Flames filled the room around her with only a narrow path that lead to the door...which appeared to be her only exit. The air was thick black smog that had ash floating with in it. Her version was hazy, everything was blurred, and the smoke wasn’t making it any easier.
She looked down only for a moment to see the corpse of what she believed to be a woman in a white lab suit. She attempted to scream but no sound came from her lips. She clasped her hands against her chest and made her way toward the only exit. As she moved forward it seemed she was getting further and further away yet she finally made it to what was left of the doorway.
She panted fast gasping for air, she looked back only for a moment. Then once she faced forward, there was a little girl in front of her, she quickly moved back only to fall over something. The girl was nothing more than a gray color with blood stains that cover her hands and dress, her smile was sinister and wicked. She began to let out a disturbing laugh as her head tilted slightly to the right and back. She then limped toward her the girls’ hand now holding what seemed to be a lavender glowing dagger.
“You’ re fault.” The girl laughed hysterically repeatedly as she slowly crept closer and closer to her. She knew that she should move away, that something was wrong, but she stood still. Once the girl had reached her, her eyes glowed with a burning blood red….
“UTADA WAKE UP!” A woman’s voice shouted.
At that moment a young light browned skinned girl with light teal hair, her violet eyes sprung open as she quickly sat up in a panic, she clenched onto her chest with her left hand that had a faint pastel teal colored glow around it. She was breathing fast; to her left was a small woman with cream brown skin, green eyes, and gray hair in a perfect bun with two strains, one by each ear curled and lose.
She moved close to the panicked young girl and placed her right hand on the girls’ left shoulder giving it a gentle rub. Utadas heavy panting slowly began to fade as did the glow around her hand while she looked around the room making sure nothing was amiss.
“Your fine it was just a nightmare.” The old woman said in a comforting tone.
“It’s the same nightmare Niani.” Utada sighed as she finally removed her hand from her chest. She then shifted her body to face away from Niani, her legs were hanging off the right side of the bed.
“Still…” Niani started before letting out a long sigh. “It is merely a nightmare though I am sure it is only due to stress. Or maybe one something imagined due to you watching one of those horrid movies.” She finished.
“Those movies are nothing like that.” Utada whispered to herself as she turned her head to look out the window.
“I actually came to ask you about the testing today. Do you really….”
“You are not going to sway me from going to that school Niani.” Utada quickly interrupted with a hiss. Niani hit the bottom of the cane she had against the floor hard enough that Utada noticed a small crack.
“The school on this island can help improve your skills just as much as their school can.” She snapped.
Niani sucked her teeth while she rolled her eyes, she turned away from Utada, moving around the bed and out the room without uttering another word. Utada sighed as she walked over to the entrance of the room and gentle closed the door. She then glanced over to the fireplace .... Niani must have put it out when she came in. Utada ran her fingers slowly through her hair as she made her way to the bathroom.
She closed the door not coming out in till an hour and a half went by. Once the door open steam flooded into the room, Utada stepped out covered in a towel the long parts of her hair clinging to her shoulders. She walked over to a square shaped spot on the floor with feet print and stood right on them. A small green screen appeared before her that she quickly pressed.
A massive amount of air blew around her in a contained circle causing her to grip on to her towel tight, her hair moving in whichever way the air had pushed it. After a few minutes, the air had halted, and Utada was completely dry her hair a massive mess.
She then made her way over to her closet door opened it, walked in and came out twenty minutes later dressed and brushing her hair. As she was about to leave the room, she heard a loud tap at the window. A smile formed on her lips as she walked over to it, unlocked the hatches and looked down to see two girls and a boy all her age.
One with dirty blonde hair that was slightly taller and thicker than the one with short curly brownish red hair. The boy was the same height as the one with curly hair who was holding onto his arm as if to make sure he wouldn’t get away.
“Come on Utada what the heck is taking you so long?” The dirty blonde hair said as she placed her hands on her waist. Utada rolled her eyes; she opened the window completely and began to climb out.
“I guess I am running late Mina?” She asked as she placed a foot out a pastel blue transparent screen appeared beneath it. Which continued one after another as if she was walking downstairs to her friends. Once she was before them the boy gave her thumbs up with an impressed expression.
“You’re getting better with your bliss it seems.” He complimented.
“Thanks Juno, sorry I made you guys have to come over and get me.” Utada said as she stepped forward and began to walk the others following beside her.
“You’re not even late though, Mina just wanted to get to the sign ups early for some reason.” The girl with the curly hair said giving Mina a sharp glare.
“We’ve gone over this Fiona. There is a limit this year, and unless you want to wait for the next testing sign ups, which may I add is six months later. I want to sign up as soon as I can.” Mina hissed at her with Fiona responding by sticking her tongue out.
“You two would make great sisters.” Juno chuckled before he smiled lightly at Fiona which caused her cheeks to turn a faint pinkish color. Utada couldn’t help but chuckle a little. Fiona tries her hardest to hide the fact she likes Juno, but everyone can see it clearly.
Utada looked up at the sky as the breeze brushed her cheeks. It was a perfect day for the testing, the weather was perfect. It was about seventy-five degrees with slight winds, there were clouds in the sky but very few. She smiled as she turned her attention to the scene around her as they walked.
