Part I: From the Ashes
The music played through my ears as I watched the woodland lining up the highway pass by through the rain soaked window. As excited as I was to finally be on the road to make something of my life, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I was genuinely surprised that they’d accepted me into their school. In a way, I didn’t think I was worthy. I did train very hard to get to where I was, but I’m sure others had as well. They probably even had better reasons to why they’d choose such a fate to begin with.
I looked down at the music player to see that it had shut off. The low battery image flashed across the screen. I knew I’d forgotten something. There were probably a few more minutes I could’ve gotten out of the device, but it was in no way good for the battery. I took the earbuds out and put it all away. Not having music for the rest of the trip was going to be a drag
I looked down at the case by my feet. Inside, was the weapon that held my soul. As dramatic as that sounds, I’d gotten used to what it would mean if it was destroyed and it didn’t nearly bother me as much as it used to. I never liked to have it too far away. The memories that came with the thoughts of the sword were complicated and tiresome. I wasn’t even sure if they were my own if they belonged to those who’d used the sword in the past.
When I first boarded the bus, I had noticed a familiar face. She had pretended to ignore me, or perhaps she’d already forgotten what had happened between us. Not that I could blame her; things hadn’t ended well for either of us. I stood up, determined to set things right. After all, I couldn’t carry this baggage around with me forever.
What we had was something special and for a while, I really thought that we’d be able to create a future for ourselves. Then, she changed and became someone I didn’t know anymore. She would never talk about what had been bothering her; instead she just bottled it all up. Seeing her there caused some sort of silly hope to rise up in my mind.
Maybe she had changed since then?
I walked over to where she was but kept a close eye on my sword’s case. The second I saw her eyes on me, a number of negative memories entered my mind. I pushed them away and gave her my most charming smile.
“Been awhile, hasn’t it?” I tried not to sound as nervous as I was.
She ignored me and looked away.
“I know things didn’t end well between us, but that’s in the past. Can we at least try to be friends again?”
“You are so needy.” Was all she spat out.
“I’m just trying to be nice, you know.”
“I didn’t ask for that. Now leave me alone.”
“A-Alright…” I backed away and went to sit down feeling utterly rejected.
At least I was able to talk to her this time. I had expected another silent treatment, so there was still some hope there.
I wondered what had brought her there. The last time I had checked, she was doing some petty crimes for whatever she could get her hands on. I wondered how had they even caught her in the first place. She had never one to conform to anything so I assumed they’d probably worn her down until she submitted. It was an unfortunate fate if it were true.
I glanced back at her and noticed that she looked quite pale and tired. I knew I that couldn’t help someone unless they wanted me to. Feeling quite defeated, I took the case in my hands and sat it on my lap.
I heard some yelling behind me and did my best to ignore it. Moments later, someone sat down beside me. I didn’t even give them a quick look as my mood was sorta ruined now.
“What’s in the case?”
I didn’t reply and just kept minding my own business.
“Did that creepy red head shoot you down? It hurts, doesn’t it? You’ll find better though. She looks a little too intense for someone as charming as you.”
“Charming?” I scoffed.
“Come on, I can tell you’re a good guy. I’m Yougen by the way.” This person stuck out their hand.
I looked in their direction and saw a kind smile on this girl’s face. Her blue eyes were captivating, to say the least. I accepted her kind gesture awkwardly.
“I go by Mace, or Firestar.”
“Cool. You got accepted here too, huh?”
“Yeah, I’m surprised I did.”
“Same here. Who woulda thought that curiosity would lead to such a thing?”
“Hm.” I tore my eyes from her so I wouldn’t be caught staring.
“Your music player is outta juice, isn’t it? Want to borrow mine?” She held it out to me after searching through the bag she brought with her.
“Um, sure?” I had a stupid that that told me to say that I’d rather keep talking with her instead.
“We could listen to it together?” She suggested.
“How would that work?”
She untied the earbuds and held one out to me.
“See? We’ll both hear it this way.”
“Sounds like a good idea.”
“Sorry if the volume is a little low, I haven’t programmed it to play much louder than it does.”
“You made it, or something?”
“I brought it with me from another world. It’s so I don’t forget the life I had back then…and the people who helped me get to where I am today.”
“Wow, so you’re like an inventor?”
She laughed like I told a joke.
“No, no. It’s just a hobby. What about you? You have any?”
“I like studying magic and swordplay.”
“Cool. Is that what’s in your case?”
“Yes, it’s Laevatienn, my sword.”
“Named after the sword the fire giant Surtr wielded, huh? Cool. You should show me some time.”
“I dunno if I’m that good with it…”
“Don’t worry. I’m clumsy at times, too.” She gave a reassuring smile.