The next day rolled around and Leo got up from his bed and did his morning routine. He stretched, worked out and then took a shower. After he finished the routine, he grabbed his bag and left the room. He headed towards his homeroom and first class.
After the treatment and the removal of the seal, he felt much more energetic. He walked briskly to the class and entered. Upon entering he found a lot of eyes making their way over to him. They didn linger for long as most were just a curiosity.
He went to his desk and sat down. He noticed that there were a few empty seats here and there and he attributed them to humans who had yet to wake up. He also noticed Faust sitting not that far away. It wasn long until Ethan walked inside the class.
Seeing the empty seats, he sighed, ”Olivia, how many are still out? ”
”By my count, fourteen. ”
Hearing the large number of missing students, he rubbed his eyes, ”Alright, we were supposed to go over soul realms today, but it seems not everyone has woken up. Although its generally a good thing, because more time dormant usually means larger soul realm, I can start the lesson if there are missing students. Its that important. ”
His hand went to cover his mouth as he thought. He stood like that for a while, slightly shaking his foot.
”Whatever, Ill just teach you some history stuff. Lessons start tomorrow even if I got to slap the others awake. These history lessons are mainly for the new demons. They
e not that important. ”
The class quickly went by without much going on. Leo listened intently even as others just ignored their teacher, as they considered history useless.
Leo didn agree with that opinion, there were a lot of valuable things in the past.
Ethan quickly recapped the overall history of Lulo, the continent in which everyone lived.
”There are 8 gods that watch over the lands of Lulo. I expect everyone already knows this. We were created by the god known as Blight. Why? We
e still unsure and it will most likely always be that way. The other 7, excluding Token, so actually 6, had a hand at creating the angels.
e unsure as to why the gods created them, but we know they were made to kill demons. You see, Blight originally made the three Kings, two of which are still alive. They were made in the image of humans, although they were stronger in every way and could do things humans could not. This was a result of their connection to Blight.
”For whatever reason, the other 6 gods made the angel Kings. They were made to attack our Kings, which resulted in the deaths of the angel Kings. The angel gods saw this and decided to instead play the numbers game. They started bestowing upon humans the power of angels, making them angels instead. Things escalated and Blight was forced to do the same for demons, else the Kings wouldve died.
”Although we are called demons and angels, we are incredibly similar. We demons were made after humans and even used to be humans way back. This is excluding the Kings; they were made by Blight himself. Angels were made after us, in order to kill us. This is evidenced by the fact that besides our blood and abilities, we are indistinguishable from humans.
”As you all know we live on the continent of Lulo. But what you probably don know is how much there used to be. Long ago, we could cross the seas to the West, North, and South, and we could also travel East. But now, due to the Battle of Kings, only the scorched continent exists to the East. A land which no one can travel.
”If one tries to cross the sea thats in the other directions, they come across a massive thick fog that blocks everything from sight. We are unsure of where the fog originates from but, if one travels into the fog, they
e never seen from again, although their fate is assumed by their screams after entering it. We are also unsure if there is fog to our East, as nobody can travel that far into the scorched continent.
”Now, only two Kings remain, and both are on our side. We, the angels and demons, are in a ceasefire, which will one day end. By the time that day comes, I suspect the humans will also join the fight. Although the vast majority are magicless, their technology is sufficiently advanced, and they outnumber both us and the angels combined. Furthered by the fact that most worship angels and their gods, it is the general consensus they will join their side. I skipped a lot, mainly in the middle, but any questions? ”
A new demon with scorching red hair and an energetic personality asked, ”Why do we have the names angels and demons then? ”
”Primarily propaganda throughout the ages. But in the early days, some of the demons were indeed horrible, fitting of the term demon, among them notably Adrian Auclair and Silus Thorne. The name was slapped on and it sadly stuck. As for the angels, they never entered the good graces of humans in the early days, but never entered their bad graces. Thus, they manipulated the future generations to idolize them. Then they were dubbed the angels, who would ring the gods graces and wipe out the demons. Even though we demons have mainly kept to ourselves besides fighting the angels. ”
Seemingly the only person interested in history besides Leo, the red-haired student asked, ”Can you tell us more about the gods? ”
”Theres not much known about them, besides their names. We
e certain Blight is the god of death, but the other gods have connections to death as well. The only god other than Blight that we really know of is Token.
