“Passion is the fuel that drives motivation.”
Both Fran and Hyusune’s team applauded them for their good work. There was no time to mourn over the loss of casualties though, at the pace that things were taking place.
Miname was definitely hiding something with regards to this training…a secret he did not want to expose.
And the training over the course of the next two days was definitely going to be way more hectic than it already was.
That night, Fran asked to meet Hyusune on the second floor of the campus after dinner.
Hyusune felt that it was strange, but still agreed to meet Fran.
It was around 9pm when they met.
Fran was on the balcony of the second floor and she signalled Hyusune to come upstairs.
Hyusune came up to the second floor and met Fran.
“What’s up?” Hyusune asked.
“It’s…regarding the guy you’re always with…You know…” Fran twiddled her thumbs.
“Oh…so thats his name.”
“Yup. Wait, did you call me out just to talk about him?”
“Sort of. I want to talk about his sister.”
“I see you’re aware. I used to be his sister’s best friend.”
“Regarding Hatsune’s death…I caused it.”
“Please don’t tell Jellal…everything that happened was all my fault.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“6 years ago, on this day, Jellal and his sister were taking a trip out of school, using one of their eight opportunities. Nothing wrong at all. This was Jellal’s first trip out of school, but for Hatsune, this was her eighth. Mr Miname was curious as to why Hatsune left the school so many times within a small timeframe, so he instructed me to follow her, knowing I was her best friend. It turned out she was meeting someone of the central branch. I found out it was her twin brother. She had tried many times to meet him but he never turned up, and finally had. I was watching in the cafe opposite the restaurant where they were eating together when a man with orange-golden hair dressed in jeans and a black hood over his head walked into the cafeteria. He walked right before me and pulled out five magic knives. Flicking them and breaking the glass, he shot the knives right across the deserted road and they pierced through Hatsune’s body…I couldn’t even do a thing about it…” Fran sobbed. “He was right before me and I was too shocked to react…my best friend vanished right before my eyes.”
Hyusune embraced Fran. “It isn’t your fault. Anyone in your position wouldn’t have been able to react, especially when you were only 12 when it happened.”
Fran’s voice faltered. “Hyusune…you’re the only one who can remind him of his sister. She meant a lot to him…that’s why…please…replace her in his heart.”
“I understand…don’t cry.” Hyusune stroked Fran’s back. Earlier Kurosuke had told her Fran had a crush on Jellal, so she cared about him a lot. Hyusune finally understood why Jellal asked her to be his sister back then when they were at the lake.
When she got back to her group’s campsite, she saw Jellal sitting by the fire with some marshmallows.
“Where did you go?” Jellal asked, popping a marshmallow into his mouth.
“I just went for a walk.” Hyusune said as she sat down opposite him.
“I see. Here, have a marshmallow.”
“Thanks.” Hyusune said as she shivered slightly.
Jellal got up and sat beside her.
“What are you doing?” Hyusune asked.
“Keeping you warm. You’re shivering.” He said as he put one arm around her.
“I’m fine…I’ll just get my Fairy Tail jacket—” Hyusune got up and tried to go back to her tent, but Jellal grabbed her hand.
“Stay with me, please.”
Hyusune suddenly remembered that Fran told her something important — that day was Hatsune’s 6th death anniversary.
Hyusune sat down.Hyusune looked a bit like Hatsune, so Jellal was often reminded of Hatsune when he saw Hyusune. But soon those feelings were changing into something else.
Tears streamed down his eyes.
“Hatsune…I love you. So please…don’t leave me ever again.”
Hyusune understood the trauma he was going through. To have lost his sister right in front of his eyes when we was merely ten years old, it scarred his memory and drove him insane every year on the day of his sister’s death anniversary.
“Yes, brother. I’ll never leave you again.” Hyusune said softly.
Chapter 10 : Behind the battle
That night, Fran and her teammates got back to their campsite.
‘Dang, I made myself look like a fool today…’ Fran thought, despite the fact that she knew what she had done was a grave mistake.
She sat by the fire and scratched her hands against the soft grass. It was lush, green and moist. She sat down all alone and inhaled deeply.
“Nothing beats the clean air of nature…” She whispered silently to herself.
By then, her teammates were already sound asleep. They had dozed off as soon as they got into their tents, but Fran couldn’t sleep a wink. She kept recalling the events that happened earlier.
“That Hyusune…there’s just something about her that’s unique, right?” Her teammate, Kurosuke, got out of the tent in front of her.
“Kuro? You’re not sleeping yet?”
Kurosuke sat down by the fire opposite her.
There was a long moment of silence. Fran wasn’t in the mood to talk, and all she wanted was a bit of quiet time…alone in her chain of thoughts.
Kurosuke then took out some marshmallows and started to put them over the fire. When they got creamy, he started eating them. Then he offered Fran one.
“Fran, try this.”
“C’mon, try it.”
“Oh ok…” Fran took the marshmallows from him. It was still a bit hot, so she had to blow it before taking a bite. Kurosuke watched silently as she took small bites of the marshmallow.
When she finished eating a few marshmallows, she finally began to talk.
“You know, Kurosuke…”
“I just feel kinda humiliated. You know, we are like a year older than Hyusune’s group and yet we lost to them. It just bothers me. And there’s something weird about that girl…Hyusune.”
“You think so?”
Fran looked up at Kurosuke. She had been staring at the fire the whole time.
