Battle is an Art
Herah had five simple wants in life.
One, and this is most important, to honor La Flamme.
Two, the ability to create her art in peace, for it was a source of great pride.
Three, meet a space Cendre, because that would be fucking awesome.
Four, forge weapons and armor worthy enough to be wielded by a Nettoyant.
Five, have or meet someone to continue whatever legacy that will be left in her wake.
Herah also had three simple responses to anything that tried to stop her from completing these wants.
Or in extreme cases,
It was Tarkos, the second day of the week, and Herah’s second cycle at Noir E. Blanc Academy. Dressed in a red tee and a pair of red jeans, the scarlet skinned and shiny red scaled youngling sat at her normal desk in the back right corner of her first class of the day.
A shiny pink scaled and bubble pink skinned Cendreux stood before Herah’s class at the respectful height of 8’2, wearing a pair of mint slacks and a dark pink dress shirt. The teacher was also noticeably fit with lean, strong muscles covering the entirety of her body. Happily speaking about the beginning of the current age in the history of the Cendreux, the teacher keenly watched each of her equally scaled and skin students as they wrote their notes.
“So it was with that experience that Violette began asking himself questions. Yes, La Flamme had cared for us during our early days, but our race, our species, had grown without her for many years with no help required. We had done so much more without her than with her, so why should we still give her praise? Why should we still fight and conquer in her name? Why should we still create monuments to her? And with this train of thought, Violette had a revelation. There was no reason at all to continue such things, and thinking this is what led Violette to become the first of the Ravivé.”
Herah, leaning on her right hand with a disgusted look on her face, scoffed at the words coming from the elder.
‘To sing praise for a heretic, your children have fallen far and hard my mistress. The Manquant de Chaleur are numerous and they continue to dishonor you, yet you still offer your love to them. Truly your benevolence knows no bound.’
These thoughts soon changed, however, as Herah returned to her previous task. As her pencil dashed to and fro across her paper, the youngling seeped into a hyperfocus with all of her attention going into her latest work of art.
It was a portrait of Elder Rose, the teacher spouting history at that moment, and had yet to be completed. The parts of the teacher already completed was her soft, round face, pink slitted eyes and the hook-shaped horns that framed her head. Herah had also completed drawing the scales that covered Rose’s forehead down to her nose, and the bottom half of her face was completely skin so no real marks had to be made there. At the moment, the youngling was working on the elder’s smile. Just as the inattentive student got up to the last of Rose’s fangs, the subject of the portrait broke Herah’s focus.
“Mmmhmm.” Rose called out, sounding rather disapproving at the moment.
‘Wonder who caught Rose’s eye this time, the weaklings here normally behave this early in the morning.’ Herah shrugged to herself, ‘Welp, Rose doesn’t fuck with me anymore, so it’s none of my concern.’
Herah returned her focus back to her portrait of Rose, now working on the elder’s pink, single bun hairdo. Just before Herah could complete this part of her teacher, however, Elder Rose once again broke her focus.
“Mmmhmm.” This time, Rose sounded a bit more forceful and closer.
‘Ok, I swear, whichever one of you faibles bâtards it is, if you don’t look at her right now I’m going to hurt you.’ Herah thought to herself with a slight twitch before returning back to the portrait.
‘Now to just finish her eyelashes and I can add-‘
“Mmmhmm!” Rose said, now casting a shadow over both Herah and her desk which only helped to destroy her concentration once again.
Wooden pencil fragments fell to Herah’s desk, as smoke flared from her nostrils and a deep frown came to her face. Still looking down at her portrait of her teacher, Herah took a deep breath and began to speak low and with a slight growl.
“I swear to La Flamme, whichever of you dickheads isn’t paying attention is about to get launched to the fucking hospital.”
Herah raised her head to glare at whoever Elder Rose was attempting to capture the attention of, only to began blinking in surprise when her eyes found the teacher standing before her. The elder’s scaled covered arms were crossed and lips pursed while staring Herah down with what the youngling assumed was supposed to be an intimidating glare.
“Oh.” Herah winced slightly before pointing to herself and bluntly stating, “I’m that dickhead.”
