Naxio stood frozen as Moushira finished seating herself as smooth and casually as ever. She even looks back to Naxio with a beckoning motion. Naxio lets out a sigh and looking around to see that everyone was still watching even if they were trying hard to appear indifferent. He walks over and sits opposite to Kaldov who had yet to even notice them it would seem.
"Good afternoon, Young Master!"
Kaldov, who was as silent as a mouse and eyes peeled to the book near him, finally looked up. There was no outward expression on his face, however, it was obvious he wasn't expecting either of them to talk to him. His golden eyes drift lazily from Moushira to Naxio who seemed like he truly didn't want to be seated there.
His reply was short and flat, a trait both Naxio and Moushira were realizing was, in fact, natural for him. To most people, they would assume he was uninterested from his monotonous voice to his almost constantly blank face.
"We saw that there was an open spot here and thought to join you. You don't mind right?"
"Hm, no it's fine."
Naxio frowns and lets out a small grumble, clearly a bit annoyed at how quickly Moushira was warming up to Kaldov. The three ate in relative silence until Moushira let out a small sigh, pushing her food around limply. Naxio who noticed her displease looks over at her with a frown.
Moushira gives him a small sheepish smile.
"Well it just I was kind of hoping the food would be a bit better is all."
Naxio agrees with her, while the food wasn't awful, it wasn't exactly the best as well. Which may be a given since it was a compound of warriors.
"Hmm, m-maybe next time I can cook for us?"
Naxio statement is stuttered out in a nervous voice. He looks up at her and she has a surprised look on her face. Even Kaldov who hadn't really made any comments since they arrived looks to him. Naxio is taken back and averts his eyes, not really used to being the center of attention.
"Wh-what's wrong? I-Is that something odd to say?"
Naxio silently curses as he thinks that already he has made a mistake. But then Moushira shakes her head, her face still pleasantly surprised.
"No, not at all! It's just I wasn't expecting that you know how to cook. I mean, I can make myself something small but it wasn't an overly big thing for me growing up with a lot of boys."
Moushira's smile drops a bit at the end of her sentence. Naxio smiles at her.
"It was something my caretaker taught me. I've always love to cook, she even joked saying it was something passed down from my mothe-..."
Naxio's words are cut short and his smile falls almost immediantly at his mentioning his mother. Moushira as if sensing the dark mood cast interjects.
"Well, then I would be honored! Please feel free to make whatever you think best! I'm sure it will turn out well."
Naxio smiled brightly at her but then both of them are surprised to hear another voice interjected.
"Fried beef and noodles."
Naxio and Moushira turn to look at Kaldov who is staring directly at Naxio.
"Make Fried beef and noodles."
At that statement, Moushira burst out in a giggle while Naxio gave a strained smile.
"..Ah ah? Yo-You, want me to make fried beef and noodles?"
Kaldov nods, seemingly not even noticing the shift tension in Naxio's voice. Moushira could barely contain herself as she snickered at Naxio's clear displeasure.
Unbeknownst to the three but their interaction was indeed catching the attention of their peers. The once stone-like young master of the famous Ziraniel Clan was casually chatting with a seemly random small-time clan member and the famed "cursed" child of the Mizune clan? Those who watched could hardly believe it themselves.
Soon all three finished their meal, Naxio stayed close to Moushira as they were leaving the mess hall. Kaldov, however, was going in a different direction. Moushira who notices calls out to him.
"Oh, young master Kaldov! You are going to the library?"
Kaldov turns to them and raises the book slightly in his hand with a nod.
"Well, I hope we can meet and talk with you again later!"
Naxio was standing off a bit to the side, with his arms crossed and a frown still on his lips. Moushira chuckled a bit as they both watch Kaldov walk down the hall and then out of sight.
"The young master truly is unlike most of the Great Families?"
Moushira looks over at him with a mischievous look, she was quite curious about Naxio's very obvious dislike of Kaldov. Granted their first meeting could have gone better and given Kaldov very blunt attitude it wasn't too far to understand how some people could be annoyed or feel like he was rude.
"Hehe, it's so strange to see you like this Naxio! You are usually so polite."
Moushira teased as she looks at her friend. Naxio gives her a huff and shakes his head.
"I am polite. It's just something about him that irritates me!"
"Hmm, could it be...cause he thought you were a girl?"
