The following is a story my friend wrote and gave me permission to post up here. The story is quite long. I am going to post the first few chapters here and attach a link for you to the rest of the story. Feel free to explore the site.
It’s not fair. No, it’s past being unfair. What have I done wrong? Why would they do something like that? Why are humans so… so… cruel?
I remember once, my mother said, ‘Sometimes, mankind is worse than any demon’. I never thought it was true… until now. They, the very people who are meant to bring JUSTICE to this world, destroyed my home, and along with it: my friends, my family and my hope. No matter what I do, I keep seeing the sight of my burning village – even when I close my eyes. I don’t want to sleep because I’m scared of nightmares, but this time there’s no one to help me.
Closing my eyes, I remember the screams, the cries, the blood. I cry out, and start sobbing. “If I had power… if I could… I could save everyone! I could stop them! I wouldn’t be alone, and they… they would be in Hard.” Continuously sobbing, I repeated those sentences. If I could …
Suddenly, a voice broke in. “Do you want power? Do you want to get revenge?” I nodded fervently, though I couldn’t see who the source of the strange voice was. It was so… distant, and felt like air. Can a voice even feel like something? Apparently so. There was no reply, so I shouted out. “Yes! I’ll give you anything if you get revenge on them for me!” There was silence for a few seconds, but then a response came.
There was a huge red light, then screams and shouts. “A Demon! A real one! We’re doomed!” A horrifying SPLAT sound, then all silence. Though not a peaceful silence, a silence that is the calm before a storm. The voice came again. “As promised, I have taken revenge for you. Now I shall take my payment.” My heart felt like it was being wrenched out of my chest, and then a glowing white orb floated in front of me. I gasped.
“W-Wait! What are you doing? What is that? Who are you?!”
“I am simply taking my payment. My name is Mammon, but some call me Greed.” Then, I saw a figure. A figure with long, white hair, wearing a green and yellow robe. And glowing red eyes. It started spiraling up. I desperately tried to call out, but it seemed that the higher it went, the more my chest tightened.
Then I fainted.
Pitch dark. That’s all there was, darkness. But I felt the presence of someone. “W-Where am I?” I asked myself. I wasn’t expecting a reply, but got one anyway.
“Greetings. It seems your hate is deep enough for me to contact you.” That voice… it sounded so much like mine.
“What the…? Who are you?” I asked. My voice echoed around, though there seemed to be no walls.
“What do you mean? My name is Ashrea Mira Tsuna.”
“Don’t tell me a lie! That’s MY name!” The voice chuckled. This place… where is it? And who is this person who apparently has my name?
“Yes, you are Ashrea Mira Tsuna, and I’m Ashrea Mira Tsuna too.”
“What the -“I swear, something is up in this place. My voice echoes, even though there’s no walls, the darkness isn’t natural, and even when I walked there was no sound.
“I’ve been locked inside you for so long… but now I’m so close to awakening…” The voice faded, and I started to faint.
“No! What is -“
I opened my eyes, but closed them again as sunshine shone into them. “Guuuhhh… Where am I?”
A person ran towards me. “Glad to see you joining me in the waking world.” I shielded my eyes, and opened them again. The person was a girl around my own age, with jet black hair and crystal blue eyes – almost exactly the same shade as mine.
“Who are you?”
“Oh! My name is Blaire Panngora. I found you lying back in the village. I was worried, so I carried you here. It wasn’t very hard, you’re really light.”
Back in the… village?
“"Oh. I'm... Ashy. You mean… you survived the fire as well?”
“Um, yeah, but I was on my first day to University. You can come with me, if you like.” University? That had never even came as a DREAM to me before. My family was pretty poor – though not to the point of poverty. It’d got a bit better, though. Then they came.
“Wait, wait, what day is it?”
Blaire raised an eyebrow. “Well, I carried you off to here two weeks ago. It was two days after the fire, I think. Anyway, if you want to come with me, we’d better go. I don’t want to make a bad impression on my very first day!”