“That you are Herah,” A somewhat masculine, cocky voice said with a chuckle from Herah’s right, five desk and students separating the two, “How does it feel to look like an idiot?”
Herah turned towards the Cendreux with a glare and a snarl, causing the students that separated the two to move their heads out of the way in fear.
This allowed for Herah to get a good look at Bleu, an extremely muscular and large youngling with ocean blue skin and shiny blue scales, dressed in an orange polo shirt with white stripes and a pair of blue jeans. The youngling was leaning on his left arm (which had his arrow-tipped tail wrapped around its large bicep) fist to cheek with a smirk on his face. Making direct eye contact with Herah, his entire body managed to take up much more room than the standard student. Herah cared little for this, however, and instead made note of the single bead of sweat that rolled down Bleu’s shiny bald head before grunting and dismissively threating him.
“Watch it poltron, or I’ll shove your head up Vert’s ass again.” Bleu flinched at Herah’s words, before quickly looking away from the youngling with several more beads of sweat now rolling down the side of his head.
“Please don’t!” A boyishly scared voice begged from the front-right desk, directly three desk ahead of Herah’s own. “I’m still having pains from last time, plus I haven’t even done anything to you!”
Herah turned her glare to the front, the three younglings that divided her and Vert moving their heads out of the way to reveal the lime green-skinned and shiny green scaled youngling looking at Herah with a terrified expression on his face. Vert’s dark green mohawk waved from side to side as his body shook in fear. This youngling was more of the standard look of their species, with noticeable, lean muscles covering his body. Herah also took note on how Vert’s tail was nervously wrapped around the entirety of his wine colored shirt and his neck, slight spasms occurring through the appendage at random.
“So it wasn’t you who gave Pourpre the idea to try and take something from my backpack, is that what you’re saying?” Herah asked drawing her lips while leaning on her scaled covered right arm with a look that made it clear that the youngling didn’t believe Vert.
Hearing Herah’s words, Vert began to frantically look around the classroom before turning back to Herah and fearfully asking her,
“Where is my sister?”
“In the nurse’s office,” Herah said with a slight smirk and annoyed twitch in her eye, “After I found the dumbass’ left arm pit deep in my backpack, I broke her jaw and stabbed in her the eye with one of her own ribs. Your sister should be back and up here any min-”
Herah paused in her sentence, her head suddenly turning to the door that was right next to the whiteboard with a smirk on her face. Not a second later, a knocking was heard and followed by a nervous, feminine voice stating that they were entering. Once opened, Herah was able to get a good luck at her most recent topic of discussion.
Pourpre had grape purple skin and shiny purple scales covering her body. The youngling was 6’2 (around the average height of a female Cendreux of her age) and was noticeably fit. Pourpre wore a grey t-shirt with words that normally slandered Herah’s mistress and a frilly, black skirt that normally reached down to her knees. Now, however, The youngling’s shirt was filled with holes and covered in flakes of dried blood that marred anything that it had to say while her skirt now just reached down to just below her crotch. Pourpre’s normally long, straight and wavy plum colored hair was now in a state of disarray, with chunks of hair clearly torn out and it’s length shortened to the point that it didn’t even reach past her neck. The hair was slowly regrowing, but Herah knew it wouldn’t be anywhere close to its original state until after lunch.
Pourpre shuffled into the room while purposely avoiding eye contact with Herah as her legs took her to her seat in front of the door. Seeing Pourpre and her condition, Rose let out a sigh before turning to the student and sternly asking her,
“What happened to you Pourpre?”
Pourpre flinched before turning back to Rose and saying with a bit of shame,
“I got into a fight and lost Elder Rose.”
“Who was this fight with, if I might ask?”
“Why were you and Herah fighting?”
“Because Herah is a rabid fanatic who attacks anyone who disgraces her mistress.” Pourpre spat out any previous shame gone and replaced with disgust, with particular venom being placed upon the words mistress.
“Bitch!” Herah shouted, popping her claws, “You know what you did!”
“Herah!” Rose turned to Herah with a glare on her face, “Can I handle my own class, please?”
