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

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Chapter Thirty-Six

Have you ever had this moment when you studied for this really difficult test and think you got this but right before you take it, you suddenly feel that something might go wrong? That all your time studying will go to waste? That you’re going to fail that test? Well that was what Rashika and Eathelyn felt when Ulin came in the door to get them to the arena where the candidates will have breakfast before they receive the names of the Team they battle. Hugo and Ozur were oddly looking forward to this fight as if they seem to have forgotten the plan that was supposed to be played out.

Rashika made sure she snuck out the headquarters before the sun has dared to raise up to make sure the slaves were packed and ready for anything that might happen but for some reason, she didn’t bother to look in the library. I’ll check the machine later, She told herself, smiling at the fact that she knew what she intended to do. Much later…

The arena was actually the school, but the building moved by themselves to make a round formation and go from stone walls to soft cushioned seats with golden thread decorations! The metal roofs made sure the sky could be seen but also make sure that the sun didn’t disturb the audience as well as making sure there was light in the fight! The battlefield was made up of grass, dirt, rocks, trees, lit up torches and a force field so whatever debris that flew out doesn’t hurt the audience. Then there was the four-layered balcony that holds the instructors, Sun Gang members and the winners of the fights.

“WELCOME STUDENTS!” Headmistress Olema greeted cheerfully up at the balcony above the students who were seated on the audience chairs, chowing down on their breakfast as fast as they can. “I”m sure that every one of you is very excited for today! Today is the day you show what you’ve trained for your whole life! Today is the day you rise above the others! Even if we had a few mishaps before this day, I just want to let you all know that you all are wonderful students who show more potential than anyone I have ever see in all my years as a headmistress. Now I want you to get out there and make yourselves a winner to our eyes!” The arena was echoing with cheers of excitement and eagerness from students who were clapping, or making a riot of determination.

“Now students, before you get yourselves ready to fight remember that we’ll be having this tournament last all day long since the Sun Gang have this emergency to handle that’s very urgent and needs to be checked on soon,” Headmistress Olema continued, pointing to the giant screen TV above the arena. “Right here in this TV will reveal which team you’ll go against! First teams to begin this tournament are Team Dark! Going against...Team Star! You have five minutes to get yourselves cleaned up and ready, hop to it!” With that, Olema stepped away from the mic, hearing the students cheer like crazy as they got rid of their trash to get ready to see the first battle. She smiled over at Ulin, leaning towards her ear, whispering, “You sure that they won’t be able to make it here?”

“I’m sure,” Ulin reassured, remaining on her seat with her legs crossed. “I made sure they’re locked up in the middle of the arena but really trapped.”

“Good,” Olema grinned, looking over at where Rashika and Eathelyn sat next to their two teammates. “I can’t wait to see how Team Hero will fail in their attempt to change this world.”

“Hey, Rashika! Eathelyn!” Malisha waved, abandoning her team to greet the girls, despite being blind and hitting on of the students head with her spear. “Good to hear you, but how come there are fewer students here?” She didn’t need sight to realize that where Team Hero sat, no one sat near them so they were ten seats away from them.

“Oh you know the usual judgment of ‘where you from is what you are’ thing,” Rashika shrugged, shaking Malisha’s hand to greet the girl. “So I take it that you and Eiloh are ready for this?”

“Definitely,” Eiloh answered from behind Malisha, then whispering to Rashika so Sundria and Alsha wouldn’t hear. “So are you sure that this plan of yours will work?”

“Oh of course!” Rashika silently reassured with a chuckle as she held up a thumbs up. “We just had a few adjustments to make but other than that it’s going to be fine.”

“Besides, you could say this might be a smashing success,” Eathelyn winked until her smile turned upside down when Sundria approached the group with an unimpressed look. “Yeah it’ll be a smashing failure for you wanna be’s, I mean there’s two hybrids half demon and two demons who don’t act like their own kind,” she looked over at Alsha for some support. “I bet you won’t even last a minute out there with your team like this. You all will fail after five seconds.”

“Especially when you never know when your teammates might mess up at any moment,” Alsha grinned, quite suspiciously for Rashika’s eyes. “Honestly if they mess up then the whole team will go down in one huge swoop!”

“But I’m sure you don’t have to worry about that,” Sundria patted Eathelyn’s back gently, which was strange since the girl never made any friendly contact with the demon at all this year. “After all, you’re Team Hero! Second strongest team next to ours! We’ll see you on the battlefield you wanna be’s.” With that she and Alsha walked away, their eyes glaring at the other two to follow, who regretfully had no choice but to do so. However, Rashika got a closer look at where the scar that should be on Malisha’s and Eiloh’s arm but there was nothing there! The scars cleared.

“If one breaks the Scar Oath then the scar will never disappear for life...” She muttered under her breath, looking at Ozur and Hugo. Then there’re other people besides Ulin who are lying in these parts. She thought to herself, If that’s the case then I’ll have to do some investigating before our team is called...Luckily we’re the one-hundredth team so it’ll take a while. Then when no one was looking, she made a quick note to leave on her seat before she disappeared into the exits of the arena. Eathelyn, of course, noticed her teammate leave her seat but made no move to stop her from leaving. Instead, she closed her eyes for a brief moment before reopening them to watch the first two teams begin their fight.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one who saw Rashika leave unexpectedly.

“It’s a good thing I got my dad’s good skills for hunting prey,” Rashika muttered under her breath as she snuck past wondering instructors from corner to corner. “And the ability to sniff out stuff just a good as wolves.” She was in her dragon form, flying to the darkest part of the walls so no one will spot her while her nose searched for certain familiar scents. Her first target was the find the school library but since all the buildings that make the academy Lunar Star Academy were all used to become the tournament stadium.

