My Time At Yggdrasil Academy: That Time I Became The Headmaster and Slew the Legendary Nidhogg
Cold, dark, distant, and alone. Burning. Alive, hopeful, and surrounded. Humanity was always destined to fall into one of these two camps. Neither inherently good nor evil, just the point to which Humanity existed. Waxing and waning in an endless struggle.
“That’s where I come in.” I roared with a hearty chuckle and mightier cough.
“Grandpa, you’ve said your name five times now; just get on with the story!”
“Oh right right! You youngins love hearing that story, don’t ya?” I chuckled. Bringing my pipe to my lips, I took a long drag. The children erupted with cheering and laughter. Resounding screams of jubilation filled the small wooden room.
. “Oh, sorry, I forgot what we were talking about. My bad. Uh...anyway. In the age before your new-fangled smart wands.” The sun rose into the sky with crimson rays. Bringing a new day to the people of the Rose Capital. Taking off running, a figure sped down the cobblestone street. A pervading od of panic wafted off of him. Yes, this is me or was me. Well, no, I am telling this story and not the one in the story, but I was the one in the story. That’s not important right now. I continued to run down the poorly paved path, goblet, cigar, wand, and satchel in hand.
“Ah, Crud I’m so dead!!” I cursed to the sky above. “Kin owes me seven Len when I see him” I threw my head back towards the sky and sighed. I shoved the cigar into my mouth. “This is all his fault!!” A flustered cherry blush appeared on my cheeks.
“Mr. Scorpius, good to see you!” an elderly man waved before being left in the dust.
“Sorry, Mr. Freidmont, maybe next time!” I called back before bringing my gaze back in front of me. “I wish I had time, but I’m late, and my students hate me enough as is” Seconds turned to minutes as nothing but the sound of my boots hitting the ground filled the air. In the horizon, my eyes met the prominent towering spire of the large, thickened tree that glowed an icy yet comforting blue. Ah yes, I was getting closer; Yggdrasil Academy.
The school grounds, man, what to say. The school’s wings built almost seamlessly into the very bark of Mother Ygg. the tree’s roots stretched out and around, creating an all-natural barrier. The sizeable grand hall of the school was built into the trunk of Yggdrasil. A significant star-like symbol stood on the end of a large bronze pall that just ever so slightly raised the Grand Hall’s height by just that much. It pointed into the heavens with a beautiful pearl complexion.
“Balthazar is gonna fire me; I’m so housed, man!” I weakly spoke to myself. Lighting my cigar, I somehow held onto it; I took a drag and looked around. Spewing a plume of grey smoke, I slowly made my way towards the west wing, hoping to not be noticed.
“Ah crap!” I turned around, and there he was, Crimson hair done in several knots. A wicker hat atop his head. Two large maroon-colored horns protruded from his forehead, pointing into the air like the bared fangs of a beast. He brought a small pipe to his mouth and took a drag before putting his hand on his hip.
“Late again, I see.”
“Yeah, I would’ve been on time if it wasn’t for you!” I shot back, continuing on my way. “You owe me seven, Len!”
“My fault!? You’re the one who wanted to drink and-”
“Shhh, there could be students around you know how the board is about your clan.”
“Flaemis, I’m well aware. I’m a big guy. I can take a crude remark here or there.”
“Yeah, but I can’t on your behalf.”
“I never said you had to!”
“Do we have to argue like this? Its 8:45”
“You’re the one who came out swinging.”
“I don’t pull punches; what do you want from me, A kiss?” I chuckled to myself, keeping my back turned to Kin’emon.
“Look, Scorp, there’s an assembly in the Hall we can argue later.”
“Fine, we’ll put a pin in this conversation. Just know I’m still gonna be mad at you.”
“That’s fine with me” As I turned around, My anger slowly faded as Kin’s smile, that damn smile came into view. He grabbed my shoulders and embraced me. His arms wrapping around my shoulders and waist.
“Woah! Kin! You’re never this affectionate. What’s gotten into you, bud?”
“This isn’t a hug” Next thing I knew, his grip tightened, and the world spun upside down before crashing down on top of me. I landed head first before tumbling legs over my body. My cigar flying from my mouth and sputtering to the ground and dropping down the pearl steps. I sat on my knees, reaching out for it. It flickered as tiny embers danced into the air before its flame eventually died out. I turned my head to Kin and glared.
“Look what you did?!” I spat at Kin.
“Are you calm?” He chuckled, covering his mouth with his hand.
“If I say yes, will you stop supplexing me?”
“I’ll consider it” He clicked his heels together and made an about-face. “Balthazar said it was important.”
“I just wanna teach and go home!” I hung my head and reluctantly followed Kin.
“You’re a nobleman for knowing what you want!” Kin’emon beamed, patting my back. Well, it was less of a pat and more of a forceful slap across the shoulders. Sending me bounding upwards and gasping. Swearing up and down like a wartime sailor. I couldn’t stop the flow of expletives; they just seemed to spew out from me like a kind of sickening bile. I turned to Kin, My eyes staring dead into his. Raising my fist, I readied a punch. Taking one look at the incoming force, his eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. He staggered backward and raised his hands in the air... Angrily I approached, slowly stalking forward as if my balled hand was that of a weapon.
