Mages and Dragons in a New Land? They Obviously Haven't Seen a Modern War Man! Book 2
The ground was a mass of rubble. The place which then looked like an ancient haven now was in a sea of flames.
A lone boy lay, drifting towards unconsciousness. His clothes were tattered and covered in blood as the whole world dissolved around him into a sea of darkness…
The bustling town of Alynth never changed. It was as busy and peaceful as a hive filled with bees.
A pair of siblings walked towards a place they hadn’t been to in months.
“Wonder if Yanine has changed much.” Eri said, “After all, we haven’t been there in months since our trip to Anima.”
“It must’ve changed a bit.” Nobaru responded, “But even if it has changed in appearance, it’s one of those places that will still stay the same anyway.”
“Unless something big happens, that is.”
The one who spoke was Lustros, Nobaru’s spirit companion from a few months ago.
The two pondered over the possibility…
“Probably, something might happen.” Nobaru concluded, “But in the meantime, let’s just relax.”
“Yeah,” added Glavanna, Eri’s spirit. “Your friends must’ve changed a lot too since you last saw them. Like how you both grew into cute and strong people.”
The two blushed due to the remark.
But Ana was right. During these few months, Nobaru had grown into one heck of a guy. He decided to let his hair grow in the back. For a 12-year-old, he looked like he was 14. In terms of strength. He had mastered the Bellator Style of sword fighting by himself and got better at mana control thanks to Eri.
Eri herself mastered many forms of Ancient Magic and other elemental magic. She also got better at using the Executioner’s Blade.
A shame that neither of them didn’t know how to use the spirits’ abilities to their extent. More like they weren’t ready yet.
Moments of walking later, Nobaru asked, “Lustros, have you got in touch with Anima? How are they?”
“They all are doing great without me.” Lustros replied, “I’m surprised that Ifrit is able to handle everything, being that he prefers working on the sidelines.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Nobaru said.
The two finally reached Kaeda’s place. They instantly spotted her, stepping out of her house.
“Kaeda!” Eri called out with excitement.
Kaeda turned towards the group and smiled with recognition.
“Eri! It's been forever.”
The two hugged each other and let go. Kaeda turned towards Nobaru and an awkward silence surrounded the group.
The two hadn’t seen each other for months. Of course, this would happen. They felt like they were seeing each other for the first time all over again.
“W-what are you staring that hard for…?” Kaeda managed to ask, her ears fluttering in embarrassment.
Nobaru was startled, ‘Dammit, I\’ve done it now!’
“I-it’s nothing..” he responded with a beet-red face, “Sorry..”
And at that moment, Eri proved that she could sense something else besides aura. In other words, she tried to change the mood.
“So.. Kaeda,” she started, “What have you been up to?”
The pair was jolted back into the real world in that instant.
“O-oh, I went to Anibus,” she replied.
Nobaru and Eri exchanged confused glances.
“Anibus?” they asked.
“It doesn’t ring any bells,” Nobaru added.
Kaeda looked at them in confusion and laughed hysterically.
“You both sound soo sheltered right now!” she blurted out. “Anibus is a trade city for merchants and travellers.. From weapons to jewellery to clothes. They have everything. But you know what it’s most famous for?”
“What?” the two asked.
“Their blacksmiths and the artisans. Their skill is second to none!”
‘So it’s like a bazaar.’ Nobaru thought, ‘It sounds intriguing.’
“Ohh!” Eri exclaimed, “What did you get?”
“I just went there to enhance my sword.” Kaeda replied, “And since it was a one time opportunity, I also bought souvenirs.”
Kaeda produced a small ring. It contained designs resembling that of a crescent moon. White and beautiful.
She handed the ring over to Nobaru who looked at her with surprise.
“T-this is for you.” she managed, her face red.
Nobaru looked at her and instantly turned red. He thanked her, taking it.
“Try it on..”
Nobaru wore the ring in his left hand and examined it.
“It looks beautiful…” he commented, “Thanks.”
“Sure,” Kaeda responded with an embarrassed grin, “Now we match.”
Nobaru looked at Kaeda’s hand and noticed a ring of the same fashion.
Eri laughed hysterically.
“You guys are practically a full-fledged couple now!”
At this point, both of their faces were flashing red like a siren.
“No!” they both retorted, “I-it’s nothing like that!”
Eri rolled her eyes and laughed.
“If you say so.”
Kaeda took out a small box next and handed it over to Eri.
“What is this?” she asked.
“Open it.” Kaeda urged.
Eri sighed. “I can’t see..remember?”
Kaeda instantly regretted her words and hung her head in shame.
“I’m sorry!” she exclaimed, “It’s just that you act so normally that I forgot…”
Eri smiled, “No worries, I understand.”
Kaeda opened the box for her and inside were the most beautiful pair of earrings ever.
“These are...the most gorgeous earrings I’ve ever seen!” Nobaru exclaimed.
“Earrings?!” Eri asked with glee, “I always wanted a pair.”