“There’s just something in her that we don’t have…” Fran ate some more marshmallows.
“And that…is kindness?” Kurosuke asked.
“Yes…a kindness towards anyone including her rivals. But someday, that kindness will take her life…” Fran sighed.
“Not at all, Fran. She’s stronger than you think. Her kindness isn’t her weakness. It’s her radiance.” Kurosuke replied.
“Yea…that’s just what makes her different.”
“I see… …” Fran’s voice faltered and a tear streaked down from her cheek. She began to realize that she had a besot for trying to win Hatsune’s brother’s heart. She never knew his name, but she was one of Hatsune’s best friends in the past before Hatsune passed away. She knew Hatsune’s brother would be heartbroken, and thus she’d try to love him. But after a while she realized that her foolish obsession wasn’t bringing her anywhere…it was leading her in circles…she was leading her team towards a false goal. Her purpose of winning wasn’t right—the win was to impress Hatsune’s brother, and not for her comrades. She understood how stupid she had been all this while. Tears began to streak down from her eyes and Kurosuke noticed.
Kurosuke went up to her and hugged her while she sobbed.
“Don’t cry…it’s alright…”
“No…it’s not. Kuro, I’ve let you guys down…I’m really sorry…” Fran said as she hugged Kuro.
Kuro’s eyes widened.
“I was wrong. I’ve failed as a team leader…please forgive me…I’m sorry—I’m sorry—” Fran said between muffled sobs.
Kurosuke began to tear. A few tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Fran, it’s okay…as long as we can get up together and move on…” He said in a gentle tone while gently stroking Fran’s hair.
Kurosuke stopped crying and released his hands off her. He then passed her a tissue to wipe her tears. Sitting beside her, he put one arm over her shoulder.
“Cheer up. We’ve got a long way to go.”
“Indeed…Tomorrow lies a new challenge.”
“We should go and rest now. Tomorrow is going to be another hectic day.”
Saying that, Kurosuke and Fran went back to their tents to sleep.
Meanwhile on Hyusune’s campsite, she was sleeping silently when Rima tugged at her shirt.
In a sleepy voice, she replied, “What’s wrong, Rima?”
“I’m cold-desuuuuuuuuuu—” Rima shivered.
“Oh…hang on. I’ll alter the temperature of the air inside the tent.” Hyusune got up slowly and raised the inside temperature.
“Yea…thanks Hyuu-chan!” Rima replied, before dozing off again.
‘Wait…NOW I CAN’T SLEEP! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!’ Hyusune freaked out inside her head.
She slowly unzipped the tent and went out. It was cold outside. She took her jacket and walked barefooted to the river. It somewhat became her habit without her knowledge.
She climbed to the top of the waterfall and gazed at the starry sky. She remembered the day Jellal had brought her here. It was a thrilling day, and it was one of the most exciting days since the camp begun.
The only difference was that she was alone now. But she found that it was much more peaceful being alone. She sauntered back to her group’s campsite, but it was not long until she realized she was being followed.
SWIP SWACK SWIP!
Half a dozen knives flew towards her.
She made a leap into the air and dodged the knives.
“Who’s there?” Hyusune asked sternly as she turned around.
“As expected of you, Hyusune-chan.” Irie Shoichi walked out from the shadows and clapped his hands together.
“Why are you following me?”
“You’re what I’m after.”
“What the heck are you talking about?!”
Irie knocked her against a tree with his magic.
“Jellal……why are you in cahoots with him?”
“He’s my teammate, my comrade. If you dare to hurt any of my comrades, I’ll get rid of you.”
“Oh? I doubt so and you should know why.”
“Why are you even doing this?”
“Looks like you’re clueless…” Irie adjusted his spectacles. “Revenge. You humiliated me, a senior in front of all black ops. You should know what humiliation means to the black ops. Something any black officer shouldn’t even suffer. You are a potential candidate for the scholars, and I am not. I’m just here to retrieve what is mine.”
“You’re after me just because of a position? Doesn’t that just sound cynical to you?”
“No, that’s perfectly sane for us. Positions are more than what you think they are. You’re merely a kid, so you wouldn’t understand.”
“Do as you wish. But if you lay a finger on any of my comrades I will not let you off.” Hyusune shoved him aside, and walked away with her hands in her pocket. “Tch.” She muttered.
When she got back to her team’s campsite, she went over to check that every member was safe and sound, Makoto and Jellal. They were all fast asleep. She slipped into the tent and fell asleep beside Rima.
The next morning, breakfast was at seven o’ clock and Fran’s team was the first to reach the cafeteria.
“Whoa, Fran! You sure are up early!” Rima said as she and Hyusune walked over to Fran’s team. Fran was mulling over the fact that Miname kept everyday’s challenge a secret.
“Yo, Hyusune’s team!” Kurosuke, Jäger, Helena, Evan, Lucinda and Fayne greeted them. Fran was so deep in thought that she didn’t realize their presence.
Jellal, Makoto, Hyusune, Rima, Leandra, Reina and Cintare sat down at one of the corner tables and Hyusune unpacked her cakes for them.
“Enjoy these. I made them with vitamins that will increase our stamina and fighting speed.” Hyusune said as she laid out the cakes.
“Thanks a lot, Hyuu-chan!” Cintare said as she helped herself to the cakes.
“So…are we gonna work out a plan today?” Leandra asked.
“We don’t exactly know what today’s game or challenge is yet though…but it’s probably something that’s training our strength.” Makoto suggested.
