A Little Secret

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This Can't Be Happening

Chapter 61: This Can’t Be Happening

✧Sasuke✧

“Honestly, the funniest thing is watching you having to rewrite your last name,” I chuckle as I watch Sean work on his signature. He’s been working on it for a few weeks yet and his hands still haven’t gotten used to writing Kaisai after Sean.

“I’m sorry, do you want to write my name and sign everything for me from now on?” He asks raising a brow at me from across the table. We’re sitting in the cafeteria. We both have time between our classes to get some lunch together.

“Na, I’m good,” I lean back in my chair as I grab my apple juice and take a sip of it, “I can’t believe tomorrow is the beginning of March already.”

“I know. This month flew by. I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done, but I know I have,” He sighed.

“You started running again in the mornings, though so that’s a huge start,” I comment.

“How did you know I started running in the mornings again?”

“I noticed you running when I leave for my soul weapon class. Remember that class starts at seven in the morning, I normally leave the dorm a half an hour early for my first class most of the time.”

“Why didn’t you say anything sooner then?” I shrug at him and he gives me a resting bitch face.

“Unless you want to get up sooner to run so you have a running buddy,” I offer.

“Na, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. I have been feeling better now that I’m running again. It helps me focus more in my classes too.”

“Do you think it’s because you’ve gotten your body warmed up so early and you’re wide awake by the time you get around campus?”

“More than likely. It also helps me feel tired at night so I’ve been sleeping better.”

“I can imagine you’re tired after also working out after classes with Nero a couple times a week too.”

“Oh, fuck yeah, on those days after my lessons with Abel and working out with Nero, I’ve been going to bed around nine or ten latest.”

“Damn, maybe I should start trying to more exercises with you. I’ve been having a rough time sleeping lately.”

“Stress?”

“Yeah, I think so. And probably a bit of frustration because I just about have my soul weapon solidified, but I can’t get it to last long before it bursts into flames again.”

“Ugh, that sucks. No wonder why you’re so stressed. You’re literally right there and it’s just not working.”

“I know right,” I sigh heavily and tap my forehead against the table top.

“I know you’ll get it. Maybe we can have a little sparring match later and you can try to get it to form during the match. Do you think that would help any?” I pick my head back up to look at Sean after he offered the match.

“But you have training with Abel today after classes, don’t you?” I ask sitting up again.

“I do yeah, but we’re going over water walking first out of the advanced abilities and I pretty much have it mastered already,” He answers crossing his arms, “So, it shouldn’t be a long day for practice.

“That sounds like a plan then,” I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket and I pull it out. Since when does dad really text? I open the message and read it.

Sasuke, I need to see you in my office. Come along, please. Thank you.

“Sup?” I look up at Sean from my phone as I feel my smile drop from the message.

“I have to go to dad’s office,” I answer a bit disappointed and confused.

“Want me to come with?” I shake my head.

“No, it’s okay. Dad told me to come alone anyways. I don’t want to get both of us in trouble, even though I have no idea if this is something bad or good,” I sigh heavily, “Anyways, I’ll see ya later Sean.”

“Alright, I’ll talk to ya later then,” I wave before I turn my back to Sean and head out of the cafeteria and in the direction of dad’s office.

Alright, I’ll be there shortly. I’m leaving that cafeteria now. I text dad back before putting my phone in my pocket so I can take longer strides and not have to worry about dropping my phone.

I make my way up the hill towards dad’s office. Considering the campus is a bunch of hills and the cafeteria is at the bottom of the hill from dad’s office, it’s not that hard to get there. Just have to take the stairs so I don’t slip in the snow. I don’t want to be soaked by the time I get to dads and have to heat up the room to dry myself off faster. I make it to the Registration building and head in. Mr. Acker looks busy as he talks with some students so I don’t bother him and just head right up to the second floor to dad’s office. I knock twice and open the door. Dad’s having a discussion with a couple of students it seems so I glance over at him and then quickly head into his library and closed the door behind me. The door is thick so I it’s a bit harder to hear them.

“Headmaster, this isn’t right. Can’t you take them out of normal classes and place them in special classes?” I lean against the door and close my eyes so I can focus better on the conversation in the other room.

“The prodigies don’t let any of us have a chance, it’s not fair.”

“I understand what you’re saying. It seems as if there is a major gap between you and the others, but just because they excel in their classes, it doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle or have it easy,” Dad tried to explain to the kids.

“They make the rest of us feel like we can do anything at all. Like why do we even bother trying.”

I look down at the floor, “Wouldn’t you rather take the fact that they excel as a challenge? Not let it get you down and frustrate you. Look at it as a goal to achieve.”

