Eternal Magic Book One :- Winds of Change

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Defeat Makes You Stronger

Gwyntref Castle, Kaze Realm

“Von Loki and Scarlet Hian. Bria-day Kazen and Myith Roiyaruhi. Jak Chik and Jak Chik. Max Yaragado and Elspeth Loki. Zane Kazen and Ire Zumi. Please stand next to the person your name was called with.” Everyone paired up. Elspeth watched Max who was eying Ire, someone Elspeth did not remember from the school, she might have been royalty but her last name was wrong.

“Now that you are all sorted his majesty has a few rules for this tournament.” The speaker bowed at the man standing. He was tall and a little pudgy, he had strong looking arms. He was wearing the traditional knight’s uniform, a pale green cape held in place with two shoulder guards. His chest plate had the kingdoms wolf insignia carved into it. He was wearing heavy, fire-proof boots and normal pants. As he rose his arm to silence the crowd chain-mail showed under his tunic.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the ten of you showed great passion and/or skill. However your battle is not over, only one of the ten of you may receive the title Knight of Kaze or Caster of Kaze. Now you must work in teams in order to complete the first eight fights. If you are too injured to continue or your magic does not work anymore, a medical sage will remove you from the field. One other thing. During this battle my son, Zane, and my daughter, Bria-day, are not part of the royal blood line. With that you may fight your heart out with anyone you like.” He nodded to his wife. The Queen stood and whispered a spell; her hand moved toured the family crest. The floor started shifting, seconds later the floor dropped one-hundred feet. She then struck her hand horizontal and placed a pale green summoning circle across the drop.

Scarlet’s POV

“You will not be able to summon creatures during the fight unless you can break her majesty’s Spyrionial circle. So without further ado. Let the real tournament of Kaze begin.” The king finished with his hands in the air and the audience applauding. The wind rustled through the trees and across Scarlet’s face. She slowly opened her eyes to see a massive jungle around her. As she began to move she felt something touching her chest. ‘I swear if it’s one of those perverts I’ll kill them’ she though angrily as she turned and looked behind her. Von laid still unconscious and holding Scarlet in a very lewd way. Scarlet smiled softly and whispered “Idiot.”

“You know your heavy right.” Von said with a smirk on his face. Scarlet’s face looked like it was going to fly right off her shoulders before she slammed Von’s face into the large oak tree behind them. She stood and started walking east.

“What the hell was that for anyway?!” Von yelled rubbing the back of his head. Scarlet turned her head with her fingers intertwined behind her back and looked at him,

“Nothing.” Von slowly lowered his hand into his lap, as though he had lost a bet, as he watched Scarlet turned her head around the sunlight caught her eyes with its glare. A crimson glisten sparkled right before her hair covered the side of her face. Von half smiled,

“That’s what I wake up for”

“Hurry up or we won’t find a stone.” As she walked father ahead Von stood and ran to catch up.

“You still didn’t have to throw my head against a tree.” “Yeah well you deserved it.” Scarlet replied turning a pale rose color in remembrance of Von’s sleeping face.

“Why?” Von asked confused looking at Scarlet’s ‘ignoring you moron’ face, “Come on; at least tell me what I did this time.”

“Why does it matter anyway?” “Cause I…” Von looked to the left as he finished the rest.

“I wanted to apologize if I hurt you on our way down.” Scarlet stopped in her tracks and both her hands shaking.

“Von you didn’t do anything at all.”

“You sure?” Scarlet nodded as she picked up the pace.

"We should hurry or we won't get a stone, and I'm sure you want to graduate right." A sign of sarcasm was rolled into the last bit of Scarlet's speech.

Tournament Grounds, Kaze Realm

Elspeth's POV

Elspeth started moving her legs to try and find her footing. When her toes stretched all the way out she realized she was not near the ground. She was being held by her arm and dangling from a huge redwood tree. Elspeth looked up to see Zak and Jak holding her with everything they had.

"What are you two doing? Let go or we'll all fall."

"No way." Jak squeaked out.

"Yeah and besides Von would kill us if we let you get hurt without trying to help." Zak said with short breaths. 'That stupid brother of mine is going to get more people killed then saved.'

"Ok I understand let go I'll be fine. I promise!" "Yeah but," Jak started.

"It's fine Jak I have never broken a promise, and I don't plan to start now." Jak looked like he was about to cry.

"Fine but if you get even a scratch I get to beat Von up later." At that moment Elspeth was thinking of getting hurt on purpose just to see Von get beat up by Jak. Though the twins were short for their age they both knew what stealth was and the meaning of swift like a leaf. Zak and Jak released their grip from Elspeth's arm, and as soon as they did they began descending the tree as quickly as possible.

King’s Court, Kaze Kingdom

"Your majesty one of the contestants has been eliminated."

"Was it Zane?" the king asked in a husky voice.

"No my lord."

"Very good"

"Are you not worried it is Bria-day." The messenger asked as he was leaving.

"Of course not. She is one of the only seven that I find capable of finishing this test"

Elspeth's POV

All though she knew she had fallen at least 70 feet she didn't hurt, anywhere.

"I don't particularly dislike the fact that you're in my lap, but having this much weight on my groin is not as pleasurable." Elspeth heard a deep voice, familiar in a way but she couldn't make out who it belonged to. As her eyes meet two sapphire shaded eyes, she realized who it was.

"Sorry!" she spat out quickly and scrambled to her feet. Max stood and brushed the back of his jeans and fixed his shirt.

Max's POV

"You aren't injured are you?" as soon as the words escaped her lips, such soft looking lips that Max wouldn't have minded moving them himself, she realized of course it hurt.

"Not really. I've had worse, trust me, besides if the worse part of my day is you landing on my groin I'll live till tomorrow." He grinned with his comment.

Erimoor Castle, Tsuki Realm

Garth's POV

It was always dark, since Garth could remember that is, and the sun was hidden well be the kingdom's walls of stone. He gazed at the bloody colored eclipse and sat in the silence. His aches had long since passed but keeping his distance from Iku without making anyone think he was up to anything. His loyalty didn't lie with the Hikarin realms but not doing as he was told would cost him more than his life. Garth stood with his left hand touching his right shoulder blade.

"Tsuki I, Garth last member of the dark elf clan, call you to do my bidding and give my body the power of shadows and demons. Give me the strength I was born with but will not use." He said yet again, however this time a phoenix stretched its wings out of Garth's body and sanding seven feet tall. Garth petted the massive bird and placed his head on its beak.

"To Inazuma Island." As he spoke the bird turned his back to Garth and awaited his rider. Once Garth was settled upon the fiery bird its feathers turned to bright red flames and its tail turn blue, flying faster than the dragon previously. Garth leaned with the bird at every turn, as one being, and never burned from the phoenix's flames. If seen he would be seen as a shooting star about to crash.

Tournament Grounds, Kaze Realm

Elspeth's POV

Although they jumped as fast as they could and even fell part of the way down the twins knew they wouldn't beat Elspeth down. Their stomachs sank as they heard the sound of Elspeth hitting the floor moved faster toward the forest ground. Jak moved down from the left and Zak from the right, in such perfect unison that they both touched the ground together.

"Elspeth! Are you okay?" Jak asked running toward her. Elspeth's face flushed as she jumped to her feet and straightened her uniform.

"Um" She replied glancing around as to hide something.

