Welcome to this playground inspired story. The ongoing storyline is unique, however the characters are named after fellow playgrounders themselves. If you are new at reading this and would like to join the cast, simply let me know by posting down below. Otherwise, please enjoy reading:
Minor note: If you want to appear in the story, just post saying you want in. I'll put you in somehow or another. I won't turn anyone away. Additionally, you must let me know what sort of paladin crystal power you want to have. Also, give 4 back-up powers as well. I got this story planned out quite far and I need to have some things to fall back on. Also, if your account name is something that sounds like a fancy commercial product (Which is very likely) or some long or weird name, could you please come up with a nickname version that sounds like it could be a real name. I'd like to keep this story as real sounding as possible and the first way to do that is to start with everyone's names.
However, you're not limited to only being a paladin. If you want to be someone else, I have an entire list of non-paladin positions that need to be filled up.
List of Cast: Name / Character's Name
Je Dit Viola / Viola (P)
Mordokai / Mordokai (P)
Grim Ranger / Grim (B)
Lil Shiro / Kurama (P)
Penny67/ Penny (P)
Blue Ghost / Blue (G)
RabbitHoleLost / Rabbit (P)
Bisected8 / Bis (P)
Recaiden / Recaiden (B)
Saint Nil / Nil (P)
Lix Lorn / Lix (P)
Mangosta71 / Mangosta (B)
Traker / (Still needs nickname) (P)
CoffeeIncluded / (Still needs nickname) (?)
billtodamax / Bill (E)
Grimlock / Lock (V)
Arq Kujos / Kujos (P)
ThePhantom / (Still needs nickname) (?)
DMofDarkness / Darkin (H)
PersonMan / Scarge (V)
licoot / Licoot (P)
Ajadea / Ajadea (P)
Lord Raziere / Razz (?)
Partysan / Ysan (P)
Raz Fox / The Vulpine aka Raz the Fox (H)
smuchmuch / (Still needs nickname) (?)
super dark33 / (Sarudark) (V)
Ranger Mattos / Mattos (H)
Maxios / Maxis (E)
*(If anything is wrong or missing, please inform me. Thank you)*
Another minor note: If you see any errors in the stories such as spelling mistakes or grammer, please point them out to me with how to correct them. It would make the stories better for new readers. Thank you.
Also, helping me think up titles for each parts would be appreciated as well.
Paladin Academy: Part 1
The Call -Cast-
Viola nerviously climbed the steps to the great large metal doors set inside the walls of the large fortress. Set over the doors was a large, maginficant sign, showing rust with age.
Viola gulped and watched as the steel doors slowly opened inward. Silently, she recalled the event that led her to this moment.
The sun light drifted in lazily through an open window. Viola sat on her bed in a large room. However, there wasn't much space for her since there were many beds and dressers crammed together. The floor and walls were chipped and cracked with alot of dirt that would never come off. The orphanage Viola stayed at was always depressing. She lived here all her life and was now 14. All the other kids were out enjoying the sunshine, but Viola was not. This was her one time she could take a break from everyone and enjoy the room to herself. She picked up an old viola that had a few strings broken. Nevertheless, Viola played it with little skill, yet still managed to produce a wonderous sound.
Shortly however, she knew something was wrong. The sounds from the open window were no longer of laughing cheerful children. Screams were bellowed and the sounds of people running franctically around. Viola quickly jumped up and hurried from the room to find out what was going on. As she raced down the stairs, a mans voice was shouting. She reached the front door and peered out around it. What she saw was a man who held a woman in front of him with a knife to her throat, clearly using her as a shield. Several guards surronded him with their swords drawn trying to reason with the man, but the man refused. It was quite clear that he had done something bad and was trying to figure out how to escape. The man was positioned just in front of the door, his back to her.
Viola watched the whole thing unfold while some voice was yelling at her at the back of her mind. She wanted to stop him, for justice to be served, for evil to be punished. When the voice was deafening she sprang into action, purely acting on instinct. She lept up and grabbed the man's knife hand and managed to yank it away from the woman's throat. When the man lost his balance, she quickly kicked the inside of his knee and he collapsed. The guards quickly hurried over to subdue the man while the woman ran off in a panic. Everything happened so fast and no one seemed to notice her as a group of people began to close around the guards and the criminal.
Or... almost no one.
Viola became aware of a man behind her. She spun around and beheld a blond haired man in brilliant shining armor. He was gazing down at her with a look she had never seen before. She couldn't make it out exactly, but it looked like he was looking at a trophy with sense of consideration and satisfaction.
The man looked her once over before finally speaking to her. "That was very brave of you for doing something like that."
"I...I don't know what happened... It was as if-"
"-some higher calling urged you into action? Yes, I know."
Viola looked at the man wearily. "Who are you?"
"My name is Mordokai. I run the Paladin Academy."
He pointed and Viola followed, beholding the fortress on top of the hill in the distance. She then looked back and took a moment to find her voice.
"W-Well, it's pleased to meet you, Mr. Mordokai."
She gave a slight, nervous bow.
"My name is Viola."
The man nodded.
"Viola..." He seemed to roll her name around in his head. "A pleasant name for you to have. Very well then, tomorrow I would like you to gather your things and go to the academy at noon."
Viola blinked again in suprise.
"Why sir? Is... Is something wrong?"
"No, there is nothing wrong. In fact the opposite for something is right. You have heard the calling of good inside you. You may now go where most can not even dream of going. But you need help discovering the powers deep inside you. For you see, you have taken the first step in becoming a paladin."
Viola spluttered at these words. This had to be a mistake. "A-A Paladin?! Me?! There must be a mistake! I-"
Mordokai held up his hand to silence her.
"There is no mistake, young Viola. Tomorrow at noon, you will be at the gates of the Academy. I shall be waiting for you there."
Mordokai then turned and walked into the crowd. Viola blinked and he was lost in the endless sea of people, leaving her alone to comprehend what just happened..
The doors grinded to a halt and the gate stood wide open invitingly. Nervously, Viola walked forward slowly, looking around with each step at the scene before her. Many would've killed for a chance to see inside the fortress of the paladins, though come to think of it, that may be the reason they weren't allowed in. What Viola saw was many different people in a similar type of armor that fit each perfectly well. The area was an open field of compact dirt with a large round castle made of stone stood in the center, equally spaced from the walls from each side. A line of targets were set for archery along one of the outter walls while a line of training dummies were on the opposite wall. Scattered in a specific pattern were circles of rope that were nailed down. Some of them held a couple of paladin's dueling each other. While most were training, others were walking to the various other areas of the large fortress.
As she walked towards the castle main entrance, she heard several voices around her. It seemed that everyone had notice her and were muttering amongst themselves. She knew they were all talking about her and she could feel her cheeks reddening. She faltered for a moment, certain that some mistake had to be made. But she quickly regained her composure and walked forward, trying to ignore the stares and whispering of everyone around her. It was then that she found herself at the steps of a large pair of oak doors. She hesitated, unsure of where to go from here. Through the doors. Up the stairs. Highest Floor. Welcome, young paladin.
She looked around but saw no one around her. It almost sounded like the voice was spoken to her from inside her head. Looking forward, she slowly opened the doors and climbed up a set of large stone steps that would lead her to the highest level of the fortress. She stopped in front of another smaller pair of magnificant oak doors, but these were adorned with an associated patterned on them.
As she stepped inside, she saw that the office was decorated in such a way to rival that of royalty. She reckognized Mordokai sitting at the desk. However, there was another man standing in front of the desk, yelling angrily.
"You've got to be kidding me?! Do you realize how much I've done? How much I sacrificed for this academy! And now you're telling me I'm still not going to complete the graduation test?!"
"Grim, while no one doubts your skills, many of us doubt your patience. That itself is a test you have not yet passed. I'm sorry, but you will have to wait."
"No one else has even advanced far enough to even do this test! And everytime I think I'm about to do it, you've told me no. Well, I'm sick of this dicatorship you've set up here. You probably won't have anyone do the test so you can 'rule' over us!"
The man called Grim turned and marched angrily towards the door. As he was passing Viola, he gave her an angry glare that made her cower under it. Unlike the other paladins, this man's armor was darker and slightly sinister. The oak door slammed behind her and Viola was rooted where she stood.
Mordkai sighed, rubbing his temples before looking up to address Viola.
"Please, come on over here Viola."
Viola hesitated for a second and then walked forward until she was right in front of the desk.
"Please excuse the spectacle that you had the misfortune of witnessing. Grim is our top paladin and has become slightly arrogant because of it. I am glad that you managed to find this place okay. While it's magnificant and a fancy appearance to live in, it does come with a price. It is a lot of hard work being a paladin Viola, some of it even dangerous. You must be ready for anything the world will throw at you."
"I...I understand, sir."
Just then, the oak doors opened again. Inside walked in a boy around Viola's age. The boy spoke.
"You wanted to see me, sir?"
"Ah! Kurama, please come in."
Kurama closed the door and stepped forward, stopping on Viola's left.
"I know it must be tough for you Kurama, to lose a partner like that."
Kurama looked down at his feet. "If... If only there was something I could've done."
"But there wasn't, my dear boy. There wasn't anything you could have done. However, there is something you could do now. This here is Viola, our newest member amoung us. She shall be your new partner. Please show her to your room and help her get settled."
Kurama looked at Viola. "Alright. I'm Kurama, nice to meet you."
Viola nodded nerviously at him.
"Nice to meet you too."
Then something Mordokai said made her pause.
"Ummm... Mr. Mordokai, sir? I though I heard you say room. Don't you mean 'rooms'?"
"Oh no, my young Viola. You two are sharing a room together. As partners, it is crucial you get to know each other completely."
Viola blushed a deep crimson red at these words.
"B-But I'm a Girl! He's a Boy! We couldn't share a room together!"
Even at the orphanage, all the kids she shared a room with were girls.
"Now, now Viola. We are not distinguished differently by personal characteristics here. We are all servants for the Greater Good. No more, no less. You will learn this soon enough. Now Kurama, please take young Viola to your room."
"Yes, sir. Come on, Viola."
Viola followed Kurama awkwardly. She looked back at Mordokai's smiling face before she left the room.
Viola walked nervously after Kurama. She followed him close to avoid getting lost, for there was a maze of corridors and halls leading every which way. The sound of their footsteps reverberated off the cold stone walls and floors. The grand and spectacular way the stones were carved and set into their positions caused Viola to again think that she shouldn't be there. After a short while later that felt like a century to Viola, they finally stopped at a door. Kurama grabbed the handle and opened it, gesturing inside.
"Here is our room. Go ahead and leave your stuff here and I'll take you on a tour around the academy."
Viola walked into the room and immediate felt shock at the sight. She was use to big rooms, but never something that gave so much space. Two beds were spaced 15 feet apart on opposite walls. There was also a desk and nightstands that accompanied each bed. At the orphanage, there was barely any room to walk between the beds, not including all the other kids she had to maneuver around. But the room promised so much more room than she knew what to do with. Was it alright if she left some space empty?
She saw the bed on the right having various items around it and assumed Kurama was sleeping there. So she walked over to the bed on the left side and placed the bag that held what little she actually owned on top of it. She then turned and walked back out to where Kurama was waiting for her.
"Um...Ok, I'm set."
"Alright, then. I'll start at the training grounds and we'll move on from there."
She followed Kurama again through the maze of corridors until they emerged onto a balcony overlooking the front gate. As she looked about, she was able to see all the equipment used for training. She was able to identify them better now that she wasn't tried to ignore everyone's gossip and stares.
"This is the main training ground where we work to improve our combat skill and everything. Its tough at first when you're new, but after a while you get used to it and know what exactly you need to do to train on your own."
Viola watched as a couple paladins dueled inside a rope circle ring. As their blades clashed, she felt the color drain from her face.
"I've... I've never held a weapon in my life."
Kurama chuckled, causing her to look at him. "Don't worry, most of us who came here haven't held a weapon before either. I was only eight when I was introduced to this place, so I for sure didn't know how to hold a weapon."
It surprised Viola to hear that.
"Really? How did you do to get here?"
"Oh..". Kurama looked away embarrassed. "Well, it... wasn't that heroic. Mordokai happened to be passing through when he saw me."
"What? What did you do?"
"Well I... stood up to a bully on the streets. He was a good 4 years older than me and was as big as a gorilla. Smart as one too, now that I think of it."
"I won. Plain and simple. Well, not exactly... I had quite a few bruises and cuts on me, though. I just had a sense of importance... to stop him from picking on everyone that was smaller than him."
He paused for a moment.
"It was also easier to beat him then I expected. I seemed to know how he was going to throw his punches somehow. It also only took a black eye for him to scamper away like a little wimp crying like a puppy dog."
He chuckled at his recollection.
"That's... similar to what happened to me."
"It's what happens to everyone here. Everyone before you had the same feeling. We were chosen by destiny to be servants of justice and morality. To serve the greater good."
Viola looked back over all the paladin's training. Her breathing quickly increases as the realization of what was to be expected of her.