“Just look for a wall that has the the window showing the books or find the smell I’m looking for.” Rashika examined the windows, looking through the smooth glass only to see bedrooms of other students or the cafeteria. “This is going to take a while.” She was about to just keep sniffing until a thought came to her.

“Hold on...This is the tournament, and the library is nowhere in sight,” she tapped her chin while looking up at the tall walls of the arena. “Then I get the feeling I know where they hid that library!” She began to fly up to the sky while she kept herself hidden of course. I’m going to have to get a bird’s eye view of this place before I make final choices and somehow contact the slaves. She thought, feeling the wind brush against her body as she flew.

Eathelyn’s eyes were wide with attention as she examined Team Star fight against Team Dark. So far the redhead girl from Team Star was in her wild cat form which was a tiger so she was making sure one of the boys from Team Dark was backed up against the wall, hissing while she made sure her fangs were showing.

She could see the other members of Team Star separated in their own little fights with the rest of their competitors as if they were waiting for the right moment. However, when things seem like a moment of triumph for Team Star, it seems like Team Dark has their own trick on their sleeves. Before the tiger hybrid could pounce to kill her prey, the prey revealed a dagger from his boot! He waved the weapon dangerously close to his predator so she had no choice but to back away cautiously. Unfortunately, just staying away from the sharp blade wasn’t going to keep anyone safe from harm’s way! He slid his dagger across the tiger’s front right paw, causing her shriek in agony!

Apparently, Team Star had this rule to aid anyone who was in trouble since the other three girls abandoned their places to handle their friend’s opponent. From the looks of this battle, it seems that it was Team Dark who were controlling the strings the whole time. By the time the three Team Star members were around their fallen friend, the rest of Team Dark leaped over them, throwing a set of nets over the girls! The three boys reunited with their friend who, also pulled out a button of some sort from his pockets, happily pressing the button with one click.

While the girls struggled, they didn’t realize that the button was pushed until they heard the clear sound of electricity! The crowd gasped in shock as they witnessed Team Star’s light instantly got out when their cries of pain echoed through the arena! No one didn’t even know how to feel but the Headmistress seemed to be impressed with the Team Dark being a group of clever demons who know how to put someone in agony. Once the screams died out along with the electricity, the giant TV announced in its manly robot voice, “Team Star had failed! Team Dark are the winners!” Fortunately, the electricity used on the nets weren’t deadly, just harmful enough to make someone unconscious so Team Star had to be sent to the infirmary to patch up their wounds.

Dark World teens were cheering like crazy for Team Dark while teens from the Light and Myth Worlds booed them. The rest of the morning had twenty-eight more battles, mostly teams from the Light World won, while some from the Dark and Myth World passed because of extreme talent. Eathelyn watched how Headmistress smiled when the failures were rushed to the infirmary to get their wound treated while the crowds of remaining survivors cheered. She was worried about the last battle before they had a break for lunch, against Team Furs and Team Gems. Of course, Team Gems won but they left one of the members of Team Furs on the ground bleeding to death from a stab by an ax before he was taken to the infirmary!

Isn’t anyone worried about the possible chance of dying?! Eathelyn thought in concern, watching everybody groan about the tournament having a break right now. It’s like Headmistress Olema wants us to grow up learning how to be heartless so we wouldn’t feel any guilt if we killed someone. She felt a presence behind her, turning around, she saw Rashika take her seat as if she just returned from a bathroom break. She winked at her before the group of pixies appeared to serve them lunch. So while they ate their lunch, their eyes paid attention to how Hugo and Ozur weren’t even touching their food, and to the center of the battlefield for some reason. While people gossiped as they made bets on who’ll win the next fights, the time soon has come for the afternoon battles to begin. Eathelyn tapped her fingers against the arm of her seat, waiting patiently for the evening battle to come as the thirty-fourth set of teams stepped up to face their opponents.

After a long afternoon of watching gruesome duels that resulted in at least half the losing teams to be hauled in the infirmary as fast as they can with life-threatening injuries that seemed to have been entertaining for everybody! Dinner wasn’t as noisy as breakfast and lunch since half the audience wasn’t even presence but that didn’t mean that the students didn’t have anything to talk about. The evening fight was promised to be very interesting and entertaining. Why? Well because it’s the final clash between the last two teams that have proven to be the best fighters in the school year! Who has proven to have a battle that will require a lot of time because of their talents?

Team Hero, going against Team Same!

Eathelyn and Rashika gulped as they heard murmurs of students as they gossiped about the turn of events that’ll happen very soon.

“How much do you bet that Team Hero will lose?”

“I bet that Team Same will beat Team Hero in less than five minutes!”

“But Team Hero are pretty strong, I heard they managed to defeat Ulin on their first day with her and it was supposed to be their test!”

“Yeah, they are strong! I can’t wait to see who’ll win!”

“If Team Hero wins then this is going to be the fight of the century! Imagine, a team of ultimate demons goes up against the most purest people in the school!”

“You forgot that Eiloh is a demon and he’s still in Team Same.”

“Well, it’s still going to be great.”

“Team Hero and Team Same, come forth to engage in your battle!” Headmistress Olema announced, gesturing for the two teams to come forth to the field with a devilish smirk smeared across her face.

If you think you couldn’t be more nervous about not knowing what to do on that big test, think about what Rashika and Eathelyn are feeling when they know that their teammates are impostors! Impostors ordered to ruin the plan to jeopardize the world and their future! How did they know that? Seriously how would they know that? For starters, those impostors lied about the traitors and were acting suspiciously. Not to mention they’re not that clueless to realize that both of the boy’s eyes were gray as storm clouds!

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