The Rise of Heroes Book 1: The Academy of Hidden Secrets

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Chapter Ten

Now it wouldn’t be so shocking when Rashika tells herself that she’s going to die, and die knowing that she did something incredibly stupid, insane, and yet courageous. Well, courageous is an overstatement for Rashika, since she didn’t feel a bit, not even an ounce, of courage. She wasn’t afraid to die, she just didn’t feel like a brave... Now that’s the thing Rashika’s facing; she didn’t know what was considered brave, and what was considered cowardliness. However, she did know one thing; she was going to turn back into her human form and fall to her death. Yep, plain and simple, but that didn’t mean she plans on taking the serpent boy she saved with her.

Thoughts swarmed her mind with voices of doubt, though some of those voices were being optimistic about this situation. However, she ignored the optimistic voices, as she listened to her little doubtful thoughts that began to eat up her confidence. Now another thought just exploded like a bomb in her mind. How are you going to explain this predicament to serpent boy here? She made a small unnoticeable gasp, trying to reassure herself. Maybe I’ll say ‘Hey I hope you have someone to take care of you in the afterlife.’ No! That’ll make him panic and then the blame goes on me. Besides its way to straight forward. “Okay,” Rashika began after clearing her throat, mentally began to scold herself. Great Rashika, just great! To tell someone that we both might die by beginning to say ‘Okay,’ real creative.

Rashika sighed, then had no other choice but to cut to the chase. “I have some good news and some bad news....” She could feel moist dewdrop sized sweat flow down from her forehead, as she began to fumble through her words. “U-u-um well...I’m not saying...W-w-well y-you...There is a...Not that it is...But...” She suddenly stopped at her words, looking up at the opened hole of the train as if it was taunting her in just silence. Nothing but the cries of teenagers who are clinging for dear life, that opening was happily mocking her. That person sized hole...Person sized... Rashika soon felt every ounce of strength beginning to fade faster than the train flying up in the sky!

She suddenly smiled, as an idea began to blossom in the pit of her mind until one of her voices of doubt scolded her. Rashika if you are going to do what I think you are going to do then forget it! It’s suicide! It’s murder! It is completely insane! He won’t survive! He will die with a much horrible death than what you are going to have!

Yes, this new plan was yet again reckless, and as that little voice exclaimed suicide. However, she didn’t have time or strength to make another dictionary of how crazy this solution will be; if it was a solution, to begin with. Sighing, Rashika looked down at the serpent boy, who was still holding tight even though her claws safely secured him, for now. “Look I need to ask you something,” she began, only to receive nothing but silence and a glare but she asked her question anyway. “Do you trust me?” This time, he answered, but rather annoyed.

“This isn’t actually the time for trust exercises! We’re after a flying, out of control train with a fifty percent chance of death!”

“DO YOU TRUST ME OR NOT!?” Rashika was beginning to lose her patience, even though she has like grams of that left! The boy muttered some curses under his breath until he sighed. “Yes.”

“Good!” She looked up once again at the mocking opening, loosening some of her grip on her passenger. “Because I’ll need you to trust me enough for me to do something crazy!”

Eathelyn had no idea what to do; how could she since she saw some lunatic jump off the train to save some other teen! Calm down Eathelyn, just carefully take a peek down and see if those two are alive. Besides, you heard wings flapping, so they might be okay. With great caution, Eathelyn slowly, while holding on something steady, went over to where the two teen fell and made a peek....Who knew she would regret doing something like this, especially since what she saw almost made her faint dead to the ground!

Ozur tried to keep himself calm and not freak out but how can he if he just witnessed somebody jumping off the train to save a person who called her a monster! This girl is crazy! He slowly peeked down carefully while his claws still penetrated the floor so he wouldn’t fall off. The second his two pupils looked down, he was about to let go of his grip and fall off!

There Rashika was silently muttering numbers as she counted down while her brain calculated the exact timings and aim, hopefully, they work. Everything in her body was beginning to have a war, one side tried to turn her back to her human form while the other fought for her to remain in her dragon form for a little longer. “Okay... Okay...” She breathed in and out, as the wind roughly blew through her crimson blood feathers, but she didn’t pay any attention to that yet.

Rashika could feel her scales beginning to get cold from all the wind like the time she slid down the icy mountains only to fall in one of mountain ponds that were frozen until her big scaly behind crashed into it. However this was different, she wasn’t on a mountain with ice and snow, not even near a frozen mountain pond that will give a cold for a week. No, the wind that was supposed to feel warm, comforting, and magical was causing her to feel tired. However, she didn’t have any time to think about that now, this isn’t a game for her to joke around with.

She regained concentration again, her eyes narrowed to her target, her claws loosening some more on the boy’s arms. Her heart pounded as her mind screamed and prayed for the idea to work, she could feel more sweat of nervousness swim down her neck. “One...” She whispered, with all her leftover strength, she flies back only to go higher in the process. “Two...” Rashika clenched her fangs together as she quickly made a back-flip, seeing that time grew shorter and slower. “THREE!”