"I...don't think I'm... I can't do this. I shouldn't be here."
"Oh yes, you are. Mordokai doesn't make mistake when it comes to these sort of things. Everyone who has come in here have all heard the call of Paladinis."
She looked at him again.
"T-The call of... what?"
"Here, I'll show you."
He took her by the hand.
"We've got a lot more to see, and it does no good for you to hyperventilate out here."
Viola felt herself being led away and she followed without complaint. She walked the endless hallways again, barely aware of her surroundings. Kurama was telling her many different things, but she wasn't listening. Her thoughts kept straying to the future. What is going to happen? How will she do? Will she succeed?... What if she failed?
"...Hey, are you there?"
A waving hand in front of her face broke her train of thought.
"I said this is the mess hall. But since you're new and it's still a bit early for dinner, would you like it if they bring the food to our room?"
The thought of being the center of gossip again scared her.
"Yes. Please. That would be wonderful."
"Alright. Wait here for a minute."
Kurama walked in leaving Viola alone. She noticed that the hallway looked much bigger when she was by herself, waiting to collapse and bury her. She was thankful when he returned after only a short wait.
"Alright, it's all settled. Now, to show you the most important part of the tour. This way."
Kurama lead her down a spiral staircase. After a while, she lost track of how many steps had passed as she descended further down the never ending staircase. They passed several levels that looked exactly alike that she was unsure of where she was anymore. She was now really worried about becoming lost around here.
"Why is it that the halls all look the same?"
"Oh, it is just a minor trick for defense."
Viola looks at him with a confused look.
"Being an academy for paladins, there are many enemies sworn against it. It's sort of like baiting all evil to show up an attack us, and there have been several failed attempt. Still, there may be one of them that is actually pretty strong, so one of the trick is to try to get them lost. If they can't tell what floor they're on or what part of the fortress they're at, it gives us an advantage."
Viola gulped, her look was clearly nervous.
"Oh don't worry. As long as you stay with me, you'll learn where everything is soon enough."
Viola nodded, but didn't feel convinced. It was then that she noticed that there were no longer floors they were passing. The staircase now just spiraled down into the ground. She was sure they were descending into the earth itself now. After some time, they finally got to the bottom of the stair well. Before them was a pair of Iron doors that looked quite sturdy.
"Where are we?"
"Well I don't know exactly, but I think we're 500 feet underground give or take."
"Yeah. However, it was this right here that was the reason for this fortress being made in the first place. Mordokai is the founder of this place and he discovered something here that started the order of the paladin, or even started the concept of the Paladin."
"And... what is that?"
Kurama walked forward and grabbed the ring to open the door.
"The key to a paladin's power..."
Kurama heaved and the door was yanked open, making a lot of noise as it did so. There was a bright glow that emanated from inside that Viola had to hold up her hand to shield her eyes. As her eyes adjusted and she looked in and with a gasp, saw that in a cavern was hundreds upon hundreds of different colored crystals. It was a moment before Viola realized the light was coming from the crystals themselves.
She stepped inside and circled around and around with wonder.
"What... What are these?"
"These are our Paladinis Crystals. But every one just calls them the 'crystals'."
Viola looked closer at a foundation of crystals. She could see her own reflection looking back at her from the many surfaces.
"They're so beautiful! What do they do?"
"Like I said, they provide us with our power. While no one truly understands how or why, these crystals actually grow. For you see, each crystal is set and bound to a particular person that is destined to be a servant of good. Each new one is formed when that person is born and grows as they grow, based on their beliefs and ideals as well as their strength and resolve."
Viola turned around to look at him.
"Wait... so if the crystals form when each paladin is born... then that means...?"
"Yes. Your own crystal is here somewhere among the others."
Viola quickly looked around eagerly, expecting to see something pop out at her. However, her feelings quickly turned to disappointment. There were hundreds of crystals all around and while they each looked different in color and size, none of them distinguished themselves to her.
"There are so many. How can I tell which one is mine?"
Kurama laughed at her words causing her to turn and look at him. "You won't be able to find out which one is yours until you past the first test. If you succeed, then you will be able to find your crystal."
Viola looked back at all the different crystals.
"But... there can't be this many people who are destined to come here..."
"Actually yes, there are. Remember, each crystal forms when the person is born and sometimes the person who arrives hasn't realized his destiny until much later in his life. We get a variety of all ages from 3 years to 55 years old."
Viola seemed to think over these words.
"So many people... But what exactly do they do? You said the Crystals were the source of the paladin's power."
"Yes, they are. Like I said, each crystal grows as you grow. Through your personality and experiences, the crystal develops an unusual trait that grants you special abilities. Most have to do with the elements, like fire, water, earth and air. While others develop other kind of elemental abilities. One even had the ability to manipulate wood to an extent."
"These crystals really can do all that?"
"Yes, they can. However, when you first get it the ability won't be that advanced. You'll have to work on it and grow to be able to develop the power. If you can manipulate your Crystal's energy a certain way, sometimes you've got a move you execute. Some of our top paladin's have even named their strongest moves. And of course Mordokai has developed an ultimate technique for his crystal."
"Cool! Like what?"
"Well, he's the only one to have developed so far. Basically, his crystal grants him mastery over light itself. He can bend it and even make it solid at will. His ultimate technique is called the 'Sun Buster'."
Kurama seemed deep in thought. A smile was playing on his lips.
But even though he's the only one with an ultimate technique so far, I'm going to be the next one to do it. I know I will be the next paladin to develop my own Ultimate Technique with my crystal!"
"Really? What does your crystal do?"
Kurama pulled himself out of his train of thought.
"Later. We've been here for quite a while. They've probably delivered the food to our room."
At that moment, Viola's stomach growled loudly. She put her hand to her stomach and grinned at him embarrassed.
Uh, yeah... Alright.
And she followed Kurama out with one last backward glace at the room of crystals before the door shut.
A while later, they were entering their room. Two steaming plates lay on the desks with an assortment of meat and vegetables. Viola quickly dug into her meal, too hungry to talk further. The food was delicious, much better than anything she ever got at the orphanage. Finally, both plates were scraped clean and each of them leaned back in their chairs.
"Man, that was good."
"Yeah, the food is pretty good. Well, I think it would be best to get to bed. It's pretty dark out."
Viola looked out their window at the pattern of stairs all winking down at her. For the first time since entering, she was actually content. Then some movement to her right made her look around. Almost immediately she wished she didn't. Kurama was removing his shirt and was standing bare chested in the room. Viola instantly felt herself go red and look away hurriedly.
"W-What Are You Doing?!"
Kurama looked at the back of her head confused.
"Getting ready for bed."
"But... I'm Here!"
She called over her shoulder. She didn't want him to see her blushing brilliantly. She was sure she was brighter than the lighting candles.
Kurama still looked at her confused.
"So?! You're a guy! I'm a girl!"
"Mordokai told you, we're all equal here. We are not set by petty differences such as gender."
It was incredibly hard not to turn around as she yelled at him.
"The differences are still quite significant!"
Kurama sighed again.
"Fine. If you don't want to look, don't look."
Viola could still feel herself blushing as she heard him change behind her. She kept herself rigidly still, refusing to budge even an inch. Finally, Kurama called to her.
"Alright, I'm dressed now. You can turn around safely."
Slowly she turned her head and saw that he was dressed in pajamas. She sighed in relief and slumped down on her bed.
"So, are you going to change or sleep in that?"
Instantly, she blushed red again.
"N-No! I mean, not in front of you!"
Kurama rolled his eyes.
"You know, you should try and get use to this soon. You'll have to get into your armor tomorrow in the changing room."
"Well, that's different. At least I'll be surrounded only by other girls."
Kurama smiled and put a hand to his mouth trying to stop himself from chuckling. Viola glared at him suspiciously.
"What's so funny?"
"Well, there is only one changing room and its shared by everyone. Like I said before, gender is considered a petty difference here."
It took Viola a moment for this to sink in before she blushed even redder.
"You mean that...?!"
"Yup, there will be a lot of other boys than me there as well as the girls. You're going to have to get use to it."
Viola sat very still with her arms wrapped around her, her eyes were wide open with many different emotions running through her head. The most noticeable was shock, nervousness, and embarrassment.
"But if it really bothers you that much, I'll wait out in the hall for you to change. Just let me know when you're done."
Kurama grabbed a book from his desk and walked out of the room, closing the door with a snap.
It took Viola a minute to gather herself together, but finally she got up and quickly dressed herself. After finishing with the last button, she sat down on her bed and called out to Kurama.
"Okay. I-I'm done."
Kurama entered in.
"About time. I attracted some weird looks by others passing by. I just hope you get use to it before long."
"Don't count on it!"
For some reason she still couldn't look at him.
He climbed into his bed and blew the candles out.
"Good night, Viola."
Viola crawled slowly into her bed, raising the blankets over her.
"Good night... Kurama."
Silently, she looked back out at the sea of stars. She stared at them until she quietly fell asleep.
Paladin Academy: Part 3 -Cast-
Viola had a wonderful dreamless sleep. It was as if all the uncertainty had been washed away and was replace with a sense of purpose. However, the feeling instantly disappeared when a pair of hands shook her awake.
"Come on Viola, wake up."
She didn't feel like getting out of bed and curled up deeper into her blankets.
"Come on, get out of bed. There's alot that needs to be done. You need to start training in order to pass you first test. You still want your personal crystal, right?"
At these words, excitement immidiately woke Viola, who nearly jumped instantly out of bed.
"Yes! Of Course!"
Kurama jumped back quickly to avoid colliding with her.
[COLOR="Red""]Uh...Well, hurry up and get your clothes on."[/color]
Viola then noticed that Kurama had already changed out of his pajamas and into some nice silk clothes.
"Oh... uh, well..."
She began to turn red again.
"I know, I know. You still don't feel comfortable. I'll get you breakfast from the mess hall so you can change. I'll make sure to knock on the door to make sure your decent. Here's your clothes here."
Kurama indicated folded sets of new clothes that were just as nice as his on top of her night stand. Afterwards, he left the room.
Viola sat there for a little while staring at the new garments, before she got up and began to change. She was amazed at the quality of the clothing, and it all seemed to fit her perfectly as if they knew her exact size.
Just then, a knock on the door caused her to jump. Her shirt was still in her hands as Kurama's voice spoke through the door.
"Are you changed yet?"
"Uh... J-Just a minute!"
She hurridly pulled the shirt over her head and, with a little difficulty, found the sleeves and put her arms through them.
"Ok, you can come in now."
Kurama walked in carrying two plates of eggs and toast.
Maybe I should've just eaten there and brought yours later. By the way, you're wearing your shirt backwards."
Viola quickly checked the inside lining and discover he was right. Blushing, she pulled her arms out from the sleeves and turned the shirt around so it was facing right.
She couldn't look him in the eye.
He set the eggs down and they began eating.
After a short while, Viola broke the silence to ask Kurama about her clothes.
"Why do these new clothes fit me so well? How would you guys know what size I am?"
Kurama looked at her exasperated.
"Didn't you here me yesterday?"
"Uh, well... I kinda phased out of there after the training grounds."
Viola says it dejectedly, looking down at her eggs.
"Yeah, you did seem a little out of it. Anyways, there's a wizard who stays here in the fortress who is not a paladin but a personal friend of Mordokai. He lives here with the purpose of helping all the paladins train and perform their duties. He uses magic to produce unique garments, armor, and swords for each individual. He uses his magic to scan their entire body when they enter here and uses those measurements to make everything. So your armor should be done and in the changing rooms by now. But your sword won't be ready until we see him personally. I don't understand it, but apparently there are some special variables he needs to consider when making a person's weapon."
Viola didn't know what he meant by variables, but another thought was more pressing that caused her face to turn red again.
"Wait, he... he scanned my entire b-body?!"
She felt as if she was naked to this wizard that she hadn't even met yet. Kurama's hand had come up to his face.
They ate quickly and Kurama led her to the changing rooms. Each step made her stomach clench tighter from what was coming. Kurama talked to her as they walked, and she eagerly participated to get her mind off of what was looming in ahead.
"Now I brought you out here a little early so you can have time to get into your new armor. It always takes some getting use to the first time."
"Okay. So what is the armor made out of?"
"Some kind of special alloy that Blue developed. It's very hard, yet soft on your skin. But you have to wear it without undergarments or it will impare your movement."
Viola looked at him confused.
"Oh, uh... the wizard. His name is Blue."
Viola raised an eyebrow.
"Well, that's a nickname he's given himself. Wizards do all kind of wierd things and giving themselves weird nicknames are no exception. No one knows why he named himself 'Blue', he just did. Well... Mordokai may know, but no one wants to ask him."
The wizard certainly did sound strange to her.
"Yeah, although according to Mordokai, Blue is actually the closest to being sane by our standards than most other wizards. Though I have difficulty imagining that. Anyways, here's the changing room."
They walked into a enormous building with many different lockers all around. There were several people already here.
