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Chapter 4: You Should Have Studied

“Guys help me!” Lukas falls to his knees, gripping onto Shi’s collar and begging us. “I don’t feel ready for the exam at all, help me please!”

Shi rips him off, “Dude, chill, the bell literally just rang.”

“Yeah, at least try to enjoy one last lunch with your pet before you start to break into tears,” Hakai picks on him.

“A weak owner is an even weaker pet,” one of our classmates bullies us. “No wonder your little water panther was such a pussy during those fights.”

“Back off,” Samuel stands up for Lukas. “They’re young, if we put too much pressure onto them at such a young age then they’ll be labeled as abused.”

“There’s quite a large border between abuse and hardcore training,” the boy snaps. He has a fanged growl on his face. “Although, I should have known that people as inexperienced as you guys wouldn’t know how to stay on the correct side of the border.”

“Come on Pearson, give these guys a break,” a girl comes up and places her elbow on his shoulder. “Sorry about him, my name is Nyeri. Nyeri Delu, and this is Pearson Spanks.”

She reaches her hand out to Samuel, he takes it and she pulls him close.

“You will never reach our level,” She whispers in Samuel’s ear. “You’re in our territory now, and you will not top us again.”

She pulls herself away and smiles again, “Be sure to bring your pets to the hotel before lunch ends, have an amazing day!”

She skips away with Pearson following behind, a dragon is by Pearson’s side and a Zingope is flying around Nyeri.

We all look at each other for a few seconds, completely confused.

“What the hell was that about?” Hakai looks over to Samuel.

“She is not pretty on the inside,” Samuel sighs and we walk to lunch. “Are you all ready for the exams?”

Lukas falls to his knees and screams into the ground, Mishipeshu nibbles on his ear.

We all grab smoothies and sit inside of the library, talking about the food we’ve been giving our pets while Lukas crams anything he can into his brain.

“So, you think it was the fancy food that you were given?” Hakai asks me as she observes Cerberus’s behavior. He’s currently sitting silently in my lap and watching my every movement.

“Well, I don’t think so,” Anne interrupts. “After all, you have Fyre, maybe he was mentally training him without you knowing.”

“That doesn’t explain how he’s so good at fighting though,” Samuel joins in. “So other than the emotional support training he hasn’t received any other lessons?”

I nod, “That’s correct.”

“Maybe you two are just connected in some sort of way,” Shi suggests. “Like you two had dreams of each other before ever seeing each other.”

I look down to Cerberus, and ask everyone, “Have you guys ever had any dreams like that before?”

They all shake their heads, except for Hakai, which makes sense, since she didn’t get a pet, only a picture.

“Hey Hakai, what was that gift you got yesterday?” I ask her.

Her eyes go wide in shock and she clenches something in her pocket, “A picture of Demon, my dog, back when he was still a puppy.”

I can’t help but get the feeling that she’s lying but I choose to ignore it and believe her, “Why are you always trying to hide the picture then? That sounds adorable!”

“It makes her emotional,” Shi cuts in, placing his hand on her shoulder. “She can hardly bear the feeling of how much she misses him, no matter how many millions of years it has been.”

“You two must’ve been close,” Samuel sucks the last of his smoothie and chucks it over his shoulder, missing the bin. “Since you still remember him after so many millions of years.”

Hakai begins to tear up, everyone looks down in silence, except for me, “I know that all of the history books on you guys are flawed, but is there a reason as to why you can’t just go and visit him?”

“We can’t take him home since he’s guarding my grave,” Shi explains.

“Then don’t take him home,” I add. “Just visit him.”

“It’s too difficult for us to open the chambers to the grave on our own,” Hakai exclaims, wiping the tears out of her eyes. “It’s easiest for us to access it when non-magic users go wandering around it and even then, we’ll only be able to see Demon for a short period before we possess the trespassers for several hundreds of years.”

“It’s been a while since you guys had to possess someone,” Anne finally speaks once again. “Are you guys sure that your graves are alright?”

“If something happened, like if my coffin was destroyed, then I would die and if Demon were to have an exorcism performed around him, then Hakai would die,” Shi explains. “Also, if something bad happens to Demon then my coffin is no longer being protected, so then people would definitely end up destroying it and I’d die.”

“It sounds more like Demon is the most important out of all of this,” I question. “What does he get out of it?”

“Well, if Shi’s coffin is destroyed then Demon won’t be able to keep up the energy to protect the coffin,” Hakai points out. “The coffin provides energy and protection towards Demon as well.”

“So why do you two have to stay together then?” Samuel asks them.

