You don’t know the Drakars, do you? They are born perfect in every other way, but there still is something vital that they lack. That is their Achilles heel. And the main reason why they are born as twins. For this pair that we know, one lacks the physical strength and vitality and the other lacks the warmth of love. It is not that no one wanted to change them. Leopards can never change their spots, it is the same with them. A heart void of emotion seeks the warmth of love, only to have it snatched away; another seeks inner peace for the storm that boils beneath his calm composure…
Rye Drakar hadn’t been killed that day? What if the Drakars hadn’t been born that way? Then all this wouldn’t have been happened. What if Kai had been born with some other ability?
All that lies in the hands of a girl, an unlikely hero and a heart that yearns both love and revenge at the same time. Perhaps it is not too late to right a wrong… Who knows what could happen then?
The story of something that happened at the Meztra’s Academy of Talented and Aspiring Mages involving three 13-year olds during their path of reaching Seer-hood in their high-stream class. The mismatched trio: genius detective Stu, hot-headed Kai Drakar with a troubled past and the normal girl Luka are sent on a high-level mission as their ‘Final Assessment’ that requires them to complete 99 missions within an eight-week time limit. With their assignment comes a mysterious final note paralleling the eccentricity of their assignment itself: that they tread on a fine line between all things seemingly worlds apart and that if they were to fail this, they would befall a fate no worse than to face the same doom as their loved ones had before.
It’s a rush against time and a bet against fate…
[Spoiler Note: Action, Battles, blood and major plot twists ahead]
Characters: Lucky, Stu, Rye, Kai, Buzzard, Ellie Edricia, Warren
Abilities: [Emperor’s Omniscience], [Knowing Heart], [Power of God], [Judgment of God]
Authors: Team Mello (Wen Qi and ?)
‘RYE? Rye, NO!’ In a sudden flash, Rye’s body thumped against me and blood started to stain my shirt from what was gushing out of his wound. He slumped against me, clutching his stomach whilst glaring at the silver-haired assassin who seemed equally as shocked as I was. Rye… he had taken the blow that was meant for me. No… it was meant for me. I was the one who supposed to die. Yet…
‘Why, Rye, why….’ Tears flowed freely from my eyes as no amount of willpower could restrain them. They rolled down my tear troughs and onto Rye’s face that had suddenly become so frail.
‘You’re my little brother… you’re all that I have left…’ he rasped as more blood flowed from the blow that had been dealt to his stomach. Take him to the hospital, the thought immediately entered my mind that had been oddly frozen, instead of going frenzy with grief or rage that I usually would. I lifted him up and dashed towards the hospital, not at once bothering to glance back at the assassin. If Rye died… it’d be my fault. It was my fault from the very start. How odd, since no footsteps followed mine from behind. Only when he was safely in the A&E did I look back. There was no one, not even the shadows of the assassin. If Rye died … I would avenge it…
I wouldn’t rest until the day where the price had been fully paid. The price of taking away someone that I had dearly loved, the only thing I had left in this world… Tears. There were more tears. If Rye died… then there would be no one to wipe away my tears… no one to smile and encourage me… the only one I was sure I loved… was gone. Forever. No more hugs, no more reassuring shoulder pats, nobody to wipe away my tears, no one to share my joy when I laughed and no one to share my sorrow. I didn’t want him to go… not like that… what if I took the blow instead? Then I’d be in the A&E instead of Rye… would he be thinking of the same thing? No, something in me told me that he wouldn’t die, not like that. We’d survived things worse than that, huh?
The hours sped by and I wasn’t even aware that I had brushed shoulders with time all the time I sat outside the A&E ward, staring bleakly at the door. It opened and a nurse stepped outside. “Kai Drakar? Your brother is very fortunate to have survived the whole ordeal and the operation was very successful. Would you like to see him now?” I nodded. Rye was fine, he was alright. I felt like jumping up and down and doing a victory dance. But all I did was to calmly follow the nurse to Rye’s ward towards 3 o’clock. The nurse left me outside Rye’s ward, staring at the sign board hanging outside. Gently I pushed the door open, praying that he would be alright and fine, with no serious injuries sustained. Damn, you’re already eleven, be stronger! He was alright, staring outside the window, something he would do very often back at home. He was admiring the scenery whilst letting thoughts run through freely in his mind and his soul search for the answer. I couldn’t help but to smile when I saw the mild surprise in his eyes as he turned towards me.
‘Kai, you’ve grown.’ That was his way of acknowledging a person, even though most of the time they weren’t half-aware of that till he told them.