Jellal kept silent throughout, as though he knew something but did not want to talk about it.
Once they finished their meal, they gathered in the special training hall.
“Today, we will hold a different match. Yesterday, the east branch, Fran’s team, and the central branch, Hyusune’s team, battled it out in a game of Tyhia’s running man. Today, the North, South and West branches will battle it out in a battlefield.”
“Don’t tell me, this is a death match?” Reina asked as her eyes widened.
“That I cannot guarantee. And today, the Central branch and East branch will be spectators for the match. The North, South and West branches will be playing in this hall, where I will create an illusionary castle which the game will be held within. The first group to reach the 10th floor with the most number of members wins. However, there are added monsters with increasing difficulty on each level. Good luck.”
That’s insane!” Leandra said to them.”
There were several branch teams who kicked up a fuss, but Mr Miname silenced them eventually.
Jellal went over to Hyusune.
“Miname has a motive for doing this…he wants to eliminate the weaklings in the Tyhia chain branches. I overheard the board of teacher’s meeting yesterday.” He whispered into her ear.
‘So that’s why he wasn’t roaming around last night.’ Hyusune thought.
The Central branch team and East branch team went to the spectators’s stand, while the competing teams gathered in front of the castle.
“North, South and West teams, on your marks, get set, go!” Miname fired the magic gun and the teams ran into the castle. There were cameras inside the castle which displayed live footage of what was going on inside the castle.
“It’s pitch dark inside!” Fran exclaimed.
“You’re right…we can’t see a thing.”
Suddenly, the screen lit up. The south team leader, Keira, had lit her light orb.
“That’s Keira Fujisaki, aged 17, black ops member. She’s well known for her light orb variations.” Reina said.
“How do you even find out about these kind of stuff?” Cintare asked as she turned to look at Reina.
“It’s in the branch magazine.”
Just then, the west team arrived at an area with 3 passageways. The camera zoomed out, showing a labyrinth that spread across 9 floors.
“No way…you’ve got to be kidding me.” Kurosuke’s face was overcome by a stern look.
“Kuro, what’s wrong?” Jäger asked.
Hyusune’s team noticed and directed their attention to Fran’s team.
“This…isn’t a castle.”
“There’s no mistaking it. This is a level 9 illusion.”
“Level 9?! So high?”
“And it’s Kyurosen Dungeon of Death. ”
“N-Nine Rosen Dungeon of Death? Are you kidding me?!” Makoto ran over.
“You know about it too?”
“Yea…it’s in one of the ancient textbooks for illusionists. Very powerful ancient illusionary magic. But these textbooks have been destroyed for hundreds of years. How come Mr Miname has this magic?”
“That remains a mystery.”
Sorry for not updating the blog for a really long period of time…I was reallyyyyyyy busy with homework and school just started again \(OAO;;;)\
But don’t worry, I’ll try to upload a new chapter each time I’m done with it, so please bear with me as it’ll take some time.
Thanks for the 2.5k views ^^
Chapter 9 : Camp begins
Reina was indifferent to Cintare’s comment.
“Didn’t you know I was coming with you on this trip? Why are you acting all shocked?” Reina said as she took out one of the earpieces in her ears.
“Ah…nevermind.” Cintare sat down as she lamented on her ill luck to have been arranged to sit beside her new arch nemesis.
An unknown cold war seemed to break out between the two of them.
Watching from the seats beside, Hyusune and Rima giggled.
As the train began to move, Cintare began to feel nauseous. “Gonna…throw…” She said, as Rima passed her some ointment to calm herself down.
Reina looked up and rolled her eyes.
“Motion sickness? Humph…only weaklings have that.”
Rima and Hyusune were pissed off by Reina. ‘What exactly is her problem, finding fault with Cintare all the time for no reason?!’ Rima thought.
But what attracted Hyusune’s attention was her mobile more than anything else.
Jellal was constantly messaging her.
Jellal : I need to talk to you about some important stuff, but I’m afraid I can’t call you now.
Hyusune : Yea, don’t call me cuz I’m with the others now too.
Jellal : Okay, so basically Miname asked me to come along with this trip personally. I wasn’t informed until around two days ago. It was sort of a last-minute issue. In addition, this trip was actually disguised. It’s supposed to be a training camp, but indirectly. I have no idea what Miname is thinking. Apparently we are supposed to train up for something which is coming in a few years time. I spoke to Odellia a few days ago. According to her, that was her prediction via her psychic powers.
Hyusune : So…this trip wasn’t an exchange programme…and the purpose of the exchange is so that the north branch can share their skills with us?
Jellal : Precisely. According to Miname, the north branch have qualified trainers for each of us. Then again, during the assembly, Miname only called out Leandra, Celestine, Cintare and you. Odellia wasn’t named, but she’s coming for the trip too. Miname is really…unpredictable.
Hyusune : I see. Shall we meet up later after we check into the campus? Around 11pm.
Jellal : OK.
Hyusune turned off her iPhone and fell asleep on the train.
About an hour later, the train stopped moving. The train store was open, and the passengers could go there to buy food. Hyusune and the others went to the train store. Hyusune bought a bottle of orange juice and potato chips. Reina refused to eat, saying it would make her gain weight.
Cintare offered her a slice of pizza which they had bought earlier, but she turned down the offer as well.
Hyusune typed away at her novel while munching on chips and drinking juice.
