Legend of the Dragon Chapter 2: A new life (2)

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Turning around he is surprised to find a familiar face.
"You are…"

With a big smile on her face she replied.
"Hey there. Surprised to see me?"

Once again he felt ensnared by her shining green eyes. So bright and clear as if they could pierce right through his darkness.
"I certainly didn't expect to meet you again so soon."

"Haha, I hope you don't mind~"

Delighted the headmaster joined the conversation.
"Oh so you two already made acquaintance?"

She thought about the incident and chuckled.
"Yes, we had a funny little meeting on our way here. I would say it turned out well."

"Good good. Seems like you get along just right. Ashnie, won't you show him around the school?"

"With pleasure. Let's go."
She took his hand and pulled him along with her pace as they both left the room.

After they were gone, the headmaster clapped and rubbed his hands joyfully.
("That boy... he's hiding something")



As they walked around the school Ashnie gave a joyful introduction of the various places and buildings on the school ground. When he noticed her cheerful voice as well as her short little skips she made while she showed him around, he was almost swept away by her near euphoric attitude. Once they reached a wall covered with pictures of alumni of the school, Ashnie became silent and just smiled while she looked at a particular sign.


-29th Generation-
"Soena Amora"


("Soena Amora... why does that name sound familiar...")
As he wondered about her identity he asked:
"Is that someone you know?"

With a little crack in her voice she replied:
"It's my mother's name."

"...my condolences."

"Hmm. It's fine. She always told me she had no regrets, even though she died so young."

When he heard that sentence it triggered a memory in his mind.
(-"...is alright, my dear... I have no regrets..."-)
He shook his head strongly as he tried to dismiss the sudden image.
("What's wrong with me today...")

As she noticed his agitation Ashnie turned back to him and put her hand against his chest. Suddenly he felt a calming influence on his mind and the ring that she pressed on him. After he settled down he asked her:
"Is that a special ring?"

She pulled back her hand to her own chest and replied:
"Yes, it's my mother's ring. She told me when I was still small I would always stop crying whenever she held the ring close to me. After her death the ring became something like a lucky charm for myself to calm my mind. And it seemingly works for you, too."

When he heard the background of the ring, he suddenly felt a notion of sentiment and jealously.
"...it is a wonderful memento."

"Say…" she walked a circle around him,
"...I've looked into your file out of curiosity. I thought there would be some explanation to how you could so easily ace our entrance tests but instead there are mostly blank files. Even your parents are not mentioned in particular."

He kept silent for a second before he decided to answer her:
"...my parents both died while I was still young. As I don't have too much knowledge about them, I left things out.

As she heard his answer, she realised what she just did. "I'm sorry to hear that. Listening to me talking about my ring must have hurt."

"...no, don't worry. They did leave me something too.
"Is that so?", she asked with a little more joyful tone again. "May I ask what that is?"

He hesitated a bit. He wasn't too keen on revealing more information about himself. Yet, somehow, he didn't feel like refusing her request.
"...they left me a few of their techniques."

"Techniques? As in your families fighting style?"

"Indeed. Not that interesting, right?"

"I disagree", Ashnie denied him firmly. "I think it is a wonderful gift. Whether you can use or like the techniques may not matter, but the time you spent learning them from your parents, are something that will stay with you.

With a little smile he responded: "...I never thought about it that way."

"How about it? Would you allow me to see what you have inherited?"

"...alright."
Like an explosion going off he showed her the full extend of his Dragon Step, stepping and circling around her. As he reappeared back in his starting position, he looked at her waiting for her response."


To his surprise she was completely calm and only commented:
"Are you hurt somewhere?"

Now cautious due to her reaction he responded:
"...in a certain way, yes. What made you think that?"

She put her index finger against her chin as she looked around herself.
"Your steps looked kind of... imperfect. Except for the actual step itself, everything else feels unrefined, unbalanced. Your Aura is leaking all around the place, moving against your movement like you don't have full control."

Almost frightened he backed off, slightly prepared for a fight. Like a barrier he created a space around him where he would immediately react to any threat.
(....this is bad. Did I just now reveal too much?")
"Tell me... is there anyone else as strong as you in this school?"

As she looked back at him, his face instantly turned pale. Without him able to notice, not even sense the slightest of movement, she stepped into his defense zone. In that very moment he froze: he just couldn't comprehend what was happening. No matter how much he weakened, no matter how careless he was, no one with killing intent should be able to get that close without his reaction. Yet, she did.

Suddenly she started laughing.
"Of course there are stronger students than me, not to mention the teachers. I'm not even that strong to begin with."

Looking at her arms crossed behind her back, her bright and earnest smile and the way she closed in to him, he finally recognised the reason he didn't notice her movement: she simply didn't have any ill intentions. Like a butterfly she moved in and out of his zone, not harming nor bothering, which made him neglect the need to protect himself from her.
As he acknowledged her without any intentions to harm him, he began to relax.
"What do you mean you aren't the strongest? I thought you were the student council president?"

