The Last Light
Jonathan stood in the middle of an open field alongside the other students. An older undine appeared from around the corner with a purple trident on her back. She looked over the class with baggy eyes and took a seat on a bucket. Her face doesn’t show delight when she takes a glance at them, disinterested at most.
“People called me Instructor Tok. You all can call me Tok. I am tasked to teach you all about Spells and Combat. Since this is our first class, all of you find a partner and start battling each other.”
As always, Jonathan confronted Eri with a proposal. She accepted with a cold nod as usual, and they headed toward an open space. They both start seizing each other up, Jonathan wore a devilish grin on her face. “You know I’ve seen you fight before, right?”
“I probably can take you down.”
Without a second to waste, Jonathan charged wildly at her, and the result was expected. It took only one hold for Eri to fling Jonathan upside down. A snicker escaped her with a small smile. “I doubt it.”
“Ouch.” Jonathan rested his head back on the soft ground. “But I did make you smile. That at least counts as a win for me.”
Eri offered her hand. It was surprising for her to do so, Jonathan agreed as he stared at her wide-eyed. She rolled her eyes and pulled Jonathan up again.
“Tok said Spells and Combat, right?” Jonathan took a look at his other classmates and found them slinging fireballs, air, earth, and water at each other with ease. “How do they even do that anyway?”
“Didn’t you listen to what Professor Taka explained earlier?”
“Nope. I was out of it.”
Eri sighed. “I’ll give you a simple explanation, so please listen closely. I dislike repeating myself.” She showed her empty hand. “Everything that exists has life force: the rock, the grass, the dirt, everything, non-living and living. That life force is what we call spiritual energy, and we as a sorcerer command it using our body and mind.”
From out of nowhere, a swirl of liquid appeared and hovered above her hand.
“What we can do with it is limitless, but there’s a catch. Too much spiritual energy running in your body can cause extreme fatigue or in the worst case: death.”
Jonathan pondered. “So, attunement is how much of that spiritual energy can run through a person’s body.”
“Good observation. The stronger your attunement is, the more powerful the spell becomes.”
“Woah, that means you really are strong. Yesterday, you summoned that storm without breaking a sweat.” Jonathan noticed the subtle prideful smile on Eri’s face. “A question, can I improve my attunement?”
“Unfortunately, no. Several people had tried it before, but none ever came close to producing a result, except for one person.” Eri paused for a second. “Dr. Victoria. However, the result is undesirable, to put it mildly. It had become a taboo afterward. None would dare to get near it.”
“Hmm, since I can’t sling any spells, why don’t we try battling again?”
“Are you sure?” Eri raised an eyebrow. “The result is still going to be the same.”
“Maybe… Kidding! Of course. I want to see how far I can get.”
Jonathan stood away from Eri and readied himself. He charged forward and once more he was tossed upside down. Despite being tossed aside twice now, Jonathan still kept going.
From where Tok sat, she stared at Jonathan and Eri. After the fifth time he was tossed aside, the undine stood up in frustration. She stormed toward them. Eri noticed the instructor coming toward them in a foul mood. Eri had thought she was coming toward her to scold her for being too rough with Jonathan, but surprisingly, she went to Jonathan instead.
“Do you think my class is a joke?!”
“Excuse me?” Jonathan raised his eyebrow and took a step back when Tok entered his comfort zone.
“You think I won’t notice?” Her ire attracted the attention of the students.
“I don’t understand.”
“Oh, I know what you’re capable of. If you want to keep playing dumb, go ahead, but this is my class, and you are under my rule. I don’t tolerate liars.” She turned to the Nephilim near her. “You two, fight him. Don’t stop until I say so.”
“Both of us, against him?” The two Nephilim glanced at each other and back at Tok.
“Do it, or I’m going to fail you both.” With the threat clear as day, they had no choice but to raise their fists against Jonathan.
Eri narrowed her eyes at Tok. “Have you gone insane?”
“Don’t interfere. That is an order.”
