Magic and the Black Cloaks
"I'm so used to the cold being in a warm environment is scaring me..."
It's been days since the 102nd had come back to the training school and even know, some of them were still facing the fact they didn't have to bother with the cold anymore, basically, they were still readjusting to the climate.
Akari was only facing it when she wakes up, she expects a cold burst to hit her but nothing arrives making it feel awkward but, she had other things to do, today is what could be considered a free day by their standards.
Though it may be a free day, it was much more limited than most people would have. They still had to wear uniforms and were only allowed into the city they were close to with permission from their teacher.
And Akari was hoping to go into the city today but finding Winter on a day off was probably going to be a challenge. Mostly because the teachers stay in a different building from the main building and student dorms.
Most importantly, the students weren't allowed over there at all and that's the first place she guessed her teacher would be.
Winter wasn't a lazy person but, when given breaks, he would enjoy them like any other person would, staying inside and sleeping or whatever.
As Akari walked through the halls of the school, she asked people she passed by if they had seen Winter at all but alas, none of them did. That just meant she would have to find a teacher to ask.
If there was somewhere a teacher would be, it was the training woods or the rings.
Akari took her chances and went to the training woods, this area was a little dangerous in a few ways, at any time you could be hit with a spell by people training on monsters or their training with a teacher.
Not to mention students weren't able to use their cloaks unless given permission by a teacher so she was really risking it coming out here, but she knew there was definitely someone out here, there always is. Noise, explosions, growling, everything that would keep normal people out happened here at all times.
It's exactly why the school had to cast wind magic on this place to keep the sound inside but, for once, it was a little quieter.
"Where's the closest one?" She listened around for anything and waved her hand at a tree instantly setting it ablaze, two figures jump from the burning tree and she recognized one of them, "First Lieutenant April, have you seen Major Flynt, anywhere?"
"You might wanna ask her, this is his sister." Chisai pointed a thumb to Summer who flipped off her hood.
Upon looking at her face, yeah, they were related.
"You're looking for Winter, eh? I think I just saw him heading towards the front of the school to go to the city, actually?"
"What?!" Akari cleared her throat, "I mean, thank you for the information... Ma'am."
"No problem, also, it's Warrant Officer Flynt. But, Ma'am works too. You might wanna hurry, he looked to be in a rush."
Akari gave a salute and started running off in the direction of the front office. As she ran, she hoped she would make it in time before Winter actually had the chance to leave the building otherwise, she would be stuck here and not be able to do what she wanted today.
It's times like this she hated just how massive their institution was, she felt like she was running forever before she made it to the massive front office, thankfully, Winter was still here and... talking with someone?
She steadily walked over quickly drying up her uniform and skin with her power as she was practically drenched in sweat when she finally arrived. Winter had already taken notice of his student walking over but would take his attention away from the person beside him once she was finally over to them.
"...Major Flynt." She gave a salute, "May I have a word with you?"
"Depends on what you want?" He stood up from the chair he was sitting in and put his hands in his pocket.
"I want to go to the city."
"...To... try out a new restaurant that opened up..." She half-mumbled her reason as this felt slightly embarrassing.
"Restaurant? Do you mean that cute sweets cafe that opened up?" From the smile on Winter's face, she could tell he already knew something was up, "I didn't take you for liking cute things? Man, I wonder how many stuffed animals you have hidden around your room? Mr. Snickers must be really lonely-"
"Shut up, you! Stop talking! Can I go or not?!"
The person sitting just a few feet away from them was surprised at the fact Akari just yelled at her superior. Usually, that was something you'd get slapped for or some other punishment.
"Wow, you have guts to do something like that...?" They said staring at Akari.
"Oh, I should introduce you to him, Private, stand up!"
They did so and saluted Winter. Akari then noticed the bracelet and from the barely noticeable rattle of a necklace, this person was from Rali.
"This is my little brother, Robin Flynt, 18 years of age and freshly joining the Imperial Army's Special Magic Core!"
He looked just like Summer and Winter, you could tell he was related to them but instead of long curly hair like Summer or dreads like Winter, his hair was cut pretty short with the same brown eyes as his siblings.
From the looks of it, even though he was younger, he had more muscle mass than Winter.
"Nice to meet you, Miss." He gave her a salute as well then Winter started to walk off.
"Hey wait, can I leave or not?!" Akari started walking after him but he didn't answer at all and walked out of the building.
She stopped right at the door as she couldn't leave without his word, he kept on walking as she shook with annoyance. But then, he stopped.
"What are you waiting for, stupid?" He looked back while tying his dreads up into the unusual side ponytail.
Akari then walked out of the door and said, "I should hurt you."
