Dragon Raja and the Core Tokens: Grief

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A new face

The year was 1979 and in the middle of December, Most of the students were in their teens and nearly the age of being evaluated. everyone worked hard for their training to see who’d make it to the capital this year, but nobody worked as hard as Anton had, day and night, regardless of training days he was always in the field, practicing his ability to change the atmosphere, Khorkina and Kizana usually stayed with him, offering moral support.

Asen was seventeen at the time, his older sister being nineteen, the two were later more distant than he would have liked. He always hoped she'd see him more, but her focus lied elsewhere. Asen being far more mature now, but still, the carefree self, didn't stick it to her, he often accepted that they were growing up.

The day had ended and was inching closer tonight Asen was wrapping up for the day, locking up Swan Hall after dinner when he heard it. In the distances Wolves, howling at the full moon that had arisen. He furrowed his brow at the sound but went to dismiss it, A twig snapped in the distance, causing him to turn towards it. His guard now up he approached the mountain cautiously, scanning for wolves or anything out of the ordinary, A figure swiftly moved behind a tree to keep itself hidden. Asen cautiously stepped closer, looking around

“Who’s there??” He called out, Scanning the mountainside cautiously. The figure remained hidden, In an attempt to find it he opens a heal source, illuminating the area around him. He then found a silhouette of a young woman around his age, carrying a large scythe by her side. She looked very elegant and lost

“Who are you?” He asked, not taking his eyes off her, scared that she might fight or flee

“Where is the professor?” She asks

“Professor Hertzog?” He tilted his head. She simply nods

“Probably in his quarters, why..?” He asked

“I don't know where the Krylo is...” She explained

“You go to Black Swan..? I’ve never seen you before-” He argued

“The Professor just found me, He said I could stay in a place called the Krylo...” The woman explained

Asen hesitated, eyeing her up and down. Her hair was bright silver, with ocean eyes and pointed ears. Freckles adorned her face and her arms and legs were covered in soot as if she had just come from a fire.

“Look I can’t just have you wander until I clear it with the Professor...Why don’t you come with me and we can sort it out together, okay?” Asen suggested

The woman hesitated for a moment before nodding her head and emerging from her hiding place, she holds her Scythe firmly and walks with Asen towards the Professor’s quarters. He knocks on the door and waits.

After a few moments, the door opens to a very monotone and emotionless Hertzog, his body pale and his eyes a faded amber, this was a man with one foot in the grave and lost most of his humanity. Asen and the others were used to the sad sight as he had been like this for a while, nevertheless, he offered a kind smile

“Sorry to bother you, professor, I found her outside and she claims to be a part of Black Swan, is that correct...?” Asen asked

“I found her in a burned home outside the borders, I brought her back with me to avoid the Wolves.” He explains calmly

Asen nods and rubs the back of his neck

“A-Alright! Sorry to bother you! Just wanted to make sure, Have a good night professor”

Hertzog gently ruffled the hair on Asen’s head and shut the door without another word, despite his now cold demeanor, Hertzog was always kindest to Asen.

The brunette gave a small sigh of relief and turned to the young woman, “Sorry about that, I can show you to the Krylo now!” He said in a chipper tone, turning his heel to lead her towards the cabin

As the two walked Asen spoke up, “I didn’t catch your name-” He asks

“My name is Vanessa Belladona" She introduced, walking calmly with her Scythe close by her side

“I’m Asen...” He replied walking quietly. He observed her quietly before noticing how skinny she looked

“Have...you eaten recently?” He asked

“I don’t need to eat” she lied

“nonsense, everyone’s gotta eat- Are you hungry..?” He asked again

Vanessa hesitated, looking towards him, despite her protests, her eyes had a craving

“I know that look-” He chuckled, grabbing her hand and leading her towards the Swan Hall

’Where are we going?” She questioned

“To get you something to eat, C’mon” He leads

The two make it towards the Hall, and Asen takes the key from his neck and opens the door with it, turning on the lights and ushering her in. She looks around the empty hall curiously and sits down on one of the benches. Asen goes to the kitchen and works on making a quick meal for Vanessa to have. After a few minutes, he has a hot soup and some fresh bread out on a plate for her, he sets it in front of Vanessa and sits beside her. She looks down at the food with desperate eyes and looks back towards Asen

“It’s okay, It’s yours” He reassures

Within a moment Vanessa consumes what had been laid before her, happily enjoying the treat Asen had just made. The brunette watched proudly as she cleared the entire plate and bowl.

After a few minutes, she lets a small sigh of satisfaction leave her, looking up towards the boy “Thank you...You’re awfully kind” She spoke

“Don’t sweat it, Everyone’s gotta eat” He says happily

“Why are you being so nice to me? We only just met...” She questions

“I like to think Kindness is like Snow, It beautifies everything it covers, You can make beautiful friendships with kindness” He explains with a cheeky smile

“I see...You enjoy the snow?” She asks

“Sometimes, Although it gets really cold here, that kinda sucks, My sister says that in some places, they have sunny beaches, I’ve always wanted to go” He hummed

“You have a sister?” She asked

“Yeah, Her name’s Renata, she also lives and works here” He explains

“Must be nice to have family here” She looks distantly

“Yeah...everyone here is like a family, We look out for each other” He hummed

“Like how you looked out for me?” She turned to him

“Exactly!” He chirped, beaming proudly

Vanessa offered a small smile before handing the plate back to Asen,

Asen happily took it to be cleaned. Once he was finished the two exited the Hall and locked up. Asen then led her towards their original destination; the Krylo cabin. The two walked across the orphanage, exchanging stories of their past until he dropped her off at the cabin. The two said their goodbyes as she moved into her new room, and Asen went back to the Serdtse. He walked into Kizana already in bed and Renata was nowhere to be seen. Lately, she has often been gone at night, usually, to see Z. He didn't mind as much since he knew how much she cared for him. Although he did sometimes wish he could have his sister again.

Asen went to bed alone, thinking about his family as the Blizzard started to set in for the night.

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