”For whatever reason, Token didn help the other gods attack Blight at all. We don even know what his persona is. We think its a crow, maybe a raven. Oh, and a persona is what the god is generally recognized as if they descend. For example, Watsoph is a dragon, Zerum is a cat, and Anzieth is a snake. ”
”Whats Blights persona? ” The red hair student asked, prompting the teacher to lean against his desk and speak more directly with the student.
”Hes often depicted as a fox, but weve seen him become other things. We think the gods can shapeshift as long as its near what their original form is, but Blight seems to be the exception. It seems he can transform into whatever he wants. ”
”What do you mean by descend? ” This time another student chimed in, a girl with blonde hair.
”There have been confirmed accounts of individuals impossibly strong briefly appearing, they all are in their described personas, or something like them. They don stay long and only appear for very specific reasons, usually without fanfare. They have to make a body and when they leave the body stays behind. In the body they leave behind something called a mortal heart. But any more information about mortal hearts is classified. If you somehow find one, keep it safe. ”
Ethan talked for the remainder of the class, answering various questions about the general history of demons, angels, and the gods that created them. Leo was incredibly invested in what he was saying, and he wrote notes the entire time.
To others who were only partially paying attention he seemed like a starved wolf hungry for knowledge. Eventually the class finished, and Ethan dismissed everyone.
They all headed towards the field for their second class. Mr. Griffith was already waiting for them since Ethans class hadn ended early.
Faust found his way to Leo, and they sat in the grass together. Leo noticed someone he hadn seen at Ethans class.
The angel, Luke, was sitting near them, but he was alone with his head down.
Faust was currently saying something to Leo, but it was drowned out by Leos thoughts. He stared at Luke without blinking for nearly an entire minute. Faust managed to snap him out of it by waving his hand in front of Leos face.
”You good? ”
After looking at Luke for another moment, Leo replied, ”Yeah, I just feel bad for him, you know? I doubt anyones made it better for him, probably only worse. ”
Faust sighed, ”Yeah, its pretty bad. I want to talk to him, but I don know what to say, Ill probably just make it worse to be honest. ”
Silence swallowed the two as they watched Luke. Eventually Leo got up and walked over to him, which in turn caused Faust to freak out. Leo sat on the soft grass next to Luke, the sun shined on the two of them as a cool breeze swept through the area.
”Im sorry. Im sorry that you have to go through all of this. I know you don want to talk, so don . But if you ever do, I don mind listening. ” Thats all Leo said before looking away from Luke and towards the teacher, trying to forget the cheesy thing he just said. He could feel his cringing face threatening to take over.
The teacher looked back but he didn look for long as he saw some people sneering at Leo and Luke. He promptly grabbed a nearby book and threw it at them, and decently hard as well. Upon impacting, the book glowed, meaning the person happened to be a soul mage.
”All of you listen up and listen good. If I see a single person messing with Luke, I will personally break one of your hands. Angels are welcome in the Abyss at any time, anybody who discriminates will promptly be discriminated against by my boot. ” Mr. Griffith yelled at the top of his lungs.
He continued, ”Angels are people too, so don forget it. ” He cooled down for a moment and took a deep breath, ”Anyway, today the new demons will be tested for their class. All new demons line up, you too Mathias. ”
And so, they did. Leo got up and left the still silent Luke. As Leo left, Luke looked slightly up and watched his departing figure, it didn take long before his head was lowered again.
Once in the line they all started receiving their books. Leo was handed his after some time.
Olivia once again was the one handing over his book. She gave it to him with a slightly worried look. As he touched it nothing happened at first causing Olivia to be confused, she even slightly sighed.
But then she saw it.