"Aww? Isn't that cute of you?" His mocking tone annoyed her a little more than she already was.
He waved her along again and the two made their way out of the forest together, it was the usual long way of getting to the city but once there and walking through the streets, Akari found herself wondering things about her superior.
"You know, we're out of the academy. We're the same age, just treat me like any other normal person."
If there was something that Winter craved, it was being treated like a normal person. Because of his multiple backgrounds, it was always the formal speech but honestly, he was no grown adult, just barely turned twenty this year.
"So... I can call you by your name?" Akari was curious as to what he meant and with this simple question, it could all be solved, when the teacher nodded his head, she understood, "Okay, Winter. Also, how many family members do you have?"
He had a sister and now a brother that she knew of. These were really coming at her fast.
"About three not including me. I have a really small sister who's in Rali at the moment."
"Speaking of your home, don't you miss it?"
"Nah, besides, I can go back at any moment I want."
"You say that like you're some type of royalty." People of higher status, such as Akari, could get out of combat sooner than others because of family matters, or in fact, losing them would cause some sort of storm.
The Kazami family was quite influential around this city and Akari's father was the leader of sorts.
Which is why Winter was always confused as to what she was doing being a Black Cloak instead of learning how to be a noble lady. But, he could always ask her later, she didn't seem done asking her own set of questions and was also waiting for him to respond to her last statement.
"Well, I am. I'm a prince, you know?"
"...Since when?" She couldn't bring herself to believe such a thing.
"How mean! I'm really a prince! I'm the prince of Nkonkoni!" Winter put a hand on his chest and pulled his necklace out of his sweater.
"Wait, that really militarized country in Rali...?" Being who she was, she had a bit of knowledge of Rali but for one, she didn't know most of the country's rulers or anything of that nature.
From what she knows, his country was extremely closed off from the world, apparently, they were super strong militarily and really didn't like outsiders, they even had their citizens marked to allow them easy access into the country. If you didn't have that mark, getting in was close to impossible thanks to their advanced magic tech.
They single handily control most of the military force in Rali and made up the Royal Guard of most of the countries in Rali, they pride themselves on strength which is why their leaders, such as Winter, Summer, and Robin are all taking action in other countries.
Winter explained this in as short of a way he could and Akari could see why he was so natural at killing others. It was literally in his blood.
She now had a newfound respect for her teacher.
"So, anyway. Enough about that. Where's this place at?"
The city they were in was the third-largest in the entire country, so it was no easy feat to navigate around it. Winter himself had no idea where this place was but if he had to guess, it was probably around the shopping district or the main street.
They were about the halfway point of that, from residential to there.
"Don't worry, I did mega research on this before I came out here, they should be opening in the next few minutes, AND if we're some of the first 40, we'll even get a special dessert!" With every word, her pace got faster, Winter, of course, kept up with her and didn't ask anything else until they got to the cafe to see the line was longer than anything they could have expected.
Akari instantly fell to her knees at the sight and knew for a fact that were a lot more than 40 people waiting there, she couldn't think a sweets place could be this popular...
"What are we gonna do?! I wanted that dessert, damn it!" She stood up and started grumpily walking towards the line.
As Akari started to try and negotiate with some of the people in the line, Winter looked inside the shop to see the workers still preparing everything. But, there was something that was obviously apparent to him once he looked inside one of the workers was from Rali or she at least had brown skin. That just meant he had a chance to score them a good deal here even if she wasn't from the continent.
He walked up to the window and gave it a knock, just the person he was hoping to notice looked up from the table they were wiping off. They ran to the door and opened it, ignoring the others, and walked up to Winter then pulled out a necklace.
Winter already had his out but he's more than sure that's not why she recognized him.
"Prince Winter, it's amazing to meet you!"
"Oh my God, you really weren't kidding, you're a prince...?" Akari turned her head away from the crowd and walked over to them.
"...Aren't you the Duke's daughter?"
Akari wasn't noticed as much because of her presence away from the noble scene but that didn't mean some people didn't know who she was. Though, it was still rare for someone to notice her that fast.
The worker looked between the two and tied it that they were here together, "It would be an honor to have you two be some of the first to have a taste of our treats!"
She ignored the other customers' moans about not being let in yet but Akari and Winter gladly went in and took their seats first. To let some fairness into the field for the rest of them, everyone was let in and those two don't count towards the first 40.
"...So, Akari, you believe I'm a prince now?"
"How couldn't I? Also, I thought the necklace thing was a general thing Ralian's did?" She stared down at the tooth necklace again.
"Hm, it kinda is? My country is the only one to issue these to everyone though. It's how we make sure someone is a citizen. They're also electrified and can also be tracked, it's hard to steal these things."