She could hear the boy scream the second she released him from her claws while she spun from her back-flip! Rashika no longer felt the smooth amber sweater sleeves of the boy, she felt nothing but air. She sent the boy flying up to the train with high speed, why he was flying faster than her father! He screamed, he panicked as he approached the opening... He didn’t bother to care what would become of Rashika.

Looking from the nearest window, Hugo saw two students falling until one of them who was a dragon threw the other up, back to train! He felt his heart suddenly stop when he saw the dragon suddenly falling back after doing the back-flip! What happened! This person’s going to die if nobody does something! He looked down at the panicking students, seeing several of them fall off through different windows and door as they plummet to their deaths. No one is stepping up to help that dragon, there’s only me... Well then…

“Where are you off to lad!?” The driver yelled after Hugo, as he ran as fast as his two feet can carry him. He turned around, only to run backward as he answered back to the driver with a smile. “Someone’s in trouble, I have to save them otherwise a precious life will be wasted! Who knows, that same life could have saved yours!” He then paused at his tracks, making a fist to the driver before continuing to run. “If I don’t make it...You’re invited to my funeral!” Funeral?! Real heroic Hugo! Mother and father will be so pleased when they hear that their only son jumped off a train to save someone else’s life! Real brilliant!

Ozur saw the serpent boy fly straight up to where he had fallen as he quickly held out his paws to catch him in action! Thankfully with good claws and fangs, he got a good hold on the fallen victim as he pulled him up in the train and then tossed him to one of the Light Worlder teens. There those know-it-alls’ can take care of him, he already made my eardrums ring from all that screaming. Ozur’s soon eyes widen as he then saw the dragon girl begin to fall with a smile smeared across her face! Growling a bit, he ran to the nearest storage closet he could find since, during his punishment, he found some really good rope in there. At last, he got to the small door, trying to turn the wooden knob but how could he if he now had paws! Come on useless paws, open this knob! This girl is in trouble after saving this wimp, and nobody cares! ...Well everybody except me... AND OF COURSE I’M STUPID, I COULD TURN TO MY HUMAN FORM!! But if I do that then I’m likely to fall and in wolf form, I have a better chance of being safe but... I NEED HELP BUT THERE’S NO ONE WHO’LL DO THAT! I’m on my own...

“HEY WATCH IT! You’ll ruin my hair!”

Eathelyn rolled her eyes in aggravation; she is trying to get to the wolf over at the storage room to help him open the knob but she accidentally pulled some nymph’s hair at the process. “Sorry but I’m in a hurry to do something crazy in my life that obviously none of you people here seem to care about!” The nymph just stared at Eathelyn before huffing as she fixed her hair while trying to hold on to dear life at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised if she fell off. Eathelyn shook her head to distinguish the thought as she then continued to run towards the closet. Her hair flying everywhere, onto other people’s faces but her right eye was never revealed at all. At last, she arrived at her destination, ignoring the bewildered glance from the wolf, she punched the door right open, revealing an enormous sized pile of rope! “Don’t just stand there, come with me and help!” Eathelyn grabbed some of the rope while she felt the rest being carried by the wolf who gladly followed her.

“HEY!” Hugo jumped over some cowering Myth Worlder boys, perfectly landing next to Eathelyn as he ran beside her. “You won’t mind me tagging along and helping, that dragon is a student after all!” Eathelyn couldn’t help but smile until she realized that it was the same boy who she partnered with in the fight the other day, but she quickly demolished that thought. Now wasn’t the time to recognize faces, it was a time of life and death and so far, she counted at least five deaths. Hugo had to hold his smile and wear a face of leadership, of seriousness, after all, he can smile once the job is done. “Tie some of that rope over there wolf boy! And tie it to yourself too!” Eathelyn yelled at Hugo, making a perfect devil’s knot around her waist.

“Ummmmm....We’ve got a problem,” Ozur growled at the sudden small group of demons who were pretty unimpressed that someone’s going to save the dragon hybrid demon. Hugo rolled his eyes at the sight. “Looks like we’ve got a little fight to do.”

Rashika felt even weaker and tired than the time she got herself buried herself in snow but ended up sleeping for two days straight until her father found her. However this wasn’t snow, and her father wasn’t going to wake her up. She couldn’t help but have her eyes close while she smiled, though; to her, smiling at the face of death makes this fate of hers seem less frightening and satisfying to the eyes of disappointment and fear.

Suddenly, a bone-chilling voice crawled through her thoughts like an unwanted centipede crawling in her dinner.

Do you really want your father to hear that his own daughter was too weak to even arrive at the actual academy? He’ll be in so much shame, why he’ll be even more disappointed than your mother when she abandoned you!

Her eyes snapped wide open at the mention of her mother, unsure what to think at that moment. She knew her mother just left her when she was only a couple of months old, in fact, she couldn’t remember anything about her mother at all! The voice, however, continued to taunt her mind as she continued to plummet to her fate.

You’re so weak and pathetic! You practically proved that your mother and everybody else was right about you! Rashika the demon dragon, dragon demon! You’ll be remembered as a coward that’s for sure!

“Stop...” Rashika tried to get that dirty talk out of her mind, but she couldn’t help but agree with those words. It’s right... I will be known as a monster for the rest of eternity... No! I won’t let that happen! I’ve come a long way, I’m not just going to give up now! I am Rashika, daughter of Ormr, I will survive and let the world know my name!