“Headmaster, that’s not fair, we’ll never be able to do what they do. Please, if something’s not done about them, I know a lot of students who are quite possibly going to start up petitions to have them removed from classes and placed in their own separate classes away from the rest of the students here.”

“They are already placed in dorms separate from others,”

“To keep them from hurting us.”

“I’m not going to argue with you anymore today, you have classes to get to, we’re done. I have my son to talk to.”

“It’s because you’re a prodigy yourself and your sons are prodigies is why you don’t want to hear it.” My heart stings at the comment and I pull away from the door as go sit down on the couch. It comes with the territory of being a prodigy. I just have to remember that.

“That’s enough, now leave before I place locks on both of you for a week.” Dad’s voice was louder than before. I lean back into the couch as wait for dad.

I listen to the door open and close to the library, “Sorry, you had to hear that.”

“No, it’s okay. We’ve all come to the conclusion that it comes with the territory of being a prodigy. We know that a lot of people don’t like us. I’m sorry you have to deal with the brunt of it dad, I shift so I can watch dad walk over from the door. “What did you want to talk about though?”

Dad sighed heavily and run his fingers through his hair, “We have to go and visit the elders.” My heart sinks as I stare at him. I know right away this visit is not going to be a fun visit.

“I understand,” I mumble and look down at my lap. Maybe it’ll just be something simple.

“We have to go. We’re already running late because of the students that were in here before.” I nod and stand up from my spot. I wait for dad to make the portal and then we head in. The portal is the fastest way to get to the elders. Walking straight ahead in front of dad the exit comes into view Leaving the glow of the portal the hall that we enter is dimly lit, the ceiling beings easily twelve feet above us. This place has a bit of a damp feeling to the air.

“Are we…underground?” I mutter as I hear another set of footsteps behind me.

“We are. This is the hall of the Elders. At least this is where they hold their meetings and oversee what happens over atonus shripomn.” Atonus shripomn is dragon for elemental village. It sounds better than just calling the town and school elemental village.

“How is it that they can look over the town and school if they’re underground?” I ask as I walk alongside dad.

“Your guess is as good as mine. They refuse to tell me,” Dad answered not looking at me. We passed through a few corridors and I felt the air thicken around us, making it harder to breathe. I felt dad’s hand rest on my shoulder and I look up at him. I don’t say anything as I look ahead once more. Our footsteps echoing down the hall. Soon we come upon statues that line the walls. I wish I had more time to look at them, but dad made sure that I kept moving by sliding his hand into the center of my back and forcing me to keep pace with him.

A large set of doors finally comes into view. Seeing that these doors must be our destination my head starts to pound against my chest and I feel a sinking feeling in my stomach. I bring my hand up to my lips and start picking at my dry lower lip and begin to rip at my skin. I’ve always had this bad habit. Especially when I run out of chapstick.

“Quick picking,” I let my hand drop down to my side.

“Sorry,” I mutter as the doors become larger the closer we get.

“Don’t you have your chapstick?”

“No, I ran out and haven’t gotten a chance to go and get more.”

“We’ll get more when we’re done here. And we’ll nab Sean and the four of us will pick if we go out to eat or stay in.”

“That sounds good.” I’m a bit worried about how you’re telling me this. I feel like something really bad is going to happen. What are these elders like? When do the elders switch out? Why does it feel like the air is getting thicker and harder to breathe the closer we get to this room?

The doors became larger the closer we got to them. I can finally make out the details on the doors. They are white like the walls, and statues, but the engravings in the door were symbols that represented every element, were colored and placed in a circle with six elements in the center of the circle. At the top of the circle a flame for fire, to its left was a cloud with lightning striking down from it too for the lightning element, Metallic looking rocks for Metal sit between lightning and the burnt orange, almost bronze looking rocks that represent Earth. Just below Earth is a white feather for the light element, and eye for sight is nestled between the white feather and a droplet that represents water. A snowflake for ice is on the water droplets right, a smooth blueish white ball that I’m assuming is the representation of the spiritual element sits just below three swirls that look like wind swirling, then above the wind symbol is another feather, but this time the feather is black, but it’s not a solid black, it almost looks like a raven black in this light. This is the representation of the dark element. And finally, to complete the outer circle and bring us back to the fire element. There is a music note that sits peacefully between the flame and the black feather that is the symbol for the sound element. Then there are four symbols that make the shape of a diamond around two other symbols. At the top of the diamond is a magnet for the magnetic element, on the left is a feather that is half white and half black for twilight, on the right of the diamond is a black circle that has small diamonds like stars in the night sky, this symbol I’ve only seen in Basic of the Elements for the space element. At the bottom of the diamond is a star that looks like something that shines in the night sky this is the symbol for the star element. Finally, in the center of it all is an hourglass that is the time element and next to the hourglass, but shifted down slightly is a moon that is half white and half black for the representation of the moon element.

