“It is either now or we wait for the next opportunity. Yes or no?”
“Fine, fine, yes, but tell me again, why these people from this world named Earth?”
“Why? Its simple, it’s the quality of their souls. Perfectly refined by their own hands, through sheer force of will they thrived in a world devoid of magic.”
“Devoid of magic? They survived in a world abandoned by mana?”
“Yes. Precisely so.”
“Even then, how will these people help our cause in the fight against the hyre and in protecting our own interests?”
“They are the perfect vessels for our God’s magic. The perfect material to make our wards.”
“Control those strong enough to become true users of Divine Arts? Whose to say they will not turn arms against us?”
“They will have no other choice. The only moment when their being can be transported here is when their existence wavers from their own world.”
“And when is that?”
“The moment right before their death.”
I had read a storm was coming in, yet the sky above had not one cloud. I felt cheated for some reason. It had no impact on me if it rained or shined, but I was fully expecting rain even my phone still read rain was coming.
I took a glance behind me and clicked my tongue seeing the raincoat and extra tent tarp that would be of no use as I head up the steps into the spacious bus. I was off to a camping trip.
Inside I was greeted with the sea of faces of my fellow students. First to meet my eyes was Alice, my cousin, whom I don’t exactly have a good relationship with.
Well, I’m more on the ambivalent side while she lays on the lawn on the passive aggressive. With an large emphasis on being passively aggressive.
Thinking back she wasn’t bad growing up, a little spoiled here an there being an only child and all, but besides that she was sharp witted and quite funny to be around even I enjoyed visiting her many years ago. But when my parents passed away and I had no other family other than her’s to move in with I learned how sharp she could be.
Don’t get me wrong, my aunt and uncle are great people, filled with a kindness I wish was inheritable. The only gripe was their horribly expensive lifestyle.
My uncle, George, a low level salaried employee had an easy life satiating the over indulgent lifestyles of his small family. However, once I came into view I really put a strain on their finances. I could see it in their eyes, no longer did they drive a new car nor wear the nicest clothes. Placing me in the same expensive school as their daughter and gifting me all too often nice clothes.
Of course I had said no many times, too many times. But they could not accept it even after downsizing their home and selling one of their cars to let the lifestyle continue.
My aunt and uncle made every effort to hide the fact the lifestyle they had wasn’t sustainable for much longer. Only causing me to feel more burdened.
Alice, however, made it very obvious she was not happy with the situation. Weather it be a scornful glare when I accepted a beautiful jacket when I entered high school after I outgrew my old one or when forced to ask for money to pay for an exorbitant school related cost.
I understood Alice and her point of view. I really did rob her of her home’s happiness, but what could I do? I had no other choice, I’ve even promised myself to pay them back once I could. I just hope it won’t be too late by then.
I offered her a smile, but received no change in her stare. Alice sat on the window seat besides her Amelia, her best friend, followed by our vice president, Edward. The two of which who were strongly inclined to do anything they could to make my life here harder than it should be for their precious Alice.
Alice was scary, sometimes I feared her. This academy was notorious for vicious bullying and hazing related deaths. Yet, Alice had just about everyone under her thumb.
I always wonder if the reason I could never hate her was due to the gratitude I felt towards her parents or if I too was under her charm.
I couldn’t answer, so I looked past their stares to Kevin my shining armored knight. The beacon stopping any form of serious bullying from the student body towards me.
He sat chatting seated in between his two childhood friends Noe and Ester. Like many students here they were wealthy, Kevin’s family, while not the wealthiest, was old with roots deep and far. As for Noe and Ester they each where children of various prominent local figures one in politics and the other some large manufacturing plant, respectively.
Kevin had been the first to befriend me on my first day as a new transfer and the only one to have stayed above Alice’s cloud of influence. He was the captain for the soccer team and even was the ace when he was in the judo team as well.
As for Noe and Ester?
I would consider us friends through Kevin, is how I would describe it, but they where close to Alice’s circle of followers. So I’ve never made an attempt to really get to know them well.
They probably think I’m a leech off of Kevin’s good grace like Alice thinks I do to her parents.
Well, I can’t rebuke that fact, they weren’t completely wrong, within the first week I could see how unaffected he was by Alice’s quickly spreading word. So I did exactly that, and made and effort to befriend Kevin because I knew it would let me have a calmer experience.
Of course after getting to know him I was bound to seem him as a real friend as well. Kevin was quite stoic and amiable in public, but in private he was a cheeky guy that was a sore loser when playing games or doing badly compared to me in exams. I consider him a great friend, the days we spend idle or the days we spend active they’re all fun.
“Henry!” Kevin took notice sending me a familiar smile.
“Kevin! Are the seats behind open?”
“Yeah sit sit before someone takes them.”
I smiled and nodded placing my hiking pack in the empty seats behind them and sat by the window.
“You almost missed the trip, what did you plan on skipping out?” Kevin smiled and looked back at me.
“I wish, Even if I tried I would end up on this bus someway or another.”
I was sure no one wanted to be on the bus at the moment, but it was a requirement. A mandatory ‘trip’ for all those attending the academy.
“A place to temper children.” Is what they called it.
It was a rite of sorts. Once you fished your final year of high school everyone would go off on a camping trip for a month in our national forest. A beautiful place , I’ve camped and hunted there multiple times, but from the various semi’s parked behind the luxurious bus I was sure this “camping trip” would have very little actual camping involved. I could only offer another sigh there really was no point in me bringing anything.
Though I won’t complain, the delicious meats and food that will be involved probably had no expense spared so I’ll enjoy it and spend my last few days as a student with my best friend. We were both off to different universities I was headed to one top rated in engineering and Kevin an international private one saved for those truly in the upper echelons.
He probably didn’t tell me so I would bring what he called ‘delicious commoner foods’, crafty guy. Kevin sent me a mischievous grin as he started at me then at my backpack.
No one ended up sitting next to me, figures. I would be more surprised if someone actually did willingly commit social suicide by doing so. Obviously, there were exceptions like Kevin or Noe for example.
I spoke to Kevin for a bit as the bus begun its way. Naturally the conversations died and we all either fell asleep or browsed through our phones.
The bus begun to trudge along. The hours passed as I watched random videos or listened to music. Its was only when I heard the eclectic motors really begin to whine from the stress of the steep mountains that I moved the window curtains to see outside.
“How long has it been raining?” I was surprised other than the electric motors I could hear nothing coming from outside nor could I see the windshield from my seat. It was basically pouring. I guess I wasn’t cheated after all.
“Oh wow it is!” Kevin took a peak after me reaching over Noe to look at the window.
A flash of light filled the bus cabin followed by a roar of the tires and brakes pulsing for traction as the stability control system tried its best to correct the bus’ sudden swerve. It was of no hope. I don’t remember clearly but I could feel the deep fluttering feeling of falling in my stomach. Immediately after I lost conscious.