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

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Chapter Three

“Come on Rashika! A little higher in the sky, you can do it!”

“I’m trying dad but can you stay and fly next to me! I feel like I’m about to fall and crash land on the ground...And I’ve been flying since the day I can walk!”

“Sure thing kiddo, try to fly up next to that cloud! And don’t worry about the feeling to fall, you’re just nervous about tomorrow! I know I was when I was your age, but nothing like a good flight before your big day!”

“Alright, captain! But to be honest with me, Lunar Star Academy still sounds a bit terrifying for a dragon like me!”

Up in the beautiful blue sky with herds of soft puffy clouds, there flew a family of two dragons, feeling the winds of freedom, even if they’re not free. They had red scales surrounding their face, making it seem like a head armor and their wings were made of beautiful crimson feathers in the inner part, with the rest of their body is coated with black as night scales surrounding them, even the outer part of their wings. However, their four legs had gold scales midway up to the knees.Their silver and gold leather tail fins balanced their flights through unbeatable glory! The younger one was soaring higher and higher into the clouds, trying to get her mind off of some stressful thoughts. Her father, who was the size of a tree with wings that was about forty-nine feet long, was flying right by his daughter’s side.

“Lunar Star Academy can be terrifying but remember you can send me letters so I can write back and if you want me to roast someone, it’ll be my pleasure.” Rashika’s father then blew out some orange flames making the young teen smile a bit while she shook her head, joking around with him.“I know. I’m not that terrified but now that you mentioned the part about the roasting, I might as well change my name.”

The father and daughter laughed as they did some air tricks in the air, fly around each other, then spin higher to the sky, and then create a colorful fire show. Their flames consisted of blue, green, purple, and yellow flames combined, spinning together like a tornado as it made a loud blast after spinning two miles away.

“Dad check this out!” Rashika then spun through the flames, wrapping her body around the dancing flames as she then spread them out again, making it seem like the flames were on the tips of her wings but they weren’t. She then spun in a quick circle, making the flames spin faster with her and prettying soon the father could see a spinning image of the Ying-Yang symbol!

“That was exemplary Rashika! Come on now, we have to get back to our cave!”

With that, the laughing teen followed her father as they flew quickly passed acres of forest trees, mountains and jungles. Each part was full of magic and living myths, who wouldn’t love the Myth World?

Rashika loved her home but she didn’t like the fact that most of the magical creatures are only used to be pets, and servants for the Light World, and sometimes in the Dark World. However, sometimes if they’re very skilled, they can serve also as guards or soldiers in the army like Rashika’s father. Her father used to be a soldier but he then retired a few years after she was born. Her father married a demon who they each loved to their death, until the day Rashika was born. Her mother wanted to give birth to a full demon, but Rashika was born part dragon and demon so she packed her bags and left back to her home back in the Dark World, leaving them in the Myth World.

So Rashika grew up without knowing the women who left her with her father, out of disappointment. She was the only child in her world whose mother abandoned so it wasn’t really easy to make friends, especially since she was considered half demon as well. Since everyone was afraid of her, the only friend she had was her father and some plants in their caves that she talks to, which was another thing she hated about her home. With his daughter, part dragon and demon, Rashika’s father did everything in his power to make sure his daughter was happy, even if she was rejected by the rest of the world. No mother, or real friends, he had to be there for his daughter, especially since his wife abandoned them. He vowed to keep Rashika safe from any harm and feel like she was needed in this world.

At last, they arrived at their large cave that was filled with diamonds but it looked a regular home fit for humans. With a bright glow of the ruby necklaces around them, the two who were just dragons a few seconds ago turned into two normal humans, well almost normal. They both still had some dragon features, like their ears, their fangs, feathered wings, and tails. Her father was taller than Rashika obviously, neat auburn hair but his was darker than Rashika’s hair. He didn’t look like one, but he can be stronger than someone with freakishly large muscles.

“Rashika, can you help heat the cooking pot while I chop off some fish meat?”

