High within the earth’s atmosphere were vast floating continents of ethereal splendour and magnificent grandeur. They were being kept levitating by a circular array of mystical cloud energy that wrapped around their base cluster of hard sediments. Beautiful vegetation was populated all around these floating continents. Their cities had gorgeous architecture built from a very rare type of wood element called Rekishda. Almost everything from the below mother earth was present on these floating structures; clear pure water streams; viridian jade pavements; a mixture of wooden-cloud bridges that connected the separated floating islands; numerous types of beasts; and to top off the beautiful ambience were various shimmering types of Cloud Butterflies flying around everywhere. Together, these majestic floating islands when viewed from outer space resembled a bird's anatomy, thus they were classified under the one appellation, Waivrumnagar.
This new era of crows was an empowering one. Soul evolution was taking place all across mother earth. The surviving humans have fallen to the very bottom of the food chain and frequency chart while the evolved crows reign supreme at the very top.
Within this special paradigm, the crows have become more humanoid. They have gained a pair of arms as well as a more defined physique that suited their specific gender. They still have each of their varying dark feathers which symbolizes their strength. As for their wings, they have become more flexible and adjustable; a uniqueness was about them in the form of two specific states; Flaccid state and Fully Ejected State. In their Flaccid State, the wings are clustered into one long loosely flowing feather that easily billowed in the wind; the majority of its humerus and bone structure was within the scapula tissue. The Fully Ejected State was the opposite of the Flaccid State; in this process the wings' rigid structure was fully formed with enough outspread feathers to capture the wind, thus equalling flight. An invigorating adventure awaits those who submerge their consciousness within this world.
Farthest east to the aerial borders of Waivrumnagar, a lone crow whose ejected wings were partly white was flying through the air lightning fast. He was carrying a suitable size suitcase. His countenance seemed as if he was in a hurry to be somewhere quick. Unlike most crows his age, his figure was rather thin. This enabled him to adroitly shift through the throng of aerial traffic without causing any disturbance.
“Excuse me, excuse me. I’m in a rush here. Make way, I have to get to that Crowtrain before it departs.”
The crow made haste until he arrived inside a huge enclosed transport terminal that catered to the Crowtrains upon arrival and departure. This area was heavily crowded with young individuals due to the auspicious time of the almanack when Soul Academies would be accepting new talented students.
“Excuse me. Coming through.” Unauthorized flying was strictly prohibited inside this transport terminal, thus the little lad had to reduce his wings to their Flaccid State and start walking among the crowd. He found it rather challenging to get to where he wanted to be fast.
A lot of shoving and pushing was taking place across the edifice until the young crows got to their desired departure terminal where the Crowtrains were waiting for them to board.
The Crowtrains were very large bird-like structures that were mostly comprised of intelligent metals which could contract and expand with much versatility. They shared a close semblance with a bullet train that had large feathery wings. These Crowtrains were mostly used to transport passengers to very faraway places a lot quicker and to provide a comfortable experience for passengers who didn’t wish to spread their wings or for those who didn’t have wings.
“Excuse me…” After some minutes of forcing his way through the crowd, the white-winged crow arrived at his particular Crowtrain with his luggage in hand. It was only accepting young examinees who had applied prior for entry to Crowjun Soul Academy.
As the eager young lad got closer to the Crowtrain’s entrance, he ran into a small group of bullies who tried to prevent him from passing. A particular strapping youngster whose muscles were twice the size of the thin lad stopped him from passing, by placing his big arms in his path.
“Hold it right there, string bean. This Crowtrain is heading to Crowjun Soul Academy. Only examinees are allowed to pass by here. Now get lost!” The big fellow shoved back the little lad.
“But I am an examinee!” Protested the little lad. To prove he was legit to the bullies, the amicable lad dipped into his white feathers and whipped out a piece of laminated square paper. “This is my application card. You see here where it says, Gnihzur Costar? That is me.”
“Let me see that?” After taking a quick gander at Gnihzur’s card, the muscular bully burst into laughter followed by his recalcitrant gang. “Cra-ha-ha-ha! A scrawny little shrimp such as you is an examinee like us? Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t sense even an ounce of Krowqui (Spiritual energy bestowed to all living creatures by All-Mother) coming from you. You must be one of them duds they call a loser. There is no way that you’re getting on this Crowtrain with me. Scram you little punk!” The bully pushed him backwards.
