Chapter 5: A Saturday To Remember Part II
Ash checked his PDA as he rode his longboard. He had left hours ahead of the time he and Tuvira agreed on since, apparently, she was going to spend time with Cindy (Cinder). If it were anyone else, Ash would’ve joined in, but he saw through her, so he was sure Tuvira did too. Yet she didn’t seem to mind; in fact, Ash had a feeling Tuvira derived some sort of sick pleasure from knowing Cindy wanted something from her.
So without any stars out, the only thing that could relax Ash was a good brawl. And that’s why after eating a quick breakfast, Ash ended up at the gymnasium. Where Ms. Sparkfang—still in her teaching uniform—was dueling two Kobold Lords within Arena’s Domain, which was the same place Ash had fought that Baal. Turns out the Dragon Arena loved duels so much their Star was made for fighting.
“Ohoho! Why if it isn’t my young Spitfire.”
Ms. Sparkfang turned her back on the two armored lizardmen, who Ash truly felt sorry for. Not even he would disrespect a strong opponent like that.
“What are you doing here? Today’s your day off.”
“Hey there, Sensei,” Ash said with a quick bow. “I do have plans for today, but I kind of left early by accident.”
Ms. Sparkfang laughed at her pupil’s attempt at a lie. “Oh, Young Spitfire, you’re a funny one even early in the day.”
“Alright, you got me. I got into an argument with Lissandra.”
“Yup, the third one of the day actually….”
Ash’s words trailed off as he watched the Kobold Lords charge her, having enough of being taken lightly. A part of him wanted to warn Ms. Sparkfang, but he knew she’d be fine and that the Kobold Lords were running into a trap. After learning more about fighter instincts, Ash realized that compared to everyone else he’s met, there was no sizing up Ms. Sparkfang. She kept it all hidden within her refined manner until she needed to unleash it all into a single point like her Fangs.
“Ouh-là-là, short-tempered beasts aren’t you. Only lasting 46.87 seconds before losing yourselves. I am ashamed to call you distant cousins.”
Ms. Sparkfang blocked both of their cleaver strikes without unsheathing her second blade needing just one Fang to hold them back. Then for a split second, Ash felt her killing intent, the one of a sleeping beast who lazily opened her eyes, stunning the two Kobold Lords as they knew their time was up. And with her rapier sheathed, Ms. Sparkfang looked over at Ash as if he was a snack still hungry after the unsatisfying meal of the felled Kobold Lords.
“I hope you stand a better chance than these two.”
“You do realize just one of those things can wipe out an entire class of trainees, right?”
“So, I expect more from my protégé. Lissandra could kill both easily.”
“She has a fire-breathing sword!”
“And you have your….”
Ms. Sparkfang paused to let Ash know that he better have a name for his steel blade as she was the one who told him that all weapons should have names. For knowing one’s name is the start of the commitment of trust. And a warrior should trust their blade as it was a two-way street. Luckily after thinking about it for the past couple of days and with some ideas to give it some more punch, like Lissandra’s Ignis, Ash came up with a name.
Ash drew his blade and felt her joy from being within his grip. Ms. Sparkfang had even left the domain to give it a closer inspection, where she raised an eyebrow.
“Yup, since I got her from royalty and she has the thorns of a rose. Though I haven’t gotten a chance to add that last part.”
“Yeah, my sword is a girl. Got a problem with that?”
“None at all. My Fangs would love to have a dance.”
“I don’t know three’s a crowd.”
“I wasn’t asking.”
Ash swallowed whatever was in his throat when Ms. Sparkfang grabbed his shirt’s collar and lifted him off the ground with one hand.
“You need to learn how to fight opponents who are stronger than you and wield multiple weapons. Since you’re too weak to balance two blades at once.”
“If it was a rapier and dagger, like you, that would be easy.”
“But you don’t want weapons like mine.”
“Of course not….”