"We won't tell Von that this guy had you saddle style to brake your fall." Zak spoke up with a snicker and Jak's laugh not far behind. Elspeth smacked both of them across the backs of their heads with her palm.

"Let them assume whatever they want. We probably did far worse." Max slipped in as he rose to his feet, taller than anyone present Elspeth was aware but the twins looked up at him as though he was a giant about to smash their ant sized house.

"Don't encourage them Max!"

"What aren't we encouraging?" Scarlet's sharp voice was heard before they were seen.

"Those two." Elspeth said pointing to the twins as Von and Scarlet emerged from a thicker portion of the forest.

"Yeah please don't encourage them; there a pain to begin with and no one wants more issues."

"Speaking of issues." Jak spoke up with Zak finishing.

"When did you to get so friendly?" Von and Scarlet looked confused until Elspeth pointed at her hand trying not to bring up the topic any more than it had to be. At first Von tightened his grip on Scarlet's hand but shortly let go as if she carried the plague.

"Von?" Scarlet said in a rough voice with her eyes closed and irritation showing on her brow line and Von trying to laugh it off as a sort of bad joke. "Go bald!" she yelled hitting him with her fist and magic, sending Von flying about six feet and him landing with his butt in the air.

"Why is it always me?"

Von's POV

Scarlet turned around and folded her arms under her chest, making them visible more than before. Jak and Zak sneakered but soon broke out into a full laugh. Von stood up and leaned over them cracking his knuckles.

"You two think this is funny don't you." He said with an evil smile on his face and the twins faces turned from laughter to terror in a flash. Von started hitting them, gently, with his fists on their heads.

"How about now, still think it's funny do ya?"

"No! Quit it." Jak said trying to block his head. "We're sorry we won't do it again." Zak said

"I don't believe that for an instant." Von replied picking Zak up and spinning him from his ankles.

Elspeth's POV

"I don't know how they can be so laid back." Max said as he walked away from the group.

"Wait, we should stay in a larger group!" Elspeth yelled to be heard over the loud racket. Von stopped as he heard Elspeth's voice and the twins stared at her. Max turned his head to reply until a girl they didn't know came running out of an area and into Max.

"I'm so sorry," hiccup "it's just there was this" hiccup "black monster and my comrades where, where. They all died!" she spat out clenching Max's shirt and crying. Her hair was a dark blue and very long, similar to Scarlet's. She was small and looked fragile. Elspeth glared at her, she wasn't sure why but she didn't like the girl. She started walking toward the two when she noticed something on the ground. 'A letter?' she thought as she pick it up and opened it.

Please excuse this late letter of introduction, by now you have probably met up with your comrades or people you do not know. The color on your uniforms will tell you and other candidates what type of magic you use. The boys in the tournament only have the Kingdoms colors so you will need to find out what weapon works best for them. You have one objective; obtain an elemental scroll. These scrolls are colored and each has a guardian. Although you may think this is a simple one against many type of deal but there are many other creatures wandering around in the forest? As a form of introduction I would like to welcome you all to Myth Island.

Elspeth's eyes widened as she finished reading and dropping the paper. The thudding on the land got faster.

"Run." She whispered.

"What?" Scarlet asked looking at her.

"Run!" she yelled grabbing the paper and clenching her hands into fists.

"Why?" Von asked trying to settle the girl back down.

"This island is Myth Island which means it can inhabit any creature from the Kori tundra's to the Hia lava shafts. Which is also why only seven people get to become knights and mages every sixteen years. Everyone else is pulled out due to injuries."

"That's ridiculous. The school wouldn't send kids to a place like that." Von said as a dragon-like head suck out of the brush behind him.

"There's something behind me isn't there." Von said looking disappointed and picking up the girl.

"I guess its times like these we run for it!" he said suddenly running past the tree Elspeth had previously fallen out of.

Myith's POV

The dragon-like beast followed him, without any hind legs the massive beast used its silent wings to hover over the land and swing its thirty pound tail left and right, trying to hit its pray."

"You know I think that's a Leviathan. And if I'm right it doesn't remove its eyes from its pray until dead or it's caught it's pray." Max said running just behind Elspeth.

"It's karma if you ask me." Scarlet said her eyes staring at Von like two daggers.

"O shut up."

"It's probably after the girl!" Myith hollered from above causing them all to glance up. Myith was sitting on Goku's head that was a huge 170 pound griffin.

"Sagaru to, sorera no subete o eruga, chūi shite kudasai" Myith whispered into Goku's ear. Goku growled and flew down to the same level as the Leviathan. His claws opened and he screeched next to the dragons head. The dragon slowed down and shook its head; Goku grabbed Von's shoulders and rose up quickly. Goku got about twenty feet into the air and threw Von up, the girl screaming the entire time. Von positioned himself in a seated position and a moment later landed on Goku's back.

"Yoku daun no hokanohito o shutoku shi, koko kara demashou." Myith said to Goku.

"I was wondering for a while but what language do you talk to him in Myith." Von asked holding the terrified girl against his chest.

"It's the ancient language of the elves. Bria-day taught it to me." Goku repeated the same maneuver twice, once with Scarlet and once with Elspeth. "Thanks for that Myith." Scarlet said standing on Goku's hind legs.

Elspeth's POV

"Can I use magic while on him?"

"Technically yes, but he sometimes freaks out around magic so are best bet would be to wait." Scarlet looked more annoyed then unsatisfied and glared at the girl who was STILL holding Von.

'I'll burn her when she's save once again' the thought seemed to settle her anger.

"Myith after you get the twins grab Max." Myith looked at Von from Elspeth's request.

"Don't double check with him! Max helped me and you get through the first round we owe him. No go get him!" Elspeth snapped as she leaned between Von and Myith. Myith gulped and nodded as Goku lowered once more.

"O Leviat, saiba que o uivo agora ent'n tes que ir despois de Zak e Jak" Myith said.

"ent'n necesitamos incorporarse Max para Elspeth" Goku cawed and flew faster, hitting the Leviathan's face and grapping Jak with his left claw and Zak with his right. The twins held onto Goku's claws.

"Hey Elspeth I don't think we have room for anyone else."

"We are NOT leaving him." Elspeth said grabbing Myith by the shirt collar.

"Hey I don't think we have to worry about him." Scarlet said leaning over Goku's side. Elspeth leaned over to see Max ridding Kedna about thirty yards ahead of the Leviathan. She smiled and released her grip on Myith.

"Sorry Myith." She said putting her hands together and lowering her head at him.

"It's fine, as long as everyone is okay." Myith said, more afraid then happy, and returning to Goku's head.

"You to okay?" he asked Jak and Zak.

"Better than before."

"But we've had better days!" they replied as Goku flew above the tree line.

Max's POV

Max watched the gryphon rise once more but this time it wasn't falling back.

'So glad I'm important.' He thought as he placed his fist over his chest and whispered

'Beast of my soul, creature of the night that protects me, I summon you to heed my call. Kedna come!' the last part he spoke out and removed his hand as his shadow twisted below him. From it a snout appeared followed by Kedna's muscles and head.

"Need some assistants?" Kedna barked placing his front paws on the ground and pulling his hindquarters out of Max's shadow into a full on run.

"You know when I said we should run in the mornings; this is not what I had in mind!" He snarled as Max grabbed the fur between Kedna's elbow and shoulder, allowing himself to get on top of Kedna's back.

"You can sue me later for the damages." Max replied lying as flat as possible to allow Kedna to run as fast as he could.