Moushira's teasing only further flustered Naxio as he looks at her with an annoyed look as it would seem he thinks back to their first interaction with Kaldov.
"Hmph! And he dares asks me, a stranger, to cook for him?!"
"Hmm, you two are gonna be quite the pair haha!"
Naxio shakes his head with a displeased look on his face.
"No way, please don't pair me with him, Moushira..."
Moushira drops it even as she lets out a laugh. The two continued onward with exploring the compound. From there they saw other sleeping quarters. It would seem that they were divided by year equal to their study. Given that three years is usually required for the Daemon Hunter training, there are three separate large sleeping quarters divided into many separate rooms. The final area they stopped at was a large indoor garden. The garden area has many areas of patches of grass where a variety of plants were situated. The wall was a similar stone pattern as that of the rest of the compound however the ceiling was glass which gave a natural light to the room and the plants. The air even felt more calming, most likely this is a place of meditation and realignment.
"Wow...it's so pretty here!"
Moushira's and Naxio's eyes wandered around the room. At the time there were a few people present, most of which were either talking among themselves or actually meditating.
"Hmm, it really is!"
Naxio's eyes catch a familiar figure in the distance and the happy expression on his face slowly fades. Moushira was still admiring the garden so she didn't realize at first that Naxio had gone deadly still. It wasn't until a voice called out to them that she realized what was happening.
"Hmph, I still can't believe she chose you."
The voice is cold yet familiar to Naxio. The figure walked up to them with two others behind him. It was Su-Len and the twin brothers Najalen and Malajen. Su-Len stomps right up to him with stern on his face, fresh hate in his eyes.
"You dare cheat Aijiah out of her spot!"
His volume was attracting the attention of others which made Naxio shrink back a bit. He didn't want to be the center of attention especially with Moushira being right there! Moushira steps forward and gives the trio her usual smile.
"Ah, young masters! How nice to see you again!"
She then gives a bow. Su-Len didn't even give her a greeting back, merely turn his sneer look at her.
"You again. Didn't I tell you not to be around him?!"
Moushira's smile strains a bit as she looks at Su-Len.
"Ah, yes I do remember! Hmm but I also remember telling you that your concerns are... unnecessary. I can handle myself, young master."
The room seems to deafen and the temperature drop. It didn't take a scholar to hear the underlying sarcasm in Moushira's voice, how she openly mocked Su-Len without even a hint of regret. Su-Len's face grew red with anger and Naxio could feel his heart drop into his stomach. He quickly tries to salvage the situation.
Su-Len turns back to Naxio, his fury still hot and crackles in his body.
"You think you can become a Daemon Hunter? HA, so quickly you seem to forget who you are and what that mother of yours did?!"
Naxio's fists clench up almost enough to cause bleeding. His eyes turned down and clouded with pain. Su-Len roughly grabs the front of Naxio's robes and gives him a small shake. Moushira looks ready to interject but Naxio's head shake stops her.
"You will bring doom to our clan just as your mother did before. Yu-Len made a mistake choosing you so don't even think that you are now on the same level!"
He then drops Naxio without hesitation and pushes past him. A strange feeling comes over Naxio as he grids his teeth. It wasn't like this was anything new, he used to this. It shouldn't affect him!
Why are you getting upset? This is what everyone always says!
Naxio's thoughts sat bitterly in his mind.
But... things are different now.. right?
Naxio could admit to himself that things were remarkably different. From Yu-Len's unexpected recommendation to Li-Ren training him, a deep yearning boiled in his heart. He knows that it probably won't make a bit of a difference but he wants to prove himself. Even if his family doesn't believe in him.
"...I won't be a burden to the clan."
His statement was said softly but with a determination not commonly found in him. Moushira turns to him, a surprised look on her face that slowly morphs to pride. The expression on Naxio's face was unlike any other she has seen. His eyes seem to shine with determination and stubbornness that was vastly unlike him. He has a frown on that other further push the idea of him digging himself firmly into the ground.
This was the first time Naxio truly stood against the harsh words of his fellow clan members. Su-Len was caught off guard by the look Naxio leveled at him. The meek boy was gone.
"I swear that I won't be a burden to the clan and I will prove myself!"
Su-Len let out a scoff before walking off, the twin follow right behind with curious looks at Naxio. It was on this day that Naxio made a promise to himself. Not only would he prove himself in this Daemon Hunter training but he would also find out the truth behind what happened with his mother.
The real truth.