Ms. Sparkfang, for a brief moment, woke up the sleeping beast within her as she threw Ash into the domain. To be honest, she would normally go easy on her students, especially when they reminded her of who she used to be. She just had a soft spot for weaklings who were hungry, but after receiving a request from the Cardinal himself to whip this Human into shape. Well, how was she supposed to say no to the Dragon’s appointed messenger? Though it still surprised her how accurate the Cardinal’s divinations were.
“Ash being on time. If that isn’t the Dragon’s will, then what is.”
Ms. Sparkfang laughed to herself as she entered Arena’s Domain with the settings tweaked a bit. Just so that Ash wouldn’t lose consciousness after their battle was done. He should enjoy be allowed to enjoy his day off after all.
Tuvira, having spent the morning with Cinder, was glad to see her leave, especially after that rude comment she made. Who was she to think that Ash would turn down her offer? Anyone with eyes would be able to see they were clearly in love, and he would say yes to her no matter what. If that’s what she wanted to do after pretending to be her friend, then she would just have to prove to that whale that her sponge was all dried up in favor of her breasts.
“Hehehe, yeah, I’ll call her whale—”
“Sorry I’m late,” Ash said, arriving just in time to startle Tuvira out of her skin.
“D-don’t sneak up on me! You-you goblin shark!”
Tuvira ran up and began to hammer her fists against Ash, who simply laughed at her cute display. He was happy that Cinder didn’t take away her energy as he planned to enjoy this date to the fullest. Not that Tuvira had called it a date, but Ash called it how he saw it and what he saw was a short girl in a black gothic dress as if she was about to attend a funeral.
“What is it, my prince?” Tuvira said, taking a pause from beating Ash’s chest.
“Isn’t that a little formal for a walk around the Mall?”
“Well… that whale said I should wear something different from my usual, especially since I was going to be alone with a guy.”
“I can’t believe it, but I agree with Cindy. Wearing something different was the way to go, but uh, isn’t that hot—and did you just call her whale?”
“Yes I did. Because of those giant water balloons she carries around.”
Tuvira squeezed the air imagining Cinder’s breasts, but that’s what let her notice how torn up Ash’s clothes were, along with the various scratches and bruises. He had got into a fight!
“Hmph! You’re one to talk about style. Look at you all beat up.”
Ash scratched his head as his injuries should’ve been way worse after the butt-kicking he had received from Ms. Sparkfang, but she had changed the domain to reduce the strain on his body. Let’s just say that Ash probably shouldn’t even be breathing, but by the grace of Dragons, he was alive. Though Tuvira didn’t need an explanation, she simply grabbed his arm and licked her lips.
“It’s like you want me to bite you, masochist.”
“Where did that come from!”
“Thank you for the food—Chomp!”
Ash immediately felt a million times better having his wounds healed, but now he had a new problem: Tuvira didn’t let go. So he came up with a new idea.
The Mall was a huge place to the point that calling it a mall was an understatement. It was closer to an entertainment district where there were multiple buildings, big and small, from the latest clothing stores to the finest diners populated by prospecting, current, and graduated students. It could have been considered a city of its own, but it was dubbed the Mall since it was a great place to recuperate from the rigor of school. Yet one of its flaws was the lack of transportation—something about forcing students to exercise—but Ash could circumvent this with his trusty board.
“Hang on tight, little Princess. Your prince is about to find you a new wardrobe.”
Ash had a crazed smile on his face that made Tuvira hold onto his arm for dear life as he kicked off on his longboard, swerving past groups of people who only saw a blur of grey and cyan.
Though as time went on, Tuvira eventually released her hold on Ash’s arm and opted to hang off his back, amazed at how her prince carried them on his mount. Usually, when the wind howled in her ears, it came with darkened skies and drowning rain, but for once, the sky was clear filled with sunshine. No longer did she smell stale water. Instead, it was replaced by the salty scent of the sea. It reminded her of home, which was all she could think about as she snuggled deeper against Ash’s neck.
“We’re here,” Ash said, stopping in front of a store named Blackfire Rocks.