They both charged forward. Jonathan raised his arms to protect his head. Their fists connected against his forearms and sent a rush of pain up to his shoulders. One of them sent a kick toward Jonathan, he was about to dodge but saw the grin on Tok’s face. Instead, he took the kick against his chest and sent him back.
His face fell against the ground, he could barely breathe after that kick forced all the air out of his lungs. Both of Jonathan’s opponents stopped when they saw him having difficulty breathing.
“Don’t stop,” said Tok.
It was brutal. They kicked him endlessly while he was down. It was far from a fair fight. Jonathan had to curl up like a ball to avoid any further kick to his stomach. He took it all without a single yelp or groan.
“This won’t stop until you show what you are capable of.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” said Jonathan through gritted teeth, but it only angered Tok more. She took out her trident and stomped toward him.
Eri shattered the earth with her trident and stopped them from continuing. Tok and the other students turned their attention to her. “He is under my protection, and I will not allow any of this from going further.” She pointed the trident at Tok. “Do you understand me?”
Tok growled and lowered her trident. “Get him out of my class. I never want to see him again unless he takes my lesson seriously.”
Eri gently took Jonathan’s arm and helped him stand up again. With his arm against his chest, Eri brought Jonathan with her away from the class. As they headed toward the infirmary, Jonathan told her to stop and took a seat on the stone bench.
“A hell of a day, right?” laughed Jonathan, but flinched at the pain.
“I should have stopped her sooner. Damn it!” She stomped the edge of the bench and broke a piece of it.
“It’s okay. I’m fine. Just a couple of bruises here and there.” Jonathan smiled as he waved his hand nonchalantly. “Wow, I thought you didn’t care about me.”
“I don’t. You are my duty, and to let you get hurt is a failure to my duty.”
“Glad to know that.”
“I don’t mean it like that. Truthfully, I really don’t want to see you get hurt because you’re…”
“Because I’m?” Jonathan raised an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you’ve fallen for me?”
She shot him down faster than a comet. “Don’t be ridiculous. Come on, I’m taking you to the infirmary.”
“I don’t need to go. I’m fine.” Despite Jonathan's reluctance, Eri forced him to go.***
Commander Zey took a seat on the couch facing Professor Taka and Instructor Tok. “Sorry to intrude without a warning, but I wish to know what’s your opinion on Jonathan?”
Professor Taka started first, she placed the stone from her class on the coffee table. “He showed no attunement to magic. It’s disappointing, and he seemed to show a bit of enthusiasm for magic at first, but lost it after finding out his zero capability in it. I doubt he will make a great sorcerer.”
“Interesting. The report said he had tremendous power. Ms. Tok any opinion of your own?”
Tok tightened jaw relaxed as she glared. “I hate him. He’s a liar.”
“Care to elaborate on that?”
“He has strong knowledge in combat but wishes to keep it hidden. Heck, I think he is better than most of the students here. He’s not as strong as the others, but he is cunning. He likes to study his opponent. If he was given time, he probably could find a way to take down Eri.”
“Eri from the Undine Coalition Army?”
“That’s the one. That foolish girl didn’t even realize she’s being studied by him. Judging from his eyes alone, I can tell he’s been in battle before and probably did some horrible shit during it. I don’t trust him. Why is he here anyway?”
“I see. Interesting. He was related to the robbery. I might need to keep an eye on him,” Zey muttered to herself.
“Hey? I ask you a question.” Tok slammed his fist on the coffee table.
The stone broke apart, which was a shock to Professor Taka because for all the years she had taught and used the stone, never once it was chipped or damaged or even cracked. The Sigil that etched into it was not only to evaluate, but to strengthen the stone from breaking, and it’s a powerful one.
A small marble shimmered among the cracks. She reached in and took it out. Inside the glass marble was a swirl of golden light crashing to one another and exploded into miniature explosions.
“Please Professor Taka explain to me what am I seeing here?”