"Well in any case could you tell me why there is a leviathan behind us?" Kedna grunted as he weaved through the trees and trying to avoid the dragon's razor-like wings and sharp fangs.

"One of the other candidates was followed by it." Max answered rummaging through his small pack.

"Male or female?"

"What?" Max asked with confusion in his voice.

"The candidate was it a boy or a girl." Kedna restated.

"It was a girl, why?"

"If she was from a different country then it's possible for her to have summoned the leviathan."

"Why would she do that? It doesn't make since." Max paused in the middle of his thought.

"She's from a different country."

"Probably. That would be the logical thing-get you separated and let your pet do the rest. It's actually pretty smart thinking. By having her look helpless you all lowered your guard - didn't you?" Kedna explained with sarcasm drawing out as he finished. Max glared at his companion as he pulled a knife out of the small bag.

"It doesn't matter how she did it, we need to focus on not dying." Max said looking back and slightly sitting up.

"Wow you're so smart; did you come up with that idea all on your own?" Kedna barked back dodging the dragon's snout once more. As Kedna weaved through the trees and dodged the persistent dragon he noticed a light in the sky above him for a single second.

"What is it?" as Max asked Kedna stopped and through Max off his back. Max hit the ground; his arms guarded his head, not completely aware of Kedna's actions.

"What the hell bastard! If you wanted to fight we can do it later." Max said while sitting Indian style and rubbing his head. Max looked up to see Kedna down with a dagger in his left hind leg. As Max ran to guard Kedna he remembered he didn't have a weapon. Max stood between the dragon and Kedna.

"You're an idiot what you going to do talk it to death." Kedna snapped as the dragon flapped its forty-foot wing span and pulled its head back in an offensive stance. Max raised his arms in defenses, but as he did the dragon's face was lit up with flames.

"Since when can you use fire magic?!" Kedna questioned standing with his injured leg lifted off the ground. Max shook his head in a reply and watched as Scarlet quickly, yet gracefully, landed between Max and the dragon's jaws. Both of Scarlet's arms were engulfed by red flames, the fire moved with Scarlet as she moved her hands in front of her to keep the fire around the dragon's face.

"Are you two okay?" she asked trying to keep her concentration.

"We'll live." Kedna winced backing away from the dragon. Scarlet moved her hands in circles slowly while moving them horizontally a crossed each other. Each time the dragon went to strike with its head Scarlet slid her forearms together and another layer of fire lit the dragon's face up. She continued this until the Leviathan retracted its wings and lowered its head into a submissive stance. Scarlet lowered her guard as she saw Von land on the ground with the help of Bria-day's wind magic.

Bria-day's POV

"Glad you could make it." Scarlet said waiting for Goku to land next to Bria-day before approaching them. "Somebody has to keep you out of trouble." Von smirked while helping the twins up, who now sat on Goku's back. Goku rose off the ground and began to hover.

"I'll go look for where Bria-day went off to. Try and take care of the Leviathan while we're gone." Myith yelled as loud as he could so the others would hear over the creature's yells and Goku's wings. Von waved his hand slightly, while running toward Scarlet, to signal he heard.

"Where's that girl you guys had?" Max asked Elspeth as Von stopped behind her. "What's it to you?"

"She's the one who summoned the Leviathan so it will be faster if we knock her out instead of fighting that thing." Kedna snapped back at Von.

"She's with Myith, we left her on Goku. Guess you'll have to fight it." Von said glaring at Max.

"Don't worry." Kedna said with a half grin.

"I'll catch up to them quickly. I'll be off then." Kedna said racing at a half dash through the forest in Myith's direction. Max watched his companion leave. "Be careful Kedna." A screech interrupted Max's thoughts.

Von's POV

Von grumbled to himself as Kedna dashed off and Scarlet snickered about his lose in the conversation. As Von turned to look at Scarlet's smiling face, god he loved her smile, her hair flowed perfectly and the loose flesh on her strong checks always looked cute when she smiled. He noticed she had lowered her hands for the moment. That's when it hit him; the only thing keeping her save from that beast was the fire magic she had been using with her hands.

"Shit!" his mind became clouded with that one thought. He sprinted towards her as the giant leviathan screeched and its wings went toward Scarlet in diagonal slashes. Elspeth, Zak and Jak all froze where they stood. Blood dripped from the leviathan's wings, Scarlet's legs shook from shock. In front of her Von stood with his arms stretched out and torso guarding her. The twins ran to Von's side and attacked the leviathan's wings with their acquired daggers. Elspeth ran to catch Von from falling.

"Von!" Scarlet screamed, not a girly scream but her vocals where high enough Von looked at her strangely.

"Just don't move. The school will send medics, just hang on ok." Each of them took a shoulder and arm as they dragged him away from the twin's fight.

"He won't make it without some kind of bandage." Max cut in as Von was laid down at the edge of the forest, against the base of another large tree.

Max's POV

"Don't say that. You don't know how strong he is." Scarlet said her face flustered and her hands trembling with blood on them. Max watched as Scarlet turned to cry and wipe her hands off.

"A Leviathan's wings have a poison on them that can cause the same reaction as poison only slower. If he isn't treated in time he make never walk again, let alone move." Scarlet starred as Von began to sweat and grunt his teeth from the pain. Elspeth pulled a bottle of water and a piece of cloth from one of the bags and dampened it.

"Try and clean him up as much as you can." She instructed Scarlet. She ripped Von's shirt; exposing the large wound.

"I'm going to try something I have been practicing on animals so it may not work on him the same, but it's better than nothing." Elspeth said as she rolled her sleeves and placed her hands above the injury.

Jak's and Zak's POV

Jak ran around to grab the dragon's attention and allowed Zak time to go around the beast.

"All good here!" Zak yelled to Jak.

"Don't forget to hit the mark and we'll be fine." Jak replied sprinting into a roll and pausing behind a bolder. Zak placed the dagger into his mouth and started climbing the leviathan's back scales. He used the lightest pressure possible on each scale. Zak waited until he was at the dragon's neck to sit down and place pressure on the beast. Zak held the dagger into the air; the reflecting caught Jak's attention. The leviathan began turning its head around to check its back. Jak hollered and yelled to distract the beast while running about, which worked the leviathan followed Jak's movements closely. Zak stood on the leviathan's back and walked across its neck until he could straddle it with ease. Zak used his dagger to work a scale off the leviathan's neck. As the scale came off it feel, around fifteen pounds in weight hit the ground in front of Jak's feet.

"Hey! I said not to kill me." Jak complained dodging the scale and trying not to get eaten at the same time. Zak smiled and waved his hand to apologize. The leviathan's head turned its attention toward Zak.

"Down here you over grown lizard!" Jak yelled trying to regain the beast's attention.

Jak clicked his tongue in disappointment causing the leviathan to turn its eyes down at him. Zak saw the opening and took it. Zak climbed up the beast's neck and jumped onto its long snout. The leviathan shook its head trying to shake Zak off, as Zak flew left and right and back again, Jak aimed his dagger at the beast's snout. The dagger flew throw the air and landed on Zak's pouch. Zak, still being tossed around, pulled the dagger out and shoved it between the leviathan's diamonds colored eyes. The moans and howls of the great beast masked the voices and sounds within the forest. Its neck fell to the ground, causing Jak to scurry, and its wings flattened a large amount of trees. Zak jumped off the snout and ran to Jak.

"Sorry about the scale, leviathans are hard to find but their hid is the second strongest material in Valhalla."

