Novel The HEMA freak in Vhinhym (Chapter 5 up, sorry for the long wait!)

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by yywee, May 16, 2018.

  1. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Do you like swords? Do you like magic? Do you like even dragons? Yeah, me to.

    Hello, everyone!
    Today i will present to you another one of my stories which take place in the world i created - the World of Aell Sweithe.

    Synopsis Art is an ordinary boy, studying historical fencing and sword fighting in one of the Falkland's - an European-style like country from the fictional continent of Inden - best Historical Reenactment Academies. After the first in the list exchange candidate student is seriously wounded in a dubious incident, Art, as second in line, is chosen to go to Vhinhym - a mysterious country in the middle of the ocean with a Japanese style like culture - and exchange experience with their school of Historical Reenactment and Studies. And this is where the clash of both cultures and his problems begin! Will he be able to handle all the troubles and situations this unknown world bestow upon him?

    Genres Action, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Adventure

    I'll put here several notes:

    In this story, as a hobbyist HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) practitioner, i'll try to focus on the realistic aspect of the historical medieval (and not only) way of fighting and also along with the plot represent to you the history of the world. Also, since the continent from which these martial arts came is called Inden, in the novel it will be called HIMA - Historical Indenean Martials Arts.

    The world in the current novel is a place, where humans, dwarves, elves, orcs and many other mythological creatures coexist with one another and the action is taking place at the year around 2050 according our calendar (i'll use ours for convenience and because i still haven't created my own for the world).

    Otherwise, it is a Japanese style light novel (not sure if i can call it light novel, since i'm not Japanese) and i'm currently trying to make some characters illustrations, have good ideas and visualization for some of the characters, but i'm still not very good and don't have that much free time to put in ); . I'll also try to illustrate some of the fighting moves and techniques for your better understanding (the first one is coming with the chapter one) and the World's map (i have the prototype but i'm not completely satisfied with it, so i'll try to finish it as soon as possible).

    I'll also try to illustrate it as a manga one day when i'm good enough. :D

    You can also check my DeviantArt where i will put regularly some of my arts:
    https://yywee.deviantart.com/

    I'll be glad to hear your opinions! Enjoy!

    Table of Contents:

    Volume 1: ART

    Chapter 1 - The Girl and the Foreigner: Blood Siblings
    Chapter 2 - Female Kingdom: The Welcoming Party
    Chapter 3 - Curious Girl: The First Day at School
    Chapter 4 - Time for Duel: Hion versus Art!
    Chapter 5 - Bloody revenge: Do it for her!
    Chapter 6 - End of a tough day: Calm before the storm!

    Volume 2: HARM

    Chapter 1 - Troubles on the Horizon: Enters Harm Kaede!
    Chapter 2 - The First Date: A Serious Cogitation about a Women's gait
    Chapter 3 - The Warship Maniac: A Story about Two Forts
    Chapter 4 - The Mysterious Voice: The Beginning of New Trouble?!
    Chapter 5 - Ambush in the Dark: The Machines from Saburo Heavy Industries
    Chapter 6 - Unleashing Secrets: The Bowman and The Sorcerer
    Chapter 7 - End of a Big Misunderstanding: SIS I GOT A BOYFRIEND!

    Volume 3: SOPH
    Chapter 1 - Close Encounter in the Kitchen: School Yard Humiliation
    Chapter 2 - Let's Talk About History: The War of Liennese Succession
    Chapter 3 - Dangerous Opponent: The Oderonean Saber Style
    Chapter 4 - Enter the Falklan Musketeer: Don't mess with Sophie Bettenfeld
    Chapter 5 - The Family Enlarges: Calm Night at Home
    Chapter 6 - Fun at the "Shooting Range": Magic Lessons at the Mysterious Forest
    Chapter 7 - The Horse and The Goat: Fighting the Anomaly
    Chapter 8 - Down Into the Darkness: Separated Again
    Chapter 9 - Enter the Labyrinth: The Unexpected Guide
    Chapter 10 - Regrouping: The Lady of The Lake
    Chapter 11 - A Battle for Your Existence: Back at Home

    Volume 4: BET
    Chapter Extra 01 VR - The Naval Battle of Cape Kizuna: The War Counsel
    Chapter Extra 02 VR - The Naval Battle of Cape Kizuna: Maria de Victor
    Chapter 1 - The Weight of Your Actions: Welcome Sophie
    Chapter 2 - Fable Combat: Prepare for War

    Chapter 3 - Battle starts: First Blood
    Chapter 4 - Fight Outbreak at the Castle Forest: Outplayed
    Chapter 5 - Counterattack: Overwhelmed
    Chapter 6 - Unstoppable: The Brutal Way of Subduing a Knight
    Chapter 7 - Chaos Control: On His Own
    Chapter 8 - Sophie's Army: Endgame
    Chapter 9 - Aftermath: Preparation for a Long Night

    Volume 5: FAR
    Chapter 1 - Bad Energy Part 1: Casual stroll
    Chapter 2 - Bad Energy Part 2: Expanding view
    Chapter 3 - The Night of the Party Part 1: The Surprises begin
    Chapter 4 - The Night of the Party Part 2: The Ballroom of Ilarys Shokudou
    Chapter 5 - Illumination of a Bright Star: Saga of Two Lovers (NEW)

    [​IMG]
    Takahashi Rioko
    [​IMG]
    Sophie Bettenfeld
    [​IMG]
    The World Map
    [​IMG]


    Basic Attack - The Oberhau

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  2. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    He would have admitted it without a fight, if someone had asked him in that moment – he was kinda lost.

    For who knows which time, he approached the edge of the sidewalk and looked at the both directions. Then, he looked and at the sign, that was hooked below the second-floor window of the three-story office building, on his right side.

    Street „Marison Chitoge“.

    So far so good. But his map was showing him, that the street was completely straight through its entire length.

    The reality showed otherwise. Just after a dozen of meters, the street was making a smooth right turn and disappeared from sight.

    And he thought that his hometown's urban planning was totally perplexed... There were countless streets that on the maps were appearing completely parallel, but in reality some of them even crossed....

    He puffed.

    He was wandering this area for half an hour already with no hope in sight to find his new school soon.

    „Just great. Late on my first day of school...“

    His mood became so tetchy, that it made him want to spit on the sidewalk or on some passing automobile.

    „And why is the stupid „ICM” bank on the other side of the street, when the map clearly shows that it must be on this side?!“

    Theoretically, this end of the street was supposed to end at the entrance of „Harohara” city-park, after which was located his new learning setting – The National High school Ilarys Shokudou, his home for the next six months.

    Yes, but no...

    This end (THE CORRECT ONE, ACCORDING TO THE MAP) was leading just to the next apartment building. And after that was another apartment building. And after that – another one. With no trace of parks or whatever else other open spaces.

    Phhh, what to do, what to do...

    No one understand falklanish here and his old school administration brought him the news of this transfer so suddenly, that he managed to learn only several common vhynehaimese lines – obviously, with thick accent, that none of the locals were able to understand him, even when he had asked some of them for guidance with showing them the map on his smartphone...

    He sighed deeply and sat on the sidewalk, leaning his back on the wall of the office building, letting his bag to fall beside him. And just embraced his knees with arms, plunging his face onto them. So and so he was going to be late, couldn't do anybody harm and to rest a bit before that. One cannot be late twice...

    „Hope the plague drops you dead, Belevard, you and all your kin to ninth knee...“

    Exactly five days ago, around this time of the day, he was in the principle’s office of his, now old, Falkland school. And what was the first thing the principal had said to him, when he welcomed him inside, with his broad, sleek smile?

    „Congratulations! You fly to Niigara in four days!“

    There was no way to see himself from the side back then, but at that moment his jaw must had dropped to the floor.

    The moron Bosworth, the original candidate for the exchange students program, had embroiled another partition of huge troubles, typically in its style, from where came out crippled for several months ahead.

    And who was at the second place in the list with the candidates?

    His persona.

    Nobody had asked him whether he agreed or not. No one cared about how he was gonna feel or how his family was gonna to take it, or his friends, or his relatives... His refusal would have meant losing his scholarship and Reenactment club privileges completely, basically closing him all doors for the in-depth studying of the historical arts. He possibly couldn't afford to buy all the items he needed for this purpose on his own. He could just completely forget about it... Then it was probably coming the no recommendation letter for the university, the teachers starting to look him with different eyes, even sabotaging him, his father's career starting to suffer, et cetera...

    Although he was wondering now if his refusal wouldn’t have been the better decision. True, his heart was gonna be devastated after all the efforts he had put in, but still...

    -Kili ar issi? (All you all right)?

    He just wanted to shove off his face onto his knees as much as he can and begin to cry like a little bitch straight on the street...

    All of them... All of them...

    He could just forget to see them in the next few months...

    -A dragon to land on your house, Belevard, and on yours too, Bosworth...

    -Ooo, sillharner! (Oooh, a foreigner!) Khm... Are you all right? Are you feeling sick?

    „What?“

    Just now he realized that there was some presence around him.

    When he lifted his head out of his knees, one bespectacled face pooped up just a hand span from his'. Art suddenly felt disturbed and tried to get back, but he still couldn’t embed himself with the walls, so his try didn’t bring up the desired result. The man obviously understood his gesture pretty well, and as he was leaning over him, he stood up and stepped back, putting a solid distance between them.

    Art looked at him well – the man was tall, maybe half a hand span taller than him, with a pony tailed gray-blond hair and wearing small dioptric spectacles with elliptical glasses and thin metal frame. He wasn’t very old, maybe at around thirty, thirty-five, clean-shaven with a face spared from wrinkles and spruced up in black Conty’s suit with black vest and grey necktie on white diagonal stripes.

    The man backed off to the edge of the sidewalk, with his hand in his pockets, looking at him in curiosity.

    -No, no, don’t worry, i’m just resting for a bit. – replied Art after several seconds, getting up and thumped his clothes from the dust. – Excuse me, but are you from this city? – He assumed the man was. – I’m trying to get to the National High school Ilarys Shokudou, but i'm always hitting a dead end... – he closed to him and turned his smartphone with the city map towards him.

    In response, the man only giggled, which made Art raise his eyebrows in question.

    -Khm, forgive me. This Soar’s map is unsuitable. Several weeks ago, many users suddenly started to complain and it turned out to be that some bug occurred in the image reconstruction algorithm from the satellites. They were supposed to down the site right away, can’t believe them. – the man took his smartphone. – Let me show you a site with right maps. – he began to write something on his touchscreen. Then he turned the display towards Art. – Please, bookmark it. Otherwise, for Ilarys Shokudou, you need to go back this street a little bit, then on the first crossroad, you turn left and continue straight forward. This is gonna lead you to city-park „Alverte” – you cross it and after the apartment building you will be right in front the school. Usually, sometimes students from the school gather in the park, so you can also use this as a guidance. There is no way to get it wrong. And if you are still hesitant, just ask for direction some of them, if you happen to meet any. Most of them speak and understand falklanish well enough. Oh, and you can recognize them in their matte black uniforms and white shirts.

    During that time, Art bookmarked the site’s URL and opened it.

    -Thank you very much! – he said. Then it suddenly hit him and he bowed slightly.

    -No problem! I’m glad if i were of any help for you! – the man replied and hastily get going in the other direction. – Ima gonna hurry now that urgent tasks awaits me! Gan’na! (Good luck)!

    Art waved at him in response, took his backpack on his shoulders and left in the direction, which he was guided for.

    It didn’t took him much time to find it. But he was sincerely surprised about what he saw. The park looked more like huge kid’s playground, with sandy-clay overlay, surrounded by narrow green lawns on which huge vhynehaimese cherries were planted, blossomed in their magnificent white-pink colors.

    -Woow. – he was so amazed, that almost forgot where he was going. After all, the most delightful thing in Leichtè from this kind were the enormous stone pots with blue and green Issegem roses. For a moment, the doubts in heart were melted and something for a first time told him, that he was not going to regret the time spent here at all.

    He decided to loiter around a bit, looking around at this breath taking sight. After all, he was desperately late for school now – it was probably hardly going to change the first impression he was about make. Of course, he would have at least six months to enjoy Hirai’s beauty, and its surroundings probably, but person could never be sure what will happen to him in the future, so this now was totally worth it, he decided after all.

    Just one thing kept bugging him out – why there were no one in the park, considering what time of the day it was. Usually at this time of the day, Leichtè’s city parks were filling to the brim with sporting personas and kids, crawling left and right on the green and sand areas. Well, maybe people here had different view for the things from these in his home city and yet park this big... It was hardly here for nothing.

    Such thoughts were still loafing at his mind, when he turned around by one of the desolate wooden stall, maybe erstwhile shop for sweets.

    „Oh, matte black uniforms! Somebody from the school!“

    Just like the unknown man with the spectacles had told him. This, to some extend, excited him inwardly. Now he was gonna casually approach them, try to talk to them, tell them he is new here and ask them for directions, to make one or more contacts...

    „LOOOL, ARE THESE SWORDS THEY HOLD IN THEIR HANDS?!“

    Art froze in place.

    The boy closest to him, sensed his presence and turned.

    -(Oi!...) – he jogged the closest one to him.

    In a second, all four of them had turned towards Art.

    And from the sight, which was revealed before him, his blood chilled...

    -(Whatcha want?!) – said that, who was farthest from him.

    -Dafaq are you doing, hundreds of demons... – he whispered, still refusing to believe it.

    The girl, with her back leaned against the huge stone pot on the floor, was holding the vhynehaimese katana with a huge effort in front of her, desperately trying to keep the four boys at distance. Her left arm was lacerated, from shoulder almost down to the elbow, soaking her skirt, vest and shirt with her blood, as if it were going to run without stop forever.

    His stomach turned from the sight. For a first time he was seeing such terror in someone eyes...

    -Hey, what are you doing, do you want to kill her?! – he didn’t even realize that he began to spit in his mother language.

    He was about to take a step towards them, but the boy closest to him, suddenly raised his katana. Pointing the blade directly at his throat...

    -(Wh’re did this fucker came off?) – said the second boy to the third one.

    -(Oi, shove off, unless you wanna taste some of the same!!) – replied the farthest one, with the blood-stained katana.

    Art only blinked and sighed. He took a quick look over his shoulder, moved the both of them a bit, just to untight his bag’s straps. Really, he didn’t want at all to start his day like this, but...

    „It’s such a bad habit to always carry them on my back. I need to get rid of that...“ – thought Art.

    But to carry them on his shoulder in the city was gonna look kinda... strange.

    He abruptly left his backpack, with the roped scabbards on it, to drop on the ground, helping him to unsheathe more easily his type „XVIIIb” training longsword, according the Bossouliè typology and with a sudden oberhau, he smacked the head of the boy, who was holding the katana against him, with the flat of it. With the flat, for the simple reason to avoid the unlikely scenario in which he unintentionally unsheathed his sharp sword instead, and also that even with the blunt edge of his training blade, he could crack the skull of this moron.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Art was sure that the boy didn’t even see his hit and even before his eyes turned white and the others managed to say „wha...”, with more sudden mittelhau, he struck the second boy’s temple.

    The two boys dropped on the ground almost simultaneously. Art took right shoulder Vom Tag, looking at the left two boys one after another. He had taken a huge risk with his attack, since the boy’s katana were only half a meter before his throat and just only one passing step would have been enough from his side to thrust it in it. But it looked like that the bet he had taken was about to be fully justified. They had hardly anticipated for Art to dash at the four of them so suddenly in the same and maybe this was the reason for their messed up guards and stances. Only one quick gaze was all what he needed to ascertain that and make his final decision. After all, he had almost fifty percent chance of winning against two people, if the skills of his opponents were equal to his (and he assessed they are not so much sophisticated considering what he had saw up until now, but he could be wrong, who knows (because he hadn’t seen too much so far), and that is why he hadn’t accepted it to be one hundred percent true...). And if he was against the four of them at the same time – he had no freaking chance. Even if they were not skilled at all.

    -(You stupid bastard...) – snorted the farthest boy and a took stance similar to his Vom Tag.

    And this startled Art a bit. Because the boy’s stance was, so to say, perfect. There was nothing he could critique about it.

    He didn’t even realize how he squeezed his longsword’s grip even tighter – the only thing he felt, was the cold sweat on his back. This was the first time he had opponent with a sharp blade before him. Moreover, two of them. And he could be sure that they were hardly doing it for the intimidating effect on some novice, who was about to step for the first time in their club just to watch him tremble in fear and then laughed their lungs out at his expense, just like Art’s club loved to do sometimes (but only when the instructors and teachers were not around, of course!) with their freshmen back in Falkland (one time the teachers punished them so hard, because of Adam and Frett, their skins!). Actually, he was utterly convinced, that their intentions were to cut him to small pieces and maybe even beyond that. These circumstances certainly were enough to sweat up even the most hardcore HIMA practitioner, which were probably gonna make the Indenean system look like a miserable kid’s fight with sticks in the playground before their apartment buildings.

    -(Get behind him, i’m gonna keep him distracted!) – shouted the farthest boy, not even trembling, not even blinking and losing Art out of his sight.

    Art coulnd’t understand the meaning of his words, but the third boy momentarily began to move, trying to get on his flank. And maybe did it in the most moronic way ever – super casual, just jog beside him, with no guard of stance, nor using the appropriate martial arts steps.

    „Lol, this runt have no fucking idea about the range of the longsword...“

    Let show it to him...

    Taking advantage of the fact, that the farthest boy was at least at four meters of him, Art with a passing step and the flat of his sword, landed his next oberhau on the third’s boy head. The initial distance between them was almost three meters...

    „When you are stupid, go and lay down a bit next to the other ones.“

    Momentarily after his hit, Art took a defensive guard, expecting the farthest to be attacking him already. Once again he took huge risk, he was not even sure if he was gonna get him before they do it.

    Well, it seemed, today was the time for the surprises. Maybe once all this was over, he was gonna go buy some lottery tickets...

    His whole attention focused on the farthest boy, whose face became gravely serious. He was staring at Art so intensely, that he wasn’t even blinking...

    Good quality, gotta admit it. Art, with his full mind concentrated, was almost able to do it the same way.

    The boy only took a look at the third one and they stared back at him. His face distorted with a disgust, loathe...

    Art sink down just a tiny bit...

    The boy’s fingers unclenched and clenched, placing his palms even more firmly on the handle...

    He was ready.

    -Ma‘ir! (Coming!)

    And rushed like a snake at him.

    The boy with only several steps covered the distance between the two of them and with something similar to the Liennese oberhau tried to split his head open..

    Strange, after all the good impression he had of him, because of his stance and his guard, and his radiance on the whole, why was he making such an amateur mistake now?

    Art only performed the known to pain (in literal sense also) absetzen, blocking his opponent’s blade with his longsword’s guard and dashed its rounded tip straight onto the boy’s neck apple.

    [​IMG]

    He swear, this could stop the onrush of even the most hard-boiled macho. He had seen it many times before.

    And he saw it now.

    The boy just fell down on his knees, dropping his katana and began to choke so hard, is if he had swallowed some bone not of his taste.

    Art, without waiting at all, gave him one additional sole in his face, helping him faster to lay down to his brothers in arms. After that, he was kind enough to check if the boy had not accidentally swallowed his tongue, because he wouldn’t be able to pay his funeral if he happened to die because of that...

    Without more messing around, he took one of his shirts off the backpack and ran to the girl, who, not holding in hands her weapon anymore, was looking at him with widened from amazement eyes. Well, it seemed today was her lucky day...

    -(Let me see...) – he began on vhynehaimese, slowly and more uncertain, than he hoped to sound.

    He took her hand and gently moved her away from her wound.

    -(You shouldn’t have done that. You should had to listen to them and just turn back. And now only unnecessary problems await you. I was gonna make it... Somehow.)

    Art looked her. Strange, she looked so sad. For the seconds he was staring at her, as if her eyes blurred and she stopped to see him...

    „Fuck, she is going to lose consciousness soon!“

    -(Don’t move.) – he said.

    At first, he soaked as much of her blood as he could. The cut didn’t look much deep, but was possibly half a handspan long and didn’t stop bleeding.

    -(Phone? Call for help!) – he tightened his shirt around her arm.

    The girl groaned in agony.

    -(I’m sorry.)

    -(MEEEEEEEELLL!!!)

    The scream startled him and made him jump in place. When he turned, the only thing he saw, was the huge shadow, which overhang above him. It was so sudden, that he didn’t even realize when he had reached for his sword, holding the grip tightly in his hand.

    Instead, the new girl just kneed down to them, without even paying a tiny bit of attention to him as if for her he didn't exist.

    -(Mel! MEL!)

    -(Calm down, Ren. Everything is okay.) – she whispered. After that she relaxed her eyelids and head.

    -(MEEEEEELLLL!)

    -(To hospital. Losing blood.) – said Art.

    The newcomer girl only threw him a judging look. After that, she turned back and peeped at the fallen’s boys bodies. It seemed, that she was going to trust him, thought Art.

    -(The school is beyond this city park! Help me...)

    -(Leave to me. You lead.) – he said and as carefully as possible, took her on his hands. – (My things. Please.)

    The girl quickly looked around and the took his longsword, putting it back in his sheathe, and shouldered his backpack.

    -(Quickly!)

    They ran almost all the way. The wounded girl was groaning and puffing out of pain, despite all the gentleness and caution Art was putting in.

    Surely, a several people on the street in front of the school, were about to feint, when they saw them and, above all, at the look of the bloody scene. When they entered the school yard – which was relatively empty at this hour – even more people felt sick. He could definitely tell it, considering their surprised voices and screams which accompanied them on their way.

    -(Mel? MEL? HEY, WHAT’S HAPPENING?!)

    When he turned his head, he saw a group of people, approaching them fast. In front of them – the blond girl, which raised her voice, walked up to the other girl.

    -(NOT NOW!) – she cut her off quickly.

    -(But...) – the blonde didn’t give up.

    The girl just pushed her roughtly out of their way.

    -(Wha...)

    When they climbed the stairs, she opened and holded the door for him.

    -(C’mon, C’mon!) – she waved with her hand.

    Art was hurrying as fast as he can, but the moment the girl groaned in agony and pain, his heart was tearing apart and he was slowing down.

    -(Little more. We are here.) – he said.

    She moved slightly in his hands.

    They went inside. From the group of the blonde girl, only she followed them.

    -(Hey, are you gonna tell me dafaq is going on?) – she ran to the other girl and whispered to her.

    -(The moron Amemori...)

    He saw how the blonde girl shoulders slumped back a bit and she breathed heavily.

    -(Why did i expected it...)

    -(We are gonna talk about it later.) – interrupted her again the other girl.

    -(Hospital? Go to hospital?) – Art whispered.

    The two girls turned heads to him and pierced him with their stares so sharply, that he felt uncomfortable. Strange, why this made him feel this way? True, there was nothing special in this gesture of theirs, but maybe because they were all nervous and slightly scared, everything they were perceiving was distorted through the prism of their own sharpened senses. It couldn’t be otherwise in this situation...

    -(Don’t worry. This school’s facilities have more than enough medical equipment and qualified personnel to take care of her. Which is completely normal – considering the nature of our clubs...) – replied the girl, who was carrying his bag.

    Honestly, he didn’t even understand the half of what she had said, but, he thought, he caught the gist of the things. After all, his former school also had a first aid room. As she said – because of the nature of their clubs.

    - (Right here! C’mon!) – she opened another door and again hold it for him.

    -(Ren, What is it, what’s happening?) – a quick and worried voiced came from within.

    -(Sensei! Mel is wounded!)

    -(WHAT?!)

    Art went inside and the only thing he saw, was how the doc jumped off her chair and rushed at him.

    -(Quickly, put her over there! Bert! BERT!!!) – she screamed and pushed him carefully towards the operation table. – (BEEEEERT!!!)

    One of the side door opened with a crash and from there, one short and half-balded bespectacled man in the typical white medical collar busted in. He stumbled so badly, that at first Art frightened he was gonna fell and messed up his face, but the man with a neat, acrobatic movement managed to recover his balance and approached him. He decided, that this wasn’t the first time to ever happened to him – from the side it looked so overworked and overly trained, he would rather bet it was daily occur.

    Art helped him and the two of them put her on the table. The doc momentarily began unbinding his shirt.

    -(Don’t worry, Mel. Everything will be fine, i promise you.) – she whispered, with so much mother’s care and concern, that even he felt warm. Then she turned towards them. – (Go outside. It’s nothing serious, there is no need to worry.)

    -(But...)

    -(I said something, Ren! Out!) – said the doc and the bespectacled man as if received command, began to push them.

    -(Wha? Don‘t push, you!...) – snorted the blond girl.

    With no result. How did he know? When the man slammed the door behind them and left them hang in the corridor.

    The blonde girl puffed. Art saw how the people from her group showed in the corridor.

    Only now he began to realize what was happening to its full extent. His emotions began to overwhelm his mind one after another, as if a fierce storm was rising...

    At all, not at all he had imagined his first day in the new school to be something like that. He didn’t even know how to feel anymore about that...

    He slipped back on the wall, sitting on the floor, with no more desire of anything.

    The whole way from the park to here was just like some dream to him. Just like some ghost he had hover over the street, with no will to live, with no will to exist... How to accept all of this. Like a predestination that interesting and exciting future awaits him?

    -(Hey, are you okay? Are you hurt?) – popped up the face of the girl, who had founded them in the park, before his.

    Art raised his head and looked at her. Only now his mind began to perceive details about her persona. But he was engulfed right away in the aquamarine ocean of her eyes, as if they were the last thing he was ever going to see. Like his live was passing on a tape. And he stared... And stared... And stared...

    -(Hey?!) – something shook him. As if someone dropped ice bucket over him.

    When he turned abruptly, he saw her hand on his shoulder. And then looked at her – her face was only a hand span of his – he was ready again to submerge onto her fathomless ocean.

    Her lips looked so nice...

    -(Are-you-o-kay?!) – she repeated slowly, as if she was speaking to a moron. – (Are-you-woun-ded?)

    Art stood up, and she stood with him.

    -(It’s okay. No worry.) – he replied simply.

    -(Hey, will somebody explain to me what’s happening after all?) – said an unknown to him voice.

    Art and the girl turned. They saw the three girls and the two boys from the blondie’s group. The one, who had asked – a slim and elegant girl, maybe at a height of one-hundred and seventy centimeters with a hips long copper brown hair. She was wearing the typical (only now he could realize it in a more normal way) for their school...

    „WAIT A MINUTE?! IN WHICH SCHOOL AM I AT ALL?“

    Just now he did realize that. Was it possible, after all this commotion, that he ended somewhere else? In his hometown, especially in the city-center, in a radius of two hundred meters, they were maybe at least four schools...

    But after he put some thoughts, he decided: first, he was at the right place and second – even if he wasn’t, he didn’t care at all about it in this moment. Not and in this situation...

    And strangely why, the copper brown haired girl’s gaze had felt right at him. So insistently, that he began internally to feel uncomfortable, but firmly decided not to show it outside. He had not a tiny bit of fault about all this stuff, he didn’t even know dafaq was happening, hundreds of demons!

    -(The blockhead Amemori got Mel...) – saved him the blond girl.

    The copper brown-haired turned towards her. And then puffed.

    -(It was clear that something like this was gonna happen...) – she sighed.

    -(If it was clear, why you didn’t do something about it, huh?!) – raised a voice the girl from the park, stepping in front her.

    -(Hey, don’t put your emotions on me, i have not a single fault about what happened!) – the copper brown-haired shoved her finger onto the park girl’s face.

    The blonde one stepped between them and pushed them back with her palms not so gently.

    -(Calm down for a bit, will ya?! Not waste your energy on each others!) – her voice was so bitter, that Art thought she was gonna spit on the floor.

    The girls from the park only blinked for a long and took a deep breath.

    -(Yes. You are right. I’m sorry.)

    The girl with the copper brown hair didn’t reply – only looked her continuously, crossing her hands below her chest. After that, she turned straight at him and pierced him with her gaze.

    The girl from the park did the same. After a moment, the whole group was staring at him, and Art just wanted to became one with the floor...

    -(Will you tell me what happened, please?)

    Art felt extremely embarrassed, because couldn’t understand almost anything of what they were talking. So, he decided to put them in his own tempo....

    -I’m sorry, but i can’t understand much. Did someone of you knows falklanish? – he directly began on his mother tongue.

    The girl from the park and the blonde one only looked each other. The copper brown haired put her hands down and made a step towards him. Her expression became so serious (yes, even more...), that Art stepped back, as if she was gonna slap him like a bitch.

    -Of course we know...... – replied the girl from the park.

    -We are not falklanish... – said the blondie.

    Several people from the group laughed. The copper brown-haired nudged her in the stomach.

    Art would be offended by her commentary... if he was hearing it for the first time. In his old school, because the school was international and had gathered people from all around the Inden, and on the continent there was almost no one, who didn’t hate his neighbors, he and his friend all the time sworn at each others in similar manner. But of course, they did it more politely and civilized, as it was appropriate of a people from the middle of the 21st century.

    That is why, together with these several people from the group, he also laughed. And the rest of them just shut and looked at him in bewilderment. Especially the blonde one, who had thrown the comment.

    -Don’t mind her. – began the copper brown-haired one on falklanish. – They have dropped her on her head when she was a little...

    -(Fu...) – she was about to dash at her, but now it was turn for the city-park girl to nudge her with her elbow in her stomach.

    -Quit it, Rio. – and then she turned towards him. – Well, will you tell us about what happened?

    He gotta admit it, the three of them spoke his language with almost no accent. But considering that it was probably the easiest speech to learn on this planet, he was not surprised at all.

    -Wellll, while i was walking to the school, i met these four boys in matte black uniforms and decided to talk to them, since from now on we were going to be schoolmates and to make some new contacts, but then i saw that they had surrounded that girl, then they tried to rush and me, so i just beat them up a little...

    -WHAT? THE FOUR OF THEM? AT THE SAME TIME? – goggled her eyes the blondie girl, which they had called Rio.

    Art just smiled carelessly and shrugged.

    Rio’s jaw dropped.

    -Wait a minute! You said, that from now on you were going to be schoolmates with them, which technically means you are going to be ours schoolmate also? – stepped infront one other girl from the group.

    Art looked her thoroughly. She had the same hair colour like the copper brown-haired one and the same copper brown eyes, so he decide they must be sisters. With the difference that the end of her hair was barely touching her shoulders and part of her fringe was hairpined behind her ear with a small ribbon clip.

    He was about to reply, when the copper brown haired one did it first:

    -Isn’t it obvious, Akio? This right here is the foreign transfer student, for who the director Elliver had told us this morning during the student council meeting.

    The girl looked at the two of them one after another, is if she was questioning her words. At the end, she hold her eyes on him, staring as if with awe and amazement. Art just smiled innocently, scratching behind his neck there, where it wasn't itchy.

    -Yes, that explains these eastern indenean longswords, which he is carrying. A sight almost impossible to be seen here... – said the girl from the city park, put his bag off her back and returned it to him.

    -Oh, thank you very much. – he replied and took it hastily from her. He had completely forgotten about it..

    Then his look stopped on something on his shirt. His whole sweater was covered in blood. She also noticed it.

    -Sensei will need certain amount of time to take care of Mel. Come, i’ll show you where the changing rooms are. I suppose you have another clothes in this backpack?

    -Yes, i have. Thank you.

    -If i’m not here when sensei is ready, call me right away! – she said..

    -Yeah, yeah, c’mon, get lost... – sho them away with a hand Rio, is if they some annoying insects.

    The two of them get going. Just now it came to his mind to look around the corridor. Generally, it wasn’t so different from these back in Falkland. He realized that didn’t even know what the school looks like outside...

    -Amemori... – she suddenly begun. – Khm, i mean the boy, who wounded Mel. He is one of the best in our club for Historical Reenactments. How did you managed to deal with him? – she turned to him. – And with the four of them? They were probably one of the best in your club...

    Art stared at her for a few seconds.

    -Just decided to surprise them and attack suddenly. There was just no way for me to left this girl in their hands and this was my only opportunity. Until they realized what’s going on, they were two less. After that... Well, it’s much easier to fight two than four. I suppose that not knowing the mainland indenean martial arts and mainland indenean weaponry played them a bad one...

    -Yes, it must have been like you said. In here, very often we like to overpraise ours and underestimate yours. And the truth is always somewhere in between... This girl... – she suddenly stopped and turned towards him, whereby Art also stopped. The girl, you saved... She... She is my best friend. – and suddenly she bowed down deeply, saying with a clear, but trembling voice: – Thank you from the bottom of my heart about this!

    Art stood like frozen, not knowing what to say.

    -I... I... I suppose everyone would have done it for her. – he muttered.

    The girl looked him with her aquamarine eyes. Again, Art had the feeling he was sinking in them. Just now he looked her thoroughly. She was maybe around meter and sixty centimeters tall, with hair, reaching down her hips. Her uniform consisted of a velvet vest, cleverly made to looks like a corset, a white shirt, matte black suit and a skirt, reaching a hand span above her knee.

    -I doubt it. – she said and get going again.

    Art followed her. Only after a minute, they were at the sport’s wing.

    -This is the female changing room. – she said, when they passed it. – If you value your life, don’t even think to try peeping. – she said seriously. – No matter how inventive you are, they will always catch you. Especially Reina...

    -Meh, don’t worry, i’m not that much reprobate. – he giggled.

    In the first moment she frowned against him, but then her face relaxed and she also laughed.

    -You can joke about it, but it wouldn’t be bad to take my advice seriously. Do you want to know what happened with the last three, who tried to peek from outside? That blonde girl, Rioko, have a sister, who usually is super shy and socially awkward. All closed in herself and not good at all with talking to the others and these three morons, for their unfortune, happened to see her changing. First piece of useful information: she can fire six arrows with forty-five pound bow for two point five seconds. Second piece of useful information: just because of her character traits, that i had described you, she is always carrying it with her, along with her arrows... These three morons couldn’t sat on their miserable asses for a months after that...

    Art just laughed joyfully.

    -Oooh, Har is gonna like her, then! We need to introduce them to each other...

    -What? Who, hundreds of demons, is „Har“?

    -Schoolmate of mine. Also...

    -Phh, forget it, i don’t think it’s ever going to happen. – she stopped to a door. – This is the male changing room. Here you can peek as much as you want – nobody is gonna ostracize you or gonna shoot you...

    He smiled against her.

    -Really, thank you for your help. Alone i would probably end lost in the first few minutes.

    -What are you talking about. I am the one, who will be eternally thankful for what you have done for us.

    -Oh, please, don’t speak like that. – he again scratched behind her neck, there where it wasn’t itching. – You are making me feel a burden from which i feel like i will never be able to get rid off. I’m sure that you would do the same for me...

    She just smiled at him somehow sad. Art replied the same way and opened the door.

    But at the threshold, he stopped. And turned.

    -Do you know what is strange? That we had talked to each other so much now and still haven’t introduced to each other...

    The girl looked at him with dropped jaw, as if they had just caught her in a transgression, which was gonna taint her for a life...

    -I’m really sorry! – she said fast and nervous, bowing deep. – I’m sorry! I’m Ren! Kirisaki Ren! It’s nice to meet you!

    She stayed like this for a seconds. Was she excepting something from him? He decided just to imitate her. Also bowed and said:

    -I’m Art. It’s nice to meet you!

    He saw how she straighten. He followed up.

    -Well, i’m gonna wait you.

    Art turned and entered.

    The changing room was huge. Perhaps, even a hundred people could be in there simultaneously, doing their stuff without a problem. He left his bag on one of the benches and took off his sweater.

    „Great, just great...“

    He snorted. His t-shirt was also covered in blood.

    He took it off also. Then he washed the blood off his body on the sink and put on new t-shirt and sweater. The question now was, what is he gonna do with the dirty ones? If he just put them back in his bag, there would be such a mess...

    Didn’t took he much time to figured it out. First, he folded his sweater on a ball with the dirty side inside and covered it with his blooded shirt. Then he sacrificed another one of his sweaters, wrapping them up nicely and put them in his backpack. Well, what would happen will happen... Anyway, he was gonna wash them when he settle in his dormitory...

    He shouldered his backpack and left. Outside, Ren was leaning back towards the wall, with her arms crossed below her chest and was waiting for him.