“But, what if they don’t let me in?”
“You’ll probably have to do the exam, but it’s pretty easy. It’s a good university, nonetheless. Best in the South-East continent.” How come the best university in a CONTINENT had an easy exam? Or was it just easy in proportion? I thought for a moment, and then shrugged it off. I’d be much better off in the Southeastern continent than I am here.
“Alright, let’s go.”
Blaire brightened up considerably. “Okay! Let’s go on the balloon ride. I’ll pay, of course.”
Balloon ride? I guess that’s another thing on the list of my new experiences.
“I’ve never been on a balloon before,” I admitted sheepishly. “Never had the money.”
“Really?” Blaire seemed pleasantly surprised. “It seems we need to know each other a bit better. 20 questions?”
I smiled. “Of course.”
“I’ll go first.” Blaire said enthusiastically. “Where are you from?”
“Witchcraft Forest, but my family moved to Blackflame Peak. You?”
“Eyebloom Plains, but I decided to go travelling before going to University. What are your hobbies?”
It went like that. I learnt that Blaire was from a rich family, but she decided to find her own way in life when she got into MHU, Modern History University. She had some friends that went to the University, and they’d told her the headmistress was a scary woman that never spoke in a tone other than bellowing, shouting or yelling. She learnt that I liked to read, write and draw, but I couldn’t always find the time or appropriate equipment for those. All the way, until the very last question.
“Question 20, Ashy, use it wisely,” Blaire joked. I thought for a second. I couldn’t really think of something that didn’t seem nosy or obnoxious. Then a light bulb went off.
“How come you took the time to look after me, when it disrupted your travelling, and I was a stranger?”
Blaire stilled. I immediately regretted asking. “I-I’m sorry, I just –“
“No, it’s fine. I… You… I always thought that if you see someone in need, you should help. And you were flinching and calling out in your sleep, I didn’t want to leave you there.”
“Oh, I see.”
There was silence after that. I managed to start up another conversation, though I still felt like she was hiding something.
“Do you all comprehend?” Professor Mango bellowed. I rolled my eyes. Seriously, the woman talked so loudly, I’m sure the people in Aven could hear. “Well then, in that case I will begin handing out the entrance forms. Please depart to your dormitory as soon as you get your form.”
There had been an exam, but it was surprisingly easy, even with my limited knowledge of pretty much everything. I’d managed to score high enough to skip pre-training. It was a relief, since I’d never actually trained at all before.
Professor Mango finally got to me, peered at my form, and raised an eyebrow. “Ah, it seems you’re missing some things, please see me at the end.” I mentally facepalmed. Not even an hour gone and I’d already screwed something up. A sure sign of bad luck. Blaire nudged me, and whispered, “It’s fine, you haven’t previously planned this so you’re missing your course form. It’s easily fixed.” It wasn’t really of much of a comfort, but I smiled gratefully all the same.
When everyone finally got their forms, I went up to Professor Mango. “S-So, what am I missing?” Mango looked at my form, and spoke much too loudly. “Ah, well, you’re missing your course form. Which course would you like to take?” I thought for a moment. I’d never had the time or the chance to try anything, so I had no idea.
“I… uh… never tried anything, so I don’t know.” Mango raised an eyebrow, but didn’t ask about it.
“Alright, you can do all of them. You’ll get your timetable later.”
I sighed as she strolled off. How obnoxious can one get? I had begun to walk towards room M5 when someone shouted, “Wait!” behind me. I turned around, eyes wide, and saw a girl with midnight blue hair and eyes trying to catch her breath. “I’m sorry that Professor Mango is always like that. She’s, ah, a bit of an impatient person. As the Student Body President, I know that well enough. Evumeimei, by the way. Evumeimei Sarrasri” She held out her hand, and I shook it.
“My name’s Ashrea Mira Tsuna. Nice to meet you.”