“You son of a gun, grit your teeth!!!” I roared.
“Wait! Wait! Flaemis!!” Kin distressed. He took off sprinting as fast as he could. All the while, like frightened prey, he screamed and quailed.
“You Bastard!!” I swore. “C’mon, take it like a man!!!”
“Alas, it seems I am no man then” Kin’emon screamed. He raced ahead, tripping and fumbling; opulent steps that lead to the grand hall. I continued following Kin around like a child with a toy gun. Letting out a scream like that from a banshee from the depths of hell.
“USHAWWWWAAAA” I screamed and leaped into the air. The ground seemed so far away as I soared. Kin’emon dodged, his body moving like a river diverting its course. Like time was stuck in slow motion, a look of horror crept onto my face. The door of the hall crept ever so closer. Before WHAM!!! My face was suddenly thrust into an unexpected kiss with the hall’s great entrance. As if it couldn’t get any worse, the door creaked open. A gallery of students, my boss, and two arch paladins all turned to glimpse me lying facedown on the welcome mat. Belthazar, my boss, raised his arms above his head and let out a loud squeal. Belthazar, a weirdo in not the wrong way.
More in the “has he always been standing in the back of the room” type vibe. His hair; rose and gelled, swept-back, and curled ever so slightly at the front giving it a subtle wave-like look, sorta like a swooping wave crashing over a shore. His eyes followed me, those orange and yellow ringed eagle-like beguiling eyes. How I wish to never be within their gaze. Belthazar Scutum, Council High Commander and my oh so eccentric boss. He stepped down through the aisle, parting the congregation of students like a sea. Walking towards me, he smiled, extending his arms. He grabbed my cheeks and began to playfully tug on my face.
“Well, I’ll be!”
“Yeah, sorry I’m late Bel!” I gently pulled his hands away. Belthazar gazed at Kin behind me before returning to me with a pleasant and warm smile.
“My word, do I have the best news for you!”
“What I’m fired?….oh thank Ozyraith in heaven” I exclaimed, throwing my head back in Elation.
“Oh no, in fact, you’re getting a promotion!”
“Ah darn it I knew there was a catch” I sighed as Belthzar led me by the hand to the front of the hall. The eyes of all the students glared deep into my soul. Belthazar clapped three times, gaining the attention and silence of the crowd.
“Dear Students as you know our previous Headmaster Hanagaki Aurabous had to resign. But now we have found a worthy replacement”
“Replacement? oh kill me he isn’t gonna name me is he?”
“While normally the duty would have fallen to me to lead this school with dignity, I, unfortunately, don’t have enough time. I am a businessman after all and sometimes we in the world of business have to make on the spot decisions''
“Oh lord have mercy”
“And I would like to introduce to you; Your new Headmaster Flaemis Scorpius Shingumi!”
“WHAT!!!!!!!” I staggered, dropping my satchel and staring at Belthazar with a stunned and astonished look of pure abject horror. “You can’t be serious boss?” I said, my eyes wide and my hands shaking. “I’m just a simple teacher, I can’t be the headmaster!”
“Are you sure? I mean it does have a significant pay increase”
“Ok I’m listening”
“As I knew you would” he handed me a slip of paper and a set of keys. “You start tomorrow be here at five”
“You can’t be serious?”
“Oh I could simply give your job to someone else”
“Fine!” I gasped “I’ll do it” He….He pinched my cheeks again the cold leather of his red clothes felt just plain wrong as it tugged against the soft skin of my cheek, He chuckled before turning around and addressing the paladins to his left and right. I didn’t hear nor understand a single word he spoke. I looked over to Kin. his eyes closed in elation. He raised his arms and shouted to the sky. Fueled by nothing short of divine pride and affection he raced to me and embraced me. Hoisting me off the ground and spinning me around.
For some reason what was supposed to be happy felt off. Belthazar clicked his heels together and raised his hands to the students.
“I trust you will all behave yourselves” He took a bow before reaching out to pinch my cheeks again. Slapping away his hands he continued this time addressing me in particular. “Remember this is a promotion” The way he said it made it seem hollow. I didn’t earn it, why the hell should I of all people be given such a reward. Heck, I was late! A part of me wanted Bel to snap at me. Roar and call me worthless but this overly excited adorable sweetness was scary to an extent. He grabbed my shoulder and brought his head to my ear level. He spoke in a low whisper.
“I’ll be back tomorrow to see how you’re adjusting to the new position”
“But sir if I may ask?”
“Who will replace me?”
“Oh that’s right you teach the practicalities course? Hmmm I do believe an associate of mine would love to take your position”
“An associate of yours? A councilman?”
“Oh no no a supplier of my favorite food”
“What the hell is with his enunciation?”
“Anyway you’re all dismissed for the day, I’ll be back tomorrow to introduce you to Jean-Paul!”
“Sir how do you know he’ll take the position?”
