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

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Chapter Twenty-Four

For the rest of the next day, Ulin had Team Hero practice hand to hand combat, not only to perfect their strength but their ability to fight without a weapon. They had to fight Ulin who will be using her poleaxe since there might be situations where the opponent will wield a weapon while they’re weaponless!

Hugo, being the team leader, was up first and let’s just say he’s going to need extra help on fighting without weapons. He first attempted to punch Ulin several times, taking a step forward towards her after every punch. Ulin dodged every punch flown at her, taking a step back, going under, or just stepping aside. With an open shot, Ulin’s fists meet Hugo’s right cheek!

“Your punches are too predictable Hugo!” She evaluated as her hands swing to make more painful contacts on his arms, legs, and stomach.The wooden end of her poleaxe was doing the same with his stomach. “You need to catch your opponent by surprise! Remember, you can never depend on your weapons all the time, that includes your Demon Eyes!”

Getting a bit frustrated with the mini lesson, Hugo managed to dodge the twenty-first blow but since he wasn’t focusing on his next move, he falls back! However before Ulin could make her final move, believing that he was done for, Hugo used this chance to swing one of his legs across the floor, meeting her feet! Unfortunately, he made it seem obvious so Ulin backflipped over the move, lifted Hugo into the air and then threw him to the grass!

“Hugo, you’ll be doing some extra training on hand to hand combat without weapons tonight!” Ulin announced, then she turned to Eathelyn. “Now let’s see if you don’t end up with the same fate as Hugo!”

Eathelyn responded by doing a direct approach, her fist was ready to meet Ulin’s face but she dodged it.

“You’re just as predictable as Hugo!” She pointed out as she made a double backflip away from Eathelyn. “If you want to hit him then don’t try let your emotions play a part of this! Like I told him, you need to catch me-”

POW!!

Ulin was sent to the ground with a bruise on her left cheek! Eathelyn used the time Ulin spent evaluating as an opportunity to run in silent top speed to sneak from behind up behind her and soon sending her blow! The instructor was trying to get up from the ground to even respond with a kick, Eathelyn spun herself a low as possible, making her right legs meet Ulin’s unsteady leg! However, Ulin was fast enough to avoid the spin by flying up to jump but what she didn’t know was that her action was her big mistake! Using that chance, Eathelyn released herself from spinning, resulting her to have enough energy to boost up, kick the weapon off her hand and make another direct hit!

Once Ulin was hit below her chin and on the hard concrete floor again, Eathelyn grabbed her arms, then spun her twice before letting her got to crash land on the grass! Hugo’s mouth was wide open in shock to see a girl best him in hand to hand combat since he was raised knowing that girls are the second strongest, or not strong at all!

“Well done Eathelyn, you really caught me by surprise,” Ulin praised after getting up and dusting off the dirt and grass. “But your spin is a little sloppy but not too much to worry about. Rashika! You’re up next!”

The moment Eathelyn stepped out of the battleground, Rashika didn’t bother to walk to the center. Instead, with her own two legs, she began to run as fast as she could around Ulin!

“Running away won’t help you in situations like this Rashika!” Ulin warned. “You must learn how to fight close up face to face, without transforming into your dragon form or using your wings!”

However, Rashika’s plan wasn’t to run away! She was running too fast that Ulin had to use her Demon Eyes to try to spot her! Ulin, at last, predicted the spot where Rashika would run towards so within a second she flew to that position but that was what the hybrid was aiming for! The moment Ulin moved, Rashika changed her direction, ran the other way and before the instructor could react, she struck! Punching the ground with great force from her dragon strength she inherited around Ulin, Rashika was causing a fog of rock dust to block Ulin’s visual of what was around her! Once the smoke completely covered Ulin, Rashika ran in and began to throw several blows from different directions!

“You used the hard ground around me to create a new kind of fog to block my visual weapons,” Ulin smirked, trying to catch a breath from trying to avoid half the blows but got hit anyway. “But how are you going to avoid this!” She swung her poleaxe around the smoke, clearing it to reveal where she was, and eventually hitting her target! She heard a cry of pain, causing her to smile in victory. She was ready to charge to the downed student to end the fight but she didn’t Rashika in sight, but she felt the extra weight on her poleaxe!

Rashika timed her methods perfectly, even if she got hit, she managed to leap on top of the blade end of the poleaxe, making sure she didn’t make any contact to the slicing part. Seeing that Ulin getting a little off guard, Rashika leaped from the weapon, behind the mentor to deliver her final kick! Ulin found herself hitting the ground once more, shocked but very pleased. “You did well when it comes to timing and strategy, especially by fooling me into believing that struck you.Remember those methods Rashika.” She got up to dust herself again, turning to Ozur. “You’re next.”

“Okay, but I must warn you, Ulin, I’m pretty strong,” Ozur threatened until he realized that he was only strong with his wand and pranks when Ulin approached him with her poleaxe with such force! “But that’s if I have my weapons!” He dodged every punch, kick, and ax swing Ulin threw at him as she mentored him at the process.

“Never claim that you are strong if all your strength depends on your weapons! A fighter is only as good as his or her weapons!” Ulin then leaped back, gesturing her hand to signal Ozur to try to get her.

