright red .

“what Ms Reapa said was true She thought back to what Ms Reapa said before

With Saku what matters more is the person you are inside. Give him a try and you’ll see what I mean” Mia couldn’t help but giggle

“What…what’s so funny?” asked Saku in bewilderment but Mia just shook her head

“nothing. Let’s just enjoy the bath”

It was the next day with everyone having recovered from the attack at their desks. Ms Reapa addressed the class “Good morning class. Before we begin I bring an important announcement. The first is an exciting one for all. The representatives for Green B.U.S academy will soon be chosen. These representatives will then go on to participate in the world tournament of Bio-Duelling”

The whole class had happy faces, well mostly except Saku “now, you don’t have to sign any forms. I myself will be picking the members from amongst this class. News of selections will be announced tomorrow and everyone” she looked at Saku as she put emphasis on the word which he noticed “has an equal chance so let’s keep our minds op-” there was a knock at the door “come in” there was Scarlet who walked in and whispered a message “Ms Tydes, there is a message waiting for you outside” Marina walked down the stairs and went outside.

As Ms Reapa began her lecture Marina spoke “so what is Scarlet?” Scarlet had in her hand a large envelope

“This is what you asked me to do remember?” Marina began ripping open the envelope “be grateful. Fue muy difícil. It was hard, I’ve seen tighty-whities looser than this information” Marina pulled out what looked like a printed document from a newspaper

“let’s have a look” the headline read Great Blaze on Stritos estate “This is indeed what I’m looking for. Is it reliable?”

“I think so. It was supposedly written by a reporter who was close at the time. You know the ones trying to get a juicy photo”

Marina was scanning through it. Scarlet was curious “anything?”

“no, just it’s mostly about conspiracies and his panic at the flames” she then stopped

“Que? What?”

“At the centre of the flames there was a colour of crimson red. The red was like that of blood and as I gazed into the flames I felt a cold chill run down my spine. And then it’s about him running for his life”

“Llamas rojas? Red flames? Fire only comes in yellow, orange and blue. Not red?”

“was there anything else?”

“well…there is this”

Scarlet handed Marina a very fuzzy picture of a mansion in flames “This was taken by Stritos’ private satellite. They weren’t half loaded to have this but…the strange thing is this” she pointed to a small black area “I’m not sure what this is but I’ve got someone trying to clean it up. We’ll have an updated picture soon” Marina nodded

“thanks for this Scarlet. I owe you lunch now, well I have to get back”

“No wait…there’s something else you need to hear”

Scarlet checked to see no-one was listening before speaking “All the members of the Stritos family and others were caught in the blaze. All were reported with burns. some even scorch marks but Saku, who was only four, was completely uninjured. He didn’t have a single burn” Marina tilted her head “I’m still digging but I’ll come back. Alright I’ll see you later” Marina looked back at the picture

“I’ve got the feeling there’s something going on with the Stritos family…and Saku obliviously is at the centre”

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