The father didn’t need to ask since Rashika already ran over to the cooking pot, put some wood on the bottom and began to fire her flames at it just right. While she the sound of fish being sliced to pieces, Rashika carefully pulled a feather from her wings and examined it closely. Red as the blood in her veins on one side, and dark as night on the other, but light as air. She couldn’t help but wonder about how ugly this feather was on one side but beautiful on the other, it was different from any normal feathers she would see on birds. Letting the wind carry feather away, but it was soon landing into the flames. Rashika watched what was once different perish into ashes, she couldn’t help but believe that the very feather was her.

She looked like a monster on one point of view but she was really a kind soul from another point of view. Pretty soon she’ll perish in those very flames dancing about in the wood because she was different. What’s the point of being different if everyone will fear you whenever you show your face to them? That question lingered in her mind, she looked back at the feather, but it was already gone into the ground, hopefully, to be remembered until it’ll be replaced with another. They’ll replace me once I perish in those flames...Flames of failure for a monster... Rashika got used to the fact that everyone feared her, she learned that lesson the hard way when she was six.

That day, Rashika was in the jungle seeing a bunch of Griffin children playing tag with a little serpent so she thought that it would be fun to join them. Her father was off hunting for food so no harm would happen if she was simply playing. She regretted that decision up to this very present day. She was in her hybrid human form as she cautiously approached the playing children. The children stopped running, laughing and screaming; they were staring at her dumbfounded to see a dragon come out of nowhere.

“Hi, I’m Rashika!” She introduced herself in the best cheerful voice she had while she smiled, but making sure she didn’t show her fangs. “Is it okay if I play tag with you guys?”

The six Griffins looked down at the sea serpent, who nodded in agreement so the seven eagerly nodded and without warning he tapped Rashika’s shoulder, shouting,

“You’re it!”

Rashika couldn’t help but smile at the invitation, so once the griffins and serpent were beginning to run, she began to chase so she can tag someone else. She managed to tag one of the griffins, then she found herself running from the serpent boy, who happened to be it five seconds after the griffin she tagged.

Five minutes seemed like forever, and Rashika found herself sitting on the ground along with her new friends while they were trying to catch a breath from all the running. Everything seemed fine, until one of the young griffins asked her, “Who’s your mother and father?”

Rashika eagerly began to answer “My father is Ormr and-”

“AHHHHHHH!!!!” The seven children soon shrieked in horror and backed away from her the second she mentioned her father’s name as the serpent screamed, “You’re that girl whose mom was a demon but later left you and your dad! You’re a demon!”

“No!” Rashika protested as she got up from the ground along with the serpent as they looked at each other eye to eye. “I’m not a demon, I was playing nicely with you guys earlier wasn’t I?”

“That’s true but you still have demon blood in you!” The serpent argued while the Griffins cried for their parents while he continued. “Everyone knows that all demons are the same, they’re heartless! They kill for no reason!” He accusingly pointed straight at her.

“And you are one of them!”

“I’m not a demon, I’m like you guys!” Rashika reassured. “I’m a mythical creature like everyone else in this world.”

Before the serpent could spit out any other reason to fear her, two giant mothers and father Griffins came landing in front of her! The furious parents were separating her from the children, soon a mother serpent came out from the pond only to join the other parents. They were all looking down at her in disgust, as the mother serpent quickly asked her son with the harshness that could haunt an adult for eternity. “Did you play with this...this... Thing!?”

“We didn’t know who she was until after we played but she forced us to play with her! She threatened to burn us if we refused!” The serpent boy lied, as he pretended to begin to cry his fake tears of fear.

“That’s a lie! You told me that t was okay for me to play and I never threatened you!” Rashika began to argue but the infuriated mother slapped her with her tail, causing the little girl to fall in a puddle of mud. The mother was aggressively growling at her, clearly not willing to hear her,

“You monster! Stay away from my son!”

“Stay away from our children while you’re at it!”

Tears began to sting her eyes while she looked up at the angry parents, soon more parents came to see the commotion while others gossiped within each other.

“It’s Ormr’s mistake of a daughter..”

“I told him not to marry that demon woman.”