"Now, they keep our lockers closer together so I could help you get into your armor today and because were partners together-"
Viola was no longer listening. She was instead looking at how everyone else was already changing. She could feel herself blushing brilliantly again over the half clothed people everywhere.
"-come on. Hurry up."
She felt herself being tugged to a corner of a building. Thankfully, everyone else was out of sight. She collapsed on a bench and put her hand over her eyes, trying to forget what she saw. Unfortunately, being unable to see seemed to make the images more clear and memorable. She heard Kurama sigh beside her.
"S-Sorry! I'm j-just not use to this!"
"I know. It can't be helped. Though most aren't this distraught when they get here. When I first arrived, I didn't really care that much. This is your locker by the way."
He pointed at one of the lockers and then opened up the one next to it and began to change. Viola hurried over to her locker and opened it to block Kurama out of view. Inside she saw a new set of shining armor inside. She hoisted it out and looked at the different parts. She didn't know what part was suppose to go where, but assumed she found the chestplate from the obvious part. She took off her shirt and put it into the locker, just as Kurama stuck his head around his locker.
"Hey Viola, can you help me for a second?"
She turned with her arms crossed across her chest, her face resembling the deepest red. Why did he always have to come when she didn't have her shirt on?! She tried to think of something to yell at him, but no words would come out of her mouth.
Kurama paid her no attention.
"This spot here on my armor is suppose to go together on it's own, but it's not doing it right. It probably got damaged in the last duel I fought. Can you help me tug it shut? It's only the last thing I need to get it together."
Viola stared at him for a few seconds. She took a deep, steadying breath.
"Al...Alright. Just... J-Just keep looking the other way."
Thankfully the piece was on his back, so he was looking the other way. Taking every ounce of will power she had, she slowly moved her arms away and began helping Kurama with his armor. After a short time struggling, she managed closed shut. Immidiately afterwards, she looked away from him, clutching the locker for support, feeling she was about to faint.
He went and closed his locker.
"Now, you're not suppose to start with the chestplate. We need to start with the legs and work our way up."
This can't be happening! It Just Can't! She had to be dreaming, Yes Dreaming! That was it! This was probably just some silly dream about what was to come when she wakes up.
She focused entirely on that thought as she stripped down and allowed Kurama to help her put her suit together. Though no amount of thought could ever keep back the great intensity of red on her face during the process. Finally, with one last snap, her armor was fully in place on her and Kurama closed the locker shut.
"See? That wasn't so bad, right?"
Viola couldn't answer him. She instead leaned against the stone wall and slowly worked her way to the exit. Now that more people were entering in, she kept her eyes on the wall until she reached the door. Then she burst out of it, hurrying to a bench and collapsing on it, breathing heavily. She concentrated on each breath, trying to relieve herself of what just happened. She could sense Kurama close by, but he didn't get any closer. Probably just to give her time to come to grip with everything.
Time passed slowly. More and more people were emerging in their armor and stood around waiting for something. Some were talking annoyed about training not being started yet. Others were wondering why. Viola didn't care. Every extra second was what she needed to calm down.
A short time later Kurama finally approached and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Are you alright now?"
Viola jerked away from the hand instinctively. She instantly felt bad for doing so a responded by holding up a finger as she placed her hand on her chest as she took a few deep breaths. She then tried to speak, but after being again unable to get any words out, she decided to just nod instead.
"Alright, good. I'm sorry that you're taking it harder than most. Some of the other paladins were asking me what was wrong with you. Fortunately, they are more focused on why Grim is missing then they are to pay you any attention for too long. He's the one who officially starts the training process, but he's still not here yet."
The name sounded familiar to Viola.
"Yeah. He's the top paladin student here and he's in charge of running the training drills and starting them. Although, most of us dislike him. He seems to try to boss us around like he's a sergant of an army. And he's always so arrogant and proud over how much better he over us."
Viola's mind was recalling the trip to Mordokai's office.
"Was his armor darker then everyone else? Also slightly sinister looking?"
"Yeah. Do you know where he is?"
She shook her head.
"No, I only saw him when I first arrived at Mordokai's office. He was asking something about why he couldn't take the graduation test."
"Typical. That does sound like Grim."
They waited a while later as more and more of the paladins were becoming impatient. Finally, Mordokai walked out to address everyone.
"I'm sorry to tell you all this, but Grim seems to have disappeared with out a trace. If anyone could tell us anything, that would help us greatly. But otherwise, today is going to be a free training day until we can get a replacement paladin to start the training every morning."
Mordokai then turned and left into a hallway to the fortress.
The other paladins started talking amongst themselves as they began to leave to the various activities.
"That's weird that he's disappeared, but I'm not complaining. I'm sure he would've been especially tough with you on your first day."
Viola recalled the glare he gave her when he passed her in Mordokai's office.
"I believe it."
Viola looked at Kurama.
"So what do we do now?"
Well, I guess we should get your sword as well as give you a tour of the training area.
He held out a hand to help her up.
Viola reluctantly accepted it and tested her legs. Once sure they were steady, she followed Kurama across the training field.
Paladin Academy: Part 4 -Cast-
Viola followed Kurama around the various training activites. She noticed that there were a few targets for archery, while there was also a few wooden dummies. However, a majority of the paladins were dueling against each other in many different roped circle areas.
"Why are there so many duels going on?"
Kurama looks around at her.
"Its our best training exercise. It trains us with how we should fight an actual battle. Best hands on experience ever."
Viola nods as Kurama's works sank in and looked back at the duels. She watched intently as many people would swing, block, sidestep, swing again, feint, lunge, and then block a mighty blow from the other opponents when she realized something.
"Wait! I don't have a sword! How am I going to train with you with out a sword?"
Kurama turned and held out a hand to her.
"I know. That's why we're going to Blue first. He should have your sword finished by now."
Viola looked down at his hand and forced herself to accept it to make up for reacting badly to him earlier. To avoid the awkward silence that threated to develop, she started to ask him questions.
"Why would he be able to make my armor quickly but needed some extra time on my sword?"
"Blue always says it's because of extra variables. But I don't know what he means. I don't study magic after all."
"Alright, I'll ask him when we see him."
"Just don't be expecting a straight answer from him. Like I said, he's quite strange."
Kurama lead Viola up a flight of stairs spiraling around a tall tower. To Kurama, it was nothing. But Viola had a bit of trouble with her armor's weight. Even though it fit her perfectly, she wasn't use to the encumbrance. Eventually, after several breaks, they managed to reach the top of the tower.
"Finally! Any slower and I would have decided to have carried you all the way up."
Viola had her hand placed on the side of the tower and was breathing heavily. She was also clutching a stich at her side.
"And I would... have said no thank you. It was embarrasing enough in the locker rooms as is. I would perfer.. to not have the reputation of also having to be carried."
"And I still don't understand your embarrasement issues. But anyways, lets go in and get your sword. Watch your step though."
He reaches for the latch and opens the door. As they entered, she beheld a magnificently large room filled with many different devices everywhere. In the center of the room, the back of an arm chair with a blue colored hood sticking out over it was sitting in front of a large cauldron.
"Hey, Blue. It's me Kurama. We have a new paladin here and we need to get her weapon so she can train."
"No. No weapons. I don't make weapons."
The voice came from the armchair, but the hood on top didn't move an inch.
Kurama rolled his eyes.
"Yes you do, Blue. You made all the swords for every one of the paladins here."
"The sword of the paladin is not a weapon, but a tool. A tool for them to use to protect the innocent and pass justice onto the wicked. So as you see, I don't make weapons, I make tools."
Kurama chuckled slightly.
"Yeah, ok. Whatever you say. Well then we need Viola's 'tool' so she can practice with it."
At these words, the hood above the armchair finally stirred. A figure rose out of the chair and walked around to face them. His facial features were completely obscured from the hood he was wearing with only a pair of glowing yellow eyes shining out from under it. The figure was also holding a highly decorated staff carved into a fine pattern. "I see. Another partner you now have. May this one fill the void that your previous had left. His final act, oh how the walls fell."
Kurama looked down at this with a slightly morbid expression for a moment. Viola however looked at the strange figure with a bewildered look. She had never heard someone talk in such a manner before. She looked over at Kurama, showing her bewilderment. This seemed to allow Kurama to forget whatever sad memories had come up.
"Don't worry, you'll get used to the way he talks. Until then, you'll have to put up with all the metaphors."
He begins introducing each other.
"Blue, this is Viola. Viola, this is Blue."
"It's nice to meet you."
Viola does a slight bow to him, unsure of what else to do.
"Ah! Kindess and Beauty can come together as one. You have a wonderful aura of goodness around you, young Viola."
Viola couldn't help but blush slightly at these words. No one had ever complemented her like that.
"Umm... Thank you."
"Time! We are wasting time. It flies away, never looking back, and we are letting it fly overhead. That can't do. Not at all!"
He walks over to the cauldron. Placing his hand above the surface, he mutters words of a strange language. The liquid in the pot begins to bubble and boil rapidly. Then, with a flash of steel, a sword shoots up out of the cauldron and hovers an inch below his hand. Turning slowly around to face them, he turns his palm upward, causing the sword to repostion itself to hover a couple of inches above his hand. He then steps forward and holds out the sword for Viola. "Your sword was particularly tricky to produce for some reason. But I know it was perfected it in the end."
Hesitantly, Viola reached for the sword. It was smooth with a strange metal she knew nothing about. And although she knew nothing about swords, she could tell that this sword was long enough to be wielded with two hands, yet short enough to be swung with one hand if need be. She grabbed hold of the hilt and slowly lifted the sword up to look at it better. The hilt fit her grasp perfectly.
"Wow! I...I don't know what to say."
"Then allow it to speak instead. Swing it, so that it may tell you what it thinks of you."
She looks at the sword with an eyebrow raised. She doubted that it could really speak to her, but she raised the sword up and gave it a quick slash though the air. Instantly, she understood what Blue meant. The sword was perfectly balanced and made specially for her. Swinging the sword was easier then picking up a book and throwing it across the room. Once the swing was over, she looked back at the sword with intense interest.
"I... Wow! Thank you very much!"
"You are welcome. Very welcome in fact. It is a fine sword. And like all the others made for paladins, this sword will never dull or break, so you should fear not of it failing you."
Viola then remembered that she wanted to ask Blue something.
"Ummm... Why does it take longer to make the sword then the armor for everyone?"
"The sword was constructed of magic. Magic has its own mind in deciding things. When it comes to physical things, like your body, the magic can decide on how to work much quickly. But when it comes to one's mental state, such as your style of fighting that is to come, magic needs more time to decide on such things."
Viola stared back at him.
"So... Does magic have a mind of its own?"
"One can not justify anything elses existance, but only oneself. For you think, therefore you are."
Viola stared from Blue to Kurama with an open mouthed expresssion of confusion. Kurama was trying extremely hard not to laugh.
"Uh... Well thanks again for the sword,... Blue..."
"Not a problem, my dear. Not a problem at all."
Viola and Kurama then left the room together. Once the door was relatched and they were on the outside, Viola looked again at Kurama.
"I see what you mean. He certainly seems crazy."
"I told you."
Kurama began to walk down the stairs.
"Yet Mordokai says he's the sanist of most wizards. But I can't think of how wizard can be more insane then that."
Viola was following Kurama down at these words and began to think silently to herself. A moment later, she spoke out to Kurama.
"Well, I can think of a wizard more insane then that."
Kurama looked back at her.
"Oh? Like what?"
"Well, the wizard could be evil."
Kurama stopped dead. His foot was hovering above the next stair as he was staring off into the distance with a surprised look on his face. Viola had to stop suddenly to avoid walking into him.
"I... wow. I never thought of it like that before."
Well, I just thought of it as though it made sense. But if-
[COLOR="Red""]No, no. You're right. Man, how could I have not realized that after all this time?"[/color]
"Well, anyways. We might as well get down to the dueling area. Hopefully you walk down easier then you walk up."
Viola made a pouting face.
"And if I don't?"
"Then I 'Will' carry you."
"No you won't!"
Viola says this in such determination that it was as much of a threat as it was a statement. She quickly puts the sword into its sheath and attaches it to her left side. They then proceed to climb down the tower.
She fared better going down the stairs, but she was still slightly tired. Kurama however tried to hurry her along.
"Come on. It's already mid morning and we haven't really done anything. We need to go over there."
He pointed to a spot that contained several tables. On top of the tables were several objects, but she couldn't see what they were from this distance. They hurried off across the field and started walking along the edge of the fortress. She looked up to see the wall tower over her about 20 feet up. She gripped the hilt of her sword as a thought came to mind.
"How do we train without cutting each other to ribbons?"
"Oh, don't worry. Blue has already thought of that. You see, he has come up with a way-"
A high pitched cry came from no where. Both looked around confusedly when suddenly an eight year old girl in paladin armor jumped over their head, bounced off the the fortress wall halfway up, and then landed in front of them.
[COLOR="magenta""]I Knew That Was Your Voice! What are you doing here? Come on! Let's duel! No one else will do it with me."[/color]
The girl was overly excited and cheerful sounding. Viola however was staring at her in amazment. Silently, she looked back to where she saw her jump, to where she bounced off the wall, and then back to where she was standing.