“I’ll win, you’ll see!” Ozur shouted, running in such speed towards her, both his fists ready to cover her face with more bruises! His first blow was blocked by Ulin’s right arm, she didn’t take in any damage, as she used her left fist to hit his stomach! Even though he was in agony, Ozur kept trying to hit her but he ended up with the same results each time. Block and punch!

“Your ego got the best of you Ozur,” Ulin explained, backflipping to the opposite side where she stood. “You must learn to accept defeat or to never rely on your weapons all the time!” With that, she grabbed him from behind and tossed Ozur to the grass area, believing that she was finished but she was wrong! Ozur got right back up, ready to run but unfortunately, the moment he took one step forward, he fell face-down, finally accepting defeat.

“Very disappointing Ozur, you must also learn to keep fighting when you need to, there’s a difference between continuing to fight and accepting defeat. Accepting defeat when you know that there is not much you can do, continuing to fight when you believe that there’s at least one way to defeat your opponent!” Ulin began to walk away from the team. “Ozur, you’ll learn one day but for now...You and Hugo will meet me at the training grounds tonight. As for you two, Eathelyn, and Rashika, you two can continue to what you’re good at.” She turned her head towards the girls. “But remember, you are in a team so even if each of you has a strength, it isn’t worth anything if you don’t fight with your team as one.”

The moment Ulin disappeared from the school building corner, Hugo and Ozur looked over at the girls, as they nodded. They knew what the two boys were up to, so the girls had to make sure no one suspects.

“Make sure no one finds you two,” Eathelyn whispered, surprisingly worried since Hugo and Ozur couldn’t even fight Ulin without their weapons!

“We’ll try, and just don’t anything stupid tonight, promise?” Hugo’s eyes shined with the same worry because of what they discussed the night before.

“Sure.” Eathelyn and Rashika confirmed, their right hands held up to prove that they weren’t lying. With another nod, Ozur and Hugo went off to the school library to try to find the machine and fix it up a bit. Once they were out of sight, Rashika and Eathelyn lifted their left hands from behind them, revealing that both hands had their fingers crossed.


“This isn’t really considered stupid,” Eathelyn tried to reassure herself. “It’s just very important even if it means a huge chance of getting into trouble by the staff and Sun Gang guards.”

“Yeah totally,” Rashika sarcastically agreed, as they tiptoed their way down the stairs to the exit that night. After intense training from Ulin for flunking the fight earlier and for being late for the extra lessons, Hugo and Ozur were completely exhausted! The reason why they were late was for a loss of time when they found the machine only to make extra measurements and planning.

While the boys slept in their rooms, the girls stayed up until midnight to sneak out to their small mission. The moon was covered in the darkness that cloudy night, so the chances of getting caught were slim, but they had to be on guard. They were near the back door until they froze at the sudden click of the light switch!

“Huh? Rashika? Eathelyn what are you two doing dressed in black and-” Ozur started dumbfoundedly until Hugo interrupted in a flat voice

“You’re going to the Copper Building aren’t-”

Hugo and Ozur didn’t get to finish their questions since the two girls were fast enough to get behind them and knock them out unconscious! They both hit the floor, as Rashika and Eathelyn quickly got them back to their bedrooms, then left through the back door.

“When Ulin talked about being a team, it’s important yes but not when two of them won’t cooperate to this,” Eathelyn muttered to herself as they crept through the stone walls, their midnight black outfits blended into the setting, nothing can be seen but their eyes. Thanks to Ozur’s wand he let them borrow since he believed that they were using it for training, they made perfect outfits fit for the night, even ski masks. As for Rashika, she also used his wand to make her tail, ears, and wings look invisible when she was in her hybrid form.

Rashika pushed Eathelyn back to nearby bushes, making no sound for even a mouse to suspect! They stayed hidden as they could hear heavy footsteps of several teachers walking along the school having a conversation that they didn’t seem to care about.The moment they were out of sight, the duo scurried from the bushes and to the sight where the Copper Building was standing even after half of it was burned.

“This better the place where the key is,” Rashika whispered, as Eathelyn assured her with confidence. “It is, I’m positive that it’s there. Let’s go.”

Making sure no one was coming from any direction, they ran inside the hazardous building, leaving no trail. They could see the living room burnt to a crisp, the TV was in pieces scattered along the floor and the couches were crisp! The two teens made their way through the mess and towards the stairs, but the steps seemed to be broken and weak to hold any weight. To justify their guess, Rashika threw a pebble on the floor that the stairs led to, easily causing that spot to break, then have wood fall in a hole that seemed to have led to the stairs, breaking everything at once! The rest of the floor upstairs that wasn’t touched from the small pebble remained stable, but not for long they can tell.

Suddenly, a blinding glow began to light up from the bedroom doors, as Radhika took her chanced to throw another pebble but this time further than the last one. The moment the rock landed, no damage was done.

“If a pebble can cause take much damage if it hits the parts closer to the stairs, one foot will cause the whole building to crash,” Rashika concluded, “We’re going to have to find some way to get you up there and grab the key.”

“Me? What about you?” Eathelyn questioned, only to get responded by Rashika’s necklace glowing and her transforming into her dragon form. “You’re going to be the death of me Rashika.”

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