Herah rolled her eyes at Rose’s words before sheathing her claws and looking away with a huff.
“Your lucky that I’m a Cendreux of my word, menteur, or I’d be kicking your ass again for that shit.”
Rose then turned away from Herah and back to Pourpre with an annoyed sigh leaving her. Levying a glare at Pourpre, Rose then asked,
“What exactly did you do to disgrace Herah’s mistress, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Pourpre began to fidget nervously under Rose’s prying stare.
“Nothing worth getting into a fight over th-that’s for sure.”
“Then you shouldn’t have any problem telling me what it is you did.”
Pourpre looked away from Rose and whispered so low that the ticking clock on the wall sounded louder than her. This did little to stop her from being heard by Herah or anyone else in the room. Even with everyone hearing what was said, Rose still decided to repeat Pourpre’s words aloud.
“Because you were in not just her locker, but her backpack as well.” Rose said, sounding rather irritated by what Pourpre was saying, “Why might you have been in her backpack?”
Pourpre once again whispered her reply, and Rose once again repeated it out loud.
“Because your brother figured that taking something of Herah’s and blackmailing her with it would finally shut her up about La Flamme.”
“YOU WHAT!?” Herah shouted as her fist slammed into her desk. Green fire began to leak from her nose and mouth, as a fury began to engulf her.
“HERAH!” The youngling turned to glare at Rose, who glared back at her with a growl. The youngling let out a small growl of her own, before stopping her flames and looking away again.
Now done with the pacification of Herah, Rose turned to Vert who now looked even more nervous than before with his tail twitching nonstop under Rose’s gaze.
“Is what your sister said true Vert? Did you really convince her to try and take something from another student?”
“But this is Herah we’re talking about!” Vert said, gesturing to the still very much pissed youngling, “She’s a complete and total bitch!”
Before Herah could do anything, Rose reacted.
“I’LL BE DAMNED BEFORE I ALLOW A STUDENT TO SHOW SUCH DISREGARD FOR ANOTHER’S PRIVACY AND POSSESSIONS!” Rose shouted, blue flames that bordered on becoming indigo flaring from the orifices on her face and shrouding her head for a brief moment before the teacher abruptly returned to her calm and collected visage.
Vert flinched and hurriedly looked away from Rose, his tail spasming wildly as sweat began to profusely run down his face. Rose then glared at both Vert and Pourpre before saying,
“You will both stay after school and hold a boulder over your head for two hours for your actions. Am I understood?”
“Yes Elder Rose.”
“Yes Elder Rose.”
The siblings said with meek and ashamed bows of their heads. Rose nodded at this before walking back over to Herah.
“Now, to get back to what I was originally intending to do Herah.” Herah, having calmed down by this point, gave Rose a raised brow and curious look, “I’ve finally decided it’s time that me and you solve the issue that has risen between the two of us.” Rose said while looking at her student as professionally as possible. Herah responded to this professionalism with a smug grin and speech. “You mean the problem you have, plus, I figured our agreement to leave each other alone was good enough in that regard.”
“That was to never be the true solution. Just something so that I could finally catch fourth period up with all the other classes.” Rose’s cheeks gained a slight hint of red, “The endless debates and arguments between you and I was cutting into time I should’ve been using to teach your classmates.” Rose waved her hand towards the rest of the class before saying, “Now that I’ve caught them up I figure we nip what’s going on between us in the bud, peacefully.”
Rose could only snarl as Herah banged her head into her desk, the youngling’s body racked with laughter. Her laughter quickly switched into startled grunts, however, when attempting to pull her head up from her desk proved useless. With her horns now stuck in the desk, Herah began to attempt to pull them out which only made them dig in deeper. This continued for a bit until Herah (with a single forceful yank) managed to rip her horns from her desk. The entire time Herah had been attempting to remove herself from her predicament, everyone else in the room was laughing their asses off (excluding Rouge who just let out a few muffled chuckles).