"Look, Penny. I'm sorry but I got some things I'm doing today. I have to get Viola settled in."
The young girl then notices Viola and moves around Kurama to get a better look.
"So you're the new shy girl. Hi there! Please to meet you! I'm Penny!"
Viola looks down at her for a moment before clearing her throat.
"Umm... I'm Viola. Pleased to meet you too."
Penny turns to Kurama.
"Now come on! Its boring without someone to duel with!"
"Why don't you go ask Bis? He can't be busy training right now."
"I can't find him! Stupid crystal power of his. When I go looking for him, he conviently disappears."
"Well, maybe if you keep your voice down, he wouldn't be able to hear you from several miles away."
"Ya, right. Like actually talking softer will keep "Him" from hearing me."
She crosses her arms and pouts.
"Well, try getting the drop on him. He can't say no if you can find him."
Penny's face instantly cheers up.
Yeah! That's what I'll do! Thanks Kurama!"
And Penny jumps straight up 20 feet onto the top of the fortess wall and runs down it quickly with Viola staring after her.
Kurama watches amused, shaking his head.
"She doesn't realize he'll see her coming from a long ways off. Bis has super senses thanks to his crystal."
Viola nods quickly, but continues to stare stares off to where Penny ran off to.
"Ummm...H-How did she do that?"
"Oh. Well that's Penny's power. She can manipulate the gravity's pull on her to allow her to jump higher. She's quite adept at using it and gives a whole new meaning to the term 'Hyperactive kid bouncing off the walls'."
Viola chuckles a bit and nods.
"But she's so young. She has to be atleast 6 years younger then me."
Well, yeah. Penny was one of the youngest to ever get here. She arrived when she was four. She doesn't even remember what she did exactly to get her here. But she remembers the call."
"Wow. When she was four?"
The placed seemed to be no end to suprises.
"Yeah. Well come on. No more detours and sidetracks. Lets finally start."
They continue on towards the table. However, another question appeared in Viola's mind.
"Kurama, what is your crystal's power?
"I'm thirsty. Want to get some water?"
"Now who's taking the detour?"
Viola looks at him slightly annoyed for him trying to avoid her question.
"No? Oh well. I'm getting some."
He leads her to a place not too far from the tables where some cups of water were laid out for them. He reaches for a cup and begins to sip from it.
"Ahh! That's some good water!"
Viola reluctantly takes one for herself and drinks from it.
[color="Purple"]"It's alright. But it's kind of warm."COLOR]
"Well, mine is cool. See?"
He holds out his cup. Viola looks in it and stares. Before her eyes, the water was freezing into ice.
"What?... Is that you?"
"Yup. I can freeze things at will with my touch. It's great on warm days like this. It can also comes in handy for other things too. However, I need to concentrate on it for a little bit before I can get it to work. Unlike Penny's ability, which she can use instantly."
Viola nods again.
"That's cool. Literally. Now I definately can't wait for my own crystal."
"Me too. I want to know what your power would be as well. Anyways, come on over here."
He leads her over to the table finally. On top of it were a bunch of crystals that resembled a turquoise color. Although each one glowed, they didn't sparkle or shine like the crystals paladins carried.
"What are these?"
She asks while gently touching one with her finger. It had a cool feel to it.
"These are Blue's training crystals. They are to ensure we don't cut each other when were training. Here, take out your sword."
Kurama reaches down and pulls his sword out. Viola does the same.
"Now if you look, there is a slight impression between the blade and the hilt that is the shape of a crystal. See it?"
Viola did see it and she nodded.
"Now when you have your own crystal, you put it in there and it allows your crystal's power to come from the blade. For example, my crystal would give a frigid aura around the sword when I would wield it."
Viola nodded again.
"Now these crystal work the same way, but they instead surround the blade in a barrier that won't cut anything. Therefore, we can use our swords without risking cutting each other. And the armor will protect us from any blows we could throw at each other."
"Nice! You guys have thought of everything."
"Yes we have. Or Blue has"
He puts the dulling crystals into both of their swords, causing them to glow turquoise slightly.
"Now, come on over here. There's a free field for me to teach you the basics."
They stood out there, swords in hand.
Keep your legs shoulder width apart. Now face me with your blade angled a bit like so..."
Paladin Academy: Part 5 -Cast-
Viola leaned back against the wall in relief. Around her, she could hear all the other paladins changing out of their armor, but she kept her eyes shut. She could feel herself still red after Kurama helped her get out of the armor. Although, it didn't seem quite as bad as it was that morning.
Kurama had spent most of the afternoon training her with the very basics of swordsmanship. She now understood the difference between a jab and a stab, a parry and a block, and so much more. To ebb away the feelings of embarrasment, she focused firmly on the many types of moves she saw and learned.
"So, are you ready to go?"
Viola opened her eyes and saw Kurama was out of his armor as well.
"Yes. I can't wait for dinner, I'm starved."
"And this will be your first time in the mess hall."
Kurama began to walk towards the exit of the locker room. Viola followed.
After a while, when they left the locker room, Viola called out to Kurama.
"So, how does the mess hall work? Is there any special things we need to do or wait in line?"
Back at the orphanage, they were arranged by age to receive their food at meals.
"Mainly, it's first come first serve. After that, everyone forms a line and we get served when we get to the front."
"So its not that complicated then. But what happens if someone tries to cut in line?"
She remembered those few fights between children at the orphanage.
"We don't. There's always plenty of food and we know we'll be served soon anyways. It never really crosses our mind."
"Plus, the whole 'paladin' thing too, right?"
"Well yeah, that too."
The mess hall was slightly larger than the locker rooms. Scattered around were many tables and chairs that anyone could eat at. They had waited in line, gotten their food, and ate by themselves at one of the tables located in a corner. Viola spent the time eating to look around at everyone gathered there. There were people of many different ages all around, but the main focus of the ages were around the teens.
Once they were finished, they headed off to their rooms and quickly got ready for bed. This time, Viola tried changing in the room with Kurama there to try and feel better about having to do this everyday. So that night, she fell asleep once again red for the day. But Kurama was right, she was slowly getting use to it.
The morning was almost as uneventful as what happened the previous night. Almost.
They woke up, changed, went into the mess hall, left the mess hall, and started changing in the locker room. When Viola had just gotten her chest plate on, another paladin approached her and Kurama.
"So, are you Viola?"
Viola looked up and saw a female paladin that was just out of her teens.
"Uh.. Ya, I am. Who are you?"
"I am Rabbonita, but everyone just calls me "Rabbit" for short. Anyways, it's nice to meet you."
She held out her hand.
Viola nodded and shook it.
"Well, it's nice to meet you".
"So what are you doing here, Rabbit? You're already changed. Shouldn't you be waiting outside for the new training leader?"
Kurama had emerged from behind his locker. He was fully dressed in his armor, too.
"No need. I'm the new training leader here. Mordokai came to me last night and promoted me to the job."
"You're... the training leader?!"
His voice sounded a little fearful for some reason.
"Of course. I'm one of the veteran paladins and have a pretty strict training schedule."
"Oh, how we all know that."
Viola could hear the sarcasm in his voice, but Rabbit either didn't hear it or didn't acknowledge it and instead turned back to her.
"So anyways, since you're the new recruit still, I'm suppose to help you master the basics. Make sure you stay behind after everyone else goes off on their own. Then I'll come over and start teaching you."
"Okay. Thank you."
Rabbit turned and walked off.
Kurama closed his locker door and was shaking his head.
"Well, it was nice knowing you Viola."
Viola looked at him, raising an eyebrow.
"Why? What's wrong?"
She closed her locker door too.
"Well, she's nicer than Grim, I'll give her that. But it's her crystal that really poses the problem. You see, her crystal's power is perfection. She can learn things really quickly and perform them just as well. Also, she can do things so complex with a sword that no one can match her."
"Well, that doesn't sound so bad."
Yeah it wouldn't, but except she expects everyone else to learn things as quick and to do it perfectly as well. Just wait and see."
They gathered outside and in no time Rabbit appeared to announce that she was the new training leader. Viola could here several other people groan in the audience gathered. After she started dismissing people, Viola stayed were she was.
"Good luck. You're going to need it."
She saw Kurama disappear in the crowd and Rabbit hurried over to her.
"Alright. So lets start at the beginning. Right now we need to get the dulling crystals so we can put a protective barrier over the blade. You see, in your sword there's-"
"It's alright, I already know. Kurama taught me yesterday."
Rabbit seemed to be taken aback.
"What else did he teach you?"
"Some of the basics. How to hold a sword right and what stances to take."
Well, I need to see and make sure he did it right. Follow me."
They managed to find a vacant rope circle to themselves. Viola took the stance that Kurama had showed her, but Rabbit quickly started criticizing her.
"No, no. That's wrong."
"What? This is how Kurama showed me how to take the starting stance."
Not quite. Your left foot is 1/2 of a centimeter to far forward and you're holding the blade 3/4 of an inch too low.
She started moving Viola's body to the places exactly.
"There, now hold that. Alright, I want to see you make a overhand swing."
Viola was in the process in making one when Rabbit grabbed her sword arm by the wrist.
"Too slow. Someone experienced would have parried that by now. Also, you're leaning too much on your right foot. The person would use that to trip you with that swing."
Viola tried to protest.
"But I only just started using a sword yesterday! I'm still trying to remember how to do everything!"
"You're not suppose to think when you're fighting someone. It requires too much time to decide things and that could lead to death. You have know things instinctively and make the right decisions faster then a heart beat. Come on, lets try this again."
In only 5 minutes, Viola infinitely preferred Kurama to Rabbit. She always complained on anything that wasn't perfect. It was well into the afternoon before the first time Rabbit said Viola did a swing perfectly. However, the one after that was unsatisfactory again and there was more preaching and practice.
Rabbit held her there for a long time, well after all the other paladins had gone in. Viola was starving, but couldn't tell Rabbit this. Not from lack of trying, but because she simply wouldn't listen. Finally, Rabbits own stomach growled and that gave her pause.
"Wow. Have we really been out here this long? Time sure moves quickly, doesn't it?"
Viola was brooding over the point that it felt like forever since she had got up that morning. Sweat was pouring down her face.
"Well, I guess we'll continue in the morning then. You still have a long way to go before you master the basics."
Viola struggled into the locker rooms and changed slowly. She spent a long time in one of the bath tubs, resting in the water. Every part of her ached and the voice of Rabbit was still yelling in her mind. Drill, drill, drill. Remember, you shouldn't have to think to do any of this.
Finally she managed to crawl up to her room. She made her way slowly to her bed and crashed down on top of it. She was there for several minutes before the door opened again.
"Oh good. I see you got along well with Rabbit and got back in one piece."
Viola groaned from her pillow angrily.
"Well, whatever the case, when you didn't make it back for dinner I assumed the worse and brought some food back. It looks like I guessed correctly."
She heard the sound of a plate being put down on her nightstand. She groaned out two moans that sounded a bit like "Thank you".
"Now you know why we all were a bit fearful when she announced she was training leader. You were all that kept her from unleashing her perfection wrath on the rest of us with how much focus she had on you. And for that, most everyone here is both grateful and sympathetic to you. However, she's a lot better than Grim."
Viola managed to gather the strength and pull her face away from the pillow.
"How is Grim worse then her? She always criticizes you when you doing something wrong and immediately tries to correct it."
"Well, Grim's the same way. Except he doesn't try to correct you. He just sneers about how you're just doing it wrong and you have to figure out on your own what he means. Trust me, someone was watching over you the first night for Grim to disappear the next morning."
"Yeah, but they've forsaken me now."
"Or they want you to learn quickly. One thing about Rabbit is that you do learn quick when training with her. Anyways, you should eat and go to bed. You still have to face her tomorrow and the next day and so on."
Viola looked up at Kurama in horror.
"What?! When do I not have to train with her?!"
"When you pass the first test and get your crystal."
"But...But when will that happen?!"
"When Mordokai comes and tells you about the first test, and that could be months. I can't tell you what it's about though. You'll find that out from Mordokai."
Viola collapsed again on her bed. Training with Rabbit was going to kill her.
Paladin Academy: Part 6 -Cast-
Over the course of three weeks, Viola's training with Rabbit grew ever more strenuous. The days went by as a strict routine and became a blur. She would wake up early and eat breakfast, quickly change into her armor and wait for Rabbit, then spend the entire day with almost no break of training under constant scrutiny, afterwards she would be so exhausted that Kurama had to bring her dinner as part of the routine. This was where she was currently after 46 days.
"Well, at least you're still alive and breathing."
She was collapsed on her bed again as Kurama came in with the dinner plate.
"It would be too merciful to end it now."
Kurama laid the plate down again onto her nightstand.
"Still, at least you're improving. I hear you're already past the intermediate part of swordsmanship and are moving on to advance. It took me almost a year to get that far and you did it in six weeks."
Viola began to sit up.
"Well if you want to switch, I'm not complaining."
