Hunt 18: Untamed
In the morning of Hames’zien; Azalea and Blair are once again summoned to the guidance office. When they entered the office, the girl who got called out with them last time is already there. Furthermore she keeps on munching potato chips without a care in the world.
“Take your respective seats.” Mrs. Malupit says while fixing her piercing eyes at them. “The three of you again in the first week at that.” She fixes her glasses before looking at the computer screen.
“It’s us again.” Azalea says in her mind. “This is one ridiculous coincidence.”
Nobody dares to speak as if they all are waiting for the inevitable scene. The crunch of potato chips is the only sound they hear in the background which makes the situation quite comedic. No matter how serious they look, this one girl beside them does not seem to care at all.
The guidance counselor clears her throat. “Miss Blakewood and Miss Lisiantha, the two of you has been skipping classes again… While, you, Miss Saintgregor has been reported to be always eating in the middle of class.”
“That’s because I’m hungry.” She answers in monotone while she continues on munching the potato chips.
“Please learn self-control and wait for the proper time to eat your snacks.” She is eyeing her with a daunting expression.
“But I’ll get hungry.” She says with an unmoved look.
Miss Malupit sighs heavily. “Do you girls have some problems fitting in?”
“No way.” Azalea answers wearing a forced smile.
Blair follows with a soft laugh. “We’re good.”
“I just wanna eat when I’m hungry… and then sleep once I’m full… that’s all I ever wanted.” Primrose says before eating the last chip from the pack and then she took out a piece of lollipop.
“Okay.” The councilor shakes her head in dismay. “What could the headmaster be thinking bringing you all in this academy?” She mumbles while typing something in a report.
Something sparks in Azalea’s mind. “Hey, Saintgregor, what is your full name?”
“Primrose S. Saintgregor.” She answers without looking at the Azalea.
“Girls,” Miss Malupit calls their attention. “I want you to write about the changes that happened to you based on your life before you entered the academy and after. I want it personally delivered to me on Monday.”
“Seriously?!” Blair reacts rather hysterical.
“Holy sh--” Azalea almost blurted it out but she is able to stop herself midway.
“All I want to hear from you is ‘yes ma’am,’ okay?”
Blair frowns. Azalea rolls her eyes downwards. Primrose could not care less.
“Yes, ma’am.” They obediently answer in monotone.
“One more thing,” Ms. Malupit adds while fixing her glasses. “You know our curriculum; all students must join at least one club. I want to see all of you participating in club activities by the end of this coming week.”
“Yes, ma’am.” They answer again in unison. Then they are allowed to leave.
Miss Malupit sighs in distress. “For kids with such great potential, they sure do drag great deal of trouble with them as well. How long will it take for them to finally settle down?..”
During weekends, there are no classes. The students are allowed to leave the academy grounds and then return before curfew. They are free to pick what activity they want to spend their day on as long as it is not against the rules. Some are enjoying a day of club activities. There are those athletic types participating in sports. And there are those spending their day in walking around the malls in the city.
The sun is shining brightly with no signs of any rain clouds coming. For a certain person, the day has good weather which is just perfect for lazing around. A good day to stay on bed until the sun goes up so high, brightly burning everything under its light. When Blair wakes up, Azalea is already gone. The empty closed space with the bright rays of the sun piercing into the white curtains is making her uneasy to stay inside. Knowing that she is alone in the middle of the day brings back some unpleasant memories from the not so distant past.
“Maybe I’ll go explore outside the campus today.” She tells herself while getting up. She quickly washes her face. “Az didn’t tell me anything about her plans today.”
AB Academy is located in a small island called Nalkad in the gulf of Eldoon. It is connected to the city by a single bridge, the Aluet Bridge, which is under the watched of the Special Guard Unit appointed by ICA. Even though the security may seem so soft and unnoticed, the entry and exit of every person into the island is always under supervision. Yet, as soon as a student leaves the boundaries of the academy, past the Aluet Bridge, their actions will not be under the academy’s accountability anymore. The bridge is directly connected to Eldoon New City’s second district, the city’s center of commerce. In the west direction, adjacent to the second district is the fourth district where different forms of entertainment –starting from tv dramas, films, gaming, books and a lot more –are very popular. The first district, the center of medical facilities, is located in the southern direction of the second district. And the third district, known as the center of politics because it is where the city hall stands along with the mansions of high status government official reside, is found in the northern part of Eldoon New City.
It takes twenty to thirty minutes of walk in the Aluet Bridge to reach the bus station in the second district. Most people coming and going to and from AB Academy usually calls a service vehicle to pick them up. Blair, being a person who likes to keep her body fit, goes out the academy and then walks to the bus station to take a bus to the second district’s center. She intends to look around the city and learn more about its structure. She stayed in her uncle’s place in the first district before going into the academy, which is why she is still not familiar with the nearest district to their school. Everything is looking so new to her. The high skyscrapers look as if they can touch the sky. The busy streets with the crowds’ noise along with the vehicles’ sounds resonates into her world. She runs around the ocean of busy people like a cheerful kid who set her foot outside their house for the first time. She continues forward and walking through the active crowd while looking at one shop after another with a wide smile on her face.
