Chapter 16:

Training Camp

Little Red Riding Witch

The kingdom of the Mythics stretched as far as the forest in the outside world allowed it to, which meant that despite being hidden from regular prying eyes, it had plenty of space to work with. After all, there was already an entirely working and established town when Lucy first came.

And so, it wasn’t so much of a surprise when the special camp that she was supposed to enter took a good chunk of land, even eclipsing her village in terms of area. However, most of the land was empty, and what replaced the normal houses were arrays of makeshift tents, barely enough for two people to fit in.

Even if she was suffering throughout her childhood years, it was still the first time Lucy had seen something unlike a regular house for a living quarter, and it didn’t take long for the young girl to let out a sigh of disappointment.

Before she could take her first step into the camp, however, a voice sounded from behind her.

“Not used to the outdoors, I assume?”

“Feall!” Turning around to see the familiar messy blonde hair and emerald-green eyes from the boy she had met the day before, Lucy replied with a big smile. “You’re up early!”

“Same goes for you too,” the young man let out a grin of his own. “The sun is barely up at the moment.”

True to his words, as the two shared their conversation, it was only at the break of dawn, with the leaves and grassy field still being dyed by the signature night blue.

“Hehe…” scratching her head in embarrassment, Lucy answered. “I couldn’t really sleep. I mean, it’s the first time I’m actually doing something for my own.”

“Same here,” Feall clutched his hand in excitement as he gazed towards the camp beyond the fence. “Just imagine, over there is the gateway to have our lives changed forever… I can’t shake off this feeling within me.”

“Tell me about it…” Lucy nodded to confirm, but soon turned to a teasing grin. “So? Think you can cast a spell without blowing yourself up now?”

The boy flushed for a second, but soon replied with a chuckle of his own. “What about you? Remember anything about yours?”

“Heh, I guess I walked…” Lucy tried to brush off the tease with a smirk, but their conversation was soon cut short by another voice calling out from afar:

“Hey! Who goes there?”

As the two directed their attention to the source of the voice, a figure of a girl around their age appeared before them. In a dimly lit atmosphere like the current scene, her short, fiery red hair, was akin to the sun rising itself. Unlike the other individual with the same kind of radiance, Queen Phoenix, however, the girl’s crimson was wild and fierce, giving off a feeling of being burned at any given time.

“Hi!” While Lucy was still hesitant, Feall quickly took a step forward and offered a handshake. With a glance at her uniform, he could figure out that she was also like them – a fellow trainee at the special camp. “We’re joining the Training Camp today. Please to meet you, Miss…”

The girl paused for a moment. She wasn’t sure who these strangers might be and what business they might have with the camp, but through her intuition, she could gauge their current combat prowess, and they were no match for her if they were to pull out anything funny.

So, she relaxed herself and replied to the handshake with a smile. “Meliae. And you two?”

“I’m Feall, and this is Lucy.”

“H-Hi,” upon being gestured towards, Lucy awkwardly raised her hand. It seemed like with other people, she still wasn’t too comfortable around just yet.

“So, you’re new huh?” Meliae didn’t seem to be bothered by Lucy’s shyness, fortunately. “Rare for recruits to appear with one another though. Are you siblings, perhaps? Or lovers?”

“W-What? N-No, it’s not like that!” The weight of those words was too much for Lucy to bear that her face became even redder than Meliae’s hair. “W-We just happened to come at the same time!”

Seeing her opposition’s predicament sent Meliae on a chuckling spree.

“Relax, relax, I kid.”

“O-Oh… okay…”

“What about you?” Feall asked. “You’re up awfully early.”

“Camp rules. Each day, a person has to be up early to do a round of patrol. It’s a way for us to further train ourselves too…”

Taking a deep breath, Meliae stretched out her arms and continued. “Though it’s not like I hate it. The morning air just seems right, you know.”

As the words left her mouth, the sun had risen just a tad higher, enough for Lucy to see further into the large training grounds and noticed the giant sundial in the middle of it all.

“Oh, we have a sundial?” Lucy pointed towards the object of interest.

“Yeah, that’s… Crap!” Meliae’s smile soon disappeared from her face as she realized the situation at hand. “I have to call the others!”

Without letting the other two ask, she ran straight to the middle of the grounds and took a deep breath once more. As Lucy and Feall still stood wondering what was going on, Meliae let out a booming shout like a lion’s roar:


Now? Lucy couldn’t help but thought as she reflexively covered her ears. However, it wasn’t the only surprising thing that she had experienced in the short timeframe.

Like a ravaging storm, a chaotic combination of light, heat, crackling, rumbling, and howling sounds filled the area. Flashes of all sorts of different colors appeared as if a rainbow had just touched the ground itself. Before Lucy could settle herself, on the grounds now were already a group of people, easily going up to hundreds, all lined up perfectly and did an equally accurate salute.

“Sir, yes, Sir!” The crowd blasted out in unison, which earned a whistle of respect from an impressed Feall standing outside:

“Who would have thought that Meliae was an instructor? I mean, she’s about the same age as us.”

“That’s because she isn’t,” from behind, a calm, stoic voice answered, and as Feall turned around to see for himself who the owner of that voice was, the young man was scared half to death.

“G-General Tempest!” Immediately doing a salute, Feall called out and soon freaked out when he saw Lucy still behaving as if nothing had happened. “Hurry and greet him too, Lucy!”

“Huh? Oh, right,” contrary to the boy’s frantic look, Lucy nonchalantly waved her hand. Sure, she knew that Tempest was a serious person, but from what she had seen of him when the two interacted, she didn’t think he was anything too bad. “Uh…”

“Within this camp, General is acceptable,” Tempest answered. At the last moment, however, the corner of his mouth moved ever so slightly, resembling a faint smirk. “Well, at least you have more manners than Aqua.”

“Hard to not beat that guy when it comes to attitude,” a shrug from Lucy, and Feall’s jaw was close to being dislocated.

“Lucy, you-”

“Oh, you weren’t there that day?” Tempest raised his brows in surprise. “This little one here is our new champion chosen by his Majesty himself. We’re already acquainted.”

The surprise was too much for Feall to handle that only gibberish could come out of his mouth. “I… You… She… Wha?”

“Well, anyway, let’s get you two going, shall we?”

“Y-Yes, Sir!”