"No, no, no. I didn't mean it that way."
She reached for her plate when she noticed something and froze. She stared for several seconds then quickly rushed to the mirror.
Viola stared at her reflection. She couldn't believe how different she looked after a short time. Her skinny body had obvious muscles showing under her clothing. Her arms were especially muscular.
She reached down and felt along her arms, just making sure she wasn't imagining things. She wasn't.
"What? That you're now in really good shape? Come on, you should've known that. You've been working your butt off for a month and a half in armor."
"But... to have results this quickly?"
"Trust me, it's perfectly normal and believable. You may not really notice it yourself, but the rest of us were noticing your quick mastery of everything. Maybe Rabbit's crystal affects the people she's training with."
Viola just couldn't take her eyes off her reflection.
"Hey! Are you going to try recovering on an empty stomach or are you going to eat?"
"Oh, right! Sorry!"
The next morning, Viola went through the same routine, right down to training with Rabbit. However, it was slightly easier doing everything knowing that she was indeed becoming stronger. However, she was still taking advantage of the "breaks" she would get several times a day.
Periodically, Rabbit would have to leave her and go to the other paladins to make sure they were training correctly. Now, even though Rabbit told Viola that she had to keep training while she was gone, Viola would of course find a bench to sit at when she was out of sight. Since most of the other paladins usually groaned as Rabbit arrived and started to instruct them, Viola had plenty of warning before Rabbit came back into view.
She leaned back, resting on the stone wall behind her as the pain slowly subsided from her muscles.
"Taking a break?"
Viola quickly opened her eyes and turned to see Penny looking at her closely.
"Oh, yeah. I need it if I'm to survive."
"I know exactly what you mean."
Penny got up on the bench and sat next to her.
Viola looked down at her quizzically.
"Yeah. Rabbit was the same way to me when I was new here."
"You trained with Rabbit?"
"Well I had to since Rabbit was my partner. You're so lucky you got Kurama. At night, I can't move anything of hers without a complaint. She always says she has a 'system' to things."
"Wow. And here I thought I had it bad enough training with her during the day. I couldn't imagine having to share a room with her."
"You have no idea. And there's no way we could switch. Mordokai has stated that we absolutely have to stay with our assigned partner."
"Plus, no one would switch with you either."
Viola smiled for a while, watching a flock of birds fly across the sky in a V formation. Then she thought of something Penny had said earlier.
"Penny, what do you mean Rabbit 'was' your partner."
"Oh, well since Rabbit took over as Training Instructor, she's no longer my partner anymore. Although we still have to share a room together, we no longer have to do everything else together."
"Huh, Convenient. So who's you're new partner now?"
"I don't know."
She folded her arms.
"Mordokai hasn't given me one yet and it has gotten kind of boring without one. I can't find anyone to train or duel with anymore."
"Why is that?"
"Probably because everyone thinks I'm super annoying and such when I'm dueling."
"No, I mean, why do you think Mordokai hasn't partnered you with anyone."
"Oh, well I assume because no one else has arrived since you. Mordokai hasn't gone on his 'Paladin Search' that he does and that's the only time we actually get any new people."
"That's weird. Because down in the crystal cavern, there were hundreds of crystal there, each belonging to a person. I would think that one of them would've been ready by now-"
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING SITTING DOWN!?!"
Viola and Penny jumped. They were so wrapped up in talking that they didn't notice Rabbit approaching.
"This is no time for breaks, Viola! Training could be a matter of life and death!"
"Oh come on, Rabbit. Give her some breathing room. You've been working her half to death. Besides, I was bored and needed someone to talk to."
"Oh? Is that so? Then I guess that you want to train along side her today, is that right?"
Penny instantly jumped up.
"N-No! It's okay, I really should be going right now!"
She tried to jump up to the wall above, but Rabbit managed to catch her by the ankle in mid jump. She lost her balance in mid air and crashed towards the ground.
"I think you need a refresher course in training. I leave you for three weeks and your reflexes seem to have slowed. Come on Penny, get up and come with us."
Penny slowly got to her feet and brushed the dirt off her armor. Despite the obvious pouting face, she seem to accept Rabbit's instructions.
"Okay, okay. I'm coming."
They all made there way back to the training area and drew their swords. Viola leaned over to Penny behind Rabbits back and whispered to her.
"I'm sorry I got you roped into this."
Penny whispered back to her.
"Yeah, but I got you in just as much trouble. So I guess were even."
Paladin Academy: Part 7 -Cast-
Five weeks have passed and Viola had mastered many complex sword maneuvers. Most were based on deflecting blows from other swords or fighting sword wielded opponents. Viola still went over the reason for this in her mind periodically. It's what sets us apart from everyone else. We never harm anyone unarmed intentionally. So you need to be prepared mainly for those with a weapon.
Viola didn't need Kurama to bring in her dinner meals anymore. Her body had fully conditioned to the strenuous training regimen of Rabbit. She no longer had to think to do any kind of fighting anymore. During the past week and a half, she and Rabbit had started dueling regularly all day. At first, Rabbit had the upper hand on her, giving her several bruses in the process. But quickly, Viola managed to hold her own against Rabbit. Even though she couldn't best her yet, she could keep her back for hours before both were too exhasted to even move anymore and the duels usually ended in a draw.
Recently, other paladins have come forward to duel her. Viola had welcomed this as a break from the endless draws against Rabbit. However, she realized quickly that she couldn't best anyone else either. The main reason was that they had one thing she still didn't have, a crystal. Most of the paladins she fought had developed their own type of fighting style around the special abilities granted to them and Viola nearly always found herself on the defensive. Most notable of them was Penny and her gravity ability. Now Viola understood why most of the paladins called Penny annoying. She would constantly jump around, reaching incredible heights sometimes, giggling and taunting her constantly. Penny just jumped around more than actual swordsmanship.
Presently, Viola was now approaching her room after eating dinner in the mess hall. She was thinking over the fight with Bis that she had earlier that day. It was more of a fair fight with him, since he lacked any real 'Physical' abilities. But she couldn't beat him either from his abilities none-the-less. Sorry that you weren't able to beat me. You still fought pretty hard.
What do you mean I still fought pretty hard! You somehow managed to know every move I was making right when I was making it!
Well, I could notice little twitches you would make before you would actually make a move. It would tip me off about what kind of swing you were going to make.
Viola sighed and leaned against the wall. A foot in front of her, one of the candles illuminating the hallway quivered, causing the surrounding lights to dance around. Why was it taking so long? She had already mastered everything she could learn at this current stage. They kept talking to her about the first test and that she would be able to get her own crystal when she passes it. But when was that going to be? She was ready now, she knew it. Her development had become stagnant since everyone else had an extra talent they relied on. She had nothing but skills with a sword. But, she decided, leaning against this wall all night wasn't going to solve anything, so she pulled her self upright and continued to her room.
She opened the door quickly so she could get inside.
"Hey Kurama. How was your..."
She stopped. The room was empty. But that was weird because Kurama was always in their room at this time. What had happened to him?
She took a quiet, tentative step inside. Listening intently, she was looking around for something, anything that would give a clue as to why Kurama hadn't arrived yet.
"There you are Viola!"
Kurama's sudden voice from behind caused Viola to jump with a start.
"Oh, sorry. Did I st-? Oww!"
Viola had slapped him across the upper arm full force.
"Don't *EVER* scare me like that again!"
"Owwww! I didn't expect you to jump. Why would you jump from me talking to you?
Because I was expecting you to talk to me from the front, not behind!"
Kurama smiled amused.
"Okay. Point taken. Anyways, Mordokai had asked me to get you. I checked in the mess hall, but you had already left."
Viola looked back at Kurama with a puzzled expression.
"Why does Mordokai want me?"
Kurama inhaled deeply, rolling his eyes.
"Duh! You're now ready! The first test? He's about to brief you how to pass it. I would've thought you'd be jumping for joy about now."
Viola hesitated for a fraction of a second before she did just that.
"Yes! Finally! I'll have my very own crystal!"
"Yeah. Now come on, Mordokai's expecting you."
They quickly hurried down the hall, Kurama struggling to keep up with Viola. She was practically sprinting down all the way to Mordokai's office and knocked enthusiastically. While she waited for a reply, Kurama finally caught up while breathing a little harder than normal.
"I think you blew out all the candles you passed on the way here."
Viola ignored him.
Mordokai's voice came from the closed door and Viola threw it open instantly and hurried in. Mordokai looked up as she made her way inside.
"Well, I see you are certainly excited for this Viola."
"Are you Kidding?! Of course I am! You have no idea how long I've been... waiting... for... Why are you here Penny?"
Penny was sitting in one of the chairs against the wall. Her legs dangled off the chair, barely too short to touch the floor. She looked weird without the usual suit of armor she wore.
"I don't know. Mordokai asked me to come to his office just now."
"That is correct. For you see, I need to make some changes here at the moment."
Viola, Kurama and Penny all looked at Mordokai. All had looks of confusion on their faces.
"Well, as you all may know, Viola has been the last paladin recruit to have arrived here. Also, with Grim's disappearance, I had to quickly find a suitable replacement for a training instructor. Fortunately, Rabbit was more than qualified for the job, but now Penny doesn't have a partner to be with."
He adjusts his position to look at them better.
"Under normal circumstance, one of the crystals would've developed enough to give me the approximate location of the next paladin to come. But none of them has done so for 3 months and that is odd. There have been long drawn out periods of no new developments, but the longest was only a month. Not even Blue can guess why it's taking this long."
Mordokai leaned back in his chair, thinking on the issue. Viola however didn't really understand what he meant.
"What do you mean developed enough?"
"Ah! Well, I'm sure Kurama may have told you about how the crystals grow as someone develops and grows in their life."
He looks over at Kurama who nods back.
"Good. Anyways, the most experienced paladins are able to tell when a crystal is about to fully mature. In this case, fully mature means the person who's destined is about to hear the call. By focusing on the crystal, we can get insight on the approximate where and when the next person who hears the call will appear. This exact same thing happened when I saw your crystal Viola."
Viola opened her mouth to say something, but quickly closed it again.
"Don't worry. You're still a long way off before you have to learn that. But that is the final test right there. Once you're able to focus on the next call, you will be fully graduated from the academy."
Viola interrupted him.
[COLOR="Purple""]So, how many paladins can do this currently?"[/color]
"Not too many. I was teaching it to Grim before he disappeared. Also, Nil can do it as well, but I have him looking for Grim at the moment."
"Anyways, to the point on why I called you in here. You will be undertaking the first test Viola. The first test has to be taken outside the fortress walls. We always have the paladin taking the test go with their partner so they can have proper supervision. However, until further notice, Penny will join you two as you go out. You all will become the first group of three in this academy."
"Are you Serious?!"
Penny looked at Mordokai as if Christmas had come early. When Mordokai nodded back at her, she literally jumped about ten feet into the air.
"Yes, it would be unfair to keep a little girl cooped up for so long. However, your main goal is to supervise Viola. That goes for you as well Kurama. Since Viola is without a crystal yet, you two need to keep a close eye on her. Do you understand?"
"Of course, Mordokai!"
She lunges and hugs Viola around the middle, grinning enthusiastically.
Viola and I will be the best-est of friends!
Viola was grinning too, what with the prospect of finally getting her own crystal. Kurama however was shaking his head.
"Out there alone with these two hyperactive girls?"
Everyone could hear the joyful sarcasm in his voice.
"I don't think I'll make it."
"Just consider it another test of patience, Kurama."
And this one will be the hardest yet."
Mordokai leaned back smiling.
"Then I suggest you get some sleep. All three of you. You'll be leaving in the morning and you should be well rested then."
"Right! Thank you, Mordokai!"
"You are welcome. Now go on, to bed with you."
The three quickly turned and left Mordokai's office.
Paladin Academy: Part 8 -Cast-
Viola, Kurama, and Penny walked down the dirt road. A gentle wind blew, causing the trees on both sides of the path to sway slightly. On the ground, shadows from the sun trying to get through were dancing around with the wind. The trees were blooming with many delicate flowers providing a feeling of wonder. Penny was jumping up to the branches picking and scattering the flowers where ever she went. Though, this meant that Viola and Kurama had to shake flowers out of their hair regularly.
"It feels so perfect. It's as if the entire world is celebrating the day of my first test."
"Well, it'll probably celebrating harder tomorrow because you should have your crystal by then."
"I can't wait!"
She recalled back to the conversation earlier that day.
Viola had just emerged from the locker room and found that Kurama was already at the gate fully prepared and waiting.
"So today's the day!"
"Now we just need to wait for Penny and Mordokai to tell us what we need to do for the test."
After a little while, Penny appeared looked cheerful.
"Finally! I'm getting out of here! It gets so boring just staying inside a fortress for so long. Anyways, speaking of boring, how much longer do we have to wait for Mordokai?"
"Not that long, actually."
Mordokai had appeared behind Penny almost out of nowhere. He was crossing his arms and looking down at the back of her head.