The train seat was comfy and she was seated near the window. The picturesque scenery outside gave her lots of ideas to write her novel while blasting “I wish” by one of her favourite Japanese singers, Milky Bunny.
The train was taking an awfully long time to move again.
Just then, Rima tapped on her shoulder.
“Hyusune, I saw you using your phone just now, who messaged you?” Rima asked.
“It was Jellal.” Hyusune replied, as she continued to type on her iPad.
“Fernandes-sama?” Rima’s eyes widened.
“Yup. Something regarding the exchange.” Hyusune flipped a page.
“I see…” Rima said, as she fell asleep beside Hyusune. Hyusune turned her head and smiled. She put the pillow under Rima’s head so that she could sleep comfortably, before going back and working on her novel again.
About two hours later, they reached the train station of the north Tyhia branch.
“We’re here!” Miname annouced as he got the students to start packing up and carry their luggage off the train.
Hyusune woke Rima and the others up before carried their luggage off the train. Feeling a little lazy, she decided to use air magic to change the gravity around her luggage to zero such that the luggage could float by itself. Using control magic, she directed the luggage to move around. Cintare was fascinated.
“If only I could do that to my food…I could buy a whole tonne of food and not even have to waste a single ounce of my energy just to bring it around.” Cintare said jokingly and the others laughed.
“You have a really good imagination!” Leandra laughed, pronouncing the g as f on purpose.
Then, they got to the North Campus. Unexpectedly, it was much bigger than theirs, and it had a pool and a beach.
Firstly, they had a briefing that placed them in groups of 10.
Of course, all of them, Reina, Jellal and Jellal’s friend, Makoto were in the same group.
Each group had to set up their tents using their magic which would give the tents the properties they wanted it to have when they slept.
Each tent was meant for two.
Jellal and Makoto set up their tent, while Leandra and Cintare set up theirs, Hyusune and Rima set up theirs, Celestine and Odellia set up theirs, while Reina set up her own.
That night when they had finished setting the tents up, they went to the river to take their baths. Hyusune was more adventurous and decided to go to the waterfall, where she could get a good wash. Unexpectedly, she saw Jellal and Makoto walking there too. She decided to make a U-Turn and walk the other way. However, Jellal spotted her and said, “Found you, Hyu-su-ne.”
A chill ran down Hyusune’s spine. She turned around and tried to act calm.
“You’re here for your night bath, right?” Jellal asked.
“That’s right. But since you and Mako-san are here, I’ll just got somewhere else…” “Why? Does my presence bother you…?” Jellal asked the question which Hyusune dreaded the most.
“How many times do I have to tell you that’s not the case? It’s just that I’m uncomfortable being the only girl here.”
“Then you should have said so earlier.” Jellal crossed his arms. “Well, why don’t you go and shower inside the waterfall, while we stay outside?”
“Are you out of your mind? Or are you simply courting death from me?” Hyusune said angrily,
“You don’t trust me…?”
“Of course I do…you idiot.” Hyusune looked away.
“In that case, let’s go further down the river a bit to the rocks, Makoto.” Jellal said.
“Okay.” Makoto picked up their showering stuff and walked down the river. Hyusune watched them leave, before she stripped and walked into the water.
It was refreshingly cold. Something you couldn’t feel if you swam in the pool. The pool always gave a sense of security, but in the river she felt free—and there was a sense of danger with the currents. The water rejuvenated her senses and she felt like a fish swimming in the water. After a while, she soaped herself and started to sing. It was pretty dark since there were no lights around, so she cast one of her light orbs to make the place a little brighter. Then she sat down on the shallow river bed. She found a lot of beautiful seaweed in the water and decided to make herself a seaweed dress. Using her magic, she sewed the seaweed together and put the dress on. It was more of a dress suited for swimming than to wear casually on the streets. It was turquoise and shining slightly under the moonlight. The water that clung onto the seaweed dress made the dress stick to her voluptuous body, making her curves obvious. She swam down the river to deeper water, and she saw Jellal and Makoto sitting on rocks while soaking their feet. From a few meters away, she saw that they weren’t naked…they were only shirtless and they were wearing swimming trunks which covered their knees. Jellal was actually teaching Makoto how to swim, but the current was too strong so they were taking a rest.
This made Hyusune realize how selfish she had been. The current at the waterfall wasn’t as strong as the river, and it would have been a far more conducive environment for Makoto to learn how to swim if she had let them use the place instead. ‘I’m the real idiot here.’ Hyusune thought as she hit her own head.
Just then, it started raining heavily and the current became much stronger. Makoto was swept away. “Oh shit!” He said as he slipped off the rock. Jellal, too stunned to react, had completely frozen in his position. Hyusune swam over to rescue Makoto.
“Makoto! ” Hyusune yelled as she swam over to save him. Putting his arm over her shoulders, she swam desperately against the current to get back to where Jellal was.
When she had finally reached the rocks where Jellal was, she put Makoto onto the ground and crashed onto the ground from exhaustion. Some rocks had cut her leg while she swam back as well and she had cuts on her calf.
“Jellal…Is he alright?” Hyusune asked, panting heavily.
“He should be ok once we get him medical help. He’s unconscious now, but we have to get him back as soon as possible.”
“Do you know any magic which can cure him? I think it’s a better solution.” Hyusune suggested.
“I only know one type of healing magic which is Heaven’s plume, the same spell I used to heal Kagami.” Jellal said as he lifted Makoto up.