“Because Hakai is connected to Demon and I am connected to my coffin,” Shi starts. “When Hakai was getting beaten to death she sent Demon to go get help and Demon came running towards my sent, once Demon got to me, I was already dead and locked inside of my coffin, and shortly after Demon died next to my coffin so then Demon and my coffin are connected. Since they’re both connected, we’re both connected.”

“Can you guys quiet down a bit?” Lukas annoyingly asks us. “I’m trying to study, and your guy’s life story is way too interesting for me to pay attention.”

We all quietly laugh, “So what food did you feed Demon?” I ask Hakai.

She looks towards the ceiling in an attempt to remember, “Well store bought food didn’t exist yet so, whatever we managed to hunt.”

“Demon kept on eating my food,” Shi peers down sadly. “I rarely got to eat anything whenever he was around, which was almost always.”

“You know you didn’t have to hunt with us all the time,” Hakai smirks and finishes her smoothie. “You very well could’ve taken one of your hundreds of girlfriends.”

Shi raises an eyebrow, “I would’ve if you and Demon weren’t always scaring them all away!”

Hakai laughs, “If they’re scared of me and a dog then they’re not good enough to be hunting.”

“You would chase after them with a bloody and order Demon to eat them!” Shi objects. “You would even say stuff like, ‘I’ve found the perfect boar to roast over the fire tonight!’ While you were chasing after them!”

“If they’re scared of a little blood then they shouldn’t be hunting,” Hakai shrugs and smiles slyly. “After all, if you’re scared of a little blood and gore then you hold no chance against the bears and wolves.”

“Them being scared gives me the chance to make my moves on them!” Shi shouts angrily.

Anne smacks him upside the head, “Pervert.”

“That’s not what I meant!” Shi protests.

“Shut up!” Lukas yells. “Study, lunch is over in around fifteen minutes, and we have our exams right after!”

“Fine,” Shi agrees and drops it.

We spend the last few minutes of lunch studying and playing with our pets. I quietly read a fairy tale story to Cerberus about a brave and mighty wolf who saves children from a dangerous man looking to kidnap them. Cerberus gets really hyped up from the story and attempts to play fight with Lernaean, except Lernaean grabs Cerberus with one of his claws and places him back on my lap. Though when Lernaean turns around Cerberus bites onto his tail, Lernaean tries to fight back but Shi picks him up and holds him tightly in his arms.

The bells rings and Lukas hastily finishes the rest of his study notes that he can, Mishipeshu keeps nibbling on the corners of the pages while we urge him to hurry up.

“There’s no point to studying if you don’t even go to the exam,” Shi exclaims, coolly.

“I’m going as fast as I can,” Lukas snaps back. His hands are shaking, and his voice is uneasy, he really is scared, is he always like this before exams?

I stop him and place my hand on his shoulder, “Is everything alright, Lukas? I’ve never seen you this terrified before.”

His voice is queasy, and his body is as shaky as a tractor, “My mom wants me to get above seventy percent in every single one of my classes, I don’t think I’m even passing one of them.”

“What’s she going to do if you don’t?” Shi judges him.

“Send me to a different school,” Lukas hastily finishes throwing stuff in his backpack. “Or homeschool me and never let me leave the house.”

“We still have to bring our pets to the hotel,” mentions Samuel. Lukas looks at Mishipeshu, completely terrified.

Hakai looks at him and chuckles, “Chill, we’ll teleport them there for you guys.”

Lukas falls to his knees in front of Shi and Hakai, “Thank you, thank you both so much!”

“Dude have some pride,” Shi criticizes him, and looks away in embarrassment. “You heard what Pearson said earlier, a weak owner is a weak companion.”

“You should’ve studied,” I criticize him. “Then you wouldn’t have to be going through all of this stress.”

“You’re being oddly judgmental and talkative today,” Lukas retorts. Cerberus barks at him and everybody gives him a dirty look.

“What? It’s true.”

“Shut up, man,” Shi growls.

Hakai and Shi grab everyone’s pets and teleport to the hotel. The rest of us start walking to our classroom to get our tikis and teleport to our non-magic school. Nobody utters a word to Lukas the entire time, and anytime he dares to say anything everyone just ignores him and acts as though he doesn’t exist or he’s the annoying kid on the playground.

We get to our classroom and put on our tikis, Shi and Hakai show up shortly after.

“You guys ready for the exam?” Lukas nervously asks everyone with a drop of sweat rolling down his collar.

Shi looks him dead in the eye with a ‘Shut the hell up before I kick your ass,’ look and Hakai acts like she never even heard him.