Penny was frozen in place. With a guilty expression, here eyes moved back and forth, trying as if to see behind her without moving her head.
"Uhhh... I was just kidding... about the 'boring' part... Mordokai."
Mordokai shook his head, amused.
"Uh huh. Nice try, Penny."
He then looked up to Viola.
"So Viola, you ready for your first test?"
Viola nodded enthusiastically.
"Of course! I've been waiting for this moment for a long time!"
"Good. Now as you may know, should you pass this test you'll be able to locate your own crystal among all the others in the Crystal Room."
Viola nodded once to show she was following.
"Now, what you're suppose to do during the first test is to listen to the paladin's call."
Viola looked back at Mordokai blankly.
"What? But I already heard it. That's what lead me to even being here in the first place."
"Yes, you already heard it, but now you need to listen. What I mean is Viola, what was the call telling you when you first heard it?"
Viola looked down in concentration. After a while, she dropped her shoulders, defeated.
I...I don't remember.
"That is because it was your first time hearing it. You weren't expecting the voice of the call, so you don't really remember what it says."
She nodded again to show she was following still.
"Now, what I want you to do is to hear the voice again and this time listen to it. You may not understand what it's saying to you exactly, but you'll be able to understand the general meaning of it."
She looked at him a little bit puzzled.
"But how am I suppose to hear it again and how does this allow me to find my crystal?"
Mordokai smiled down at her.
"It requires a little thought to understand, but it'll make sense in the end. First, how did you hear the call the first time?"
Viola thought for a moment.
"When that guy was holding that lady hostage. The call made me spring into action to stop him."
Then comprehension dawned on her face.
"Wait! Then that means I have to find someone doing something bad and the call will speak to me?"
"That is correct."
Viola was vaguely aware that Penny and Kurama were watching her as she was figuring everything out.
"So now you understand why you trained with a sword so much. You need to be able to defend yourself and others around from the evil you are confronting."
Viola stood there in awe.
"Wow. To think that I have to fight someone evil just to hear the call."
"Not evil nessisarily, Viola. Just doing evil things. Now, to your second question, why do you think you need to pass this test to find your crystal?"
Viola took less time trying to connect the dots.
"Because the call is connected to my crystal?"
"Yes. The crystal themselves are what gives us our power and in this case our sense of existance. We exist to protect others in the name of good and rightousness. So the crystal will alert us to when some evil act is about to be commited so we can try to prevent it."
Modokai shifted his position slightly.
"So, when you pass the first test and hear the voice, you should be able to follow where it originated from, which would be from your crystal."
Viola looked cheerful at this.
"Great! Then lets go!"
"Now hold on. I have a special place in mind for your test. There is a festival at a nearby village that is going on today. Since festivals are usually chaotic, people always try to get away with sneaky things. Some try and steal money from other peoples wallets, or someone may have had too much to drink and starts a fight with someone. This type of place is perfect for you to try and hear the call again. So that's where you three will be heading to."
Viola stands straight at attention.
The sun was approaching high noon when they reached the village. All around, many people were bustling around. Everywhere they looked, stalls were set up with all sorts of merchandise. Men behind them would call out to anyone passing by to come over and buy something.
"Can you believe that one guy back there was asking me to buy dolls? Come on! I'm fourteen and wearing armor, why would I want dolls?"
They were pushing their way through the crowd of people. Kurama was cutting a path and Penny and Viola were following behind him single file. Kurama answered back to her without turning around.
"This is a peasants festival. Many people here are trying to earn some extra money today. They don't ask any question as long as it will lead to them selling something."
"What I hate about all of this is all the people here."
Penny was walking closely behind Kurama.
"They're always bumping in to me and everything because I'm so little. And they step on my foot from time to time, too!"
"Don't worry Penny. If Mordokai was right, we shouldn't be here long. All we have to do is wait here until Viola hears the call and stops someone from doing something bad. And since we're all here, it should be a piece of cake. Right Viola?"
But Viola did not answer him. Kurama looked around, as did Penny, but Viola was no where in sight.
"Where did Viola go?"
Kurama strained his neck, trying to look over the crowd to find Viola.
"I don't see her! Where could she have gone?!"
Penny cupped her hands around her face and yelled.
"VIOLA!! Viola, where are you?!"
Kurama joined in calling out for her.
Paladin Academy: Part 9 -Cast-
The sun was approaching high noon when they reached the village. All around, many people were bustling around. Everywhere they looked, stalls were set up with all sorts of merchandise. Men behind them would call out to anyone passing by to come over and buy something.
"Can you believe that one guy back there was asking me to buy dolls? Come on! I'm fourteen and wearing armor, why would I want dolls?"
They were pushing their way through the crowd of people. Kurama was cutting a path and Penny and Viola were following behind him single file. Kurama answered back to her without turning around.
"This is a pesants festival. Many people here are trying to earn some extra mon-"
Viola stopped dead, frozen in place. In front of her, Kurama and Penny were walking on oblivious that she was no longer following them. A weird feeling had washed over her. Something sinister was happening, she could feel it. She wanted to do something about it, for justice to be served, for evil to be punished.
She hesitated for a moment. Remembering what Mordokai told her, she listen intently. Now she could hear a voice inside her head, urging her to go. The voice was speaking in a strange language that she couldn't comprehend, but she could understand its meaning. And the voice sounded like her own, yet had an alien harmonic ring to it.
She couldn't resist it anymore, the feeling was too powerful. She turned directly right and ran through the crowd unobstructed. She knew where and when it was going to happen, and she only had seconds left to stop it. The feeling directed her to an alley between two buildings. At first, the alley was deserted, but then a man emerged from a side door. He was dressed in high quality garments and he was holding onto an assortment of merchandise. He closed the door with snap and began to make his way toward her.
Viola started to prepare herself, but stopped. This man wasn't the danger. He glanced at her with a little interest, but continued on towards the way she had come towards the main street. It was then that he passed by a pile of rubbish.
Then Viola sensed the moment had come. Without thinking, she stepped forward and yanked her sword out of its sheath. It one movement, she stepped behind the man and swung the sword. There was a loud clank of metal on metal, the ringing echoed around the alley. The trash had been shoved aside and the man who was hiding in them had tried to stab at the fancy dressed man. Now, his sword was locked with hers since she blocked the blow.
The fancy dressed man jumped and turned around. Upon seeing the two armed people behind him, he quickly turned around and ran away as fast as he could, leaving Viola alone with the mystery assailant.
"Grrr. You paladins always have to get in the way, don't you."
The man spoke to her with bitterness and venom in his voice. Before she could speak, he quickly turned and ran the opposite way down the alley, away from Viola.
Viola quickly chased after him.
She pursued him relentlessly, following him wherever he went through the village, never losing sight of him. The chase eventually led them out of the village and into the nearby forest. She stumbled a bit on the roots and leaves, but she still managed to give chase to him.
Suddenly, they emerged into a clearing of a grassy plain. The man finally stopped and turned around taking a fighting stance. In his right hand was the short sword he has tried to stab the fancy dressed man earlier. But in his other hand was a dagger with a jagged blade to it. Viola noticed that both blades had an orange colored liquid that coated them. She guessed it was poison.
She stopped and took her stance, sword before the mysterious man. He glared back at her with hatred etched on his face. He spoke to her with the same malicious voice he said to her earlier.
"I'm impressed. Most paladins can't keep up with me normally. I don't know how you managed to find me since I was so careful, but here you are none the less."
He lunged at her suddenly, swinging his short sword. She had barely an instant to react, using her blade to deflect his. But he was still incredibly fast and she didn't manage to deflect it completely. His blade slid down hers and cut a large scratch on the left hip of her armor. She hopped back quickly, as did he, and looked down at the scratch. He didn't managed to break through it completely, but the scratch was pretty deep. Orange liquid rested in it as well.
She looked back to him and took a more defensive stance. She got the feeling that this man had a lot more fighting experience than she did. The man however looked back at her puzzled.
"Odd. You don't seem surprised I could scratch your armor so easily. But maybe you paladins have finally realized the lengths I will go to overcome any obstacles. It took me a long time, but I managed to find something that would cut through your special armor."
Viola didn't know what he meant. Her armor got dented and scratched all the time when she was dueling with other paladins.
"What do you want?!"
"I want my pay, which you so conveniently stopped me from earning. It's going to be much harder to do the job I was paid to do now that he's on alert."
Her thoughts strayed back to the fancy dressed man.
"You mean killing him?!
"Duh! You should know all about that, paladin. I'm not a world famous assassin for nothing!"
He lunged at her again, but this time she was ready.
She took her sword in both hands and put her weight behind the sword to block the blow. Her thoughts went back to Rabbit's training sessions as she executed the block perfectly. The man was caught off guard at being stopped so suddenly. He tried to swing his dagger at her face, but she twisted her sword and forced him off balance and he stumbled to the ground at her feet. She took a step back, swung her sword out and over her head, and brought the sword down in a perfect swing toward her enemy.
The man couldn't dodge the blow. He wouldn't have been able to block it with his sword. So Viola was caught off guard completely when he instead grabbed her wrist instead and stopped her attack. He then twisted and kicked her hard in the stomach and shoved her off her feet, which she landed a couple yards away on her back, dazed. No one at the academy had ever used anything but their sword to fight. She didn't know how to fight someone in hand to hand combat.
She recovered quickly and and got back up again. The man was already up and watching her calculating. She charged at him this time and swung her sword at him. The man ducked under the swing and again grabbed her by the wrist. He then twisted her wrist in a way it wasn't suppose to go. Pain shot up through her arm and she was paralyzed from it. She couldn't move an inch with him holding her in this position. She saw as his eyes moved down the length of her sword and rested on the empty slot where the crystal was suppose to go. A grin played at his lips.
"Oh... I see. You're new at this aren't you. You haven't any real combat experience. I was wondering why you weren't using any obvious powers against me."
Viola stared into his eyes, scared. How did he know about the paladin's crystal? Who was he? Silently, she gritted her teeth. She couldn't move at all since he had her in this hold. His grin however, turned slowly into a frown.
"But this is worrying. How could a newby like you manage to track down me? Did I really make a mistake in my planning? Your danger sensing ability shouldn't have been able to register me with all the other people committing crimes in the festival."
He looked down at her puzzling over this thought.
"Oh well. I better finish this up. Maybe I can still execute my target before he can get into his uncle's protection."
He yanked on her arm, causing her to bend over onto her knees. She could hear him shift position as he placed the dagger over her neck. She was shaking uncontrollably in fear.
"Time to die, Paladin.
Just then, both of them heard a swishing noise as something was moving fast toward them. He pushed her away and rolled away as Penny leapt passed, her sword swinging right where his body was a second earlier. She skidded to a halt six feet away and turned around, glaring at the man with anger.
"Don't you dare touch her!"
The man looked at Penny coldly.
"That's right, I forgot. You paladin's always move in pairs. But just because you're a little girl, doesn't mean I'm going to spare you."
Suddenly, there was the sound of more movement behind him, he quickly turned and saw Kurama charging at him, swinging his sword.
The man managed to block Kurama's sword barely with both the short sword and dagger. He quickly tumbled away and stood up nearby a tree at the edge of the field. He gritted his teeth at Kurama's arrival and took up another fighting stance. He then looked down at his own blades and gasped. The liquid on both blades and frozen completely into a frost. He looked up at Kurama furiously.
"YOU STUPID IDIOT!! DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE THIS POISON WAS?!?! NOW IT"S COMPLETELY USELESS!!!"
He banged both his short sword and his dagger onto the tree and the orange frost broke off of them and fell to the ground.
"Damn you! Damn you all!"
Viola managed to get to her feet.
"Who are you?!"
The man froze in place, his anger forgotten. His eyes traced over all three of them.
"You mean you don't know?"
Kurama yelled back at the man.
"Quit it! Now tell us who you are!"
The man slowly sheathed his two weapons, a smile playing at his lips.
"Interesting. Very interesting. And here I thought you three were out here pursuing me under orders from your dear leader Mordokai."
He reached into a small pouch around his waist and pulled out several tiny black balls.
"But it certainly does seem that you only managed to find me by chance. Very interesting indeed."
He threw the balls down at his feet and a cloud of smoke appeared suddenly, spreading quickly. Viola, Kurama and Penny were coughing as the cloud spread, but it dispersed quickly. Looking up, they saw that the man had disappeared.
Kurama sheathed his sword and walked over to Viola.
"Are you alright?"
She didn't move for a few seconds before she nodded slowly.
"Good! Because what the heck were you thinking wandering off from us like that! Do you know how lucky you are?! Penny managed to see you disappearing into the woods after she jumped onto one of the buildings! That man was about to kill you!"
Viola was shaking slightly and her legs gave out. She slid down to the ground and sat wide eyed.
"I...I-I don't know wh-what happened... I felt a sudden feeling about that man... that man killing someone."
"So you're saying the paladin's call brought you to that monster?!"
"Oh Great! Now apparently your call makes you suicidal!"
Viola dropped her head, very close to tears. Kurama's fury died instantly.