“I hope you have fun at MHU,” Evumeimei said, and glanced at her watch. “Oh no! I’ll be late for the meeting.” She looked at me apologetically. “I’ll see you later.” I nodded and waved. As she dashed off, I smiled. Maybe I wouldn’t fail so badly in this place after all.
When I reached room M5, I tapped nervously on the door. A boy with long black hair and grey eyes opened it. “You know, you don’t need to knock. You’re not visiting the headmistress.”
I rolled my eyes. If he was going to act like that, so be it. “Fine, fine, but can I at least come in?” He seemed slightly taken aback by my sudden confidence, and stepped out of the way. I walked into the room, and the sight of piles of paperwork, bunk beds and various posters hit me like a sledgehammer. I turned my head, and saw Blaire. I sat next to her – it seemed the only free space, anyway.
“Oh! Ashy!” She looked up. “What luck! And I was scared I'd be left alone with HIM.”
The boy rolled his eyes. “HE’s called Pain. And you wouldn’t be left alone with me anyway, the permanently uptight girl is here as well.”
“Evumeimei?” Blaire asked. “She’s not THAT uptight.”
“Right, right,” Pain said. “In any case, you need to get down to the Newcomers Party or O' High Mango will come and take out your absence on me.”
I sighed, and gestured for Blaire to come with me. “We might as well go, knowing Professor Mango.”
As Blaire and I walked down the hall, I reviewed my current situation. So I’m in a dormitory with two of my friends and a guy who seems to permanently have some type of attitude problem. This will be interesting, I thought.
This party is terribly, amazingly, supernaturally BAD. It’s just a load of tables and some coloured rope hanging in crater shapes on the walls, albeit very pretty walls. The school can’t earn low amounts of money – there wouldn’t be stained glass windows or pretty mosaics in the hall otherwise – but this really isn’t making a good impression.
I stood and shifted awkwardly from one foot to another, holding a cup of water so tightly I was almost crushing it. Blaire had gone to find her friends, Evumeimei was at the School Council meeting, and Pain just didn’t want to come, so I was alone. There were a lot of cakes and biscuits on the tables, but I was afraid the sugar would be too much for my stomach. A poor person’s life has its toll on you, after all.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a girl with lavender blue hair talking to people about food in the school. I was tempted to go, but I figured that since I was pretty knowledgeable on herbs and plants, I’d get along. So far in my life I’ve not had any terrible disasters involving food, and that was in a much worse environment, too.
I was so lost in my thoughts, I didn’t see the girl come up to me. I jumped and flinched when she spoke to me.
“Hello,” She said cheerfully. “My name’s Kaya, Kaya NomNom. I’ll have you know it’s not my real name, but you can never be too original.”
“Oh. H-Hello,” was all I could get out.
“You won’t tell me your name?” She seemed to droop a little. “Oh well! No problem, I know how bothered parents are with privacy these days.”
I smiled. “I’m sorry, I was a bit surprised. I’m Ashrea Mira Tsuna. And… My parents can’t really complain about my privacy now.”
Kaya stood up straighter and grinned. “Well, now we’re friends, so there’s no need to be private nor formal anymore!” She paused for a second, then continued. “By the way, why are you not eating anything?”
The smile faded from my face. “I… It’s too much for my stomach. I’ve, uh, not really had sugar much before.”
She grinned even more. “Then I can give you a tutorial on these foods, and you see which ones you can eat! Okay, so, this is the chocolate sponge, I suggest you don’t have it right now since it’s quite rich…”
It was very fun, Kaya seemed to know absolutely everything about food, ingredients, proportions, the lot. By the end, I’d tried plenty of new biscuits and cakes – and not given my stomach too big a challenge.
“Thank you, Kaya. You know a lot about food,” I said, as I reached for another plain cookie.
“You’re welcome!” She replied happily. “Professor Mango always makes me help out in the kitchen, the jerk,” she continued, her tone dropping to a mutter. I was a little taken aback.
“Yeah. She’s a midget and all, but she’s really fierce.”