The set contained purple earrings shaped like flowers that awfully reminded Nobaru of Wisteria. They were obviously made with proper attention to detail. The petals looked so real and gleamed in the sunlight.
“I thought these may suit you.” Kaeda commented, “Let me put them on for you..”
“Thanks..” Eri replied with a faraway glance.
Kaeda reached out and put the earrings on Eri’s ears. Eri winced as a little prick was felt on each ear.
Moments later Kaeda stood there as if she was beholding her masterwork.
“Oh Gods, you look super cute!” she exclaimed.
Eri blushed, “Do I really?”
“Yeah,” Nobaru agreed, “You look great!”
Eri had a sad look on her face. She sighed.
“I wish I could see..” she blurted out, “It’s very...weird that I can’t see.”
“What do you mean by weird?” Kaeda asked.
“Weren’t you born blind?” Nobaru questioned.
“Yeah, but…” Eri paused, unsure of what she was about to say. “I feel that there was once a point when I was able to see. A point so early in my life. Even with my photographic memory, I’m not sure… because now it feels like some weird ‘thing’ is blocking my vision completely. I don’t want to be a bother to you guys. I sometimes feel-”
Eri stopped on her tracks as Nobaru instantly stepped forward and hugged her. Eri was too surprised to react.
“It’s okay, y’know.” he assured, “You are perfect just the way you are. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see. Personally, I don’t think you are a bother at all. I feel comfortable being around you. I am happy that I can do what a brother should do. Looking out for each other. We are siblings after all.”
“Nobaru..” she uttered.
Moments passed before they let go of each other
Eri smiled with gratitude.
“Thanks,” she said, “I’m glad to have you around.”
Nobaru laughed, “It’s me that should be saying that y’know?”
Suddenly Ana piped up from nowhere, “You guys are adorable!~” she exclaimed, “But classes are going to start, so better get going.”
Nobaru was startled, “She’s right!” he exclaimed, “Let’s go.”
As the trio passed through the dome, the ‘gates’ of the school, they were hit with nostalgia.
“It feels so great to be back here…” Nobaru said, smiling.
“I heard they made changes to the system.” Eri stated, “Probably going to see a lot of new things.”
“Considering this is Year 2, things are going to get harder from here on,” Kaeda added.
Eri laughed, “That goes without saying! But I wish it would be peaceful for once. After all the things that happened last year...”
“Don’t worry about that, Eri.” Sclandora commented in an ominous tone, “Things are going to be very peaceful.”
Eri and Kaeda sighed in relief.
Nobaru felt suspicious.
'Something is definitely going to happen.' he thought. 'But I'll enjoy the momentary peace… I guess'
He was so lost in thought that he just realised that he stood face to face with a familiar dark-skinned wolf boy.
"Guys!" Hugo exclaimed, "It's been a while."
"Hugo!" the trio exclaimed.
Hugo had grown taller. He had a calmer disposition, different from their first encounter. He had his usual sharp-toothed grin.
"How have you been?" Eri asked.
"I'm doing well. What about the three of you? We haven't seen each other since our trip to Anima no?"
"Yeah," Kaeda replied, "Classes were postponed because the school was still under reconstruction.. I still wonder how we are in our second year from today."
"That is because of what y'all have accomplished." said a voice. The four looked toward the direction of the voice. Natsumi was walking towards them with a smile.
"It's been a while."
"Good morning Ms Tabata!" Hugo wished, "As cheerful as ever!"
"Good morning to ya!" Natsumi replied, "Let's head inside together, shall we? Mr Harada will speak to us soon."
Nobaru and the others nodded and the group entered the building.
Yanine was completely restored to its former form. It was filled with faces both old and new. Just like a normal school atmosphere, the place was filled with students and staff alike.
Nobaru looked around and saw what looked like new faculty.
"We have new teachers?" he asked.
"Yep!" Natsumi replied, "More kids joined this year than usual. So we hired a few people to reduce the workload."
"That's a relief," Eri commented. "It would be bad if the stress got to you guys."
"Agreed," said Hugo. "We don't want that."
Natsumi had a grateful, teary-eyed expression on her face.
"Aww, you guys are the best!"
The four of them had embarrassed smiles on their faces.
Natsumi led the four into a huge room. It had a spotless white floor made of something similar to marble…
Or it must be marble if it existed in this world.
"This is our auditorium," Natsumi explained, "This will be our briefing area. You don't have to assemble outside anymore."
Chairs surrounded the room in a curved shape, all facing a huge stage covered with red curtains.
"Take your seats up in the front." Natsumi said, "The others are there too! Y'all must be excited to meet them, no?"
"Yes, we are!" Kaeda replied, "Let's go."
As Kaeda walked forward with the others, Nobaru stayed behind, surveying the surroundings with a hint of nostalgia and sadness.
"Reminds me of my school days in my previous life…" he blurted out.
"Oh, does it?" Natsumi asked to which Nobaru nodded. "Not like its a good thing…"
"What was that?"
Nobaru was startled. "O-oh, nothing," he replied hastily. "Best get going!"
"Alrighty! Have a great day."
Nobaru smiled, "You too."