"Uh... Well, come on. Let's get you back home."
He bent down and tried to help Viola to her feet. When she didn't move he instead picked her up. Penny went and grabbed her sword. The group turned and started making their way back to the fortress.
Paladin Academy: Part 10 -Cast-
The group hadn't traveled very far before Viola was indeed crying in Kurama's arms. The realization of the entire situation had finally washed over her. She had almost died, almost didn't exist anymore. She had imagined herself failing before, but never something as severe as dying. Yet the entire feeling of the man about to kill her and being completely unable to do anything to stop him...
Her face had buried into Kurama's shoulder, tears still leaking from them. Time passed, but she had no comprehension of how much or how long it had been. Eventually, her tears finally dried up. She was looking out at the landmarks around the trail, but wasn't seeing any of them. Her eyes were half closed and completely unfocused. Any sort of noise around her didn't make any sense. She hardly knew who or where she was. She only just seemed to exist.
Finally, the familiar sound of the gate to the fortress was heard opening. She was only vaguely aware what was happening now. She thought she heard several duels stop as everyone was noticing their arrival. She thought she could hear someone approaching with the voice of Rabbit. Kurama was talking back, but Viola didn't understand anything.
Soon, she could feel herself being carried up several flights of steps. A short while later she was then laid down into a chair, yet she just slouched in it. She just sat put, not moving nor thinking as the confusing sound of voices were being spoken. A gentle hand was placed on her shoulder. The touch was comforting and it seemed to be ebbing all the fear away. Her eyes began to refocus and her mind was catching up to what was happening.
She suddenly sat up and noticed she was in Mordokai's office. Mordokai was sitting behind his desk while Kurama and Penny were around the room, watching her anxiously. The hand on her shoulder belonged to another paladin, but she didn't recognize him. She did however recognize the symbol of one of the god most people worshiped painted on his armor. He spoke to her in a soft and gentle tone.
"How do you feel?"
Viola didn't know at the moment, so she just nodded slightly. The man looked over his shoulder back at Mordokai.
"Yeah, I figured. She was just in shock."
Mordokai sighed and nodded.
"That's a relief. I thought we had lost her for a second."
Kurama spoke up suddenly.
"We almost did. That man we told you about was just about to slice her throat open with his dagger just as we showed up."
Viola had a flash of the memory again and her breathing increased suddenly. The paladin rested his hand back on her shoulder again and the panicked feeling evaporated away again.
"Please, Kurama. I can't keep on calming her down like this if she's reminded of today's event."
"I'm sorry about this Nil, but we need her to remember so we can understand what happened."
The man known as Nil sighed and nodded.
"Fine. But make it quick. She's been through a lot already."
Mordokai nodded and then proceeded to ask her about the day's events. Viola began to tell him about what had happened. Feeling the call, confronting the man, pursuing the man, and to actually fighting him. She faltered more then once, but the reassuring hand on her shoulder allowed her to continue. Finally, she told him everything that had happened. Mordokai nodded thoughtfully.
"Yes, Kurama and Penny told us alot of what happened from their perspective. You're lucky this assassin didn't kill you earlier."
"He almost did..."
She twisted around and showed them the scratch against her armor. The orange liquid still resided inside. Everyone looked at the scratch in complete shock.
"He...He managed to scratch the armor?!"
Viola had never heard Penny fearful before.
Kurama looked at Mordokai.
"How is that even possible?!"
Mordokai shook his head.
"I don't know..."
Viola looked at all of them confused.
"What's the big deal? My armor gets dented and scratched all the time when I'm dueling."
"The big deal Viola is the armor is magical. Its alot stronger than steel. No normal blade can do any damage to it."
Viola quickly objected to this.
"But when I duel-"
"When you're dueling, you're fighting against someone with an even more magical sword. The sword is unbreakable and therefore can scratch up your armor. The fact that this man has managed to come up with a way the render our armor useless is greatly disturbing."
Nil was looking closer at the scratch. Kurama spoke again to Mordokai.
"So who was that man anyways? He seemed to know you and a lot of paladin secrets by the looks of it."
Mordokai eyes widen.
"You say he... knew me?"
"Well, he knew of you. He thought we were sent by you to track him down or something."
Mordokai and Nil looked each other in the eyes for several seconds. Finally, Nil spoke.
"That's who I was thinking as well. I can't believe you guys actually managed to find him. It makes Viola's survival all the more impressive."
"But it also puts them in constant danger now."
"That's right. They stopped him while he was trying to finish a job."
Mordokai seemed really concerned about this. He quickly turned to Kurama.
"Quickly, tell me how he's planning on doing it!"
Kurama looked confusedly at Mordokai, and then glanced at both Penny and Viola who were equally confused. Finally, he turned back to Mordokai.
"Kill you, of course! He absolutely hates it when someone gets in his way, especially if it's a paladin. He will always tell the person who stopped him how exactly he's going to kill them."
Kurama seemed scared at this, quickly he recalled back to the encounter, his eyes darting around. Finally, he frowned a little and looked back at Mordokai.
"He didn't say anything like that."
Mordokai was completely taken aback.
"Are you serious?!"
"Well Viola and I were asking who he was, and he just seemed suprised and said it was all just chance we ran into each other and then vanished."
Mordokai leaned back into his chair, thoughtful.
"It may have been that ignorance was what spared you from his hit list. But anyways, we can't really take any chances."
He turned to look at Penny.
"Penny, bring Bis, Rabbit, and Jesse here immediately."
Penny nodded and quickly left the room. Nil was still examining the scratch in Viola's armor.
"What's this orange liquid in the scratch here?"
"It was on both of his blades. I assumed it was poison."
Nil and Mordokai looked at her as if she just told them where an active gold vein was in the area.
"Oh, Viola! You don't know how lucky we are on getting our hands on this poison! The poison itself binds with the persons cells and it becomes untraceable. The fact that you managed to bring us the actual stuff means we just might be able to procure an antidote finally!"
Viola stared back at him.
"Well... all I was trying to do was to protect myself."
Mordokai looked immediately at Nil.
"Quick, get it to Blue immediately!"
"Alright Viola, please get out of that armor."
Embarrassment was one of the last things she expected to feel at the moment. Yet she could feel her cheeks blush.
"Ummm... Can I get something to change into at least?"
Mordokai addressed Kurama.
"Hurry, bring Viola some clothes."
Kurama nodded and quickly left. Mordokai directed his attention back to Viola.
"Who was Recaiden after?"
Viola thought back.
"Some man who was highly dressed."
Mordokai thought for a moment before getting up and walking over to a cabinet. He pulled out a picture and showed it to Viola.
"Was the man him?"
Viola looked for a moment and instantly recognized the man.
"Yes, that was him. Though he was wearing different clothes."
"The King's nephew? Of all the people Viola could have saved."
"Agreed. Viola's actions sure did a lot for us."
"Why? What would've happened if the King's nephew died?"
"The king provides us with our funds. He asked us to provide armed security, but we didn't think there would be any serious trouble occurring there. That was part of the reason I sent you over there, so it would seem that we did oblige to his request. If his nephew were to die, we would have lost all of our funding. The paladin order would've completely collapsed."
Viola gulped. Mordokai continued, but he was just talking to himself.
"But now that he's on the alert, that will stall Recaiden for a while. He won't try to sneak into the king's castle without a plan."
He looks at Nil.
"After you take the poison to Blue, hurry quickly to the King's castle and help in planning for his brother to leave the country. We can't let Recaiden assassinate him."
Nil nodded as Kurama just entered the room holding Viola's clothes. She could feel herself glowing red during the entire process of undressing and handing her armor to Nil before changing into the clothes Kurama provided for her. Once Nil had all the pieces of her armor, he hurriedly left the room.
Mordokai sank in his chair again.
"Oh, what a day. And it all started with Nil coming back to report on Grim."
"Does this mean you found Grim then?"
Mordokai shook his head.
"No, it appears he has vanished entirely."
He sighs and looks up at the ceiling for a little bit before looking back at Kurama.
"Well hurry up and get out of your armor Kurama. Despite the circumstances, Viola did pass the first test. So after you're all done, get ready to take her down to the crystal room below."
Viola had completely forgotten about the crystals.
"Oh yeah! That's right! I'm suppose to be able to find it now, right?"
Mordokai finally smiled.
"Yes you are, Viola. Now hurry up."
Viola left the room much cheerful then when she had entered.
Paladin Academy: Part 11 -Cast-
Viola walked behind Kurama as they headed down to the changing room. She tried to grasp everything that happened that day, but it would make her head spin. She resolved to instead talk to Kurama as they walked.
"Ummm... So who was that other Paladin? Nil was his name right?"
Kurama joined in with too much eagerness in his voice. Apparently, he wanted to get his mind off the days events as much as Viola.
"His name is Nil. Apparently, he was one of the first paladi's that Mordokai managed to bring here. He's quite adept at everything that Mordokai is. In fact, there are rumors that he will be the next paladin to 'unlock' his crystal."
Viola looked at Kurama confused.
"Oh sorry. That's what we call it when the crystal has achieved it's ultimate potential. I don't know why we called it that though."
She looks away for a little bit, then turns back to Kurama.
"So, what power does Nil have?"
"Well, he calls it the 'Power of the heart'."
Viola raises an eyebrow to this.
"What? He makes people fall in love?"
Kurama shakes his head.
"No, no. Nothing romantic like that. He instead has a soothing power over emotions by bringing peace and calm to those around him. Lately, he has also been able to heal wounds of people. But that takes more out of him."
Viola thought back to every time Nil had placed a hand on her shoulder, the panicked feeling would ebb away.
"So he was calming me down, right?"
"Yeah. It was a good thing he was here to begin with. He's rarely in the academy very much. A real shame, since he's a pretty cool guy."
Viola thought about it for a few minutes.
"Why does he have one of the gods' symbol on his armor?"
"He's somewhat very religious. He says that the crystals were made and put here from the god, Theraneous, himself. Apparently, Nil had a hard life and becoming a paladin changed it completely."
Viola looked at Kurama.
"They came from Theraneous? But I thought the gods had forbidden each other from interfering with the mortal realm directly."
Kurama turned to face Viola.
"Viola, it's just a story. I don't know if it's real or not.
"Anyways, were here at the changing rooms. Just give me a second and I'll be right out."
Kurama went inside. Viola leaned against the wall with her arms behind her back. Her left hand was griping her right arm around the middle as she looked around. The sun was setting and the sky was alight with red and orange clouds, floating by in a wispy sense. After a few minutes, Kurama reappeared changed into the casual garments.
"Sorry for the wait."
Viola shook her head.
"Not a problem at all."
They then proceeded up into the academy. However, they didn't get far until they met Penny. She was still in her armor.
"Oh, there you guys are! Why didn't you wait for me! I had to waste time finding Rabbit, Bis, and Jesse. By the time I got back up, you guys were gone."
Kurama made an apologetic face.
"Sorry Penny. We kind of forgot. We were just on our way to get Viola's crystal."
Penny pointed an accusing finger at them.
"Oh no you're not!"
Viola froze under the point of the finger. Kurama did as well.
"Uh... were not?"
"Of course not!"
Penny was still glaring at them. Then suddenly her face changed to deep joy and her tone changed to an almost joyous sing-song voice.
"Not without 'ME' you're not!"
Kurama let out a relieved sigh.
"Well, no promises. You need to change out of your armor first."
Penny looked down at the armor she was wearing.
"Oh ya. I forgot I was still wearing it."
She looked back up at them.
"You better wait for me!"
Then she hurried and sprinted down the corridor. Once she was out of sight, Kurama continued walking.
Viola looked at him, but hurried to keep up.
"Ummm... aren't we going to wait for her?"
"Don't worry, she knows where it is. She'll arrive just as we arrive."
And sure enough, he was right. Just as Viola stepped down from the last step, Penny leaped into view and cleared the last 14 steps and landed beside her. She was breathing heavily and clutching her side. After a minute she looked angrily at Kurama.
"I told you to wait!"
"And I said, 'No promises'."
Penny held up a finger and had her mouth open as if she was about to make an angry retort. Then she closed her mouth and nodded, dejectedly. Viola was starting to feel sorry for her, when she was suddenly hyper and happy again. She caught a grin on Kurama's face out of the corner of her eye.
"Well, lets do this."
He reached out and opened the doors. Immediately, the same bright lights illuminated everything as the crystals all sparkled of different colors. They all stepped inside and Kurama closed the door. Viola looked around at all the crystals again.
"So, um... what do I do?"
"Just remember back to when you heard the call."
Viola nodded and closed her eyes. She remember hearing her own harmonic voice speaking in a strange language to her. She listened to the voice for a while in her head, and then it seemed that it was coming from another direction. Hesitantly she took a step toward the direction it was coming from. It was echoing out to her from someplace else and she followed it. She was nervous she might run into another crystal formation, but she didn't.
Finally, the voice seemed to pinpoint to one spot directly in front of her. Her eyes still closed, she reached out. Her hand touched one of the crystals that instantly broke off to her touch. As she held it, a pleasant warm feeling spread through her body. When the warmth finished it's spread. She stepped back and open her eyes.