Gnihzur fell onto his backside after the big bully shoved him. “Hey, I’m telling the truth. I am an examinee! Just please let me pass.” He got up and went back to where the bullies were guarding the Crowtrain’s entrance.
“This little punk. Are you deaf or something? I said scram!” The big bully still refused to let Gnihzur on board the Crowtrain. While he was messing around, a broadcast was sounded inside the terminal:
“Crowtrain number A-625 will be departing for Crowjun Soul Academy in 10 minutes. Passengers please get on board and strap yourselves in.”
“Huh?” Gnihzur became alerted by the broadcast. “The Crowtrain is going to depart soon. Please step aside and let me through.” Gnihzur pleaded with the big bully but he still refused to let him pass.
“You want to get on this Crowtrain, shrimp? Then you have to go through me first! That is if you can. Cra-ha-ha-ha!” The bullies burst into laughter again.
Gnihzur became fed up with their bad behaviour. “Please, I don’t wish to fight you guys, so please let me pass.”
“I said to scram, punk!” The big bully couldn’t stand Gnihzur’s persistence any further, thus he tossed out a robust fist at his face.
Before Gnihzur could react, the bully’s fist was stopped by a petite lass who had a body type similar to Gnihzur’s but more curvy and seductive. Her sparkly feathery tresses were quite long and animated as they swayed back and forth in the wind gracefully
“Huh, where did you come from?” The bully was startled.
Flicking a small cluster of feathers from her face, the petite lass took a gander at Gnihzur then glared at the big bully whose fist she had stopped. “How troublesome you are. A bully on the first day of attendance? We haven’t even gotten to the academy as yet. So disgusting.”
“What did you call me, you skinny bitch? Watch how I shut that big mouth of yours.” The big bully tossed forwards another robust fist.
“Go get her, Crokan! Teach her some manners!” His degenerate friends encouraged him to prove his badness.
“No sweat. This dirty beak wench is dead meat!”
The petite lass skilfully caught Crokan’s huge fist during mid-execution. Next, she twisted his arms, flipped him onto the ground then stomped on his right ejected wing.
“Kyah! My wing!” The big bully hollered out in pain.
“Crokan!” Perceiving the major hurt that their leader was in, the remaining 2 bullies rushed to his aid. They didn’t bother troubling the petite crow; only helped their injured friend to his feet.
“Wow.” Gnihzur was amazed by how swiftly the petite lass took down the big bully. He followed her onto the Crowtrain then offered his gratitude. “Thanks for rescuing me back there.”
Sparing Gnihzur another glance of disdain, the petite lass said, “Tsk, I don’t need your gratitude. A useless crow that can’t defend himself against those brutes dares to enrol in a Soul Academy. So despicable.” She strutted onwards to find a suitable seat inside the Crowtrain.
“She’s so pretty.” Gnihzur admired her petite figure from behind for a while before he also start searching for a vacant seat to rest his bottom.
Walking down the long aisle of the Crowtrain, Gnihzur tried to gauge the strength of the present crows. “They are a lot of strong crows applying this year.” He walked by a noisy bunch who weren’t afraid to unleash their arrogant aspirations.
“I’m going to crush all of you weak turds in the preliminaries! Ha-ha-ha!” This utterance came from a hothead who had parts of his feathers dyed blazing red.
“Keep dreaming, hothead. I will be the one to crush this examination.” Retorted a suave fledgling who sat in his seat playing with a sweet-scented rose.
“Over my stinking farts, you won’t! I can blow your smelly ass to pieces whenever I damn well please!”
“Heh, we’ll see about that.”
“Want to start something right now, punk!?”
The hot-headed crow and the suave crow with the lovely rose seemed as if they were about to start fighting. However, they got interrupted by a mysterious person who sat directly behind them. He wore his dark plumes like a hoodie that cancelled parts of his face but enhanced the radiance of his pernicious blue eyes.
“Settle down, both of you. I’m starting to get annoyed by your voices.”
“Who the hell does this bastard think he’s talking to?” The hothead youngster was pissed.
“Obviously it’s not me, therefore it must be you since your voice is the loudest among the passengers on board this Crowtrain.” Retorted the suave fledgling.
“Can it freak before I shove that stinking rose down your damn throat!”
“This atmosphere is so tense.” Still searching for somewhere to sit down, Gnihzur reminisced about his past failure. “I hope I don’t fail this time around. I’ve been training really hard for this chance. I won’t mess it up like last time.”