“Ok. Cast it on him.” said Hyusune.
“Let’s go to the caves. You set up a fire with your magic so he won’t feel cold while I heal him.”
Hyusune and Jellal grew their wings and they flew to the cave.
When they got there, Hyusune sat down on the ground and cast a small bonfire to keep Makoto warm.
Jellal laid Makoto’s head on his lap and begun the spell.
“I call out to thee, O heaven, lend me your power to heal Makoto. Heaven’s plume!”
With that, white plumes started falling from nowhere and surrounded Makoto. The plumes that touched his body healed his wounds and he started to breathe normally again.
“That spell really gives me a peace of mind. It’s so pretty.” Hyusune said as she walked over to Jellal.
Jellal looked up at her. “He’ll be okay in an hour. Meanwhile, let’s sit here by the fire and wait for him to wake up.”
“Okay.” Hyusune replied.
Jellal looked at her dress.
“Is this a dress made out of seaweed…?” Jellal pointed to her dress.
“Um yeah, I made it while I was near the waterfall cuz I saw some pretty seaweed. So I sew it into a dress using magic.”
“It suits you pretty well.”
“Thanks…” Hyusune said as she sat down opposite him.
“Anyway, do you know what’s the program for tomorrow?”
“We’re going to the beach. Also, I won’t be participating, that is, for tomorrow only.”
“I see. Anyway, how long have you known Makoto?”
“Well…that dates back to a long time ago. He joined the academy when he was 4, so we’ve known each other for a decade or so. Once the year ends in a month’s time, it’ll be 11 years.”
“That’s really long.” Hyusune cast a few sticks and placed them into the fire. She then hung her head and kept quiet for a while.
“Is anything wrong?” Jellal asked her.
She took a deep breath and spoke. “Erm Jellal…about just now…I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have let you guys go to this part of the river. The fact that Makoto drowned…was all my fault. I’m sorry.”
Jellal pat her shoulder and she looked up. “It’s okay. You saved my friend. That’s good enough of an apology.”
Hyusune still felt kind of bad. Upon seeing this, Jellal decided to cheer her up.
“Say…how about a game of truth or dare to kill time?” Jellal suggested.
Jellal fetched a rock and took a stick out of the fire. Taking some grass, he tied the stick onto the rock so it could become a spinner.
“Ok, let’s start!” Jellal spun the spinner and it pointed at Hyusune.
“Truth or dare?” Jellal asked.
“Is there anyone you like?”
Jellal spun the spinner and it pointed at himself.
“Truth or dare?” Hyusune asked.
“I dare you to name the person you like.”
“Thy who is before me, yet knowest not.” Jellal said on purpose, but Hyusune didn’t know what he meant. Jellal meant her. But she spun the spinner and it landed on Jellal again.
“Truth or dare?”
“Are you afraid of snakes?”
Hyusune scratched her head. She had no idea why she asked such a foolish question.
Jellal spun the spinner and it pointed to Hyusune.
“Truth or dare?”
“How many boys have confessed to you?”
“5. I rejected them all.”
“You sure have crushed many hearts.”
“Well, that’s the only way to turn them down.” Hyusune replied.
“Hyusune’s boy turning down experience : excellent. Noted. ” Jellal mocked her.
Hyusune’s eyes widened. “What did you just…say?!”
“Dang!” Jellal got up and ran out of the cave as Hyusune chased after him.
“JELLAL FERNANDES! Stop right there!” She yelled after him.
Jellal started to climb the rocks beside the waterfall. Hyusune, of competitive character, followed suit. “Once I get you I’m going to kill you!” Hyusune ranted.
Jellal climbed to the top and stopped moving. Hyusune caught up.
“Gotcha—” she said as she was about to grab his arm.
She stared at the scenery around her. The night sky, and the reflection of the moon on the river surface.
“Oh my gosh…this is…beautiful.” Hyusune gaped at the night scenery.
“Will you stop chasing me already?” He gently punched her shoulder.
“Yea yea ok? I’ll forgive you this time.”
“Alright.” Jellal said as he ran and leapt off the cliff, falling alongside the waterfall.
“Hey, wait up!” Hyusune said as she leapt off too.
The water from the waterfall surged behind her like a slide as she fell.
“Woohoo!” She cried out, stretching her hands in the air and bending one leg behind her. She made a flip in mid-air and dived into the water.
As she bobbed her head out of the water, she saw that Jellal was in the water and his body was not moving. There was no bubbles coming out from his mouth either. Thinking that he might have accidentally drowned, she dived into the water.
‘Jellal, please be ok.’ Hyusune thought as she swam underwater and scooped him up, carrying him in her arms.
When she reached the surface, she swam to a shallow part of the water and laid him down. She put two fingers at the side of his neck and felt that there was no pulse. She began to panic and carried him to the cave as well.
Laying him down beside Makoto, she pressed his chest to get the water out of his mouth. He had landed too hard in the water. He coughed slightly and just as she was about to do CPR on him, his eyes opened.
“I’m okay.” He said, and she quickly darted her head away from his face.
“You…I was so worried!” Hyusune looked at him.
‘So she does care more about me than Mako.’ Jellal thought and gave her a small smile.
“I’m fine, thanks for saving me. I think Makoto is coming round soon.”
“Ok, I think I’ll head back first cuz it’s getting late. Rima will be really worried about me.”
“Alright. Head back first, I’ll bring Makoto back later with me.”