“I will need to explain how the stone worked first. To put it simply, I designed the stone with a simple circuit of Sigils. Through it, the spiritual energy enters a person's body and exits the same way. From that, it determines how much energy a person can pull into their body, but to activate the stone one must pull the energy into the stone first.” Taka looked perplexed at the marble.
“No wonder it didn’t work. That young man didn't pull any spiritual energy but expelled his own. This marble is the result, it was trapped inside the stone. Judging by how potent this energy is. I’ll say it could rival the crystal on this floating island. Probably more. Incredible. I need to study him.”
“Zey, who in the hell did you bring to the academy?”
“Fear not, he poses no danger to us or the students.”
“It can’t be! This energy signature. It’s Holy Light. Only a few can produce it: Seraph and… Saint.” Professor Taka glanced back at Zey with narrowed eyes. “He’s a Saint!” Immediately, she placed down the marble and kneeled before it.
“A Saint? Zey, are you nuts? Do you know what will happen if people know about this?” Taka was at the edge of her seat with a glare.
“I would recommend you both to keep this information to yourself and must not be spoken outside this room. Do you understand?”
They both nodded their heads.
“Exceptional. No one shall know about this, not even him. We must keep his true nature a secret until he can protect himself. As for our next move, I recommend you both do what you are tasked to do and continue as before. And I repeat: under no circumstance that other people know of it, am I making myself clear?”
“Extremely,” answered Professor Taka.
“What did I get myself into?” sighed Tok.
“One other thing, if any information about his true nature came undone, then I shall hold you two accountable for it. Now shall we have tea together?”
Jonathan wandered the hallways alone after Eri left to meet someone else. Though he was warned to stay in the infirmary, Jonathan politely refused and left without her knowing it. He took note of every hallway, door, and room he found. It seemed there were endless of them.
Stopped to rest, Jonathan lowered his gaze to where his bruises used to be. The nurse did a good job of fixing them. He recently found out that there are more uses to this magic thing than slinging spells, apparently, it can even heal. Handy.
A commotion caught Jonathan's attention, he turned to the window and saw his housemate: three Nephilim surrounded the green-skinned girl. Based on their attitude, it was far from a friendly get-together. However, since the window was opened, Jonathan heard their conversation.
“Look at my friend's jacket here. Do you see this stain here? It’s your fault because you went overboard during combat class.”
“I-I didn’t do anything,” her voice was barely audible.
“You calling my friend here a liar?”
“We didn’t even meet during combat class.”
“There you go again, calling us a liar again.” He opened up his palm and a ball of fire appeared above it. “I think you still don’t get it. Why don’t we show her a few tricks to make her understand.”
“Hey,” Jonathan called.
The three Nephilim raised their gaze to see Jonathan peering out of the window. “Who… Wait, you’re that loser who failed magic theory and got beat up during combat class. Hahaha, are you trying to be a hero?”
“Nope. Just a concerned passer-by.”
Jonathan’s answer irritated the Nephilim. “Concern? Why don’t you come down here, and we can give you something to be concerned about.”
“Nope. I’m perfectly fine here.” A grin appeared. “Doesn’t the academy have a rule about using your magic against others?”
“So what? Are you going to stop us?”
“Nope, but I’m sure a guard could stop you. How about I give you guys a chance to run before me and that girl over there gives our damn best to scream.”
The other Nephilim glanced at their leader, doubts now clouding their mind. He clicked his tongue. “Whatever, we will be back.” He put out the fire and turned his back. “Be careful, new blood. You’re on our list now.”
The Nephilim disappeared around the corner. The green-skinned girl looked at Jonathan. “Why did you do that? Now they are aiming for you. You shouldn’t help me.”
“Wow.” Jonathan laughed. “You’re welcome, by the way.”
She pouted her lip and averted her gaze. “Thank you.”
“Don’t worry about them. I can deal with it later. Hey, I never caught your name before.”