“Nah, you’ve shrunk, Rye.’ A barely visible smile spread across his face.
‘Rye… you didn’t have to…’
‘Have to what? Come here, Kai. There’s something I need to tell you and besides, you shouldn’t stand by the door…’ I nodded, my cheeks heating up as I was caught off guard by a comment from Rye that stated the blank obvious. I strode towards him and a sudden realization of how fragile he looked in the hospital bed, almost every inch of visible skin covered by bandages. He looked like a mummy, I remarked to myself.
‘Nice costume for Halloween, but you’ve got almost eight months to wait.’ He smiled.
‘Yeah, it’d be a pity since by then, all of these would have to be off. I bet I’ll be the one who gets the most sweets.’ Rye’s grin grew as he joked wittily. Then he stared at me, all the while smiling.
‘Sit down, Kai.’ I dreaded the news to come.
‘Have you thought about going to the seaside for vocation this holidays? We need to relax before we enter the streaming year.’ I nodded as I noticed the enthusiasm in his eyes. Seems like he really did want to go.
‘Anyways, Kai, I need to talk about something.’ The news was finally here. I could tell just by looking at the way his eyes darkened. It would be painful, not only for him, but for me too. The both of us. We shared our joy, we shared our pain. Without him was like living with only half of me. He was technically part of me.
‘Here’s something I figured out. Listen to me, ‘kay?’
‘Yeah.’ Sometimes when I look in the mirror, we look alike that it makes me shiver. I just wished you’d know, Rye. But I know that we are different people, you are born with intellect surpassing a normal person’s and I was born with exceptionally great strength and power. Thus our abilities are dubbed the [Judgment of God] and [Power of God] respectively, like all Drakars.
‘Kai, stretch out your hand. I need to cast a rune. It’ll allow the both of us to telecommunicate and also, for my soul to fuse with yours so that I can help you in ways that I previously haven’t been able to.’ I nodded, stretching out my hand as he traced a circle on the back of my palm. Take off your shirt, he stared at me and I understood immediately even though the command had randomly popped in my head. Telecommunication, amirite? I asked, to which he nodded and smiled. I took it off and turned around, my back facing him and a sharp surge of pain jolted through me as he held my hand. Instinctively, I bent forward, gasping and breathing hard. It felt as though millions of glass shards had been drive through me. Rye’s grasp on my hand loosened for a while and I felt tears well up in my eyes even though the excruciating pain faded. ‘Don’t worry, Kai. You’ll feel better soon.’ I squeezed my eyes shut to distract myself from the pain as Rye’s voice came, though he was speaking through gritted teeth. He was feeling the same pain as I was. But he choose to comfort me instead.
‘Rye… what was that?’
‘The soul fusion.’
“Because I want to see you in the Hall of Fame.”
“Team Stu-Lucky-Kai?” A knock on the door. Open it, Stu gestured at Kai, who nodded in return. They were in the middle of a game of monopoly, halfway through before someone had knocked on the door of the game room belonging to the Meztra’s Academy of Talented and Aspiring Mages. Warren, the pageboy on duty that day was standing outside, staring into the clubroom. He smiled awkwardly at Kai who had opened the door and the duo at the table. “Yeah?” He snapped out of his staring to meet Stu’s glare and almost jumped out of his skin. “Y-your F-final Assessment… h-here’s the letter from the principal a-and t-there’s a note too! J-just remember to read it carefully, y-ya know… Bye then!” He stuttered and rushed off, leaving the huge manila folder in Stu’s hands and the two staring oddly at his speedily retreating figure.
“Yeah sure, we would.” Kai replied offhandedly. “But he didn’t have to go so fast… the game just got boring, we could’ve invited him, say Stu? But I think you scared him away, huh?” He stretched and yawned, taking a glance lazily at his team mate. All Stu did was to nod and teleport back to the table where Luka waited with a concerned expression on her face. “Stu, you scared Warren away!”
“Heck would I know. Besides, it was his fault for hitting on you in the first place…”
“Well, we should at least try to make a few friends during the whole year, huh?”
“But I wouldn’t forgive him if anything happened to you.” His reply was simple, always like that. Lucky just couldn’t understand. He was a genius that she knew. She knew that he didn’t like certain things and crowds, but he loved playing strategy games. He was a genius in his own right, which was why he was in the fast-stream class in the first place. Now he was taking the note off the folder and examining it. “Lucky, see this. You tread on the thin line between the things worlds apart… Seek the truth lest you befall the fates no worse than those before you…”
“What was that?”
“The final note, of course, Lucky.”
