"C'mon Nathan, up up up!" Rose shook me from my dreamless sleep. I looked out the window and saw that the sun had just barely begun to rise into the sky. She was somehow already dressed in her summer streetwear and expectantly waited for me to jump out of bed like a firecracker.
"I'm up, I'm up..." I yawned. "Yesterday's training took a lot out of me." My body ached with the many slashes (courtesy of Rose) and throws into a certain pond (courtesy of Lucas) yesterday. Nevertheless, I was still looking forward to what today had in store.
"Consider today your day off since we probably can't do any training in the city," she said. "Lucas is going to be here in a few minutes and I already have breakfast on the table, chop chop!" She left my room to presumably go meet Lucas.
I eyed the knives on my dresser and took them along in case Rose and Lucas wanted to spring any surprises on me. I quietly passed Dad's room since he was most likely sleeping.
In the dining room, the two of them were wolfing down their bowls of oatmeal. I sat down next to Lucas and blew on the hot spoonful of food.
"First things first, most of the shops in Aquablue are open at 6 am sharp so we'll get some sheaths that'll hook in the back of your pants easily," she said.
An unbidden image of a small child walking around with a greataxe entered my mind.
"And we're allowed to just buy stuff like that?" I asked. Lucas shrugged. "Since you're entering Trifecta this year I doubt anyone will care if we're getting something that'll protect you," he said. "Besides, if a god or a goddess see you they'll probably give you a pat on the back for putting weapons first.
"Maybe a book on weapons would fare me better?" I asked weakly. Rose finished eating with a tsk. "Nope. You're going to be number one on those rankings if I have anything to say about it."
She gathered her and Lucas' eaten bowls and tossed me a granola bar. "The city awaits!" She exclaimed.
The residential district of Aquablue wrapped around the large city like a tight circle. I read that various wind gods kept impressively constant watch on all of the cities' borders, just in case of any emergencies. Most of the shops were located in the middle while the center stood Trifecta itself.
Rose and Lucas were deep in conversation about what kind of design their SEE should take on once they start their second year. "I think a white body with a pink extender would look the best," Rose said. It would've made a striking appearance with her black hair and blue eyes, that was for sure.
"Silver body with gray would look intimidating though," Lucas said. "Especially when I'm swinging my ax."
Rose snickered. "I don't recall Yvonne being intimidated when she defeated you" Lucas scoffed. "At least I was able to knock Edna out," he said.
"True. But I held my own against Yvonne the entire time," she countered.
They went on like this as we headed up the shops. I didn't come here at all really unless Dad needed groceries so I never felt the need to look at the different shops most of the time.
Warm, buttery flavors began to invade the streets. If we all hadn't eaten breakfast already I was sure that both of their credit balances would go to zero in the blink of an eye. Although that still might not be a problem for the both of them anyway...
We walked around for a few more minutes. I took in the sights and the city in the early morning was nice. Not many people around yet so we could get around quickly. Aquablue had a "shine" that was easily recognizable in this morning sun. It had a white and blue theme that was perfect for summer. I had learned that there were other cities like Aquablue. I wondered what they were like.
"We're here!" Rose announced as we stopped in front of a tall and sleek-looking shop. The sign in the front read 'Sly's Shop: Come On Weapin!' I chuckled at the sign.
Inside was a well-lit and tidy floor of what I assumed to be the first of many. All around us were many different weapons of various shapes and sizes. Any weapon enthusiast will feel right at home here.
Behind the counter looked like a man in his early 20s. He looked like he was going to make a weapon right then and there and put it on the store floor with his attire mix of a suit plus grease marks.
"Welcome, valued customers!" he said. "Sly's my name and weapons are the game! What're you here for?" I took my knives out and placed them on the counter.
"We're looking for two sheaths for these knives," said Lucas. Sly picked them up and examined them, seemingly interested. "Ahh, these were part of my shipment to Trifecta last year. Good times. Henry, your principal, really reamed me when I started giving them out like candy." He laughed.
"Oh, that was you?" Rose said. "That was how we got our katana and ax!"
Sly guided us to an impressive number of sheaths for us to choose from. They settled on black since it would match my uniform would school started. Shockingly, they only came up to $10.00 in credits, which Lucas handled.
"Thank you!" I said gratefully to the both of them. I didn't have much to say in the shop but I was grateful that they found something satisfactory. Now all I needed was a SEE and I'd look like a normal student at Trifecta.