"Don't worry about it. Just make me cool armor with it and we'll call it even. Okay" Jak said to his twin with disturbing smile across his face.

"You knew I was going to drop one didn't you!" Zak yelled in frustration.

Elspeth's POV

"Hey!" Myith's voice called out from above.

"Looks like you guys didn't need our help."He laughed as Goku, still in the form of a white griffin, settled his paws and claws on the ground.

"Yeah well we are..."

"...The best double blade wielders in the kingdom."

"I believe you mean you're the only double blade wielders in Kaze kingdom." Bria-day replied as the twin's faces turned sour.

"Yeah yeah; it still makes us the best." Jak mumbled.

"Yeah so there- miss know it all!" Zak blurted out as Jak held him back.

"Calm down you to. We need to get Von to a doctor and quickly." Elspeth said from Von's side.

"Yeah but what about the scrolls and the test? I mean we aren't permitted outside the city without either a knight's badge or a mage's cloak." With Myith's realization everyone's face became puzzled. "We can't leave Von here to die but he wants to be a knight more than anything. Isn't there another way?" Elspeth thought, along with the others until Max broke the silence.

"If all you need is a scroll to pass the test Kedna went to get them."

Bria-day's POV

"All of them!?" the twins faces lifted with their questioning statement. Max nodded and watched the ground as if at any moment a monster would come out and kill everyone.

"Who?" Myith asked. Max silence caused Bria-day to speak up.

"Kedna, he isn't simply a pet for companionship. I assume from all the information I know that he is what they call an Ookami." Myith looked frozen and Elspeth looked up from Von's aching moans.

"However because Kedna does not have a chain around any part of his body this is not plausible. If he had wings I would even be okay with assuming he was a Hypaolf, but once again it doesn't add up. So the only option left is to say Kedna is a d.."

"That's enough." Max said glaring at Bria-day who didn't seem to be phased by it. As the tension grew, Kedna appeared out of the forest with missing fur, wet spots and scratches all over.

"What's with all of you? Never mind I could care less. These are what you wanted me to get right?" Kedna asked with reassurance in his voice and dropping six scrolls in front of Max's feet.

"Yeah, thanks." Kedna half grunted, half snorted as a reply.

"With these we can leave right?" Max said looking at Elspeth.

"Yeah but there are eight of us and only six scrolls."

"Seven." Bria-day corrected Elspeth.

"Zak and Jak killed a monster that gives us seven."

"Yes but were still short one."

"Don't worry about it, besides your brothers going to die if he goes without treatment any longer." Elspeth quit arguing and lit a flare to signal they were finished with the test.

Elspeth's POV

"We need a medical unit over here!" the teachers and parents watched as Von was carried through the corridor and to the hospital. The soldiers cleared a passage way for the men carrying Von.

"Alright settle down everyone. It's just a small causality." One of the higher ranking officers yelled to calm the hyped up crowd. Elspeth and Bria-day held Scarlet, not to help ease her pain but to ensure no one would get hurt by her. Scarlet watched as Von was taken from her arms into the hospital and into the emergency care section.

"Von Kyodai!" A woman called out in the waiting room.

"That's our son." Yoko and Hed said simultaneously while standing. The lady stood for a moment.

Yoko's POV

"I have good news and not such good news. Which is first?"

"Good, please." Hed said squeezing Yoko’s shoulder for comfort.

"Your son will live without any issues or needing his organs removed or changed- lucky if you ask me." The lady paused

"He is however undergoing extreme pain from the surgery and for his safety we used elfish water. This causes his body to temporarily shut down and heal faster. The only side effect is he won't be conscious for a little over a month."

"A month!" Scarlet snapped causing the doctor to step back with a startled expression in her eyes.

"You are welcome to visit him anytime the hospital it open, however this is the fastest and safest way for him to recover." The woman bowed her head and walked past them to another patient's room.

"I think Von should be looked after every day. He is stronger than most, so he may wake-up earlier. I have to work and you have work as well." Yoko said to her husband.

"Scarlet would you mind looking after him each day. It would be a great help." Scarlet's eyes watered as she turned to see Mrs. Kyodai smiling.

"It would be a pleasure." Scarlet walked toward Von's room.

"I'll catch up with you, I have to do something first though." Elspeth said running away from Yoko and Hed.

"Now what's that all about?" Hed asked as his wife pulled him after Scarlet.

"Never you mind that dear, Von's been badly injured. We should see to him."

Elspeth's POV

Elspeth quickly walked down the corridor until see saw what see was looking for.

"Max! Wait." She ran down the hall to were Max stood. His hands where in his pockets and his hair was still the messy copper color as before. He looked down at her with a confused yet satisfied look.

"Can I help you?" He replied in a standard tone.'Well isn't he being nice!' Elspeth thought 'No, now is not the time to be you.'

"I would like to ask you something." Max's expression didn't change.

"And." 'How rude, here I am being polite and he doesn't even know how to keep from being rude. Control yourself Elspeth.'

"I wanted to know if you could teach me."

"Teach you what?"

'Well now he's acting just plain stupid.'

"To fight of course." Max folded his arms across his chest, as if she was asking him to kill someone.

"Why?" Elspeth curled her fists and turned red from embarrassment.

"I tried asking nicely and I even tried to make it a normal conversation but no-o-o. Your nothing but being rude and act like an idiot; I bet all guys are like this." Elspeth blurted out.
Max slowly grinned

"Well living with the town's number one playboy you would know every side and part of a guy, Elspeth." Elspeth's face turned as red as tomato and stepped forward with a solid punch to Max's shoulder. As she did her face turned pale.'O my god what the hell did I do, after all these years and I screw up when Von's unconscious.' Elspeth's thoughts were broken by Max's laughter, a deep laugh but soothing at the same time. He rubbed his shoulder.

"I won't teach you anything." He said walking passed her, but as he got to her side he placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Every morning at 5 a.m. I will spend five hours training you. Meet me at the gates that go toward Reikon City. Don't be late." Max finished walking away. Elspeth's face lit up as his words sunk into her mind, she spun around just as he opened the doors.

"Thank you Max!" she yelled to him and excitedly running to Von's room. Max grinned as he passed through the doors.

Max's POV

"What's so funny boy?" Kedna asked walking next to Max down a set of stone stairs.

"Nothing. So how do you fell about teaching one more time?" He asked place his hands in his pockets and closing his eyes and then looking at Kedna's face.

Elspeth’s POV

“Remember to complete the following each day- weather I show up or not.” Elspeth read aloud going quiet as her eyes gazed at the list of painful and complicated exercises. She had become accustomed to doing them in Max and Kedna’s presence. For the last three and a half weeks Max woke her up before the sun rose and dragged her to the training court within the schools property. Elspeth walked down to white corridor until she came across a crossed door on her right. She peered through the small window. Scarlet was still there, awake at the moment, had been since he was placed in the room. The antidote was given to Von immediately; even so the medical sage said he was in a comma state and his body would fight the antidote constantly along with the poison. They kept him on constant watch. Elspeth stepped in and smiled as Scarlet turned to the noise. She had be crying again, it was pathetic to see someone lay helpless knowing how much fighting spirit they had left, she felt completely responsible for Von’s accident. Elspeth opened the windows and tied the curtains up. She place new flowers in the vase and lightly kissed Von’s forehead.

