Y: The Tides Are In Our Hearts
“That’s your choice? Huh.”
Iris’s voice was full of doubt and surprise.
Miieie didn’t blame her. Iris had never seen her in a fight and all she really had to go on was her personality and where she was from as some kind of measure. Perhaps she saw her as a sword user or something else? It was an interesting idea for sure, but with only a week to train with a weapon, it felt like the only choice Miieie could show some aptitude with. She wasn’t going to become a master swordswoman in a week.
She looked at Iris with her fists pressed against her hips and with an even larger smile on her face, as if she was bragging about her choice.
“As for me, I’m–”
“Alright, girls. What do you have for me?”
Iris and Miieie snapped back to their left and there stood Instructor Lamia, now armed with a clipboard instead of a sword.
“Oh. Hello, Instructor.”
“Do either of you need any help? I know what it’s like being the commoner girl in class, so if you need me to explain anything…”
“Oh.” Lamia’s smile dropped by Iris’s sudden remark, “So, you’ve got it handled then.”
“...sor-erm, yes.” The blue-haired girl coughed, “I’m pretty sure we’re ready. I do have a question, though.”
“How detrimental will it be if we… don’t have any combat training?”
It was a question Miieie very much had been wondering the very same about. Iris was from the city, so where Miieie had experience running into monsters it seemed like it was more likely that Iris had to dodge a phaetonmobile than deal with a pack of wolves. But that begged the question, if she had absolutely no experience in fighting, why did she apply for a combat school in the first place?
“Well,” The instructor paused, “It’s going to be tough. Your peers won’t make it easy.”
“But it’s viable.”
“I mean, yeah, sure. When I came to this school I only had a crappy toy sword. It all comes down to how smart and determined you are. So don’t worry about it.”
A wave of relief surged through Miieie’s body as she expected it did for her friend. Given the run-in at the dueling circle, she figured that there was going to be some kind of skill gap that she was going to have to get used to. If it was going to be a challenge going up against people then it was going to be a challenge. She was ready for that. She didn’t see Iris as a person who was ready to quit because things got hard, either.
“Mhm. So you said you two have figured out what you want.”
The two of them nodded.
“I think I’m choosing a gun.”
A gun? Miieie’s eyes widened with glee as she thought about Iris’s choice in weapon. It fit her perfectly. It was a relatively modern re-invention and it didn’t require as much training as a rapier or scythe or anything more traditional that took years of grueling training to master. She had never seen one before in her life! She wondered what it’d be like fighting Iris in the dueling circle? What a cool choice.
“Sleek. Modern. Nice.” Lamia smirked as her eyes moved to Miieie, “What about you, class rep?”
As the instructor’s attention turned to Miieie, the green-haired girl couldn’t help but be giddy. Maybe it was dumb to be excited to show off what she had picked to the teacher, but Miieie wasn’t exactly the most composed person.
Miieie turned, facing a display case for the weapon that had caught her eye. “This one.”
And there they were.
Combat Bracers. Gloved weapons that emphasized brawling and translating unarmed combat to something that could be included in a guardian’s arsenal.
It only felt natural to select the thing that would take the least amount of training–the thing that Miieie felt a connection with. It just seemed like the perfect, only fit. It made sense that she would end up where she started: punching monsters. The instructor’s response, however, was not one she would have expected. There was no assertion that her choice was interesting or cool, but instead–
“You’re a troublemaker, aren’t you?”
–she was being attacked!
“N-n-no?!” She stammered, suddenly ending up on the defensive. “I-I’m not!”
“Don’t worry.” The instructor leaned in, closer to her ear. “I was a troublemaker, too.”
Miieie felt awkward and stiff, her confidence immediately being wiped away in one moment, from one single barb.
Instructor Lamia laughed as she moved away from her ear, jotting down the duo’s choices for weapons. A redness filled Miieie’s face as her mind nearly collapsed trying to figure out what exactly her instructor’s comment meant.
“I don’t get it.” She mumbled, confused.
Iris sighed as she rolled her eyes. “This is not how I envisioned our first day in class.”
As the two girls moved to meet back up with their other classmates, Iris’s remark felt like the understatement of the century.