The entire time from when we teleport to the outside of the non-magic school and when we get into our classroom is filled with awkward silence. Anne and Samuel are helping each other review their notes, Shi is staring at Lukas with a hateful frown, Hakai is counting through her pencils and handing some to Anne and Lukas is silently staring at the wall as we walk through the hallways to our classroom, most likely hating himself right now, he’s clearly no longer worried about the exam. I want to reassure him that everything will be okay but the way he spoke to me earlier really pissed me off and I’d rather watch him be upset right now.

We get into the exam room; I notice Julian but since we’re not allowed to talk, we do a covert wave. I personally think that I nail it, meanwhile Lukas is holding and scratching his head in frustration the entire time. Anne finishes first, she hands in her papers and signals us that she’ll be waiting outside. Shi and Hakai are next to finish, they both fist bump after they hand in their papers, so far none of the regular students has finished yet and it looks like Julian is in another world, doodling on his paper. Samuel finishes next, he does a theatrical spin and curtsy and skips out of the room. Lukas’s frustration and stress levels are starting to rise through the roof, his face is turning red and I think he’s even starting to cry. I finish my exam and sit back for a few minutes, keeping my eyes on Julian and Lukas, if I was paying complete attention to my exam then I would’ve finished shortly after Anne. When there’s about half an hour left to finish the exam Julian finally clues back in and starts to rush through everything, what was going on with him? I’ll ask him when he gets out. I stand up, bring my paper over to the front desk and leave the room. I notice Julian looking at me with a proud smile on his face after he sees me hand in my sheet. Meanwhile, Lukas is only halfway done and there’s pretty much no time left on the clock; his tears start to soak his exam paper. The rest of the group and I watch him silently, Shi looks delighted that he’s struggling, and Anne looks perturbed at how stressed Lukas is.

Julian is the first non-magic user to finish his exam, the rest of the class is still working on theirs, how little did everyone else study?

“You looked spaced out,” I mention to Julian when he prances into the hallway. “What was up with you?”

“I didn’t get that much sleep last night,” Julian dismisses it. “Plus, I got bored and I would’ve rather been drawing.”

“But never mind that, where were you today?”

“Training started back up,” I lie. “Barely made it here in time.”

“So, was it hard for you?” Anne cuts in. “The exam I mean.”

Julian shrugs, “Not really, I was mainly difficult at the beginning but got easier later on, some of the later questions had the answers for the earlier questions anyways.” Julian turns silent and a look of pure terror flows through his entire face, his eyes going wide, “I forgot to go back to the first page and a half.”

Shi breaks into laughter and wipes the tears of laughter out of his eyes, “Now that’s priceless.”

Julian is sitting on the ground with his hands clasped on his head, like he just had a horrifying vision. When Lukas finally finishes his exam, the rest of the class has already finished and there was only two minutes left on the clock. Lukas sprints out of the classroom following handing in his exam.

“That was so hard, am I right?” Lukas attempts to relate with us.

“No, you’re just stupid,” Shi picks a fight with him.

“What’s your problem?” Lukas snaps at him.

“You, you’re my problem!” Shi grabs him by the collar of his shirt and slams him against a locker. “Stop acting like you’re one of us, you’re just an annoying pain in the ass!”

“If she can’t handle a little joke then she shouldn’t be leaving her house,” Lukas snarls. “Well, what’s left of it.”

Everyone then grabs a part of Lukas and starts to carry him down the hallway. I’m standing silently and completely shocked next to Lukas who is totally lost.

“What just happened and what was he talking about?” Julian questions me.

“My parents died yesterday, and my house blew up,” I explain, saying it as quickly as I can without breaking into tears. “And Lukas pointed out that I was oddly talkative today, so since he said that everyone has been easily irritated by everything he says.”

I finally look at Julian and his jaw is dropped, his face is as white and pale as a snowy day, “Your parents died yesterday? Wasn’t yesterday your birthday?”

I nod and try to push back my tears, failing tremendously, “Yep, but hey, the puppy I got, and my brothers are still alive. Although, I haven’t talked to them since yesterday. My kindest brother, Troy, isn’t talking and my energetic brother, Des, hasn’t calmed down and wants to avenge our parents.”

“Do you have a place to stay?” Julian asks me as we start to walk to the exit. “I can set you up a room at my place.”

I muster up a smile and shake my head, “No, my brothers and I have been put in a five-star hotel while we wait for our house to be rebuilt.”

Julian stops me and pulls me into a tight hug, “I love you, Lexus.” My crying makes it impossible for me to respond. Julian chuckles to himself for a second, “So I guess that I lost the bet.”

I laugh through my tears, “Better luck next time.” I blow my nose in his shirt and feel him cringe slightly. “Maybe we can go on a date sometime when I’m able to go two hours without crying.”

Julian smiles, “I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll always be here for you, I will always come running to help you.”

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