I look up at the door in awe as we stand at the foot of the door. The details in each and every symbol, the smoothness of them. The fine chisel work of the hand carving, I can only imagine how long this took in order to complete these doors. When we reach, the door I reach my hand out and gently touch the door. My fingers run along the smooth edge of the eye for the sight element. Before letting my hands slip from the edge of the symbol. Closing my hand into a fist I take a deep breath and knock on the door. I look at dad and he was looking back at me. He has a small smile on his lips, but in his eyes, I can tell he’s upset. He slips his hand up to my shoulder once more and gives my shoulder a squeeze then looks forward as the doors open. I hold my breath as the doors reveal a large room. This room is made of marble and has stone pillars that are scattered around this large room. I have to shield my eyes from the sudden change in lighting. The room is large but it is quite bright in the room. The ceiling is much higher than the ceiling that was in the hall. This looks like it would be a room that you would find a major boss in a video game. One way in, one way out. Stepping in the room activates the boss. Is that what I’m about to walk into? A boss battle of my own? There’s only one way to find out. I step into the room and the room is just as wide as it is long. At the other end of this large room from where I’m standing with dad, there is an arc desk and behind that desk are four figures of various heights sitting. Two women and two men. The one man that is sitting between the two women I know well, It’s Zen Sonnen, Otto’s son. If I remember right, he’s the star prodigy. The other three, I don’t know who they are. The big man on the outside on the right end of the table looks like he was one of those jocks that hit the gym whenever they got the chance. Then there is a girl who doesn’t look much older than twenty-two, twenty-three years old is sitting between the big guy and Zen. And then the woman that’s on the other side of Zen is a slender looking women that looks to be the man on the other ends age, from what I can tell from standing on this side of the room.

“Well, don’t just stand there, hurry up and get over here,” The big man’s deep voice boomed across the room and I felt a tug on my body and I ended up stumbling as I felt pulled forward and across the room by an invisible force.

“Welcome, Sasuke to the judgment room,” The women on the end with maroon red hair that gracefully fell over her shoulders and framed her soft blue eyes practically sang out to me with a warm and welcoming smile as I end up stumbling and my stomach slamming into the desk across from Zen. Zen has his normal colorful headband holding back his bangs of his dirty yet strawberry blonde bangs so they don’t fall into his grey eyes and let the small bit that can drape over his shoulders do just that instead of having it pulled back into a ponytail like how I first met him. His clothes are a bit more restricting than when I first met him as well. Instead of a baggy t-shirt, he’s wearing a button up deep blue shirt and a black vest that he’s keeping unbuttoned. I’m assuming he’s probably wearing either cacies or slacks to go with the shirt and vest.

“Hey Sasuke,” Zen chuckled a bit as I groan from the impact.

I pick myself up and brace myself up on my hands from the desk, “Hey Zen, how have you been?”

“I’ve been a bit bored. You, on the other hand, sound like you’ve been having some troubles.” I look down at the desk and push myself the rest of the way off the desk and step back.

“You don’t have to look so glum Sasuke,” I look up at lock eyes with the girl that’s sitting on Zen’s left. She is smiling at me and her soft lavender eyes are framed with burnet hair this is a bob hairstyle.

Then the big guy who I can feel is glaring daggers into the side of my face I nervously look over at him. His sharp blue eyes that felt like they were digging themselves into the depths of me from the other side of the desk. His bangs of his black hair are brushed off to one side as if someone ran their hands through it the longest part looks like it was in the front because I can’t see what the back of his head looks like. But like Zen, he’s wearing a nice button up shirt that he has the first two buttons unbuttoned showing off his collarbone.

“I’m not, I’m just a bit confused as to why I was summoned here and all,” I smile at the girl like nothing was wrong.

“You know full well why you’re here Sasuke,” The man with the deep voice spoke up again making me flinch at his tone.

“Don’t you feel it would be best if you three introduced yourselves to him before you go verbally abusing him, Xavier?” Zen spoke up and I looked over at the man that Zen called Xavier, “Or are you just in a more than usual asshole of a mood because you and Gilbert got into an argument?”

“What my son and I talk about is none of your concern Zen,” Xavier spat back and I looked at him in shock. Is this man Gil’s dad? He looks nothing like Gil, though. And they’re attitudes are completely different from each other.

“I agree with Zen. We should introduce ourselves to him,” The women on the far end said and I looked at her to see her have a warm smile on her lips, “I’m Avril Poirier, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you Sasuke.”

“You know who I am,” Zen chuckled as I looked at him.

“My name’s Gabriella Rey,” The girl with the burnet hair smiled at me.

“Xavier Reis,” He said in a very displeased tone.