“He’ll wake up, I promise Scarlet. You know him always waiting for the perfect moment to surprise us all.” Elspeth said leaving the room and closing the door behind her. She looked down, still holding the knob, and sighed. Shaking the ill thought from her mind she happily walked back outside, strangely it seemed longer than when she had come inside. When Elspeth got outside she subconsciously began stretching, she had been told to jog at a steady paste every morning from the hospital to the school. Max once told her that it was a good warm-up distance but she knew it was so she could check on Von every day without worrying. After she finished stretching Elspeth started with a light jog, however after Max and Kedna’s training it looked like a full out sprint to anyone standing still. As the town blurred past and the sounds were blocked out Elspeth’s mind wandered to her first day of training.

Max's POV

Max was resting his arms over one of the training rings ropes. He was sweating and drinking water as Elspeth ran into the training grounds.

"I'm sorry I'm so late." She gasped out placing her hands on her knees and breathing heavy.

"I went to cheek on Von earlier and thought I had mor..."

"Shut up!" Kedna's growl came from behind her. Elspeth moved out of Kedna's way and stared at the six foot wolf that walked up to Max.

"I still don't think I should have to teach this human." Kedna grunted up at Max with eyes of detest at Elspeth.

"We're training not teaching." Max corrected Kedna setting his canteen on a nearby bench and wiping the sweat from his forehead, neck and armpits. Although he didn't wipe the towel across his stomach Elspeth's eyes trailed every crevasse on his body. Max's stomach was different from Von's, weren't they all the same? Von's stomach was firm and never jiggled like some of the older men's due to their drinking. Von had 'abs' from what Scarlet had said that's what they were called, they were high on his stomach and the rest was smooth. Max's stomach wasn't smooth. His abs started almost at the bottom of his rib cage and ended a little under his belly button. Before she knew it Max was next to her and staring.

"Did you get enough sleep last night?" Her face felt warm as she stepped back and shook her hands horizontally in front of her chest

"Um, I got plenty of rest don't worry about me." She said smiling up at him.

Elspeth's POV

"Let's go idiots." Kedna barked in their direction as he scratched a line into the dirt.

"What are we doing?" Elspeth asked looking at the line.

"A small run." Max grinned

"Go at your own paste, we'll keep up with you." He said as he stretched his legs and then arms. Elspeth followed his lead. They both stood on the line and waited for Kedna's mark.

"You're to run to the castle bridge, run completely around the castle. Following that you should run behind all the buildings at the edge of town until you reach the graveyard. Once you reach that point make your way back to the school." Kedna explained sitting in front of them and watching their feet.

"I catch you taking a detour and I won't show up tomorrow. Understand!" He spoke up standing and letting out a loud bark. Elspeth jogged toward the castle. Max jogged beside her, he didn't seem to have any trouble. As Elspeth saw the school once again she looked about ready to cry.

"I finished!" she yelled landing on her butt and breathing heavy. She swore sweat ran from every part of her body.

"How far did we run anyway?" she asked wanting to look up but her head didn't allow it. Max drank water and handed it off to Elspeth.

"Each lap was about .043 miles and we did 8 of them so about." Max paused as he calculated.

"Two miles!" Elspeth blurted out before Max reached an answer. Kedna walked in yawning and stretching his legs as he slowly walked to them.

"Well done. Now we start the teaching."

"Wait a minute." Elspeth said finally standing. "What was all the running?"

"Warm up, get used to it." Max answered for Kedna, who seemed irritated.

"Just do as you're told. You wanted to learn so you're getting taught. If you don't like my methods find someone else who is willing to teach you." Kedna snapped at her. Max sat on the large mat in the ring, Elspeth followed his lead.

"Do twenty sit ups, then pause and then twenty more. So you have a total of 100 sit ups. Can you do that much?" Kedna ordered mocking her. After the third set of twenty Elspeth felt a sharp pain in her stomach.

"Hey you okay?" Max asked as Elspeth grabbed her side and held her stomach.

"It hurts." She replied confused.

"It's normal, don't worry after a few days it won't. We have another two sets to do." Elspeth ignored the pain as she finished a little behind Max.

"Max did you bring the paper?" Kedna asked pasting. Max went through a small pouch and pulled out the sheet and handed it to Elspeth.

"You said you watch Von practice so you know what the types of forms are.' It was more of a question then an actual statement so Elspeth nodded in response. She read over the sheet.

10 left and 10 right front kicks
10 left and 10 right back kicks
10 left and 10 right side-kicks


15 squats with 50 pounds on shoulder


10 left and 10 right forward punches
10 left and 10 right back punches
10 left and 10 right forward ridge hand
10 left and 10 right back ridge hand
10 left and 10 right forward hammar fist
10 left and 10 right back hammar fist
10 left and 10 right forward back fist
10 left and 10 right back back-fist

It was very well written for a guy's hand writing.

"What is this?" Elspeth asked handing it back to Max. Seeing Kedna almost smiling Elspeth wish she hadn't had asked.

"It's what we are going to do. And we need to do it within an hour so the knights don't catch us." Elspeth was completely taken be his statement. She had to finish that list and she had a time limit. She hung her head thinking of the pain.

‘Their going to kill me, I’m sorry Von I won't be here when you wake up.’ As she looked up from her thoughts she saw Max and Kedna waiting for her. She walked toward them. "O well, if I survive you'll have to be careful Von." With her thought she smiled and started the first set of ten. Elspeth returned her mind to the present and slowed her speed as she came to the school's practice rings. As she approached she heard voices and quickly hid when she saw teachers working in the ring.

"They shouldn't be here it's too early. What now?" Elspeth stepped out and casually walked to the lockers on the right side.

"Hey! No practice until 7am, what business do you have here?" One of the teachers spoke up and watched her.

"I came to see if my brother left anything, he really likes all of his equipment and
I thought he would want it when he wakes up." She said innocently and not smiling but looking ready to cry. The teacher looked sorry for her and ignored her mostly.

"Just make sure to only take Von's things." He said returning to his sparing with the larger teacher. Elspeth grabbed the equipment she had been using and quickly left, bowing just before the exit. “

‘That was a close one.’ She thought as she leaned against the outside wall of the school. 'Well if Max isn't here than there's only one other place he would be' as the though came to her she put her equipment on and ran straight to the city gates. The gate was always open due to the constant in and out movement. The city was on the south end of the island; at the north was the world largest airship dock, and between the two was a small farming town named Reikon village. Max had her run the length of the island once before, the first time she ran it took her three hours. The last time she ran it she finished just under an hour. As she reached Reikon she took the first right until she reached a dead end. She backed up and ran full speed at the wall. Looking at it from a distance it was a normal wall however if you knew the trick it was a simple climbing exercise. Small pegs were inserted into the wall, small enough that to slow of a person would not have a chance of getting over it. Elspeth knew the trick; it took her an entire week to figure it out, and another to actually be able to do it. As she reached the wall she jumped off the ground and quickly stepped on each peg with the lightest touch of her feet. Once she reached the top a sight that she loved to see and no one else, except Kedna, could see it. The rising sun glistened off of a pair of 5 foot long black bird wings. The only thing that made the sight beautiful to Elspeth was the fact that the wings were attached to Max's shoulder blades. When she saw them for the first time she almost lost consciousness but it soon became a normal thing to see Max shirtless with a pair of wings and sweat rolling down his body. He told her that the when his wings where out it was harder to practice but they had saved his live many a times, other than that she did not know anything about them or Max.