    -Well, what do you think about your new school? Beside the unpleasant impression for now...

    Art just smiled and the two of them began their return to the doc’s office.

    -In Leichtè, when they accepted me to learn the medieval indenean martial arts more academically for a first time, the upper-class students had something like a tradition to put some very nasty pranks on the novices. One from the student council, Ronson, usually is shorter for his age and without a problem could pass for a rookie. And guess what was his favorite thing to do – to bunch up with the newcomers and start provoking them.

    -Lol, this sounds super messed up...

    -Well, it probably is. But back then i was a stupid arrogant kid, all euphoric and excited about the whole story with my acceptation and then guess... First i took his bate, then i bate his blade. I have never been beaten up so much in my whole life combined. Only when i remembered it now, it put me at laughs how pitiful it was. – he giggled.

    -Looking at you now, it’s almost impossible to believe it.

    -Well, maybe. But that was the event, after which i decided to start training even harder and take everything even more seriously.

    -Then something meaningful had followed from all these negative events.

    -Yes, it can be put that way.

    -Did you take your revenge after that?

    -Well, no. – he nervously giggled, scratching behind his neck.

    -What? Why, is he so much better than you?

    -Well, no, but for the time i managed to become good enough, we actually became very good friends. – he continued to giggle.

    Ren was looking at him in disbelieve.

    -And actually, a very big portion of my skill i have learned from him.

    -Fooks...

    -Well, what can you do. Some people have very perverted sense of humor. I think Adam still holds a grudge against him and is just waiting the right time to get it back at him with all the interests. Because some days after he beat me, Ronson also beat and Adam, and even worse than me. – he again laughed nervously.

    Ren just smiled against him.

    -I’m glad to see, that you have so many friends, for which you talk with a smile, when think of them. Despite the distance, which separates you.

    -Yeah, me too. Just all this reminds me of Falkland so much. Supposedly a new school, new people, new environment, but in the same time everything looks so close and familiar, that sometimes i had the feeling i’m still back in Leichtè... – he said while looking around.

    Ren didn’t say anything. The atmosphere between them suddenly became so heavy, Art for some unknown reason felt super awkward.

    The rest of the way to the doc’s office passed in complete silence.

    When they turned on the corridor, they saw how the doc’s office door was widely open and the rest had gathered around it.

    As soon as she saw this, Ren make a run for it.

    -(Sensei, what happened?!) – she shouted.

    -(Don’t worry, Mel is fine. The only problem is that she lost a bit too much blood and it wouldn’t be bad to do a little transfusion...)

    -(For fuck sake! Mine type is O-positive, can’t donate her my blood!...)

    -(Anyone here with O-negative?)

    -(Nope, mine is AB...) – said Rioko.

    -(Me too...) – said and Akio. – (Someone else?)

    -(Nope...)

    -(Me too...)

    The people began to look around and at each other, while searching for someone suitable. Alas, no one seemed to be fit for the job. No one, except...

    -(Well...) – began Art cautiously.

    Suddenly, everyone turned to him, piercing him again with their gazes in wait, is if he was gonna tell them, that he had won several millions from the lottery...

    -(I am type O-negative.) – he said.

    Ren’s eyes shone. But before she could manage to said something, the doc grabbed his hand and dragged him in her office.

    -(Do you have aids? What about hepatitis? Heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes. Performed surgery during the last six months? Antibiotics during the last week? Pot? Drugs...)

    -(Sensei, i don't think Art understands even a word of what you are saying...) – had followed them Ren.

    The doc stopped and looked her surprised.

    -(This is Art – our new foreign transfer student from Falkland.) – explained Ren.

    -(Oooh, a foreigner! Excellent!) – she turned excited towards him and change it completely on falklanish. – Welcome, welcome! How are you? Hihihihi, what an irony... We are gonna drain you bloodless on the very first day, hehehe...

    The doc continued to giggle under her nose merrily for a quite some time, while leading him towards one of the side rooms.

    -(MEL!!) – Ren rushed towards her as soon as she saw her. – (How are you feeling? Do you want something?) – she dropped on her knees next to her bed and took in her palms her non-wounded hand.

    Only with a glance, Art could tell that she wasn’t feeling particularly well. Mainly because she looked a pale like a canvas – as if her spirit had left her body...

    -(Don’t worry, Ren, i’m fine. Sensei took care of me.) – she looked to her bandaged arm and shoulder, rendered immobile with a strap over her neck.

    -(Ren, don’t agitate her to much, leave her alone for a bit. What she needs right now is not you, but a rest.)

    Ren turned towards her and looked her with her teared eyes.

    -(Thanks you so much, Sensei!) – she hugged her.

    The doc just smiled a little bit.

    -Lay down here, Art. In a second i’ll start all the necessary tests and ready you for the transfusion. Ren, you and the others should return to your classes. We are not gonna finish up soon here. I’ll call you when is all over.

    -All right, i’ll tell the others. But forget shoving me off this time, sensei... – she pouted.

    The doc again just smiled a tiny bit and walked into one of the side rooms. Ren also got up and left.

    Again, an awkward silence arose. He was hearing how his heart was beating loudly in his chest. His thoughts were jumping from one to another, chaotically, like some herd of wild animals, being chased by lions. When he was able to stop and just think for a bit, everything was seeming so surrealistic and non-real, is if it was from some dream. He had the feeling, that long hours had passed already from all these events...

    -(Hey...) – he heard a silent voice from his side.

    As he was deep in his thoughs, he suddenly startled. As if his mind momentarily froze and became a huge black picture, engulfing everything, that tried to pop up. He turned his head slowly, as he was expecting to see a demon, that had came here to pronounce his final verdict.

    But instead of that, he saw dark blue ocean, which devoured his entire consciousness. And a face, that smiled in sadness and fatigue.

    -(What you did for me and now you are to get off your way again... I really thank you from the bottom of my heart. Although i sadden myself every time for tangling you into my deepest woes. And so sorry for troubling you much...)

    „Hundreds of demons, can’t even understand a portion of what she is talking!“ – he thought.

    Along all the commotion that had happened, when they told him, that after a few days he was gonna fly to here and along the things he had to do and get ready, he only managed to learn around one-hundred, two-hundred vhynehaimese words and several more common phrases... But it was obvious, that here no one was able to understand him, when he tried to use them in practice. He had said to himself, that he was going to get in line as fast as he can. And he had a plans to do so after all this commotion ends, and, he hoped – with happy ending...

    That’s why he just decided to smile at her slightly, hoping that it wouldn’t be strange, inappropriate or just plainly perverted.

    The girl’s face didn’t change his nuance much, so he decided that he had hit the right nail on the head. And he was just searching the suitable words from his poor repertoire to try and say something to her, when the doc got back. And the things, she was holding in her hand, made him shivers. He couldn’t explain to himself how the sensei managed to see it, but her smile momentarily shone on her face...

    -Oooh, disliking needles, hm? Don’t worry – i’m gonna do my best for you to feel nothing.

    Art frowned a bit and turned his head the other side to avoid her look. Suddenly, he couldn’t bare to stand her smug phiz at all.

    -You can say so. I have and instinct to try and keep away from me all the metal things they point at me.

    -Haha, i understand. C’mon, up your sleeve, it’s gonna end before you could feel it...

    „That’s what someone said to you last night...“ – he puffed and began to wrap up his sleeve without any hurry.

    The doc disinfected the area from which she was gonna pull the blood. Art had turned his head away and was really forcing himself not to look, because he didn’t know what his instinct was gonna do if he pushed to far...

    -C’mon, you are ready, hold your cotton... – she suddenly said.

    He turned his head sharply towards her and looked her surprised.

    -E-excuse me?

    -I told you, that you are not gonna feel anything. – she smiled to him. - Here.

    Art took the cotton piece and look and at his arm. Down there, on his forearm, almost to the elbow joint, a small red dot contrasted on his skin.

    There was just no way not to look at her in amazement again...

    -Ima gonna do your blood tests now. It will take around an hour and then we will proceed with the transfusion. You can talk to each other during that time, but don’t get too excited. Mel knows falklanish to a good enough level to understand each other, so you will have no problems. – she turned towards the girl.

    And Mel during this whole time was looking at them unintelligibly, wondering why these two were prattling non-stop on a falklanish...

    -Ooh, i see now. – she began.

    -Yes, this is our new foreign exchange student from Falkland, Art. – the doc explained.

    The girl only bowed a little bit as she was on the bed.

    -My name is Kinohina Meari. My friends call me Mel. It’s nice to meet you. – she said lowly with her tired voice.

    As was followed, Art also bowed a bit..

    -It’s nice to meet you too.

    -Well, i’m leaving you for now. Will be back here in about an hour. If there is something or if you need something – do not hesitate to call me.

    Only a few seconds after the doc went in her side room, Ren turned back and sat at the corner of Meari’s bed.

    -I talked to the others, i’ve told them that there is no point for all of them to wait for us and that they should return to their classes. Rioko was a little bit persistent at first, but after a few slaps made her mind. Hion insisted that we should call her out after all of this is over.

    -I’m sorry for getting all of you involved in my mess. I feel really terrible...

    -Hey, don’t think about this. We will gonna sort it all somehow... – she gently put her hand on her cheek.

    Mel only turned her head, avoiding her gaze. Art saw how her eyes teared up...

    -Well, mister foreign exchange student, we gotta figure it out how are we gonna thank you for trashing your first day in your new school...

    -Lol, don’t worry. I was already hopelessly late. Because i got lost. Picked up the Soar’s map and was wandering around for who knows how much time. Then i meet a person, who helped me visualize the whole picture and made me find my way...

    At first, Ren looked at him with her raised eyebrows.

    Then she laughed out loudly and cheerfully. Even Art had felt it – he wasn’t offended at all, because she was laughing with her whole heart.

    -Well, to be honest, if that had happened to someone else and he had told me the same story, my reaction would probably be the same. – he smiled.

    -No, this is just not real... – she continued, amused. – But don’t worry yourself, tomorrow we are gonna fix everything. I’ll even help you if need demands it. There are quite a lot girls, who will be captivated by you. Even here. – she winked at him seductively.

    -Ren!!! – frowned Meari. – You are being rude, please behave yourself.

    -Hehe, excuse me. – she giggled with a grace, not taking her lascivious gaze off him.

    Art just turned almost unnoticeable, breaking the visual contact between the two of them.

    „Gods, gods, what did i get onto... I bet that this thing will turn out to be some energy-overexcited masochistic maniac...“

    -Let’s talk about something different, then! I’m very curious to learn how did you managed to beat all these four boys at the same time? Do you remember the details? I’m very, but very very curious to learn, of course if you don’t mind to speak about it...

    „Rejoice! At last a normal atmosphere with no expletive dramatics and perverted tosses!“

    Seriously, what if he do a sacrifice to some demon, just to keep it that way at least till the end of the day!

    -No, i don’t mind, of course. I noticed that many people couldn’t remember their exact actions, but with the years of training i have leared to do that, so i can analyze my moves and errors. But whatever. Is any of you familiar with the HIMA system? The Historical Indenian Martial Arts?

    -No, honest to say. As you are probably familiar, for a very long period of your history, Vhinhym had a policy of isolationism towards Inden and then towards the rest of the world, and our people have gradually began to worship our culture and despise all others. In here is still considered non-prestigious and even offensive to inject elements from foreign cultures, to divert from the traditional arts at the expense of these of the east and so on and so on...

    Art just sighed deeply.

    -Well, what can you do, no one is perfect. But it seems that your principal doesn’t think that way at all.

    -Yes, yes! – Ren’s eyes shone right away and she jumped slightly on the bed, squeezing her palms in enthusiastic fists. – Principal Elliver is very very open-minded and broad-sided person, who didn’t at all get affected by the prejudices of the modern society. I’m sure with him, great times awaits our school!

    -If you say so. So basically, this is what happened: judging by the look of those boys, their relaxed stances and guards, i decided that i can surprise them and create for myself a slight advantage by eliminating one or two, with more luck even three of them, before they manage to react and put themselves in readiness. It seems, as you said, here no one is familiar with the Liennese’s school of fencing and with our weapons, because they were siting well in my range without realizing it, thinking there is no way to get them. Therefore, first with an oberhau...

    -Excuse me? What, for gods sake, is an oberhau? – interrupted him right away Ren.

    Art wanted to puff, but restrained himself. He supposed that this was gonna happen a lot from now on...

    -Stëfler, Bayern, Zeipel and the other medieval swordmasters describes three basic methods of attack with a longswords. This is, of course, accordingly to the Liennese’s school of fencing. First, you have „hauen“ or the so called hews. It is basically a hewing strike with one of the sword’s edges. There are three types of „hauen“: first „over hew“, called „oberhau“, which is a strike delivered from above the attacker. Then „middle hew“ – „mittelhau“ – a strike delivered from side to side and then „under hew“ – „unterhau“ – a strike delivered from below the attacker. The other two methods are „stechen“ and „abschneiden“. „Stechen“ is a thrusting attack, made with the point of the sword, and „abschneiden“ are slicing attacks made with the edge of the sword by placing the edge against the body of the opponent and then pushing or pulling the blade along it.

    -Oh, i understand. Sorry for interrupting you.

    -So, then, first with an oberhau i smacked the closest boy to me in the head, with the flat of the sword of course, which instantly knocked him out and a moment later, i stroke the second boy with a mittelhau on his temple, rendering him unconscious also. Then i took a defense guard, expecting the rest two boys to attack me momentarily, but no one of them didn’t even move. Only if i knew that they will not react and counterattack me in some way, it is possible that i could have been able to knock out and the third one but, alas, how could i know... Then the boy, which had wounded you, said something and the other one tried to get around me, but, just as it happened with the other two, it didn’t realize my range, so i smacked with an oberhau also, dropping him off to lay on the ground for a bit. Then, the last boy shouted something and rushed towards me. I must have admit it, his strike was very fast, but elementary, something similar to the Liennese oberhau, for which there is a perfect counterattack – the so called „absetzen“, an „off-setting“, which is a deflecting a thrust or a hew as the same time as stabbing. In a more simple manner – i just raised my sword, blocking his strike with my guard, while thrusting him in the same time in the neck’s apple. Then i kicked him a sole in the face, so not suffer anymore. Well, of course, i needed to check if he had not swallowed his tongue, ‘cuz i smacked him pretty hard in the neck, and this also had personally happened to me several times before, sooo...

    -Wooow, this sounds super cool! – began with an eyes sparkling with excitement Ren. – I don’t know about you, Mel, but the Liennese’s school of fencing just had won a zealous fan! Will you teach me, Art? Will you teach me?! – she literally get on her palms and knees in the bed, leaning towards him.

    -Weeell...

    -Please! Pleeeeease!!!! – she leaned even more.

    -Uphh, all right. But it will not be easy, you know...

    -Ha! – she jumped sharply off the bed, making Mel to groan, and raised her fisted hand before her, is if she was going to beat someone. – The difficult doesn’t scare me! Wow, finally even i will be able to fight with several people at the same time!

    -I told you that it was more of a mere luck, because i caught them off guard... If you really wanna fight several people at the same time, the Falkland’s and Oderon’s schools of fencing have more appropriate styles for that. But you’ll need a lots of additional training, especially because you need to build a certain stamina and muscle strength for their weapons, which are zweihanders, montantes and other big pole two-handed swords...

    -Oooh, but i’m strong! Look! – she rolled up her sleeve and showed her slightly muscular arm – respectful, and yet gentle, without losing even a portion of her elegant femininity.

    Meari giggled. The two of them look at her. And also smiled. This have so much reminded him of the casual talks with his friends, that there was no way he couldn’t remember right away about home. And this saddened him internally.

    But he didn’t dare to show it, to not ruin this jolly atmosphere. He though that they all needed it after all these unfortunate events.

    -My friend, Frou, is extremely potent just in these styles. Maybe i should introduce you to him in the future.

    -Why, are you not so good at them?

    -Well, no, i can handle them, i’m regularly training with my montante, but my main focus is on the Liennese’s school of fencing and the fight with longswords.

    -Why did you choose Liennese’s exactly when you are from Falkland? – asked Meari.

    -Weeell, when i was a little boy, when i started to do sword fighting, Liennese’s school of fencing was my first touch with the HIMA system, and decided that this is where i’m gonna put my time on. Over the time i started to study the other schools also, like Falklanish, Oderonean, Montgisardean, Deliarese and Ferinese, but the Liennese remained the main focus of my training. And maybe because it is the one best documented and with the most sources, survived from the past...

    -And from how long are you training?

    -Weeell... – Art looked at the ceiling, is if the answer was written there. – From when i was about five-six years old. Maybe twelve-thirteen years now.

    The two girls stared him in disbelief.

    -Twelve-thirteen years?! Well, Art, most of us are training from three-four years, at it’s max. Only a few people in our club, i think, have been training for more than ten years. But for the moron Amemori and his squirts the time is no more than six years, i can guarantee it. Trust me, it wasn’t just pure luck, that you messed them. There is no way to be...

    -He-he, if you say so... – he scratched again behind her neck and smiled a little bit.

    -Pfff, can’t wait for tomorrow to come! – began excited Ren. – I’m sure, that our club of Historical Reenactment will be right at your taste. I believe that we will learn so much from each other!

    -Me too, Ren.

    -From which class are you gonna be, by the way?

    -Weeell, i don’t have a clue. This morning i was supposed to go check myself in the student council and finish my documents, as well the club papers buuut... It didn’t exactly went as i planned.

    -Don’t worry, we will manage to patch it up somehow. Hion is sure to shown up at some time, i’m hundred percent sure and she is the student council president, so you can depend on her...

    -Excuse me, but... Who is Hion? – he smiled innocently.

    -Ooh, sorry for mine improvidence. Hion is the girl with the long copper-brown hair. The tall and slim?

    -Yes, yes, i remembered.

    -If she look at you as if she is gonna kill you with just a gaze, don’t mind her. She is always looking like that. – Ren laughed. – Just don’t do stupid things and you will not bestow her anger upon you. And trust me – you don’t want that to happen. – she laughed again. But this time more monotonously and above all – nervously.

    -I’ll bear it in mind...

    Suddenly, the outer door opened with a slam...

    -(Whaa?!...) – he heard the doc’s outraged voice from the other room.

    -(MEL! MEL!)

    -(Hundreds of demons, Nym, don’t shout if you please, you are in a nurse office. You are gonna awake even the dead...)

    -(WHAT?! MEEEEELLLL!!!)

    -(Just kidding, your sister is...)

    The room’s door opened, again with a thunder and crash. On the threshold stopped a girl, tightly followed by the doc. And when she saw them, a huge sigh of relief emerged from her chest.

    Art looked at her – she was wearing the typical for the school female uniform, but the thing, that caught his eye the most was the saya in her hand. And, he was ready to bet his tomorrow’s breakfast, that the katana in there was extremely sharp and ready to spill blood...

    „Oh, for fuck sake! Can i have just one peaceful moment in here?!“ – he puffed quietly.

    She had the same night blue hair, maybe a shade lighter than Meari, also long to her waist, but her eyes, instead of the deep dark blue color of the wounded girl, were brownish-red, having nothing common with hers. Despite that, the similarities between them were so obvious, he decided they must be sisters.

    Her gaze stopped at Meari and she rushed to her bed, kneeing down and hugging her gently.

    „Yup, totally sisters...“

    -(Don’t worry, neesan, i’m fine. There was no need for you to leave your classes to come here...) – said Meari.

    -(What are you talking about, for gods sake?!) – she put her free hand on Mel’s nonwounded shoulder. – (Who did this?! Tell me!)

    -(No, neesan! I don’t want you to get in prison because of this...)

    -(Listen, Mel.....)

    -(Hey, Nym!) – the doc interfered decisively and pulled her away from the girl. – (Let her rest, later you will resolve the problems between you...)

    -(Sensei, don’t intervene! This is between u...)

    -(HEY! Don’t dare speak to me with such voice if don’t to throw you out of my office!)

    -(Don’t fight, please! We’ll talk it through later, neesan. Really, nothing serious had happened...)

    -(Dafaq are you talking about...) – she tried to get close to Meari, but the doc hold her firmly.

    -(Kinohina-san...) – she looked her under her eyebrows.

    The girl only blinked for a long and puffed.

    -(I’m sorry. Forgive me, sensei.)

    The girl again kneed to Mel and hugged her gently. In a way only how a mother could.

    -(I’m so glad you are okay.) – she whispered. And then stood up, looking at the doctor. – (Sensei, do you need something? Can i assist you in some way?)

    -Worry about nothing, lady Nym, the young gentleman here took care of everything.

    The girl looked at the doc surprised and turned towards him.

    -This is Art from Falkland. He is our new foreign exchange student. He was the one, who first found your sister and helped her.

    Nym bowed to him.

    -My name is Kinohina Nym. Thank you for everything that you did for my sister. – she said with a voice, filled with gratitude and appreciation.

    Art also bowed slightly, as he was laying.

    -It is nice to meet you. – he didn’t know what more to say.

    Nym also sat on her sister’s bed, on the other side of Ren.

    -Don’t make yourself too comfortable, we will begin the transfusion not before long... – said the doc.

    -Transfusion? – looked at her surprised Nym.

    -Yes, she’ll need a little. But don’t worry, as i said, it’s nothing serious.

    -I’m sorry, my type is an A-negative, i can’t donate blood to her. Did you find a donor?

    The doc only nodded at him. Nym turned and looked him as if with a mixture of surprise and admiration.

    Art only smiled innocently.

    -Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heard. – once again she bowed to him.

    -Don’t worry yourself. I’m sure you would do the same for me.

    She smiled at him slightly.

    -Right, your blood tests, Art, are almost done, we will proceed with the transfusion in a short. Don’t get too exited. – the doc returned in her room.

    And Art one again found himself telling the whole story from the beginning. But it was good that this time Nym wasn’t as insistent as Ren and she didn’t ask to hear everything to the smallest detail, nor after that decided to became such zealous admirer of him, as to begin begging him to teach her in the niceties of the Historical Indenean Martial Arts. He just felt the huge awe and respect radiating from her towards his persona and as if this was all enough for her.

    In more or less ten minutes after Art had finished his stories and their attention shifted toward others, more general and overall subjects, the doc showed up, together with her assistant, Bert, the short, balding bespectacled man, who seemed to him to be very quiet and indrawn, to proceed with the transfusion procedure. According to the tests, his blood was perfect for this purpose – he had no diseases nor traces of illicit or prohibited substances (seriously, he was going to be really surprised if it was otherwise...), as well that the ratio and the quantity of his erythrocytes and leukocytes, and his blood plasma are in the normal limits.

    They quickly get rid off Ren and Nym from Mel’s bed and began to prepare her and Art the medical procedure. Really, he had the feeling, that as if the doc had magical hand, because he didn’t feel anything again. He started to watch how his blood go through the infusion tube, slowly and smoothly, traveling the relatively long path to the girl’s hand.

    How ironic. From today, she was going to be his sister in trouble...

    So much, that he even giggled quietly...

    -What is it? – asked the doc.

    -Nothing, just thoughts of life. – he replied with a happy note.

    -I see. But don’t get too much excited. Just relax and thing about nice, pleasant things. This is gonna take a long, so you will probably feel bored at some time...

    Art decided to listen to her advice and just leaned back as much as he can, staring at the white ceiling. And this had served him as a canvas for his fantasies. A colorless painting, on which he could imagine and draw everything, that has coming to his mind. That’s why in the next half an hour, he just indulged in his memories. About his friends. About their experiences together. About how he had met them. And where. What were the first words, they spoke to each other. About the stupid things they did together. About the fooleries, when the staff managed to catch them. About times of joy and times of cry. About the countless birthday parties and other meetings. About the many reached out hands. And their training, and long, sometimes boring classes, they thought they were completely useless.

    There were so much things, he thought he could wrote a huge volumes of novels about them. Strange, how he was able to remember so many things about the past times? Was the white ceiling the main cause about all this stuff? That helped him to clear out his mind and concentrate as never before, so he can reach deep down to his consciousness limits, where all his memories were ready to emerge in the moment he touches them.

    Maybe he could never have an answer to this question.

    He thought and about the present. Again. About what happened on his very first day. About the people, he had met until now.

    And about the future. What was it holding for him? What was he gonna experience with there new people? Was he able to live through all this again? Or something unexpected was bound to happen, which was gonna crush all his plans and confuse his whole world?

    He didn’t know. He couldn’t tell. And this was the charm of the unknown.

    Nym and Ren were talking quietly in one of the corners. The doc and Bert were closely overseeing the blood transfusion procedure. Their calm faces and motions were giving Art and Mel additional self-confidence and assurance. As if they were their home, their fortress, were nothing from the outside world could reach them.

    Somewhere at the final, Bert and the doc left the room. It was for no more that half a minute, but in the end only she returned.

    For the rest of the time, he could barely remember the things they’ve talked about. The only thing he could remember was how he was feeling colder and colder. So much, that he even shiver...

    -Art? Are you alright?

    -Yes. Only feeling a bit cold.

    -Right. Give me a moment, please.

    The doc left the room again and after a while returned with a very nice looking, thick blanked.

    -Here, like this... – she covered him carefully, leaving only his arm open. – Is this good now?

    -It’s incredible, doc. As if i’m right at home. Not mind to take a nap for the rest of the time? – he closed his eyes.

    -No, of course. Want a lullaby?

    -Hah, why not, Doc. – Art thought she was joking.

    But instead, he put her hand on his forehead and began humming some unknown to him melody... Just like his mother and his father did, when he was little. And just like he was doing something, when trying to put his little sisters to sleep.

    It became so warm and pleasant, that he didn’t remember when he fall asleep.

    He didn’t dream of anything. Just infinite black canvas...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
    Ahmya likes this.
  3. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    He opened eyes..

    But he couldn’t understand if it was because something suddenly worried him, or that his mind didn’t have the need to rest anymore.

    And the first thing his eyes focused, was the Ren’s face. Only at a hand span from his...

    -Umm, Ren? What are you doing? – he whispered. By some reason, he felt that he didn’t have the strength for louder than that.

    -Hehe, nothing. Why, do you have some special wishes?

    -Maybe later. – he pushed her aside very gently and sat in the bed, rubbing his neck. Felt like a truck had hit him... – Brrr... – and how cold he was feeling.

    He looked around. Only the two of them were in the room.

    -Where are the rest?

    -Outside to catch a breath.

    -To catch a breath? So when the transfusion ended?

    -Several hours ago.

    -SEVERAL HOURS AGO? – he looked at her in disbelief.

    -Mhm. You just literally overslept the whole morning. It’s early afternoon already...

    Art only rubbed his eyes.

    -I have the feeling, that i slept so deep as if someone had hit me with a brick.

    -Hehe.

    He tried to get up, but Ren suddenly stopped him.

    -What are you doing? – he looked at her surprised.

    -Sensei said to not even dare moving out of her office, until you eat all these. – she turned and took the bag, which was on the cabinet. – Mel already ate all her stuff, so sensei let her get outside for a bit. But don’t worry, they will wait for us.

    -Really, i’m not hungry... – he tried to get up again...

    Ren only pushed him back.

    -Shhh, quit it. – she reached into the bag, pulling out something like a bar. And she even opened it. – Sensei said that these are super healthy protein-vitamin bars. Say „Aaaa“. – she handed it to his mouth.

    -I can do it myself... – he reached to take it, but Ren only slapped his hand away.

    -Be obedient and listen to me. Aaaa...

    Art puffed.

    -Aaaa...

    He bit.

    -Hehehe.

    -You are fucking with me, right? – he frowned, after he swallowed.

    -No, not at all... Hehe... Aaaa.

    -I can do it alone. – he grabbed it from her hand and continue to eat it alone.

    This time Ren didn’t resist. She was just looking at him cheerfully.

    After he ate the whole bar, he tried to get up. But again was stop by Ren.

    -What? I still can’t get up?...

    -Sensei was absolute. Everything. – and she put out something else from the bag.

    -Oooh, is this vhynehaimese chocolate?! – shone Art eyes.

    In response, Ren only smiled.

    -Can i at least eat it on my way back home? Really, can’t stand to sit in one place for much longer.

    -Pff, all right. I’ll have mercy on you. – she took his hand and helped him to get up. – How are you feeling?

    -I feel no difference. How many blood did they took, do you happen to know?

    -Sensei said about four hundred milliliters.

    -I see. C’mon, let’s go. – Art shouldered his backpack, Ren took his bag with sweets, and they left.

    There were a whole bunch of people gathered outside. And by some coincidence – they were all he met up until now – sensei, the Kinohina sisters, student council president Hion and the girl he was still thinking was her sister Akio, and the blondie, who looked at him as if she was trying to curse him to death.

    -Ohoo, here is our hero. Did you have a good sleep at least? – began cheerfully the doc.

    -To be honest, i wouldn’t refuse more. This chocolate is incredible, by the way. – he bit another piece. – Just as i remembered it...

    -As you remembered it?

    -Yes, my parents brought me once, when they returned from Vhynehaim. Since then, i have always wanted to try it again. – and he bit a new piece.

    -Hah, now that you are here, be careful not eat it too much. ‘Cuz you are gonna ruin that majestic body of yours...

    -Hah, don’t worry about that, doc. I know how the take care of it. – he scratched behind his neck.

    -Well, let be as you said. Ima gonna leave you already. And don’t to anything stupid!! – she especially looked at Nym.

    After that, she returned to her office.

    Art looked at Mel. Her colours had returned a bit, but there was more to be desired. But in the moment their eyes met and she smiled, he understood that all his worries were baseless. Her drenched in blood corset and shirt where changed with new clothes, not showing a hint of what she had experienced.

    -How are you feeling?

    -A bath and a hot dinner and i’ll be like a new. Can’t wait to get home and sleep like a normal person.

    -Phh, me too, honestly. After all the mischief today, this seems like a dream to me now.

    -Where is your dorm, by the way? – asked Hion.

    -Oh, a moment please, i have it written here. – he put down his backpack and started to delve onto one of its side pockets. After a while, he pulled out a crumpled note, unfolded it nimbly and read the name several times in his mind. And then he turned it towards them. – Here. This is the address. „Agathe Liechtenauer № 20.“

    And at this moment, all their gazes pierced him, as he was the one, who had hurted Mel...

    -W-what? – he barely whispered.

    Just wanted to evaporate out of this planet...


    „HOW DID THIS EVEN HAPPEN?!“ – he screamed internally, when they stopped outside the house.

    The sign on the wall was reading „Agathe Liechtenauer № 20“. Just as he had written in his note the last night from director Elliver, when he was still in the hotel.

    Is this some perverted joke from his side?

    Because this also was the dorm of Ren, Mel, Nym and another two girls, he still have meet yet.

    He looked right.

    Ren was still clinging on his right hand under the pretext „to support him after the long transfusion“. Although her wiggling hither and thither was more of a weight than a help, trying to constantly put him out of balance. Good that his training was solid enough to negate much of it...

    Behind them were Mel and Nym, waiting patiently for them to decide to get in.

    Alone... With another five girls.

    Well, he and his friends were going at camps all the time here and there, and half of the company were girls. He also lived at home with two crazy sisters, because of who at times he didn’t have even a tiniest bit of peace...

    And yet... Alone... With five completely unknown girls...

    Well, at least the next half an year was going to be extra interesting...

    Art puffed. And slowly stepped inside.

    -Is headmaster Elliver sure, that this is the only dorm with a free room? – he asked again.

    When the awkward situation after he had told them the address happened, only Hion didn’t react at all, is if she was excepting it. And she was exactly the one, who explained to them the current situation. But he was feeling that something is missing on the whole picture...

    -Why? You want that badly to not live with us? – winked at him Ren.

    The four crossed the stone path, on both sides of which were two so attractively-looking freshly mowed green meadows, that he wanted to just lay down and not wake up anymore.

    -No, i just... I don’t have a problem with it. But you? – he turned towards Mel and Nym.

    Back at school, the blonde girl the whole time had looked at him, as if he was potential rapist...

    -I don’t. As long as you don’t do stupid things. – replied Nym to him.

    Art only smiled nervously.

    They got inside, in something like a small corridor, where there was a cabinet with many shoes and, a little bit inward a pairs of well-arranged slippers.

    -I’m not from the people to do stupid things. Despite that at a times i tend to have a little strange whims. – he took off his shoes, pull his pair of slippers out of his backpack and put them on.

    -Strange whims? – Mel looked at him surprised.

    -Well, for example, in school days i like to get up a little bit earlier than usual to train additionally in the morning. Something i did regularly in Leichtè. Or to put my head in some of the scribbles of Bayern or Albertmeyer and stay that way till dawn. Things of this sort.

    -Hah, and i thought you are going to admit that you are mutant from the fifth dimension... – laughed Ren.

    Art also giggled.

    -Well, if it is only this, i don’t think someone will have problem you. As long as you don’t disturb the neighbors.

    -I’ll do my best.

    The four of them went in. And Art literally gasped.

    Because it was so bright and spacious, that he loved it at a first sight.

    On the side, there was a stand with a huge monitor on it. A few meters in front of it, over a super seductive white-gray carpet, there was a small short-legged table with a sofa beside it and two incredibly soft-looking armchairs, on which he wanted to throw himself right away.

    On the other side there was a tall table from black wood, with some chairs arranged around it. Beyond, there was the staircase, leading to the second floor and below it there was an unknown door, which he couldn’t know yet where exactly it was leading to.

    -Wooow, it’s just plain incredible. – he got a little bit more inside and looked around even in more detail.

    Before the staircase there was another sliding door, leading to a room, obviously parallel with the entrance corridor. A large portion of the floor was covered in laminate from light wood, which was in contrast with many elements from the interior – like the two tables, the cabinet and the monitor on it, the armchairs from dark leather and book shelf on one of the walls.

    All this arrangement was leaving one huge bright space in the middle of living hall, a feeling amplified by the large window, reaching from floor to ceiling, which was directly against the room’s entrance, leading to the relatively spacious backyard.

    Art closed in and looked through it. Another stone path was leading directly to a cozy wooden gazebo, capable of holding up at least ten people. At the other side there was just simply green meadow, perfect for a recreational activities like picnics, putting inflatable pool, or just simply laying down on it.

    -This place is marvelous. – said Art. – I’m in love at first sight.

    -Consider yourself lucky then. The school owns only two such building. The rest are also for six people, but without the spacious backyard. Or just for four or three people. – replied Nym back to him.

    -Yes. I no longer regret anything. There is just simply no reason.

    -Well, come, we will show you around, before Mio and Ann get back. They are the other two girls, who lives with us. – said Nym. – First, let me show you your room, so you can leave your luggage and not carrying it everywhere with you.

    The four of them get upstairs. There were three doors on each side of the corridor, with a window on its far end.

    -Your’s in the far left. You are lucky, in general. Since it is on the left wing, it’s one of the only three rooms with a terrace. Which looks straight to the sea.

    -Nice.

    The wooden floor creaked softly under their steps. Art got to his room and opened it, the rest of them were following him at a discrete distance.

    The furnishing was rudimentary, but completely adequate for his taste – a cozy looking bed in the far right corner, right next to the terrace door, with a cabinet next to it, a bureau and a chair in the left far corner, a wardrobe in the close left and another cabinet on the right. It wasn’t spacious, but it wasn’t a particularly cramped too.

    He got to the window door and moved the curtains.

    Before him, all the low districts of Hirai arose, and beyond – the vast blue sea, shining under the rays of the spring sun like an endless field of polished shards.

    -Well, it looks you liked it? – began Ren.

    -Yes, it’s incredible. – he took a quick look at the terrace through the window, then released the curtain and turned towards them. – In Leichtè this was one of my favorite ways to relax – just to sit on the terrace in home and stare for hours at the Ardsenian sea.

    -Well, it seems you will have company here. Mio, more or less, loves to do the same. – Said Nym. – This is not all your luggage, right?

    -Nope, only the most necessary things. Yesterday, when i talked to the headmaster Elliver over the phone, he said to me that he was going to talk to the hotel and arrange the transportation of the rest of my stuff. I have three more cases with clothes, equipment, tablet, laptop and some other personal belongings.

    -Excellent. As you can see, me and the others were taking turns in clearing this room, but this will be entirely your job from now on.