I smiled. It was true, Professor Mango was about the same height as a seven-year-old. Until now, I’d never realised how tall I was. I was even taller than Evumeimei and Kaya, though Pain still towered over me.“She seems to have difficulties speaking at a normal volume.”
Kaya laughed. “You have absolutely no idea how right you are! Once, my dormitory was really hyper, and we accidentally woke up Professor Mango. And then, she went into our room, only to start shouting so loudly she woke everyone else in the corridor and beyond! She’s impossible, really.”
I smiled. It seemed I would have a few problems with the headmistress. Kaya seemed to think for a moment, then continued.
“You know, you should probably get Pain to become quieter, before he gets you all in trouble.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you see, Pain is probably the single most rebellious person in this school. He gets into trouble pretty much every day. And Professor Mango will take it out on you.”
It was true that Pain seemed to be exactly the type of person Professor Mango hates. “Well, I’ve gathered already that he permanently has some type of attitude problem.”
Kaya giggled. “Beyond that! I don’t really like him a lot. Every time I try to talk to him, he tells me to get lost and stew away in the school kitchen. How obnoxious! It’s not like I’m rude to him, either!”
“I guess he’s not really the type of person who likes to talk to others?”
“He talks about one tenth of the amount a normal person should, and whenever he does speak, it’s never something nice!”
It was really funny how Pain was so intimidating, yet so easy to make fun of. “From what I know, he’s not really a nice person in general.” Kaya began to reply, but was cut off by Professor Mango, using a microphone that she really didn’t need.
“Well then, students! I hope you enjoyed the Newcomers Party. It’s now time to go back to your dormitories. Don’t forget Demonstration Assembly in a week. Goodbye.”
Once I got back to the dormitory, Blaire and Pain were already there.
“Oh, Ashy!” Blaire gushed. “Wasn’t that just great?!”
Pain scowled. “You guys are too social.”
“You’re too anti-social, Pain.” A voice called behind us.
“Who gave you permission to tell me that, Prez?”
Since when was Evumeimei called ‘Prez’?!
“I told you, STOP calling me ‘Prez’!” She snapped.
Pain smirked. “Sorry to say, but I do what I like.”
“You’ll be regretting saying that later!”
“Oh yeah? And what are you going to do, go sucking up to your best friend Professor Mango and get her to expel me?”
“SHUT UP!” Evumeimei exploded.
“Evumeimei! Calm down!” Blaire pleaded in vain.
“Oh my,” Another voice said. We all spun around.
“Go away, Ryuu,” Pain growled.
“I’d prefer not to, Pain.” Ryuu smiled. “Well, I shouldn’t really be commanding one a higher rank than me, even if they’re my friend. But Evu, please calm down. If you get violent, you might lose your position as President.”
“I wish everyone would stop making a dig at my rank,” Evumeimei muttered, but she did step back, and her arms dropped to her sides. Pain scowled again – probably at the prospect of the fact that he didn’t get Evumeimei into trouble – but said nothing.
“Good, good.” Ryuu said. “Now, try not to kill each other.” He waved, then walked away. As soon as he was out of earshot, Pain exploded.
“Who does he think he is, commanding me like that! Just because he’s his class delegate!”
I was fed up of all this. If all happened here was Pain trying to aggravate Evumeimei, I had to fix it.
“Well, Pain, who do you think you are? It’s not exactly your place to make digs at someone’s rank or name.” I found myself saying. Everyone turned and looked at me, wide eyed. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. “If you could drop the entire ‘I’m-a-big-tough-guy’ act, that would be great. Evumeimei is being a great person to not complain about you and ask to move dormitories. I’m pretty sure you weren’t born with an attitude problem, so you don’t need to act like you’ve got one.”
Blaire cheered. “And a girl younger than you dares to say that to you! A newcomer, too!” Pain stormed out of the room with a frown painted on his face, but he seemed to be a bit calmer. I was a LOT calmer, too; though I was surprised I managed to say all that in front of anyone, especially someone who intimidated me at first.
===END OF PREVIEW===
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