Winter took off his necklace and tossed it to Akari who caught it but almost instantly dropped it because of the zap she received. But, this was no light shock, if she hadn't received much worse in combat, she was sure she would've been on the floor with it.
"Ow! I knew you weren't lying, but why did you go on and do that?! For what reason?"
The wind picked up the necklace and tossed it up into the air to which the rightful owner caught it and put it on.
"Because, I thought it would be funny and truthfully, it was."
"...I still hate you." Akari sighed as menus were placed down in front of them, it was the worker from before but she was actually the owner of the entire store.
"Are you two here on some sort of date?"
It was a reasonable question, most of the time, if two important people sat in any type of restaurant together, a date would be the basic assumption. They might as well answer her question but she was wholly unprepared for the answers she received.
"He wishes! ...Wait what." Akari looked back to Winter as the man put down the menu and placed his order.
She genuinely has no clue if he meant that or not, she would just assume he didn't. She just thinks it would be better for her mental health to not think about it or let herself worry over another silly comment made from Winter's mouth.
"But no, we're not on a date. We're in the military and we happen to hear this place was opening and wanted to stop by." Winter gave a real answer this time around the owner's face shifted from confusion to something normal.
"That would make more sense. I had heard Prince Winter had left to join another military but I had to leave the continent before I could hear the which one then I've been too busy setting up shop." She gave a small bow, "But, it is nice to meet you, my Prince. I hope our services are to your liking." She gave another small bow and then walked away after taking both of their orders.
"So... what was that about you wishing you were on a date with me?" Akari didn't forget about that simply because they were thrown into another conversation. She knows she said she wouldn't think about it but it was just too random to not get an answer too.
"I mean, I'm sitting at a table with a pretty girl, sure she's a little abusive but I'm sure a lot of guys would love to be in my position." Winter gave a thumbs up and Akari was really having trouble deciding what he was really feeling.
"Ugh, are you trying to say you're in love with me or something? If so, stop."
"I never said that? Also, I love how you didn't say anything about the abusive part?" He furrowed his eyebrows and squinted, "I'm just saying, a lot of guys would kill to be me right now. I mean, just look at baldy behind you, he's been glaring at me every now and then."
Winter met eyes with the man and they instantly ducked into their menu.
"...True. Well, whatever you're trying to say, I don't really get. Isn't it usually the girl that's all cryptic in the messages? You're playing the roles wrong." Akari folded her arms as this kept on going, not as if she was complaining, this was a little entertaining.
"It's not about roles, it's about, uh... who's feeling what?"
Akari could tell he ran out of witty things to say and just said whatever came first to his mind causing her to chuckle. He's usually so good at combating others with words so it was funny to see him fail to do it for once, but her laughing brought something else along.
"Ha! So you do laugh? I thought you were some sort of android or cyborg who never laughs." He gave a sigh of relief at that not being the case.
"Hey, it's a lot more difficult trying to have fun when I'm either freezing to death or being shot at in a dark forest! I'm not insane yet like you."
"It's not being insane, it's taking joy in what you do? Besides, with who we are, I'm sure we enjoy everything we do on the battlefield."
He was right there, the training they received was very forward that they should take pleasure in the work they accomplish for their home, and deep down, even the most "normal" Executioner finds some joy in what they do. And well, they do a lot of things that people shouldn't know about...
"Oh yeah, since you're my second and all that, I have to tell you we're having rifle training tomorrow."
"Rifles? Won't everyone in our class be too high of an aptitude to use those?"
"No clue, but, I know for a fact we won't be able to use them."
Wildcards had overflowing reserves of magic, even when they try to repress it, it was still too much leaking into the mechanism that guns used which couldn't be limited like in normal everyday devices.
So, Wildcards usually had them blow up in their faces with only one shot of a gun.
"Guns are cool... I wish I could use one."
"Yeah, they're only cool when you're the one pointing it." Winter rolled his eyes, he's sadly been on the receiving end of those things a lot more than he'd like to admit.
He was thankful that they hadn't run into any yet but, with their mission after taking firearm training, they'd certainly be seeing some. They were rare because of how difficult they were to use and manufacture, really, only a single place knows how to make them right so most places actually buy them from there. Including the Empire.
"But anyway, we're out. Let's try to enjoy ourselves for once... please don't be annoying, Maj- ...Winter."
"Perfect, Akari." He leaned back in his seat as the waitress came by with their orders.
With things ramping back up tomorrow, Akari was thankful for this sweet time she could have before anything got wild. It was inevitable that it would happen eventually, so, she took her time enjoying today...