Chapter 1:

Welcome Home!

Nathan Trial

Ever since we were young Rose, Lucas, and I had always been inseparable. Rose and I had moved to Aquablue City a few years ago with our dad and it was the beginning of a whole new world. For lack of a better way of saying it, Rose and I are the son and daughter of the Goddess of Love, Vera.Bookmark here

We have never met her but what from what I remember someone had scouted my dad out and decided now was the time that the three of us should move to Aquablue, a "god-supported" city. You can't fully explore it until you're enrolled in school for some reason but from what Rose and Lucas told me it's worth the wait.Bookmark here

Mostly everyone in the city had a connection to the gods or beings created by them. Aquablue is one of the multiple cities created by the gods and goddesses. If anything, the hardest thing to accept about the city was that Rose and Lucas would be at Trifecta for a year without me.Bookmark here

I breathed with a sigh of relief and relaxed on the couch. The dishes were done, countertops washed down, and a general dusting made the house look great for their homecoming. I haven't seen them since school started so my heart ached to see them again. My phone hadn't buzzed with a text message all day, which was disappointing.Bookmark here

Still, I could hear the water spirits playing in our backyard pond through the open windows. A summer breeze would come through the living room now and again too, adding the peaceful atmosphere. They were due home in about an hour so I had some time to kill. Maybe play Three Lives Left? The launch date was today but I looked up one of the World Gates and Aquablue wasn't close enough to one of them.Bookmark here

Once Rose and Lucas are here I'm they'll think of something fun to do.Bookmark here

Our dad was back in his room and hadn't shown any signs of welcoming them back, sadly. The sounds of play and the heat were combining really well. I stared up at the ceiling, time ticking away slowly...Bookmark here

BANGBookmark here

I jerked awake, disoriented. Another loud knock shook the house.Bookmark here

"NATE?" The doorknob jiggled.Bookmark here

"Nathan, are you in there? Open the door!"Bookmark here

My sister's wonderfully loud voice seemed to vibrate the walls. I bounded off of the couch, unlocked the door and swung it open. All of my weariness was gone.Bookmark here

Still wearing their uniforms, their smiling faces matched my own. Rose put her suitcase down and immediately trapped me in a bear hug.Bookmark here

"Oh, I've missed you so much!" She said. "How have you been?"Bookmark here

"Fine," I answered, my voice muffled. Did she get taller? It was to be expected but since they're a year older I was shorter than her and Lucas at this point. She released me and shook her head.Bookmark here

"Did you make a new friend while we were gone?" She asked. I didn't answer since the two contacts in my phone were burning a hole through my pocket right then.Bookmark here

"...No, but I did try to learn more about Trifecta and the city." I said. Lucas patted me on the shoulder.Bookmark here

"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll find someone this year," he said. "Trifecta has tons of nice people there."Bookmark here

I nodded. Seeing the different people there was definitely going to be fun even though we weren't going to be in the same year, unfortunately.Bookmark here

"Yeah! With you guys there I'm sure I'll find someone in no time flat." I said. I moved aside from the doorway and welcomed them inside. As they walked in I noticed two major differences with their appearance.Bookmark here

Both of them had an odd eyepiece on the left side of their face that looked like it could be turned on and from the looks of it they each had a sheathed weapon... Lucas caught me looking and grinned.Bookmark here

"You catch our SEE eyepiece and weapons?" He asked. I nodded, in awe. I don't know the person that trusted Rose with a weapon, but this school was looking crazier by the second.Bookmark here

Lucas sat down on the couch and took off his SEE and showed it to me.Bookmark here

"This thing is so cool, Nate. It basically lets you fight with these weapons without seriously hurting anyone." He said. He put it back on and reached behind him. Out came a huge double-edged-two-headed ax that looked like it could smash boulders.
"We're allowed to pick out a weapon and you get your eyepiece after the opening ceremony," Lucas explained. He jerked his thumb to Rose. "She picked the katana quicker than you could say 'pick a weapon'." He said.Bookmark here

"The ax and katana suit the both of you," I said. Rose had an elegance that I know the katana could bring out and Lucas was the strongest person I knew. Lucas grinned in response.Bookmark here

"I knew you'd approve. We've been wondering what you'll end up using when it's time for you to choose." He said.Bookmark here

I gulped down my fear. They might have fun fighting other people but that sounded scary to me. "Yeah, maybe.." I said. Lucas waved it aside.Bookmark here

"Don't worry, you'll be able to learn quickly. Rose and I placed high at the year-end tourney so learning from us will be a cinch." He threw that bombshell out casually.Bookmark here

I scratched my head. "Year-end tourney?" I asked. I couldn't remember them ever mentioning one in our text messages.Bookmark here

He nodded. "This year's theme was pairs and Rose and I made it all the way made all the way to the finals before Yvonne beat us with her partner, Edna." I shook my head. Imagining either of them in a fight like that wasn't my idea of fun.Bookmark here

Rose, who seemed lost in thought this whole time, finally returned to the conversation.Bookmark here

"Okay! I thought of a challenge for you, Nathan!" She exclaimed, eyes sparkling. Before I could say a word she continued. "If you find at least three new friends before this year is over then I'll let you in on a secret." That didn't exactly make the task of finding someone new any easier but I was interested in this secret of hers."Bookmark here

"...Alright." I mumbled. Rose nodded enthusiastically and Lucas seemed on board as well. It did feel good to know that they were always looking out for me though.Bookmark here

Lucas clapped Rose on the back. "Hey, do you want to tell him how the tourney went or should I?" Rose shook her head.Bookmark here

"That win should've been ours. Lucas and Edna were knocked out so it was me versus Yvonne." She said. "It was a close match too. Lucas and I were at least recognized by the principal as well as those two for winning." Bookmark here

Rose continued. "I also got back at Yvonne by setting up a couple of successful pranks." I didn't see the point in doing that but she looked pretty happy about it.Bookmark here

"Don't worry," Lucas said. "It was all in mostly good fun." Bookmark here

Rose chuckled. "Hehehe, we have a penchant at Trifecta as the 'powerful troublemakers'." She said. Bookmark here

"Um, what does that mean?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Rose would think of a prank and we would beautifully execute it while finishing in the top 5 ranking for the school," Lucas said. "The current rumor is that if you consistently place high in the rankings then you'll be able to participate in a huge multiple city tournament in a year or so." Bookmark here

I nodded. "I know you two will be able to make it," I said.Bookmark here

"What do you mean 'you two'?" Rose said. "Lucas and I will train you over the summer so you'll be able to climb the ranks with us!" Bookmark here

I could almost see the lazy days with the water spirits evaporate before my eyes.Bookmark here

"With Rose and I taking you under our wing you'll be one of the best fighters there Nathan, don't worry," Lucas said. That was easy for him to say, the both of them had skills and bodies that I lacked.Bookmark here

Rose nodded confidently. "So the plan for this summer is to train you for the upcoming school battles and during school itself, you'll make a ton new friends for this super special secret!" Bookmark here

"You're right. It would be nice to have more than two contacts on my phone one day." I agreed. Bookmark here

"That reminds me." Rose went over to her suitcase and opened it up. She pulled out two knives directed them to me. "Actually, instead of waiting the whole summer to find something that suited you I'm sure these two will do just fine."Bookmark here

She handed them to me, handle first. I did feel kind of silly holding two knives akin to something one would find in a kitchen but I trusted their judgment. Bookmark here

Lucas pointed to the backyard. "Come on! We have a few hours to kill before it's pitch-black outside." I swallowed the nervousness that was building my gut and followed them outside for the start of a fun adventure.Bookmark here

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