I rested my back against the wall of the dimly lighted room, the sun was disappearing on the horizon. My energy was half-drained because of the physical training we received under Albert's supervision.
He was instructing Kyre about his best approach of an enemy, from across the room I visualize Axel swashing his sword in the air. Shizuma was talking to Joanne and several times pointing around the room.
Finally Albert left, I seized this opportunity. I walked in a slow pace toward Axel, whose back was facing me.The sound of a whip hitting the ground snapped me out of my path as I turn to face Shizuma.
"You aren't too tired for a fight with me?" Shizuma asked, her eyes and intentions were clear: prevent me from getting into a fight with Axel.
"You have eyes everywhere," I said, reaching for my swords. This was definitely not the first time I dueled Shizuma, but the foreboding feeling was always the same. Shizuma was a challenge and I had a name and manhood to look after.
"You would be surprised," she strained the whip on her hands. She slashed forward making the whip strike the ground beneath my feet heavily. I jumped out of the whip's range, in the air I tilt my body downward to create acceleration as I lunged at Shizuma from the air, my swords before me.
She flipped backward when I reached the ground, I ran to her. Everybody else in the room was watching the fight. She reached behind her back and took discs out, she charged them with energy and threw them at me. I deflected her discs to a wall on my right and the discs crashed with an explosion on the wall. She meant to harm me! This distraction cost me for she coiled the whip on the blade of my left sword and snatched it from my hand, leaving me single-sword. She smirked.
Infuriated I charged at her, turning the handle of my sword--reversing the blade, the cutting edge facing out. Her whip came crashing down again, in a swift side stroke of the sword I cut her whip. She pulled her whip back to her, analysing the damage. I turned the handle of the sword once again and hold the blade to her neck.
She gave me a cold look as she dropped the severed whip to the ground, the sound of the fall reverberated in the room, echoes dying away. I smiled and sheathed my right sword.
"That was for my sword," I said, giving my other sword a glimpse. I felt knuckles burying deep in my cheek and fell to the ground. Shizuma's hand was clenched in a fist. I rubbed my cheek, dumbstruck.
"That was for my whip," she said, a sly smile crossing her face as she picked up her whip from the ground.
I grinned and stood up.
"Hope you had enough Aldrest," Albert's voice called from the entrance. I cringed, had he been watching? "Come now," he continued, "all the students and staff have been summoned to the Great Hall, Candravar has an announcement."
We followed Albert out of the room, I caught a sneer from Axel's face when our eyes met. My blood was boiling, if only I had a chance to swipe that smile from his face.
We entered the Great Hall --a big room capable of housing the student body-- a podium was placed in the middle and Candravar was standing on it. He gave us a smile as we entered the hall.
"Students and fellow hunters," he said, the room was dead in silence. These meetings were rarities. "I do hope you are enjoying this year at the Academy. I am happy to say I am pleased with most of the duels," his head jerked on our direction. "I will make this quick, a well-known black soul hunter named Salazar Dreix have summoned the hunting community to a game, he also invited the students of the academy to participate in." Whispers erupted from the room, the teachers/hunters hushed them down. "I accepted the invitation."
Clamour and excited talk invaded the room as the students talked among themselves.
"The hunting game will take place within three days from now, it will start in the morning and will last 24 hours." Candravar's voice was heard above everyone else, "it is like a tournament, in each round a certain amount of hunters and students will be disqualified... He requires the participation of everyone."
"What is in for us?" a hunter-teacher with a patched eye asked.
"For the legitimate black soul hunters the scroll of the Elders," Candravar's voice was solemn. Murmurs and collective gasped were dominant among the staff. The scroll of the Elders was the scroll the Elder's warring group have found and summoned the magical being with, bestowing them with powers. It was considered long gone, buried, and hidden away by the Elders themselves.
"No wonder Candravar wants to participate too," I whispered to Shizuma, "he must want that scroll back."
Shizuma had a worried expression on her as her eyes fell on Candravar.
"What about the students?" Neil asked.
"Aside from the experience and knowledge, Mr. Cromwell, the students who get far enough into the game will be automatically name Black soul Hunters without taking the Hunting Examination," Candravar said.
Enjoyment, mirth, and glee was the general reaction from the student body.
"Participate in a 24-hour hunting game instead of taking the 3-day examination," I mused, "should be pretty interesting."
"And tough," Shizuma said, "we are competing against fully competent Black soul hunters."
"Rest and train, for in two we will begin our trip toward Circidre for the hunting game." Candravar stepped down from the podium and walked out of the hall bustling with thrilling youngsters. I saw Shizuma follow him out.
"This is going to be interest," I heard Albert said.
"Very," I voiced, my eyes set on Axel. He returned me the same amusing glance.