"No problem man. Just say the word and me and Rose will get whatever you need." Lucas asked. I nodded. But it would be too embarrassing to ask them for more.
We were sitting on a bench together, discussing what to do next. A whole summer of this wasn't going to be bad at all.
"I'm sure there's a gym around here or something. We should head there sometime," said Lucas. Rose shook her head. "No way! I don't want muscles like you or Yvonne when I keep this slim figure!" She said.
"I wouldn't mind being beefed up, to be honest," I said. "Lucas looks really cool and all..." That was embarrassing to say but I didn't want to look like "girl Rose" my whole life. I had enough trouble being mistaken as younger than 14 already.
"We'll make a day of it in the future then!" Lucas said, excited. He was never the bodybuilder type but neither Rose and I were ever really interested in going before.
"Bleh, you boys have fun while I train to become the top fighter at Trifecta," said Rose.
"Aren't me and you three and two on the leaderboard for our year anyway?" Lucas asked. Rose waved him aside. "Yeah. But I can't rest until Yvonne is rank four or lower."
"Ooh, you might have your chance now. Look!" And out of nowhere, he pointed at a tall black girl who was reading a map of Aquablue.
Quicker than a bolt of lightning, both her and Lucas stood up with their SEEs flashing.
"Yo, Yvonne!" Lucas called out to her. "You up for a rematch?" She ignored him. "Oh hell no!" Rose said. Faster than a bolt of lightning she was up and headed to her with Lucas in tow.
Not knowing what to do, I got up and followed them.
"Don't ignore us!" Rose said. "Let's have a rematch right here, right now!" While Rose and Lucas were the same height, Yvonne was taller than them by an inch or two. She had dark purple eyes and choppy black hair in the front that that was tied in a short ponytail in the back.
"Oh do you, Trial? Right after I creamed you and him two days ago?" She said.
Rose bristled. "You only barely got me and you know it! Lucas, uh, is kinda bad I guess."
"Hey!" Lucas said indignantly.
"Is right now the best time for a fight anyway?" I asked. Yvonne looked past the two of them and at me.
"Oh? Who is this?" She asked. "My little brother, Nathan Trial. He starts next year," said Rose. Yvonne looked me up and down and I averted my eyes.
"I wonder if he'll actually give me a challenge this year!" she said. Rose looked like she wanted to throw her katana at her right then and there but Lucas got in the middle of them.
"I'm ready for a rematch as much as anyone but can we not do it here? It's starting to get busy." He said.
True enough, we looked around and more people were beginning to fill the streets.
I was fine with no match at all but out of nowhere a man just appeared in front of us. Like, from thin air.
I jumped back, but the other three seemed to act as though this was a common occurrence. He had long silver hair and white eyes. The combo of it was really throwing me off.
"My my... four demigods together at the same time? What perfect timing!" The man said. "I don't much like using you brats for help but it seems I don't have a choice." His voice had a slight drawl to it.
"What do you want, old man? We're busy here!" Yvonne snapped at him. He drew a lazy eye to her and sighed.
"You'd fare better if you held your attitude against the god of nightmares, little missy." He said. "It takes one time for you to piss me off and you're off going insane from one bad dream."
"Little missy??" Yvonne started but Rose of all people held her back. Did she sense danger or something?
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Finally a demigod without a sharp tongue. I need you four to gather some items for me around the city." He pulled out a list akin to something Dad would give me for the weekly run for groceries.
"We're doing your groceries?" Lucas asked.
"Indeed. I would do it but I don't feel like it. Don't fail." He passed the list to me and disappeared.
Yvonne gave a good impression of a lion roaring it and snatched the list from me. "I'm stuck doing chores for my family and now that guy-"
"God" Whispered a certain voice on the wind.
Yvonne looked like she was going to breathe fire.
"Don't worry, we'll get this done quick and then we'll have a nice two versus one battle to end the day with," said Lucas. "Yeah," I said, "We'll be done before we know it."
Yvonne turned around in a 'hmph!' kind of way and Lucas shrugged at Rose and me.
Rose wrapped her arm around Yvonne's shoulders. "C'mon! This'll be a great way for us all to get to know each other!" Yvonne looked slightly less angry but nodded silently.
"Fine. Let's go."