Turning her head to glare at everyone in the room, a hush immediately fell over the laughing students. Herah then turned back to Rose and said,
“You want to solve this peacefully then do what I said, because I’m not changing my condition. The customs of the Cendreux, our people, determine that the only way we’re solving this “issue” is through obeying my demands as the superior Cendreux, or one of us defeating the other.”
“Herah,” Rose spoke curtly, “I would ask that you abandon you belief of superiority for a moment and open yourself up to some dialogue.”
Herah began to stare at Rose with a mock look of concern and began to speak to the teacher with a faux worried tone.
“By the sounds of it, you might’ve forgotten our customs.” Herah paused, giving Rose a faux worried expression, before shaking her head and throwing out her hand towards her teacher before continuing, “Nah. It couldn’t be that.”
Herah gave her head a bit of a tilt, a dramatized look of ponderous taking over her face before an equally dramatic smile and happy response followed.
“Oh! Maybe it’s not that, maybe you forgot exactly how this all went down. Well if that’s the case, allow me to refresh you on the events that led to my “belief” of superiority.”
Herah got up from her desk and stood right next to Rose, turning her head towards the elder and tilting it up a bit since Rose had her beat by a few inches in height. Now in position, Herah whispered condescendingly,
“The first day we met, I walked into this class and blew three rings of fire at you, the first step to Ash va s’installer. You know, the common greeting from one Cendreux to the other when looking to shape first impressions. You answered back by backing away in fear, not shock or surprise, but full on fear. I was left rather intrigued by this, I mean, you are my elder, you’re supposed to show me my place, assert your dominance, and ash state me as your equal, anything but what you actually did.”
Herah walked around to Rose’s other ear and began to whisper.
“Now, I understand you might’ve been surprised since, you know, younglings rarely ever perform Ash va s’installer when greeting an elder, especially in this day and age. I mean, the mere fact you’re an elder is usually confirmation enough to tell us to respect you.” Herah then pointed at herself, “But not for me. You see this school is filled with elders who do not deserve the respect and attention I would normally give to someone of that status. My “belief” as you so believe is non-existent. Because I don’t believe you’re beneath me.”
Herah then moved in front of her teacher, giving her a smile filled with a vicious delight, her next words were filled with such confidence that they might as well have been concrete,
“You. Simply. Are.”
Rose managed to maintain a calm and cool expression throughout Herah’s entire little talk, only breaking this with a slight twitch of her lips when Herah said her last bit. Taking a deep breath, Rose backed away from her student just enough to look her in the eye and said,
“Herah, we both know that what you speak of is of time long past. Nowadays we solve our problems in a much more civilized manner than what you propose, and as your elder it would be irresponsible of me to be fighting my students.” Rose placed a hand on Herah’s shoulder, while giving her a small tilt of her head and smile, “How about I propose a different solution?”
“No deal.” Herah said before flippantly knocking Rose’s hand off her. “We either do it my way or no way.”
This caused Rose to frown at her student and for two puffs of smoke to shoot from her nose. The teacher said nothing for a moment allowing for her eyes to wonder until landing on what Herah had been working on. Swiping the paper off of her student’s desk, Rose gave it a brief look over before nodding to herself.
“HEY!” Herah called out to the elder, “What are you doing with my work?”
Rose turned back to Herah and brought her other hand up to Herah’s drawing, her fingers meeting just at the top middle of the work-in-progress art piece.
“I don’t like the thought of what I’m threatening to do, but I feel this is my best chance to get you to listen. Now Herah, if you agree to listen to my idea and at least think it over, I will put your really well-drawn picture down and leave it at that. However, if you don’t,”
A small tear appeared near the top as Rose’s fingers slid past each other.
“That tear will get a lot worse.”
“Just comply with my demands Herah, I don’t want to make this any worse.”
“FUCK YOU!” Herah shouted, fire flaring from her mouth and nostrils.
Rose’s eyes narrowed at her student.
When Rose was done tearing, the tear reached down to the center of the paper.
“Hey,” Herah started, her voice and face doing a complete one-eighty, her tone now extremely soft and her head looking down, “If you really wanted to end this without violence you really fucked up.”