    -Of course. – he left his backpack to the bed and kneed. – Some of my clothes were covered in blood from earlier today, will you show me where the laundry is?

    -Of course. Get them and let’s get downstairs. There is nothing to be shown here anymore.

    So did they.

    The door under the staircase was leading exactly there.

    -This is the laundry basket. In general, we are taking turns in home chores – laundry and drying, cooking, cleaning, washing... Well, sometimes if were in the mood, all of us participate. – explained Nym. – Can you cook, by the way?

    -More or less. To a degree where I won’t starve to death…

    Nym looked him somewhat skeptical.

    -I see. So you won’t have much problems at that, I guess. – she replied and Art left his clothes in the basket. – This door here leads to the bath. There is even no need to tell you what is going to happen if you try to peek while one of us is...

    -Hah, don’t worry, they’ve warned me about that already. – he nervously laughed and scratched his neck.

    Nym only looked at Ren, who smiled innocently.

    -I have only one question. How did you five girls manage find enough time in the morning, without killing yourselves? Back home even with only my two sisters is some kind of a nightmare...

    Meari laughed.

    -Some of us are getting earlier especially because of that. Or just get in in pairs...

    -In pairs? – Art eyes widened.

    -Hey, you are not imagining anything funny, right? – looked at him with her stone face Nym.

    -No, no, be calm, don’t worry. – Art laughed and slid the frosted glass door. – Ooo, a bathtub!

    -Haha, good luck with that when Ann is here... – said Ren.

    -Then i will take advantage of it, before she gets back.

    -Of course. This is your home now. – replied to him Nym. – We will go to the market and make a dinner after that. C’mon, Ren.

    -Whaaa? Why meee?! – she resisted.

    -Because you. – she grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room.

    -But i wanted to scrub his back! – her desperate weep spread from outside.

    -Shut up if you don’t want me to give a scrub to you, that you will remember for eternities...

    Art only laughed.

    He and Mel went outside.

    -This door here is leading to the kitchen. Look around if you want, while the rest of us are still not home. Oh, and by the way, the door on the right, when you enter the small corridor, leads to the underground rooms. If you want, feel free to take a look. – explained Nym.

    -I see. Thank you..

    -Well, do you want something special for dinner? Do you have any preferences? After all, tonight we will hold a welcome party in your honor.

    -Oooh, thank you very much. But is it necessary to go through all these inconveniences because of me?

    -What are you talking, of course it is necessary. Not every day we have new roommates. Well, some preferences?

    -Well, i won’t refuse something high in protein, high in vitamins.

    -Excellent. That is exactly what you and my sister needs now. We will go. It won’t take too long. And get some rest!

    Two with the Ren went out.

    Suddenly it became so quiet, he could hear his own thoughts.

    And awkward...

    They were only the two of them and no one knew what to say to the other for quite some time.

    Art first gathered his courage...

    -Well, i’m going to unpack my luggage...

    -Of course. Do you want me to help you with that?

    -Don’t worry, i’ll manage myself. You should just rest, like your sister said.

    -All right. I will not insist anymore. – she smiled slightly.

    Art responded with the same and went up.

    In the next half an hour, he unpacked his stuff, stowing it or putting it where he considered to be most appropriate. Why did it took him so much time? Because he was just staring lovely at his personal belongings for minutes, remembering the circumstances around them.

    After all, he took new clothes and went back down.

    Mel was sitting on the carpet afore the short legged table and was reading something.

    -I’ll go to refresh a bit. – he said.

    -All right.

    He decided to leave the bathtub for another time. But this didn’t stop him to sit half an hour in the shower, engulfed in thoughts. He was so glad that he finally managed to get rid of this stench of blood. Most people would have thought, that after so many training session, injuries and wounds, he was going to be used to it, but Art didn’t see the things that way. Honest to say, at a time he was even feeling nauseated. But what could he do anyways – just sacrifices in the name of the sport.

    Outside, he found Meari in almost the same position as before. The others were still out, therefore he sat quietly in the opposite side of her and took off his smartphone.

    -What are you reading? – he casually asked.

    -Moriana by Taylor Luke. Ever heard of it?

    -Nope. What is it about?

    -No need to know then. – she giggled gently.

    -This is only tingling my curiosity to check it over the net.

    -I‘ll buy you two vhynehaimese chocolates if you don’t.

    -Deal! With 35 % of cocoa content.

    She smiled. And returned to her book. Art decided to check out his friends group chat in Eldenfan...

    ...

    [08:51:19] Lefefefefefef: Gooden moorgen, mst’r Vhynehaimese!

    [11:23:43] Lefefefefefef: hows da new school?... ;P

    [13:44:21] Lefefefefefef: helloooooo i wan sum piiiiics...

    [13:44:52] Level 3rd black elf: Ffs, Flo, leave the man alone, hundreds of demons...

    [13:45:01] Lefefefefefef: WANNAAAA PIIIIIICS

    [13:45:13] Level 3rd black elf: stupid tramp...

    [13:45:18] Lefefefefefef: _|_

    ...

    Art giggled quietly. He was glad that everything home is just like before. He wrote:

    [15:36:42] SA: Well, the first day was a total disaster.

    [15:36:59] Mada: (rofl)

    [15:37:05] Level 3rd black elf: Lol, why?!

    [15:37:12] Evil dwarf with double chin: PHAHAHAHAHAHA, CAN’T EVEN...

    [15:45:24] Evil dwarf with double chin: PHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (click to expand)

    [15:45:45] Level 3rd black elf: Shat the fuck up, you brain-dead spammer! Why, Art, what happened? Call me!

    -Hey, Mel, will i bother you if i call my friends?

    -Of course not.

    He called in their group chat. Hardly all of them were gonna be here at this time, but it will enough if he hears even a part of them.

    His cousin picked up momentarily.

    -Hey...

    -Hello, Soph...

    -GET BACK ALREADYYYY... – jumped on her back suddenly Av. – GET BACK ALREADYYYYY, I’M MISSING YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH.

    -Lol, careful, you are going to break my back...

    Art smiled. It was so nice to see them. Even only through the little screen. As if nothing had changed back home.

    After a while, Adam and Frou also picked.

    -Hey, Art.

    -Woooow, is this your dorm? It looks incredible!

    -Wanna go show you around?

    -Are you still not up?

    Art laughed.

    -Before that, let me introduce you to someone. – he said and kneed to the girl. – Folks, this is Mel – she smiled and waved at them. – Mel, these are Sophie, Avys, Adam and Frou.

    -Woooow, pretty. – said Av.

    Her smile widened slightly.

    -Thank you. It’s nice to talk to all of you.

    -Same! – they responded in one voice.

    -Lucker cough*(fucker)*cough... – tossed (as always) Frou.

    -Moron...

    -Well, start talking! What happened?

    Art got up and while he was going around the living room and the rest of the premises on the first floor, he told his friends about his notorious „first day in da new school“. Frou, as always, was laughing his lungs out loudly – not because of the misfortunes, that had happened to him, but because his terrible luck and the sequence of the unforeseen events. Adam, as always was even-tempered and calm, his cousin Sophie almost didn’t talk and only smiled, while Av has barely left him to talk...

    Upstairs, he showed them his terrace and the view he had towards the city and the sea. Then he remained in his room, to not bother Mel additionally, while she was reading.

    They’ve talk maybe for an hour, before going back down. Below, Mel was still reading.

    -Did Ren and Nym got back?

    -Yes. They are currently making the dinner.

    -I’m gonna see if they need some help.

    -Well, before that, your luggage also arrived from the hotel. Look there, next to the door...

    -Ooh, great! – Art momentarily focused it with his gaze. – That’s what i was waiting for.

    -Many stuff.

    -Well, in one of it is only my HIMA equipment. The rest is mostly clothes.

    -I see. By the way, you have also a letter from the headmaster Elliver. I left it on your suitcase.

    -I see it. Thank you very much, Mel.

    She gifted him one charming smile. Art unfolded the sheet:


    „Dear, Art!

    It is upmost pleasure for me, to tell you that the rest of your equipment, related to the historical reenactments, have just arrived and it’s on its way to our special history preservation chambers. You can be absolutely in rest – our specialists for maintaining a medieval-related equipment are among the best in Inden, and our preservation chambers are equipped with the most modern technologies for oxygen and moisture control. We all hope to witness your skills very soon, which you had cultivated with long years of heavy work and diligence, and to be amazed of your knowledge about the mainland Indenean culture!

    PS. Mister and Missis Ishida were ABSOLUTELY excited, when they saw all THAT.

    PS1. I hope you like your new dorm. :Р

    Sincerely yours

    Deleford Elliver“



    Art puffed. He had a troll... For a principal he had one HUGE POLITE TROLL...

    -What is it? Is something not right? – Mel raised head from her book.

    -Nope, everything is fine. Just... I admire the principal Elliver conviviality.

    -Haha, he is just like that sometimes. Convivial, broad-minded and humorous.

    Yep, when even if she confirms it, it wasn’t only his impression.

    He was about to start carrying his luggage up, when the entrance door opened with a crash and somebody shouted in the corridor:

    -(We baaaack!!!)

    A second later, living room’s door also slammed. From there, a petite girl with pink hair rushed in like a panzer and almost swooped him...

    -Ups... Ooooo, roommate, youkoso, youkoso! – she shaked his hand several times energetically. And before he even realize what the fuck is happening and reply to her in some manner, she ran to the sofa and jumped with her belly on it.

    -(Get yourself changed at least. And go help the others with the dinner.) – strictly said Mel.

    -(Zzzzzzz...)

    -(Don’t try to fake an obvious shit...)

    -Hello.

    Art turned. And he barely hold himself not to gasp in amazement.

    The girl before him smiled slightly. This was one of the most beautiful faces he had ever seen. Her hair, long almost to the half of her thighs, was freely swooping behind her and together with her eyes, was creating one incredible glow, making her look ever more fascinating and charming. She was almost tall as him, maybe with only a few centimeters less and had the well-build body of a person, who was training diligently. It was obvious from kilometers away.

    -Hello. – he mumbled after several seconds.

    -I am Yoshigana Mio. It’s nice to meet you. – she bowed slightly.

    -A-art. Nice to meet you too. – he also bowed.

    She gave him one of her gentle charming smiles.

    -Headmaster Elliver asked us to pick up your uniform. Two of them, here it is. – she said and handed to him the suit cover bag, which she was holding for the grip.

    -Oo, thank you very much. I’m sorry, that you had to go and pick it because of me... – he took it. Along all her radiance, he hadn’t noticed it at all.

    -Meh, whatever... – burbled through the sofa the pink haired girl, waving annoyed with hand.

    -It’s nothing, don’t worry. – smiled at him charmingly Mio.

    -Well, i’ll go and carry up my stuff.

    -Of course.

    He took the large suitcase with his clothes and one of his backpack with personal belonging and got the up in his room. He decided that now he isn’t up to unpacking, so he just left them to his another backpack and returned down. But before getting his last suitcase up, he peeked in the kitchen. And the incredible smell hi his nose immediately.

    -Mmm, it smells incredible. Can i help you with something? – he asked.

    -Nope, nope, this night you are our guest and the party will be on our account. So go and rest, while you still can. – replied to him Ren.

    -Hehe, all right, thank you. – he slid the door back and got to pick up his last case.

    -Hey, Art, is this the HIMA equipment of yours? – suddenly said the pink haired girl, jumping off the sofa.

    -Yes?

    -Get it over here. Wanna take a look.

    -As you wish. But you will hardly find something unfamiliar.

    Art put the suitcase beside the table, sat down next to it and unzipped it.

    -Heavy gloves with plastic protectors for the fingers and the wrist. – he started to pull them out one by one and arranging them on the table. – Fencing jacket... Forearms and elbows hard guards... Neck protector... Fencing mask. Fencing pants. Knees and calves guards... And boots.

    -Woooow. Freaking cool. This is so much heavier than our kendo school equipment...

    -Yes, because in most of the cases, the duels happens with bokens. – replied Mel to her.

    -In our nodachi, naginata and yari styles, we are carrying almost the same equipment. – said Mio.

    -Waa, look, look. The helmet even have a metal cap inside. And the pants groan protection! I also want like these! Hey, Art, where can i buy one?!

    -Hah, well, these especially are from a shop in Leichtè, called Cerporross.

    -Ooooo, great. – she put on one of the gloves. – Woow, it is so thick, but what a nice feeling it have... – she grabbed her other hand.

    -Yes, because the palm side is a thin synthetic leather, and the outside is a thick leather and polypropylene.

    -Nice, nice... – she took it off and put the helmet on. Then she hit it several times. – Great, great...

    -Stop smacking your head, you are bad enough there already... – giggled Mel.

    -Shhh, quiet. – she pushed her slightly with the helmet. Then took it off. – Can’t wait to beat you up a little tomorrow.

    -Phahaha, good luck...

    -What, y’a think i can’t do it?! – she got up sharply. – I’m gonna show you right now. Get up, Art!!

    -But...

    -Hey, leave the man alone, Ann. He had donated blood today... – Mio gently grabbed her hand.

    She just looked at them one after another. Then puffed and sat back at her place...

    -Phhh, consider yourself lucky. You have the right to rest today, Art... But be ready tomorrow! – she smashed fist onto her palm, smiling broadly at him.

    -It’s obvious even from now who is gonna be messed up... – Mel said again derisive.

    -You are gonna see, ima gonna get it back at you also, when your hand is better...

    -You are gonna end up again with a bruised eye, just like that another time...

    Ann only growled lowly and looked maliciously at Mio.

    The kitchen’s door slid open and Ren jumped out of it, carrying many utensils and bows in hands.

    -Oooo, i’m happy to see that you are enjoying yourself, but you can come to eat.

    -Of course. Only a moment to put away my things. – said Art and right away began to do it.

    -Let me help you. – said Mio and also joined.

    -Phhhh, i’m going to change my clothes... – jumped from her place Ann and ran up the stairs.

    Nym also showed, holding one steaming pot.

    -That’s our fuel tonight. – she put it in the middle of the tall table, the one to the stairway.

    -Oooh, it smells incredible. Can’t wait to try it. – said Art.

    -This is Ren’s vegetable soup, which Mel adores so much.

    -I’ve smelled it half an hour ago. – she replied.

    Ren only looked at her and also smiled.

    While she was arranging the utensils, Nym returned to the kitchen and brought in another pot, filled with rice. Ren began to fill everybody’s bows with it, while the another girl for a third time went back to the kitchen. Now it was the turn for a plate with some nice smelling fish fillets and a bow with green salad with eggs..

    -Are you sure you don’t want any help? – asked Art.

    -No, don’t worry, these are the last ones. – she served them on the table and returned for a last time.

    -C’mon, everything is served.

    They didn‘t need a second call.

    Art and Mel sat on the left side of the table, Ren on the right and Mio at one of the head places.

    Nym returned with three bottles and six glasses, put them on the table and sat at the opposite place of Mio.

    -Ufff, can’t wait, can’t wait... – puffed Meari, took the milk and poured some in her glass. It was gone in several gulps. – Incredible. Just what i needed.... – and she filled a second glass.

    -Don’t fill yourself right before dinner... – tried to reprimand her her sister.

    -I’m gonna die ‘till Ann decides to come down. – she drank the second one and filled a third one. He saw how her gaze froze on the pot with the vegetable soup – her mouth was gonna run out if she was forced to wait even a second more... – C’MON, ANN, GET DOWN ALREADY! – she shouted so suddenly, that he jumped a little on his chair.

    -Coming, coming... – she showed from the stairs. – For fuck sake, one cannot change in peace. – she sat next to Ren.

    -What are you gonna drink? There is grape juice and apple juice.

    -I’ll have a little bit of grape, just for the cheers.. – said Mio and Mel poured her some of it

    -Me too. – said Nym.

    -I’ll also drink grape. – added Ren.

    Ann took the apple juice and filled her glass.

    -Fill and mine, if you please. – said Mel. – What about you, Art?

    -I’ll also take an apple juice, thank you..

    After all the glasses were filled, Nym took her in hand and stood. The rest of them followed in manner – Art was the last, just because he wasn’t expecting it.

    -Well, this is for our new roommate and classmate. – she raised it, looking straight at him. – Let us wish for him from now on only good fortune, endless successes and unforgettable memories!

    -Kanpai! – they rose their voices and clinked the glasses.

    -K-kanpai! – followed them uncertainly Art.

    He didn’t know how to describe it – he just felt incredibly at this moment, after the honor, which they had showed to him. That’s why he just smiled when everybody sat down back on their chairs.

    -Well, let’s... – began Nym.

    -LET’S EAT. – suddenly interrupted her Mel, grabbed her bow and vigorously sipped. – Mmmmm, it’s incredible, Ren. Just as i like it.

    She only smiled, taking her bow in hand, also trying – but much more calm and gently.

    The rest of them did the same. Only Ann was frowning and looked like there was something moving in her bow. In the first moment, a dab of suspicion sneaked in Art’s heart, but at the end, he also took his bowl and tried the soup cautiously.

    All his worries were in vain...

    Because it was one of the most heavenly things he have ever tried...

    -C’mon, eat, Ann, before it gets cold. – said Mel with half-full mouth.

    The girl only frowned ever more, took her bowl and sipped...

    -Yuuck, it’s unsalted again... – she quickly left it on the table.

    -Phh, you don’t have a normal sensation of taste, wha’ya complaining ‘bout... – snorted Mel, filling a second serving.

    In response, Ann only took the saltshaker and started to sprinkle it energetically in her bow. Art only gaped her in disbelief – and the more he was looking at her, the more his blood pressure was rising. But that wasn’t all – because she also put in if not the half of bottle of the vinegar...

    -Mmmm, much better. It is a completely different story... – she sipped. Then she noticed, that he was still looking at her disbelievingly. – What? Wanna try?

    -Don’t if you hold dear your life. – said Mel.

    With one hand, she was drinking the soup from her bowl and with the another was alternating to prong from the fish fillet, the rice and the lettuce. From time to time, she was also taking a sip of her milk.

    -I don’t think a normal person can survive this. – nodded slightly Mio at the Ann’s bowl and giggled gently.

    -Yeah, i also think to pass. – replied Art and took a fillet in his plate. – Mmm, is this tuna?

    -Mhm. – said Ren.

    -Mmm, it’s godlike!

    -Well, i’m glad that you like it. – said Nym.

    -So, do you like our kind of food? – asked him Mio.

    -I can eat something like this everyday with no problem. I adore fish. To bad that in Leichtè the others from my family couldn’t stand it.

    -Lol... – rumbled Mel, while finishing her last bits from her second serving of soup. And filled a third one...

    -What to do... – puffed Art.

    -Stop guzzling d’a soup... Eat and something else. – snorted Ann at her.

    -Ima eating, don’t you see? I’m so starved after all this bullshit. From yesterday afternoon haven’t put a bit in my mouth.

    -That’s what you deserve for gathering with those junks... You wasn’t beaten enough...

    Art felt how Nym kicked her under the table. But it seemed, that she did it a little bit harder, than she was intending to do, because she spilled her soup all over her...

    -Aaaah!... Dafaq ya doing, you fuc!... – Ann sharply turned towards her.

    The grim look, which Nym’s face had gotten, make even him to feel shivers. And was complete enough to tame down Ann...

    And the awkward silence that descended, overhang like a stormy clouds over their heads...

    „What is happening, hundreds of demons???“

    -I’ll go get some napkins! – suddenly jumped from her place Ren and ran to the kitchen.

    Ann only puffed and reached for a new serving of soup.

    -Don’t blame me when you get fat... – she said.

    Mel grabbed the ladle before her and got a fourth serving...

    -Quite difficult from this soup only...

    -There isn’t enough calories and proteins in there, and is a fat-carbohydrates mixture. That combination is sticking up right away...

    Ren returned and helped Ann to clear herself and the table before her.

    -Ima gonna to burn them, what’s your problem. And the fillet is high in proteins, the fat-carbohydrates effect wouldn’t be that much of a deal...

    -Phh, whatever. Forget it...

    -Well, Art, what diet are you keeping with your training? – was curious Mio.

    -Normal balanced diet usually. That way i’m feeling at my best. Many proteins and vegetables. For the rest, i’m trying to stick to high quality carbohydrates and good fats. I’m not that much strict with myself, because in this case i feel i don’t have enough energy. But i also try not to eat junk to often, because then i’m feeling that my body is stuffing up and i’m tiring much faster than normal...

    -Mmm, the typical like us. And why i’m even surprised – we all do the same stuff... – said Ann.

    -Yes. – he smiled a bit.

    During the rest of the dinner, they almost didn’t talk to each other. Mel stared before her and continued eating – much more calmly than she showed she can do in the beginning. Ann was almost a mirror image of her. Ren was asking him some things from time to time, but the two were quickly losing the talk. Mio and Nym were listening them, and sometimes were taking a glance at the others. With the passage of time, he was feeling more and more awkward, that he wouldn’t be surprised if a thunder suddenly cracked the room in two from the dark clouds, hanging over their heads... Even if everybody fed themselves much faster, the strained atmosphere gave the feeling that the time had flowed ten times slower. Really, the time when the dinner ended, he was ready to sighed as much as his lungs could hold...

    Nym and Mio began to tidying up the table. Art suggested to help them, but they firmly refused him with the argument, that he is their guest today and they will do anything. After that, when they began washing the dishes, he again suggested to help them, if they suddenly had changed their minds, but again with no result. That’s why Art just went up in his room and called his family.

    They talked maybe hour and a half. On the whole, everything in Leichtè was how it should be – with his absence, of course.

    The poor sisters of his... During half of the time, which the call lasted, they cried, in the other half – they begged him to return. And when the time was up to close down – their emotions escalated even more and only that he promised to call them later again, managed to calm them down a bit.

    Ehhhh...

    What could he do. He already wanted to see the others so much. And the only thing he could do was to talk to them through the little screen. Not to touch them, nor hug them.

    He lied a little bit on his bed, before getting back down.

    And there – thank goodness! – the eerie atmosphere were just completely evaporated. Ann and Nym were playing (and at that quite dynamically) some game on the large monitor, they were pushing each other, doing dirty tricks, blaming loudly one another and what not else. Mel was still reading her book (maybe it was time to remind her about the two chocolates – not that if he wasn’t still going to check the book on the net, if he remembers it sometimes). And Mio was laying on her belly on the sofa, watching the tense duel between Ann and Nym.

    -Ohoo, hai again. – honored him with another quick glimpse Mio.

    Art sat against Mel, and put his notebook and tablet in front of him.

    -What are you going do?

    -I’ll study some vhynehaimese. In the five days i had, when i got the notice that will be coming here, i couldn’t learn a thing, since i had a thousands of other tasks to do.

    -I’ll help you. – suddenly jumped Mio from her place and sat tightly to him.

    Much closer, than it was probably acceptable, but he didn’t think to complain at all. Her warmness was amazing – it was making him to relax and forget about the world around him. And because of the blood, he had donated, he still was feeling as if it was colder that it must normally be.

    -I don’t know how are you gonna learn something because of these two... – said Mel, without taking her gaze off the book.

    Ann only snarled something and as if she cursed her on vhynehaimese.

    Mio was really of much assistance for him, than if he was trying to do it all by himself. She was helping him with the tenses, she teach him of some basic phrases, which he exchanged with her, improving his pronunciation considerably and learning some more common words, necessary for daily use. They were so engulfed by this, that they almost didn’t notice, when the others started to leave one by one – first did it Mel and the rest almost didn’t pay any attention to her, when she wished them good night. He and Mio were to focused on the dictionaries and the programs for assist and learn, and Nym and Ann – even more in their game.

    Ann was the second one to leave them – at some time it seemed she was sick enough of constantly losing, slammed the controller on the carpet and snorted something for good night. Nym joined their learning session, but after only half an hour, she lost interest and also went to her room.

    The two with Mio stayed busy for some more time – but the threat of Art’s head exploding became more and more imminent, and after all that had happened today, the need for sleep was taking its toll. As if he hadn’t taken his afternoon nap today...

    And Mio noticed it quite well.

    -Well, how about we cut it for today? You can barely keep it awake. – she said.

    -Yeah, it seems is about time. I feel like i could perceive nothing more. – he closed his notebook and locked on his tablet.

    The two stood up.

    -I’ll go and take a shower. Do you want to use the bath before that? – asked Mio.

    -Yes, to brush my teeth quickly.

    -All right.

    She waited patiently for him.

    -Well, i’ll go and sleep. Thank you very much for your help. Good night.

    -(Say it on vhinhym.)

    Art was surprised at the first moment. But then he mobilized his mind as much as he can and said:

    -(I will sleep. Thank you very much for help. Good night.)

    She smiled slightly.

    -You’re welcomed. Good night. – and entered the bathroom.

    Art went upstairs. It was passing eleven o’clock, but as he had promised to his sisters, he called to hear them again.

    He probably talked with them for about a half an hour more – but this time they weren’t that much emotional, as they were during their earlier conversation. Which was strange – as if they were planning something. But he was so tired right now, that he didn’t pay much attention to that. At some time he became so sleepy, that they were these, who proposed to end up the call and let him sleep. And he did just that – he left his laptop on the cabinet next to his bed, turned on his side and closed his eyes.

    In the morning, he bore almost no memory of what exactly they had talked to each other...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  4. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    In one hand, he hold his tablet, in the other one, resting on his shoulder – his training longsword type „XVIIb“, according Bossouliè typology.

    He still couldn’t believe it how well he had slept, as a first night on this new place. Technically, it was second, since he had spent his first one in the hotel, but that didn’t count, because it wasn’t gonna be his permanent dwelling for the next half an year. There was also the confusion in his awakening at the first moment, when he saw the unknown ceiling, but this passed quickly before returning himself to the reality.

    Well, he was hoping, that the things were going to be much better today, compared to yesterday...

    From the living hall he went directly to the backyard. The cold air and morning chill made him feel incredibly fresh, althought also made him shivers. It was still relatively dusky, but enough to see perfectly.

    Outside, to the window, there was a little table, exceptionally well placed, on which he put his tablet and the scabbard with sword.

    He stretched himself as much as he could, his moan automatically escaped out of his lungs. He fell how as if his body became several times lighter, ready to fly amidst the reddish horizon.

    First he warmed up his joints for several minutes – he was always starting from shoulders, then elbows, wrists and ankles, knees, back and neck. For years he was doing it in this sequence, until he felt how the heat didn’t overwhelm them.

    The next was a short sets of squats, push-ups and burpees, just to raise his body temperature a bit.

    After several minutes, he returned to the tablet and drew his sword out of its scabbard. His favorite set of swords, which Varmsteyer had personally made for him just an year ago, specially for his strength and dimensions, from superbly high quiality high carbon spring steel, melted, purified, rolled, processed, quenched and tempered with the most up-to-date and state of art precise industrial methods. Maybe with a accuracy up to the micro grams and micrometers.

    Without the scholarship of the school, his family could never afford to buy such things, not with two growing sisters, academy student and a future one. Maybe only if they were saving up for years, but even then there was the possibility for something unexpected to came up for which the money would have been much more useful.

    When Belevard had told him the price, when he asked him, Art almost swallowed his tongue. These things cost 4800 indo each. And only ten people per year were given the chance to obtain a machined blades from a company like Varmsteyer. The most skillful, the most advanced and these with the most potential, as his formed headmaster had said. People like him. Adam. The moron Bosworth. Riya. Niei. Of course, everybody was welcomed to buy a blade from Varmsteyer if he could afford it, but first – as it is already known, that was costing a small fortune and secondly – for ten times less money, there were some decent blades on the market, suitable for the most people’s goals. And considering the fact, that the wait time for a purchase from Varmsteyer sometimes exceeded an year, it wasn‘t needed a person to be especially clairvoyant to understands what most people were preferring.

    Type „VXIIIb“ according the typology of the famous Oderonean historian from the last century, Albert Bossouliè. Total length: 143 cm. Length of the blade: 107 cm. Width at the guard: 4,7 cm. Point of balance: 12 cm from the guard. Weight: 1680 grams.

    The vibration nodes were exactly where his right hand sat on the hilt and thirty centimeters from the blade’s point – the most powerful cutting part of his sword. Because of the springy qualities of his weapon, it appeared stiffer when manpulated from these locations. And because the hilt and the blade vibration nodes were nearly to the corresponding pivot points, this was making the blade suited for especially powerful blows. And taking into account that the effective mass at the blade node was almost four hundred grams – it meant that with the proper edge alignment, he could cut through the appropriate things as if he was not wielding a steel sword, but a plasma cutter...

    On the whole, an exceptionally very well made sword, calculated, milled and grinded to the smallest detail. And this is exactly what made it totally worth its price..

    But, therefore, his training sword was coming with one problem. These four hundred effective grams, concentrated on the blade node, were hitting quite hard, even through the heavy mainland HIMA equipment, if he managed to land a proper blow. Just like those poor boys had experienced it yesterday...

    Well, what could he do. They will get used to it eventually. He hadn’t killed anyone yet...

    In the morning, he was always doing revatively light exercises – like the basic blows, the steps, some movements for his reflexes and body mechanics – nothing heavy to put his body at high stress, to create preconditions for losing muscle mass and from there – also losing strength and stamina. He had played this role hundreds of times already...

    Minutes later, he noticed Ren, who was leaning at the doorcase and was watching him, with arms crossed below her chest.

    -Oh, Ren. Good morning. Sorry for not noticing you earlier. – he said, ceasing his doings. He took a glimpse at her – she was wearing a sport tights and sweater.

    -Don’t worry about that. Sorry for interrupting you.

    -No, it’s all right.

    -Well, it seems you were pretty serious, when you said, that you like to train in the mornings.

    -Of course. What about you? Why are you up so early? It’s not even six and a half yet. – he looked at his tablet.

    -Ooh, don’t tell me you forgot. What did you promise me yesterday?

    -Oh, of course. But i don’t have montante here. It’s in the school.

    -Don’t worry about that. – she get close to him. She was holding the saya with her katana in one hand. – What was this style again... The Liennese school of fencing?...

    -Blossfechten. More accurately the unarmored longsword discipline. Of course, there are many other disciplines of the Liennese school of fencing, but the one i used and told you about yesterday, was exactly blossfechten. An unarmored longsword fight.

    -Oooh, i’m feeling super curious right now. Well, shall we begin?

    Art only smiled a bit.

    -So, the earliest source to survive up to this date, is Bayern’s manuscript, more precisely „Valtè codex 4330“. It describes the core principles of successful swordsmanship. First: a healthy body and a good weapon. Second: the principles of offensive and the defensive, and of hard and soft. Third and four are a list of basic techniques, which i’ll talk to you about in a moment. Fifth: speed and courage, paired with wariness, deceit and cleverness. Sixth: correct distance, concealing one’s intentions, reason anticipation and dexterity. Seven: training and confidence, speed, agility and good footwork. Eight: the Luck of the Gods.

    -Woow, cool.

    -I’ll introduce you to some terms now, before proceeding with the more practical exercises. Bayern had said something of the sort: „At the centrum of this art, is an emphasis on swiftness, as well as on balance and good judgement“. The great master also describes the five words, on which this entire art hinges: „Before“, „After“, „Strong“, „Weak“ and „Indes“ – meanwhile. According to him, and many other masters are totally agreeing with it, they are the foundation and the core of all combat, on foot or on house, unarmored or armored. The terms for „before“ and „after“ are, respectively, „vor“ and „nach“, and correspond to offensive or defensive action. If you are in vor, you dictate your opponent’s actions and thus you are in control of the engagement. If you are in nach, you respond to the decisions made by your opponent. Under Bayern’s system, you must always strive to be in control of the engagement, so to speak, to be in „vor“. „Strongstark“ and „weakswach“ relate to the amount of force, that is applied in a bind, or contact of the swords. Here, neither is better than the other, but you need to counter your opponent’s action with complementary reaction. The strength must be countered with weakness and the weakness with strength. Indes means „meanwhile“ or „interim“ and refers to the time it takes for your opponent to complete an action. For example, at the instant of contact with the opponent’s blade, an experience fencer can immediately sense his opponent’s pressure in order to know if you must be „weak“ or „strong“ against him. Then, you either attack on the vor or remain in the bind until your opponent acts, depending on what you feel is right. For example, if your opponent starts to act, you can act indes – meanwhile, and regain the vor before your opponent can finish his action.

    -It sound super interesting. We also have similar principles. Not described in the way you did it, though.

    -Of course you should have. Sword are the same all around the world – a blade with a hilt. It’s completely normal for a different cultures, at a distance thousands kilometers from one another with no connection between them, to came to the same conclusions in regard their use. Like the wheel, or the hammer, or the bow. Their effective ways of usage aren’t that many.

    -I see.

    -Is this your training weapon?

    -Yes, but is iaito, as you probably see. Our big weapons are stored in the school, usually. It isn’t comfortable at all to carry them every day to and fro.

    -Of course. But don’t worry, it will be enough for the purposes of demonstration. Well, we will now begin with the most basic thing and complicate them over the time, as it is right. First, you need to remember the ranges. They are four. Weite Mensur – wide mensur, the attacker has to make two footsteps, to reach his opponent with his weapon. Mittlere Mensur – middle mensur – the attacker need has to make one footstep to reach the other combatant with his blade. Nahe Mensur – near mensur – the attacker can cut or thrust his enemy without having to make any footsteps. And Enge Mensur – close mensur – the attacker and his opponent are so close, that they are able to reach the other person with their hands. Most of the wrestling-techniques – Ringen am Schwert – can only be used in the close mensur. – Art made her to take stance and demonstrated them to her one by one.

    -I see, many things have cleared up now. I don’t see how somebody, with the same or close to your skills, could stand a chance, if he is with katana, against you. For the job he will need at least o katana or nodachi...

    -Yeah, usually, if there are two people with similar skill, the one with longer weapon reach wins. That’s been known for millennia. Can you show me how are the thing with the footsteps in yours martial arts?

    -Phh, there are different in almost each one. Why don’t you first show me some from the blossfechten and i will tell you if there are similarities with ours.

    -All right. – he replied and took Vom Tag on right shoulder. – As you can see, the right hand is the leading one, the left leg is in front, with the foot pointing straight ahead or slightly outwards, but in no case it must point inwards, since you will put to much tension in the knee and can injure yourself. The right leg is perpendicular or slightly at an angle to the other. According to Bayern, the knees are slightly bended – neither must be completely straight, nor you must sink as much as you can in. According to the Stëfler on the other hand, you must sink in as much as you can before losing your balance. It depends. But your knees always must follows the direction of the move and point in the same direction as your toes, so no twisting happens, which can lead to unwanted consequences. Your hips must also point forwads, straight to your opponent – that way, when you are taking steps, you are telegraphing as little as possible with your body. These are the basis – the rest are types of steps. Your weight must be evenly distributed on your whole feet – neither must be only on the heels at the same time, nor the toes. The thing you must remember is that the longsword footwork is meant to be as natural and unrestrained as possible, and more importantly – during all the time your center of gravity must be evenly distributed, so you will never lose balance, despite the movement.

    -I see.

    -And now let me demonstrate you some steps. First, you have passing step, or retreating step. You push with the back foot while lifting the front foot first and moving forward. In the end of the step, the feet are at the same distance apart. – he demonstrated to her. – To do the retreating step – you push with the front foot and lift the back. It is important to do this while keeping a strong base of support and not lurching your body weight forward and back. It is important to note, that you must keep your shoulders and head as leveled as possible – the movement must be as horizontal as possible – no hops or jump, you don’t want your energy to be going up, you want your energy to go forwards. And these are the whole basics. All of the others steps are based on the principles that i have described – horizontal movement as much as possible, balanced all the time, additional accent on where knees are pointing.

    Art demonstrated to her some others types of steps.

    -I seeee, i understand. – said Ren. – Our stuff is also quite similar, although we don’t have something that is a hundred percent like yours.

    -I bet it’s like you said.

    After that, they practiced the steps. He was correcting Ren if she happened to make mistake somewhere, and she tenaciously and tenaciously was repeating that, what he had showed to her. Of course, the experience, which the girl had was obvious and she needed only several minutes to switch (at least in training conditions) to the style of Liennese school of fencing. Art saw how she was mixing it sometimes with elements of some of the Vhynehaimese styles, but she was quick to correct herself and start anew, if it was necessary, before he manages to interfere and correct her.