I bow deeply, “It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

“He’s very polite, why did it take you so long to bring him here John?” Miss Gabriella commented to dad as I jump a bit noticing that he was next to me. Damn his space element and being able to teleport.

“You know you can leave the manor, you could have visited the school at any time Gabby,” Zen sighed and she slapped his arm, Zen didn’t even flinch as he brought his right hand up and scratched his cheek whereon his cheekbone by the corner of his eye is a black star tattoo.

“Quiet you, I’ve just been very busy,” Miss Gabby puffed out her cheeks in protest as Zen still paid her no mind.

“Um, I have a question, why is your title Elder’s when none of you are old?” Dad smacked me upside the head for the question. But it did end whatever argument was able to take place between Zen and Miss Gabby.

“Awe, you’re so sweet Sasuke. But, you’re right we aren’t what our title suggests. The rotation was just done not too long ago if that answers your question,” Miss Avril answered with another smile.

“That is entirely off topic,” Xavier commented clearly not happy.

“Then what is the exact reason as to why I’m here? Is it because you want to know more about the ECU? If that’s the case you should have told dad to also bring Sean long. He knows a lot more about it then I do. On top of that Aaron and Gil were there as well, so why aren’t all three of them here with me if that’s the reason why you summoned me here. On top of that, if that’s what you want to know about then why didn’t you summon any one of us sooner? Yes, Sean had to recover, but once he was back up on his feet we could have easily come here to talk about it.” I turn my attention to Gil’s father.

“This is not about them or the ECU,” Xavier answered sharply.

“When what is it about?” I want to hear it from them.

“You’ve lost control of your abilities countless times,” He snaps at me. I bite my lower lip and look away from him, “Your reckless behavior of not keeping your element under control and using your rare ability within the school grounds when it can be so devastating. You could have hurt countless other students and destroyed many buildings.”

“Wouldn’t you end up having breakdowns if you were a moon elemental and were put through different forms of torcher and electrocution day in and out for months on end?” I take a step forward towards Xavier not backing down.

“You are out of line child. John, haven’t you taught your son anything?” Xavier scolded both of us.

“You’re the one that’s out of line. My dad has taught me more than you can ever imagine. You have no right to say anything like that to my father.”

Xavier stood up from his seat brought a hand up and then slammed it down on the desk. I felt a strong pull on my entire body and it gets stronger until I can’t keep myself up and I fall to my knees and continue to fall to the floor until my face is pressing against the cold marble floor. “YOU ARE HAVING ALL BUT YOUR BASE ELEMENT TAKEN FROM YOU. DO YOU WANT TO KEEP PUSHING IT AND BE EXPELLED FROM THE SCHOOL FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR AND HAVE TO REPEAT A YEAR?”

My entire body is shaking with anger. Why the hell is this happening to me? Can’t I ever catch a break? It fell silent in the room as I clenched my hands into fists against the cold floor. My vision clouded with tears, “Why…” I mutter as there’s still a strong pressure on me but I force my arms and legs under me and force myself up onto my hands and knees.

“What was that boy?” Xavier asked.

“Why are you so blind?” I ask getting my leg under my chest to help keep me up because my arms are shaking from the pressure. “Yes, I’ve lost control of my element…yes, I’m aware of how dangerous I am when I do have a breakdown…but why…why can’t you accept the fact that I’m working on it? Why are you so blind to the fact that even though I can’t use my other elements I’m still strong enough to keep moving forward?” I brought my hands up to my knee and forced myself to go against the pressure that’s on me and stand up. Xavier’s eyes widened in shocked when I glared at him after standing up, “I will NOT be held down.” I clench my hands back into fists. “I was taught to respect my elders, but YOU sir, you do not deserve an ounce of it. You just assume that because I’ve had breakdowns it means that I’ve given up and don’t care if someone gets hurt. That it would be best to take everything away from me without even giving me a chance to explain or defend myself.” I took a deep breath and exhaled, “Don’t judge a book by its cover, it can come back and bite you in the ass later if you do.”

It was dead silent in the room, besides my heavy breathing from all the work that it took to just stand up. Then Zen snorted and started to laugh, shattering the silence, “Oh man he really told you Xavier, ya old fart.” Zen put his head down on the desk he was laughing so hard.

“You’re the magnetic prodigy and he stood back up considering most cannot go against your repulsion ability.” That was repulsion? Miss Avril commented and I glance over at her to see that the smile has not left her lips and she’s resting her cheek in the palm of her hand, “I think we should give him a chance to show us if he’s improved at all and to see if he does, in fact, have the ability to get himself out of this break down that moon elementals have with a test.”

“A test?” I mutter.

“Oh! I like that idea!! Let’s do it! Give him like five minutes to land a blow on us. Then if he passes he can go to the one. If he runs out of time or loses control the game is over and he get’s his punishment of having his other elements taken,” Miss Gabriella said.