“My name is Ciara…”
“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Ciara. My name is Jonathan Jameson, but you can call me Jonathan or John for short.” Jonathan heard his name being called out. “I got to go, Ciara. If you see me again, don’t be a stranger.”
Ciara watched Jonathan leave the window sill with a bright smile on his face and a wave. She didn't even get to wave back at him. Ciara thought he was an odd fellow. They both didn’t even know each other, but this man risked being targeted by those bullies to help her. She always thought the outside world was cold and heartless, but it seems she had to reevaluate her perception of it once more.***
Eri was in a foul mood indeed. First, Jonathan ignored her warning, and now he persuaded her to bring him to the city. She wanted to avoid going to the city because of the danger that might lurk here, but this man insisted, he even begged like a dog to go. How could she say no after that?
A frown was all she wore to show her disapproval of this idea. However, Jonathan on the other hand was beaming with a smile as he explored each alley, corner, and store that this city had.
Truly it was a magical place, some things didn’t exist back in the human world, and things that may seem normal, but in fact a complex magical device that disguised as such. For example, this kitchen knife can change its blade according to the user's will, such as turning the blade into a whisk and even a spoon.
There are even magical creatures that live within this city. Such as Pixies, Wyvern, Bicorn and that’s not all. For every new alley he entered, Jonathan would brim in excitement to find out half the myths he learned about back when he was a kid, existed and lived on this floating island.
Halt. At first, Jonathan thought it was his mind playing tricks on him, but upon another look, he could not believe it. The steel sign said it all: Succubus Maid Café. Jonathan was so excited, he did a jig before he sauntered into the alley.
Eri groaned while her eyes rolled to the side. There’s nothing she could say to him from going in there, so she reluctantly followed.
Entered a realm of adoration and sensuality. Jonathan floated across the establishment with eyes widened and a grin. He couldn’t believe how many kinds of succubi there were in this café. From blue to green to red and even human-colored skins. That’s not all from curly, straight, sharp, dull, tall, or even short horns. But it doesn’t end there, curvy, muscular, slender, short, and more. A few even showed off their leathery and devilish wings.
Yet, that wasn’t the best part about it. The best part about it was they all are in a maid costume.
“Why are we here?” Eri asked as she waved off one of the succubi.
“I won’t miss it for the world.” Jonathan scanned the room for the perfect spot and couldn’t believe who he saw. He leaned close to Eri, which caused her to perk up, “Is that Dr. Victoria?”
She scanned the room and couldn’t see Dr. Victoria among the customers. “What are you talking about? There’s no way Dr. Victoria would come to this kind of place.”
“But…” Jonathan squinted her eyes and could clearly see the headmistress in the booth with a poor disguise consisting only of a surgical mask with a single closed eye’s Sigil and black sunglasses. “There she is. I mean, it’s obvious.” Jonathan pointed at her.
Eri focused her gaze at where Jonathan pointed, but couldn’t see anybody except for a middle-aged Nephilim with a bald head. “Are you certain? Because that’s not her.”
Jonathan rolled his eyes and pulled Eri toward the doctor. He stood in front of the table, and leaned closer, “I never pegged you for someone who is into this kind of stuff, Dr. Victoria.”
Immediately, she went frantic and pulled me along with Eri into the booth with her. “Unbelievable, I had thought my veil was properly working.”
“Dr. Victoria, is that really you?” Eri's eyes widened in surprise.
“Judging by your friend’s new revelation, it seemed my veil was working properly. So, that leaves us to you, Mr. Jonathan. I think you have a secret ability.” She rubbed her chin and took a closer look at Jonathan.
“I do?” said Jonathan with a raised eyebrow.
“By my hypothesis, your sight may have an ability to see through the veil. I wonder what else your eyes can reveal. However, that is a question for another time. I see you are here not simply to ruin my leisure.” Her sight wandered to the passing maid with a swaying hip. “Are you a fellow admirer of beauty?”
“Indeed, I am.”