    This view was just warming his heart. What he saw now in her, he have seen it before in some of the novices getting in their club back in Falkland – the ones, who in time became much more better than the average for their school. The diligence, the persistence, the effort. Strange, how every one little thing here was like a mirror for him in which he could see back at home. As if no matter where he looks, a memory would appear right away and he was going to link it to something he had experienced back in mainland Inden. Was this the longing for home what looked like? Were the others feeling the same way, when they, for one reason or another, had to travel away from friends and family?

    He didn’t even realize how he had just stopped in one place, staring blindly in some random point and puffed...

    -Hey, Art?

    He didn’t hear her at all. Continued to stay deep in thoughts, and his mind became a whirlwind of random memories, like some old film, which made him think about everything he had left in Falkland.

    -Eh, eh... – he puffed again quietly.

    -Hey, Art?!

    Only now he noticed her – she was just a step before him, with a worried face and a hand on his shoulder, like some unrestful parent.

    -Are you all right? What is it? – the anxiety was quite visible on her face.

    -I’m okay. Don’t worry. – he smiled somewhat sadly.

    Then, he suddenly stepped back several times, took stance Vom Tag, and said:

    -I’m coming! Defend yourself!

    -What...

    Art attacked with a relatively slow for a duel standards oberhau. Ren rashly raised her blade, catching his with the strong of her sword. Using her confusion, without breaking the bind between them, he raised his weapon the the level of his head and press, stabbing her in the belly. Very gently, of course.

    -This is called „Mutieren“: a change of attack method, changing a displaced hew into thrust or a displaced thrust into a hew. – he broke the bind at step away from her. – I don’t know if you started to notice it yet, but almost all in this style is correct judgement, accompanied with appropriate attack or replied with the necessary counterattack. C’mon, prepare yourself! – he got several more steps back and took Vom Tag.

    -I don’t think it’s much fair this way and i stand a chance, but what can you do... – she puffed and also took guard – a high one, similar to the Oderonean „Posta di Falcone“.

    „Hm, this looks easy.“ – thought Art and dashed forwards.

    He started with a sudden thrust. Ren it seems once again didn’t manage to react in time, because his strike landed right on her chest and her counterattack came just after that – too late to deflect his strike and the only thing he needed to do, was to raise his hands a little bit, so her slashing strike from above didn’t crack his skull.

    -Pffff, you are making me look like a complete amateur... A little bit more and ima gonna cry. – she said.

    -Don’t worry. It’s just completely unknown style for you.

    -The same applies to you.

    -Yes, but you are the one with the shorter sword.

    -All right, you win.

    After that, they continued to exchange strikes and techniques – much more lightly and carefully, than in a real sparring or duel, because in that moment none of them were with a protective gear. As it was obvious, the Art’s longer weapon was giving him a huge advantage and he dominated over her almost all the time. Ren managed to land only two hits during the whole session. And only towards the end of their training, when he was showing to her more and more techniques. Which meant, that she was reaching to the right conclusions very very fast. Which on the other hand meant that he also needed to make his and to adjust to her adaptation to regain his initial efficiency. Well, this was going to take a lot of time – to learn to completely counter their styles – something, that would be a dynamic process and requires mutation and evolution. It was not going to be something for a day.

    -Was it not clinging, was it not knocking, was it not whatever else more... – they heard how Ann suddenly opened the door behind them. – C’mon, stop smashing each other, and come to eat before it gets cold, cuz we will be late for school. Reina may forgive you for one missed day, but for two she won’t... – and she slid it back.

    Art turned towards Ren, smiling a bit:

    -Well, let’s call it a day.

    -What are you talking about? Get ready for a rematch after our classes today, when i get a hold of my nodachi... – she also replied to him with a smile.


    Art sighed deeply and knocked on the student’s council room door.

    Fortunately, today everything was going smoothly without incidents. For now...

    He managed to get to the school in time, maybe because the six of them went together, otherwise, he was sure that something unexpected would have happened to him.

    -Come in! – he heard one familiar voice from inside.

    He sighed again and pressed the handle.

    Inside, he found out four people. And the gazes, that pierced him, made him want to sink into the ground.

    The only one, he knew, was the student council president, Hion. She was leaning on the massive library, with arms crossed under her chest. Her face was all stone and no emotion, as always.

    The other girl, he didn’t know, was sitting at one of the head places on the table, with hand on her chin and was looking at him as if she was assessing him. After a moment, Art caught her slight, almost unnoticeable smile, as if this was an approval on her side.

    Her red hair had one incredibly magnetic and charismatic violet hue, amplified even more by her amber eyes and gentle lines of her face. Part of her bangs was clipped with a hairpin, decorated with a five-pointed elven lily the same color as her hair, putting even more gracefulness on her appearance.

    The third girl was standing up, next to Hion, and as if she was gonna eat him out of curiosity. Her violet-blue eyes were stared at him, engulfing every bit of information they could.

    She was maybe a whole head shorter than him, petite and slim, as if he could break her in two if he hugged her a little stronger. Her wavy blonde hair was falling freely behind her, reaching almost down her thighs, with two shorter strands over her chest.

    For the last girl, he decided, that at all, but at all he doesn’t like her. The gaze, with which she was consuming him, her aura, drifting around her, her minacious appereance...

    „Is this Reina, for who i have heard so many times already?“ – he thought.

    He saw how the face of the girl twitched and he suddenly wanted to sink even more into the ground.

    Her rose-ash long hair, the eyes with the same color, the stern face of hers, all this was screaming to him: „ALERT, ALERT, ALERT!“.

    -Ohoo, it’s our hero. – tossed the red haired, still looking at him with her slight, derisive smile.

    Art also smiled at her.

    Suddenly the blond haired rush at him and got on her toes only a hand span from his face.

    Was she... sniffing him? Don’t worry, he had a shower this morning after his training...

    And then, without a warning, she dashed behind him and before he could manage to follow her with his gaze and turn, she pressed herself tightly at him, putting her palms on his chest.

    „What the fuck...“

    -It’s happening again... – he heard how maybe-it’s-Reina said.

    From his chest, she moved her hands down, towards his abdomen and then towards his arms.

    Was she measuring him? Or just touching.

    „Fok this shit, how da fuck did i end amongst sadists and imbeciles... Oh, wait a minute, i have never get rid of them in the first place...“

    He couldn’t hold it and laughed.

    The blonde haired get off of him momentarily and moved in front, with her face again only at a hand span of his, staring him with her blue-violet eyes.

    -Has this tickled? – she asked.

    -Isn’t it obvious what he is thinking, Ayuri? – suddenly said maybe-it’s-Reina, with so low and ominous voice, that he shivered. – He is regretting for ending amongst sadists and imbeciles, just like you...

    Art googled against her.

    „WHAT?!“

    The red haired one laughed – so gently and elegant, that he was about to fell momentarily for her.

    The blonde girl smiled slightly with the end of her lips and back away.

    -Welcome. You look very strong. Your body is filled to the brim with energy. Can’t wait to clash one another this afternoon.

    Art again smiled slightly in response – this time much more cautiously.

    Hion puffed and approached them.

    -Stop pestering him from the very first day. – she said. – Is everything ready?

    -Yes, it is. – he replied and got his smartphone, with the uploaded documents on it.

    Hion took her tablet and he transferred it to it.

    -Excellent, everything is alright. Because the yesterday events, we didn’t manage to introduce to one another properly. I’m Hion Rei Sen. The student council president. – she bowed slightly.

    Art replied her the same way.

    -The one over there is Hiigari Reina – the vice-president of the Student council. If you witness something irregular, if something irregular happens to you, or you just need help for a matter – you are looking for both of us.

    Art looked at her – she was still staring at him with her mystical-minacious gaze. She didn’t say anything.

    He looked back again at Hion.

    -This is Raon Jen Lee – our Historical Arts club president. – Hion nodded at the red haired one. She also got up and bowed at him. – And this – Takahashi Ayuri – our vice-president. – she pointed at the blondie.

    She only smiled at him slightly with the end of her lips. Art replied her the same way.

    -You will be in class 11-3 – this is the class in which Raon and Reina are. Me and Ayuri are in class 11-2 – the class next door to yours.

    -C’mon, let’s go. There are only ten minutes left before the classes starts, after that we are going to show you around the school grounds. – jumped from her place Raon, grabbed him under his armpit and led him.

    Art didn’t even think about pulling back. Hion just puffed and followed them. As well as Reina and Ayuri.

    -Well, what do you think about our city so far? Do you like the climate? The food? The people? Do you need of something additional? Just tell us and we will do our upmost to help you.

    -Don’t worry, everything is great – there is almost no difference with Leichtè. – he replied with a bit of annoyance. – The food is great, by the way. Nym and Ren were incredible yesterday night and this morning. I have a feeling that i’m already several kilos up...

    -Hehe. – she back away from him for a second, just to look at him from the side. – You look fine from this angle.

    -Hah, i’m glad. I hope it will continue to be this way and in the future.

    She smiled charmingly.

    -You will need a very strong will for that.

    -Hm, why?

    -Just wait for Mel to start cooking and you will see what i’m talking about...

    Art raised his eyebrows in response.

    -Then i’ll need to think for countermeasures how not to gain extra weight...

    -Can help you with that. – she whispered almost in his ear.

    Reina suddenly passed through between them, pushing them aside and splitting them from one another roughly.

    -You are in the school, for fuck sake. Pull your hormones together... – she snorted, almost disgusted.

    -Oh my, oh my. Watch out, Reina seems to be exceptionally tetchy today. – since there was still place, Ayuri also went between them.

    Art only raised his eyebrows wordlessly and Raon smiled at him slightly.

    Hion was walking silently behind, looking at them with her stony, expressionless face...

    After a while, they’ve reached the floor, where their classrooms were, Art saw right away the conspicuous signs, on which was written „11-1“, „11-2“, „11-3“ and so on.

    -Let’s wait for your homeroom teacher here. I’ll introduce her to you before you meet your new class and introduce yourself. – said Hion.

    -Is this how you do things here?

    -Why? Isn’t the same way in your country?

    -Well, almost. Only that nobody cares about you and you must deal with all the stuff absolutely alone. In the school yard you can get beaten for a welcome. When you get inside your room, there is a chance somebody to surprise you with a bucket of water or to shove the trash can on your head. Hardly anyone will notice if you are a new student and just go into the room without saying anything, the teacher won’t make you stand and introduce yourself, they will just enter and start the lesson...

    Hion goggled her eyes against him. Art couldn’t hold it and laughed.

    -I‘m joking of course. – he hurried to put her at ease. – But it still not far from the truth.

    The girl sighed and leaned back against the wall, crossing her arms under her chest. Her typical inexpressive look almost immediately returned to her face.

    -Here too regularly someone is fighting in the school yard. Sometimes with a measure, other times – with no so much... – explained Raon.

    -Aha, so you are saying it’s almost like back home.

    -Well, i don’t know how the things are back in Falkland, but here, when the menstruation period of the school bands matches, it became some kind of nightmare... The council and the committees just can’t keep up with putting their shit together... How much nights Hion had spent in the school, you wouldn’t believe it. I’m feeling sorry about her just by thinking about it...

    -Don’t waste so much of your energy on me...

    -You just had to remain the Historical club’s president, but no, let’s deal with the other people puberty...

    -What can you do, somebody had to do this job. For nothing in world i would leave Reina and the rest to deal with this stuff alone...

    -Ehh, how good you are sometimes, i almost couldn’t believe it...

    -C’mon, screw with me more, even more, please...

    Raon smiled towards her.

    -Are all of you here from the club?

    -Maybe. – said Hion.

    -And who is the best in your school?

    -C’mon now, you are asking to much. Let’s not spoil the surprises for you. – winked at him Raon.

    Art smiled a bit and decided to listen to her by stop asking. It was obvious, that he was going to need to pull the words out of their mouths by force...

    -Can you tell me at least what our first period is?

    -What do you care – is not as if you know any vhynhaimese to understand anything yet... – said Reina.

    He suddenly just wanted to smack her one nice elven slap in the stupid face...

    -So, which is your favorite period or your favorite historical event you are most interested in? – asked him in return Ayuri.

    Art puffed and stared in the ceiling – on one hand because they were avoiding all of his questions by some reason, on the other hand – because he really started to think about it.

    -Phh, you caught me here... – he began. – Let’s see: Montgisardean Wars, Oderonean Wars, Issegem invasions in Inden, Indenean conquest of Arnim, The World War, The Falklan Period, The Issegems Period, Aziro-Liennese Wars, The War of the Myrinese Succession, The War of the Violenn Succession, The El’livian Civil Wars, Veiry’s expansion, The Gaiormn’s Sabotage, Ancient Arnimia, Terminus’s Rebellion, The Vampire World War, The Age of the Heroes...

    -Lol, you just described our whole written history. – interrupted him Raon.

    -Well, yes, what can you do, i’m interested in many things... – he laughed artificially, scratching behind his neck.

    -And nothing about Vhinhym, hm?... – added bitterly Reina.

    -You are the ones, who are hushing up your history from us, mainlanders and want us not to shove our noses into your stuff... – replied most unceremoniously Art to her.

    -Is our role during the Falklan Period and the World War something to be underestimated, Reina? – joined (on his side, he decided – mostly for his convenience and comfort) and Raon.

    -The truth has been spoken... – said Hion.

    -Nice to see you on my side, as always... – snorted Reina.

    -Well, Art, tell us what your life back in Falkland looked like! – Ayuri come before him Ayuri, staring her big eyes in his. – What are your parents doing, do you have brothers, sisters, what your friends love! Share it with us!

    In the first moment he thought why should he do it, after they didn’t even want to answer several elementary questions of his...

    Then he failed to resist the bright in her eyes.

    He puffed and looked at the ceiling for a moment again.

    -My mother and my father are lecturers in Leichtè’s universities. At first they were schoolmates, then colleagues – on the whole, they knew each other since little kids.

    -Ehhhh, this is some nice and unconditional eternal love. – she said dreamily.

    -Yeah, what can you do...

    -What about brothers? Sisters? – she got even more closer to him, that he started to feel little uncomfortable.

    -My biggest sister currently study in the Academy of Saorisse...

    -IN SAORISSE?! Wooooow.

    -Yeah, she just killed us all, when she said, that she is going away. Although, no one in the family had ever doubted it that she will be accepted...

    -First she, and now you...

    -Yeah, what can you do. The life can be nasty sometimes. Besides her, i have two other little sisters. Twins. I’m crying internaly from joy that i managed to get away from them...

    Raon laughed gently.

    -I have the feeling that i completely understand you...

    -Well, with that crazy family of yours, how couldn’t you... – tossed Reina.

    Ayuri looked at her, then put her gaze back on Art.

    -And your friends? Surely, a person like you has been able to do a lot of friends, right?

    -Weeell, you can say so.. – he smiled slightly, scratching behind his head (again, there where it wasn’t itching). – At that i’m a lucky man. You can say that i’ve made most of my friends during my time in school.

    -Ooh, yes. It’s incredible how the similar interests pull people together that much.

    -I’m one hundred percent agree with you.

    -Well? Tell me more about them. They also fence like you, right? Are they history buffs or just like to train?

    In the first moment, he thought again why should asnwer her after she didn’t want to give him even a tiny piece of information about them...

    Then, he couldn’t resist her shining eyes again...

    And again puffed.

    -Let’s see. Frou for some reason is incredibly interested in pottery and vase ornamentation – gods forbid, if he sees an elven vase you couldn’t get him out after that – he will totally lost it... His main specialty are montante’s battle techniques of Montgisard. Harm is a maniac about all kinds of bows. If you by chance happen to see him someday, just don’t ask anything about that – otherwise, you will need two to three free weeks to listen to him... Amarys is maybe the best chevalier and armored fight expert i know – she mainly trains this and nothing else though. Mort, recently, has started to show some very strange obsession with bombards from 16th century. Good thing, that his father forbid him to try to build one in their backyard. My cousin Sophie is all crazy about the topic of Falklan Period. She also...

    -You will continue with the sweet talk later. Rika is here. – interrupted them Reina.

    The two of them turned and looked at the direction where the vice-pres was looking. And what he saw, impressed him sincerely – he had the feeling, that his future homeroom teacher was almost at their age. Elegant and slim, she was wearing knee-long beige skirt and a beige suit, fastened with only one button in the middle. Her rose-ash hair was in full...

    „WAIT A MINUTE!...“

    -Hello, miss Rika! – greeted her Ayuri.

    -Let me introduce to you your homeroom teacher from now onwards. This is miss Hiiragi Rika – Reina’s bigger sister.

    „I seeeeee...“

    -It’s nice to meet you, Art. I’m happy that from now on you will be part of our school. – she bowed to him.

    -It’s nice to meet you too, miss Hiiragi. – he replied in the same way.

    -Please, there is no need of such formalities. Rika is alright.

    -As you say... – he secretly looked at Reina.

    She stared back at him bloodthirsty.

    Art gulped noiselessly...

    -Let’s begin the today’s classes. Come, i’ll introduce you to your new class. – she put her hand on his shoulder and led him to the room.

    -See you in the break. – said Hion to Reina and the two with Ayuri went to their room.

    -Did all of you here know falklanish? – whispered quietly Art to Raon.

    -Well, a very large part of the students and the teachers knew it well enough to understand it. For the purposes of opening the country for the foreign cultures and exiting our current status quo of cultural isolationism, headmaster Elliver put it in the curriculum as a mandatory second language. Many people weren’t happy about this decision of his, there were even attempts to remove him from his position, but in the end he managed to impose himself. And considering the influence Falkland had throughout our history, to some extent i agree with his decision. After all, a person must know his enemies, right? – she winked at him.

    -Let’s hope all this will remain completely in the past – he said.

    -Yes. After all, Falkland and Vhinhym are very good friends now, right? As i hope you will be to us. – smiled miss Rika.

    The four of them entered the room. Reina and Raon headed directly to their seat, and Art stopped with miss Rika beside her desk.

    He took a quick look around the room. So many faces and almost no familiar ones from yesterday – only that of Mio, who smiled slightly, when their eyes met each others.

    „Well, at least one normal, who i know...“

    The class was almost evenly girls-boys distributed, although there were some empty seats here and there. And he could even bet why...

    -(Children, from today, as many of you had probably heard already, we have new foreign exchange student). – began on vhynehaimese miss Rika, then turned towards him. – Come on, introduce yourself. – she put her hand on his back for moral support and pushed him gently.

    Art looked her for a second, blinked at took a step forwards, looking randomly at his future schoolmates. He saw how Raon smiled at him charmingly and Mio raised her thumb up delicately in a sign of courage.

    Reina was still looking at him bloodthirstily...

    He took a breath soundlessly, mobilized as much as he could his mind and said on vhynehaimese:

    -(I’m Artorious Sol Augustus from Falkland! It’s nice to meet you!) – and deeply bowed.

    What followed, exceeded even his wildest imagination...


    Art puffed.

    And this was a sigh of relief as if he had collected heavy burden for centuries...

    Shouldn’t he just jumped out the window?

    „SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY?!“

    He puffed again, thinking what exactly does he angered, for all of this to happen to him.

    „Maybe it’s really better to jump off while there is still time...“

    He was leaning at the window’s threshold sill, with half his torso outside, enjoying the bits of fresh air to which he managed to get onto. To bad that he would be able to enjoy it so little time, before getting back to his room...

    „Empress Rosalind should have kill them all back ago, during the World War...“

    He felt so envenomed, that barely resisted to spit. Knowing his luck last days, he was probably at hundred percent sure it is gonna hit someone, and he could even bet that it was going to be a teacher, and go and explain the situation later...

    Just what he needed now...

    After he introduced himself, several of the girls, bravely incited by Raon, had begun whistling and shouting, as if they had called a striped, who was just heating up the things, others was staring at him with admiration and their jaws were dropped by that. The boys were looking at him with their stony faces, trying to incinerate him with their gloomy gazes, as if he was some new alpha-predator, who came to their territory to steal their prey.

    „Should i instigate a new World War somehow? Or at least a new little Falklan Period? Sophie will support me in that with all hands...“

    He puffed heavily for who knew which time, he had lost the count.

    -Hey, what it is? – he heard a voice behind his.

    Art stood up and turned.

    Mio smiled at him slightly.

    He puffed quietly and leaned back carefully, soaring his gaze up, towards the crystal blue sky.

    Ayuri’s curiosity was nothing compared to that of his new she-classmates...

    As if they had never seen a foreigne... Oh, wait, this probably was try...

    As if they had never seen a boy in their lives...

    How many questions did they manage to ask him about for two fifteen minutes breaks? He was ready to bet, that the number was over five hundred...

    After the first one hour period, he was just thinking to get up and step out for a bit, using the opportunity to take a quick look around the floor, even to see if there wasn’t going to be another familiar face from yesterday in the classrooms next to his...

    He thought...

    And he only managed to do that...

    As soon as miss Rika dismissed the class, several of his she-classmates surrounded him tightly, blocking his desk completely and started to pour out questions at him with the speed of adept journalists, trying to rake up the next grandiose scandal around the Oderon’s Prime Minister...

    The first break – new student, and foreigner moreover (in this country they really didn’t see foreigners that often, did they...) – he fully understood them, so he tried to smile politely and answer their questions with upmost respect. After all, he needed to make a good first impression, right?

    Although, as he was expecting, the rumors about yesterday’s event were already spreading...

    This didn’t pass him during the second break...

    Just when miss Rika finished up with the second one hour period and Art with a smile on his face was about to get up, and walk around to loosen up his tightened muscles from the long sitting, lasting more than two hours already, to the point it was starting to hurt, and look around the building, he was again put under siege.

    And this time everybody threw over the windows the initial courtesy – no one anymore was curious about his foreign persona – the only thing, they were excited about was what exactly, hundreds of demons, happened yesterday...

    Art was so sick of repeating this story over and over, that at the end of the break, he was literally feeling nauseous – so much, that he wanted to kiss the school bell when it announced the beginning of the third one hour period...

    And at its end, he was so numb, that he had the feeling he inosculated with the chair. He hadn’t prayed so much during his whole life, as much as he did for the school bell in the last several minutes of the period.

    He played it safe and soon as it ringed, without even waiting the dear miss Rika to dismiss them, he jumped from his place and now here he is, breathing some fresh air and readying himself to get and through the coming bombardment of Mio’s questions...

    He suddenly startled.

    How could he even thought it? She was ever so kind and gentle with him...

    He put away all his murky thoughts and smiled in response.

    -I’m just suddenly missing Ronson’s welcoming. – he bend his head backwards, soaring his eyes somewhere up in the sky. His gaze ended on one lonely transoceanic hypersonic aeroliner, leaving the stratosphere with its peculiar huge white contrails behind, heading west, probably towards Arnym or Lerna.

    He puffed, this time out of admiration about its power and how he will never be able to fly like that...

    -Have you ever flew on one of these, Mio? – he asked quietly.

    -Mmh? – she tilted her head slightly.

    Then she pressed tightly onto him at the window, also looking up. She was smelling so nice...

    -Oooh, is this a hypersonic liner? Nope, i haven’t had the honor to travel in such. – Mio back away from him. – How did you get in here?

    -Just regular Falkland Air flight. Indstar 344, if i’m not mistaken.

    -Ooh, but i had flew on this one though. Just one time, when with my parents went to Oberland. But i was very little – can’t remember almost anything.

    -Stuffed in a pin can with another 1700 people. It’s probably not something worth remembering... – he snorted.

    -Hehe, it seems your experiences weren’t very enjoyable? – she smiled.

    -We hit a storm over the Garaitz Sea. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination...

    -Ooh, i can bet it must have been very unpleasant experience.

    -What to say... I think to save you everything.

    She smiled.

    -Oooh, i see that you have already made friends, Art! – he heard one familiar voice from his side.

    The two of them turned.

    Art gasped by surprise.

    -Good day, headmaster Elliver. – Mio slightly bowed to him.

    -You!

    His jaw dropped. That was the same man, who had guided him yesterday!

    The man smiled broadly, and Mio looked at them in confusion.

    -Do you already know each other?

    -Yeah, yesterday, when i was kinda lost, he was the one to guide me to the school. I’m sorry that i didn’t manage to recognize you. – Art also bowed slightly, as it was proper.

    -Don’t worry about that! – the headmaster said cheerfully. – I just came quickly to see how are you doing. But it seems there was no need to worry about you at all! – he looked at Mio.

    -Yes, it’s all right. Thank you for your solicitude. Here all are... very gentle and careful towards me – he replied politely, putting an incredible amount of effort for his face not to twitch...

    Well, part of it was completely true, he couldn’t deny it...

    -I’m happy to hear it, Art. We, together with the previous headmaster Imaeda, put a huge effort to build and raise the reputation of our academy in the international scientific circles – which is something up to you now to keep and not allow to return to the dark times of isolationism, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. I’m proud with all my heart that i managed to inspire this onto my students hearts and to discipline this feeling of tolerance and hospitality in them. Something which even only ten years ago would be unacceptable, even scandalous, unfortunately, for our community.

    -Myself, and the administration of Falklan academy will do our upmost to maintain the good relationship between our schools, headmaster Elliver, which so many people throughout the years have build in such diligent efforts. You have mine sincerest word on this.

    -Well, after we discussed this, allow me to personally welcome you to our school. – he reached in his pocket and put out something in luxurious cardboard package. – And this is for your fast recovery. – winked at him the headmaster.

    -Ooh, is this vhynehaimese chocolate? Thank you very much! – he accepted it without even a thought to play it modest.

    -Then, i’ll go back to my work. If you need something – to discuss a certain question, if you have some problem or just to pour out your soul – you can always search for me in my office. It is on the first floor, room number 112M.

    -I see. Thank you. – he again bowed slightly.

    -I’l count on you also, Mio! – he waved at them, while walking away through the corridor.

    -Of course. Thank you for your hard work. – she also bowed.

    After a seconds, he disappeared behind the corner.

    Art hurried to unpack his chocolate. He still had a tad of time left...

    -Damn it, i’m gonna get fat... – his tears were ready to run down his cheeks. – Mmm, godlike...

    Then he broke of a piece of it and handed it to Mio. In the first moment she looked at him puzzled, but then smiled and accepted it.

    -This is „Sharpè Froix“. Maybe one of our tastiest brands. – she said.

    -It’s incredible... – replied with half full mouth Art.

    After that, he broke off another piece and handed it to her.

    -Oh, no, enough please. I need to be careful about my figure. – she laughed tenderly.

    Art looked at the piece in his hand, his face frowned in dilemma – then, he bit a small piece of it and put the rest back in the box.

    -Damn it, you are right. I think i’ll leave the rest for tomorrow. If you want, we can share it with again... – he winked at her.

    -Can’t wait. – smiled gently Mio.

    -Well, you mentioned that when you were little, you went to Oberland? But also that you didn’t remember anything particular. – giggled Art.

    -Yeah, something like that. When i was little dad often had to travel because of his work and was taking me with him. I had seen most of the world before even reaching age of ten.

    -Wow, this is incredible. Where else had you been?

    -Weeeell, let’s see. I have been in Oberland, as i said, in El’livian, in Falkland of course, in Alfven, in Oderon, in Myrina, in Montgisard and even in Issegem and the islands of Rienne Zegna.

    -Oooo, this is incredible! Damn, just as i think that i haven’t been traveled much at all, i’m starting to feel depressed.

    -We are still young – to travel around the world is yet to come. – she tried to give him courage with one of her dazzling smiles.

    -Well, i hope it will be as you say. What are your parents working, Mio?

    -Mother is surgeon in Niigara. And dad is signals processing engineer.

    He looked at her with widened eyes.

    She giggled gently because of his reaction.

    -Can’t believe it, right?

    -Yes, it’s almost difficult. The parents of most of the people i know, are either historical science lectures, archaeologists or at least something related to history, or have very strongly developed hobbies in this field. How exactly did that passion arise in you, Mio?

    -Just because of these travels, i think, Art. When you witness all these different cultures, of the different people and their way of li...

    The sudden ring of the bell interrupted her.

    -Oh, well, we should get back.

    -Yes, unfortunately. It so nice to talk with you, you don’t even have an idea how much.

    -Well, then during the next break try to get rid of all of your adorers in time. – she laughed gently.

    Art smiled in response.

    -You can’t even start to image how much effort ima gonna put in that...


    So he did. Although, there wasn’t much point, because they had forty minutes lunch break.

    Ren and Nym had made them and lunch – pasta with vegetables and seafood, which he barely resisted not to eat right in the morning. Just what he needed for his first upcoming training in his new club after his classes.

    Most of his schoolmates left for the cafeteria or to the vending machines and the room ended almost empty, although there were several other people, which like him had bring food and quickly formed rowdy groups in which the laughter was dominant over the eating.

    Fortunately, Reina was one of the firsts to leave. He was so happy, that at least while he was eating, she was not going to pierce him with her bloodthirsty faces. Her very presence was enough to poison his lunch.

    On the other hand, Raon turned her chair from the desk in front of his and sat against him, gifting him one dazzling smile, as if she was his girlfriend for five months now...

    She opened her bento and push it almost to his.

    -What do you have for today. – she asked casually.

    -Well, look. – noded Art, to lazy to respond to her obvious question and put new bite in his mouth.

    He didn’t even think to be courteous – he was so tired of all that small talk and small questions, started by her initiative, as well as to repeat one particular story for a thousand times already, that he was feeling how he didn’t want to talk for the next few weeks. Even if he was dying from thirst, he had rather drop dead than ask her for a bit of water.

    -Ooh, it looks incredible. Can i try a bit? – she peeked over.

    -Welcome yourself.

    -Oooh, thank you. – Raon had the impudence to fork his biggest shrimp (he knew he shouldn’t keep it for the end, damn it!) and wrapped it with a generous amount of pasta. – Mmm, it’s incredible. Who did this?

    -Nym and Ren. – he replied tiresome.

    Raon kinda ignored him.

    -Wanna try from mine?

    Art took a quick look at her box. Was that a beetroot?!

    „Blarrgghh...“

    -Nope, thank you. Can’t stand the bell pepper.

    -You sure? Here, i’ll get you some without. – she said and together with the small piece of meat, she forked and a substantial amount of the grated beetroot.

    Just by seeing it, Art felt nauseated. So much, that he barely resisted not to twitch from disgust.

    -Nope, really. – he carefully pushed her fork with his – so, that not to touch the beetroot even a tiny bit.

    Raon puffed and ate the bite instead of him.

    -Well, to bad. All of this was made by my little sister, Yuko, by the way. And she is only twelve.

    -Woa, nice, she is gonna find a man easily, when she grew up. I’m sorry, but i’m feeling sick just by the smelling it. As if i’m chewing on panties...

    -Phahahhaha, how do you know how it feels to chew on panties?!?

    Art smiled ambiguously.

    -You alone said, that you have little sisters. I think you understood very well what i meant.

    Raon smiled in response.

    -What about you? Can you cook?

    Art puffed lowly. From where was coming this desire in that woman to speak that much?!

    He took a quick look on his left, towards the Mio’s desk, whose face was about to start laughing. Well, at least he was glad that she was amused by his misery...

    -A little. Although mostly sweets. When your parents are on business trips for experience exchange in some foreign university or research institutes and your little sisters live on sugar, you learn, like it or not. My favorite is, when it’s three o’clock in the morning and they suddenly decide that they want to eat cheesecake or souffle... One time, when i decided to persist and not to do what they want, they took the falklanish pole axe from my father’s collection and rekted the door of my room... That was when i decided, that no matter what time it is, i shall never again ignore them...

    Raon laughed – it was clearly visible, that she was doing it from the bottom of her heart. And also, he concluded, that she was pretty familiar with what he was talking about...

    -What can you do, little sisters are like this. – she said. – My brother also have it pretty fun with his four little sisters at home.

    -Wow. Now this sounds quite serious.

    -Trust me, it is. You have no idea what he is experiencing everyday.

    -Well, i would probably need not that much of rich imagination to get a glimpse. After all, i have enough experience...

    -I can‘t wait for you to make me some sweets sometime. I bet it will gonna be heavenly. After all, when you were learning to cook, you have done it for very important for you people.

    -Mmm, it will probably never happen. – replied Art. – Actually, i hate to cook so much, that when i just think about kitchen, a blackout appears before my eyes. Maybe your only chance is when it’s my turn to cook in the dorm and you happen to be there, for example.

    -Nice, i’ll consider that for invitation then. – she winked him.

    Internally, he started to scream, swear and jump on the chair.

    He wanted to do it and in reality.

    Instead, he forked his next biggest shrimp that was left, but when he saw that Raon began opening her mouth again for her next bombardment of questions, despite that it broke his heart so much, he made the though decision to sacrifice it and shove it right into her mouth.

    -Here, have more. – he said with uniform voice and stony face.

    She promptly chewed it and swallow.

    -Ooh, thank you!

    At this stage, he was pouring bloody tears. At least he left a note to himself, from now on always to start his lunch with the most appetizing and biggest stuff...

    He took a quick glimpse on the side – Mio now was twitching out laughing quietly on her desk.

    -Just careful not to choke to death. – suddenly threw Reina.

    Art startled and cautiously followed her with his look while she was walking to her place – her seat was second desk on the left – just in front of Mio.

    -Don’t worry. – Mio continued to giggle for quite some time before fully returning to her lunch.

    Reina had taken a sandwich from the vending machine, together with a small box of chocolate milk. Seriously, how could one live on that? He guessed, that this was more of an exception for her, rather than a habit.

    He decided not to excruciate himself about her persona and to focus entirely on his lunch.

    Raon was still asking him questions from time to time, but she wasn’t like the machine gun she was in the beginning. Even at some time, it started to feel relatively pleasant and almost all the annoyance, he had gathered towards her in the hysteria around the first periods, disappeared, he relaxed and started to feel like he was talking to Mio or to some of his friends back in Falkland.

    The pity was, that this happened almost at the end of their break and soon they returned to their last period of the day.

    It was almost two and a half o’clock when it ended.

    And he was awaiting for this with upmost impatience, since he was finally going to conduct his first serious training and get a hold of his serious equipment...

    And to see, how, hundreds of demons, was possible these folks to have beaten them during the World War and the Falklan Period...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  5. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Added a World map with the current geopolitical situation.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. A_Random_Weeb

    A_Random_Weeb Active Member

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    I saw HEMA, i clicked :blobmelt:
     
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  7. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I'll be glad to hear your opinion (in next chapter there will be more fighting ;D).
     
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  8. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    In the changing room there were several people he didn’t know. Somehow he wasn’t in the mood for a new cannonry of questions, so he changed quietly in one of the corners in his sport garments – his thick padded pants and the shirt with the short sleeve which didn’t get in his way. The protectors, the gambeson and the helmet he left for now in his bag, since he was gonna look quite ridiculous if was about to put them on now. Not to say that he was probably gonna have a heatstroke too.

    He took his equipment bag and his two swords, and went in the gymnasium.

    Inside, for his non surprise, he saw many familiar faces.

    Reina, Mio and Raon. Akio, the girl for which he was still supposing was Hion’s sister, Nym, Ren and An, Ayuri and Rioko – the blondie from yesterday, whose face was still looking like she wanted to curse someone to death. As well as some other faces, which he spotted yesterday around the nurse office, during that whole drama, which took place.

    He puffed lowly and started moving towards the group of Mio, Nym and Raon, without any hurry.

    It was all obvious, that they were waiting specially for him, as all conversations stopped and they all turned their attention towards his persona.

    „Surprise, surprise...“

    Most of them were wearing t-shirts, sport tights and tracksuits, but there were some in the traditional for Vhynehaim hakama and keikogi.

    He left his stuff on the floor to one of the benches and decided it is about time to move around after all these long hours of stiffness.

    And even now he didn’t cheat to his routine – first, he started with warming up and moving his joints...

    -Hey, are you sure you don’t want to call it a rest today? The blood doesn’t recover that fast, you know... – said Raon.

    Art turned towards her, continuing his warm up.

    -If i feel that something is wrong with me, i’ll stop, don’t worry. – he hurried to put her at rest.

    -Alright, just be careful. I won’t carry you to the nurse office afterwards...

    Art laughed.

    What?...

    He noticed how one of the girls had approached him at just a meter on the other side and was... taking pics of him?...