Tiafgow, Kaze Realm

"Good morning guys." She said happily sitting next to Kedna and watching Max.

"You're late." Kedna barked, he was still grumpy around her but she felt he liked her a little more than when they first met. Max stood on the roof of the run down building, watching as the sun rose. He knelt onto one knee, placing one hand across his knee and the other he raised in front of his forehead.

"Fire; water; lightning; earth; wind; ice; space; time; light; and dark. I pray to thee to keep my soul in your sights through the day and the night, arigatōgozaimashita!" once he finished he removed his shirt, folded it then placed it on the roof. Max started moving each of his shoulder muscles, almost like dislocating them but without the pain. As his shoulder muscles moved two scars on his posterior trapezius slowly parted. When the scars had completely opened a pair of jet black wings stretched out. As the wings stretched to their full length clumps of blood and a few feathers feel to the ground. Max raised his head and watched the sun finish rising and took a deep breath. While concentrating he heard that cheerful voice that he heard every morning for the past month or so. He looked to his left to see Elspeth being scolded be Kedna, again.

"Leave her be Kedna, she survived your training so she deserves some credit."

"You mean that's all there is!?" Elspeth spoke up with disappointment in her voice.

"No. I still have to teach you how to use a weapon." Max replied as he lowered to the ground and put his shirt back on, his wings already retracting. Elspeth watched in wonder as the wings disappeared once more. It always seemed beautiful to her ever since she first saw them.

"Hey Max." Curiosity escaping her lips and Max arched an eyebrow at her while walking over to sit down.

"Have you always had your wings?" Max's eyes filled with hatred from the mention of his wings, but Elspeth so something else in his eyes but what was it?

"No, I got them right after I turned eight years old. Kedna stay here I'm going to go check on something." Max jumped off the roof and moments later flew toward the shipping yard.

"Is it that bad?" Elspeth wondered, with her out loud voice.

"Yes he doesn't like remembering those days, it makes him feel responsible."

"You know about his wings?" Elspeth ask Kedna in surprise. Kedna nodded and laid down on the warming concrete.

"When we first met he was crying and his hands where covered in blood. He slowly explained everything to me- thought I already knew what had happened." Kedna glanced at Elspeth to see the look of a small child wanting to know more in her eyes and started laughing.

"You want to know that badly?" he asked in a husky voice. Elspeth nodded with too much exaggeration. Kedna thought for a moment and finally let out a deep breath.

Kedna's POV

"Alright then from the beginning, as you know Max is turning 19 at the end of the winter. When all of this went down he had just turned 8 so it's been almost exactly ten years. I'll start with the events that led up to the night I first met him. Yaragado is not Max's actual last name, to keep those around him safe he changed it. Yaragado was the name the deity's called the world we live in now, though through time humanity has changed it to Valhalla." Kedna looked at Elspeth making sure she understood.

"Now Max's real last name is Tsukin. He was and is the first born son of the dark king and queen that passed away ten years ago. The year before Max and his twin brother turned 8 they discovered something, something beautiful yet terrible."

"Like two sides of the same coin." Elspeth butted in and stopped as Kedna glared at her.

"Exactly" Kedna growled. "Two sides of the same coin. Now this object was known as the jewel of darkness- every kingdom has a jewel given to them by the deities. Max's brother touched the jewel and was slowly, very slowly, corrupted by something the deities themselves feared. Jealousy! They named this creature Jaakuna, meaning Jealousy in the ancient deity language. Jaakuna poisoned Max's brother's mined and eventually won the battle for his mind and body." Kedna's teeth grinded together.

"The night Max turned eight he woke from the lightning and went to his mothers and fathers quarters, only to find his mother dead in her bed and covered in bloody. With fear taking over he called for his father and brother, who didn't answer. Max followed the inner castle wall until he came upon a worse sight then his dead mother." What Max saw was his two best friends sitting on furniture. In front of them stood his brother holding a blade, at the end laid his father choking on blood and taking his last breath. With his last breath the King of Tsuki entrusted the jewel of darkness to Max, thus giving Max a stone for a heart and a pair of dark as night wings to protect him. With this much to take in Max's wings protected him from his brother's dagger and flew him to the safest place. Now I meet Max in the early summer that followed and taught him everything I just finished teaching you, but had more fun with it." Kedna yipped with the memory of him 'teaching' Max so many years ago. Elspeth tried not to cry but found it a pointless effort.

"Don't tell Max I told you, he doesn't know I know." Kedna snapped at her.

"I won't say anything. Promise." She said still sniffling and whipping her eyes Kedna watched Elspeth's tears roll down her face.

"Interesting." he muttered getting Elspeth's attention.

"What?" She said whipping another tear from her check.

"Nothing, never mind. We need to get to the airships." Kedna barked walking off.

"Wait! I don't have my clearance yet." Kedna grinned hearing her reply.

"What do you think Max went to do, a morning stroll?" Laughing, sort of motioning her to follow. Which she did so, o so obediently. Kedna assumed it was due to having to follow her brother everywhere all the time for all these years.

Magic Gwyntref Hospital, Kaze Realm

Scarlet's POV

Scarlet rubbed her eyelids, clearing sleepy dust and morning tears away, yawned and left Von's bed room. She walked down the almost empty hall passing a few doctors and patients on her way to the cafeteria. She held the door for three older gentlemen.

"Good morning miss.” Scarlet nodded to the woman.

"What's a fine little lady like doing here at this hour of day."

"Keeping an old friend company. Good day gentlemen."

"Did you hear that Zhan, she called us gentlemen?" The three men laughed as they continued their walk. Scarlet smiled and stood in the short line.

"Same as always Scarlet?" a cafeteria lady asked. Scarlet nodded receiving a tray with foods and utensils on it.

"This ones on us, sweetheart." The cashier said waving her on. Scarlet sat in the Von's room once more- only ever leaving to retrieve breakfast and dinner. She was afraid he would wake up with no one around. She bowed her head and whispered.

"Fire, water; lightning, earth; wind, ice; space, time; light and dark. I pray to thee to keep my soul in your sights through the day and the night. Arigatogozaimashita!" She began eating the eggs and toasts, jelly and butter laid upon the two slices. Though she was still hungry she always saved Von a helping of everything. The hours passed and Scarlet sat in the room, occasionally visited by a doctor or one of his many 'fan girls' so she called them. Scarlet locked the door around 2pm and sat next to the bed. She laid her head next to Von's lower thigh and fell asleep once again.

Von's POV

Warmth covered Von's hand as he twitched it and finally held the object that was resting within it. A familiar feeling and warmth filled him, but he couldn't pin point where he had felt it before. Von's eyes moved as they were still closed, and slowly opened. WHITE. This is what Von saw, a white wall, a white window with white blinds, and white sheets. The one thing that caught Von's eye was the sunlight hitting a head of red hair.

"Scarlet." He whispered squeezing his hand, which was lying underneath Scarlet's hand. Scarlet slowly rose until she noticed Von was awake. Her eyes shot open as she stood and went to get one of the doctors.

"Wait." Scarlet stopped as her hand pulled against her and she heard Von's voice for the first time in weeks.

"Are you okay? You didn't get hurt right." Von's throat was dry and he wasn't speaking clearly at the moment.

Scarlet's POV

Scarlet smiled when she heard his questions but ignored them as she fled the room.