“What is this place?”
“I’ll show you if you come off my back.”
Tuvira reluctantly let go of Ash’s neck and went back to looking up at him. She missed them being at eye level already, but that thought vanished the moment he took her hand and they walked into the dimly lit store.
“Hey, mind if I leave my board in the rack?” Ash asked as he did not want to carry it around the store, not while he had to hold onto Tuvira, which felt more natural than he expected. It was comforting.
The cashier looked up, surprised as no one had ever asked to use it before. “You must be the new Numan on campus. Go ahead. Not like the Dragonoids have any use for them.”
With that, the cashier went back to working with other customers leaving Tuvira and Ash alone to browse through the various apparel. Most of the clothing had an edge to them that simply couldn’t be found anywhere else. Ranging from fishnets and spiked chokers to plain tees. Now Ash wasn’t a fashion expert by no means but judging by Tuvira’s sparkling eyes. He had chosen the right spot. He guessed right in thinking she was a Lolita.
“You really are a goblin shark hiding in the depths,”
“Or I just like the night aesthetic.”
“You know we’re going to be here all day, right?” Tuvira said as she started to pick out clothes.
“I hope not. Our PDAs just got loaded up, and I don’t want to spend it all in one place.”
“Don’t worry, my prince.” Tuvira gave Ash a broad smile that sent a shiver down his spine. “You’ll like what I have in mind. Hehehe.”
“Uh, what? We’re keeping this PG, right?”
Tuvira didn’t say a word, merely licking her lips as she stared at the various pieces of clothing, building an outfit that would turn heads. She already had her coming-of-age ceremony, as did Ash, so there was nothing wrong with something a little more provocative. Yet Ash was not ready for the beast he unleashed onto the world. Luckily, she only had one prey in mind.
Lissandra took a deep breath as she stood outside of the Headmaster’s office. It had been a while since she last saw her. Hopefully, that didn’t ruin their relationship. She would need it in order to change the rules for Ash, yet before she could even knock on the door, a voice spoke.
“How long are you going to keep me waiting? Come in, my child.”
The large double doors creaked open on their own, unleashing a wave of heat that would have cooked any normal person alive. However, to Lissandra, nothing could compare to Ignis’s flames which would forever be burned into her mind and branded onto her body.
“Ah, you survived. I guess you have grown up a little bit, haven’t you….”
And with the echoing steps of her boots against obsidian, Lissandra proceeded closer towards the desk made of the same black material. In fact, everything was a drab colorless void except for the figure that stood by the window watching the school from above. Instead of the usual black, the figure wore a bright red and white suit that matched her own. Yet there was a difference in the way they wore the same outfit. With a large dragon’s tail that laid across the floor, folded up dragon wings, horns more prominent than her own, and scales that only seemed to be around their hands.
“Yes, it has,” Lissandra responded. “The Grand Duelist taught me a lot. As did Ignis.”
Lissandra stood there stiffly enduring the current flames, but she wasn’t sure if she could take the next wave. Hopefully, she had forgotten all about that tradition—Oh Dragons.
“My sweet little niece, I’m so proud of you!”
In the blink of an eye, the Headmaster of the school: Astri Dragoon, went to hug her adorable niece, who was all grown up. Yet instead of receiving her flame charge with delight, Lissandra—within her Draconic State—chopped at her aunt’s forehead, shutting down their heartwarming reunion.
“Why is everyone’s response to love is to chop me on the head!” Mrs. Dragoon whined while rubbing her forehead, which didn’t even have a bruise.
“It’s because a hug from you is like touching the sun. We’d literally turn into ashes.”
“No you won’t. I’m controlling my powers, see.”
Lissandra stared at her aunt for any noticeable changes, and sure she managed to make the room a little cooler, but other than that, she was still in her Draconic State. Even after all this time, she still had no control over it. A part of Lissandra was disappointed, yet another part was just happy to see that she hadn’t changed. In fact, she laughed at how she was so worried before.