“Passengers, the Crowtrain will be departing shortly.” It wasn’t until this broadcast echoed in Gnihzur’s ears that he jumped out of his sea of thoughts and looked harder for a place to sit down before departure. Glancing behind him briefly, he saw the bullies assisting their humiliated comrade to a seat.
Gnihzur went by a row of seats where a vacant spot was, however, the young lady that sat there had a rough demeanour about her. “Excuse me. Is this seat taken?”
“What did you say to me? Did you just call me ugly, huh shrimp?”
Gnihzur didn’t know exactly how to respond to the girl’s upset tone. “No, I ah… sorry!” He quickly moved away from there thinking about how he had offended her. He wasn’t looking ahead of him, hence he bumped into an intimidating youth who had a sturdy back.
“Watch where you are going, midget.” The bulky youth gave Gnihzur a strong glare.
“Sorry! Sorry.” Shortly after apologizing, Gnihzur heard a familiar voice coming from abreast him:
“A crow that can only whimper and say sorry… you disgust me.”
“Huh? Her again?” Gnihzur identified the originator of the voice to be the attractive petite lass who rescued him earlier. The seat beside her was also vacant, thus he asked, “Listen, do you mind if I sit there?”
“Fhm…” She responded with a low snort.
Gnihzur interpreted this as a ‘yes’ and then sat beside her. Getting comfy in the cushiony seat, he sparked up a conversation. “You can call me, Gnihzur. What’s your name?”
She answered boastfully, “A crow that has no Krowqui doesn’t deserve to know this precious maiden’s name.”
“Oh, I see.” Gnihzur didn’t let what she said bother him. He only directed his attention elsewhere until the Crowtrain was ready for take-off.
Another broadcast was sounded inside the Crowtrain. “Be seated passengers. The Crowtrain is now going to leave the terminal.”
“It’s about damn time!”
The passengers were happy that the Crowtrain was finally preparing to take flight. Unlike manmade trains, this Crowtrain didn’t need any rails to move on. Instead, they flew on a designated air current which did much to add to its swift velocity.
“Wow, this Crowtrain is really fast!” Gnihzur’s excited countenance didn’t go unnoticed by the petite influence sitting abreast him.
“What’s with the stupid face? You’re acting as if you’ve never been on a Crowtrain before. Have you been living under a rock this entire time?”
“Of course not.” Answered Gnihzur. “I was busy training for my exams.”
“Training? Fu-hu-hu.” Finished laughing, she turned to Gnihzur and said, “You who possesses no Krowqui, what kind of training could you’ve possibly been undertaking, Newpalf?”
“How did you guess it? I was indeed brushing up on my Newpalf skillset.”
“For real? You were learning Newpalf?” The reason why she was so shocked to hear Gnihzur’s answer was because, among the variety of evolved birds, Newpalf was the most basic technique for all to learn. Basically, it means learning how to flap one’s wings.
“Don’t look so surprised. I was studying Newpalf along with my special variation. And I also studied…”
“Stop, stop.” She interrupted Gnihzur for she was tired of hearing how lame he was. “I don’t want to hear any more of your sad stories.”
“What, sad story? This isn’t a sad story that I’m telling you.” Gnihzur was about to elaborate some more on his specific type of Newpalf techniques that he came up with when suddenly, the Crowtrain vibrated roughly, moreover, came to a gradual halt. The passengers on board were all alerted.
“Why the hell has the Crowtrain stopped moving?”
“Is there a malfunction?”
“How could that possibly be? We’ve only just left the main terminal 7 minutes ago.”
“Then why the heck has it stopped?”
Someone directed the passengers’ attention towards the front of the Crowtrain outside. “Look there! Something is blocking our path.”
“Huh? Who are those birds?”
To answer the questions that the majority of the passengers were asking, another broadcast echoed all throughout the expansive Crowtrain. “Attention applicants. The first phase of your test has already begun. Survive the combined assault of the Rouge Doves. Those who wish to forfeit their enrolment at any time are free to leave the Crowtrain via the emergency portals.” That was it for the important broadcast which got everyone riled up.
The hothead youngster with the red patch of feathers shot out of his seat with the full intent of dominating his opponents. “The exam has already begun? Hell yeah! Bring it, you brown feather bastards! I’ll pulverize all of you!”