Hyusune ran back to the tent which she and Rima pitched earlier on. She changed out of her seaweed dress and wore her clothes which were already dry by then as she ran. Rima was sitting inside and was casting an orb of light to brighten the surroundings. It was getting late.
“Geez Hyusune…what took you so long?” Rima asked with a pouty face.
“Something cropped up at the waterfall. But everything’s alright now.”
“That’s good to hear. ” Rima said as she yawned. “Let’s turn in for the night.”
“Alright.” Hyusune said as she zipped up the door of the tent. She unzipped the side with the windows, and cast a magic mosquito and insect met to prevent bugs from coming in and disturbing their sleep at night. Rima cast a heater which would lower or raise the temperature inside the tent according to the temperature of the surroundings. They rolled out their sleeping bags and slipped in. Hyusune held on to her plushie, while Rima held on to her teddy bear. Both of them fell sound asleep.
Hours later, Hyusune felt something touch her hair. She got up and squinted her eyes. Looking out of the window, she saw that it was Jellal.
“You forgot our 11pm meeting.” He grinned.
“Sorry…keep your voice down though. Don’t wake the others.” Hyusune whispered.
“Okay.” Jellal spoke in an almost inaudible whisper.
They walked out of the tent and went to the cave that they were in earlier.
“So…how’s Makoto?” Hyusune asked.
“He’s out of danger now. There are some things I need to tell you about with regards to Irie.”
“Yes, and can you cast a light orb now?” Jellal asked.
“Why must I—” Hyusune paused, suddenly remembering that Jellal was under a curse.
“Nothing…I’ll cast it now.”
She casted 2 light orbs, one to brighten their surroundings and the other to act as a handheld torch.
“Ok, about Irie. There’s a conflict between us. I was framed and I became the scapegoat for the recent incident on the Demi-god fragment gone missing, and thus as punishment I’m given a curse that I cannot cast magic between 11pm and 11am. The only way to break this curse is to infuse the fragment’s magic into my body. ” Jellal said.
‘Rima said the same thing too.’ Hyusune thought.
“But isn’t there any other way to break the curse? I mean, there should be alternate ways to cure you.”
“I’m trying to figure that out as well. ”
“I have an encyclopedia on fragmental magic. I brought it with me on this camp. Shall I go and fetch it now?”
“You’ll alert Rima if you do. Have you mastered teleportation?” Jellal asked.
“You bet I have. I’ll teleport the book here.”
Hyusune closed her eyes and raised her arms. The leaves on the ground around her started flying around her, creating a spiral formation of leaves.
“Book of the art of fragmental magic, I teleport thee!” Hyusune commanded.
Instantaneously, the book fell onto her hands.
“Wow. This actually works!” Hyusune’s eyes widened and she smiled.
Flipping through the pages, she stopped on the page about Demi-god fragmental magic.
“It says here that Demi-god fragmental magic is made from Amethyst that is found in the Amethyst forest. The guardian of the Amethyst forest…is Celestine Yuuki!” Hyusune exclaimed, “We can definitely save you now!”
“But as I know it, legend says you need the blood of a guardian of the forest to open its gates. It’s going to be painful for Celestine-chan.”
“That’s true…I don’t want her to suffer any unnecessary pain in the process. The same goes for any of my friends.” Hyusune sighed. “I think we’ll settle this after the camp. I’m sorry.”
They got up and started walking back to the campsite.
“It’s okay. You should get some rest. The training camp officially begins tomorrow.”
“Alright. Take care of Makoto.”
“Yep. I will.”
“Ok then, see you tomorrow!” Hyusune ran off first after waving goodbye, so if anyone was awake at that late hour they wouldn’t see a boy and a girl coming back together and mistake that something was going on between the two people.
The next morning, Rima’s alarm clock sounded at 7am and Hyusune turned it off.
She tapped Rima’s shoulder to wake her up. “Rima, wake up. We gotta get breakfast before the activities start at 9am.”
Rima sat up and rubbed her eyes.
“Good morning, Hyuu-chan.” Rima said with a yawn.
They changed their clothes inside the tent, and Hyusune put on her contact lens. It was troublesome having to wear a pair of spectacles everywhere she went.
They gathered in the academy’s cafeteria for a buffet breakfast. Hyusune had bacon, ham, an omelette and orange juice. Rima and the others refused to eat the buffet and instead, asked Hyusune for some of her cakes. “Hyuu-chan, please~” they pleaded.
Hyusune heaved a sigh. “There’s no helping it then. Here you go.” Hyusune handed them. Box of Strawberry Fondant cakes, and there were around 20 cakes in the box. By the end of breakfast time, all that was left in the box was crumbs, and Hyusune was horrified.
“You guys are monsters.” Hyusune said sarcastically and they laughed.
They went out as a group to assemble at the beach. Makoto was already there waiting for them, but Jellal was nowhere in sight.
“Makoto, you’re so early! How are you feeling?” Hyusune asked as she sauntered over to him with the other girls.
“A lot better thanks to Jellal’s healing magic. Thanks for saving me.”
“You’re welcome. Anyway, where’s Jellal?”
“Beats me. When I woke up, I realized he was already gone.”
‘Did he not come back to the campsite yesterday?’Hyusune wondered.
“I see.” Hyusune dragged Makoto to one side away from the others.
“How do you know so much about me?” Hyusune asked Makoto.