“Why do I have to have my other elements taken from me?” I ask.

“Because you are the fire prodigy, you were never meant to have the other elements at your disposal throwing everything out of balance. Therefore, you will have your other elements taken away instead of having them simply sealed like your father had long ago,” Xavier commented.

“This is still a harsh punishment. Even with him being the fire prodigy. And how are you going to be able to do such a task? I thought only a high spirit could perform that act while a star elemental uses soul chain,” My father points out to them speaking up.

The ring of bells struck my ears, “I believe that is where I come in, is it not?” The smooth velvet voice of a woman echoed throughout the room. I look around to try to find where the voice came from.

The soft clicking of sandals came from behind me. I spin around and a woman with long flowing silver hair that gently swished back and forth as she walked. Her bangs framed brilliant light purple eyes and two stick were just visible that must have been holding up a part of her hair. But they were somewhat hidden by the two tall fox ears that rest on her head, she has eight silver tails all gently moving behind her. All seeming to be moving in unison with her walk. She’s wearing a very revealing style deep purple yukata that exposes her deep cleavage from her large chest. The bell that I heard before was attached to a black cocker like necklace, almost like a collar on her. Her lavender obi belt is under a black koshi himo and is being held up with a golden rope. With thigh, high black tabi socks her outfit is complete with a pair of geta sandals.

I can’t stop myself from staring at her as she walks towards us. Her beauty is stunning. I’ve never seen a kitsune spirit before. She walks right past me and dad, but I notice her glance down at me with a smile on her lips. I watch her walk over to where Xavier is and then turn around. Gently crossing her arms under her chest, “So this is the boy, is it? He seems quite headstrong, just like his parents.”

“Lady Esmerelda, you didn’t have to show up so soon, we were about to test the boy,” Avril didn’t sound too pleased that this kitsune spirit was here.

“Oh really? Then I shall be more than happy to watch this test that you wish to give him,” Lady Esmerelda smiled sweetly and I looked over at miss Avril frown and sigh.

“Could we have asked another spirit for assistance?” She asked.

“My my, Avril, you do not have to be so sour of my arrival, I am simply returning a favor to sweet Xavier for his help with transporting some extra cargo to the spirit village. It was only fair that I answer his call,” Lady Esmerelda sounded a little hurt by miss Avril’s remark.

“But, back to the topic of the test. I like the idea of giving him five minutes to land a blow. I agree to it,” Zen commented.

How is that even fair??

“I’m fine with it as well,” Miss Avril agreed.

“Than that settles it. You will go against Avril first, Then Gabriella, then Zen, then myself,” Gil’s father explained to me.

“Wait, right now?? We have to do this now?” I ask in a bit of a panic.

“Why of course. What better time than the present,” Miss Gabby chirped and my shoulders slump.

“C-Can I at least know what the rules to this are first?” I ask in a bit of a panic.

“Well, considering that switch has been thrown in your mind and you experience breakdowns you are only stuck using your base element, which is your first element. If this was not the case then we would allow you to use any element at your disposal. So, really the only rules are you have to land a blow on us in a five-minute time span and you cannot have a breakdown. Yeah, that’s about it really,” Zen answered my question.

“So, is it that I have to hit you with an attack or just physically touch you?” It’s a valid question.

“You’ll have to physically touch your opponent, it cannot be with your soul weapon either. But, you are welcome to use your soul weapon if you have accomplished acquiring it.” So, five minutes to just touch them. It could be worse.

“Alright, sounds fair enough,” I nod as Avril comes out from around the table and walks out towards the center of the room.

“Good, then your first trial starts now,” Miss Avril says and the soft smile that she has had on her lips from the start suddenly turns very cold.

Sasuke move! Dad’s voice rang out in my head. I put both hands out in front of me and in a raging fire, I hear a sizzling like water being splashed on a hot frying pan as a crimson red staff with light blue flames designed on both ends solidifies in front of me. Grabbing onto the staff for a moment I spin it quickly in front of me to deflect the incoming ice. When the ice stopped, I slowed my staff down to a stop, holding the center of my staff firmly in my left I shift my staff back behind me and slide myself into a fighting stance. Exhaling, slowly I stare at Miss Avril.

“That’s a fierce look. You have just as fast of reflexes as your father, good, you’re going to need it.” She smiled at me.

“Nice, he can summon his soul weapon, even with how much stress that puts on you, very impressive, don’t ya think Xavier?”

“No,” I roll my eyes and sigh a bit at the bluntness of the conversation that was taking place off to the side of me.