They were going toward Ki’sa woods to the teleport cabin, so they could get into The Grand Lapse City sparring fields.
Where they lived was Lazuli Neutral West District, Lazuli is an island that bares no ties between any of the countries. Though there has been rumors that the council may decide to become a daughter territory to the Gin.
Which she is sure Niani is completely against. Grand Lapse City was one of the first to allow all races other than dragons to live in the same city. Many cities followed but there are still a few that are strictly for other races.
Grand Lapse City lies in the country Gin which is in the center of Urope with all the other countries within it circling are around it. Lapis Lazuli is one of the islands around Urope and is the only country between Urope and Eania.
“You know this is the first time they are allowing the neutral islands around Gin to partake in the Grand Lapse City testing sign ups.” Mina said.
“You don’t think it’s a little odd though?” Utada questioned breaking from her trance.
“No not really, when you think about it. Our island along with a few of the others are still neutral zones. Remora, Agate, Rime, and Tazi have sided with many of the countries in Eania. Aril, Thys, Ritz and Rigot sided with countries of Urope. So, I am sure that royals of Gin are hoping that Ruby, Rishi and us side with them. And by them opening their doors is their way of trying to get us to join.” Mina answered.
“But there are rumors that they are allowing the island Lotus to take part as well.” Fiona chimed in.
“They are rumors for a reason. Lotus declared that they want nothing to do with any of the other countries and will fight anyone that bothers them. Even though they are a small island Lotus are a powerhouse and have just as much tech as Gin and many other countries within Urope. I see no reason for them to even bother to join the famous Hsinchu University.” Mina said.
“We will just see when we get there.” Juno suddenly laughed. The group stopped when they reached the entrance to the woods. There was a man standing next to the entryway. He was tall orange tan man with a narrow face and short snout like nose, His hair a jet over greased black, which was combed to obviously hide a bald spot.
He wore a dark blue shirt tucked into white pants that stopped at his knees and a white bow tie. He stared at them with his odd yellow eyes and sucked his teeth
“Ah, my dear students….” He said with a rude dull tone.
“Soon to be ex-students.” Fiona sneered causing him to do a large inhale.
“What are you doing out here Mr. Ottersfart.” Mina said chuckle at the end.
“It’s Otersfard…” He correctly dully. “As for why I am standing here is because I will be the one entering the teleport data and receiving the ‘ok’ from the city for those who are taking to the test to be allowed within the city. I also am the one to inform people if the exam spots are full or not. Which it seems they only have a very few left.” He continued.
“What already!!! Then let’s hurry up!” Mina snapped running past him. Otersfard sighed as he waited for Utada and the rest to pass then followed slowly behind. His right hand was held in front of him, his palm facing him which had a small black disc in the center.
A blue green small screen appeared and with his left hand he began to type on it. Scrolling and swiping occasionally with a look of annoyance on his face. Utada slowed her walking so that she was now walking beside him.
“Has anyone else come through to take the exam?” She questioned. Otersfard nodded his head before clenched his hand which seem to make the screen vanished and placed the disc in a small pocket on his shirt.
“Juno’s brother already came, three of his fellow students were with him. You four got lucky, you took the last four spots.” He answered.
“But… isn’t it still early for entries how can all the spots be taken?”
“This a rare instance, many have dreamed into going to the Grand City. So many are jumping at this opportunity in hopes for a better life. For them as well as their families. The Grand City open up a tone of opportunities especially if your gratitude from their top school.” He said softly.
“I know you’re not from here Mr. Oter Did you ever take the exam?” Utada questioned
“I am from Grand Lapse City, and I did attend that school.” He said with a strong sense of bitterness in his voice as the memories of his fellow students picking at his name flooded through his head. She was about to ask another question but decided not to. The group continued walking through the woods. The trees still had flowers that were changing into leaves. Baby birds chirped every other minute. They stopped at a small wooden cabin no bigger than ten feet tall and 12 feet wide, that look extremely old and enchanting. There was a large vine that grew up the left side to the roof. The roof itself looked like a garden, it had vibrant colored flower and seemed to be infested with the most beautiful butterflies they have ever seen. Otersfard walked up to the door that was barely taller than him, took the small black disc from his pocket in his shirt and placed it on the door. The door then turned a pale blue, a few words and numbers flashed before Otersfard stepped to the right side of it.
“Your first Fiona, step to the door place your hand on it then step through once it beeps.” He instructed. Fiona turned to her friends and smiled before saying “See you on the other side”. She then did as she was instructed to, the door gave a soft beep then she stepped through. Otersfard then called Juno, Mina was after him and lastly it was Utada’s turn. As she started to step forward Otersfard placed his hand in front of her.
“You have one of the very rare bliss Utada. So, rare in fact that many cogitate that there are no more mages with such power other than an ancient dragon and her son. You are going to be getting a lot of attention both good and bad. Are you sure you’re ready to step through?” He spoke with a strong voice of concern. Utada merely nodded her head, so he moved his hand. She did as the others and once she heard the beep closed her eyes and passed through the door. A large gust of warm wind slapped her face as her eyes reopened.