*Author’s note : Ah, the first chapter of the year is here! *
They trained day and night, fighting till they lost their breath fighting Celestine.
Since it was end of year break, they had about 5 weeks more to bring Frezch Luminance out of Celestine.
Drenched in perspiration, they crashed onto the ground.
“How many rounds have we been at this? It hasn’t even come out yet!” Rima said as she phanted heavily.
“We can’t give up just yet!” Odellia said as she paused to catch her breath.
“Slowly guys slowly!” Makoto replied, “this can be training for our upcoming tests too!”
“Physical fitness test, you mean?” Leandra said as she jumped backwards to avoid Celestine’s arrows.
“There’s still more to where that came from!” Celestine fired multi-directional arrows at everyone with the last spurt of her energy, before they all crashed onto the floor.
“I think we’ve had enough…for the holidays…” Rima phanted as she wiped her sweat away with a towel. “It’s been a month since we began training 16 hours a day…”
Hyusune lay flat on the floor. She, too, was exhausted.
“The new year is starting soon, guys…soon it’ll be 2016.”
“The year Celestine turns 17 together with all of us…right…?” Jellal phanted too.
“Yea…I wonder what the department has in mind to reward the scholars of the first term’s exams…”
“I heard it’s a trip to Switzerland!” Cintare exclaimed, excited all of a sudden.
“Switzerland! That’s an out-of-compound trip, though…” Rima felt a bit uneasy because she had never stepped out of the academy for years. Even the training camp was within the compound, just that the train stations and transits were all within the compound and underground.
“Has anyone of us been to Switzerland, though?” Celestine asked.
“Nope, but I have a rough idea of how to get around there…” Hyusune got up and sat cross legged. “Its slightly more than a half day flight from Japan to Zürich airport. They’re also about 8 hours behind us.”
“Eh…that means a jet lag for us…” Rima said.
“Yeapp. I heard the Swiss trip is for the top 10 pupils in our branch.” Odellia replied. “The student council has the rankings for this year’s top 10, though…”
“Lemme see lemme see!” Leandra and Rima begged Odellia to show them.
“It’s supposed to be for the SC only but…”
Odellia fished out her phone and showed them the PDF with the names of the top 10. It read :
SENIOR HIGH TOP SCHOLARS OF 2015
1 – SHIROMI MISAKO (Y6) EAC
2 – JELLAL FERNANDEZ (Y4) LoE
3 – HIBARI SETSUSHI (Y5) LoE
4 – ODELLIA MAYUMI (Y4) EAC
5 – CELESTINE YUUKI (Y4) EAC
6 – AYAKO RURIRI (Y4) LoE
7 – RYUUJI KENTA (Y4) EAC
8 – KANZAKI KEI (Y6) SAB
9 – HANAZONO RIN (Y4) SAB
10 – FUJISAKI LEN (Y5) EAC
“Ehh…Odellia and Celestine and Jellal…you guys are all the cream of the crop…” Hyusune was impressed and somewhat demoralized by the fact she was at the 20th placing.
“But Hibari senpai is top 3!” Rima squealed. “Kyaa-the one and only special ability type class member to be ranked top 10.”
“That said, not many are LoEs either…even Shiromi is an exceptional abilty class member herself.” Makoto said, analyzing the lists.
“The majority are all EACs aND SABs…” Jellal mentioned. “Hibari and I are the only ones who are from LoE.”
“Maybe the LoE tests are harder?” Leandra supposed.
“Nope, LoEs are the minority of the student body population. Hitherto, there has been very few LoEs who actually do exceptionally well on tests.”
“Who is this Ayako Ruriri? I’ve never seen her in the LoE before…” Cintare asked Odellia.
“Ayako is in the student council. She rarely attends lessons and outings, though, because she’s the academy’s so-called intelligentsia.”
“Basically her job is to communicate with the head of departments, or what we would know as the ‘government of this school’ (yes, Tyhia has it’s own government) and guide them on how to go about with the scholarship opportunities for the students and what benefits they should be given based on her surveys of the pupils’ academic performance. In essence, she is in charge of student wellfare.”
“Woah…we have to thank her for the Swiss trip then!”
“Don’t jump to conclusions so fast…You have the get into the top 10, you know, we have to compete with the Year 4s, 5s and 6s next year.” Makoto said with a shake of his head.
“Nope, next year we are revamping the system. The Year 6s won’t be taken into consideration. This means only the Year 4s and Year 5s will be your concern, and it also means that there is less competition for the rest of you.” Odellia reassured them.
“Thank goodness…” Hyusune was relieved. “That means we do stand a chance, don’t we, Odellia?”
“You bet’cha do!” Odellia winked.
“Time to coop up at Jellal’s place and mug starting next year-” They all stared at Jellal.
“THAT’S CUZ ONCE MISAKO IS GONE YOU ARE NUMBER 1!”
Jellal was rendered speechless and he facepalmed.
“I can’t really teach you guys, you know—”
They inched closer to him.
“IT’S OKAY, WE CAN STUDY TOGETHER~!” They grinned and exclaimed loudly.
Jellal rolled his eyes and laid back down on the ground. “Alright then…”
For the rest of the year, they decided to take a break.
It was about time they needed a good rest. Christmas was nearing and they decided to throw a Christmas party to celebrate instead of fighting Celestine all day long.
As they walked to the dinner hall, they discussed the Christmas party.
“So…who’s room shall we throw the party in?”
“Not mine. Not the girl’s dorm.” Hyusune voiced out for all the girls.
“Jellal’s room, then?” Rima suggested.
“Nonono, not me.” Jellal shook his head.
“How about mine?” Makoto asked.
“Yea, I live 3 rooms away from Jellal.”
“Alright then, as long as its spick and span…”
“About that—” Makoto scratched his head, “I’ll clean up before you guys come…” He smiled sheepishly.
“I’ll get the food~” Cintare giggled.
“Leandra and I will get the champagne and wine.” Rima said.
“Odellia and I will get the party poopers and presents.”
“I’ll help Hyuu with the cake paking.” Jellal volunteered and Hyusune agreed.
“Alright, it’s settled then!” Makoto rubbed his hands together.
That night, when Odellia and Celestine were walking back to their dormitories alone, Celestine was still slightly upset as she could not summon Frezch Luminance after so many futile attempts.
Odellia gave Celestine a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
“I’m sure you can do it…all you need is a little more time.” Odellia said in a gentle voice.
“Its been almost seventeen years since I last used it. Moreover, I was merely an infant…there’s no way I could’ve remembered how I felt when I unleashed Frezch Luminance…” Celestine sighed.
They stood outside their dormitory and gazed out at the school garden under the moonlight.
“Don’t give up hope just yet…”
“I know, but…”
“After all these days of fighting, I’ve been pondering about something…What if Frezch Luminance can only be triggered when you need it most, and not by will?”
“Yea…like it only came out of you when Daemon was gonna take your life…It couldn’t come out at all when we tried to fight you…”
“That’s it! Why didn’t I think of that?”
Celestine snapped her fingers together.
“Frezech Luminance itself is a soul!”
“The soul of Xenza Seis.”
“Yes…I remember now…that warm feeling…the last she did to protect me before her death…to encase her soul within me.”