Come on Sasuke think. She’s an ice elemental, just how should I get close to her in five minutes? I highly doubt she has the same fighting pattern that Shiro has. Think…she’s going to use long range attacks to keep me away, therefore is I can get through the attack I should be able to get her before she can switch to close combat. I slam my staff into the floor in front of me and send flames scorching across the floor towards her. If I’m going to do this I have to act now. “Three minutes,” Miss Gabriella called out as if it was the ringing of the bell for the next round of a boxing match. Miss Avril easily dodged it and sent ice screaming towards me. Lifting myself up to the top of my staff the ice begins to crawl up. Balancing myself on my hand after hours of practice. Taking a deep breath, I push myself off and flip over and land on my foot. Wobbling a bit, I rebalance myself. One…three! I launch myself off my soul weapon and have it burst into flames as I spin myself in the air and send arc after arc of fire towards Miss Avril.

It doesn’t work, she dodged them effortlessly, sending more ice at me in blinding speeds I couldn’t dodge them all and I felt one hit my side just before my feet touch down on the ice below me and steam comes from under me as I melt the ice. Placing a hand on my side, I feel a warm dampness soaking into my clothes. She broke skin with that one. She’s serious, I can’t tell how deep it is, but right now it doesn’t matter. “Two minutes Sasuke, pick it up!” Zen yelled as I kneeled on the ground facing Miss Avril. I’ve gotta kick it up a notch. I raise my body temperature to the point where the heat coming off me is creating a breeze. Standing back up I throw two quick punches followed by spinning myself and sending two more arcs towards her I keep up with the rapid succession of fire to put her on the defensive. The floor soaked from me melting the ice as I made my way to her, I finished my last two arcs and then hit her dead on with a stream of fire knocking her back. Taking this chance, I sprint over to her and slid on my knees across the smooth marble floor and brush her arm with my hand as I slid by. When I come to a stop I put my hands on the ground and let out the breath that I was holding. Damn it, that was rough.

“Good job Sasuke, you were able to get beat the clock,” Miss Avril sat up and her sweet smile returned.

“You shouldn’t relax just yet!” I hear Miss Gabby’s voice and I look up and over my shoulder to see her heel coming down towards me. Rolling out of the way and getting up onto my toes and fingertips. Geez, no time to breathe.

She was back on her feet in no time and coming after me. I jump out of the way of her next attack, but something stops me from going into a full roll. I look back and she has a foot planted on my shadow and No matter how hard I pull I can’t get myself to move. “Got you~” She cooed happily. So, she’s a dark elemental, which means she’s not the prodigy, I’ve got this. She pulls up my shadow from the floor and with all her strength she must have and flings me up and over her shoulder. I fly, and in the moment, that I’m above her I throw two fireballs. Hitting her shoulder and the second hitting the ground by her feet, her hold on my shadow breaks and I go crashing down to the marble floor. My heels hitting first and I use the momentum to roll backwards and get back up on my feet. Not taking the time to let anything settle I launch back towards her. I reach out to touch her and she quickly moves out of the way. She started laughing as I stopped on a dime and tried once more. “You’re much stronger than I thought. Everyone else can’t get their body to move on their own when I grab their shadow, but you were able to and even throw attacks at me. That’s wonderful!” No matter what punch I throw she dodges it.

“Two minutes Sasuke!” Dad called out to me.

Damn it…Come on I just need to graze her. I erupt my arms in bright blue flames and force her into the shadows. She sinks in and I stand there concentrating. My heart is pounding and a pain that’s in my lungs and heart. This isn’t good. I need to calm down. The softest giggle came from behind me but I don’t move and I take a slow breath. She’s in my shadow…how do I get her out of it?

“One minute,” Zen yells.

I slam my foot down onto the ground and send fire shooting out in all directions like an incantation circle.

“Ah, hot, hot, hot, hot!” I for Miss Gabby out of the shadow and spin around and grab onto her wrist.

“I got you,” I said and instantly let the fire die. Placing my free hand on my knee and still holding onto her I try to catch my breath. And I have two more that I have to go through? Is it because the air feels heavier in here? I’ve gone round after round with Sean and everyone, so why is this so much harder?

“Good job! I didn’t expect you to do that and force me out of the shadow. I would have come out,” Miss Gabby giggled and I heard Xavier scoff at her remark.

I let go of her hand so I can grab a hold of my shirt above my chest to try to slow down my heart, “Thanks, I try to be unpredictable.”

“You okay there Sasuke?” Miss Gabby squatted down and looked up at me.

“I’m fine,” I take a deep breath and stand up then turn around and face Zen.

He smirks and starts walking towards me. His sleek black shoes echoing in the room. He’s not going to fight, I can tell in the way that he’s walking. “Whenever you’re ready Sasuke, we can start.”