“Herah don’t you da-”
The sound of cartilage breaking was heard as Rose’s head snapped back from Herah’s fist. A stunned silence filled the room, as Rose slowly lowered her head back down to give Herah a snarl. Fire flared from her mouth and nostrils, as her voice took on an overtly hostile and serious tone.
“Two cycles I’ve dealt with shit,” Rose sighed in resignation, “Guess I’m really going to have to beat the respect into you.”
Finished with talking, Rose unfurled her light pink, leathery bat-like wings and launched herself towards Herah. Grabbing the youngling by her face, Rose forced the duo to fly through her whiteboard Herah first, launching chunks of the lesson plan every which way as the two smashed into the lockers outside of the class.
Not yet finished, the teacher took Herah’s head and smashed it into the lockers again which crushed the steel with little resistance. Rose then began to drag the youngling’s head through these same lockers, leaving Herah covered in a mixture of school supplies, lunches, and personal medication. This short trip through her peers’ storage units went on until they reached the cement wall that ended them. Once their, Rose punched Herah’s head through the cement and followed this up by grabbing the downed youngling by her leg and throwing her into another set of lockers that sat on the opposing wall, the metal caving in like carboard.
Rose refused to let up in her assault, dashing over to Herah (who had fallen out of the ruined lockers and stood up seemingly unaffected by the attacks) and drop kicking her down the hallway and into the fourth-floor stairwell. Herah crashed into the steps, leaving a few destroyed and the rest with the youngling embedded into them. Rose then flew over to the stairs and punched Herah down and through them.
A sound not unlike that of a bomb was heard as a dust cloud full of debris was launched towards its creator. Growing a thin sheet of skin over her eyes, Rose flew down and through this cloud with a boom of sound which shattered all nearby windows. As her body was launched towards Herah, the teacher flipped and raised one of her legs to slam into her student. Unluckily for Rose, Herah caught her foot and threw her through the wall just behind the now destroyed stairwell.
Herah, still laying atop the rubble that used to be a stairwell, rose to her feet. Nonplussed by her teacher’s attacks, the youngling began to clean her hair and face of the accumulated debris. Exhaling a small sliver of yellow flames, the youngling commanded them to surround her hands. With her hands now ablaze, Herah grabbed her own braided ponytail and began burning away all of the dust and useless school supplies that had settled into it. With her red hair now clean, Herah let her ponytail drop back to its original length and moved onto her face. The youngling finally ended her brief cleaning session by doing her clothes, leaving only a pile of ash and herself now looking like any other student heading to the cafeteria.
Speaking of which, Herah casually walked through the hole co-created by her and began to look around in search of the elder. Youngling and elder Cendreux sat in their seats, none really reacting to the hole that had been blown out the wall, the teacher that had flown through it, or the student who walked through it soon afterward. That was until a random student recognized the look of one and the scent of both.
“Hey! It’s Herah and Elder Rose. I told you that they would crack before even a fourth of a cycle was over, didn’t I Lach. Now pay up!”
Suddenly everyone cared about the fight, a mass exchange of money occurring as Cendreux either paid up or got paid. Herah even saw some other teachers and staff present swapping cash, each of them flinching away at the disgusted snarl that the youngling gave whenever they made eye contact. Herah quickly lost interest in the teachers and began to search for Rose once again in the chaos riddled cafeteria.
After a few seconds of searching, Herah (who had gotten a bit distracted by a pair of student’s that were arguing over how much one owed the other) found her attention drawn to the shouting of several Cendreux students to her right. Turning fully towards the commotion, Herah was not at all surprised by the sight of Rose flying at her with one of her legs reared back for a kick. Sweeping her foot through the air, Rose attempted to send Herah flying, however, the youngling easily caught the elder’s leg and threw her away like earlier. A few seconds later, Herah heard more screams coming from another direction and turned to face what her guesses led her to believe to be Rose once again.
This time, however, her guess was wrong.
As if her entire body was slapped, Herah went flying back through her still co-created hole with herself flat against one of the 9-foot cafeteria tables that filled her school’s lunchroom. Flipping both herself and the table while urpright sailing through the air, Herah managed to pull her horns (which had gotten stuck into it) out and land the table with only a slight bump. This now meant that Herah and the table was now speeding down the empty main hallway.