“Where should I go if I want to buy cat foods?” She asks herself while wandering around happily. “I’ve never seen these many people in one place before.” She is looking around with her hood down low to conceal the color of her hair as well as the menacing look in her eyes that she could do nothing about. Most of the times people thinks that she is glaring but that is just how her eyes normally look. It gets her in trouble more often than not. While she continues her tour she unknowingly finds herself wondering into the park.
“The problem here is that it hasn’t even been an hour since I left the academy and I think I’m lost already.”
At the middle of the park sits a huge fountain shooting beams of water into the air that fall back down like crystal clear rain drops. Blair looks up its height with an open mouth while she runs with the desire of seeing it up close.
“Lost? I don’t really care.” She laughs, her grin is wide full of excitement. “I’ll somehow manage later!”
She makes a sudden stop across the fountain where the water sprinkled on the dry ground like a sunny day rain. In the middle of the busy and crowded city, a small rainbow shines brightly on top of playful vapors. While admiring the beauty of the fountain, the sound of commotion from behind suddenly grows closer. She is too occupied by the sight in front of her to care about what exactly is happening behind.
“Hey you!!!” A hoarse voice calls out.
Her curiosity makes her turn around however without completing the turn she feels a large hand suddenly grabbing her shoulder. Out of nowhere a fist flew into her face with a force that almost took away her balance. Despite of being surprised by the sudden attack she keeps her composure while maneuvering to distance herself from the attacker. Her hood fell back revealing her red hair that looks like swirling flames as the wind blows on it. She poses in defensive stance with her fist leveled to her chest. She stares at the boy who just threw his fist at her face. Looking at the buffed up muscles in his arms, she can tell that this guy must have trained his body a lot and he is definitely proficient in fighting. The man’s feet stands firm on the ground giving him a balanced stance.
“There’s fight?” The crowd murmurs.
“Someone call the police!”
“Y-you’re?.. a girl?” His eyes, with the right one scarred, are wide open in disbelief making him take a step back. “Damn it! They’re wearing identical jackets?..” He mumbles.
“How horrible… punching a girl on the face.” Ladies gossiping.
“A gang fight? Geez, teenagers these days.”
Blair decides to relax her stance while wiping the blood dripping from her lips. “Looks like you got the wrong person.” She says without letting her alertness down. She then walks away before she attracts more attention.
“Someone, catch him! He’s over there!” They hear voices shouting not far.
“Wait! Sorry, I didn’t mean to…” He is trying to apologize but Blair did not turn back and just disappeared into the crowd.
The young man also left and run around as if he is chasing after someone. Meanwhile, Blair following the voice that screamed in fear within the crowd; not far from the fountain, she gets a glimpse of a man who is wearing a hooded jacket with the same color –black and red—as hers. He is running anxiously in the middle of the busy street. He is bumping from one person to another making his movements slower so Blair used her ability to catch up to him. She runs fast slipping from every person in the crowd. Some of them is surprised and terrified but she could not care less about that, all she wants to do is catch up quick to that man ahead. When she finally gets the chance, she pulls him out of the crowded area and threw him into a less occupied space. The man fell on his butt while wrapping his arms around a lady’s bag.
“Hey, you’re that old already and you still don’t know that you shouldn’t go stealing other people’s stuff.” Blair stands furiously in front of him.
“W-what do you know?! Y-you’re just a pampered brat!” He growls while trying to distance himself and then stand up.
“Ah… really?” She raises her eyebrow and then stumps on the man’s right foot.
“Hey that delinquent is beating up an old man.” Voices gossips.
Blair does not mind the people staring at them. “You already got me in trouble today. How could you wear something identical to mine and go commit some crime?” She cracks her knuckles and grins. “I’d really love to hit you right now but I guess I’ll leave you to the authority.”
She then leaves without doing anything more than that. Some people went closer to see what happened but the man with guilty feeling wants to avoid them so he stands up quickly only to learn that the sole of his right shoes got fused with the ground. He is unable to pull it off which is making him confused and panicked.
“He went this way!” A loud man’s voice shouts as a couple of police officers arrive in the scene with a couple of civilians. “That’s him! He snatched my girlfriend’s bag!”
He tries to escape but because he is not able to remove his shoes fast enough, he got arrested on the spot. The couple and the police officers wonder what actually happened as they leave without knowing who cornered the snatcher.
Meanwhile in AB Academy, Azalea wanders alone into the recreation area that is over-taken by the red-zone students. Most of the students passing their time in the area stares at her like she is some enemy they have to be wary of. At this moment she is not sure whether it is normal for them to show agitation, she simply does not let it bother her. However, she keeps in mind that there sure is some weird air around the red zone that she must be wary of. She finds her target, Primrose. She is sitting alone in a table while eating cupcakes –a lot of cupcakes –and drinking a cup of coffee.
“Good afternoon.” Azalea greets allowing herself to sit across so that she can clearly see her face. “I would like to spend some time learning more about you.”