I nod, “I’m ready.” I get onto my toes and run towards him. I jump into the air towards him and he catches me not a problem. I start laughing as I feel a warmth that other takes my body. The pain in my lungs and heart is still there, but it’s dulled a bit.

“You know I’m not a fighter. And what fun is it if I just dodge and let my body heal whatever burns you make contact with? Yeah, not all the enjoyable to watch,” Zen let go of me and my feet hit the ground. We high five and I could feel the air get thicker and the pissed off death glare that I’m getting from Gil’s father. “Good luck and try to keep a calm head. This is not going to be an easy fight.”

“I know,” I mutter as he pats my back.

Mr. Reis clicks his tongue out of frustration and walks out in front of my father and Lady Esmerelda. Mr. Reis cracked his knuckles as he stopped moving. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I look over at Zen, he nods and pats my shoulder before walking away from me and I face Mr. Reis once more. “This is your file around boy. Your time starts now.”

Bringing my hands up I send two fireballs at him and he easily blocks them without a problem. No holds bound on this match, I have to beat him. I must be able to lay a hand on him. I summon my staff in a hot blaze and start running towards him.

“Pathetic,” Mr. Reis scoffs and lifts his hand up and flicks his wrist. I come to a sudden stop and get launched back by an invisible force. Slamming my staff onto the marble it makes a loud high pitched screeching noise as it drags across the floor. The invisible wall that’s pushing me back stops and I look up to see Mr. Reis holding onto his ears. Now! Using my staff as leverage, I run back towards him full speed. I close in on him and swing my staff at him to get stopped by an invisible wall once more. Being lifted off my feet this time I can’t hold my balance and I launch up and away from Mr. Reis. “Did you really think such a weak attack could touch me?” My back slams down on the floor, my head shortly after as his deep voice echo’s around me. I push myself up. My arms shaking and the room spinning, I blink until the room comes back into focus. A cold chill race up my spine as I concentrate on Mr. Reis again. He’s no longer wearing the black dress pants and dress shirt. Instead of his long-sleeved shirt he’s wearing an off-white muscle shirt, exposing the defined muscles in his arms, a black and white bandana is wrapped around his right bicep. The black dress pants were replaced with more so form-fitting black pants that are tucked into what looks like brown leather boots. In fact, he looks completely different. Other than his outfit change his hair is no longer short and proper, it’s longer, roughly to about just past his shoulder blades. The front was slicked back except for the few stray strands that got away from him. Finally, snaked around him was a bladed chain that looks like a scorpion’s tail.

“What the hell?” I mutter a bit louder than I originally indented to. Is that his soul weapon? But why did it change his entire appearance?

Mr. Reis threw his arm forward and the chain of his weapon came flying towards me. Putting my staff up to take the hit. Vibrations Rica shay through my arms from the impact. But, the weird thing is, the chain moved back to Mr. Reis as if it has a mind of its own. Looking at him more closely, he’s only holding onto the bladed end and the chain is floating around him. Again, the blade comes at me without a single motion from Mr. Reis this time. I go to block it again but the chain dodges my attempt at blocking and wraps itself around me. I blink and Mr. Reis is in front of me with his arm raised and swinging down. At first, I don’t feel a thing. There’s no pain, only a warm feeling and then a dampening on my shoulder like something is slowly getting wet on my right shoulder.

“Sasuke!” Dad screams from the sidelines.

“John, no,” Zen’s voice follows suit.

My heart’s pounding against my chest. I take shaky breath’s and trying to calm down. “I’m at a level beyond your comprehension, Sasuke,” Mr. Reis voice echoed in my ears. I can’t win this, there’s just no way. No, no I can’t give in. That would only inflate his pride and let him get his way. This fight just started. I haven’t snapped either. I can tell it wants to rear its ugly head, but if I can make it through this, then I know I’m on the right track. There’s a lot of pain from my shoulder…I can’t really feel my arm either…just breathe, get him away and then I can look at the damage. My body tenses as I feel Mr. Reis pull his blade out of my shoulder. “Ugh,” I grit my teeth in pain and try my best to power through it. He started snickering and I look up at him through my bangs. I can see him move back slightly, “I’m not done.” Taking a deep breath with as far as the chains would allow me to. At point blank, I exhale a stream of fire directly into Mr. Reis. The force is enough to knock him back and make the chains on his weapon slack around me so I can get out of them.

I feel my soul weapon slip out of my right hand and clank on the floor. Finally, I look over my shoulder to see how bad it is. My light blue shirt is now ripped and stained a deep red that’s covering more area by the second. I can’t move my arm at all, so it’s not just hanging limply on my right side. I pull on my sleeve and rip it off the rest of the way. Quickly, I wrap it around my shoulder and with my teeth and left-hand knot it to try and keep it to stay there. “I’m not done yet. It’s just a scratch,” I weakly laugh looking down at my feet my soul weapon disappeared.