“That’s because Jellal talks to me about you. But I’m unaware of your family background though. Jellal said he had no idea what kind of family you came from.” Makoto replied.
‘Well played, Jellal. Well played. I knew I could trust you.’ Hyusune thought.
“Ok, let’s go back before the activities start.”
The groups assembled at the beach resort entrance. There were students from all branches—north, soth, east,west and central. Each branch had 5 main representatives, and 5 sub representatives. For the central branch, the main representatives were Cintare, Leandra, Rima, Hyusune and Reina, while the sub representatives were Odellia, Celestine, Jellal, Makoto and Irie.
“Today, we’re going to play a game which will train your stamina and survival skills. No magic is allowed, thus we are giving you wristbands which will cross out your magic abilities for this game. It’s Tyhia’s version of Running Man. The north, south and west branch will be chaser teams, while the central and east branch will be mission teams. At every hut of the beach, a piece of tape will be put somewhere. Each tape has a different meaning. Green represents that the item you need to find is in grass, blue meaning in water, red meaning it is within a five meter radius, yellow tape meaning it is hidden in the sand, white tape meaning there is nothing. However, the chaser teams will be put to catch the mission teams before they can accomplish the mission of getting all items. The mission team which has the most number of team members not caught by the chaser teams at the end of 4 hours will win this game. Mission teams, you may begin now!
The chaser teams, you will begin in 10 minutes time!”
As soon as Mr Miname fired the magic gun, Hyusune’s team and Fran’s team ran as fast as they could. Fran was the team leader of the east branch, a slender blond with hazel eyes which glared at Hyusune. Hyusune, on the other hand, wasn’t to be intimidated as well. She untied the rubber band which was around her brown hair that was tinted with brown streaks from the sunlight, and gave her the look of death as they matched speed. Stunned, Fran slowed down and Hyusune’s group took the lead.
“Quick guys!” Hyusune said as they ran away from the meeting point hut. Reina’s stamina wasn’t as good and it was hard to catch up with them. Hyusune noticed and asked Cintare to lead the, to the next hut, while she would pull Reina along with her and run.
From the CCTVs, Mr Miname saw Hyusune’s act. “Splendid.” He remarked. Since Shiromi Misako was graduating that year, he was scouting for the next scholar to live in the terrace. His choices were all from the top 1%, but his prospective candidates were Odellia and Hyusune. Jellal was forbidden because of the theft incident, and he was a bit upset about it.
Reina was amazed at Hyusune’s speed even though Hyusune had to pull her.
“Here’s the first hut!” Cintare said.
Rima, Leandra and Hyusune ran around the hut frantically in search of the tape. Reina just stood in one spot. Cintare looked at her and said, “What are you doing? Aren’t we supposed to find the item together?”
“Geez. Can’t you guys figure this out? If you were the game master, where would you hide the tape?” Reina crossed her arms.
“I would hide it in food.” Cintare joked.
“You’re hopeless…” Reina face-palmed. “It’s hidden on the pole, silly.”
True enough, the tape was under the pole! Reina sure was intelligent.
It was a yellow tape, which meant it was in the sand.
Everyone began to dig furiously in the sand.
“Found it!” Rima exclaimed.
“Ok. Let’s go before the next team comes! Put the tape back so they’ll think that we haven’t come here yet.” Odellia said, and they ran off after pasting the tape on the hut pillar.
They ran to the next hut, about 50 meters away, and saw that it was a white tape. The next team had already caught up and were searching the previous hut.
“Hey, don’t you think they’ll get suspicious if we keep running from hut to hut? Also, they’ll see us take the treasure and chase us until the next hut.” Celestine said.
“Why not we split up? Like half of us pretend we are finding for something if there’s a white tape, while the others pretend to go to the washroom, but go and find huts instead.” Leandra suggested.
“Good idea! Let’s go then!” Rima, Cintare and Hyusune were off to look for huts, while Leandra and Reina pretended to search for things.
When Rima’s team reached the next hut, they saw a red tape and began to search for the treasure within a five metre radius. Hyusune instantly spotted the treasure, parched on top of one of the tree branches. Being barefoot since the start of the game, she climbed up the tree and took the treasure, before sliding down and running off again with the rest. Reina and Leandra started to walk towards the washroom, before taking a shortcut at the back to get to the hut which they were supposed to meet at, two huts from their location. When they caught up, Cintare had just got the treasure and handed it over to Hyusune. Out of the blue, the chaser teams were coming behind them, ready to catch them.
“Shit! Run!” Hyusune and the others split up, and Hyusune ran barefooted into the forest, however the chaser teams followed suit and so she had to run across the road and onto the concrete pavement on the other side. The hot ground was burning her soles, making her run even faster. When she had finally gotten away from the chaser teams, she walked down the pavement, going back to the meeting hut to treat her legs. However, she saw two boys from the north chaser team running after her, and she had to run again. She ran all the way until she reached a tree and hid behind it. She was planting heavily and she squat down to sit. Her legs were aching. But there was a humongous centipede crawling towards her, and she had to run off again. Odellia spotted her running and took a picture of her in action. Fifteen girls from the other chaser teams spotted Hyusune and gave chase. Hyusune sprinted to no end, and the girls eventually gave way too. Seeing that no one was chasing her, Hyusune ran towards the ocean. She stopped as soon as the cold water brushed against her legs, cooling them from the heat. As she walked back slowly to the meeting hut,she saw a boy sitting alone under the hut. As the sand was burning hot too, she ran quickly over and saw that it was Jellal. She decided to treat her legs first. Taking out a bottle of water from her bag, she poured the water over her soles. Her soles had been cut by rocks and the solid ground from just now, and it was slightly bloody.