    When their eyes crossed, as if she startled, put down her camera and step back a little, as if he was going to jump at her like some predator.

    -I... I... am sorry, am i giving you troubles? – she asked timidly with almost trembling voice.

    -Oh, no, don’t worry. It was just out of the blue.

    He saw how Ayuri approached the two of them and that was the moment when it hit him...

    „Right!...“

    -This, Art, is my sister, Hifumi. – she said.

    Art looked at her – she was still in her school uniform and had the same hair color like the other blondie, tied up on two middle pigtails, and the same bright green eyes as her...

    „WHAT?!“

    Art momentarily turned and started to look around for her among the rest of them...

    -And the one over there is my other sister – Rioko. – she pointed towards the blondie.

    -Yo! – she lifted her hand sharply for a salute.

    She was seating on one of the benches, almost lying on it with her legs stretched forward and quickly returned back her hand under other one, which she crossed below her chest, and was looking with a grumpy face, as if someone had took her lollipop.

    -Hifumi didn’t have our attraction towards history and reenactments, but on the other hand, she loves the photography and is always around our club in search of the perfect shots. We must show you sometime what miracles she can do with the video editing – you will be speechless. – explained Ayuri.

    -This sounds incredible.

    -Also, she won’t upload something connected to you before asking you or to make you lose face. Her only goal is to get as must beautiful photos as she can. You have no idea how much impatient she became, when she learned that you came here as a foreign exchange student from Falkland. But if you feel bothered in any way...

    -Don’t worry. If so, let her feel free to make as much pic and videos as she wants. – he smiled slightly.

    -Oooh, thank you very much! – she jump exited and even before his smile was gone, she raised the camera and caught it. Then she looked at the display satisfied. – It came out incredible!

    Art smiled one more time and returned to his warm up. After he felt that the heat had spread thorough all of his body, he allowed himself to stretch a little bit. Really, just a tiny little bit. And then he drew out his training sword and continued to warm up with it – first light fluid movements with the one hand, then light fluid movements with the other one, all this accompanied at the whole time with the adequate steps.

    -Hey, Art, let’s practice again like we did this morning! – he suddenly heard Ren’s voice beside him.

    -„Like this morning?“. Ohooooo!... – raised a enthusiastic shout Raon.

    -Only this is in your shallow mind... – snorted Reina.

    -Alright, Ren, just wait for me to equip myself. – he didn’t pay any attention to the others and turned towards her.

    He was about to go to his stuff, when he saw how Hion showed besides Ren. Hion, equipped with the defensive gear, typical for their arts – do, kote and men. But not the helmet with the usual spacious metal grille, which they used in the Olympic Kendo, but almost as fine as the ones they used in their HIMA – enough, to stop the thin metal blade of their training weapons not to slide between the grids and rekt some of her eyes or teeth.

    -Oho, it seem that Hion also wants some „practice from this morning“. – smiled at her Raon.

    She looked at her bloodthirsty.

    -Enough with the sexual cues, Raon. Go do yourself in the toilet, if you can’t hold it that much.

    Reina laughed. Art was sincerely surprised, that she was capable of such emotions.

    -Ren, would you mind to wait for a bit? – asked Hion.

    -Not of course.

    -And you, Art, would you mind to duel with me?

    -Okay, just give me some time to gear up.

    -Of course. No need to feel in a hurry or something. – she replied.

    Although the stony face with which she was looking at him didn’t match her words at all.

    He quickly put on the gambeson, the gloves, all of the protectors, and took his helmet and training sword, without his scabbard, under arm, and returned to Hion. Of course, during this whole time Hifumi was moving around randomly and was taking pics of him with her MILC, but she was doing it so delicately and carefully, and if he didn’t know she was there, he would had never noticed her.

    Most of the people ceased their exercises and sat on the benches or the floor, freeing this part of the gymnasium for him and Hion, but he saw that at its far end there were several other people – they were also sitting and watching.

    „Hmm...“

    Art stopped at a little bit more than three meters from her and put his helmet on.

    -Everything equipped? – he asked and spun his sword around several times.

    -Mhm. – she mumbled and took a stance, similar to the HIMA’s guard „Alber”.

    And he put his sword on the right shoulder.

    -C’mon, Hion! Smash his conk! – suddenly shouted Rioko enthusiastically.

    Art threw a quick glimpse at her, smiling under his nose.

    -Don’t listen to her, Art, you are the best! – supported him Ren.

    -That’s right! Go get her! – joined and Ann.

    Hion also looked at them for a second – but with her expressionless face and put her helmet on.

    Art took a Vom Tag and awaited.

    As always, when he was fighting an unknown foe for the first time, he decided to carefully measure her reactions and reflexes for some time, before doing something.

    Five seconds have passed.

    Ten seconds have passed.

    Hion didn’t do anything – her iaito’s tip was still almost touching the ground, as she wasn’t in a stance at all, deceivingly leaving her upper part exposed, luring him in a suicide attack...

    He decided to catch the bait and not wait anymore...

    Rushed!

    With a sudden oberhau and a step forward, he closed the distance to her and landed his blade right on her head.

    Hion didn’t react at all – just flinched a little, when she received his hit and then retreated a step back – and although Art also took a step back, preparing himself for defense, nothing more happened.

    „What?!“

    He heard how suddenly several people raised their catcalling shouts.

    -Booooo, cheater! Scoundrel! – yelled Rioko.

    -That was lowly, Art. Very very lowly. I didn’t expect such thing from you... – said Reina almost with disgust.

    Art took off his helmet and turned towards them, softly speaking, bewildered.

    -Excuse me? What? Can someone explain to me what exactly did i do? – he said, not knowing how to explain to himself their behavior.

    -All this time Hion was waiting for you to give a sign that you are ready for the duel. And you suddenly attacked her without a such – she even hadn’t been taken a stance. – said Raon.

    -Excuse me? But i asked her if was equipped and she was in a stance similar to our „Alber”...

    -Lol, that wasn’t even a stance. – replied bitterly Reina.

    -And how i’m suppose to now that?

    -Isn’t it obvious to every thought-capable person?

    He puffed. They were totally making him look like the bad guy.

    -Alright, alright, i’m sorry. But as i said i asked if she is equipped and her stance looked almost like our „Alber”. In our usual sparing there are no such things as start, ready or something else... You equip yourself, stand before your opponent i start smacking his head until he is unconsciousness. Unless someone explicitly didn’t ask for a wait for some reason. In this case, i acted exactly like we are doing our sparring sessions back in Leichtè. And, on the contrary, why during a battle you must wait for your opponent to be most ready, instead attacking him in a moment of weakness? If he is going to duel you, whether he is ready in time or not is his problem and not yours. And you will only risk your life even more that way, not using the opportunities.

    -Well, Hion, here you have the differences between ours and theirs schools in action! – said flippantly Mio.

    -Yes, i’m totally agree with him. The fault in this case is completely mine, for not knowing their rules. It is normal during a battle, in which your life is put on line, to be as much as unfair for your opponent as possible. After all, we are an Reenactment club – not Olympic school of fencing.

    -Finally, someone with a common sense! – said Art elated. – But if you want, i’ll give you sign before the start of every round, i have no problems with that.

    -Don’t worry. As you want. – she said and put back her helmet.

    Art did the same and the two of them took stances – he right shoulder Vom Tag again, she – something like a high guard, with arms and iaito over her head.

    -I’m ready! – he said.

    -Ready!

    Hion momentarily dashed forward in attack. With an advancing step, she closed the distance and swung so sharply her sword, that if he had blinked in that moment, he wouldn’t be able to see her strike.

    But first two things: one of the first tricks he learnt, was how not to blink during the battle and secondly – his weapon had much longer reach than hers.

    That’s way with a zornhau – a powerful diagonal displacing hewing strike, he deflected her blade and his sword’s tip landed right on her chest – something that would be lethal, if they were using a real weapons, a battle, which should have ended for a blink of an eye for this turn of the events.

    He saw how Hion staggered, several people worryingly exclaimed. And maybe when all of them thought this round had ended, Art threw a Talhoffer’s swing – with a point of his sword he cut her calves and knocked her on the floor properly.

    -Neee-chan! – yelled the brown haired one, Akio, sharply jumping of her seat.

    „So, she really is her sister...“ – thought in the gap between the span of his instinctive minds he.

    Then he retreated and prepared to defend himself.

    -You are just merciless, Art! – shouted Mio.

    Hion got up, as if more heavily than it was fitting for her normal speed.

    -Hey, didn’t you overdo it a little bit with that, Art? – started again Reina.

    -For fuck sake, leave him alone, let him show all his skills! ART! Fight like you know, don’t listen to the others and don’t restrict yourself! C’mon, get ready! – she took a high guard.

    Art took a shoulder Vom Tag and sink a little.

    -Ready!

    -Ready!

    This time he was the one to dash towards her with a lightning fast oberhau, trying to smack her head.

    Instead, a powerful metallic cling echoed, his blade somehow missed and he was the one to receive a blow on his helmet.

    As if he froze...

    -NICE ONE, HIOOON! BEAT HIM TO THE PULP! – suddenly shouted Rioko.

    When he recovered, Hion was only a meter in front of him, her blade was still blocking his and pressing his head.

    He didn’t even catch a glimpse of what happened...

    -Are you alright? – she tilted her head slightly.

    -Yeah, just... It was just like a thunder strike from a clear sky.

    He heard her how she giggled through her helmet.

    He didn’t know what worried him more – the fact, that he heard her laughing for a first time (somewhat, he didn’t even think that she wasn’t capable of such emotions) or the fact that he saw absolutely nothing from her movement...

    He puffed quietly – through his helmet it sounded more like that he was grunting in a tin can.

    He adjusted his helmet, took his guard and said:

    -Ready!

    -Ready!

    This time she was the one to momentarily charge.

    Art saw her. Oh, yes, he saw her very clearly.

    But he couldn’t do anything – Hion once again deflected his defense with something like his zornhau and landed her iaito straight on his head. His attempt to strike her simultaneously hit a rock, since she get out of his reach right away.

    Seriously, how could someone be that fast?! She was even faster than Adam and Niei...

    He puffed again quietly and looked at Raon.

    He saw how she was smiling at him broadly, as if she was feeling a huge satisfaction to see how he is getting smacked by their president.

    Now he understood it completely – nobody wanted to answer his questions just because they were simply awaiting for something like this to happen – it seems that this moment was the thing that is going to made their day so they had awaited for it in eagerness.

    Apparently, everybody here liked to surprise the foreigners...

    „Fuck you and your jokes thoroughly...“

    He took Vom Tag and sink a little.

    When they sign the beginning, he dashed with a lighting speed towards Hion.

    His powerful mittelhau met her blade and momentarily he tried to double it, but she was just to fast and her sword landed on his neck.

    -Wow, Art, how did you even manage to defeat those tramps yesterday, huh?! – yelled Rioko.

    Several people laughed.

    Art puffed, without succumbing to their provocations and stepped back.

    He realized that only milliseconds were separating him to turn the things on – to defend himself from her strikes and to land his.

    And he was fully aware how to turn this situation in his favor. After all, he had quite substantial repertoire from the Liennese school of fencing..

    If Bayern didn’t work, it was time for Stëfler.

    Instead Vom Tag, this time he took the guard „Pflug“– stance with a pommel close to the back of his left hip and sword’s tip pointing directly at Hion’s face – and he sink in as much as he can before losing his balance...

    -Ready! – he said.

    -Ready!

    With a powerful leap, he dashed incredibly fast against her. Hion, using her superior speed, tried to interrupt him immediately, stepping aside and attempting to land her sword on his head before he hit her, but Art sharply raised his weapon, blocking her blade with his guard – and his sword’s point stabbed her directly in the neck.

    A complete silence filled the gymnasium. When he broke the bind, stepped back and turned towards the benches, most of the people were looking at him with dropped jaws and goggled eyes.

    Just there was no way he wouldn’t smile smugly in this situation – to bad that no one was able to see him because of his helmet.

    -Well, Rioko, did you like that? – he said.

    -Just a luck – do it again and i’ll admit it! – she replied bluntly.

    Art smiled and again took left Plfug – down as much as he can to the ground.

    Hion took a Vom Tag look like stance...

    -READY!

    -READY!!! – they yelled over one another.

    She immediately dashed towards him – Art momentarely counterattacked.

    It happened almost the same like in the previous round – she tried to smash her blade onto his head before Art manages to reply, he, using the stored energy in his thighs, jumped sharply, raising his sword to catch her blade with his guard and stabbed her in the neck. A perfectly executed absetzen...

    Hion’s onrush was abruptly stopped and she staggered backwards. Art this time didn’t do anything – he waited for her to restore her balance and prepared himself for the next round – with a low left Pflug.

    -WELL DONE, ART! BEAT HER TO THE PULP! – shouted An.

    -Meh, utter bullshit! This was sheer luck! – wave annoyed with her hand Rioko.

    Art smiled. Of course, there was more than just sheer luck.

    The differences in the reach between Vom Tag and Pflug, were exactly a whole blade length – and from there were coming the valuable milliseconds he needed to get into Hion’s tempo.

    In the next round, he proved it again – when she tried to attack him, Art just took advantage of his much longer blade, stepping back a bit and her sword missed him unscathed, making her to overextend. Before she manage to recover, his counterattack that followed – smacked her right in the head.

    -It looks like its 5 on 3 now, huh, Rioko? – yelled from the other side of the benches Mio.

    -Ha, just look now how she is gonna turn the tables! – replied to her the blonde girl.

    -Total nonsense! Just look now how Art is gonna wipe the floor with her! – threw and Ann.

    „Wipe the floor with her?“ – he smiled to her words.

    -I admit it – he really is very good. No wonders that he managed to brake the bones of those four junks yesterday. – said Hion.

    And she took a new stance, almost a copy of his pflug.

    Art didn’t expect else from a duelist of her rank – if one thing wasn’t working, it was time try another one – just like he did.

    But he still had the longer blade advantage – which still meant, that Hion will need to overcome his, pointing directly at her face if she wanted to land an effective hit.

    He took his pflug an prepared himself.

    Hion dashed furiously in attack – again lightingly fast and mercilessly, trying to displace his blade with hers. But Art just retracted his sword a bit back, hers whizzed soundly in the air without finding a target, and he pressed forwards, stabbing her in the face. But Hion recovered much faster from her fruitless attack than he expected and before he manages to get back in defense, she smashed her iaito in his wrists.

    -Art stroke first! – shouted Ann.

    -Yeah, that is right! 6 on 3! – supported him and Ren.

    He put down his helmet and turned towards them.

    -Doesn’t matter. It’s a double strike. Under the rules of HIMA, when you attack, you must also defend yourself. In the kendo and the Olympic fencing it may not be counting when your opponent manage to hits you only a milliseconds after you hit him, but this here counts – that means, that in a real battle, one will be dead, the other – crippled.

    -Totally right. – supported him Hion. – C’mon, get ready yourself. I just got hot. – she said and took pflug.

    Art put his helmet back and prepared to take her charge.

    After their signals, she again rushed. This time his feint with retracting the blade didn’t work – Hion was expecting it, she made her own move and after all she managed to deflect his blade. But this costed her additional milliseconds and that was absolutely enough delay for him – he sinked, letting her blade to whiz over his head and dashed forwards, ready to use his overwhelming strength in grappling.

    Something, that Hion even didn’t imagine he would do...

    He stroke her with a shoulder in her abdomen and after a second, they crashed heavily on the floor. And using her confusion, he took the blade of his sword with one of his hands and pressed it towards her neck in a motion as if he was slicing it.

    From the adrenaline and his vigorous movement, he felt how his heart started to pound like a drum in his chest, even heard the overflowing blood in his ears.

    Even through the two visors, he saw her widened eyes.

    -HEEEEY, THAT’S NOT FAIR! – screamed Rioko.

    Over his pulsing ears and rapid breathing, he heard how Raon and some of the other girls raised their enthusiastic shouts, as if he had assaulted their president sexually, preparing like a beast to tear up her clothes.

    He saw and how Hifumi was kneeing besides them and was snapping them energetically with her camera – a little bit more and she was going to start drooling. He could only hope, that she wasn’t going to make some compromising edit later on and put in on the net...

    Art puffed and got off Hion. And even reached out his hand to her.

    For his upmost surprise, she accepted it.

    -That wasn’t fair! – insisted again Rioko.

    -Why? You wanted me to demonstrate you the Liennese school of fencing? Nothing is forbidden in there.

    -Art is right. – stepped in Ayuri. – Over the time, we had romanticized our combat systems too much, introducing so many unnecessary rules, turning them more into sports and Olympic games, while you continued to sophisticate them for the battlefield and be more effective with a less risk for you lives.

    -Well yeah, that’s normal. – Art put down his mask. – While you were experiencing four hundred years peace period, we were slaughtering each other on the continent. And when Emperor Emriengard forces you to open your country for trading and start modernizing it... Well, then the gunpowder has changed everything from a long time and many of the old martial arts were dumped for unnecessary. To us, and to you.

    -What can you do...

    -C’mon, enough with the talk! Ready yourself, Art! – said Hion and took Pflug.

    Art responded in the same way.

    And this time also, using her superior speed, she tried to overcome his longer reach to land a strike. But now Art knew very well how he can oppose her.

    For her to get too close to him meant that she was just serving herself on a platter...

    He suddenly let go off his sword’s handle with one hand, grabbing her leading arm for the wrist, blocking her sword entirely. He felt how Hion tried to pull out, but even with her two hands she didn’t even manage to barge him – that much strong was he compared to her. Then he just kicked her in the calves and when she dropped on the floor, he stabbed her slightly with the tip of his sword and retreated back, so that she couldn’t counterattack him with her iaito at all.

    -Pff, Hion, did you still not get it that it is not a good idea to enter a grappling with someone, who is much more stronger than you? – said irritated Reina.

    She looked at her after Art helped her get up again.

    -Yes, you don’t stand a chance in these conditions. – said and Nym. – His sword is much more longer and if you want to hit him, you are getting in his grappling range. You know pretty well that from a two people with equal or similar skill, usually wins the one with the longer weapon.

    -Yes. And in the grappling without rules – usually the stronger one. – added and Art.

    -Pff, all right, you convinced me. – took off her helmet Hion and went to the benches. – I hope that your day is made now – you can go back to your exercises...

    Most of the people got up and started to gear up and took their weapons – most of them were with the wooden bokkens and helmets for the Olympic kendo, but there were some with iaito. Some split themselves on couples for sparring, others started group exercises or learning some new moves and techniques.

    Art decided that the excitement was enough for him for now and headed for his bag, putting down his protectors, helmet and gambeson while walking and together with his training sword, he left them over it.

    Then he sat and stretched his legs – he was feeling how the weariness was burning his body a bit, the sweat now break through completely and started to overflow him. And the missing blood was definitely noticeable – it made him feel abnormally light, as if any time now he was going to fly away for somewhere.

    Hifumi didn’t missed the chance to catch him in some frames, just as like he was tired –even for such a short sparring session, he was losing breath and spending a lot of energy.

    A long sigh of relief left his lungs.

    -Niiice, you have no idea how many amazing pics i took today! – she said excited. – After i edit them, i’m going to upload them in our Eldenfan’s club page – just ask the others to show it to you, we will tell the admins to add you. If you want, of course.

    -Yes, of course. I don’t mind. – replied Art, to tired to stubborn and resist.

    Hifumi gifted him one charming smile and turned sharply, going to pester the others with her camera.

    Art puffed again.

    Hion was just two or three seats across him – he saw her how she leaned forward to make an eye contact and said:

    -I must say that i’m sincerely impressed. Your skills are incredible. – she smiled.

    And just what a pleasant smile she had – Art could watch her all day if she was a masterful painting. And not her cold, stony expression, which he wanted to hit with a straight shovel.

    He smiled in reply.

    -Thank you. You also are very good – i must admit that you gave me a lot of trouble. I know only one person, who is that fast. But if i think about it, you are probably even beating it on this paragraph.

    -Yeap, i’m also yet to meet someone, who is faster than Hion! – suddenly said from his said Raon, sat tightly to him and hug him over the shoulder, leaning forwards on it to meet her schoolmate eyes. – Our arts have always relied on fast, consequential lightingly fast strikes, instead of cunnigness or specific techniques, as i see yours did, for what i saw up until now.

    -Yes, there is some truth in the whole story. Although some of our styles are much more similar to yours than you think. But especially in the Liennese school of fencing is exactly like you described it.

    -Well, and do you remembers what promised me yesterday? – suddenly appeared from somewhere Ren, took his hands and started to pull him.

    Although she was going nowhere close enough to the strength required to even barge him.

    -Let me catch my breath for a several minutes, at least – the gymnasium isn’t going anywhere. – he replied.

    Ren only smiled, jumped several times on her toes and ran to somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  9. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    As he had promised, during all the remaining time of their training, he was showing some stuff to Ren, devoting her in the arts of Liennese school of fencing. Although and several other people also quickly developed an interest and expressed a desire to join them, turning it in the end in a group exercise and when they were finished, Art was with a few new friends more.

    Traditionally, as he was told, the club’s training continues an hour and a half to two, although nobody was gonna stop him if he decided to leave earlier or to train more. In this case, he decided to finish together with Mio, Nym, An and Ren, so they could all return back to the dorm together. Strangely, he didn’t see Mel at all during their exercise. Well, it was complete normal, considering the situation, he guessed...

    The refreshing shower, he took in the changing rooms at least brought him back to his feet a little. After the end of his training session, he felt beaten like a goblin. Seriously, is the losing of so little blood so serious? He couldn’t wait to get back home and plunge on the soft sofa, while waiting for a nice, hot dinner...

    When he dressed and went out, Mio was waiting for him outside.

    -Where are the others? – he asked.

    -They are waiting for us in the school yard.

    -Oho, and you decided to especially wait for me here? I’m flattered.

    She giggled gently.

    -Actually, i was a bit late and just saw you to get out. – she said.

    -You just crushed my dreams. – he faked his sniff.

    Mio smiled and got close to him, pressing herself on his arm.

    -Maybe i lied. – she said with a lustful voice.

    -Hah, i’ll just accept what suits me best.

    As they approached the exit, they saw that, mildly put, there was a rumpus.

    -Hey, what’s going on? – said Mio lowly.

    -No idea... – replied Art.

    In front, there were a bunch of people gathered at the main entrance and the two of them had to make their way until they can get out.

    It took them a while before reaching the first lines, where they found Hion, Raon, Ayuri and Reina.

    Down, encircled and blocked completely the backyard’s entrance of the school, stood the four morons from yesterday plus at least one more dozen of people he didn’t know. And considering their rolled up sleeves and taken off jackets, as well as their threatening postures and surly faces, and last but not least – the fact that every one of them was carrying a sword on the hips, was not putting at all thoughts in his mind, that they had come here to do some charitable activity.

    -Pff, fuck... – he puffed.

    Hion and some of the crowd around Art turned towards him, looking at him with their worried gazes – only Reina and the president gave him their stony faces.

    -OI, FOREIGNER, GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE IMMEDIATELY! – yelled the boy, who Art had kick in the snout yesterday and was supposed to be Amemori, stepping several feet in front of his gang.

    Art puffed and was about to go, accepting his challenge...

    -Don’t. – stopped him Hion, putting her hand on his chest. – I’ve send my sister and several other people to get us some pole weapons from the armory. They will be back very soon, we are going to arm up our club and once and for all we are gonna deal with these runts so thoroughly, that they will not even think to cause problems anymore...

    -Are you sure? I can be of much use to you...

    -(C’mon, Hion! Let him go! We just want to resolve the slight dispute, that arose between us yesterday!)

    -(Haven’t you gathered too many people for that, Suido?!) – yelled towards him Mel. – (And only for one person? Ha, how weak you are, and weak you will remain for the whole your life!)

    -Hey, calm down, really, it is okay... – began again Art.

    -(SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU TREACHEROUS LITTLE BITCH OR THE NEXT TIME I’M REALLY GOING TO MESS YOU UP!) – shouted Amemori at her, swinging the hand in which he was holding his weapon. – And you! Get down right now if you don’t want to be dragged here by force! C’mon, i don’t have all day!

    Art drew his sword from it’s scabbard and dropped his backpack before Hion’s legs. And he drew not the one, that was blunted and for sparring. His battle one, sharp like razor...

    -Hey, Art... If you kill him by accident, everyone here will witness that it was self-defense... – said so cold-bloodily Reina, that send shivers through his body.

    He gulped soundlessly, looked at her for a second and went.

    But just after a step, he stopped and turned back towards Hion.

    He was about to say something to her, but in the last moment he hesitated and left with only half-opened mouth – then he turned again and got down stairs.

    And as soon as he stepped off the last one, Amemori grabbed his sword with two hands and started to run towards him as fast as his legs were holding...

    -Moron...... – Art spit bitterly on the ground, made a few steps forwards, to leave the stairs on a fair distance behind him and took Pflug.

    Down to the ground as much as it was possible before losing his balance...

    Strange, no one other ran after Amemori – it was just him. After all, it seemed that he had some sense of dignity...

    As he was about to enter the boundaries of his reach, Art momentarily dashed forward with a lighting speed.

    Amemori saw him and swinged to deflect it, but Art downed his blade a little and the boy’s katana whizzed soundly in the air.

    And right in this moment, Art pressed again forward with his sword...

    An disgusting sound of slicing flesh echoed, from which once again he felt chilling shivers, and the boy pulled back like as if he was scalded...

    „More like as if it was sliced, hehe...“

    Many people, and from the both sides, raised their worrisome voices, but Ann, Ren and Rioko from the other hand started to whistle enthusiastically and instigate him.

    Art also stepped back, getting out of his range and took again Pflug, sinking in.

    Against him, he saw how the boy staggered and grabbed its temple with his palm.

    Its katana’s tip swiped the ground, scraping the pavement.

    The blood squeezed out between its fingers...

    After a moment, he put down his hand, took a look at it, and then he looked at Art – his face distorted in grotesque way, he was, mildly put, mad...

    -You fucking faggot... – he yelled, gripped his katana again with two hands and for a second time dashed towards him.

    Art replied to his challenge by stepping several feet towards Amemori. The boy swinged his katata incredible fast in something like an oberhau, just like the first time, when yesterday he stood against it – like a complete amateur and way too obvious, even if the one on the receiving end was novice.

    The difference now was, that Art didn’t counterattack him with an absetzen in the throat, because this was gonna left him rest in piece. That is why, he just cut him slightly on the shoulder. And momentarily after that, he jumped back, getting out of the boy’s reach, who retreated abruptly – he saw how the panic and terror more and more were emerging on its face.

    Art felt an internal satisfaction from that and smiled slyly.

    -What is it, Amemori? Where did all your courage went?

    -Shut your trap, you cocksucker... – he snorted and took a guard with the katana in front of him.

    Art decided not to give him the initiative anymore – and rushed.

    A cannonry of blows from his side ensued – heavy, sudden, fast, which forced Amemori to put all his skills into action to deflect them, but Art’s longer weapon were rendering them almost useless.

    He cut him on wrists, on the forearms, on the biceps, on the calves, on the cheeks – he was feeling is if he was a metzgermeister in a butcher shop, skinning on the next turkey. After every slice, Amemori was retreating back in panic, Art was feeling how his blocks were becoming more and more wobbly and imprecise and he didn’t give him even a second of rest – he was following him tightly, staying outside his katana’s reach while with his longsword was breaking through his weakening defenses, sometimes using feints, sometime just using sudden strikes and overwhelming speed.

    -ART, THIS IS ENOUGH! – over the sound of the steel clings and his pulsing ears, he heard Hion’s yell.

    Didn’t pay it any attention – it seemed to him so distant and muted, as if he had submerged in a ocean.

    He sliced his hip and then several of his fingers on the right hand.

    The boy swayed, his guard dropped...

    He was burning internally. He wanted to kill him... Because of Mel...

    -ART, I SAID STOOPP!!!

    And he heard her – this time sounded as if someone banged a campane in his head.

    But despite that, he decided to not stop right away – not until he give this junk a lesson, who he would remember for a lifetime...

    His sudden oberhau landed straight on his left side, slicing it from the shoulder almost to the elbow – mirrorly on what he had done yesterday to Mel.

    Amemori screamed in agony, muting the loathsome cutting of flesh and cloth – as if Art’s blood boiled in his veins in that moment from the powerful adrenaline rush he had received. He felt how his heart is going to burst...

    The crowd again raised worrisome shouts, several of the girls screamed, together with Amemori.

    Someone yelled excitingly. He was pretty sure who it was...

    -AAAARRRTTT!!! – screamed again Hion.

    The boy dropped his katana and fell back on his buttocks...

    -(SUIDOOOO!) – also screamed someone from his side...

    Art saw how one girl from his gang rushed towards Amemori.

    -All right, all right, i’m stopping! – he raised his sword, retreated several steps and turned.

    -Pff, for fuck sake, you created a job for the good miss Noel right until the morning. Was it necessary to jack off that much? – she started to went down the stairs.

    -Don’t worry, Art! You were wonderful! If i was in your place, i would get back to smack him in the head also! – shouted encouraging Ren to him.

    -Yes. Of both of you, Reina is much more scary for me, so i decided to listen to her... – he replied, looking at her.

    The vice prez smiled to him eerily – so much, that he shivered even more, than while he fought.

    -(YOU ARE SO DEAD!)

    The two with Hion turned just in the moment to see how the girl abruptly takes the Amemori’s katana and rushes towards them.

    -(ERI, NOO!!!) – he screamed, trying to grab her and hold her...

    He failed...

    Art momentarily stepped in front of Hion and took Pflug...

    -President, get back!...

    -Art, caref!...

    The girl stroke him – furiously, fiercely, is if she was a wild, mad beast.

    Her attacks were heavy, but wide and open – without defending herself after the blows, without caring about the consequences, too cumbersome and obvious – he could finish her off for a second if he decided to do it...

    But why? She had done nothing bad to him or someone else. At least he had not seen her to do...

    That is why he decided to just keep her away from him, until he didn’t think of a way to disarm her – or enter a grappling with her and knock her over, or just to wait for her to get so tier, that she wouldn’t be able to stay on her feet anymore.

    But this was a dangerous game, a very dangerous game – just one mistake from his side and he was a goner...

    „For fuck sake...“

    -(WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! COME AND HELP ME TO SCREW HIM UP!) – suddenly screamed the girl with her whole lungs.

    Several of the boys from their gang listened to her and rushed right away in their direction.

    „OH, COME ON!“

    When he took a quick look on them between the cannonry of the girl’s blows, he saw that they were the three boys, which he beat yesterday plus two other ones, which he didn’t know.

    That was it, enough with the games...

    It wasn’t difficult at all to break through her defenses – as if he tried to take the lollipop of a little girl.

    He entered a grappling, grabbed her leading hand and kick her behind the knees. When she fell on the floor, he pressed her tightly with his knees on her shoulders and slammed her weapon’s hand in the pavement...

    The girl only huffed. But the katana remained firmly in her grip...

    -C’mon, drop it, you cunt!... – and smacked her again. And again. The panic was overwhelming him quickly...

    -(Hion, back!) – shouted somebody.

    When the steps sound suddenly burst onto his ears, he raised his head anxiously and took a glimpse at their direction...

    „OH, FUCK!“

    The only thing, he saw, was how one of the boys was already starting to swing towards his head...

    Art began to pull back instinctively, but there was nothing he can do anymore – his weapon was at the other side, and the girl was below him...

    As if the time slowed down, like it was scrolling frame by frame the last moments of his life. It became so surrealistic and quiet...

    Somewhere at the distance, a bowstring twanged... And after a moment again...

    One long arrow with purple-blue feathers stuck the boy’s shoulder – his momentum was suddenly interrupted and his katana’s scratched Art’s neck, before it dropped it, tumbling on his back. A second one ricocheted on the pavement right in front of one of the another boys, making him freeze in place. After half a second – in front of other two too.

    -What?! – Art startled, looking in the direction from which the arrows came.

    And what he saw, made him gasp – as if surrounded in a golden halo, his guardian angel had personally descended down to earth to save him from all his troubles.

    -(NOT A STEP FURTHER!) – it said with its gentle, melodious voice, holding on several purple-blue feathered arrows in the pull hand. As if he had witnessed for the first time ever a picture of a renowned artist – so much admiration and enchantment was in his mind, that he wasn’t able to describe it with words...

    -(WHATCHA LOOKING, GET ‘WAY OF ME!)

    He startled and only now realized what was happening.

    And was about to turn, but instead only something like a dull hit was heard and his horizon spun.

    Somebody screamed. As if it was Ren, Raon and Mel in one voice...

    He couldn’t see – because everything blackened out.

    He hugged the concrete pavement with the unrestrainess of a passionate lover...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  10. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    When he woke up, the first thing his eyes tried to focus, was the white ceiling.

    But they didn’t manage right away – because his head was reeling so hard, as if he had stayed in a carousel swing for hours...

    -What the fuck...

    -Art! – he heard the Mel’s voice nearby, somewhere beside him.

    He tried to sit in the bed – someone immediately supported him and helped him.

    -Hey, easy, easy! Don’t rush it.

    It was Mio.

    Only now he realized where he is. In the nurse office, with the rest around him.

    His head, behind his right ear, was pulsing. As if someone had smacked him with a pan...

    -Damn it. – he snorted and tried to touch it.

    Mel stopped him momentarily.

    -Don’t! Doc said to not touch it. It is nothing serious, just light bruise and concussion...

    -Concussion?! – he looked at her surprised. – What exactly happened? As if someone...

    -Somehow Eri managed to take your sword from your hand and smacked you with the pommel. – said Hion.

    It hurt him even more just by reminding him.

    -Fuck this. This thing weights more than three hundred grams. With no problem you can throw it at someone and rest him in peace...

    -Yes. And you are lucky not to be this „someone“...

    -I’m sorry...

    -Phahahha, why, for fuck sake?! – suddenly said Reina, obviously amused. – Did you know how great the show you threw was! You were so epic and looked so cool back then! To bad than you ended like a complete moron! – she laughed out of her heart.

    Art was looking at her in disbelief, with widened eyes...

    -Fucking sadist... – he snorted bitterly. Suddenly he wanted to put a nice jab at her snout so much.

    She just only started to laugh louder. He couldn’t decide which was irritating him more – her constant bloodthirsty look or this obnoxious disgusting laugh.

    Does someone have a big shovel?...

    -Hey, hey, what is happening here! – showed the doc from the other room. – You are in a medical office, for fuck sake!!!

    Reina shuted, but he saw how she struggled in effort not to laugh again.

    -Ohoo, look who woke up! Well, what do you like so much in my office, mister foreign student, that you decided to become my regular customer?!

    -I, i’m sorry, sensei...

    -Shut the fuck up and not even a gulp i wanna here from any of you anymore! – she snorted abruptly and returned to the other room.

    -My, my, just how angry she is... – whispered Ren so quietly, that only the people around her heard her.

    -Don’t worry, Art. She is just like that – too caring, and for all of us. It is completely normal for her to get angry – we are all like a children to her. She will be back to normal in no time... – said Hion.

    -Once again, i’m sorry for embroiling up all this mess...

    -What are you talking about, for gods sake?! I was the one to do it in the first place... – interrupted him Mel.

    -Hey, don’t think about it – soon everything will come in place. – said Nym.

    -Well, Hion, don’t you think that Art will be a wonderful reinforce for your student council? With his skills, he will be irreplaceable to you. You can keep the peace in the school grounds so easy then... – began Raon, slightly derisive.

    -Oh, yes, definitely. Unless he has already decided to search for his place amongst some of the school bands. – said Ayuri mockingly, winking at him.

    -Pha, i had rather jump off a bridge!... That‘s for the bands i mean, before you start thinking something else...

    -This is neither the time, nor the place to discuss this. – the president turned towards him. – Once again, i’m sorry that i didn’t manage to stop her in time. But i had to get out of the Iki’s way...

    -Iki? Who is Iki?

    They all turned. Art also did it. And he saw her.

    In the one of the corners, only showing half of her face from Rioko’s back, she was watching him as if with awe and fright...

    -C’mon, don’t be shy. We are all here. – began so gently and kindly Rioko, that Art almost refused to believe it.