“But… this sounds pretty dangerous… could we change our Final Assessment?”
“You can, Lucky.”
“The truth huh? Sounds interesting… I don’t think anything might happen, Lucky. And Kai, aren’t you a bit too…”
“Superstitious? Heh, we’ll see ‘bout that!” Kai yelled at Stu, his brown hair covering his eyes as he lunged forward to tackle Stu. But too late, the slim raven-haired boy delivered a lower kick to the brunette’s stomach, sending the latter stumbling towards the wall.
“Stu! Kai! Stop at once!” Stu turned to her and blocked incoming punches from Kai, who simply stared at her blankly.
“I told you to stop fighting!” Lucky yelled as Stu did a Blanche to use a feet to block Kai’s aura-induced fist.
“Woah, when did you learn Parkour?” Stu smirked as Kai asked mid-dash. Then he did a quick Meia Lua de Compasso Dupla in Kai’s direction.
“I always have.” A quick Meia Lua de Rins came in Kai’s direction.
“And the Brazilian martial art Capoeira?” A Meia Lua de Compasso Dupla aimed at his face again.
“You’re not as dumb as I thought.” Stu blocked another shower of fists and jumped over to the nearby billiard table, toppling cards and chips and dices in the way. He picked up a billiard ball and launched it at Kai.
“I thought you were nothing but a powerhouse. Learning parkour allows me to move through literally everywhere in the shortest time possible. Capoeira is a nice way to fight using the surprise element.”
“But you’ll need space.”
“And I don’t destroy a lot of things.”
“Then you’re into physical combat.”
“You don’t say.” They seemed like a combat stand-up comedy team, talking like as though they knew the next move the other would execute. Wait… Lucky thought. Were they planning to train here?
“Hey! Stu, Kai! Get out now!” She hollered over the mini-tornado that Kai was stirring in the room around the two.
“Why?” Stu yelled back, holding a hand over his ear as his messy black hair whipped his face.
“You’re going to destroy everything!”
“Sure thing. Just get everything outta the way.” He answered over the wind.
“Mmm, yeah!” Lucky shoved everything she could to the side before a strong blast of air forced open the door and shook the glass windows as it passed. She caught sight of the folder that lay open by the pool snooker table and opened it. Their Final Assessment turned out to be a treasure hunt. But it did involve a trip to the Everlorn dungeons, where the creatures of the night dwelled, mostly created from the souls and the twisted yearnings of the Metropolis residents that have collected in there. In a sense, it was the sewers of the upper world and entry was only for the mages that had passed their Final Assessment. The assessment itself had no consistency, it was just an excruciatingly difficult task that would clearly differentiate the weak from the strong, the ones eligible and strong enough to survive in the world of mages, instead of simply existing as goats in the campus grounds.
“Lucky?” Stu’s voice shook her out of her reverie. She turned to lock eyes with his grey-blue ones. “You know we’re going to the Everlorn Dungeons, huh?”
“Yeah.” It spelled trouble.
“I just got ranked-up in my club.” Lucky felt a jolt of joy shoot through her but at the same time, something of disappointment and anger. She just stared at him, her eyes glazed with shock.
“My assistant’s Mrs Ellie Edricia,” that was something she hadn’t expected.
“Our entire FA will be conducted there… she’ll help with the box dimension part.” So he was going after all!
“Time to get going, Stu! And you too, Lucky!” Kai poked his head in from outside and Stu nodded back. A joint teleportation rune to gain entry to the dungeons. Kai was waiting outside, standing in the glowing circle. Hurry up, he beckoned and they stepped in. The rest of the rune letters spelt out themselves, forming a glowing street directory beneath their feet. Everlorn dungeons, Kai scratched out and the circle gave a questioning whirr. Just go ahead, he commanded, casting the entry rune with a flick of his index and middle fingers. Light from the circle dilated and surrounded the trio before fading away once they reached their destination: The feared Everlorn Dungeons.
Stu stepped out, yawning widely as he quickly surveyed the surrounding patch of never-ending floor and ceiling. The dungeons were designed that way, endless stretches of its infamous black marble floor, countless debris and the slate Hellenic ceiling that appeared to be incapable of supporting itself. The midnight-black thorns that crept across the floor and then the moving shadows that darted from the fallen parts of the dungeons. It had been used as a temple before some gory history happened, according to his special ability. How boring and considering club Y’s office was located on the 7th floor. Now to find the warp-holes; cracks in the floor that leads to another level with the same boring landscape. That’s until we reach level 7 or Hade’s Palace, he smirked. Just like in Lucky’s fairytales.