“Hehe He’ll have to accept”
“Have to?” I asked grabbing Bel’s sleeve. The students darted their eyes around the room before quickly leaving. “How are you so sure?” with my free hand I pushed my glasses back to the bridge of my nose. I gripped hold of his sleeve and refused to let go. “That’s a little odd don’t you think a moment ago you said, he might accept it, and now you’re saying He will!” I suddenly let go causing Belthazar to stumble and trip forward. He caught himself and turned around to face me. His calm serene eccentricity was gone. Silence boomed off of him He glared at me and slowly stalked towards me. He extended his hands and placed them on my shoulders. He lifted his head and a wide grin appeared. Suddenly he began to laugh
“Oh you silly goose Belthazar, I had completely forgotten I asked him weeks ago to fill your position!” Belthazar released his hands from my shoulders and gripped my cheeks. He began to tug on them all the while talking to me like a puppy. “Before Hanagaki-San retired I was thinking of firing you!”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Logistics” He left with a playful wave.
“L-Logistics?” I turned to Kin. “That make any sense to you?”
“No, but his use of Sarushi honorifics is peculiar?”
“You wouldn’t think he is a Kaido is he?”
“No I would’ve smelt it”
“Did Hanagaki ever smell weird?”
“I never got a good whiff of him so I cannot answer that truthfully”
“Thank you for your honesty Kin; I need to take a smoke break, feel free to come with me” Leaving in a storm I slammed the door behind me.
Before I knew it I was down at the beach. I sat down on the soft sand and watched the waves dance in front of me. The cigarette in my mouth burned orange as smoke trailed off of it.
“You ok?” Kin’emon asked sitting down next to me and placing a hand on my back.
“Y-Yeah I’m fine” I muttered wiping my eyes.
“No! You’re not ok. Look at you; tell me what’s wrong?”
“I’m fine I just got salt in my eyes is all”
“Flaemis you’re crying” He consoled.
“He doesn’t see me as Me!” I said pulling my knees into my chest. “He sees me as a weapon to be monitored”
“It's better than being seen as a beast”
“NO ITS NOT!” I slammed my hand into the sand. “You’re at least seen like you have thoughts of your own”
“I’m not seen as a person!”
“I’m not even seen like I’m alive!”
“How am I the bad guy!” Kin stood up and removed his clogs before wadding into the water. He sighed and pointed out to the other side of the ocean. “Scorpy I told you about my homeland right?”
“Yeah when we first met”
“You remember that phrase I taught you all those moons ago”
“Ai Sinore Esda?”
“Not quite, it’s Aishi Signore Ethsa, I adore you without condition” Kin’emon smiled and pointed to the island off in the distance. “One day I would love for you to meet my parents”
“Your parents? Woah Woah Woah!!!? K….Kin slow down!” a bright beet red blush gleaned on my cheeks filling my whole face with an odd burning feeling.
“I...I uh meant to say show you my homeland….my mind kinda wondered to my parents”
“About your parents how does your dad feel about….this?”
“Personally he doesn’t mind but he feels I’ve betrayed my homeland”
“It was a necessary evil Kin, you needed a better life than they could give you”
“A part of me still burns for my home; I want to embrace my mother again, train with my father and rear my younger siblings….but at the same time I would only get them hurt”
“You’re a good man, much better than me” I turned away and began to walk back towards the city. Splash! Water hit my shoulder, it splattered outwards and upwards covering my face and hair. I looked to Kin who tried his best to play dumb.
“Oh, you!!!” I threw off my coat, shirt, and shoes; blindly rushing into the water with reckless abandon. I punched at the water, engaging Kin in a bloody battle of watery warfare. He laughed and laughed as the water continued to splash and spray. When all the fun had been said and done one final question rang in the air.
“Uh...where did my glasses go?”
“Glasses?....Oh!” Kin and I dropped to our knees and fervently felt around the bottom of the shallow tide. This whole lost glasses scenario was like something out of a child’s cartoon. The comic relief character bumps into something Main character A depending on level of romance and exclaims Oh no I’ve lost my glasses followed by a montage of the characters searching around. The shoe was on the other foot now, I was the comic relief character, fumbling around in the dark blind to what the world around me held. It’s almost poetic in a twisted turn of fate kinda way. Eventually, my fingers traced the bullhorn frames. Picking them up I wiped off a layer of sand and sediment. I examined the spectacles only to come face to face with a massive crack. I lowered my head and sighed.
“Ah, crud man!”
“Find ‘em!” Kin called
“Yeah” I answered somberly. “I found ‘em, unfortunately,” I put the glasses on my face and looked up at the sky. The monolith of an academy eclipse the stars in the sky. The canopy of Yggdrasill whipping and stirring in the cold air. I watched it mesmerized by the gentle motherly musings of a very old tree. Closing my eyes and clasping my hands I slowly entered a prayer-like trance. My mouth moved and uttered several things. Thanks to the mother tree. A plea for guidance and prayers of admiration. Ending with a brief and genuine thank you Mother tree. I turned and faced Kin. He smiled and in that moment everything felt like it made sense.