“That thing is the daughter of a dragon and a demon.”

“How dreadful... I would be ashamed if my offspring was like her.”

“What a shame, she can’t even get rid of the demon that’s in her blood.”

“She’s a monster.”

“We live in the same world with that thing?”

Soon the mother serpent, out of anger, began to beat Rashika up while the young girl was screaming in pain, begging the attacker to stop. “Stop it please, that hurts! I’m not a demon! I’m normal like you!” Every hit burned and stung more than the previous one, as she tried to block each blow. “Stop, please!...IT HURTS PLEASE STOP!”

The mother serpent’s ears were deaf, she continued to abuse the poor crying girl without mercy...Until a loud powerful voice from above came quickly down separating his beaten up daughter from the rest and roared threateningly at the disapproving eyes.


The serpent growled at the furious dragon father for a second, trying to get the girl but Ormr wrapped Rashika protectively around his wings. The mother glared at the girl once more before taking off with her son, huffing, “You protect that thing and you’ll be the one to pay for your decisions. Mark my words Ormr, she will doom us all.”

Soon the staring crowd all left with their children, muttering to them to stay clear from Rashika. Her father quickly took her home to tend to some wounds, while all the young girl could do was cry silently for the rest of the day. Knowing very well that this will be the last time anyone would invite her to a game of tag.

“Rashika? Rashika are you okay?”

Rashika blinked twice before coming back to reality, realizing that her father was calling her for the last fifteen minutes! “Oh I’m sorry, did you need me for something?” Rashika asked, hoping that she didn’t worry her father when she spaced out for a moment. “Just wanted to know if you’re doing okay,” her father answered. “You spaced out for a moment there.”

“Yeah, just a flashback,” Rashika shrugged until she smelled some smoke coming from the pot. “OH CRUD!” She didn’t realize that her father had the fish already in the pot and now they were burning! She managed to extinguish the flames before the fish was fully burnt, well now they had fried fish for dinner, but her father didn’t mind. They happily enjoyed some fried fish but they were both silent, as they listened to the crackling sound of the flames in the fireplace that kept the cave warm. Rashika couldn’t help but be in question-land again.

What’s the difference between normal and different?

She was human too, at least, that is what she was told and believed in. “Dad...” She began, trying to find the extra voice to say the next set of words. “What does the word normal mean?”

The man looked up at Rashika in bewilderment, sure he heard his daughter ask questions like this plenty of times but he didn’t know how he was going to explain this one. Clearing his throat, the father tried to explain as clear as he can, “Well, to be honest, I’m not sure what normal actually means, if there’s ever such a thing....But I think normal when everything is running in a certain way, and only that way.”

“But does normal really exist?” Rashika asked. “If it does, what is it? Where can we find it? How can we obtain it so no one will look at us with fear and disgust?”

Her father looked at the fire in silence for a moment before simply answering while facing Rashika, “I don’t know...But I do know one thing...” He then got up and pulled his daughter into an embrace. “You, my daughter will find the answers you seek when the time is right.”

Soon it was time to call it a night, the small broken family went to their bedroom which they shared; two separated beds. One large for the father, and the other just right for Rashika. However, half the room is empty and there on the side of her bed was Rashika’s rolling suitcase. The two went to sleep, she could her the strong snores of her father which she got used to sleeping with but she was wide awake, wondering about the future. She wondered how on earth will she survive at school by herself without her father.

Sure she was taught everything she needed to know but she needed him for support, to be there for her when she needs him. Every student might not treat her as human, they might avoid her, and mistreat her but she won’t let their words cause wounds. They’ll cause scars but she’ll endure them, she’ll continue to fly on her journey of life. Rashika hoped that maybe she can make at least one friend, she turned to the small window that showed the bright full moon. She could hear the wolves howl from the forest tonight, the stars twinkling tonight and everything else was peaceful. Before drifting off to a well-deserved rest, she whispered silently, not knowing if she was talking to herself to someone out there in this world.

“Who considers someone to be normal and someone to be different enough to be rejected and feared by the rest of the world?”

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