“Why are you here?” Jellal asked.
“I came to treat my legs. I forgot to wear my slippers.”
“Are you okay?” Jellal asked.
“So…how many treasures have you found?”
“About 4 to 6. ”
Jellal revealed to her that in every hut, there were tapes located in different regions and where she could go and find the tapes. Upon thanking Jellal, she got up and slipped on her slippers.
Just as she got up, Cintare and Leandra walked up to her.
“Leandra! Cintare! Have you been caught?” Hyusune asked.
“Nope, but Reina and Rima have. Fran’s team is only left with 2 members, including herself. Geez! You abandoned us and just ran off like that!” Leandra lamented.
“Sorry…we better hurry before the chaser teams get here.” Hyusune said as she signaled them to run to the next hut which was 200 metres away.
Meanwhile, Fran’s team was running away from all three chaser teams.
“Why are they pursuing us to no end? Why won’t they just give up?! Damn it!” Fran said as she ran. Her last team member, Kurosuke, was running beside her.
“Your purpose of winning this isn’t right. You want to impress him, don’t you?” Kurosuke said as he ran.
“I don’t need you to rub it in, Kuro. If you’ve got so much energy to talk, run faster!” Fran said as she sped ahead at full speed. Kurosuke sprinted after her.
‘That guy Fran’s trying to impress…the brother of Hatsune Fernandes…why?’ Kurosuke wondered. He couldn’t understand what Fran was thinking, but just played along with her because she was one of the people he trusted most.
Hyusune’s team had picked up five more treasures in the meantime, while Fran and Kurosuke were still running.
“Only one more to go!” Leandra exclaimed as they ran off, using every last bit of their stamina. They had been running under the scorching sun for three and a half hours, and there was only half an hour left before the game would end.
The last hut, which was right at the end of the beach, had the last tape. Cintare looked for the tape and found it on the seat. It was a green tape, symbolizing nature. They searched the grass and finally found the last treasure.
“Hurry! Before Fran’s team gets here!” Cintare exclaimed.
“But they’ll see us, you know.” Leandra commented.
“I know a secret way I used just now. We’ll walk behind the trees and bushes, that way they won’t see us. ” Hyusune said and they set off immediately.
When Fran’s team reached the last hut, they realized that their treasures were gone. “Damn it! This leaves me with no choice!” Fran attempted to summon her magic even though the canceling device was going to make her experience excruciating pain.
“No Fran, you can’t do this!”
“Yes I can! I have to use my magic! I have to make him see my powers!”
“Fran, stop this foolishness!”
“SHUT UP!” Fran began to summon her energy within her. Her Tyhia was demon gates.
A large amount of magic energy welled up within Fran.
“Cragsterone of the twelfth demon gate, I SUMMON THEE!”
“Fran! Stop it! Stop this at once!”
The spell failed, but the magic energy used to summon her demon was sent back onto her body, inflicting damage on her. She screamed in pain.
“Fran! Get a hang of yourself!” Kurosuke ran over to Fran as Fran collapsed onto the sand.
Mr Miname was watching all of this take place via CCTVs he placed along the beach. Suddenly, Hyusune’s team came into view. Upon seeing Fran, Hyusune rushed over.
“What happened to her?” Hyusune asked worriedly.
“She tried to use her magic, but she ended up injuring herself instead.”
“No way…” Hyusune gasped, knowing the consequences of using magic while being restraint by a magic canceling device. It would have extremely detrimental effects on the human body.
Knowing that Mr Miname set up CCTVs all over the place, Hyusune shouted out loudly, “Miname! End this now! Please! End this now!”
Mr Miname heard her. “Her kindness will kill her someday.” He sighed.
“Alright, I’ll stop this match on the account of Fran. However, the victor of this round is Hyusune’s team.” Mr Miname spoke over the loudspeakers.
Fran’s eyes opened slowly. “Damn…it…”
“Fran! Stay with us! Fran!” Kurosuke and Hyusune’s team said in unison.
The magic canceling items were removed, and they could use magic freely again. Hyusune immediately cast her healing spell.
“Light resonance, Melody of the angels!” Hyusune said as she laid her hands over Fran.
It was coincidental that Jellal was passing by, and he heard Hyusune singing again. He couldn’t help but adore Hyusune’s voice.
Fran’s eyes fluttered open and she got up.
“Butterflies? A dream?” She thought, seeing that she was sitting amidst hundreds of colourful butterflies.
“Nope, this is the place which your heart wants to be in. Tranquility, and peace at mind.”
“The place…my heart wants to be?” Fran said, as she touched her chest.
“Yes, the place which you want to be in…the place you’ll find the happiness you are searching for.”
Fran understood. Impressing Hatsune’s brother wouldn’t bring her long-term happiness. What she needed was to put her heart and mind at peace, instead of working herself up all the time. Fran nodded her head.
“I understand now. Thank you, Hyusune.”
With that, Hyusune stopped casting her spell, and Fran’s life was out of danger.
The activity for that day ended, with Hyusune’s team emerging as victorious. However, there were still 3 other branches which hadn’t been put to the test yet…what kind of challenges did Mr Miname have in store for them?