Chapter 63:

Volume 3, Chapter 9: Battle of Archers

Heroes of the Past

The battlefield shifted to one full of tall rocks and rugged terrain. Jen took cover behind a rock. She fired an arrow which exploded in the air. A bright light filled the battlefield. Jen carried much more in her arsenal than she let on. Ichaival hesitated and Jen took advantage. She notched another arrow and fired. It lodged into Ichaival’s right arm. He grunted, grasping at the projectile.Bookmark here

Ichaival remained stationary. Wait, was he paralyzed? Ichaival removed the arrow from his arm using a portal, but remained afflicted. I was impressed by Jen’s strategy. She moved fast, wasting no time.Bookmark here

“He’s an idiot. He should have evaluated Jen’s movements before going ham,” Shan muttered, shaking his head.Bookmark here

“Jen’s arrows’ effect don’t last forever, right?” I guessed, watching Jen fire two arrows into the air.Bookmark here

“They have a time limit, but as you can see, it gives her the time to set up for devastating attacks. Felicity, Darryl will be unable to fulfill that promise of winning for you,” Shan smirked.Bookmark here

Felicity ignored him. Her eyes were glued on the battlefield, scribbling down words in her notebook. Ichaival was in a tough situation. How would he counteract the momentum building in Jen’s favor? Ichaival formed portals around him after the paralysis wore off. Such a strategy allowed him to repel any arrows Jen fired.Bookmark here

Ichaival moved toward one of his portals, transporting away. He arrived inches away from Jen. This might turn the tide. She lacked the weaponry to counter his blades. Yet she was ready, four arrows surrounding Ichaival and her. Ichaival fell right into her trap.Bookmark here

“Freakin….,” Ichaival said as the arrows released a foul, hazardous smoke.Bookmark here

Jen leaped back, firing three arrows, one after another. They struck him in the left and right arm. Ichaival created a portal in time, avoiding the third one. His movements turned slow and choppy. He hurled one of his blades at Jen, but it missed by a significant amount. Portals appeared behind Jen and blades flew at her. Finally a strong offensive maneuver by Ichaival, but would it work?Bookmark here

“He never learns, does he?” Shan commented, his eyes fixed on the rocks near her.Bookmark here

I saw the fletchings of several arrows struck into the rocks. Jen plucked her bow string and the same smoke from before seeped out. As before, Ichaival’s portals vanished. All of his blades dropped down to the ground with a loud clang.Bookmark here

“Impressive. She finally mastered it,” Tess complimented.Bookmark here

Jen closed the distance between Ichaival and herself. How would this be advantageous? At this point, I knew magical bull would occur. Ichaival, realizing the danger, made a portal. Jen smiled at his actions and then pulled back on her bow string with a single arrow. The arrow started flashing and Ichaival panicked.Bookmark here

Jen released the arrow. Ichaival collapsed midway, trying to reach his portal. She beat him to it, diving into it instead and avoided the large explosion occurring seconds later. Ichaival, caught in the blast, wiggled around in horror. When the bright light finally subsided, Ichaival lay on the floor motionless. He finally coughed out blood. Tess raised her right arm in the air, declaring Jen the winner.Bookmark here

“Darryl, are you okay? Do you require any medical assistance?” Tess inquired.Bookmark here

“No. That was unexpected. Congrats, Jen,” Ichaival stood up, clutching his stomach.Bookmark here

“Someone else can use Ichaival’s portals?” I asked Shan.Bookmark here

“Yeah, should be possible if he already set the coordinates. He probably assumed Jen wouldn’t pull off something like that. I’m impressed by her aggressiveness,” Shan nodded, glancing over at Felicity.Bookmark here

Why did he keep looking over at her? Whatever, that wasn’t my concern. Tess shut down the artificial dimension, checking on Ichaival one more time for any injuries. Finding nothing wrong, she returned back upstairs.Bookmark here

“Jen, good job. You really surprised me there with your fake out,” Ichaival complimented, inspecting his legs.Bookmark here

“It was nothing. I just watched a lot of matches and thought that was the best way to beat you,” Jen shook her head, deflecting the praise heaped upon her.Bookmark here

“What an exciting match! I got a lot of good material! Darryl, you lost, and I was rooting for you too! It’s only fair you accept my previous offer for the movies,” Felicity decided.Bookmark here

That logic made no sense. Shan held back his laughter, chuckling as he turned around. Ichaival looked at Felicity with a blank look. Jen started packing up, placing her bow into a case.Bookmark here