“Fight back!” Rose shouted in pursuit of Herah with blue fire that bordered on indigo bellowing from her nose and mouth.
Herah merely flared her nostrils, releasing a tiny spout of flames in response. The youngling then gave her elder a smirk and gestured for her to come at her. This got Herah a growl and a flamed head Rose in response.
As Rose flew towards Herah, the teacher blew fire into her hands and covered them much like Herah had earlier. As the elder landed upon the speeding table, Herah stared at the flames covering the woman’s hands and gave a snarky remark.
“Don’t tell me you forgot that burning me with fire is not a possibility, ash you can’t even do that to scaleless newborns.” Herah held her hands up, as if praising the sky and smiled with maniac joy while continuing her sentence in a frighteningly joyful voice, “Our ability to breathe fire is a gift from La Flamme herself, and our mistress would never give us such power without the ability to protect against it!”
Rose let out a snort of flames and swatted at Herah’s head, causing the youngling to bring up her arm in response. This caused Rose’s claws to bounce off Herah’s scales, and for her to then be grabbed by her shirt and punched in the stomach. Herah gave a slight stumble back as her clothing caught fire before grabbing Rose by the face and slamming her into the table. This action caused it to shudder and crack but not break apart. The elder responded to this by punching Herah in the wrist, causing the youngling to let go with a pained hiss and step back. This allowed the raging teacher to pounce upon Herah and knock her onto her back.
Now on top, Rose used her fist to smash Herah’s head through the table, causing the furniture to splinter and break apart. The still on fire Herah slammed headfirst into the floor, sliding forward as tile and flooring were uprooted. Rose jumped off and flew above Herah as this all occurred and, after a few seconds, slammed feet first into the youngling’s gut. As a result of this, Herah abruptly lost her momentum and breath, a crater forming where her body stopped. Rose jumped into the air again, and as the teacher did so, Herah instinctually used Rompu to disconnect the nerves on her stomach. Rose came back down and began to wail on Herah, hitting the student in the stomach with a flurry of blows, a boom released with each strike. Each punch Rose landed, dug Herah deeper into the floor, steadily uprooting tiles in the process. Rose then (once again) grabbed Herah by one of her legs and threw her through a set of double doors and into the gym.
A still flaming Herah skipped across the floor a few times before twirling about and landing on her feet, sliding a bit as the action was completed. Herah heard the flapping of large wings and looked up towards the gym door. What the youngling found was Rose hovering a fair distance from the ground, slightly hunched over and breathing heavily. The teacher used one of her flaming hands to clean her face, then pointed at Herah and haggardly said,
“You will respect me.”
With those words, Rose launched herself towards Herah, leaving a sonic boom in her wake. As soon as Rose was within arms reach, Herah caught her teacher by the throat not even allowing the elder to attempt to punch her.
The back wall of the gym exploded from the force generated by Rose’s sudden stop, launching bricks out into the student filled courtyard it was right next to. Shouts and screams could be heard as the younglings scrambled for cover.
Herah and Rose paid no attention to this, each of their own focused solely on each other. Rose, still being held by the throat by her student, continued to glare at Herah. Her rage bled through her eyes as they attempted to stare the youngling to death. Herah (her clothes no longer on fire thanks to Rose) glared right back at her teacher.
“Are you done?” Herah asked, “Because the only one of us who looks hurt here is you. And that’s just sad.”
Herah’s statement wasn’t wrong. Rose’s clothing was now covered in multiple tears and lots of dust, while the part of her face not covered by scales had cuts and bruises covering it. Herah gave a quick glance to the Rose’s torso and found the same to be true. In comparison, Herah looked none the worst for wear with the only part of her really damaged being her abdomen which was numbed at the moment.
Rose weakly clawed at Herah’s head, dragging a claw upon the youngling’s face scales. Exhaustion had finally caught up with her body but not with her will, defiance still in the eyes of the elder. Seeing this Herah couldn’t help but allow a smile to come to her face.