She felt her body shrink a bit along with her wings, her claws faded away as well as her scales, leaving her back to her her previous form. An ordinary young teen with dragon ears, wings, and a tail, well if you can call that ordinary. The voice seemed to have vanished, but those words were still echoing through her chambers of thoughts.

Rashika curled up in a ball, but her wings and tail were the only ones that spread out, her brain was speeding through its knowledge for some way out of this. She couldn’t use fire. I already wasted that before when we were falling really fast but I have some left but not powerful enough to lift me up all the way back. She had wings but since they are smaller than her original, she couldn’t actually rely on a flight. Not enough firepower and not enough wing power, great Rashika, dad will be so pleased....No, wait a minute, if I can face the ground, have my wings go back a bit, have some wind get in...Yeah, that’ll work! Then I’ll use the flames that I have left!

Without another word in her brain, she wrapped herself around with her wings as she began to spin around like a twister, causing her to fall even faster! The second she felt the wind rushing against her body harder and faster, she spread her wings out!

That caused the wind hitting her face hit her wings, causing her to fly up and much faster than doing it alone, but she was only half way to the train since it still didn’t stop flying! She soon faced the train, eyes focused once again until she made a double back-flip but backward! This time, though, her wings were out again but she blasted the rest of her fire the second she back faced the train! Rashika soon found herself flying a couple of feet higher and closer to her destination, the opening was right there, ready to welcome her. Her hands reached out for the nearest piece to hold on to, her heart beating loudly against her eardrums as time began to run in slow motion once again. A broken piece of the attached door was a few inches from her hand, as she was hoping against hope that she’ll make it! The tips of her fingers touched the piece of wood....But her hand was a few centimeters off, and Rashika’s eyes widen in shock as she began to plummet down once again.

I’ve tried...I’ve failed, someone could have helped me but who would...I’m Rashika after all...No one cares about me but my father...I’ll just die now...But at least I wasn’t that weak... She was surprised that she didn’t panic and just showed a calm face. Well if she was honest with herself, she knew that everyone wanted her dead from the very beginning, and probably her mother as well.

Rashika knew her fate was sealed the second she missed, however before she could shed one tear of failure, something a bit wet, but warm instantly caught her left hand! She felt exactly five fingers wrap around her hand tightly as if this person was afraid to let her go. Rashika looked up in complete shock and confusion that were flooding in her eyes. Who in their right mind would save me?!

Above her, tied with rope around her waist was the demon girl she saw staring at her during breakfast! That girl rescued her, but she wasn’t the only one! Above them, holding the rope but now pulling them up was another demon but he was a boy this time and the wolf boy she met earlier was with him as well! Rashika was speechless, the only person who would always save her was her father, no one else. She felt something warm surround her heart, like flames but it didn’t hurt like how it did her whole life.

Eathelyn smiled down at Rashika as the two girls were being pulled up. “I’ve caught you right on time! Don’t worry, you’ll make it to Lunar Star Academy along with the rest of us!” She could see the dragon hybrid girl’s green eyes get a bit watery, it wasn’t until long when they’ve finally reached to the safety of the train was when Rashika got up with a small smile, finding her voice. “T-thank you...For saving my life.”

Hugo smiled a bit as he responded in a modest voice. “Oh it was nothing, we can’t abandon our classmates now can we?”

“He’s right!” Ozur butted in after he changed back to his human form. “Demon, Ethical, wolf, or even a dragon...We’ll help anyone of you!” Rashika looked at the three who stood before her, they didn’t look at her with fear, disgust, or anything negative.

Eathelyn could see Rashika feeling a bit lost in thought as if she lived a life of loneliness her whole life. Without hesitation, or regret she held out her hand towards Rashika, along with Hugo and Ozur, who seemed to be having the same thoughts as well. Their hands held out with encouragement, welcoming Rashika to their small band with open arms. Rashika stared down at the hands, stretching hers out slowly before meeting all three, no longer feeling alone. The loneliness melted away in an instant, she could suddenly feel her heart beating faster than before, was this the feeling people get when they meet others who accept them?

At that moment, the train finally calmed down, now soaring horizontally while everyone began to recover from such a ride, but it didn’t last long. Out of nowhere, someone shouted in delight and relief, “Look there it is! LUNAR STAR ACADEMY!” Everyone soon crowded around what was left of the windows to catch a glimpse of their new school, this time Hugo, Eathelyn, Rashika, and Ozur looked through the windows together.

The academy was above several enormous golden and silver clouds that had white stone roads everywhere, a beautiful forest behind the three tall stone buildings, each in a different color; gold, silver, and copper! Those three buildings surround the main building that looked like a rectangle but was colored in a beautiful shade of silver that reveals a rainbow whenever light shines upon its walls with an enormous door entrance that had cursive engraving stating Lunar Star Academy in bold golden letters. Flags waved from the top of the building, each a different color as waterfalls sprouted from the ends of the clouds that held the school. The sight was incredible, so beautiful that everyone in the train shed a tear or two.

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