Dragon Raja and the Core Tokens: Grief

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Leaving

After the meeting with the principal, Asen headed his way back to the dorm, He just got settled and would have to leave again, Asen knew that even though it was hard, that he needed to do this, Dragon Hybrids was a part of his past, and Japan was a sure lot closer to Russia than America. He had to remember that this was for his sister, Not to mention that he couldn’t leave his new friends alone.

Asen walked into the dorm room where Xeno was in the kitchen, putting away some groceries

“Hey, bud! Didn’t see ya last night-” He greeted

Asen offered a kind wave before pulling out his tablet, writing out a message, Once finished he handed it to Xeno,

Xeno’s one cheery expression soon fell the longer he read the message,

“I’m leaving, I’m not sure for how long, but The principal is sending me out on a mission,” It wrote

Xeno looked up back at Asen and softened, handing the tablet back to him

“My brother’s going too...isn’t he?” He asked,

Asen hesitated but eventually nods, because yes, Caesar was indeed going

Xeno huffed and just begrudgingly put stuff away

“That stuff’s dangerous ya know? I get we’re supposed to protect from dragons but like--Why does Anjou pick my friends to go and not me...I get I’m only a B rank, but I can be worth something--” Xeno vented,

Asen softened and walked to him, placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder

Xeno looked back at him and let out a heavy sigh

“You don’t need this when you’re about to go...I’m sorry-” He offered a weak smile

“I’ll help you pack...Yeah! That’s a good idea..” He attempts to shake off the feeling he had before walking with Asen to his room, helping him pack important things.

Asen went to his closet and pulled out his old Black Swan Bay coat, it had been a while since he saw it, but he refused to leave it behind, it was his whole life in that coat, it meant more to him than most things.

Xeno saw it and eyed it curiously, “Expecting snow..?” He asked

Asen gave a weak smile and shook his head, walking to Xeno and sitting on the bed next to him. He pulled out his tablet and began to type

“My father gave me this. I used to live in Russia, It always snowed...The trim is made out of fox fur, really warm...It’s a piece of home.” Asen wrote

Xeno read his explanation, carefully running his fingers over the trim of the hood

“It’s a bulky jacket- You weren’t kidding” He chuckled. Xeno’s attention caught on the patch stitched inside, old and worn it said ‘Black Swan Orphanage’

“You were an orphan..?” Xeno turned to Asen

“Complicated story...” Asen typed back

“Fair enough...” Xeno glanced down at the sleeves, he could see the faded, red stains on the cuffs, Xeno almost asked about it but stopped himself, he could see the hurt in the Russian’s eyes, this was more than a jacket to him. Xeno knew his place.

“Thank you for showing me- I can tell it means a lot to you, you should pack it” The Gattuso brother explained

Asen simply nods, packing the coat along with several other things he planned on taking, although what was left wasn’t much since he didn’t have a lot to his name. Most decorations stayed in place along with school-owned stuff, He took mostly clothes and other things.

Eventually, the two were done, Asen slung the large bag over his shoulder, looking over to Xeno, who looked kinda glum he was leaving, Asen offered a small smile and held his hand out to him,

Xeno tilted his head curiously, grabbing his hand,

Suddenly, Asen tripped him over, making him stumble on his left foot before Asen clutched his hand to make Xeno regain his balance

“Ah-! Hey! What was that for?!” Xeno whipped his head around to face Asen, standing up again

Asen offered a cheeky smile, handing his tablet to him,

"In my country, It’s good luck to trip on your left foot." It wrote

"Luck?? For what?" Xeno asked

"For all your future Basketball matches! Since I can't come to them now" Asen typed

Xeno stood there quietly before jumping into Asen's arms, wrapping him around in a tight hug. The brunette was taken back by the other's sudden affection, He kinda stood there awkwardly. Asen hadn't had this kind of bond with friends in a long time, with Xeno, with Luminous, with Solace. Asen let out a small sigh before hugging Xeno back, the two roommates stood there for a moment before the blonde eventually let go,

"D-Don't forget me alright?! Not allowed!! We will still play StarCraft yeah??" Xeno stressed. Asen happily nods, holding his pinky out to him, Xeno looked at it before linking his pinky as well. The promise was set.

Asen picked up his bag once again before waving the younger Gattuso brother goodbye, Xeno watched as Asen shut the door of the dorm room. The room was once again quiet. Just when Xeno was finally getting used to the company.

Asen was walking through the Campus towards E.V.A.'s quarters to the meetup site Anjou explained when he heard his name called in the distance. Asen turned to spot HJ, rushing over as her tiny legs could carry her, trying to catch up, Asen offered a kind wave and waited for her.

She came back and seemed visibly upset "Is it true?? Anjou's really making you go?!" She asked

Asen furrowed his brow before signing "He's not making me..."

HJ stared dumbfoundedly "You can't be seriously going on your own-! Y-You're not ready Asen y-you just got here-!" she stammered

Asen softened a bit as he watched his friend panic

"Y-You can't seriously be ready for an SS-Ranked mission! I-I mean there's so much the college hasn't taught you yet and--and-" She stopped when Asen cupped her face, She watched his expression carefully as he offered a reassuring smile to her,

She sighed and felt the tears roll down her cheeks

"A-alright---I admit- I'm not ready for you to go..." She muttered out, Asen softened and took her hands in his own, squeezing them gently

"Y-you're going to look for her...Aren't you? That's why you accepted the mission..." HJ accused. Asen nods, confirming her statement

"And...If you don't find her Asen...what will you do? Can you handle the fact that she may not be out there...?" The blonde teacher asked.

Asen looked down sadly, holding onto her hands tighter, He was silent for a few moments before looking up to HJ

"I-I have to try..." Asen muttered out, his voice raspy and coarse. His eyes were filled with determination. He knew his sister was out there, he just needed to find her.

HJ's eyes widened upon Asen's voice, like a flood of memories filling her soul like the light in a dark room. She felt her tears roll down her face and touch the floor beneath them. She hadn't heard Asen's voice in nearly twenty years, and despite the pain, it was in, she knew it was her friend. and he wouldn't be shaken so easily, if he were, he wouldn't be here.

HJ hugged him gently, patting his head "Like a true Black Swan..." she muttered before letting go

"I'll be here for you when you come back...Family sticks together...y-yeah?" She gave a fragile smile, Asen nods, parting from her, He signs to her for "Family" And waves her off, turning his heel to leave,

HJ Watched in the empty campus as he faded from her sight, just how Ivan faded from the view that night. Once Asen was far enough gone, and she was alone, Her knees crumbled like sand, she fell to the floor clutching her chest, grieving tightly as the last little piece of home slipped through her fingers, she feared for the worst at that moment.

Ivan, her first love, died protecting his friends, Norma her best friend in college died on her mission. Asen was leaving for a mission, to protect his friends... HJ mourned on the idea that she was about to lose what she had finally regained, she couldn't bear the thought of losing something again.

She wept alone at the campus walkway, just as she did that fateful morning with the bodies in the snow.

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