As the bell rang, Professor Stein called Asmund and I down to his desk. We both stood there, curious as to why he wanted us. I pulled my hood back and let it rest on my back, in order to hear the Professor better.
"Akemi. Asmund. I have a special lesson for you." He spoke in his uniquely monotone voice.
"U-uh, sure, Professor Stein. What is it?" I asked, looking over to my weapon.
"I need you two to meet me in the forest out on the edge of Death City. Since you're new partners you're going to need to practice your soul's resonance. Let's say, 6 tonight?" He turned the knob on his head to where it clicked a few times, and then glanced down at us.
"S-sure. We'll be there." Asmund said, taking me by the arm and leading me out of the room.
It startled me at the feeling of his hand on my arm. Not in a romantic sense, just the fact it was a quick motion with no warning. He lead me outside the Academy and spun around to meet my gaze.
"There's a lot of weapons around here who stay with their Meisters," Asmund spoke, looking to his sides. "and I was wondering..." He trailed off, twiddling his thumbs.
A smile stretched across my face, "Of course!" I exclaimed happily. Maybe having another person in my loft would ease the stress.
Asmund and I walked back to my loft, discussing ourselves (me in brief and little detail) to pass the time. When we got up the stairs to my door, I noticed Kid with Liz and Patty standing in front of my door. Patty ran over to me and gave me a huge hug. Liz politely waved, and Kid put forth a smile.
"Akemi, Maka and Soul have put together a party for you in honour of yours and Asmund's unification." Kid came over to me, placing a soft kiss on my forehead.
"Asmund and I have special lessons with Stein at 6." My hand found its way around Kid's waist and lay itself on his hip.
"That'll give you enough time to get the initial celebration and for us to learn about you two as partners." Liz added, taking her side by Patty.
I agreed with Kid and Liz that we could stay for a while, and so I made my way over to Maka's door and knocked. Instead of being greeted with the sight of my friend, Blair's bubbly body was shoved in my face. Literally. Once I pushed myself out of her bosom, I explained we wouldn't get to stay long.
"Oh that's fine! After all, we have to celebrate you and your adorrrrrable new weapon!" Blair chirped. I slapped her hand away from Asmund, and we all entered Maka's house.
"Congratulations Akemi!" Soul and Maka cheered in unison.
Everybody sat around their small coffee table and talked, ate, laughed, and just plain had a good time. Except for me. My body had broke into cold sweats several times since I had exited the DWMA. My hands got clammy coming up the stairs to my loft, and now a million thoughts were giving me a migraine. I glanced over at the clock on the wall. It's only 4:30. I need to get out of here and release my Soul Protect. My body isn't conditioned for this... Maka noticed my distress, and sat on the armrest next to me.
"Akemi, are you alright? You haven't spoke much since you got here." Maka placed a hand on my shoulder, which made me flinch.
"I-I've gotta go." I blurted out, standing up and darting through the front door, leaving everyone, including Asmund, behind.
I ran as fast as my legs would possibly go without using my transformation magick. Hope filled my body as I saw the edge of Death City, leading out into miles of desert. My legs were being pushed to their limit as my body broke through the invisible barrier separating the city from the rest of the world. Running about half a mile out, I collapsed. My breathing was erratic, but I knew out here I could be who I was meant to be without any trouble.
"Soul Protect...release." I said aloud, throwing a hand to my side and spreading my fingers apart.
My body and immediate area around me was engulfed in white smoke and violet light. The circle of smoke and light grew bigger, eventually 'bursting'. I closed my eyes, now refilled with the energy I missed dearly. My monster hood curved around in front of me, re-animated. I crossed my arms on my chest with my palms facing to my back, and uttered the spell for my wings.
"All the light consumed by dark, I call upon the Grand Witch's mark!" I threw both my arms up, hunching my body over.
Out of my back erupted these giant, black and leathery wings. They unfolded, creating an easy 25 or 30 ft wingspan. Laughing to myself, I shot up into the air, forgetting anything and everything that was clouding my mind. This was a feeling I longed for. Ever since turning myself over, I never got an opportunity like this one. I threw my arms out, allowing them to flow in the wind as my wings beat vigorously, keeping me up.
My eyes were closed, however. I did not see where my wings were taking me. All I knew is that I was free. For a sole moment I was free. And then it hit me. Or rather, what hit me. I fell onto the sand with a unsatisfying thud. Struggling to stand, I folded up my wings, rubbed my eyes, and stared at what I had hit.
"Damn..." I grimaced, "what in the world could poss-" I stopped, my eyes widening and jaw dropping at the sight before me.
"It is nice to see you, Akemi." Crona spoke. His soft tone barely audible.
"B-But how, how did I hit you?" I asked, walking closer to him.
"I threw out Ragnarok. He may be small now but he's still functional." Crona's eyes shifted towards the sandy terrain.
We stood in awkward silence for a moment as neither one of us uttered any words. I glanced behind me to find the sun setting. I needed to get back to Death City before any search parties were sent out. I turned to leave as Crona finally said something.
"Medusa wants you back." Crona's words cut through to my ears, even in the dry air.
"Crona. You're the closest thing to a brother I have, but I can't. Not now. Not today." I turned around, throwing out my wings and flying back towards the city.