“I’m not interested, please go away.” Primrose answers frankly.
“Can’t you make a more interesting conversation? Why are your eyes so dead?”
“Why are you asking? Your eyes are the same… It’s just that you’re more capable of faking and hiding your true emotions.”
“You’re quite perceptive. I like that.” She tilts her head while wearing her business smile.
Primrose looks at her with ice cold piercing eyes. “Your kind disgusts me.”
“Is that so… I can’t really blame you for that, can I?” Azalea fixes her eyes on her. “Hey… Why are you red?”
“Why are you green?” She keeps an expressionless face and then she takes a sip of her black coffee.
“Because they found me before I turned red.”
“Ah, you are very lucky.” She makes a gloomy look and then pauses for a moment. “Sorry, let me correct my statement… Hm. They are very lucky, to have found you before you’re red.”
She draws closer, laying her arms on the table. “How long have you been red?”
“Since I was born.”
“I see…” Her expression turns serious adding weight to the tense air around them. “Do you believe that your father is that kind of person?”
Primrose’s expression suddenly changes into a confused state while staring at Azalea like she just heard something out of this world. Before Azalea can continue with her talk, Duke shows up behind her and then knocks on the table.
“Hello. It’s rare to find a green here at this day and hour. Hmmm… Miss Blakewood?” He greets and then he goes to stand beside Primrose.
Another girl arrives behind Primrose; she looks exactly like her except for that unnatural greenish color of her hair and one mechanical looking eye. She stands behind Primrose as well, beside to Duke.
“I’m Duke, her older brother.” He continues while patting Primrose’s head. “This one here is Wrie, my li’l sis’ yashou. It’s nice to make friends from time to time; I hope we could be friends too.”
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.” She answers. She fixes her eyes at them to get a better look of the two. “Your yashou, Wrie, seems to hold a will of her own and could materialize anytime.”
Primrose stands up. “My coffee got cold. Wrie, help me take these cupcakes back to our room, I want to eat my snacks without disturbances around.”
Wrie just follows Primrose’s instructions without uttering a word.
“What’s your MER?” Azalea throws a question before they leave.
“It’s D, for having a yashou that materializes on its will which continuously exhausts its contractor’s mana.” She answers and then leaves with her brother and yashou.
Azalea relaxes her back while watching their shadows vanish into the red dormitory. “I got a C-rank, for a disrupted mana which keeps my spells in unbalanced state.” She mumbles and then she stands up and walks away. “I see now… she’s just like me… running away, huh?..”
At the end of the day, Azalea keeps on wondering about what Headmaster Dimasalang said. There are a lot of things that do not appear to make sense but is actually connected to something important. She rolls on her bed reflecting on everything that happened since she entered the academy. She lets herself get lost within her thoughts. She sits on the chair beside their bed staring blankly into space. She is picking information from her memories that could become a clue on what she should do next. She stays silently in solitude confined in their dimly lit room, until Blair comes barging in with a bag of groceries. She turns the lights on after opening the door with a loud thud.
“Ah--! Az, you’re here.” She says putting the paper bag down. “I haven’t seen you all day but look I brought some cat foods for Q.”
She drowsily stares at her roommate who looks so delighted. “You didn’t have to; I got enough fo—Wait! What’s that on your face?!” She freaks out snapping her out of her half-asleep state.
“It’s just a scratch.” Blair says trying to hide the wound on her lips. “She’ll think I purposely got into a fight.”
“Just let me see.” She insists while touching the bruised part healing it. “There… You should take care of yourself more.”
Blair falls in silence due to the shock. “You healed me?”
“I’m a healer after all.”
“No… I mean, you don’t think I fought with some street gang or something, do you?”
She laughs as if she heard the funniest joke that day. “You are an idiot but not that stupid to purposely start a fight without a good enough reason. Whatever happened, I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“You are one of the rare people I meet from time to time.” Blair says with a candid smile. “I don’t know if you are praising me or insulting me. This school and the people around here are really interesting in many ways.”
MER (Mana Evaluation Result)
-> Each class has it's own way of ranking. MER is used to refer to one's overall level without regarding their class.
-> There are 3 factors that are being considered when ranking a reveil's ability. 1] Stamina (how long they can last using their powers), 2] Control (the consistency of their power output as they use their abilities), 3] Accuracy (how close to the target/intended result).
-> A reveil can have high class level while having low MER; however, they cannot get a high MER if they have low class level.
- Rank E -> weak in all factors
- Rank D -> has average mark in at least 1 factor. D- for 1 factor, D for 2, and D+ for all 3.
- Rank C -> has excellent mark in at least 1 factor. C for 1 factor, C+ for 2.
- Rank B -> excellent mark in all 3 factors.
- Rank A -> superior mana capacity, huge stamina to keep up with their mana capacity, the ability to use their power continuously for 24(+) hours, has exceptional control and accuracy.
- Rank S -> using their power is like breathing to them (extremely rare rank).
Sadi St. Malupit
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