Dr. Victoria shook Jonathan’s hand with a hearty laugh, and the young man couldn’t help but laugh along with him. None of them expected they would have such common interests. This might be the start of a strong kinship between them.
A succubus with a slender body and a maid uniform made too short to hide anything underneath sauntered to them with a sultry smile. “Victor, you brought friends today? Aww…” She looked disappointed in an adorable fashion.
Dr. Victoria gently took the succubus’s hand. “Why are you so disappointed, my darling?”
“It’s just… I’m a bit jealous of your friends. I just don’t want them stealing your attention from me.” She pouted while swaying her hip.
“Never, my darling. My eyes are only for you.” Dr. Victoria laid a kiss on her hand. The succubus giggled with blushed cheeks.
“So, what will it be today?”
“The usual for me. A special for my friend here. What about you, Eri?”
Eri sighed. “Just a cup of coffee.”
“A special?” The succubus gasped. She turned to Jonathan. “You’re a lucky customer, sir. May I have your hand.”
“What for?” I asked.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Jonathan. Take my word, no harm will come to you. Only a bit of pain.”
“Okay…” Jonathan extended her hand to the succubus.
Out of nowhere, the succubus bit gently into his finger and licked the trickle of blood vigorously until the bleeding stopped. She moaned heavily before breathing sensually as if she was in deep ecstasy. Her arm propped up against the table to keep her from falling to her knees. With a moan, she used her other hand to reach underneath her skirt.
Jonathan sat there with wide eyes and a dumb grin. He had no idea what’s going on. However, it doesn’t seem bad at all. From Jonathan’s perspective, the succubus seems to be in heat.
Eri on the other hand pinched the bridge of her nose with a disappointed head shake.
“I see now.” She squealed in ecstasy while her pupil turned heart-shaped. “I know the perfect gal for you. You have quite the strong flavor, sir. I will be back quickly, I promised.”
After the succubus left, Dr. Victoria turned to Jonathan. “What do you think of my floating island?”
“I think it’s an incredible place you got here. The citizens here are happy and everything is well maintained, but I have only been here for a short while, I can't really say much until I saw the entirety of it.”
“I’m glad to hear your opinion. I aimed to make this city a place where everyone could be themselves and live side by side in harmony. No matter what their backgrounds were. It’s a place of opportunity to start over. And I want to provide them with the best safety and comfort anyone could have.” Dr. Victoria let out a genuine smile. “It’s an ambitious dream, but not an impossible one. Well, at least, I hope it is.”
The succubus came back with another of her species, but this one was dressed in a formal maid outfit with a longer skirt while her hair was tied into a bun similar to what a mid-century maid would have. Her eyes were cold, so did the thin lips she had, she stared at Jonathan as if he was a bug. In her hands was a tray of omelet rice and a fresh cup of orange juice, along with what Eri and Dr. Victoria ordered.
Jonathan’s jaw dropped while his heart throbbed to the brink of explosion.
She set the food on the table and took a seat right beside Jonathan. The other maid took a seat beside Dr. Victoria. The maid beside Jonathan took out a bottle of ketchup and out of nowhere blush so adorably that it melted Jonathan’s heart. “Thank you for waiting, Master. May I include my Love to make this omelet rice more delicious?” She covered her mouth and averted her gaze, while still giving him a few cute glances.
“Y-You may,” Jonathan stumbled the words out.
The maid succubus drew a perfect heart on the omelet rice. With her hands, she formed a heart and shyly swayed her shoulder from side to side while chanting, “D-Doki. Doki. Doki. Lovely, Lovely, become tastyーKyun!” She accidentally bit her tongue near the end, and her cheeks reddened even more than before.
“Kyun?... Kyun...” Jonathan fainted right there and right at that moment. His heart couldn’t take it anymore. His tolerance for such cuteness had overloaded.
“Master?!” yelled the maid succubus as she worriedly tugged his shirt.
Dr. Victoria glanced around her in panic. The maid beside her stood up and screamed. Eri facepalmed herself while rolling her eyes to the side.