The book was slowly decaying, pages were being worn down and mold was growing on it. It started speeding up and the cover started falling apart and the pages started crinkling. The mold was spreading fast and eventually started taking over the book. The air around Leo and Olivia started reeking like an old corpse. Leo dropped the book, startled by the rapid growth of the fungus. As the book made contact with the ground, various fungi started growing and quickly spreading.
Olivia jumped to push Leo back and then she summoned a ball of fire, completely covering the book and all the fungi. Everyone had either horrified expressions or disgusted expressions, some had both. Even Mr. Griffith looked slightly disturbed.
As a small fire raged on in the dirt field, Olivia barely mumbled out, ”Mathias Doe, Specialist class. ”
After helping extinguish the fire, Leo apologized to Olivia, who told him not to sweat it, and sat down. Leo saw Faust standing in line on his way to the grassy patch they sat at before and he looked a bit queasy after witnessing Leos test.
When he sat down, he decided to sit near Luke. Not next to him as he wanted to give him space, but close enough. Leo calmly watched Fausts class test, trying to forget almost being consumed by a sea of fungi.
Faust got to the front of the line not that long after and got a book. As he picked the book up it started glowing brightly. The person who handed him the book spoke, ”Theodore Faust, Soul Mage class. ”
Faust headed back to the grassy patch and sat next to Leo. They were quiet for the most part, Faust was still trying to process what being a soul mage entailed. Leo already knew that hed be able to do the same as his father, all Princes could.
After all the new demons finished getting tested Mr. Griffith stepped forward and spoke to the class, ”We were supposed to practice opening your soul realms today, that is if you haven already. But due to some miscalculations, well have to do that later, most likely tomorrow. I can have you all attempt to open them if Mr. Burns hasn even taught you the dangers. So instead, since all of you have to learn basic hand-to-hand anyway, well spar until class ends.
”I want you all to pick a partner, it doesn matter who, and I want to see how far you can go. Try to match yourselves with someone in your skill range if you know anyone. ”
Faust looked over at Leo with a cute face, reminiscent of a puppy. ”Mathias, wanna spar?! ”
Leo laughed awkwardly and scratched his head slightly, ”I have experience in hand-to-hand, do you? ”
Fausts face somehow beamed even brighter, ”Hell yeah I do! When I was younger, I went to a dojo thingy! ”
”No offense, but I don know if wed be good partners if you call it a dojo thingy. ” Leo said, once more laughing awkwardly.
”Come on! I got some spunk in me! ”
Leo almost choked, ”Don say that! ” Leo thought that maybe Faust was a little too innocent.
”What? Why? ”
”Well, what you said does work, but theres also another meaning which is… pretty dirty. ”
”Oh… Well, never mind that! Come on! ”
After a moment of thinking, Leo simply said, ”Fine. ” He had just decided to give up and spar him.
Mr. Griffith spoke up once most people found their partners, ”Weve got plenty of doctors, so go hard on each other. Your goal is to knock out your opponent or pin them, your opponent can also surrender. Well be handing out boxing wrap, so you don hurt your hands as much. Without further ado, beat each other up. If I don seem professional, remember your training for the real world here, your opponent is not going to pull their punches. Like I said, we have a lot of doctors wholl heal you. Your actual training will start later, this is just so I can see where everyone stands. ”
Faust brought Leo to a section away from the others. Luke was nearby with no partner, so he was watching Leo instead.
After wrapping their hands, which Leo had to do for Faust since he forgot how and after they both put in mouthguards, they began their fight.
Faust got near Leo and threw a quick punch to his face. Leo just avoided it entirely. The fight went on like this for about a minute. Faust kept throwing punches and Leo just avoided them.
”Aren you going to fight me?! ” Faust asked upset, considering Leo said he had experience.
”Um… I don really want to. ”
”Why not?! ”
e not exactly fighting that well; you haven even hit me. ”
”No dip, you keep dodging me! So, show me how its done! ” He raised his voice slightly.