“Why are you laughing at your Auntie!”
“It’s just… I thought with the new position you’d be… I don’t know, scarier.”
“Oh, I can be scary. If you want.”
The Headmaster stood up with a narrowed gaze forcing Lissandra to immediately shake her head back and forth as it became so cold in the room that it burned her lungs to breathe. Yet once they softened and she smiled, Lissandra could gasp for air.
“Now, as punishment, come give me a hug.”
“Didn’t you hear me before—”
Not taking no for an answer, Mrs. Dragoon took her niece into her arms, embracing her with all of her stored-up love. Which only made Lissandra panic from being burned after going years without the sensation.
“Ouch! Auntie! It burns! Please!”
“Fine, fine. I’ve had my fun.” Mrs. Dragoon said, taking a seat at her desk but not before scooping up a chair for Lissandra with her tail. “Now, what brings you here? I know you didn’t come for a family reunion. Unless, of course you did, then I’d love the company.”
“Sorry Auntie, but I have a squad to take care of, which is why I’m here,” Lissandra said, taking a seat.
“Oh…” The Headmaster sighed, and her tail stopped making tremors. “Is it about the Human?”
“Yes, he’s currently failing Astrology because he can’t connect with the Stars. Since he’s a Human.”
“And? Isn’t this something more for Dr. Tochedgaze to handle, not the Headmaster of the school?”
“Well normally, yes. But he has insisted on keeping his grade low. Due to not being able to accomplish the task.”
“Ok? So what do you want me to do?”
“I want you to change the rules. If Humans are now allowed to be students within the Academy, then the curriculum should change in order to compensate for their lack of ancestry connection.”
“Hmmm.” The Headmaster folded her hands together and thought about it. Yet it only took her half a second to come up with the answer. “Denied. Now, if that’s all, you may leave. Good seeing you.”
With that, the Headmaster got up from her seat and stared down at the campus. Though Lissandra could not leave with just that answer, sure, her auntie was an airhead at times, but she had to have a reason to deny her reasonable request. Also, turning her back to a Princess of Fire just to stare at dots on the ground was insulting.
“Wait, I’m not leaving unless you give me a reason!”
“Did you just raise your voice at me?”
“Uh…” Lissandra didn’t know what to say as it just came out, and she couldn’t even apologize because her brain felt like it was going blank.
“Now, let me ask you this?” The Headmaster turned around, her face shrouded in darkness. “Nod for yes or shake for no. If you take longer than a second, you are to leave and never come back to my office, understood?”
“Good, now are you asking your Headmaster this question?”
Lissandra shook her head.
“So you’re asking your Auntie for her reasons?”
Lissandra nodded, to which Mrs. Dragoon simply sighed as she calmed down.
“First, you assume that Humans cannot connect to the Stars when that is just a baseless claim lacking any sort of evidence. In fact, there is more evidence pointing to the likelihood of Humans being able to commune with the Stars. They just so happen to never be given a chance to.”
Mrs. Dragoon placed her arm around Lissandra and began to lead her towards the exit without so much as a whimper.
“Second, do you really believe that I would change the rules for one student?”
Lissandra’s eyes widened at the revelation that Ash was the only Human student within the school. Was she just that unlucky?
“Oh, don’t act so surprised. What kind of parent would allow their child into a lion’s den all alone? Only idiots, that’s who.” Mrs. Dragoon laughed as her tail beat against the floor. “But the third and most important reason is that I’m sure my child told you he was not a Human but rather a Dragonoid without powers.”
At that, Lissandra finally opened her mouth and forced words from her throat. “H-how—”
“Do you really think anything goes on in my Academy without me knowing? My eyes see all. My ears hear all. Not to mention my sister told me the story the day it happened. Sounds like he really gave you a run for your money.”
“Yeah… but I still won.”
“Of course you did. The only thing that can step all over him is a woman.” Mrs. Dragoon giggled as the doors closed on Lissandra’s face.
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