    It seemed that he was yet to witness the hidden sides of the others, and that was completely normal – he was here from just two days...

    Rioko moved aside a bit, and the girl timidly stared her eyes in the floor, nervously clattering with her heel.

    Art gasped – he hadn’t imagined things. Such angelic luminance, such glamour and charm were coming from her – her elegant frame, her gentle features, her dark golden blond hair, the green eyes – as if everything was in synch with the whole Universe...

    She trembled even more from his reaction and sniveled – as if he was not admiring her, but about to hit her...

    -I, i’m sorry... – Art moved his gaze away from her. – Thank you for saving my live – i’ll be eternally grateful to you.

    -I, i... Y-you are w-welcomed...

    He saw how Rioko smiled gently.

    -This is our youngest sister – and the best archer we know, as you witnessed yourself. – she said. – Come on, introduce yourself to him. Art is a good person. He won’t do you anything bad, nether he means evil to you...

    She raised her gaze decisively and looked him with her tearing eyes – and then she clenched her first and bowed deeply:

    -I’m Takahashi Tsuikihi! Than you for saving our friend, Mel, and took our side against the others! It’s nice to meet you!

    He saw how Ayuri and Hifumi smiled.

    And there was just no way for him to not also do it – he smiled sincerely, raised up from his bed and bowed deeply.

    -It’s nice to meet you, Tsuikihi. I am Artorius Sol Augustus from Falkland. I hope that from now on we will be friends.


    Sensei returned to them after half an hour.

    -All of you – out. – she said.

    -I will... – begun Ren.

    -I said: all of you – out. – repeated Noel, so coldly that he saw how Ren shivered against her.

    After seconds, only the two of them were in the room. She sat on the bed next to him, left her medical kit on the small cabinet and started taking care of his wounds – the scratch on neck and the bruise behind his ear.

    -I, i’m sorry, sensei... – whispered after a while he.

    Noel didn’t reply anything – she just continued to do her stuff quietly, as if she was doing it robotically, soullessly. Strange, why this hurted him so much? But not physically – as if he was stabbed with a dagger directly in his heart.

    -Sensei... Please, don’t be quiet. Say something – yell me, curse me, hit me if you will... – the lump in his throat was becoming more and more difficult to swallow.

    She again didn’t reply anything. Art turned his head slightly aside and stared at the floor...

    -Don’t move. – she said monotonously.

    Art turned back to his previous position.

    -I’m sorry...

    -I’m trying and i can’t understand why... – she began after a minutes. – I’m trying and i can’t understand why, hundreds of demons, you are doing this to each other? Are you missing something? Are you feeling undervalued? Unhappy from life? From the families, friends, relatives? Why just you can’t be friends and build together, to help each others and tackle your problems together, instead of doing such stupid bullshit. I would understand if you were from different generations, from different cultures, with a different vision, but you are almost at the same age, compatriots and with almost the same interests... Why... I’m really trying and can’t figure it out. And i will possible never be...

    -I, i’m sorry, sensei...

    -It’s all right, Art. You have no fault for anything that is happening here. I... I was just thinking aloud. I’m just sick of always being in between the hammer and the anvil. To watch you how you fight for meaningless things and then suffer... There is almost no day in which someone didn’t come to me because of that. Really, i just don’t know what to do anymore...

    -I, i’m sorry once again. But i swear that i’ll do everything i can from now on such incidents to be a rare occurrence.

    The doc smiled a little.

    -I’m glad that at least you think that way. I and hope that these are not only idle words. Hion and Reina will find useful a strong hand like yours.

    Now it was Art’s turn to smile.

    -Yes, they already opened the topic.

    -To be honest, i see something like that for a first time. Initially, when they brought Suido to me, i was about to scream in horror, but after some more thorough examination, i saw that it wasn’t something serious. Even the shoulder. All cuts were superficial and so precise, that if one were to try do them with a scalpel couldn’t achieve such exactness. All away from the main veins and arteries, there wasn’t even need for stitching – we managed to do it with only gluing. But the way Iki struck Kin. Just a centimeter aside and his lung was gonna have a very bad day... This girl is just unbelievable... I remember one time, when some morons decided to go peek the changing room and managed to do it while she was inside. Later on, i had to remove arrows from their asses. – she giggled.

    -Hah, yes, Ren already told me about that.

    -Haha, so you are in a temp with the news. Do you know about Ann and the cursed lamp?

    -ANN AND THE CURSED LAMP?! – he goggled his eyes. – No, i don’t, please tell me!

    -Oo, no, i won’t spoil that pleasure of yours then. Better ask Raon to tell it to you – she can do it so immersive, that when i heard the whole version from her, after they had brought Ann to me, i couldn’t stop laughing for long minutes. Then the next several days i was giggling like crazy just by remembering about it.

    -I’ll definitely not miss the chance to ask her tonight...

    -Just be careful. – she said and got up. – C’mon, you are ready. This with your head is nothing serious, but if headache, nausea, blurry vision or sleep disturbances appear, call me right away! Am i clear?

    -Yes, yes, doc. Thank you very much. – he smiled to her and also stood up.

    Then, he went towards the door.

    -Hey, Art... – she said at the moment he was about to touch the handle.

    He stopped and turned.

    -Be extremely careful. With Mel.

    Their serious faces stared each other for several seconds.

    And before he managed to ask her back, Noel returned in the other room.



    This didn’t stop to rankle him from yesterday.

    What, exactly, was happening, hundreds of demons? Where was the missing piece in this whole thing?

    Was Mel indeed the main culprit for all of this? Even if he hadn’t saw all that had happened yesterday morning, the aftermath was more than enough for him to make the relevant conclusions.

    Four tough, strong boys attack weak, almost defenseless girl. He helps her. After that they want revenge.

    Almost completely normal causative action without many unknowns.

    But exactly these initial unknowns didn’t allow him to see the whole picture of the situation.

    What precisely had happened before he interfered? And why two people were already hinting to him, that the things weren’t exactly as he thought they were?...

    Ultimately, he gave up, puffed and forced himself to stop thinking about that. He was just gonna ask her very politely to explain everything to him when the time was ripe. If she did it – well, all right, he was going to see what he was missing. If she refuses... He suppose that an innocent person has nothing to hide, right...

    -What is troubling you?

    Art turned and looked at her – she just smiled to him slightly.

    Then he returned his gaze on the road, slightly downed and continued to walk.

    -Nothing, don’t worry. I’m just a little bit tired because of today. One nice dinner, bath and a rest, and i’ll be like a new.

    He saw with his periphery how she also stared her eyes ahead. The atmosphere between them was feeling more and more heavy and he was one hundred percent convinced, that she was also noticing it.

    The rest were walking a several meters ahead of them, Ann was telling some stuff to Nym, Ren and Mio, laughing heartily from time to time, also bringing smiles and to their faces.

    But not and to the two of them...

    Mel suddenly snuggled timidly onto him, still not daring to raise her eyes of the ground.

    -I’m sorry. I... I’m sorry about everything. I tried to fix the mess, which i stirred up alone, but it didn’t work. In the end it got even worse. Please, don’t hate me because of this... I don’t want more enemies. I don’t want any more foes...

    In the very first moment, Art didn’t reply anything – he just couldn’t find the right words.

    And then he just patted her gently on the shoulder, trying to give her as much of his support as possible.

    -I don’t hate you for anything. Also, just know that if you need any help, you can always depend on me.

    Mel raised her non-wounded hand and put her over Art’s, holding it in place.

    It felt so warm and nice...

    She just smiled – somewhat sad, as if tired. Art only had enough energy left to reply her the same way.

    An suddenly for some reason turned. In the first moment she just took a quick glimpse at them, but after a second, when realizing what exactly she was seeing, her eyes goggled and jaw dropped.

    -Yoo, look at these two. Aren’t you progressing too fast, dears?

    -Don’t worry. – smiled Mel. – We are just encouraging each other.

    -Ooo, i’m also coming then. – dashed Mio with several steps at them and grabbed his other hand. When Art looked her, she just closed eyes and gifted him one of the most charming smiles he had ever seen.

    -Well, except to look for moral support from you, i don’t see what else i can do. – smiled broadly Ann, took under arms Nym and Ren, and dragged them after her.

    Art smiled. There was just no way not to do it. Just in an instant, the whole ambiance turned so cheerful and friendly, that he complete forgot all his worries and bad experiences from hodiernal and yesterday.

    -Who knows how scandalous this looks like from the side... – said Nym.

    -I don’t know how the things are here, but in Falkland this is something completely normal. Typical relationship and behavior between good friends.

    The five girls looked at him unambiguously.

    Art, besides to smile to them, didn’t know what else to do.


    Fortunately, this night was Mio’s and Ann’s turn to take care of their well-being and he didn’t even need to get close to the kitchen. While they were waiting for everything to get ready, they started to do their usual activities – Mel began to read her book, and Art to learn Vhynhaimese. This time, and Ren, and Nym expressed their desire to help him, which made the understanding of certain things much more easier, than if he was racking his head alone. They didn’t have much time for this however, because An and Mio where surprisingly quick. Although, after dinner, when they cleaned up and washed all the utensils, quickly restored their doings. Mel continued to read her book. Art and Ren continued their activities linked to the Vhynhaimese linguistics. Nym and Ann once again started to play something – turbulently, vociferously and extremely energetic. Just like yesterday.

    And Mio lay down on the carpet behind them, shoving her gaze in the tablet.

    And suddenly, in no more that a minute, she sharply started to laugh out loudly.

    -What did you see again that you are laughing so hysterically... – snorted Ann, buttoning vigorously her controller.

    -Omg, just... Art, just check your profile in Eldenfan...

    In the first moment he was surprised, but then he took his tablet from the table, turned on its sound and opened the social’s network page.

    Right away he saw, that he had plenty of notifications and one more dozen of messages. What, hundreds of demons, had happened...

    Suddenly, it started to hit him...

    And he frowned...

    When he opened his notifications, he saw that Raon had tagged him in some photo.

    He clicked it.

    Ren was peeking impatiently at his screen...

    And she started to laugh hysterically...

    It was one of the pictures during today’s sparring with Hion. Just when he had entered grappling with her, and Hifumi had caught them when they were tightly one over another on the floor. So much compromising pic, as if it was from their first wedding night...

    And Raon had tagged the both of them. So all their friends can see very well what where they doing, for their amazement and surprise...

    When she heard Ren’s laughing, Mel also peeked and Nym and An paused their game and turned towards Mio.

    The three’s reactions were enough straightforward and unambiguous...

    Art puffed.

    -I knew it i just had to block her, when she sent me the friend request... – he sighed deeply.

    Ren thumped him several times on the back, with a wide smile on her face.

    -Oh, trust me, this would have made her even more ambitious.

    Right at that moment, below the photo, there was a storm of reactions and comments happening...

    -For fuck sake, i don’t even want to read it, they must have completely rekted me by now... – he snorted.

    But Mel reached over the table and clicked it instead of him, pulling the tablet towards her...

    -Hmm, let’s see... Malvin V. Luther commented: „Nice job, bro!“ and a huge thumb up. Frou Castermore commented: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA* faggot *HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Florin Aranon posted a sticker of a happy face. Hanvard Macintosh uploaded a photo of Lenny face. Sophie Bettenfeld commented: „WAS THAT WHY YOU WENT THERE, HUH?!?!?!“ Mortimore Fredd commented: „:tothetop :flex :flex :tothetop :tothetop :sunglasses“. Christobal Leford commented: „Did you knocked her up afterwards?“ Ronson Fioravanti commented „ ... “. Amaris Manfred-Dunstin commented: „ _|_ “...

    -All right, all right, that’s enough, please spare me... – he pulled his tabled from her and read the rest of the comments alone.

    There were also several of Hion’s friends, which he didn’t know, who also had written something. From his, Harm had commented: „Don’t listen to these morons, Art, excellent choice!“

    „Haha, so comforting...“ – he thought.

    The moron Bosworth had uploaded a photo of condoms.

    Art snorted and quickly replied with „ _|_ “, while continuing to read down...

    Niei had commented „When is the wedding. I’m starting part-time job from tomorrow, to safe some money for a present“. Raon had posted several stickers and emojis just to pour some additional oil into the fire. Ayuri’s reaction was similar. Reina, likewise Ronson, had only commented „ ... “. And his bigger sister had written: PHAHAHAHAHAHA, just careful Carice, Liya and Iz to not see this!

    And of course, she had tagged their names...

    „Fucking troll“...

    Carice had commented: „ :О “. And at last Avys had wrote: „Wooow, sooo pretty!“

    Не had no doubt that all of his friends had already checked thoroughly Hion’s profile and went over all of her photos to the last... Ooh, hundreds of demon, they were not gonna be disappointed at all, he was guaranteeing it. As it was obvious from the comments up until now...

    He opened his messages. Most of them were from his friends, trolling him and sending him some emoticons, stickers or pics...

    „How was it?“ – had written him Frou.

    :D :p <3 :* ” – his bigger sister.

    „You are so fucking dead...“ with nothing else – his little sister.

    „You are so fucking dead х2...“ with nothing else – his another little sister...

    Art puffed, turned off the tablet’s sound and literally threw it on the table.

    -Let’s just forget everything from the last few minutes...

    -Hahahaha, you wish! – laughed Ann, threw the controller on the carpet and sat down to Mio. – Hmm, what to write... Oh, i know!... – then she leaned forwards and began whispering energetically in her ear.

    -Have you not even a lil’bit of compassion... – sniffed artificially Art.

    Ren thumped him encouragingly on the back.

    -Oooooh, look this guy Mortimore what handsome profile pic have! Hurry, hurry, open his profile, i wanna check it quickly! – she reached at Mio’s display.

    -Wait a bit! Here, here, i’m in...

    -Omgg, he is so fucking handsome... Yo, Art, wanna introduce me to him! – she raised her head and looked at him.

    -What?! – suddenly whispered Mio.

    -What what? – turned the surprised Ann towards her. – Does it sounds that strange that i want Art to introduce me to some of his friends?

    -No, i wasn’t meaning this. Just take a look. – she turned the tabled towards her.

    -What is it now... LOL, IS THAT A FREAKING BOMBARD?!

    -WHAT?! – Art suddenly jumped from his place and kneed down to Mio. – PHAHAHAHAHAHA, JUST CAN’T EVEN... – he started to laugh with his whole heart. – This is their backyard! HE REALLY HAD BUILDED IT IN THEIR BACKYARD! PHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHPAHPAHPA... – a little bit more, and he was going to start rolling on the floor, laughing out loud. – His father is once again in business trip to Myrina, i’m a hundred percent sure in that! Just no chance this to happen if he was home! Phahahaha, just can’t...

    -Pff, well, i hope then his father have made enough for a new house. Whatever, have no intention to deal with mentally-unstable people... – she touched the Mio’s tablet and back the browser.

    -Hahahaha, why not? You have no idea how much fun it will be for you if you are with him...

    -I don’t wanna fun. I want quiet and peaceful life... Hm, let’s look at that Frou...

    Art giggled.

    Mio obeyed her and clicked.

    -Hmmm, he is not half ba... WHY DOES HE HAVE ONLY PICTURES OF VASES, UPLOADED IN HIS PROFILE?!?! Fuck, screw it... Art, don’t you have some normal friend for fuck sake?! – she turned towards him.

    -Well, no. – he smiled broadly.

    -Pfff, damn it, it seems you can’t find a one normal man in this whole world. Time to go on the other shore i guess, lol...

    -Raon is gonna be first who will be extremely happy about this. – added Mel.

    -Phahahaha, i had rather suicide myself with some pan... Oi, look at this Harm Kaede... Niiiice, very good, very good. Although it is not for my taste particularly. Oooo, and an archer. Everything looks relatively normal around him. Just some photos from reenactments, tournaments, sea, everyday life. Hmmm... Hey, Art! – she suddenly looked at him. – Let’s betroth him for Tsuikihi!

    -Excuse me? – he looked her under his eyebrows.

    -Phahahaha, you just pray Ayuri not to learn about this... – said Nym.

    -Bullshit, no one is gonna learn! C’mon, Art! I see that he is all crazy about bows! They will be a perfect fit! The perfect couple!

    -Just find some good photo of Iki and send it to him and wait to see how he will respond... – interfered and Mel.

    -I don’t think that this is a good idea... – added and Mio.

    -You are fucking kidding me, right? – frowned Art.

    -You just look... – Ann grabbed Mio’s tablet from her hands, stood up and started to touch vigorously. – Hmmm, this one! This one is perfect! Now, let’s see what to message... „Hello, Harm, this is Art! What you say for...”

    -WHAT?! NO, HUNDREDS OF DEMONS!!! – he suddenly jumped from his place, grabbed her and tried to take out the tablet off her hands.

    -Let meh go! What’s da problem?!!

    -Just be careful not to break my tablet... – said annoyed Mio, as if not caring much about that.

    -Oh, come one! HEY, MEL, HELP ME! QUICK, SEND IT TO HIM! HER THIRD PROFILE PIC!

    -NOO!

    Mel needed only that much and she grabbed right away his unlocked tabled from the table, starting to touch energetically its display. Art let go of Ann and was about to rush back, when the pink haired girl first tried to knock him down on his feet, but didn’t manage, so she just jumped on his back.

    And he stumbled in Mio...

    He just heard her how she exhaled heavily, when the two fell down on her.

    -For fuck sake, you!... – she grunted.

    -Calm down, it’s too late already for everything.

    Mel turned the tablet towards them and said:

    -„Hello, Harm! I’ve just found you a wife!“

    And then she smiled widely.

    Art got up and it didn’t even come to his mind to gentlemanly-like help Ann and Mio do the same.

    It was an Iki’s picture, showing her in her full grace – wearing a laced rose-beige dress, with a blown from the wind hairs, with bow and arrow in the hands, looking towards the camera with her shiny gray eyes – so magnetizing and lovely, that he was probably going to gasp if the situation was different.

    But instead, he just puffed and scratched nervously behind his head.

    -Well, better figure it out how to explain everything to Ayuri beforehand...

    Ann smacked him on his back so hardly, that almost threw him out balance. When he turned to her, she was only smiling at him widely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  11. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    So, this is the end of the first volume. I'll be glad to hear opinions/criticism, so i can continue to improve myself and make the novel even better (that includes volume 2, which is finished on my mother language (Bulgarian) and is yet to be translated in English).
    Thank you for reading! :)
    I hope i can put some more illustrations soon. ):
     
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  12. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    „Flight 42” of Falkland Air landed at Niigara’s international airport of „Fukuhaza“ exactly at 7:47 o’clock in the morning. It was a regular flight, performed with one of the huge monsters Indstar-344 by the Indenean company Indstar Group CE, built in cooperation with the Vhynehaimese conglomerate Mokugawa Heavy Industries. And considering its titanic dimensions and inhumanly powerful engines, the travel was relatively relaxing and pleasant experience.

    After arriving, he didn’t have to wait too much and, fortunately, the company, responsible for managing his luggage, didn’t manage to lost it this time and it was barely passing 8:00, when he took a taxi for the Central Train Station. From Niigara to Hirai were thirty kilometers, which meant exactly four minutes with the express high-speed maglev.

    It took him more time to get from the airport to the train station, it took him more time to orient himself and buy a ticket, and it took him more time while waiting the train itself.

    In his case, exactly in 8:47 he came off the high-speed maglev and in 8:51 he took a new taxi, which was supposed to carry him of to his ultimate goal.

    He couldn’t resist it and looked himself in the small mirror, then delicately sniffed his jacket.

    After all, today was going to be a very special day for him...


    Harm Kaede invaded room 104 just like Emperor Vandergaard had invaded Vhynehaim two hundred years earlier.

    -WHICH ONE OF YOU IS TAKAHASHI TSUIKIHI?! – he shouted.

    Everybody, who where in the room at that moment, fell silent, staring their startled gazes onto him. And after a moment, they turned towards one girl, which was sitting alone on her desk in the other corner of the room.

    Harm smiled a little and with a confident step moved towards her.

    -Omg, he is sooo tall!...

    -And so pretty! – he heard how several people whispered, when he was passing by, gasping behind him, but he didn’t pay even a tiny bit of attention to them. He had much more important job in this moment.

    He stopped before her and kneed, so their eyes to be on the same level.

    She was even more wonderful in person, than on the picture, which Art had sent him yesterday...

    She backed away as much as she can, but the desk behind her didn’t allowed her much.

    -Are you Takahashi Tsuikihi? – he asked once again.

    Then he looked around and quickly saw something like a bow scabbard to her desk. He decided he got the right person...

    Her eyes filled with tears, she was about to start trembling...

    -Y-y-yes... – she replied with a timid voice.

    Harm smiled broadly.

    And suddenly pulled her to him with his free hand, kissing her passionately on the lips.

    In the first moment, there was no reaction on her side. Then, several people raised their enthusiastic shouts, others just gasped in disbelief.

    He felt how she started to mumble, as if she was trying to scream with her whole throat, her body swirled and her arms tried to push him away, but as if their strength suddenly vaporized and relaxed tiredly besides her body.

    When he backed away, he saw her face was red, and as if her eyes were looking through him, at some random point.

    -C’mon, let’s go. Today is a very important day for both of us. – he said and took her on shoulder with his free hand.

    And jumped through the window...


    From yesterday, several thing didn’t spot to harrow him.

    First, when he wrote to Harm, he didn’t replied anything.

    Second, when he tried to write and call his sisters – they also didn’t reply to him at all. When he talked with his parents later, they said that his sisters where outside, with friends. Before going to bed, he also tried to call them – again, without answer.

    And this morning was the same story.

    He sighed while walking around the corridor on the first floor.

    He knew them very well. No, they weren’t sulking for something. He was just sure, that they were planing some hellish things...

    But all this worries of him left somewhere in the background of his thoughts, because of the storm, reigning around his persona today. Especially after the show, which he had made yesterday...

    There were almost no one, who didn’t look at him secretly, who didn’t whisper something behind his back and even there were people, who threw directly in his face thing like that he was great, that he dealt with these morons very well, that they deserved even more and all kind of similar bullshit. With few words – he became the center of all attention in the academy. As if he had killed, robed and raped someone. Exactly in this order...

    „If i do something similar, they amount of attention won’t be even close to the degree that is it now...“ – he thought bitterly, while continuing to walk around the corridor.

    Yesterday he didn’t manage to walk around at all, mainly because of his schoolmates enthusiasm and passion towards his foreign nature, but today there was nothing to stop him – as if they were not interested at all in him.

    „Nope, they are just busy discussing the yesterday circus. It seems is much more interesting thing for them...“

    He just wanted to bitterly spit on the floor...

    Something suddenly thumped on his shoulder.

    He startled and froze on place. He turned so cautiously, as if he was expecting to receive a hit with a shovel in the face.

    Hion was staring at him with her stony face.

    „Pha, the typical...“

    The took the earphones out of his ears.

    -What, hundreds of demons, are you doing, for fuck sake?

    Art look at her surprised, raising his eyebrows slightly.

    -Nothing? I’m just looking around the building. It’s something i liked to do during the breaks back in Leichtè.

    -I have nothing against it. But why are you, from ten minutes, circling around the same floor? And mostly in fronts of Tsuikihi’s room?

    „WHA?!“

    Art looked at her stunned.

    Then, he took off his phone and looked at the time.

    -Sorry. Didn’t realize when the time flew...

    -It’s not about that. Pff, whatever. C’mon, let’s go up, that you are scaring the little ones. Our class is about to start.

    He went after her.

    -I’m sorry, i was just thinking about something and didn’t look where i was walking. – he repeated again.

    Hion threw at him short, suspicious look.

    -It’s nothing. Just be careful next time. Probably on the side had looked ultra creepy for they to come and ask me for assist...

    -Phaha, i can imagine: „President, some freak is stalking around our room for ten minutes now and have no intention to leave!“

    -Haha, „some freak“. – she laughed delicately.

    Art smiled.

    -Than you, Hion.

    She looked at him surprised.

    -For what?

    -About yesterday. I think our sparing saved my life against Amemori. If i haven’t reached to some conclusions against you and was about to reach them against him... Well, there was a chance for me not to have this conversation with you now...

    She only smiled slightly with the end of her lips.

    -I doubt it. Amemori only knows to talk shit and that’s it. Even someone, that holds a sword for a first time with turn him into mincemeat...

    -C’mon, he wasn’t that bad. It was just him crossing lines with HIMA for a first time, that was plain obvious..

    Suddenly, they heard loud, hurried steps behind.

    And the two instinctively turned...

    -Presideeeent! – a heavy breathing girl stopped behind them, leaning her palms on her knees.

    -What is it, Nao?

    -Some stranger just went inside the room, kissed Tsuikihi, took her on his shoulder and jumped off the window!

    -WHAT?! – made step towards her Art, widening his eyes in disbelief.

    The girl shrank and trembled.

    -HOW DID HE LOOK LIKE?! – he abruptly grabbed her shoulders, shaking her a little. – WAS HE TALL?! AND BLOND?!

    -Hey, Art...

    -Y-y-y-yes! – replied Nao with shaky voice. – L-light blond! A-and very big!

    Art puffed, released her and rushed down the stairs, taking them by two, by three.

    -HEY, ART! – shouted behind him Hion.

    He didn’t even think to pay attention to her now...

    He knew it... He fucking knew, that something like this is gonna happen. Harm was just one huge walking disaster generator...

    When he burst in room 104, everyone, which in that moment was on the windows, watching with a great interest the happening, jumped startled and turned towards him, draining him with their worrying gazes. After a moment, his eyes set on the wide-opened window. And he saw how one huge, tall figure were running on the sports ground, towards the backyard.

    -HEEEY, HAAAARM!! – Art pushed the students, which were on his way, leaned on the window’s threshold sill and screamed with his whole throat: – HAAAAAAARM, GET BACK RIGHT NOOOOW, YOUR MOTHER!... HAAAAAAAAAARRRRMMMMMM!!!

    He just threw one short gaze over his shoulder – even from this distance, Art saw how a smug smile arose on his face – so smug, that in the first moment it was possible, he was going to smash it, together with several of his teeth.

    Then, he disappeared from his gaze.

    Art puffed, stepped with one leg on the window’s threshold sill and touched the medallion under his shirt.

    -ART?! – he heard the Hion’s stunned voice behind him.

    And then jumped.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    Ahmya likes this.
  13. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    When she opened her eyes, something wasn’t right.

    The world seemed so non-perspective and... reversed.

    Then, a sudden thought stroke her mind and she remembered everything.

    -Leh me go!!! – she started to smash her hands at his back. But it was as if they hit rock. – Aaaaaaargh!

    -Hey, are you all right?! – he suddenly let her go and kneed at her eyes level, putting his hand on her shoulders. – What is it?

    Strange, why were so much worrying in his gaze, after doing all this to her?

    -Don’t touch me! DON’T TOUCH ME! – she pushed his hand and step back. And then she suddenly turned i tried to start running away...

    -Hey, please, wait! – he gently grabbed her hand and hold her in place.

    -Release me! LET ME GOOO! – she resisted, trying to get off his grip. Then she started to look around. The park, for her misfortune, was empty... – Help! HEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPPP! – but she started to scream after all.

    -Hey, hey, hey! Please, don’t scream! – he raised his other hand.

    Iki shrank and closed her eyes.

    Nothing happened.

    The anticipation was burning her from inside...

    She carefully opened one eye and looked at him cautiously.

    He was standing against her, with his hand still hanging in the air. But it wasn’t clenched in a fist.

    -What is it, Iki? – he tilted his head slightly, confused.

    -Who are you?! AND HOW DID YOU LEARN MY NAME, HUNDREDS OF DEMONS?!

    He let go off her and took a step back.

    -Allow me to introduce myself then. I’m...

    -DON’T GIVE A GOAT’S BALL ABOUT WHO YOU ARE! I wanna go! – she began look around – nothing was familiar to her. – Where did you get me, for fuck sake?! – she started to walk in a random direction.

    -Iki, please, wait!... – he went after her.

    -Don’t follow me, for fuck sake!

    -Iki...

    -AND DON’T CALL ME THAT! – she nervously started to search her uniform pockets.

    -I...

    -Aaaaaargh, my phone left in my bag back in the classroom. – Iki sharply turned towards him. – Do you have one? GIVE IT TO ME!

    For her great amazement, he reached for his pant’s pocked and gave it to her.

    Iki grabbed her from his hand and energetically started to touch the sensor screen.

    -Aaaaargh, what’s the point when i don’t know their phone numbers... Just get me back! – she threw it at his chest. – And hurry!

    Then, she spun on her toes and began to walk fast.

    Harm lowered his head and followed her obediently.

    -Me... I’m sorry. I just wanted to get to know you and talk with you. – he said somehow sadly.

    Iki suddenly stopped and looked at him – she swore, never before she had seen a person, filled with such sincere disappointment... So much, that she momentarily became soft.

    -These flowers... Are they for me? – she asked. – Just for your information, i love the green issegemean roses the most. For the future...

    He gave them to her silently – the several modest elven lavenders which he bought from the airport – his expression was still the same.

    -Also, i like very much mint ice cream... – she crossed her arms below her chest, acting sulky and looking with only on eye at him.

    And as he was filled with disappointment, on his face shone one of the most wonderful smile, she have ever seen – so much, that even she smiled slightly.

    -I think i saw an ice cream kiosk at park’s entrance. C’mon, i’m buying. – he said and walked away.


    Art looked at his right. Then, he looked at his left.

    And he hold his knees with his hands, breathing like a blacksmith’s bellows.

    A trace of Harm there was nowhere. He knew him very well, him and his abilities – if he didn’t want to be found, there was just no way for them to do it.

    Along with his heavy breathing, Art also sighed deeply of his unrelenting disappointment...

    Suddenly, he heard sharp, amplifying steps behind him.

    And hastily turned.

    Hion stopped several steps in fron of him. Except her slightly dishevelled hair because of the utterly incredible sprint she had made (considering, he did the same in his attempt to catch up Harm, after jumping out the window, but she had to circumvent the whole school building!), she was not even close to start breathing heavily like him.

    -Will you explain to me at least what is happening?

    Art sighed once more – this time in an attempt to cover his chagrin and the impetus, which was making him to want scream with his whole throat, as if he wanted to yell at the whole world because of his misfortunes.

    He got up.

    -This was my friend – Harm Kaede. With a few words, he flew from Falkland and, let’s say, how to put it... took Tsuikihi. That’s the short story – you don’t need to know the long yet...

    -What?! What did you embroil, for fuck sake?...

    -Nothing! I’m don’t even have tiniest bit of fault, damn it! Pfff, whatever. Forget about that now. The most important thing now is to find them, before Ayuri realized what is happening. Didn’t want to die yet...

    -This is not putting me at ease at all, you know...

    -I know that i’m maybe asking for too much from you at this point, but please, just trust me about this. It will be for the best.

    Hion stared at him for several seconds. Then she puffed quietly.

    -Alright. Let’s be as you said. Do you have any ideas how are we going to find them?

    In response, Art only pull out his smartphone and called Harm.

    For his HUGE amazement, he picked!

    -Yes?

    Art was so stunned, that for the first few seconds he was as if with swallowed tongue.

    -Art, i’m listening? – he repeated.

    -Did he pick up?! Put in on the speaker!

    Art quickly touched the buton and took the smartphone off his ear.

    -What’s going on there, Harm? What was that, hundreds of demons?!

    -Nothing, i just took Tsuikihi on a date.

    -Excuse me? Are you calling this date?

    -So what? She didn’t mind at all.

    -What? Dafaq are you talking, hundreds of demons?!

    -Wanna heard her?...

    Art looked at Hion, who noded him wordlessly.

    -Let me hear her...

    -Hello?...

    -Iki, are you alright?! Did he do something to you?!

    -I’m fine, president, don’t worry...

    -Are you sure? Is he threatening you somehow?!

    -No, no, don’t worry. We are going to eat ice cream right now. He even bought me red elven lavenders, i’ll show them to you when i get back!

    -What?!

    -Really, don’t worry. I had already missed half of the miss Nier’s class. We will hang around a bit, we will talk and i’ll be back for her second period...

    -At least tell me where you are! To put me at ease a bit...

    -We are in park Esumi. – said Harm.

    -What? When did you manage to get there, hundreds of demons? – was surprised Hion.

    -Anyway, don’t worry about me, president. – a few seconds of silence followed. – (And please, if you are going to come to observe us and make sure i’m alright, at least keep a low profile.) – she finished on vhynehaimese and hanged up.

    Hion puffed and Art put his phone back in his pocket.

    -This girl...

    -What was that last one?

    -Generally, she asked us delicately to leave them alone and not to disturb them.

    Art laughed.

    -What’s so funny?

    -Oh, nothing. Maybe that that Harm knows perfect vhynehaimese.

    Hion just looked him stupidly. Art only giggled.

    -C’mon, you lead. Although all their assurances, i’m sure you will want personally to see that the things are alright. I have no idea where this „park Esumi” is, but i suggest to walk to there. The weather is wonderful. – and without waiting to hear her answer, he walked away.


    -Here. Double mint, as you wanted. – he gave to her the ice cream cone.

    -Thank you very much. – she took her. – What did you buy for yourself?

    -Well, the strawberry and vhynehaimese rose caught my eye. The other times when i was here i was always buying some other flavors. This is one of the few local ones i still haven’t tried.

    -Other times? You came here before?

    -Yes, the last time it was with my father several months ago. I’m traveling with him since a child. Exhibitions, events, tournaments, competitions – everything, considering his job. I have been here for at least fifty times now. Incredible place, sometimes i don’t even want to leave...

    -Woow, this is incredible, really. Sometimes i really want just to start traveling around the world and even stop. – she bite a new small peace of her ice cream. And suddenly, one though pierced her mind, making her freeze in place. – H-h-hey, H-harm, y-you s-s-said that you have been here for at least fifty times. – Iki slowly turned towards him, about to start trembling uncontrollable. – H-how well do you know Vhinhym actually?

    -I know some other word... – he replied casually.

    Tsuikihi sighed deeply and leaned back on the bench, returning her attention to the ice cream.

    -Wanna try? – she asked timidly, scooped some with the spoon and gave it to him.

    Harm tried it without hesitation.

    -Mmm, it’s incredible. Do you wanna try mine?

    Iki suddenly blushed.

    -Y-y-yes, p-please.

    Harm gave some to her. Iki, with a graceful move gently put her hair behind her ear and ate it.

    This made his heart to race even more.


    The two walked quietly for some time – she in front, he slightly behind her, watching with a delight the entrancing rhythm of her feminine gait. He didn’t dare to say anything – just because not to spoil this pace, which he could watch for the rest of his life. How could even someone be so perfect in this regard? And why was this making such a strong impression on him?

    Never before he had found himself so much starring at someone, for him to start reflecting philosophically at this. Was it Hion’s fault? Her gracefulness? The perfect proportions of her skeletal structure, embedded in her genes by her predecessors, enough for him to turn it into such a serious topic as if his existence was depending on this. And why was this so important now? Didn’t they have another job? But she still wasn’t saying anything, and he didn’t want to brake the silence, so he didn’t have what else to do...

    When he saw, that she started to turn her head back, towards him, Art in the fastest possible way remove his eyes from her swinging hips, pretending to be looking the whole time somewhere in front.

    -How did the though of jumping off the windows even crossed your mind? – she said.

    It seems she wanted to brake off this awkward silence so much, for her to bringing up this topic. As if she was scrolling dozens of things in her mind, but didn’t manage to think of something else for them to talk about.

    Art instinctively touch his medallion under his shirt and looked at her:

    -The height was only three meters. I thought the lawn will soften my fall enough.

    -So much, that you couldn’t go around the school, like me?

    -Do you think i wanted to just from this height? But Harm is incredible sprinter and i didn’t want to give him even a second lead. And as you saw, even that didn’t bring any results...

    -I still can’t believe just how he suddenly disappeared. And he managed to outrun the both of us, even with Iki on his shoulder. And how did he jump with her out of the window without killing themselves. My mind just can’t hold it...

    -Why don’t just ask him, when we see them? – he smiled slightly.

    Hion stared at him for several seconds with her unmoving face and also smiled slightly, turning forwards.

    Art catch up to her. Just not to distract himself anymore.

    -Hey, Art. I know that Iki assured us, but after all... Is there any change for your friend do to something to her... Or already did?