She beheld a violet colored crystal sparkling in her hand. And yet, right before her eyes, the crystal was changing shape. It's jagged ends and sharp edges receded and twisted until the crystal represented the shape of a diamond on a deck of cards. It was the exact shape of the notches in all the paladin's swords.
From behind her, Kurama spoke out.
"Well, congratulations Viola."
Viola froze. Something... happened when Kurama spoke. She didn't know what though.
"Ummm... are you alright, Viola?"
It happened again. Though too fast for her to identify it. She closed her eyes again tightly.
"Say something else."
She could almost see in her mind's eye Kurama and Penny looking at each confused.
"Uhh... well what do you want us to say?"
This time Viola managed to identify what was happening. Yet she didn't quite understand it. She opened her eyes and looked at the two of them.
"It's...weird. Whenever either of you talk, it's as if I can see everything around me. Yet it's like reflections of the things around me."
The confused looks on their faces grew even more bewildered.
"Odd. I don't know what you're power is suppose to be, but it sounds like a passive one like Bis. Usually the passive abilities are discovered sooner since the paladin is constantly experiencing them."
Viola looked down at the violet crystal in her hand. However, any wondering over it seemed to disappear. In it's place, a wonderful happy feeling was filling her.
She looks triumphant as she hold the crystal above her head in a celebratory manner.
"I...I finally have my crystal!"
Great story! So, she has the ability to either manipulate or sense soundwaves? Sonar? Anyway, glad to have this back!
Avatar by Logalmier
Originally Posted by Fred Rogers
"When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed."
Originally Posted by Mother Teresa
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one
Paladin Academy: Part 12 -Cast-
Viola was laying on her bed. She was holding her crystal between her thumb and her index, staring at it intently. The crystal was shining a bright, pleasant violet color.
On the other side of the room, Kurama was laying on his bed. He was reading one of his books in the mean time. Viola couldn't help but remember what happened to Penny.
The group was walking down the hallway. Viola was staring at her crystal just as intently. Maybe more so than her was Penny. Viola spoke up, happily.
"This is great! I still can't believe I finally got my crystal!"
Penny responded back to her.
"Now you're officially one of us now!"
"Yeah. I guess I am."
"And what's cool is that your crystal looks so much like mine."
Penny turns and starts walking backwards. She reaches into a pocket of her clothing and pulls out her own crystal. That crystal was glowing a bright pink color.
Kurama spoke out to Penny.
"What you mean, Penny, is the color of the crystal. All the crystals have the same diamond shape."
Penny looked back at Kurama.
"Well, duh! Of course I mean that! Viola knows exactly what I mean, right Vio-AAUGHH!!
Penny, unable to see where she was going, had crashed into one of the suits of armor that were set up as decoration. The armor fell apart and clattered over the floor in a pile. Penny was buried in the middle of it. Throughout the event, Viola had the same reflection thing happen that gave her a sense of the whole hallway.
Viola quickly rushed over.
"Oh no, Penny! Are you alright?"
Some pieces of armor moved and Penny emerged, looking dazed.
"Yeah, I think so."
She looks around at the armor scattered around.
"Oh no, not again!"
Viola didn't know whether to laugh or be concerned.
Kurama spoke up.
Penny has a bit of a reputation for knocking over the armor decoration. It drives Rabbit mad."
"Oh does it ever. If she sees this, she'll give me another lecture."
She picks herself up and begins gathering the pieces of armor together again.
"Do you want me to help you, Penny?"
Penny looked up at her.
"Thanks. But these suits of armor are different than the ones we wear. You'll mostly just slow me down by me explaining where everything goes. Go on ahead. I'll see you later."
Viola hesitated for a moment, but then nodded. She turned and followed Kurama to their room.
Viola was still marveling over the crystal. However, out of the corner of her eye, she could see Kurama glancing over at her. However, every time he looked, it wasn't a friendly glance.
After several times of this happening, Viola got fed up with it. She sat up on her bed and glared irritated at Kurama.
"What is it? What's wrong? Are you mad at me for some reason?"
Kurama didn't look up from his book, but his eyes weren't moving either.
"No. I'm not mad at you."
"Then why do you keep glancing over here?"
"I'm angry with what's happened, that's all."
"What? At me getting my crystal?"
Kurama put his book down and looked at her.
"No! Of course not. That would be the very last thing I would ever get mad at. It's a truly wonderful thing to get."
"I'm angry at what you did to get it."
Viola stared into Kurama's eyes for a few seconds before she understood what he was talking about.
"Oh... You mean the assassin?"
He picks his book back up and pretends to read it again.
"I was absolutely scared out of my mind again when we lost track of you. Even more so when I saw him just about to kill you."
"Look I'm...I'm sorry. I don't know what to-"
"You don't have to say anything. Just remember that the next time you decide to run off like that..."
He looked back at her.
"...I don't want to lose another partner. I was really close to having to experience the loss all over again."
Viola shifted her gaze at her feet. She had forgotten that Kurama had lost his previous partner before she was partnered to him.
"You're right. I'm really sorry."
She looked back up at him.
"So your other partner. What was she like?"
"He. His name was Silv. He was a pretty fun guy to be around."
"What happened to him?"
Kurama looked around the room.
"We were assigned to escort some refugees through a mountain pass. It was raining heavily, but we were almost through. Then suddenly, there was a major mudslide."
Viola tried to imagine the scene in her head.
"Most of the group was clear of the danger, but a couple of the wagons in the rear were right in it's path. Silv managed to get the closer of the two out of the way and headed back for everyone else. A kid slipped on some wet rock and fell down and cut his knee. Silv acted instantly and grabbed the kid by the shoulder."
Viola was realizing she had stopped breathing and quickly took a breath.
"With his last heroic act, he managed to hoist the kid and throw him just out of the mudslide's path. However, the mudslide hit him and he fell nearly 2,000 feet off the edge. It took days to recover his body."
Kurama sighed heavily.
"I was leading the group while he was assisting stragglers in the rear. If we had switched places..."
He trailed off. Viola watched him deep in thought.
"I'm sorry. I could only imagine."
"I know. A paladin is not suppose to have attachments to people. But that's a lot harder then it sounds."
"Again, I'm sorry."
Some time passed as they sat in silence. Eventually she stood up.
"Well, I'm hungry. Maybe eating will take your mind off things."
Kurama shook his head.
"Nah. You go ahead."
Viola looked at Kurama for a second, then placed her crystal down onto the nightstand. She turned to the door when she caught sight of Kurama's face. She looked over her shoulder at him.
Kurama was looking up at her with an anticipating smile playing at his lips.
Viola glared at him suspiciously, but then turned and proceeded to walk out the door. But before she could get to the door, a strange feeling had washed over her. She tried to keep moving, but the feeling was preventing her was walking any further forward. She looked back at Kurama who was now chuckling at her.
"I can't... I can't move!"
Silently, Kurama's eyes slid casually over to her crystal, sparkling innocently on her nightstand. She looked at the crystal for a moment in horror.
"It's doing this to me?!"
Kurama was grinning now.
"Yup. A bit of a side effect about your crystal. After you have attuned and bonded with it, you can't willingly get further than about ten feet from it."
Viola had a flash of several things she wanted to do in the future and her crystal being close by for every one of them. She shook her head to clear the images.
"But...But that's not fair!"
"I know. But you'll have to carry your crystal everywhere with you from now on."
Viola angrily walked back to her nightstand and picked up the crystal. She cast an annoyed glance at it before slipping it into her pocket.
"On second thought, I think I will come to dinner."
Kurama set his book down and got up to join her. Throughout dinner, she was in a sour mood.
Paladin Academy: Part 13 -Cast-
Viola woke up disgruntled. She looked over at her crystal which she left on her nightstand when she went to sleep that night. All this time, she thought it would be great to get her own crystal and to have her own unique ability. However, no one told her that she would have to baby sit it constantly.
She worked her way out of bed and folded it. She finally looked down at her crystal for a moment before snatching it up and slipping it into her pocket.Then she turned and walked out to the mess hall.
Kurama had left before her and had saved a seat for her to join him. However she was suprised that Penny was also waiting for her as well.
"Good morning, Viola."
Viola just nodded at her, but sat without a word. Penny looked at Kurama concerned.
"What's up with her?"
Kurama still had that smug smile he wore last night.
"She found out about the crystals' side-effect."
"Ohhhhh! Is that's whats bothering her."
Penny smiled as well.
"Yeah. I remember when that first happened to me. It was really annoying. And the worse part was Rabbit wasn't in the room to explain it to me. So I was stuck there for several hours trying to find out what the heck was wrong with me."
Viola spoke up.
"That's terrible. How can you guys stand it?"
Kurama shrugs at her.
"Truth be told, we kind of got use to it. The crystal has pretty much become a part of us that we hardly really think about it anymore."
Viola looked down at her breakfast, felling gloomy.
"What's wrong with me then? I almost despise the thing."
"Everyone feels that way when they first get their crystal, Viola. Mordokai describes it as our bodies getting adjusted to it. That's all."
Viola looks at them.
"But what about the risks? What if you lose it? Like you accidently drop it down a cliff or something."
Both Kurama and Penny shrug their shoulders at her.
"We don't know."
Viola raises her eyebrows at them.
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"Well, no paladin has ever lost their crystal. You seem to just know where to keep it safe and it stays safe."
Viola looked between the two of them.
"No one has lost it? They haven't gotten more then ten feet from their crystal?"
Kurama shook his head.
"Nope. So we have no idea what happens if you do lose it."
"We imagine it would be quite shocking though."
Viola looked down at her meal again.
"Oh cheer up, Viola. Have you found out what ability your crystal grants you yet?"
Viola shook her head.
"Not yet. But I keep seeing those reflection images of everything around me."
"Well, no one quite knows what their ability is until they really use it. I remember when I first found out about my ability."
Viola looked at her.
"Why? What happened?"
"Well, Rabbit got sick and tired of me messing up everything of hers. So what she did is she took my crystal and put it up high, out of my reach. I couldn't reach it or any of her stuff thanks to the side effect."
Viola looked at her in shock.
"That's terrible. What did you do?"
"Well, I kept jumping for my crystal, of course. After countless tries, I really concentrated and I felt myself become super light. It was a shock at how high I jumped that I hit the ceiling."
"Ouch. Were you alright?"
"Oh yeah. I was just fine. Just surprised."
Viola turned to Kurama.
"How did you discover your ability?"
It wasn't anything special. It was just a particularly hot day and I remember wishing that my water was much cooler. I was shocked when I put a large ice cube in my mouth all of a sudden."
Viola chuckled weakly, then she looked down.
"How will I discover what my ability is?"
"Well, Kurama says your ability sounds like a passive one. So you should probably discover what yours does quicker then when we figured it out. Think back, what do you remember whenever you see the area around you reflected?"
Viola recalls back to whenever she see's the reflected surfaces.
"Mostly, I can see them whenever anyone talks. However, it was especially clear when you ran into that suit of armor, Penny."
Penny shifts in her seat uncomfortably.
"Uhhh...Can you not talk about that. I don't want Rabbit to hear that I knocked over another suit of armor."
"You did that again, Penny?"
They all looked up. A paladin female who Viola had seen but never spoken to was looking down at them holding a tray with some food on it.
"My word. How many times does this make?"
Penny was holding her finger to her lips and shushing the newcomer.
"Shhh! Shhhhhh! Not so loud! Rabbit can't find out about it, Lix!"
"Oh relax, Penny. Rabbit isn't here. She left last night with Bis and Jesse."
She looks down at the empty seat next to Viola.
"Can I sit down?"
"Oh, yeah sure."
Viola shifts over to allow Lix to sit down.
"Thanks. By the way, you're the new paladin, aren't you? I've seen you around from time to time. My name's Lix. How about yours?"
Kurama added to the conversation.
"Her name's Viola, and she's not 'new' here, Lix. She's been in the academy for a few months."
"Yeah, I know. But there hasn't been anyone new after her. So she's still the new girl until someone else comes in."
"Hey Lix, do you know where Rabbit, Bis and... Jesse went?"
Lix turns to face her.
I'm not sure exactly, but they're looking for someone. Mordokai only gathers those three together if they're out looking for some outlaw close by or whatever."
Kurama and Penny both looked at Viola who glanced back at them. Lix however was oblivious to the whole thing. She was currently trying to pour syrup onto her pancakes.
"Dammit! Why is syrup so hard to get out?"
"Well, have you tried heating it? That gets syrup out faster."
Lix put her hand under the syrup bottle and fire sparked from her palm. Viola jumped in shock. Lix then poured the syrup much more easily out onto her pancakes.
"Hey you're right, it does work."
Viola looked at Penny and Kurama with a startled look, silently asking for an explanation.
"Lix's ability is fire. She can conjure it at will"
"Oh yeah, but I can't control it once I conjure it."
They finish up their breakfast shortly after that and then start heading down to the training ground to start the day.