“That!” Herah started, quite literally beaming at Rose, “That right there is why I respect you!”
Rose gave Herah a bewildered stare, but the youngling just continued on not at all bothered by her teacher’s look.
“Your will far surpasses that of any of the other elders and younglings in this school, and I can respect that. You seem to believe that because I see myself as your better that there is no possible way for me to respect you.” Herah just shook her head, continuing on in her words,”But you’re wrong! I do respect you, I just don’t respect you because you’re an elder.”
Herah then backed away from Rose, stood at attention and exhaled a flaming flower. The flower was no bigger than the younglings fist and made of blue flames, with four petals creating a parachute-like design with the connecting purple stems that merged into one, creating a small opening with what looked like a red orb in its center.
“A wisp lantern?”
This question came from Rose, the teacher not exactly sure of why Herah summoned the religious flower. In response Herah crushed the flower, the blue flames shrouding her fist which the youngling then slammed into her chest. Once done, a shroud of blue fire sprung up and around Herah.
“As a devote follower and worshiper of La Flamme, I require three things.” Herah then brought up a single finger, “One, an unwavering faith.” Another finger was raised, “Two, a keen eye.” A final finger was raised, “And third, an eternally strong will.”
Herah than brought her hand down, loss the flame shroud, and smiled at Rose.
“You lacking in both the faith and keen eyeness. However, I do know you possess a strong will and seek to stand by your convictions, and anyone with that has earned my respect. After all, you’ve dealt with so much of my shit for nearly two cycles without ever attempting violence. You wanted to be as non-violent as possible in fact, and only gave up when I threw the first blow. To be honest, your threshold for dealing with annoying things far surpasses mine and most Cendreux I know.”
“Really?” Rose shook her head in confusion, before lashing out, “Then why did you wait so long to say this!?”
“Because I really wanted to fight you and prove to you that I was your superior. It is with this loss that I hope you get stronger and use it to one day rise to the point by which I may see you as an equal.”
“Oh okay then,” Rose said, sounding just a tad bit confused still, “So now what?”
“Now you know that I respect you, but-” Herah then balled her fist and slammed it into her hand, her smile suddenly becoming vicious. “You still owe me for the portrait.”
Ten minutes later, another teacher appeared having come to see how the fight ended. What they found was Herah standing next to a bloodied and unconscious Rose, with her scaly hands covered in the blood of said teacher. The conscious teacher then called the hospital, letting them know that Rose needed to be picked up. It was another ten minutes before an ambulance arrived and transported the elder to a medical facility. As Herah stood next to the destroyed gym, the youngling watched in mild amusement as the ambulance drove away, not at all worried for her teacher.
“Herah War Hej, would you please report to the principal office?” A loudspeaker partly buried in rubble sounded out from next to Herah, causing the youngling to groan and began her walk to the office in question. After a brief trip down the destroyed hallway, Herah flew herself up onto the fifth floor and turned left into the office.
Once Herah stepped inside, the youngling found herself face to face with her black scaled and skinned principal, wearing his white suit and sitting in his white leather chair with his tail resting comfortably on his lap.
“Noir, you asked for me?”
Herah’s brash tone and completely relaxed stance caused one of Noir’s eye to twitch. Noir sat forward and brought his arms in front of him, glaring at Herah as this was done. After a bit of Herah staring back him unimpressed, Noir looked away from the youngling with a sigh. The elder then turned back to the student and began to speak.
“Young Hej, I know you know why you’re here, and we both know how this all began. So, let’s skip right to what I need to get out of the way, why don’t we?” Noir said, with Herah simply giving her head a lazy nod.
“I understand that you and Elder Rose got into a fight that left a bit of wreckage, bit being an understatement. So, I’ll be going over the damage you two manage to create.” Noir then took out a moderately thick folder and opened it. Herah’s brow rose, feeling a bit surprised at the fact someone managed to record all the damage they had created that quickly.
“On the third floor, where the least damaged was created by the way, you two managed to create a hole that had a diameter of ten feet and was six inches deep in a fact reinforced brick wall. You then managed to cave in and wreck fifty lockers, forty of which you apparently had your head smashed through, that were made of fact reinforced steel.”