She pointed at her emblem and explained:
"Yes I am the student council president. As such I have leadership over the student organisations and I'm the direct representative for our school and students. But while I'm not exactly weak, I'm not that strong either. And I don't need to be that strong. Because if any student or outsider were to cause trouble, we have the student body to take care of it."

"Student body?"

"The student body is a separate organisation next to the student council with similar authority. The members are specially suggested and chosen. They are also granted to have some privileges for handling the school's problems, for example the allowance of using their Prana and Gear on school ground."

"Allowed usage of their Prana? Wouldn't that be easy to get out of hand?"

"Well, you have to remember that the problems they often take care of directly involve the improper use of Prana. As that we naturally allow them to use their own against these troublemakers."

("So the students hold quite much of the power here… or rather, they are meant to take care of themselves?")

"Tell me", she looked at him with a very curious expression, "did you release your Prana yet?"

("Prana")
As he heard her question an image emerged in his mind: a red storm, red thunder. A single man in a black outfit holding two swords. His face hidden by a mask, his black blades clad in the fierce, crimson thunder while he stood on top of a pile of dead bodies.

"...no, I haven't. I'm not sure whether I ever will."

"Is it passed down in your family? Though with your current skills, it really isn't something to worry over."


He looked at the sky and thought about it. With her patiently waiting for his answer, he responded:
"My father was the first one in both families to not have a Prana. Except for him I don't know of anyone else."

"Hmm, so both chances are equally reasonable~"

As he noticed her expecting look, he decided to add a bit to the conversation.
"Did you release your Prana yet?"

She grabbed her ring and thought of her mother.
"I didn't release it yet, either, but I don't have any worries. My mother didn't have a Prana either and she did just fine."

A bit surprised he continued:
"You became council president without your Prana?"

"Well, as I said, my position doesn't necessarily reflect my battle strength. Similar to my predecessor I was chosen for my strategic and governing abilities. Funnily he was also someone without a Prana initially."

"So that's how it is", he said. "What's he doing now? Did he graduate already?"

"Yes he did. He graduated early as a third-year student, which is quite the achievement for our school."

"How did he manage to do that?"

"Well, as I said, he didn't have a released Prana initially. About six months before his timely graduation he managed to finally release his Prana and instantly dominate every student in his year. I never actually saw him use it, but his Prana is supposedly the SS Rank Halo, hailed as one of the five cornerstone abilities of the Holy Dragon Order. Combined with his superior strategic capabilities he made an excellent candidate to become the leader of a Dragonar Division and so he was pulled out of school to take up his position. Even more impressive is the fact that he received a War Title along with his early promotion..."

Irritated he interrupted her:
"How could he receive a War Title? It should be impossible to earn one during peacetimes."

"To be honest I don't know the exact reason how it happened either", she admitted puzzled. "But it was confirmed that he received one."

Confused by this feat he got more curious.
"Do you know what title he received?"

Stopping to think for a second she looks up to the sky.
"If I remember correctly... his War Title is 'Radiant Dawn'."

"Sounds like a fitting name..."

As they finished their walk they ended up at the front of the main building. Ashnie closed her eyes as she felt the last breeze, listening to the rustling leaves on the ground being picked up by the wind. As the breeze settled, she turned her full attention back to him.
"Alright, except for some niches you should visit on your own we have covered everything. So do you have any questions left? Or anything else I can do for you?"

"Actually, yes. In which class am I in?"

"Oh my", she started chuckling slightly. "Did I forget to tell you? We are in the same class. Class 2-C."

Once again he was surprised by her words.
"Second-year and council president?"

Slightly embarrassed she tells him to stop.
"I told you already, stop making it sound like something so big."

With a nod to her request he complied and started to walk again.
"I see.."

"Wait!", she said as she pressed her finger against his lips. "Before we go there is a request from my side."

He grabbed her hand and softly pushed it down from his face to ask:
"What would that request be?"

With her big smile her brightly green, radiating eyes once again pierced his sight.
"You didn't tell me your name yet."

A slight sight came out of him as he responded surprised:
"Shouldn't you know from my files?"

Turning her back to him she walks a few steps while replying:
"That won't do. I want you to introduce yourself to me."

Accepting her selfish request he called out to her, but to no avail.

As she continued to take a few steps she said:
"I can't hear you~"

Without himself aware he started smiling slightly.
("...so tiresome")
Using his "Dragon Step" he reappeared right in front of her, this time calling out her name.
"Ashnie."

"Oh, you called? What is it?"

"My name is Troy Rivers. Please take care of me."

As her big smiles emerged again she answered joyfully.
"I am Ashnie Amore and I welcome you in behalf of West Dragon Academy.
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