Leo was silent for a moment before agreeing. He took a step forward as Faust threw a punch. Leo avoided the punch by ducking underneath Fausts arm. Leo struck him directly in the chin, slightly lifting Faust off the ground. In the next moment Faust found himself on the floor with a splitting headache.
Faust just groaned as he laid there. Leo scratched the back of his head awkwardly as a medic went to take care of Faust. Leo looked up and saw someone talking to Luke. It was the same person he saw entering his room, someone Leo assumed was a royal.
Royals weren all rude, especially in these modern times, but they certainly despised the opposite races. So royal demons generally always hated angels and royal angels usually always hated demons. In other words, Leo only saw a pest talking to Luke.
He saw Luke standing up and wrapping his hands, the other person was as well. Leo walked over to see what was happening. Seeing him walk over the royal only rolled his eyes.
”This doesn involve you. ” They said sneering.
”Well, I don have a partner anymore. ” Leo said, sneering right back.
Lukes eyes widened when he looked at Leo and didn even notice that he had finished his fight with Faust.
”That quickly? Why didn you end it sooner? ” Luke asked.
”Would you feel comfortable punching a toddler? Thats kind of what it felt like. ” Leo shrugged.
”Enough, you can watch, just go over there. ” The royal said to Leo, cutting the conversation short while rolling his eyes.
Leo put up his arms in defeat and moved out of their way. He sat on the grass and watched the fight. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Mr. Griffith watching too.
”Seems like hes serious about what he said earlier. ” Leo thought to himself with a slight sigh.
The two stood apart from each other and closely walked towards each other. Punches started flying, grapples started getting latched, and kicks were launched. Leo thought that they were pretty well balanced. But he kept noticing them not punishing mistakes, whether intentionally or not. He personally thought that it was mostly unintentional, but a few times they also pulled back in the last moment.
The royal had Luke in a chokehold, but Leo noticed that he wasn even doing it right. It didn even matter as Luke got out of it almost immediately. Eventually Leo just held his head in disbelief. The fight managed to go on for even longer, whether due to their inexperience or pride, neither had gone down. They stood opposite of each other with slightly swollen faces and staggering bodies.
”Hurry up, please. I don want to wait the entire time to fight someone. ” He said to them both with a slightly urging tone.
They both ignored him and kept fighting. But it kept going and going until it got on Leos nerves. He simply walked forward and punched both, the royal was struck in the temple instantly causing him to crumple and Luke twice, once in the ear and once in the chin, finally knocking out the fatigued man.
As they fell to the ground medics came over and treated them. Mr. Griffith walked over, ”A temple shot is a bit much, don you think? He couldve died from that. ”
”You were the one who said to go hard. They drew out the match for much longer than it shouldve been, hence my annoyance. ” Leo said folding his arms.
”… ” Mr. Griffith stared at Leo without saying anything. Behind the two of them many fights were still raging on. After a moment he laughed quietly to himself.
Then, Mr. Griffith approached Leo with a curious proposal and a veiled smile, ”Why don you fight me? I won use any of my powers. Just muscle and skill. ”
Leo grinned openly, apparently happy with the offer. They were approximately the same size and had around the same amount of muscle.
Mr. Griffith wore a robe, which he promptly took off. Leo took off the shirt that he was wearing as well, leaving both of them bare chested.
When Leo took off his shirt a massive jumble of scars was revealed. Although his torso was covered in them, they all had a strange precision to them. Along his body were long cuts and short cuts, many near his stomach and chest, and many near his bones. There wasn a visibly safe place from the scars save his hands, neck, and head. They, instead, were oddly pristine as if his flesh had never been touched before.
But that wasn entirely true as he had a slight scar on his jaw that corresponded with a massive scar on his chest, which didn have the same precision as before, instead they were slightly jagged.
To top it all off, was a silver bell hanging from his neck on a red ribbon.
Mr. Griffiths eyebrows slightly raised at the sight, but nothing more than that. He, of course, had his fair share of scars as well. He instead wrapped his hands and put in a mouthguard. Leo did the same, rewrapping his gloves as well.