Noir paused and flipped to another page before continuing.
“We then move onto to the stairwell and windows you two destroyed, a combination of fact reinforced rebar, concrete, and glass. But for you two they might’ve as well have been paper, since it’s currently spread across the entirety of the first floor.”
Noir paused once again this time to massage his forehead before continuing his reading of the report.
“Speaking of the first floor, you managed to create a hole in the wall of the cafeteria and-”
“I co-created that hole.”
Noir only stared at the youngling in confusion, seeing this Herah continued.
“I co-created that hole. You said “you” created that hole. It was a collaborative effort between me and Rose.”
Noir merely rubbed his forehead again and continued his overview of the damage created.
“Anyway, after the cafeteria wall, which was made of proven bricks, had a hole with a diameter of fifteen feet “co-created” by you, a cafeteria table of plywood reinforced so heavily with facts that it might as well have been five hundred pound steel table, is now splintered apart and spread throughout the hallway.”
Noir flipped to another page.
“Speaking of the hallway, while the entirety of it isn’t destroyed, over a hundred feet of tiles are uprooted and stabbing into all the lockers, walls, and even the ceiling near it. And that crater, wow just wow, an eight-foot-deep crater that managed to create twenty feet worth of damage.”
Noir then flipped to the final page.
“Finally we get to the gym, the place in the school most specially built to deal with large amounts of physical activity, which had the entirety of the back wall destroyed, which was made of even more heavily proven bricks than the cafeteria wall.”
Herah watched Noir close and set the folder down, before turning his attention back on the her.
“I tell you all of this because this is your most destructive, in control, incident yet. All of this damage caps out at about,” Noir paused for a moment to make sure the number was right, “2.9 million dollars. We’re not funded by our government and this school isn’t made of money!”
Noir finished, his anger finally getting the best of himself. Yet even with his anger, Herah didn’t look the least bit ashamed about anything that had happened. In fact, the youngling looked completely unfazed.
“You’re acting like you can’t have the geology class fix it free of charge, plus I haven’t caused the school that much damage.”
In response to this, Noir reached under his desk and took out a stack of papers that had to be at least five feet.
“This is recordings of all the damage you’ve caused to this school, just this cycle. If I added the last cycle to it, the stack would break through our roof.” Noir then leaned over his desk and glared at Herah, “Herah you can’t keep doing this.”
“Doing what? Fighting?” Herah asked with zero sense of actual confusion.
“Don’t act smart with me child!” Noir replied sharply, “Your adherence to old traditions and practices has been the cause of many headaches for me and damage to this school building!”
“Well someone has to preserve our traditions and teachings of the past!” Herah shouted back, slamming her hands into Noir’s desk, “Since most of you seem intent on just being rid of it!”
“We are abandoning that part of our people, our society for a reason!” Noir screamed before slamming his own hands onto his desk, the wood cracking at his power. “We are in an age of change, and whether you like it or not the time for actions like yours is nearing its end.”
“It only ends if we all abandon it, and I don’t plan on doing that any time soon!” Herah leaned in towards her principal, green fire now spilling from her nose, mouth, and ears.
“The age of the Gardien de feu ended long ago” Noir said, leaning in towards Herah till there was practically no space between their faces, “We moved on from La Flamme and towards a new and better life.”
“You disgust me,” Herah said while shaking her head no, “Cendreux like you will always make me admire the strength and love of our mistress. To be able to deal with your bullshit and your weakness in faith.” Herah scoffed, “Well weakness in general really. That’s why even with all the problems I’ve caused you, that the student body has caused you, you’ve yet to really do shit about it.”
Noir gritted his teeth before leaning his head away from Herah’s and saying,
“Well, I’m about to do something if you don’t convince me otherwise in a quick second.”
“What the ash do you want me to do?” Herah asked with a stony glare while also stepping back a few feet.
“Tell me why I should keep you here.”
Each word was said deliberately and drawn out, making it clear that this was Herah’s last chance. All the youngling did was raise her chin, look down on Noir, and give him her honest answer.