“I guess it’s fine as long as I’m not busy,” Ichaival agreed.Bookmark here

“Man, you’re never busy. You were just playing that game with me last week. Kristoph was there too. Don’t lie,” Shan interjected.Bookmark here

“Hey, what are you doing?” Ichaival retorted.Bookmark here

They bantered for awhile while Felicity stood by with a smile. Even at a disadvantage in close combat, Jen found a way to win. Witnessing that with my own eyes, I knew I could do the same in the future.Bookmark here

“By the way, if you need help with physics, then ask Tomo. She’s been personally taught by Tess,” Shan brought up all of a sudden, pointing at me.Bookmark here

“What are you….? I can’t help Ichaival with anything physics related. Just because Tess taught me a few things doesn’t mean anything,” I protested, shaking my head.Bookmark here

“You know vectors, right? This guy doesn’t even know them so you’re already ahead!” Shan argued.Bookmark here

“That’s dumb. Go ask Zhuyu or something. He’ll be a lot more help. I can’t believe this,” I sighed, fed up with Shan’s antics and realized something.Bookmark here

This must be how Ichaival felt when Shan or Zhuyu teased him. Man, this feeling sucked. Ignoring them, I walked over to Jen.Bookmark here

“Jen, I have a few questions for you,” I approached the archer.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Tomo, but I have to be somewhere soon. Do you mind if I answer your questions another time?” Jen said, picking up her weapon case.Bookmark here

“Okay, sorry for bothering you then,” I said.Bookmark here

“No, I apologize for not being able to answer your questions right now,” Jen shook her head, exiting the training room.Bookmark here

Ichaival and Shan continued arguing. Guess I should go home. Felicity waved as I headed toward the doors. She ran up to me with a beaming smile.Bookmark here

“Yuki, are you leaving?” she asked, spinning a pen in her hand.Bookmark here

“Yeah, there’s nothing left for me to do. I can’t exactly fight, but it was great to see Jen and Ichaival fight. Really informative,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Seriously, Darryl should have won. He’s probably under too much pressure. I’m sure he’ll pull off a win next time,” Felicity agreed, nodding her head.Bookmark here

I headed back down to my car. Oh, that’s right. Time for that damn CD again. Sighing, I entered my car, enduring the mind numbing soundtrack yet again. Yukie was inside the garage when I pulled in.Bookmark here

“Yukie, are you working on something in here?” I checked the work table.Bookmark here

“Yes. I realized the size of what I wanted to work on required more advanced tools. As such, I relocated down here,” Yukie answered, taking off her safety goggles.Bookmark here

“What do you need a blowtorch for?” I pointed at it.Bookmark here

“For welding metal parts. The calculations were a bit off, but I managed to create it to my liking,” Yukie answered, cleaning the table.Bookmark here

I wouldn’t pry too much for now. If she wanted to show me, Yukie would reveal it eventually. Dad wore an apron, checking a pot on the stove, inside the kitchen. That was a very rare sight.Bookmark here

“Yuki, dinner’s almost ready. Your mom will be late for dinner, she has overtime. It’ll just be the three of us,” Dad said.Bookmark here

After dinner, I checked my backpack, making sure everything was ready for school tomorrow. All my books and journals looked good. Sighing, I slept early, in preparation for the start of winter quarter.Bookmark here

Winter Quarter 2016 Week 1 MondayBookmark here

Someone shook me and I groaned. Damn, I couldn’t sleep in anymore. My body still hurt from last Friday too.Bookmark here

“Good morning, Yuki. Auntie told me to wake you up or else you’ll be late,” Yukie greeted.Bookmark here

I nodded, still not completely awake. I changed clothes and grabbed my backpack. Well, back to the school grind. Mom and Yukie ate breakfast in the dining room.Bookmark here

“Yuki, are you excited for school to start? You can start building up those relationship points with all the boys. I’m just kidding, but it would be nice if something like that did happen,” Mom chuckled.Bookmark here

I ignored her, jamming breakfast into my mouth. Once finished, I sprinted to the bus stop, seeing the bus arrive. Tapping my university ID on the card reader, I headed toward the middle, noticing Shan.Bookmark here

“Oh, hey Tomo,” Shan greeted.Bookmark here

“Shan, you have class at 9:30 too?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, so this is where you live. It’s pretty close to my friend’s house,” Shan commented, staring down at his phone.Bookmark here

“You live near Zhuyu, right?” I recalled.Bookmark here

“Sort of, so does Darryl and a bunch of other people,” Shan gave a slight nod.Bookmark here