"What does that idiot expect me to say? Am I okay? Of course I'm not okay, idiot. You haven't been awake for weeks and I really missed that stupid smile of yours, and your comments. But you always make me angry and sometimes I even cry." Scarlet's thought overflowed her mind as the doctors came to check on Von's status, she walked quickly down the hall to the exit with her hand over her mouth. It was raining outside and Scarlet was quickly drenched in rain water. As she stood in the falling rain streaks of water ran down her face and to her lips. The strangest thing was the way some of them tasted. Salty!

Von's POV

She bolted out of the room; he hadn't even seen her face for more than a moment.

"How long have I been here anyway? Must have been more than a week I'm starving." Von's thoughts wandered into random thing as his stomach growled with each though of food. The door open and clicked shut

"Scar!" he almost jolted out of his bed until he saw a female doctor instead of Scarlet.

"If you were hoping for a red head instead, she went toward an exit rather quickly a moment ago. Which is odd?" She examined Von's stomach and chest, wrote notes on her pad.

"She was constantly asking how you were doing. She never left this room except to get food, but ate in here twice a day. I just thought for sure you two where..."

"What?" Von asked as the doctor reopened the door.

"Lover." She winked at him and left. Von's heart felt odd for a moment. He shook it off, laid his head back and closed his eyes. He and Scarlet knew each other for a long time - there was no way she saw him as a lover.

Myith's POV

"Wow!" Elspeth's eyes lit up as she stared at the airbase.

"First time flier?" an older man asked wiping his hands on a cloth. She nodded with excitement, if Von hadn't been in the hospital she never would have gotten to even see an airbase. Max walked over with a strange animal. It looked like a velociraptor with wings connected to its arms and underarms. The bird like creature followed Max on its leash.

"Is that..?"

"It's our ride to the other kingdoms. As soon as you're ready we'll leave." Max said patting the Mokin bird on its long muzzle. Elspeth was overjoyed she not only got to leave Kaze Kingdom but got to ride a Mokin at the same time, she had the best luck every.

"ELSPETH!!!!!!!" Myith's voice yelled over her thoughts. She turned to see the short kid sitting on top of a Mokin, probably Goku.

"What is it Myith?" she said with irritation in her voice.

"Von, he woke up. That and it's going to start raining here soon."

"Mokin's won't fly in the rain, their wings are fragile. You'll have to wait until its clear skies." The older man spoke up taking the reins from Max's hand.

"Sorry little lady." He climbed on the bird and ran it to one of the sheds. With the Mokin's speed the 2 mile distance was covered within a minute.

"Elspeth, about Von, well I kind of told him you were with Max." Elspeth glared at him, she had told him not to tell Von. The little idigit never listened to her.

"Move over." She said climbing onto Goku's back. "Sorry Max, but he is family." She looked unpleased about leaving but Goku wasted no time getting into the air.

Max's POV

"Family huh. You know some days I kinda wish I had something to call a family."

"A waste of time if you ask me." Kedna snapped, unhappy about something or other.

"Yeah well I didn't ask you, now did I."

"You want to go, boy!" Kedna growled lowering his head and bracing his legs to the ground. "I'll beat you any day." Max looked out the corner of his eye.

"I guess Kedna is like family in a way." With his thoughts he grinned and started walking back toward Reikon Village.

"Hey! Don't turn your back to me."

"Yeah and what's a mutt gonna do about it?" Max started running as her heard Kedna bark a storm cursing him while chasing. 'And I guess this is called fun.'

Bria-day's POV

Elspeth jumped off of Goku and ran to the hospital entrance. The lady at the counter glanced up at her and grumbled.

"Name, and person you're visiting."

"Elspeth Kyodai. I'm here to see Von Kyodai." She didn't like using the word 'brother' that much. Although Von was her brother at heart, he wasn't by blood. She was aware of this long before Yoko told her. Von was her brother and she only had sibling like feelings toward him, however no one else was aware that she was adopted. This was the only secret the two of them shared and no one, not even Scarlet, knew.

"He's in the west wing, this floor, room 12-b. Please don't run." Elspeth walked quickly to the west wing, but slowed down and eventually stopped.

"What do I say when he asked what I've been doing? He's good at telling lies from the truth and I can't lie very good in the first place." Elspeth slowly walked think over and over how she was going to tell Von.

"By the way while you were in the hospital I spent every day, all day with Max and his 6-foot Ookami, Kedna. They have been teaching me how to fight. I also learned how to use a dagger and tomorrow we are going to Kori to practice sword training. How are you?" she said to herself sarcastically.

"He would freak out the moment he heard 'teaching'. She sighed and looked up to see Scarlet. "Hey." Scarlet turned and lowered her hand from a door handle. The room was labeled 12. It was Von's room. Elspeth felt a sudden urge to just leave Scarlet to tend to Von.

"Long time no see. Have you been well?" Scarlet asked in her more girly voice- the one she never let Von hear, he would probably extremely blush from hearing it - at the very least he would have an erection. However Elspeth kept this little fact all to herself, it was fun to tease Von- no matter who you are.

"I'm good. I just heard Von woke up so I skipped out on my morning pra... Um, you know what I think Von needs company should we both go in." 'That was a close one.'

"Fine by me. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Fine." Elspeth waved her hands horizontally in front of her throat as Scarlet opened the door.

Elspeth's POV

Von was standing at the foot of the bed and strapping arm guards over his t-shirt.

"What are you doing!?" Scarlet almost lost it.

"Well there are much worse patients and I'm able to walk just fine on my own. So I'm getting dressed and then I'm going to get my clearance badge."

"Wait just a minute!" Scarlet practically yelled, more upset than angry. "You shouldn't be moving around in your condition. Just rest a few more days."

"Why?" Von grabbed one of his leather boots and began tying it on his foot.

"Because!" Von still had the look of an idiot on his face. Scarlet clinched her fists and flew her arms in the arm.

"Never mind, IDIOT! I give up, go and die for all I care." She stomped past Elspeth and slammed the door shut.

"What's with her, that's the second time in less than an hour?" Von grabbed his other boot.

"She has a point Von." He shrugged and continued lacing his shoes.

"Maybe just for the day." he said buckling his boots

"It's good to see your still in one piece." Elspeth gave up her poor excuse of persuasion.

"So what have you been doing this whole time?" Elspeth about feel over, her entire live felt drained. The only question she didn't want to answer.

"Not much." She played with her thumbs has Von grabbed his belt. "Do you remember Max?"

"From our class, Yaragado." Elspeth nodded getting to the point was not going to be smooth and easy no matter how she phrased it. She sighed to herself and continued.

"I was having him teach me while you were, sleeping." Von's brows narrowed as he leaned for his jacket.

"What things?"

"He helped me get better at running, and leg strength. Arms too. Tomorrow he's going to take me out of Kaze Kingdom and teach me how to use a blade." Elspeth quietly spoke as she watched Von's eyes grow dark. He grinned his teeth together and picked his jacket up.

"Elspeth, I really don't think it's a good idea for you to learn how to" A knock at the door interrupted Von's calm argument. Elspeth turned to see Bria-day, the twins and Myith all staring inside.

"Is this a bad time?" Jak asked with Zak running up to Von. "Can I see your wound? Just a peek!"

"No. Moron!" Von's almost bit his head off from the temperament Elspeth had invoked.

"Perhaps we should leave the hospital and allow Von to practice his sword fighting. Being cooped up for a month has probably weakened his muscles." Bria-day spoke up never removing her eyes from her book.