    Art looked at her somewhat strange. But Hion shrink a little, staring her gaze at the ground, as if she was ashamed for asking such thing.

    -Don’t worry. – she smiled a little. – Harm is a good man. Well, despite what he did doesn’t suggest it, Iki is in safe hands. I can guarantee it.

    She looked at him with slightly opened mouth, ready to gasp at any moment.

    -If something is worrying you, i can call him again? – he suggested.

    -No, no, no, no. – she recited quickly and moved her gaze ahead. – Let’s not disturb them anymore. – she added quietly.

    Art smiled with the end of his lips.


    -Well, Iki, what do you want to do now?

    -W-well, i d-don’t know.

    -Do you like to stroll?

    -I love. A-as long t-there are not many people around. – she said timidly, coiling delicately one of her strands.

    -Well, where do you want to go then?

    -Hmmmm... Actually, you decide! – she let her strand down and looked him straight in the eyes. – I mean, i know some good places, which are not far away. And you came (especially for me) – she whispered. – from Falkland, so let’s be what you decide!

    -I’ll be happy to show me around, Iki... Sorry, can i call you like this?

    -O-o-f c-c-course. – she blushed, turning his head and avoiding his gaze. – A-and can i c-call y-you Harm? – she whispered even more quietly.

    -Hm, excuse me? I’m sorry, i didn’t hear you.

    -C-can i call you Harm?

    -Of course... Iki.

    -T-t-thank you... Harm.

    She turned her back at him. Just for him not to see her blushing. Harm slightly tilted his head behind her puzzled.

    -Khm... – he coughed tactically.

    Tsuikihi momentarily turned towards him again.

    -I-i’m sorry. Just give me a second to think about it...

    -Of course, Iki. No need to feel pressed.

    -Hmmm, not far away is the Naval Academy of Inojima. They will not let us inside, of course, but outside there are incredible vast parks and greensward, where we can stroll for hours. It is approximately fifteen minutes walking in this direction – Iki raised her hand and showed it with her finger. – During this time of the day, there will be not many people and the scenery and views are amazing. I think you’ll like it.

    -This sounds nice. Well, you lead, Iki..

    She slightly blushed, turned hastily and went obediently in front of his.

    Harm smiled a bit and followed her.


    -Will you stop staring at my ass, if you please? – Hion suddenly turned her head towards him.

    Art startled. He didn’t realize at all when fell behind her again and got... distracted.

    He froze in a place for a moment, then slightly shook his head and ran to catch up to her.

    Hion’s face wasn’t full with admiration at all – let’s say, it was more befitting a person, who wanted to skin him alive.

    Art gulped soundlessly and said:

    -I’m sorry. There is just something entrancing in your gait. – he tried to say with as much serious voice as possible – he was just realizing that any attempt for a joke in this situation was gonna be equal to a death sentence.

    -Hah, so it’s my gait? – began Hion. As if she was slightly amused. – Are you sure it’s only that?

    Art frowned. She didn’t believe him at all... Wait a second, how could he expect for her to believe him in this situation?!

    -I’m sorry... – he simply replied. – I have no bad intentions. Just, there is something magnetic in you, how to explain it...

    -All women have similar gait, Art. This is because of our wider pelvis, genetically predisposed, because of the fact that at sometime in our lives some jackass like you will knock us up and then we will need to raise up perverts like you...

    Art laughed out – loudly and energetically – it was out of his heart.

    -I liked that, Hion. I really liked it.

    -It was nether a joke, nor a compliment...

    -Why are you automatically assuming, that all men grew up to be perverts, Hion? What if it’s a girl?

    -Then we will need to teach them while they are still young how to defend themselves. From the likes like you. – she looked him with a funeral seriousness.

    -C’mon, stop it. I said i’m sorry.

    The expression on Hion’s face returned to her stony one – in this moment he was really glad to see this one, instead of her bloodthirsty, which she was throwing at him.

    -I did not agree. – he said after a while.

    -I-i beg your pardon? – she looked at him puzzled.

    -With the fact, that all women gaits are like yours. True, all women, which are healthy and doesn’t have some genetic diseases, proportionally have wider hips in comparison with a healthy men’s structure – as you said, because of the pregnancy, but the leg’s bone proportion and the mass in them are also important for the overall effect.

    -Cool, it seems you have great experience at watching women’s asses, Art. – Hion laughed.

    -Actually, you are the first girl to ever notice it so much. – he also giggled.

    -Phahaha, you are unbelievable, Art.

    -Believe me if you want, but this is the truth. It seems your proportions are so much aligned with the stars, that they are messing with my neurons, hypnotizing my brain...

    -Hah, please, don’t compare my ass with a hypnosis pendulum, Art. You are grounding my self-esteem...

    -Shouldn’t you accept it rather as a compliment? Or something similar?

    -So, in the end, it is all about my hips and not my gait as a whole? – she said humorously.

    -Alright, alright. It’s not only about your hips. Your radiance as a whole. The build up of your upper body. Your gentle shoulders, your straight posture, your slim waist. Of every person i know, i have only noticed my cousin Sophie to have such perfect proportions as yours, as if the two of you are some Bennini’s sculptures. Blame your predecessors for what they did in the past, which evolved your genes the way they are now and you inherited from them and the way of life you are leading now, which shapes them up even more. When you combine all this with the proportions of your lower body, you have the magnetic effect, which glued my gaze on you. I’m sorry... – he explained hastily.

    Hion was staring at him almost stupefied because of his sincere confession. And she hurried to turn her head aside – just to hide her blushing.

    -You are not gonna go searching now through the school for who what gait or proportions have just to make comparisons with me or your cousin? It’s just what i need now, additional troubles...

    He laughed out loudly.

    -You can be relaxed, Hion. I have not intention to stirring up the things for you. – and for to firmly stand up to his words, he got two steps ahead of her.

    A kind of awkward silence between them arose.

    „Hm, he looks sincere.” – she decide after all.

    Despite all the troubles and dealings she had up until now with some of the male part of their academy, something was telling her on subconscious level, that she could trust him unconditionally.

    „What is it to be seen so much, for fuck sake...“ – she started to think.

    And she began to stare... And stare...

    Not before long, Hion realized, that they just swapped their roles – his shaped manly back was radiating so much safety and stability, that something basic inside of her was pulling her towards him – to lean on it, to depend on his strength until the end of her live. His uniform, smooth gait, those small gestures which only after a careful, deliberate looking can be noticed and as if disclosing certain traits of his character, all of this was so entrancing for her...

    -Hion?

    She startled. She didn’t notice when her hand had raised. She wanted so much to lay her palm on his back, to feel the muscles and the power, which they stored.

    She shook her head, put down her hand and ran to align with him.

    For fuck sake, she just dropped down to his level. Were these the things he was also thinking? Were these the things he wanted to do to her? Why everything was so hypnotizing? Were they in some stupid cliched love drama for them to pay so much attention on such situations?

    He smiled slightly under his nose.

    -Are you alright, Hion. – Art looked her with his periphery.

    -Mhm.

    A minute passed.

    -My ancestors where farmers. – she said quietly.

    -Mm, excuse me?

    -Maybe that is the reason beyond my strong genetics. As far as it possible for my family tree to be traced back, all of my predecessors where small farmers, serving different lords, shoguns and emperors.

    -That means you had incredibly important role in your society.

    -During our sparring, you showed that you know some things about Vhinhym history. How for are they going?

    -I don’t now much details, just the main events and periods. Since only ten percent of Vhynehaim lands is suitable for farming, this is the reason for the extremely bloody history you had and for your inability to centralize like most mainland Indenean countries do up until year 1337. Then you have the four-hundred period of peace and isolation from the rest of the world during the Fiozuvaru’s shogunate, until in year 1778 emperor Emriengard didn’t force you to open your country for trade, mainly for him to import from an additional source war raw materials for his wars against Lien and Myrina. But his plans are thwarted by the 10-year civil war which follows between the Shogunate forces and the Reformers, which the latter win, open the country and starts modernizing it at an amazing rate. Then, during the thirties of the 19th century, you take revenge on us with the interests, playing an important role in defeating emperor Vandergaard’s armies and fleet, with which more or less starts the ending of the Falklan Period and then during the World War, where, despite the tremendous losses you suffer, you manage to cut off the vital trade between Falkland and El’livian, and literally isolating us from our most powerful enemy, which decides the end of the war.

    -It is exactly as you said. It is always impressive when a foreigner is familiar with the history of your country.

    -Thank you, Hion. This is where my interests lies, after all.

    -Yes. Of course.

    Again an awkward silence arose.

    -What about you? Your predecessor? What did they do?

    -Pff, that’s a difficult question, Hion. For the simple reason, that our family tree were destroyed during the World war and don’t know much about them. These, which have restored it after that, were doing it only by memories. And it isn’t much. Let’s start with the obvious – mom and dad are university lecturers – they have almost the same hobbies as me and maybe they are the reason for my affections –because of the influence, which they had inflicted on me, mostly unconsciously, while i was growing up. My grandfather and grandmothers have had just ordinary profession – completely different from what i’m doing now. Down on the tree i don’t now much, only some facts. Two of my great great-grandfather fought in the War against Issegem. Five in the World War. But some miracle, and the five ot them survived it. I’m also sure for one predecessor, who fought in the War against Oberland and for one, who served under the emperor Vandergaard’s banners, during the Falkland period. But i know only that much, i have no idea what were they doing during peaceful times. So, i can’t be much sure what shaped my genes, Hion. – he smiled, scratching delicately behind his neck.

    -I see. It’s a pity that you had lost your family three during the Great war.

    -Yeah, it’s truly a pity.

    -My family tree can be followed back almost to the year 800, during the Meiji’s era.

    -Meiji’s era?! Niicee.

    -Yes. Our family tree is being kept extremely carefully in our mansion in Saitama. Its current guardian is my mother and one day this responsibility will be up to me. She will writes up her autobiography, then i’ll do the same, after i retire and my successors will be the ones to take care of it. Members of my family have fought in literally every conflict between the warring clans. When we weren’t farmers, we were warriors, fighting wars for survival and existence. It is a sad story. The pages show that up until Fiozuvaru’s era, eighty percent of our men and twenty percent of our women die in the wars. During those times, from each generation, there was a man who fought and died. As if they had any choice though. If you don’t go and protect your land or conquer that of a adjacent clan during a drought, you are dooming your entire clan to die. It is a really really sad story. It’s good, that we moved away from the things we were doing during these times. And i hope we never return back to them...

    Art looked at her – Hion was so embittered and... sad. He could understands her very well. After all the letters and diaries we had read about these times...

    -Great-grandfather of uncle Max has a diary. About his service on the Eastern Front during the World war.

    Hion looked at him with widened eyes.

    -From operation “Adamkadmon” up until the fall of Saorise eight years later. It is extremely interesting. I can send you a copy, if you want.

    -Why not. It must have been sort of a nightmare...

    -Do you doubt it.

    Hion stared her gaze ahead.

    -Great great-granddad dies as a kamikaze during the Great war.

    Art shivered.

    -I-i’m sorry to hear it. – he said quietly.

    Hion took a quick look at him. Then she stared it again at the ground.

    -Yeah, me too...

    They continued to walk silently.

    -When?

    -1945. During the Blitz.

    -I’m sorry again... Do you know... what exactly happened?

    -He was shot down during an attempt of his squad to attack the Falkanish Fleet Carrier „Rashford”. His remains where never found.

    Art also downed his head a bit and continued to walk.

    -I’m sorry again. – he mumbled for a third time.

    For the rest of the time, they walked quietly. It just became so awkward for each of them to start a new conversation.

    Not before long they reached something which at first gaze looked like their destination. Before them, a stone column on each side of a narrow walkway were reaching up to three meters, supporting a stylish metal arc, painted in black, carrying some sign. Without a problem he was able to read the alphabetic symbols, meaning „Isumi”, but the kanji after that was absolutely incomprehensible for him.

    -Is this, Hion? – he looked at the sign. – I’m sorry, but i can’t read kanji yet.

    -Yes. That’s it. And it is normal – you will need three to four years of hard studying and interacting, before you can do it casually.

    -So encouraging.

    -Better the harsh reality, than groundless promises, Art. No point to give you empty hope.

    -Fact. Sometimes, at least.

    -Can’t deny it... My friend. Shiori Misuzu from class 11-1 is something you can call, hm, let’s say a „linguistic genius”. Generally, she loves studying languages and for that reason she knows many tricks for easy learning. I think she could be of great use to you, if you are willing to busy yourself with this. And if she agrees, after all.

    -I’ll be glad, Hion..

    -But after all, don’t expect miracles. This is foreign language, after all. And considering you are doing other stuff and can’t spare a whole day for its studying.

    -Of course..

    -Let’s go.

    The two of them passed below the arc. From both sides of the walkway, there were vast green meadows with trees here and there, as if someone had stick them in the ground randomly.

    -Should we separate or we continue to walk together?

    Hion give it a thought for several seconds.

    -Better not. There is no point. I have the feeling that they are not here anymore.

    To her response, Art pull out his phone.

    -Yes, you are right. – he turned the display towards her. – Harm had sent me his real-time positioning app. At the moment it shows they are a kilometer away from here. Right to the Military Academy of Inojima.

    -I see.

    -So, what are we going to do? Continue or go back to school?

    Hion again give it a thought for several seconds.

    -Let’s go. The park around Inojima academy is nice. I’ll also show you more of the town.

    Art pulled back his phone and the two silently walked away.

    -Your friend... He looks serious at his intentions. – she said after a while.

    -Of course, Hion. Harm is always serious. – he smiled slightly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  14. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    A quick draw of Art's cousin - Sophie Bettenfeld (it still took me several days though, lol) because i'm still learning to draw (and don't have much time with my 2 jobs );...), i used this picture as model:
    https://www.google.bg/search?hl=en-...2SwKHVZADR8Qwg4IJSgA&biw=1920&bih=974#imgrc=_

    Several words about Sophie:
    First, she is probably my favorite heroine.
    The original Sophie appears in my second novel of my fictional world (Aell Sweithe part 2) and is also cousin to main hero there - Max (i hope i'll have the time to start translating it and uploading it...). And because i like and her very much, i decide to put similar character in the HEMA Freak.
    The current Sophie Bettenfeld is the grand-daughter of Max.
    Also, because this novel is almost all about the history of my world and historical reenactment, i chose her main affection to be the Falklan Period (something like the Napoleonic wars in our world). So, expect in the future a pic with Sophie in a full battle gear from that period (i won't spoil any more. :p)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  15. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Enters player two! Rio!
    This is Takahashi Rioko - the second oldest of the four Takahashi Sisters. Just a petite and very angry little tsun. Approach on your own risk.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  16. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Harm raised his hand, blocking the sun not to shine in his eyes.

    -I think that may be the destroyer „Chieno“. – he mumbled.

    Tsuikihi stopped next to him, holding with her hands the railing. Her gaze landed at the far side of the channel, where the First Fleet base was – and as always, full to the docks with ships. They were the first to intercept any hypothetical attack from Falkland – guarding the channel, leading straight to the capital, as they were doing ever since the Vandergaardian wars.

    -Wow, you can read it from here?

    -More or less. Some kanji are not entirely clear to me, but after iterating them several times in my mind and considering that i know the way of constructing vhynehaimese names, i think i can pull it out somehow.

    Tsuikihi was gaping at him as if with admiration and astonishment.

    -Woooow. – and she suddenly froze. – W-w-wait a m-minute, you can read our alphabet? You said that you don‘t now vhinhym very well? – she was stunned and about to turn red all over again.

    Harm looked at her puzzled, with perplexity.

    -Yes, that is true. But your alphabet is relatively simple for learning and quite intuitive to lienic. So, i almost have no troubles reading it. – he smiled slightly.

    -I understand. – then she turned towards the railing and raised her hand, covering her eyes from the sun. – This one, on the left, is called „Nishin”.

    -Oooh, this is the laser destroyer „Nishin“, one of your newest additions to your fleet, commissioned just several months ago. I wish so badly to see her more closely. And even from inside, if possible... – he started to dream.

    Tsuikihi smiled at him.

    -It’s incredible how you can recognize our ships, Harm. I can’t do it. Even that they are the ones protecting us.

    -Hm, why, Iki? Not everyone is interested in military stuff. It’s normal, i think.

    -Well, yes but... I think you can’t say that i’m a person, who doesn’t have interest in military stuff.

    -I suppose you are right. – he agreed and turned forwards. – Come, i’ll teach you now. Do you see this one, a little bit to the left, separate from the others? The huge one?

    -Yes.

    -This is the super-carrier „Reigen Park Yeon” – a monster, weighting more than 120 000 tonnes and 350 meters at length. Her crew is consisted of 3000 men and is literally a small floating city. The power came from 2 nuclear reactors and the air wing is over 250 airplanes, helicopters and drones, and you can’t even start to imagine how much defensive systems she have. It is a serious adversary for any enemy. There are even talks that she is unsinkable, despite the number of forces being thrown against her.

    -Woooow, incredible. There are the ship classes, which turn the tide of the Great War, right?

    -Yes, Iki. Your admirals are amongst the first to realize how the power of modern aviation can render the old battleships obsolete and this completely transforms the face of naval warfare – soon many other countries make use of your example and quickly adapt your doctrine, reaching to certain conclusions and even making improvements, which are used even today.

    -I seee, i think i understand..

    Harm smiled slightly.

    -Do you see the one over there, which is also quite big, next to the two destroyers?

    -Yes... „Murakumo“...

    -Yes, this is the battleship „Murakumo“. After the introducing in bulk of the rail and coil-guns and the modern laser anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses, many leading nations returns to the doctrine of the old battleships. Of course, only that now there is nothing „old” in them. Only the name.

    -Niiiice. You sure know much about the military ships, Harm.

    -Weell, this happened to be the case. – he scratched behind his neck. – Mother and my bigger brother are sailors. They serve on a military ships.

    Tsuikihi looked at him with admiration.

    -When i was a little, we went every time to the port with dad and big bro pick up mom, when she was returning from sailing. Even from back then i remember how i admired these big machines and i started little by little to show interest in them. And not only them. Sometimes i just stops and stare in admire how much and what the engineering had accomplished.

    -It is incredible, that there is something you really admire and you are interested in. There are not many people who can say the same for themselves.

    Harm smiled slightly.

    -And you, Iki? From when you are interested in archery?

    She started to think about it, as if he asked her some very difficult question.

    -Weeell, literally ever since i remember myself, honestly. – she laughed, as if nervously. – The earliest picture of myself, which i have found, with a bow in hands, go back to when i was two years old.

    -Two years old? Nice. Most toddlers can’t even speak articulately at this age.

    -He-he. – she scratched nervously behind her neck. – Hey, i got an idea.

    -Mm? – he turned towards her.

    -Well, because you like military stuff... At twenty minutes walk in this direction are the Randen’s bastion and the Gun Mai’s fort. – she pointed it. – Do you want me to take you there? I think you are gonna like it.

    -Are you sure, Iki? Isn’t going to take us too much time? Shouldn’t you return to your classes already?

    -N-no, don’t worry about that. One missed day shouldn’t be fatal for my grades. Ima gonna catch up easily. And the teacher shouldn’t rebuke me that much...

    As if Harm drooped down a little.

    -I’m sorry. I’m sorry, that i abduct you like that. Just, when i saw you... I was so blinded by your beauty, that i though if i don’t act right away, someone else may confess to you before me and lose you forever.

    -W-w-what a-are y-you t-talking, Harm, i-i’m n-not t-that b-b-b-beautiful. – Iki started to wave nervously with hands.

    -Also i’m sorry for that... other one... – he turned slightly his head, just to avoid her eyes.

    Tsuikihi stopped in place and wondered in the first moment. Then it hit her what he was meaning.

    And her face turned all red...


    Art stretched with such relief, as if he has fallen under the hands of some quite experienced masseuses. Then he leaned on the railing, turning his gaze on the reflection, left by the bright sun on the sapphire sea.

    -This is so nice. I can stay here for hours.

    -To bad that in reality its not so easy to do it. – she said and leaned with her hips on the railing, crossing her hands below her finely shaped breasts.

    Art threw her one secret lustful look. Although he wondered if he can hide something from her at all.

    -C’mon, Hion, don’t be such a joy breaker. You have no idea how little things to enjoy i have left.

    -You are speaking as if your wife have run out with your best friend and the bank took your house...

    Art laughed.

    -Close, but worse.

    -C’mon, for fuck sake, don’t be such a fatalist. Is it that bad here?

    -No, it’s not bad, just... I miss everyone, Hion. You just have no idea what is it to grew up from a toddle with a certain group of people, then to became best friends with other in school and suddenly to drop on you that you are not going to see them in the next six months...

    -Yes, that’s right. I don’t...

    -As if someone have ripped off a part of myself.

    -Oh, c’mon... To Falkland are more or less 2000 kilometers. The flight costs to mainland Inden are about 20-30 indo, and the first big vacation is only after a month. With a supersonic flight it’s about thirty minutes. You can even go back home for the weekends...

    Art sighed deeply.

    -Thanks for the moral support, Hion. – he leaned his chin over his hands on the railing.

    -And your friend is here now.

    -Yes, you are right. Completely right. I can go home whenever i want. And i haven’t seen the most of them for only a few days. And Harms is here now...

    He stood up..

    -The scenery is incredible. If the water wasn’t so cold, i was going to jump without remorse.

    -Yeah, me too.

    Art looked her surprised.

    -You can swim?

    -Are you kidding me, Art?

    -Mm, why?

    -I grew up in Hirai as far as i can remember myself. I could swim even before i was able to walk...

    Art laughed.

    -Of course, why i’m even asking. Maybe because most of the girls i know can’t swim. And my friend, Liya, can’t stand the sea at all. During the summer, we can’t get her to even wet her feet.

    Hion looked him in disbelief.

    -Can’t even believe, that there are people, who grew in a seaside city and don’t dare to get close to the water.

    -Haha, me too.

    Art pulled out his smartphone.

    -Hm, it seem now they are going north-east.

    -North-east? – Hion looked in his display.

    -Where are they going? What precisely is in that direction?

    She thought about for a second.

    -I don’t know. Maybe they just decided to go for a stroll. Are we going too?

    Art also gave it a though. But not for long.

    -No, Hion. Let’s stay here just a little bit longer. Please. – he replied and again leaned on the railing.

    Hion looked at him for several seconds and then she did the same.


    During most of the time, they didn’t talk – it became so awkward between them, that nobody dare to say anything. Harm was looking as if he was gazing at the scenery around – Tsuikihi was walking silently behind him, staring her eyes at the ground.

    „Damn it, damn it, damn it! This is so awkward! I need to say something, i need to say something, Topic, think about a topic to talk about...“

    -Weather is incredible today, right?

    „Weather is incredible today? Weather is INCREDIBLE TODAY?! Fool, fool, fool! Of all of the things, how could you say exactly tthis!“ – she started to rebuke herself internally.

    So much, that she wanted to become one with the ground.

    „He probably thinks already that i’m complete loser...“

    She just wanted to cry.

    „Please, someone to bury me...“

    -Yes, Iki, it is incredible for the beginning of the march. In home usually wouldn’t stop raining during this time of the year.

    -I seee. It must be nasty, right?

    -Sometime. But you quickly learn the habit to carry umbrella with you all the times.

    -I see...

    The two went silent again.

    „Damt it, damn it, not again!...“

    -Do you know Ralls Hitchcock, Iki?

    „O, gods bless you, Harm!...“

    Wait a minute!

    She was so engulfed in her vaunts about Harm for breaking the awkward silence, that just now she realized what he had asked.

    -RALLS HITCHCOCK?! – she suddenly turned towards him, that even Harm startle. – YES, YES, YES! He is one of my idols, so much, that i have watched all his videos, and even several times each!

    Harm smiled slightly.

    -I’m always happy to see someone talking about the archery with such a passion, Iki. Sometimes is incredible how a man can shoot a 100lb bow so quickly.

    -Y-yes, that’s right. – she said quietly. – I can do it with only 45lb.

    -What?! You can shoot like him?!

    She shrank a bit and stepped back, as if she just made a commend, which was going to magnet the most furious haters at her.

    -Y-yes... – she said timidly.

    -This is incredible, Iki! Really incredible! Wow, when i just imagine how much effort and training is needed for this. And to personally meet someone, that can shoot like this. Admiration, really, admiration.

    In the first moment, she looked at him surprised, but then smiled a bit.

    -If you have time, and if you want, of course, i can show it to you. After we return to the academy.

    -Of course, Iki. Can’t wait. – he smiled.

    The replied him the same way.

    Not a minute passed, when they reached to the top of the low hill.

    -Woooow. – was delighted Harm.

    Before them, after several hundreds of meters of downhill, fort Gun Mai was laying on a rocky shore, almost completely merged with the environmental vegetation. And about three hundred of meters in the sea, connected with a slight, in places almost missing sandy strip, were the starfort Randen, placed on a small island, surrounded by all sides of the azure sea.

    -Do you like it? – she turned towards him and smiled.

    -It’s incredible, Iki.

    -That over there is the Randen’s starfort. – she pointed at the island in the sea. – It’s the first bastion to open fire against the emperor Emriengard’s fleet. Of course, after that it is leveled with the ground. What are you seeing now is actually build during the Modernization period, during the Akiroto’s era by Indenean style and model. And this over there is the fort Gun Mai – a fortification, that which at the time defended Hirai and the river Nagano’s delta, leading straight to the capital Niigara. The two, together with the Randen’s starfort, play a very important role of the defense of Hirai and the capital against the Vandergaard’s fleet during the Falklan Period and after that during the Blitz in the World War and the ultimate defeat of Falkland.

    Harm was only looking at her with something like curiosity.

    Tsuikihi as if suddenly startled and shivered.

    -I-i’m sorry. – she nervously moved her fingers over one another. – I’ve said these thing to you without realizing the country you are from...

    -Haha, don’t worry about that, Iki. I’m actually montgisardean. We hate Falkland. – he laughed innocently. .

    She looked at him with widened eyes.

    -You are from Montgisard? Wow, didn’t know that.

    -Yes, i’m just currently studying in Leichtè. Also, that about the hate is a joke, of course. Just a history humor between me and my colleges.

    She also smiled to him slightly.

    Not after long, the two of them reached fort Gun Mai.

    -Unfortunately, these two fortifications are abandoned now, although there is access to all premises! There is even some stuff left! – she said.

    -Yes. Sometime is sad how the state treat the things which once had defended it.

    -Yes, it is indeed sad.

    The two of them climbed the covered with weeds stairs. On both sides, there were sloped, covered in green meadows, so attractive, that if he didn’t know there is interesting fort up there, he was gonna lay down on them for at least hour.

    Harm climbed up first with Tsuikihi following him tightly, when she suddenly heard how he exclaimed:

    -OMG, OMG, OMG, THIS IS REAL NAVAL GUN „TYPE 13/66 57!” REAL, ABSOLUTELY REAL!!! – she only heard how he exclaimed from above and a moment later his dying down steps.

    After few seconds, when she was also up, Harm was already about thirty meters away from her – right next to the huge dark-grey artillery gun, which barrel still was pointing threateningly straight at the bay.

    „How did he managed to get so quickly there?!“ – she wondered.

    She got close to him. When he heard her steps, he turned towards her, looking her with sparkly. Some more and his mouth was gonna run off, as if for first time in years he was going to eat venison in cream sauce.

    -OMG, LOOK, IKI! ABSOLUTELY REAL NAVAL GUN „TYPE 13/66 MODEL 57“. Just can’t believe it...

    She smiled a little bit.

    -Yes. It is here as far i can remember.

    -I can’t believe it... Why your government have left it here in the first place?! These are almost 147 tonnes ultra-high quality Broodseider’s steel plus also that from the turret! Do you know, by the way, that these guns are build in Falkland in the 10s of the last century? And then they shoot at Falklanish ships. – he laughed. – Nevertheless, my points is that is incredible they decided not to cut them down. So the maniacs like me to enjoy them later.

    She smiled.

    -I see. Then, tell me more about them, Harm!

    -Are you sure, Iki? Isn’t going to be boring for you?

    -No, what are you talking about! It is going to be very interesting. If it came from you. – she added lowly.

    -Alright, as you say.

    But Harm suddenly went quiet.

    -What is it? – asked after a while Iki, looking at him if not with worry.

    -I just don’t know where to start from, there is so much stuff... – he smiled and scratched behind his neck.

    -Weeeell... – she started to think.

    How could she help him? What did she know about the naval guns to ask him a question, with which Harm to start the topic... Oh, yes!...

    -What cal... – she started quietly, but suddenly Harm begun – she was sure that he didn’t hear her at all:

    -Its original designation in the technical documents is „ 44 cm GKDR 52 S/45”. Behind this is the falklanish „Grass Kanon DeReichsh, Gewaffe 52, Shuntz S45” or translated: “Naval artillery gun, Model 52, size 45“. But these two numbers are deliberately replaced for misinformation in case of espionage. In reality, the gun’s barrel is 52 calibers long, not 45. This means the diameter of shell the gun is firing is 44.4 centimeters and this number, multiplied by 52 is the gun’s barrel length.

    -I seee, i understand.

    -These are build, as i said, during the 10s of the last century by the Falklanish company Broodseider, during the Siegfried’s era. They build only thirteen of there guns, but only five of them were for land use. For of there were mounted in the fort of Leichtè, protecting the capital and the one left is given by emperor Vaanstenlandt to Alfven as a gift on the occasion of the birth of his first grandson by his second daughter, Riannon, which was married for prince Daimler, which later became the ruler of the east kingdom. Then two of the four are sold in the beginning of the 30s to Vhynhaim, during the rule of empress Rosalind, when by the way, the relations between the two countries are relatively warm. Before the World War happen.

    -I see.

    -The other eight guns were mounted on the falklanish prototype battleship „Baron Manterfont“. Which, by the way, makes quite a nasty mess on the allies during entire the war. – he smiled. – And is one of the few falklanish warships to survive it. After the surrender, she is turned over to the Oberland’s navy as a war trophy and serve in it up until 1992 by the name „Bilksenrir“. Now she is a ship-museum in Lightford.

    -Wow, really?!

    -Mhm. One of my dreams is to go and see her one day. She is something like the pride of Lightford and the local government there devotes quite a significant finances to keep her in a very good shape.

    -It’s really incredible. Maybe you will take me with you, if this happens some day. To take a look at her with you. – she whispered, rotating her index fingers around one another.

    -Of course, Iki. It will be pleasure for me. – he smiled.

    She replied the same way. Harm turned and got close to the ginormous breech, grabbing one of the levers with his hand. It was so cold, as if personified all the lives it has taken.

    -It looks in a quite good condition, by the way.

    -Yes, as far as i know, sometimes the local government, sometimes the local historical enthusiasts raise money to clear the rust and repaint it. They did this the last year, i think.

    -I see. It’s really incredible. Otherwise, now i wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it in its full glory.

    -Yeah, really.

    -Do you know, by the way, that this is not the original barrel, Iki?

    -It’s not the original barrel?

    -You see, every barrel have a life expectancy – with every shot, its rifling wears out, which make it more and more inaccurate. When in the beginning of the 1900s, the company Broodseider, during the Richmors era, make a revolution in the steel making and cementation process, replacing the previous standard for the military industry – the Zimmer one, by which they were making the guns and armored plates for warships – it allows the more powerful type of propellants discovered around the same time to be used, much bigger naval guns to be made, with much more heavier shells, longer barrel life and faster initial muzzle velocity. And from here on, the different nation fleets adopt different doctrines. Over the years, the Falkland’s doctrine emphasize on the higher rate of fire and the high muzzle velocity, but they use lighter shells, in comparison to shells of the same caliber, used by other nations. And therefore, all naval gun produced during and after the Richmors era up until the end of the World War, by Falkland and the other nations, which adapted the same doctrine, are just like this one – monsters, capable of delivering shells weighting over a ton at distance greater than 40 kilometers. – he gently slid his hand over the breech. – But you, see, here is the first problem, Iki. During the World War, Falkland and Vhynhaim are enemies – and the last had neither the technology nor the steel to manufacture new barrels to replace the old, worn out ones. And the bigger problem was, that almost all your warships were equipped with the high rate of fire, long-barreled guns, manufactured by Falkland. You can imagine at what kind of logistical nightmare your country were at one moment.

    -Yes, i see.

    -That is why your country turns to your new most powerful ally – Oberland. They, on the other hand, adopt completely different doctrine and to oppose the Falkland’s fleet, create their famous super-heavy shell „Mark HB Type G” for their warships. I’ll give you example, Iki. This gun here have a caliber of 444 mm. Its Falklanish armor-piercing shell weights 1248 kilograms and the initial muzzle velocity at full charge is almost 840 meters per second. On the other hand, after the barrels are replaced with the ones by the Oberlandean standard, instead of 52 calibers long, the barrels now are 48 calibers long, the armor piercing shell weights 1740 kilos and the muzzle velocity is 745 meters per second. And guess what – the Oberlandean armor-piercing shell have much more destructive power. Even the 410 mm Oberlandean naval gun „BAC BP 41 cm/50” fire shell that weights 1260 kilograms with 760 meters per second and have the same destructive power as the Falklanish 444 mm one.

    Iki was looking at him with sincere admiration and shining eyes of the enthusiasm with which Harm was telling her all this. Although she didn’t have much knowledge on this subject and wasn’t that much interested in it, the passion, the radiance which was emanating from him were able to corrupt even the most uninterested person.

    -Wooow, i didn’t even imagine how much story there can be behind just a simple naval gun. – she said with eyes also full of excitement and passion.

    -Yeah, sure. But if you want, let’s change the topic already. I must be boring for you. – he laughed nervously.

    -No, no, no! It isn’t at all! On the contrary, i would be happy to learn even more things, if possible.

    -Alright, Iki. – he smiled, placing his hand on his chin. – Hmm, let’s see... Oh, i know one very interesting story. Do you know that this gun and the other one participate in the sinking of the falklanish anti-aircraft cruiser „Ramsherr”?

    -No! Tell me! – she grabbed his hand unintentionally.

    Harm smiled slightly.

    -This story happens during the last months of the Blitz. After the considerable weakening of your Air force and Navy, before Oberland intervene, Falkland was actively readying the land invasion on your main island, after taking back most of the north-west Yocastic ocean. For this purpose, the minesweeper „Brunherr“ was sent in your territorial waters to lay mines around the river’s Nagano delta to, let’s say, „prevent” whatever little left of your fleet interfere with the incoming invasion. Therefor, the night between 18th and 19th of January was chosen, which happens to be new moon. Luckily for the Falklanish High Command, the night was also very cloudy, which was going to help the minelayer even more. Almost...

    The light anti-aircraft cruiser „Ramsherr” was chosen to escort the minelayer, in case „Brunherr” meet any vhynehaimese patrolling vessels. Which was extremely likely, since they were in yours territorial waters. The thing Falkland didn’t know, however, was that for almost an year then, doctor Kinohina and his team were experimenting with a revolutionary night-vision system. And one of the prototypes were mounted just on fort Gun Mai. I think that you can guess what happened next...

    -Yeah, it’s close to the mind.

    -Mhm. „Ramsherr“ and „Brunherr“ were seen from almost 20 kilometers away. And the two 444-mm guns have range of almost 39 kilometers. But they don’t open fire right away – the unsuspecting falklanish captains approach almost 10 kilometers to the fort, before the vhynehaimese lit them up – and not only the 444s – the 210-mm and 160-mm guns also. The 444s fires 17 shells – approximately one each minute and 3 of them critically hit „Ramsherr“, destroying her steering and engines, putting her dead in the water. There are talks that these 3 hits came only from one of the guns – the other one doesn’t hit even a single time. But i’m not sure whether it is this gun or the other one. – he smiled slightly.

    -Woow, for sure you knows many interesting facts, Harm!

    -Well, it seems so. – he smiled innocently. – I like the search the net and read some documents or leather directly from the archives. There are many groups at the social networks, which uploads very interesting stories about their predecessors, pictures, they make reenactments, etc.

    -Yes, this is very interesting. What happened next?