I charge at him once again. Mr. Reis threw his chain at me and I dodged out of the way of it jumping into the air when I got close to him I kick my legs and start a rapid spin creating a ball of fire around me. Now! I swing my leg down to connect with him but I feel his blade sink into my shin. “Aaaaahhhh!” I scream from the pain and the fire quickly dissipates. I watch a smirk spread across his lips as he pulls back his right arm and then thrusts it forward into my stomach. All the air that was in my lungs escapes from the impact. Two more punches follow lifting me further into the air and then without even touching me he sends me flying across the room. My body slams on the ground and I roll. I can’t get myself to scream in pain. I’m seeing stars from the impact of my head hitting the marble floor.

I watch as a blade comes flying towards me. MOVE BODY!! GOD DAMN IT MOVE! I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE WAY! I blink and a moment later I see a pair of legs come into view. Dad… “THAT’S ENOUGH XAVIER. I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO INJURE MY CHILD MORE THAN YOU ALREADY HAVE.”

“You’re getting in my way, John. Need I remind you who’s the more powerful one of the two of us?” Mr. Reis’s voice boomed. Dad, no, please. “Move, John, or you will be punished alongside your son.”

“L-leave…my dad…out of this…” I place my left hand under me. You know what you need to do to protect him correctly? I hear Lady Esmerelda’s soothing voice in my mind. Yes. I take a deep breath and raise the temperature around me. I must use it. I can’t let dad get hurt. The air swirls around me and then I send out a vapor trail releasing my rare ability. My back between my shoulder blades burns intensely as fire surges out forming wings of fire on my back. I’m getting feeling back into my arm as I feel my shoulder healing. “You touch him, I don’t care if your Gil’s father or not. I will kill you.” I stand up and a high-pitched ringing takes over in my ears and I feel something click in my mind.

My body launches forward towards Mr. Reis. I can’t hold myself back. That was stupid of me, I shouldn’t have activated this. I was already on the verge of snapping in the first place. Before I could do anything, my body was stopped in place. I see Mr. Reis scowling down at me like I’m a pathetic waste of space. “Stupid boy, do you really think that going after another prodigy was the wisest thing to do?” The scowl turned into a smirk, “you’re not the only one who has a rare ability, now witness first-hand what the rare ability of the magnet element can do.” His voice echoed in my mind as I felt like he was digging into my conscious. Clicking his tongue, “What a shame, and here I thought you were coming at me by your own free will.” I felt my body stiffen and then like someone hit the off switch my rare ability released, but instead of passing out, I was still awake. Like I was being forced to. I was lifted into the air as it feels like I’m being strangled. I can’t grab at my throat. I feel stiff. I-I can’t breathe.

“RELEASE!” Dad’s voice sounds distant, but suddenly I’m able to breathe and I fall to the floor gasping for air.

“You okay Sasuke?” I feel a hand placed on my back and I look over to see Zen squatting down.

I nod as I cough. “You took it way to far Xavier. You forced him to activate his rare ability and have a breakdown,” Dad pointed out as I look up. Xavier is back in his slacks and dress shirt. His expression on his face tells me he doesn’t care in the slightest what dad has to say.

“Regardless of how it happened, he could not take the strain of his rare ability and ended up snapping. Therefore, he has failed the test.”

“That was the rules of the game and as elder’s the four of you are bound to rules that were set for the test,” Lady Esmerelda speaks up and I look over at her wide-eyed and then quickly back at Zen. When I lock eyes with me he quickly looks away ashamed and obviously hurt.

“I’m so sorry Sasuke, I didn’t think he would go that far,” Zen said quietly. I look down at the floor, “Activate.” Zen said softly a burning sensation came from where his hand was placed on my back the feeling spread around my body and I felt something heavy form around my wrists, ankles, and neck. Soul Chain. The clinking of metal on metal hits my ears before my arms are jerked away from my body and the sound of chains pulling up a drawbridge echoes around me. My body feels like it’s being pulled in two different directions. Chains from my neck have attached to the floor as my arms are being pulled outward. I look up at Zen and he has tears in his eyes. Zen… “I’m so sorry.” He mutters and places a hand on my chest. I feel a surge of heat in my chest and then Zen runs his fingers up my chest and the heat follows. Running his fingers up my neck I’m forced to open my mouth and a bright blue flame comes out of my mouth and gently rests in the palm of Zen’s hand. I can’t…keep my eyes open…dad… black creeps in around my vision as I see Lady Esmerelda sneak into my vision with a soft smile that feels like there’s more of a hidden meaning behind it than what she’s giving off. Why… All the tension in my body leaves and I feel myself being lowered to the floor.

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