They took a step away from each other, before they both shot forwards at each other. At this point most of the spars in the background stopped as everyone noticed the two preparing to fight.
A few punches were thrown between the two, but they were all narrowly dodged. That is until a punch connected with Leos chin, rocking his head back, but Leo responded by kicking the side of Mr. Griffiths right knee. Leo then threw a punch at Mr. Griffiths face which hit his nose, but Mr. Griffith hit the side of Leos faces from his blind spot sending him tumbling.
Leo put his hands on the ground catching himself before he fell over, swapped legs, and shot his heel towards Mr. Griffiths head, connecting it with his neck.
Leo recovered off the ground and Mr. Griffith took a slight breather rather than pushing Leo. They circled each other for a bit before Mr. Griffith ran over and lifted Leo off the ground by his waist.
In response Leo rabbit punched him, striking the back of his head. But Leo was then slammed against the hard dirt, knocking the wind out of him and his kidneys were assaulted by punches. Leo, although in great pain, repeatedly struck Mr. Griffiths face with his right elbow with pushing his face back with his left hand.
Neither of them was down but they were both extremely injured, both using moves generally not used in a regulated fight due to their long-lasting effects if not properly healed.
They were so hurt that the medics actually stepped in and stopped the fight between the two, even momentarily entering the scuffle to tear the two apart. One dragged away Leo and another Mr. Griffith. They were laid next to each other, and the medics quickly go to work.
Olivia ran over to the two but when she saw that they both had stupid grins on their faces, she promptly shook her head with an annoyed sigh and walked away.
” The medic was telling Mr. Griffith not to talk due to his broken nose but he ignored them, resulting in a funny voice,
”I don think anyone in this class can be your sparring partner, Im going to be honest. You seemed to be the only person who fought like you would in the real world and didn get upset when you were punched in the same way. Correct me if Im wrong,
” he looked over and saw Leo laying there with a bruised face,
e better than that aren you? I feel like you weren hitting as hard as you could… ”
”Hey, if I get the chance to fight someone with tons of experience, Im not going to end it as soon as possible. I don care if I get hit some more. ” Leo said while looking extremely satisfied.
”Ha! Ethan was right, the people this year are freaks! In a good way of course.
” He paused for a moment,
”And as a specialist, you
e supposed to learn hand-to-hand and a lot of it, but I think we can spend more time on swords and guns. And more time with your specialization as well. ”
”Thats good. ”
”Damn right it is. So, whered you learn to fight like that? ”
”Here and there. ”
”Don give me that bullshit, come on. Are you self-taught? ”
”No, no. I just had a very strict teacher, a lot of opportunities to practice, and a long time to do it. ”
”I see. Well kid, Ive not had fun like that in a long time. The only people who can do something even remotely like that are the royals and they
e just annoying brats who squirm out at the first sign of trouble. There are the military families, but even then, they aren even in the same realm as you. I don doubt youll be at the top of practical exams. ”
They both stared at the sky as the medics worked on healing them. The medics were soul mages who very slowly healed the injured areas of their bodies. Although the process was slow, for a spar like this it was perfectly fine. Eventually they healed everything, but they still ached all over.
They both got up and parted ways. Leo went back to his backpack and laid down. He ignored the Faust who was staring at him like a hurt lover. His broken heart practically visible to all to see.
”Why didn you say you were that good at fighting?! ” He complained.
Leo hesitated but eventually said, ”I didn want to hurt your feelings. ”
”So, you instead just decided to hurt me? ”
”I mean, in an actual fight it wouldve been worse… ” Leo reasoned.
Although Faust knew Leo was right, he still stared at him with a dumbfounded face. He was well aware Leos argument wouldn stand up to scrutiny, but he also couldn form an argument against it. He was too dumbstruck to do that.
Luke appeared from nowhere, ”You know, I think the chin shot alone wouldve been enough. My ear feels muffled now, like I feel like I need to pop it. ” He forcibly yawned repeatedly, trying to unmuffle his ear to no avail.
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