Shan finally glanced up from his phone, proceeding to stare out the window. The conversation ended there. I was really not looking forward to classes yet. Why couldn’t winter break be longer?Bookmark here

Shan and I got off the bus, heading to the underground transfer station. Shan said nothing the entire time. Guess he didn’t feel like talking or was just being reserved. At the bottom, we ran into another familiar face.Bookmark here

“Lau!” Shan called out.Bookmark here

“Shigetzu and Tomo! How are you guys this morning?” Shui greeted.Bookmark here

“I’m alright. Have you been playing recently?” Shan asked, taking out his phone.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I’m still missing….,” Shui responded.Bookmark here

They discussed a phone game, one I was not familiar with. A bunch of bright jewels appeared on their screens. Oh, that one. I stood there, spacing out, until the train arrived. Shui sat near the back, pulling out papers from his backpack. Shan and I sat a few seats behind him. I pulled out Yukie’s book. I was ten pages in, before noticing Shan stare at Shui. He had an inquisitive, but also amused look on his face.Bookmark here

“What’s so funny?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“See that girl over there?” Shan pointed at a girl standing near Shui’s seat.Bookmark here

“Yeah, what about her?” I answered.Bookmark here

“She’s been staring at Lau for the past five minutes. And the seat next to Lau is free, but she hasn’t sat down,” Shan explained.Bookmark here

“I don’t get it,” I said.Bookmark here

“Who is that girl? I mean, she just keeps looking at him, and not doing anything. What’s going on?” Shan pondered.Bookmark here

“Is that it? I mean, can’t she be some random person who happens to be looking in his direction?” I proposed.Bookmark here

“Nah, pretty sure she’s been staring at him. She peeked over at what he was doing. I’m surprised he hasn’t noticed yet,” Shan said with confidence.Bookmark here

Shan snickered afterwards, tapping his phone. I observed Shui to confirm his prediction. She definitely was staring at him, rather intently too. No one sat next to Shui, yet she continued watching from the distance. Shui fell asleep after awhile and the girl’s expression grew cheerful. Okay, things were weird now. At this point, Shan laughed and I returned back to my book.Bookmark here

At the university stop, the girl jumped back in surprise when Shui walked past her. She gave a low bow which Shui didn’t notice. Shan and I exchanged glances.Bookmark here

“What? I didn’t notice anything,” Shui remarked when we explained the situation.Bookmark here

“Do you know her?” Shan asked.Bookmark here

“No. I had no idea,” Shui shook his head.Bookmark here

Shan and Shui discussed the issue further. I departed from the two, heading toward the large lecture hall near the fountain. I headed to the classroom location Felicity texted me. She was already chatting with a few other girls. I assumed they were new friends she just made, considering her impeccable ability to socialize.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I’m so glad to see you again,” Felicity greeted, lifting her backpack up from the seat next to her.Bookmark here

“I just saw you yesterday, why are you so excited?” I replied, sitting down.Bookmark here

“Because I finally have someone I know in my classes. Everyone else has been taking all these different classes,” Felicity explained.Bookmark here

“Right,” I said.Bookmark here

I pulled out my notebook, searching around for a pencil in my backpack. Felicity set up her tablet on the table, watching a business report. Looking around, I noticed Kristoph five rows ahead of us. He looked pretty tired, not ready for class at all. I understood that feeling. He placed his head on the table, falling asleep.Bookmark here

“What are you looking at, Yuki?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“Kristoph, he’s sitting right there,” I answered.Bookmark here

“Oh, let’s ask if he wants to sit with us,” she suggested.Bookmark here

“I don’t think we should,” I shook my head.Bookmark here

“It’ll be fine. I’m sure he won’t mind. Actually, I don’t have his number. I’m pretty sure you don’t either, right? Never mind then. I’m sure we’ll see him again anyways,” Felicity realized.Bookmark here

When the professor arrived, Kristoph woke up, taking out a notebook and tablet. Throughout class, he only jotted down a few notes, but it was the first day so most of it was review. Felicity, on the other hand, copied the slides verbatim. She appended her own notes onto it as well. Quite a model student. When class ended, I stretched and reached for my phone.Bookmark here

“Yuki, do you have class after this?” Felicity asked, folding up her tablet.Bookmark here

“I have an hour gap, but I’m not sure what to do yet. I might head to the library,” I answered.Bookmark here

“Long and the others are in their usual place. Why don’t you hang out with them for awhile?” Felicity mentioned.Bookmark here

“Might be a good idea,” I decided.Bookmark here

“I’ll see you later. I have class, but I’ll try stopping by later,” Felicity revealed.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.