    -„Ramsherr“, guided by the muzzle flashes from your batteries and firing with star-shells, returns fire, even manages to destroy several 160-mm guns, but after the repair parties didn’t manage to put the power and the steering back, and after many increasing hits from the 160s and 210s guns, the captain gives the order to abandon ship. Almost three-fourth of the crew survives and is rescued by the vhynehaimese afterwards. „Brunherr“ gets away with no casualties – only two superficial hits from the 160-mm guns.

    -Just imagine what was to be on one of these ships that day. – she said.

    -A nightmare probably. – he replied and grabbed one of the huge metal levers.

    Pushed.

    For his huge surprise, and probably Iki’s also, it moved!

    The locking mechanism rotated.

    -Wow! Can’t believe it is still working... – he said and the girl stepped a little back, as if from the breech were going to jump one of these scary insects, which suddenly appear on your clothes or your shoulder when you least expect it.

    -I-is it right to do this? – she said timidly.

    -Why not, Iki? I don’t see the problem, honestly. Hmm, let’s see. – he let off the lever and started to rotate one of the gears.

    The breech slowly starter to slide back.

    -Woooow! It is really working!

    -Yes. Only if you imagine, that this gun is left here a hundred years ago...

    He needed half a minute to rotate it till the end...

    -This of course is only the manual mode. Do you see this lever here? It is about the hydraulic system, when the gun is electrically powered up. With it, the opening and closing takes literally no more than 3-4 seconds. This manual mode is in case of breakdowns. You know, the military and their reassurance stuff... – he explained.

    -Yes. Damn, i just can’t believe how much things do you know.

    -Well, as i say, i watch some stuff here and there. – he laughed nervously. – I have seen various museum persons showing how some survived guns with this kind of breech works. Do you know, by the way, that its creator is my compatriot? Henrison Reike. He is the first one to patent it, in the distant 1867. And even today this mechanism is know as Reike’s breech.

    -Nicee, i had no idea!

    -Come, let’s get back a bit... – he made a hand gesture and the two stepped back.

    Harm grabbed another lever and using his whole body weight, leaned back. The huge steel breech block slid with an ease.

    At the front, the shiny dark-silver pit opened in its full glory, amplified by the gloomy abyss, which ruled deeper inside.

    He only saw how Iki leaned forward and loudly exclaimed:

    -LOOOOOOL! The whole me can get inside!

    -Even to people like you can get inside, Iki. – he giggled. – To bad that everything is in oil, otherwise i would also try it. I have always wanted to take a pic of me inside one of these things.

    Iki suddenly smiled, rolled up her sleeves, tied up casually her hair in bun with the skill of a person who had done it thousand of times before and before he managed to stop her, she jumped in.

    -Iki, no, you’ll get dirty! – but it was to late.

    She just smiled charmingly at him.

    -C’mon, take a pic of me!

    -Alright, as you say. – he pulled out his smartphone.

    She just leaned on one of her elbows, put the one loose strand of hair behind her ear and smiled.

    Harm’s heart melted. So much, that at first he was lost for word and was that short to drop his phone on the ground.

    -What is it? – she tilted her head slightly.

    This excited him even more. He gulped soundlessly and took a photo of her while she was just like that.

    -No, no, no, wait, don’t take photos of me like that!!!

    -Why not, Iki? It came incredible. – he said.

    -Alright, alright. But take one more. And a bit prettier... – she added quietly.

    -Are you ready?

    Iki leaned on one of her elbows, titled her head a bit and with the other hand made the peace sign, giving him one of her charming smiles.

    Harm’s heart skipped a beat.

    -C’mon, it’s ready. Come, i’ll help you clean yourself.

    -Wait... Let’s take another one... Together... – she whispered.

    -Alright, Iki.

    -Get down here, below me.

    -Aye aye!

    She again smiled so nicely, that Harm had difficulties holding the phone stable. He smiled as much as he can. He was Harm, after all.

    -It came out incredible, Iki.

    -Yes. – she agilely jumped out of the gun’s breech, before he can manage to help her gentlemen-like.

    But this didn’t stop him to pull out his handkerchief and hand it to her.

    -O, no, don’t worry. I don’t want to get it dirty. Besides, somehow i managed to mess only my shoes toes and my elbows. – she shown them before him.

    -But...

    -Don’t worry. We can get down to the sea and with a little bit of sand and water i’ll clean them up. – she smiled to him.

    For who knows which time, Harm gulped.

    -Alright, Iki.

    -C’mon, let’s go. – she jumped several times on her toes, not stop smiling.

    He sweared, he was going to love her until his death...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  17. Ddraig

    Ddraig Frostfire Dragon|Retired lurker|FFF|Loved by RNG

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    Hmm seems interesting, watching this thread
    Also use spoilers, helps a lot with readability of long chapters and stuff
     
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  18. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Hello! Thank you for your comment and sorry for the late replay, i'll edit it right now.
    I hope you like it!
     
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  19. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Added another illustration
    This time it is Art vs Amemori - the first fight in the light novel!
    It demonstrates the master technique, The Absetzen, which is deflecting a thrust or hew at the same time as stabbing.
    It usually counters high guards such as Vom Tag and especially strikes like oberhau.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  20. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Art leaned stable on his elbows and looked through his zoomed phone’s camera.

    -Is it necessary to get into the role so much? – asked Hion.

    He was lying on the green grass, skillfully covered, so no one could see his silhouette, while she was leaning casually on a tree at the end of the forest, typically crossed her arms below her chest and was not even looking downwards.

    Downwards, where Iki and Harm where walking on the beach shore, as if it was e scene from some romantic movie, reaching its happy ending.

    In the moment, he saw that Iki was the one to do the most speaking, very energetically and enthusiastically and Harm was listnening to her with a smile.

    -C’mon, Hion, every man has its specific needs sometimes. When you are born as a man in some next life, you will understand what i’m meaning.

    -Huh, in some next life? – she looked at him surprised.

    He turned his head back, looking at her the same way.

    -What? You don’t believe in such things?

    Hion returned to her usual posture.

    -I can’t give you definite answer, so to say. Although, considering the stuff we have discovered about our world up until now, i’m more about positive.

    -Hm? Didn’t your culture look at these things with more „certainty“?

    -No?

    -Hm? Where am i mistaken then?

    -I the fact that i’m not seto.

    -Excuse me? – he turned towards her. – Ooh, i see now.

    -Yes, that is right. Vhinhym had always consisted of two folks, Art, inhabiting these lands from thousands of years. Seto are 90 percent of the population. Jengu are the rest 10. People like me, Raon, doctor Noel, miss Nier...

    -I seee, i seee. I had completely forgot about this. There is just so much mystic around your country this time.

    Hion giggled gently.

    -It happens with many people.

    Art turned and continued to watch Tsuikihi and Harm through the zoomed phone’s camera.

    -And you? – she asked.

    -What me?

    -How did it happen to start believing in such things?

    -Just with the flow of time and my increasing knowledge. Everything is just Probability theory.

    -Excuse me? What do you mean by that?

    -Well, the fact that something happened once, mathematically means, that if you have unlimited period of time, it will happen again for sure. And if it never happened even once – it will probably never happens. Just imagine it like rolling a six-sided die. If you roll six once, that means if you keep rolling and have unlimited period of time, you will roll six again. Now imagine that your genes are a bucket of trillions of dice. And considering that our understanding and perception of the Universe and the time, at least for now, are that they are infinite, means that sooner or later, your body will appear there somewhere again with the same genetic sequence with which exist in this world, generating the same consciousness and soul. Everything is just a matter of time.

    -Hm, now that i think about it, that’s a pretty solid argument.

    -Yeah. Just like i said, it is just a basic probability theory. Or more like an ideal mathematical model. If your consciousness have appeared once just in this body, just at that time, there is no reason for this not to happen ever again.

    -I see, i understand. Well, i didn’t expect such philosophical thoughts of you, Art. Honestly, in the beginning, you looked to me like the next grunt, who was just going to fight here and there, creating nothing but problems...

    Art twitched, as if arrow pierced his heart.

    -T-thank y-yoou v-very much, Hion. S-so, kind... – he said with hoarse from the pain voice.

    She just smiled mystically.

    -Well, at least now you are proving more and more that i’m wrong. Are you always so scientific about stuff?

    -Yes. Which sometimes is sad, because you lose the romantic view of life.

    -Hm...

    Suddenly, his smartphone buzzed.

    -Wha... – he moved.

    -Is everything alright? – threw an eye Hion.

    -The two of them just upload a photo in Eldenfan.

    -Is Iki tagged?

    -Mhm.

    -My condolences.

    -What? – he turned towards her.

    -Just pray for Ayuri to see it when your friend is gone. Otherwise he is a goner...

    Art gulped soundlessly.

    -I’ll call him to take it down... – he started.

    But stopped. And puffed.

    Because he saw how Ayuri just liked it.


    After they went down and Iki removed the oil with the help of the sea water and some sand, they decided to walk for a while on the shore.

    -By the way, i also noticed this, Harm.

    -Excuse me, Iki?

    -I mean, this about the light and fast shells, against the heavy ones, but slower. This is also true about the arrows, i think. I mean, the equation about the kinetic energy is E = ½ mv2 and most of the people think, that in this case, the velocity is more important, but that is not the whole picture. In the equation for the air drag, the velocity is also times square, which means that if your speed is increasing with one unit, then the air drag will also increase but times square. I have also noticed, especially at longer ranges, that the behavior of the heavier, but slower arrows is much more predictable that the light, faster ones. Variables like the drag and wind are much more negligible on the heavier ones and these arrows lose their speed much more linearly, which make leading moving targets and hitting stuff at range much more easier. While the light ones are incredible and at close range have huge energy, at longer distances they are incredibly chaotic, the air drag is terrible and if there is wind, you can just forget about accurate shooting. Especially if you hit the air currents up there, where they can change its direction several times for a one flight time of the arrow.

    -Yes, that is right, Iki. Many people make the mistake to not analyze the whole picture.

    -Yeah, definitely. The other thing is, what happens when you hit something, for example. Of course, there is no doubt that at close range the faster and lighter arrows can make incredible mess and also considering that they are usually a bit thinner than the heavier ones, they penetrate deeper because the force is applied to a smaller surface area and at close range you can better lead a moving target with them because they are faster, but at the moment they encounter their first obstacle, they lose their energy very fast, can’t penetrate too deep and respectively can’t do much mess.

    Harm was looking at her with so much admiration about the passion with she talked about the stuff, she loved.

    -And i’m still experimenting and stuff and only recently started to be more serious in about this topic and i’m not so good yet, but at least these are my observations till this moment and in 90% of the cases i will chose the slower, but heavier arrows than the faster ones, but light...

    He smiled slightly.

    -Sorry, am i boring you?

    -Of course not, Iki. I love to listen people to talk about such passion about the things they like.

    She smiled charmingly at him.

    -Well, you do want to return up there? To look around the rest of the fort?

    Harm turned and looked the narrow sandy strip and the Randen’s bastion away in the sea.

    Then he looked back at her.

    -Of course, let’s get back, Iki.


    -HAAAAAAAAAARMMMM, YOU BRAIN-DEAD MOROOOOOOOOOON – shouted with his whole throat Art, when he saw how the two of them started to walkt back towards the starfort. – ARRRRRRGGGHHHH...

    Of course, no chance to for them to hear him from up here, several hundreds of meters away.

    Hion opened her eyes and looked at him in question.

    -What happened?...

    -He was supposed to take her to the bastion, even by force if needed... This was the perfect premise for such a romantic occasion, to propose to carry her on her back or hand, for her not to wet her feet, then to look at the sea or city from one of the green meadow. Aargh, this guy just...

    -Why don’t you call him to tell this to him? – she smiled smugly.

    Art puffed.

    -Nah, let him suffer in his misery, he created enough problems to all of us already...

    -Just what nice friend you are. No one would refuse such one. – she continued to smile smugly.

    -Enough with this phiz, Hion. Get back your previous one, which looks like a Rusè’s statue. I want to hit you with a pan otherwise.

    She did it. But Art momentarily regretted it...

    -Sorry... – he turned his back to her, because could stand it anymore.

    Instead, he only heard how she laughed joyfully.

    -Reina constantly says this to me! Sometimes i’m looking myself in the mirror and i cannot understand what is wrong about me...

    Art turned again and looked at her surprised.

    Then he also started to laugh.

    -I don’t know why, but these sudden changes in you are making me like you more and more, president! Only like a friend, don’t get the wrong idea.

    She giggled gently.

    -Isn’t it the girl that usually friendzones the boy?

    -Enough with these believes from the previous century, Hion. We live in more advanced and civilized world now. – he said somehow seriously, but with a humorous note in his voice..

    She only smiled. And suddenly lay down next to to him.

    -Well, what is happening? – she asked.

    Art didn’t reply anything in the first moment. He was that much engulfed by her gracefulness.

    Her messy brown hair, as if disheveled chaotically in order over the canvas of a world’s famous artist painting, the incredible feminine scent, that whiffed his nose, while she was laying down next to him, the gentle curves, which her body formed...

    So gentle and magnetic, that something basic was attracting him to her. He wanted to touch her, to hug her...

    -What is it? – she suddenly turned her head.

    And her scent once more invaded his nose.

    -Ah, nothing. – he hurried to turn and glue his eyes back on the display.


    Up, when they passed the 444mm, Harm saw that he actually have forgot to close its breach. He was about to do it, when Iki suddenly interrupted him:

    -Hey, i can do it?

    -Of course, Iki.

    -The problem is i don’t know how. – she added quietly.

    Harm smiled slightly.

    -Come, i’ll show you. – he said and stepped aside. – First, you need to push the breech block back. Just get behind it, grab this lever and push the whole thing. On the first sight it may look too heavy and scary, but it is on reducer gearbox, so you won’t have a problem.

    -I see. – she said and went to do the thing she was instructed.

    But obviously it was much more difficult for her than he explained it.

    -Is it difficult, Iki? Do you want me to help you?

    -No! I... can... manage... this!... – she puffed.

    After several seconds, the breech block was on it end open position.

    -Pfff, it was heavy enough. Good thing that i have some training and i’m a bit strong. – she smiled delicately.

    -Yes, Iki, you did great. Now you start to rotate this handle over clock-wise, until it hit the end.

    She started to do it.

    After ten seconds, the breech block slad maximally in. Harm was about to explain to her and the last step, when Iki grabbed the right lever and started to pull it with all her force. But it didn’t move at all.

    -I remembered that... But why isn’t moving... – she snorted.

    -Let me help you here, Iki. – he get closed to her and also grabbed the locking lever.

    -Alright.

    -On three. One... Two... Three!

    The two of them pushed with almost all their forces. Although most of „all these forces” belonged to Harm.

    The mechanism rotated one-quarter counter clock-wise and the Reike’s breech was completely sealed.

    -Aaaand... Fire! – said Harm quietly, pulling one other lever.

    Something clang metallically.

    -This one probably missed, Iki.

    She giggled gently.

    -I don’t wanna be clock to one of these thing when it’s firing.

    -Yes, honestly, me too. Although part of me internally want to witness it.

    She smiled to him.

    -C’mon, let’s get in. There are some very interesting things, i promise you!

    -Alright, Iki. Let’s go.

    The two get off the concrete deck of the gun and using the small grassy slope they went to another concrete deck.

    -You know where the entrance is, Iki, right? – he asked.

    -Of course! It is right here! – she pointed one random place on the grassy slope.

    In the first moment, Harm took a look, but couldn’t see anything. Then he saw how behind part of the grass, a dark spot was gaping.

    -Hm, i see. – he replied.

    Iki get close and pushed the grasses with hand.

    -Just be careful. There may be some bug or insect.

    -Should you be the one to most beware of such things, Iki? – he smiled.

    She only turned and smiled at him charmingly.

    After a second, the two of them were inside, with the only faint light behind their back.

    -Pfff, can’t see anything. – said Harm, pulled out his smartphone and turned on the flashlight.

    In front, over the bright rays of light, the moisture on walls and floor shone against them. The paint once bright blue, now was fading, scratched and hulled. When there was a metal part – usually some pipes on the walls, stairs and hatches – all was rusting and at places, cables were hanging threateningly from the ceiling, as if it was a scenery from some horror movie.

    -Woooow. Just like i saw it on pictures and clips.

    -Yes. Although it is a bit scary. – she went, momentarily making a left turn. Harm followed her. – Just be careful, because on some places there are huge puddles, even some strange holes and gaps.

    -Probably there are underground channels for cables and pipes, Iki.

    She turned towards him.

    -I see, i see... Here, look!

    The two of them stopped to a one such hole and Harm illuminated it. From inside, a few condensed pipes and valves, covered in rust as well many conductors with worn out, cracked or teared isolation.

    -These are probably pipes for fuel and tap water. Many of these forts have their own generators and fuel tanks, even pumping stations and filtering systems to make drinking waters.

    -Niceeee, i seee! I think i know where is the pumping station! It is several levels below, i’ll show it to you! But first come this way, there is one thing that, much more interesting, that i want to show you.

    -Alright, Iki.

    Illuminating the path, she quickly lead him to the long concrete corridor. But after a ten meters, she suddenly stopped him, turning towards him.

    -Hold right here!

    Harm listened to her, but this didn’t stop hit to look at her surprised.

    -What is it, Iki?

    -Nothing. I can hold your phone?

    Harm gave it to her without any more questions.

    -Now close your eyes.

    -Iki?

    -C’mon! It’s surprise!

    Harm sighed quietly, but did it.

    -Cover your eyes with hand!

    He again complied.

    Iki grabbed his other hand and started to pull him gently.

    -I’ll lead you. C’mon, careful...

    The two of them get going. After several meters, turned right.

    -You are sure you are not peeking, right?

    -Yes, Iki. I promise i won’t.

    He was ready to do it only to feel the warm of her hand for as long as possible.

    -Careful, there is a threshold here...

    With her assistance, he hop over it. After several meters, she stopped him again.

    -Stay here for a second, did you understand? And don’t open your eyes yet!

    -Alright, Iki, i won’t.

    He heard how she made several steps aside. Was she preparing some dramatic prelude?

    -Alright, look straight ahead now. And when you are ready, you can open them.

    Harm sighed lowly and did it. In the first moment he only saw fuzzy spots, when the bright light blinded him, but when his vision adapted, he almost screamed like a little girl from excitement.

    -OMG, THIS IS „MARK HB TYPE G“ SUPER-HEAVY SHELL!!! REAL „MARK HB TYPE H“ SUPER-HEAVY SHELL!!! Just can’t believe it... – he rushed towards it as if it was some secret lover, which he haven’t seen for years.

    Iki was just illuminating behind him and smiling broadly, as if she was the one being really happy.

    -It is just incredible. – he put his hand on its tip. This thing was tall as much as him. And he was a little more than 1.90 meters.

    Suddenly, he leaned on it and tried to push it – as if he leaned on a wall.

    -Really, what am i hoping for... After all, this thing weights 1740 kilos. It is incredible, i’m seeing such thigh a live for a first time. So much, that i can touch it. – he turned towards her. – Just imagine it Iki, a family car compressed to something with my dimensions and fired at something else with 3000 kilometers per hour. It will be an interesting view, right?

    -It will be, definitely. Are these the shell that sunk the ship „Ramsherr“?

    -Yes, Iki. As i’m aware, the barrels are replaced in 1943. From then on, the 444s shot only Oberlanean shells.

    -I see.

    -I may sound strange to you, but i have always dreamed to have one of these at home. Instead of the stupid pots of my brother. – he laughed.

    She smiled at him.

    -Do you wanna take a picture of you with it, Harm?

    -Oh, yes, yes! I’ll be very grateful to you, Iki.

    This was the moment, when its first smartphone battery depletion notification sounded.


    Art stopped right there, where the narrow sandy strip, leading to Randen’s starfort was beginning and turned towards its direction.

    Hion obviously pick his mood and said:

    -Reina isn’t going to be happy at all for these missed hours. Your first day, and now this...

    -Whatever... I’ll get the notes from Mio. And i’ll make red velvet cake for Reina, to have her mercy.

    -Hm, you may be able to do it actually. She is quite the sweet tooth. Especially if it something with a strawberries.

    -I’ll keep that in mind. What about you, Hion?

    -What me? Why are you so sure this will have some effect on me? – she smiled flippantly.

    -C’mon, Hion. Not everyone can be bought with money, but everyone can be bought with a dessert.

    -Yeah, sure... – she laughed.

    -I’m just joking. – he sniffed feingingly. – It is only working on my sisters.

    -Of course. Raon told everything already.

    Art looked at her slightly frowning.

    -But of course, i’m not even surprised.

    -Don’t worry about her. Despite all, she is really well-intentioned.

    -And very energetic, hm?

    Hiom smiled against him. Her smile was... strange, he would say.

    -So?

    -How hard do you thing is to keep this figure in shape, Art?

    He laughed.

    -What? You were the one to liken it to a Bennini’s sculpture.

    -Yes, this is true. But if you see Sophie how much eats, you won’t believe it. But she is also training really really hard. Although this is somewhat irrelevant and didn’t apply to all people.

    -Yeah. You had already several times mentioned her to me. What is she to you exactly?

    -Sophie is the grand-daughter of uncle Max – for which i said to you that his great great grand-father have a diary about „Adamkamdon“ – and aunt Vera. Auntie Vera is the daughter of the brother of my mother’s father. – he smiled broadly. – So, Soph is kind of a cousin to me.

    -Wooow.

    -Yeah, a bit hard to follow it. But i grew with her as far i can remember. Just like my sisters grew up with her sister – Avys. I’m feeling the both of them as my sisters, as like they too.

    -I see. Well, i can feel that you have a great desire for a stroll, so let’s get going?

    -Yes, let’s get going, Hion.

    The two of them began to walk on the narrow sandy strip, leading towards the Randen’s starfort.

    -Have you heard about Kuezahashi? – she suddenly asked.

    -Kuezahashi? Ooh, yes, yes! In its origin, this is a Falklanish dessert, imported here by Moicerashi during the Modernization period and altered by your culinary masters. Double truffle chocolate of the brand „Plulbar“, a little bit of elven rose water, Issegem muscovado sugar, the high quality Oderonean espresso „Sawyer“, the rest are just details. Really, i didn’t expect less from you, president.

    She smiled somewhat proudly.

    -Now you know how you can buy me, Art. – she look at him with her periphery.

    -Yeah, this will be an useful piece of information. In case i mess up somehow.

    -Have you ever tried it, by the way?

    -Yeah, just once. I bought it for my sisters birthday last yeah from a pastry shop in Leichtè. By the way, they are also selling the original version – „Astoria“.

    -Oh, really? I haven’t been able to find it here at all. And don’t want to try and make it myself – here you can’t find most of the products and there is just no point to do some half-ass stuff.

    -Then why don’t you pay me a visit sometimes, Hion? I’ll take you to try it.

    She looked at him as if he just have made the most inappropriate sexual joke.

    -Should i have added just like a friend? – he giggled.

    -Pff, why not. – she returned her stony face. – I have never been in Falkland before.

    -If you like rocks and boulders, you are gonna love it!

    -Hm, your advertising agencies says otherwise on the topic.

    -Of course. There is a tree here and there. With more luck, you can find and even a garden.

    She giggled.

    -You are making me more and more to wait in anticipation.

    After a second, the two stopped. The sandy beach was disapearing below the salt water.

    -I just don’t give a fuck... – he whispered to himself and started to take off his shoes and socks.

    Then he rolled his pants up to his knees.

    -Want me to carry you, Hi...

    -Forget it. – she cut him immediately.

    -Well, i was supposed to propose gentlemanly like.

    -If you wanna be a gentleman, just don’t move.

    -Mm?

    She suddenly grabbed his shoulder – who knows why, for a moment he felt that she was going to do to him something like suplex...

    But instead, Hion just leaned on him and began to take off her shoes, followed by her long tights. Really, it was going to be so much easy just to carry her several hundreds of meters...

    -Nice.

    -As if you have never seen woman’s legs before, Art.

    -But yours are incr...

    -Just stop staring, you horny-falklanish rock-loving HIMA freak... – she shoved her palm over his face, blocking his eyes. – They are just too thick and unwomanly...

    -Who doesn’t like thick thighs, Hio...

    -Enough with the genetics and anatomy. Let’s move.

    The water was unusually cold for this time of the year. So much, that suddenly an incredible desire to run and never stop obsessed him...

    How much was it to the starfort? No more than 200 meters.

    Just a one breath distance...

    The next thing he remembered, was how he was just running.

    And running... and running...

    He collapsed on his four in the footstool of the sloped starfort’s meadow.

    Internally, he wanted to shout, but on the outside, he was breathing like a blacksmith’s bellow...

    -What’s got into you so suddenly? – he heard Hion behind him momentarily.

    He abruptly turned his head, as if a little bit surprised. How did she manage to catch up to him...

    Oh, yes.

    -Sorry, Hion... Just... something... from inside... – he replied with pauses.

    -Oi, are you alright? – she squatted next to him, putting her hand on his back.

    -Yeah, i’m fine... Damn anemia.

    He began to get up, and she did it with him.

    -I wanna lay down a bit on that meadow and nothing can stop me... – he said quietly.

    -Yes, i’m starting to get the feeling, that when something comes to your mind it is pointless to try dissuading you. Or you just don’t leave such an opportunity.

    -Bad quality sometimes, don’t you think?

    She replied nothing.



    -I’m sorry, Harm, i depleted all your battery. – said Iki somewhat guilty, returning the smartphone to him, after they exited the bunker.

    -Don’t worry about that, Iki. The important part is, that we got incredible photos. And i’ll charge it in the airplane. – he took it.

    -Good thing that at least the flashlight was with us till the end.

    -We were going to make it somehow. – he smiled gently.

    She also did it.

    -Well, do you wanna go back already?

    -As you wish, Iki. I took enough of your time already.

    -What are you talking about?! It was super fun to be with you, Harm! – she smiled to him, jumping a bit on her toes.

    Harm slightly blushed, scrathing delicately his cheek.

    -Yeah, i also feel the same way, Iki. I hope that the next time i can show you a little bit of my country...

    -Of course! It will be upmost pleasure for me!

    They started to walk.

    -You know, i got an idea! – said after a while, Iki. – Do you wanna go straight through the forest, Harm? We will have a little bit more time to look around and it is even more of a shortcut to the city!

    -Of course, Iki. With pleasure.


    -Forty-one... Forty-two...

    -Are you that bored, Art? – she said.

    He stopped counting the waves and turned his head slightly to her.

    And she, similar to him, was laying on the sloped grassy meadow, but instead she was staring at the sky.

    Art again looked ahead, at the hypnotic tiny waves, persistently trying to take over the shore from the endless grains of sand.

    -I’m just enjoying the life, Hion. You also try it. You may like it...

    -You said it like i have no life...

    -I’m sorry, i didn’t mean it that way. I mean just to lay down, thinking about nothing and starring at the scenery. It is a wonderful way for relaxing. And escaping from everything.

    -You speak like some one-hundred years old ancient arnymean philosopher. I’m expecting you the next week with a meter long beard.

    Art laughed out loud sincerely.

    -Sorry, Hion. Didn’t want to sound so fatalistic. It is just so nice to stare at the sea sometimes. To listen to the wind. To smell the grass...

    -Yes, i know, Art. To bad that i can’t do it much now.

    He turned on his side towards her.

    -Is the presidency so rough on you?

    -Sometimes yes. But Reina, Asuza, Akio and the rest help me really really much.

    -Problems with the order?

    -You can see yourself...

    -And Mel?

    Hion also turned and looked at him with her stony face.

    -What about her?

    -Nothing. Sorry, shouldn’t have asked, it’s not my business. – he laid again on his back, staring at the sky.

    -To much happened to already not to be your business anymore, don’t you think?

    -It’s maybe as you say.

    -Just be extremely careful with her...

    Art suddenly sat on place, overhanging slightly over Hion. But unintentionally he became so serious, that as if she startled a bit and moved back.

    -What’s happening here, Hion? Why are several people already implying to me to „be careful with Mel“? Is she the one guilty for all of this? Are those boys not even a tiny bit in fault? Did i put the snake in my pants for nothing?

    -In many cases is for nothing, when you put your nose in other’s people business without knowing anything.

    -Don’t avoid my question, Hion. I asked you something seriously...

    She looked at him blood-thirsty, as if she was going to incinerate him with gaze. But Art didn’t falter...

    -What do you expect me to tell you? Even i don’t know many things about her.

    -I’ll hardly believe you about this, you know...

    -I don’t give a shit whether you believe me or not, this is the truth...

    -Alright, alright, i’m sorry... Shouldn’t have asked at all, as i said.

    Art laid back on the grass and started to count the ways again.

    -I’m sorry too.... – suddenly said Hion. – Just... As i said, be extremely careful around her. And patient. A lot of stuff have happened to this girl, Art. And now everything is taking its toll.

    Art didn’t reply anything – just continued to listen her.

    -I guess one day you will learn everything. Somewhat it is unavoidable. And then you will make your choice. For yourself.

    He turned at looked at her.

    -What about you, Hion? On which side you are?

    -On the side, creating the least problems...

    Art laughed out loud.

    -Just how professional answer on your side, Hion, didn’t expect something else at all! – he said joyfully and jumped on his feet. – C’mon then, let’s not stirring up more problems for you and let’s get back. – he gave her a hand to help her get up.

    And for his upmost surprise, she accepted it.


    -By the way, that road leads straight to the Kaho’s clock tower – one of Hirai’s landmarks. From up there, you can see all stuff in the vicinity, you can even see the capital Niigara! It is incredible, the next time when you came here, we need to get up there for sure!

    -Of course, Iki. In Leichtè, by the way, there are so many such towers. And all of them have incredible views.

    -Oh, did you know that the one to design the central square of Hirai, and most of its landmarks by the way, is a Falklanish architect? Aaah, how was his name, we learned about him just a week ago... B... B...

    -Ooo, may you talk about Kroenen Haas? Yeah, i know him, Iki. This person was very famous in its time, designing many other central squares of Indenean cities. Therefore, during the Modernization period, your newly-founded government invites him to transform your largest cities by Indenean model and standard.

    -Yeah, something like that. Do you see that statue over there, at the end of the boulevard? I think it is also his work. What was her name again... „The Virgo of Kalua“, i think! I mean, it is not his personal work, it she is part of the city view, which he design.

    -Mhm.

    Harm laid his view ahead. The Virgo was a ginormous angelic statue with a height of thirty meters and wing span probably twice more, making him wondering sometimes how they didn’t break. She was painted in the typical for the Post-Reformers period screamingly-bright colors of red, blue and yellow and considering its saturation, he was ready to bet that she was repainted much recently.

    -It really is incredible. I have seen her only on photos before, but when seen in live, person can lose his words. And when you just imagine that someone have build this century and a half ago...

    -Yeah, right. Sometimes it is incredible how people were able to do their stuff without the modern tools.

    And although she was more than a three hundred meters ahead of them, she was casting the aura of her unforgettable presence all around and her bright colors was making her contrast tremendously with the monotonous wide-open boulevard as if was designed solely for that effect.

    The boulevard itself was probably a kilometer long, starting from the city’s suburbs, where they end up after Iki suggested to pass through the dense and relatively interesting forest, finishing with „The Virgo of Kalua“, after which was starting the true city center with its Post-reformers landmarks.

    On both sides of the boulevard there were two parallel streets, which were raised on an embankment with a incredibly looking green meadow slopes and beyond them, after several rolls of trees and other vegetation, the true urban part of the city was beginning.

    Suddenly something shone at his edge, something with a brown-reddish leaves in the middle of tangle of green nuances.

    -Damn... – he whispered quietly.

    Iki turned towards him anxiously.

    -What is it, Harm? Is something wrong?

    -No, just... It is incredible how much montgisardean yew you have. That forest, which we pass through was full of it. And now i can also see it here in there in the city... And in Montgisard you can rarely find some. We are forced to import it from that wasteland Falkland. Do you understand, Iki! We, the mother of the Montgisardean longbow are forced to import yew from outside. It’s just not fair.

    -Me... I’m sorry. – she said sadly.

    Harm just smiled and waving with his hand, hurried to say:

    -Why, Iki, you don’t have any fault for that.

    -Yes... I guess. –laughed monotonously and nervously she.

    -Have you ever shot such one, by the way.

    -Ooh, i tried to pull it once. But didn’t managed. It was at least 120 pounds. – she laughed again.

    Harm smiled.

    -Well yeah, the montgisardean bows are quite strong. We did quite a mess with them on the others during the history.

    -Oh, yes! Especially at Dornboul...

    -YOU HAVE HEARD OF DORNBOUL?! – he suddenly turned towards her.

    She only moved away from him a bit, not startled, but more surprised, looking at him with narrowed eyes.

    -Yes? I know much of the bows story, as you can see. I don’t know why you are so surprised.

    -Yes, you are right, i’m sorry. – he laughed nervously. – I love, by the way, when some of my falklanish friends start arguing about military accomplishments, to throw them that name in their faces. Then they, of course, reply me with the World War, but they also lost it in the end, so this doesn’t count. Funny stuff when you gather people from almost all Inden’s countries in one school.

    Iki smiled at him slightly.

    After a while, they reached the footstool of the statue and when Harm looked up, he momentarily felt how his head started to reels. The combination of the cloudless sky with the covered in shadow Virgo and the quiet breeze, which were singing in his ears, was hypnotic..

    -It’s incredible... – he whispered.

    Iki didn’t say anything – he only felt how she leaned on him.

    Obviously, she was feeling the same.


    -Want something to drink, Hion?

    -Are you trying to turn it into a date, Art?

    -Pha! Get in the line, president. You will have a long wait.

    -Gosh, were you that popular in your old school?

    -Who said it was only there? – he raised his eyebrows.

    Hion laughed.

    -So together with Reina we will have to tighten up the ranks. We have new alpha.

    Now it was Art’s turn to laugh.

    -So? I’m buying. As a thanks for showing me around the whole city and its surroundings.

    -I won’t refuse something apricot or peachy.

    -Understood.

    Art went to the vending machine, took the two drinks and returned to her.

    -Catch. – he toss it at her.

    Hion caught in skillfully in the air. Art sat on the bench next to her and streched himself. It was so nice to feel his body starting to loosen all the muscle tention. His feet were going to burn probably the whole day, which was completely normal, considering that they have walked around ten kilometers up until now, but the fatigue started to fade out little by little.

    He turned his head in time to see how Hion put one dishevelled strand behind her ear and drank with grace.

    -Ahhhh... – she moaned afther the long refreshing gulp.

    „Omg, this is so sexy...“ – tought Art.

    As if Hion caught him with her periphery and after she stopped drinking, turned and looked at him a bit surprised.

    What was she talking in this moment? How does his face looked like during this staring? Blushed? Obsessive? Lustful?

    -What is it, Art? Lustful thoughts? – she smiled smugly.

    Art came to himself just now and shaked his head a bit.

    -I’m sorry. – he turned his head ahead, opened his soda and gulped.

    Probably to get it back to him, she continued to stare at him with the same smug phiz.

    -Hmmm... – she moaned misteriously.

    -With this face you look exactly like Raon, president.

    -Phahahahaha, that was nice, Art! Can’t wait to hear her opinion on this topic.

    -Yeah, i’m also curious. – he laughed. – You can pass for sister, if someone take a pic of you in this exact same moment.

    -It will be very amusing to have a sister like her.

    -Right?

    Suddenly, his whole body shivered, as if Vic threw at him the next shock-electric magic...

    The thoughts invaded his head the same way the Montgisardean cavalry had pierced the centre of the Crown Prince Lauffenstein’s troops at Brefast – on the outside, Art just staggered, dropping his soda and grabbed his head with two hand, as if this was going to help against the sudden aggravation which his body experienced...

    „..RTTTT!!!... AAAARRRRTTTTT“

    -AARRTT!

    He suddenly turned, only to see the Hion’s face a hand span from his. He looked at her as if she had waken him from some long, excruciating nightmare.

    -ART?! What is it, are you alright?!

    He shivered once more...

    ARRRRTTTT!

    This time the effect wasn’t that much powerful.

    But why the first time he felt it that strongly? Was it something regarding his emotions? Their?

    He suddenly got up.

    -Let’s go, Hion. C’mon, quickly. – he said and without waiting for her at all, and despite his tired legs, he started to run as fast as he can towards the voice direction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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