"I am not weak! I am perfectly capable of fighting just as before." Von's temper was definitely rising and Bria-day was not helping. Bria-day looked up into Von's eyes.

"Then having Max as your sparring partner won't be an issue." Bria-day questioned Von, but they all knew her plan was to have the two of them fight each other on Elspeth's behalf. Well they did after her little statement.

"I am NOT weak. I'll fight him one on one for all I care."

"Is that a threat?" Max's voice echoed pasted Bria-day as Von almost regretted his words.

"Only if you hear it that way!" The two were glaring at each other, Elspeth swore she saw lightning spark between the two. 'It's like two alpha wolves fighting over a piece of meat. So why, why do I have to be that piece of meat?' Elspeth thought as Bria-day said when and where the 'fight' was to take place. 'I'm going to kill them both with my own hands!' keeping her thoughts to herself she slipped out of the room, the twins following and sighing.

"This is going to" "Be a long week." they said

Scarlet's POV

"Why the hell do I have to fight someone to have Elspeth listen to me, this never would have happened if I didn't pass out during the tournament." Von cursed out as he lay with his right arm over his eyes, his legs crossed as he lay on the soft queen sized bed.

"Von I said you could come over and calm down, not to sleep in my room, IDIOT!" Scarlet spoke with aggravation in the back of her throat and hitting him with a rolled up newspaper.

"Shit!" Von sat up and put his feet on the floor.

"What the hell Scar."

"Don't 'Scar' me, you deserved it."

"I'm still injured." He said rubbing his head.

"Well than I'll just tell Bria-day that you forfeit and all will be taken care of." Scarlet said turning to leave.

"Don't." Von grabbed Scarlet's lower arm while half standing. Scarlet stopped, and clenched her fist, trying to stay calm. 'Just don't let him notice, calm down stupid heart. Why does he have to touch me anyway? Okay I have to get him to leave and soon.' Scarlet thought. She quickly turned to face Von, smiling like an idiot. "Kidding, baka." Von's expression changed from serious to 'what the heck'. Scarlet took her hand from Von's grip and sat down next to him, a good foot from him.

"I'm going to go practice a little." He opened the door and paused when he heard that sweat voice behind him.

Scarlet's eyes flew open and she sat up on one of her elbows.

"I'm going to go practice a little." He said as the door opened.

"Want me to come along?" She asked in her sweetest voice and watched him tense up and reply. "No, that's okay. I'll see you tomorrow for the match." Von closed the door behind him. 'That was a close one.' Scarlet thought as her heart slowed back to its original pulse.

Von's POV

"You shouldn't take things so serious." She laid back on her bed and closed her eyes. 'Maybe this will get his attention?' As Scarlet laid on the bed her shirt wrinkled and showed just below her diaphragm, and the school's skirt wasn't helping her cover her unmentionables and thighs. He placed his elbows on his knees and lowered his head. 'What the hell is wrong with her! Laying in that possession in front of a guy.' Von thought with a little grin appearing on his lips. 'Wait what if she doesn't think of me as a GUY but as a FRIEND only.' The thought made Von's stomach flip. 'Just don't think about it. There's no way she thinks that.' Von glanced toward her, which resulted in his face burning and his lower half becoming quite alert of Scarlet's 'feminine' side. Von stood quickly and headed to the door.

"I'm going to go practice a little." He opened the door and paused when he heard that sweat voice behind him.

"Want me to come along?"

"No, that's okay. I'll see you tomorrow for the match." Von closed the door behind him and took a deep exhale. 'That was a close one.' Von thought. Von stood and walked toward the door. Von walked into the main arena's changing room. A few new knights where putting their padding on. A lot of them Von recognized from school and the practice battles. He placed his bag in front of his locker. When he removed his shirt and went to pull a new one out of his bag he noticed a lot of the guys watching him, not many knights had battle scars at a young age, if at all. Most of them either died from them or retired after they healed. Von worked his entire life to become a knight and no small wound on his chest was going to cause him to leave that title behind. Besides he had a long way to go if he was going to become the best knight in the twelve kingdoms of Valhalla. Von ignored the small whispered he could make out and finished getting dressed. He pulled his boots over his pants and slammed one onto the bench, getting everyone's attention. He laced and tied it, repeated the same to the other and then stuffed his bag into his locker and latched the lock. Von walked past the other guys to the armory rack. He looked across the different swords, none of them as nice as his fathers but any of them would work- he really didn't want to use just any blade but he didn't mind for practice. Von picked a broadsword with a stainless steel 32" blade with a classic cast metal handle. It was a little on the heavy side but Von figured the other ones wouldn't hold up to a customized sword like most knight have. Von took the blade and walked out of the changing room into the main arena. He blocked the sun with his open hand and saw the sight he grew up seeing. Blades clashed with force behind them, the wielders eyes sought for nothing but victory and the pleasure of using a blade. Guys laughing while waiting for their turn, sharpening weapons, and talking with other knights. He smiled as he walked up to an empty rink.

"Hey guys, which one of you wants to go one round with me?" The guys from his group of graduates turned to him and glanced back at each other.

"Hey, So how are doing today?"

"Good, except I had to leave Scarlet's room to come practice for my fight tomorrow." Von smiled with the guys as one of them grumbled about Scarlet only letting Von in her house.

"Don't worry man, we're childhood friends there's nothing more than that between us." Their faces lightened a little but Von felt sick for giving them such confidence. Because he knew Scarlet said yes to any and every guy, for some reason it always made Von's temperament go on edge.

"So guys you want to go ahead and call it a day." Von stood as the group of them left, quit quickly without another word. Von looked around to see a lot of the knights whispering and pointing at him. He could almost hear what they were saying, how unfair a fight with him would be. He had not lost a fight in ten years and was not going to have that changed because of one injury.

"Why don't you all just shut the hell up!" He yelled as loud as he could, silencing the whispers and causing the fighting knights to pause in their battle. He looked around a little surprised by himself. Von glared at all of them with the look of disgrace on his face.

"I'm perfectly capable of fighting today. And I don't need any ones sympathy. Got IT!" he huffed walking past the arena's main stage.

"Well said." Von stopped as he heard Max's deep voice. Von turned to see Max suited up to practice and holding a dull looking sword. It was either used too much or not meant to leave injuries.

"What do you want?"

"A practice match." Von raised an eyebrow.

"With you." Max pointed his sword at Von's throat.

"So what's it going be, Von?" Max asked sarcastically and watching as Von's mouth slowly formed a grin and his eyes filled with mirth.

Von's eyes watched as the other squires and knights watched Max. Von had to admit he was a little jealous of Max's certainty and bluntness. He would never have asked someone who just got out of the hospital to a practice match, then again he also wouldn't skip class half the year and never would he have missed practice every day.

"You want a handicap?" Even if he was injured he could take someone who never practiced with a sparring partner was not going to be a problem.

"I think I'll be okay, you want one?" A grin stretched a crossed Max's face as he sheathed his blade and took a strange stance in the ring.

'What’s with this guy? He's acting like he already won. Well let's see how he likes being beat.' Von thought as he gripped his swords hilt and unsheathed it.

"Ready when you are, Max." Von pulled his sword and gripped it with both hands. It wasn't anything special but it had a good weight to it so Von wasn't complaining. He had used a broad sword before so he was used to them but he preferred his own blade that his father had made for him when he became a knight.

"Well then, shall we?" Max asked pulling a dagger from his right sleeve and spinning so the blade's point faced to his right in his left hand.

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