“Damn! That bastard had such a technique?” The fans of Drainus dreaded thinking about her defeat. As for Axel’s fans, they were going wild with praises.
“Kill that bitch Axel! Rip her goddam head off!”
“Skin her alive! I want to see what she has hidden underneath them pretty feathers!”
“Tear her to pieces!”
“Show her who’s the boss!”
“Impale her deeply! Impale her!”
“This noise alone can kill someone.” Gnihzur couldn’t take the screams upfront, so he started moving towards the back of the audience. Because he was so distracted, he accidentally bumped into a crow. “Sorry I didn’t mean to…” Getting a good look at who it was, Gnihzur said, “You’re that mysterious guy who took the entrance exam with me. You came in at 3rd place during the race to Crowjun Soul Academy.” Gnihzur acted friendly with the hooded crow. “If you don’t mind me asking, could you tell me your name? I think we will be taking classes together so it wouldn’t be a bad thing to get acquainted beforehand, right?”
“…” The hooded lad remained silent for a while, considering Gnihzur’s inquiry. Shortly, he directed his attention to the arena and asked, “Who do you think is going to win?”
Giving an eye to the arena, Gnihzur answered, “I’m not sure. What about you?”
Speaking softly and slowly, the hooded lad said resolutely, “The female, she’s is going to win.”
“It doesn’t look that way to me. That Axel guy has her in a tight spot. At any moment, her bubbly defence could burst. How can you be so sure that she is going to win?”
Exuding an air of mystery, he told Gnihzur, “When the match is over, I’ll tell you.”
A few metres away from Gnihzur’s current position, hidden behind a narrow cluster of walls, Kwaserah was conversing with a shadowy silhouette. To her eyes, the vague silhouette was exposed as the form of the 5th Elder, her elder brother.
“Kwazeak stop following me around. Tell father that I’m a big girl now. I can take care of myself. I don’t need a bodyguard.”
The 5th Elder stepped forwards and took off his butterfly wooden mask. He had a beautiful childlike visage that could woo the hearts of many gorgeous females as well as a blue plus mark around each of his eyelids.
“Little sister…” Placing his hand on Kwaserah’s shoulder, the 5th Elder continued, “Father sent me here to protect you and that is exactly what I will do.”
“Fhm…” Kwaserah removed her brother’s hand from her shoulder. “You’re just another one of his loyal dogs.”
Her reply made the 5th Elder upset. “Hey now, is that any way to speak to your big brother? Do you want me to inform father about that white-winged fledgling with no Krowqui that you’ve been hanging out with? I saw you 2 back on the Crowtrain. He had his lewd feathers all over you. You know what father will do to him if he finds out, don’t you?” The 5th Elder acted like a cunning snake.
Kwaserah didn’t want to get Gnihzur in trouble with her father because she feared what might happen. “You leave him out of this, Kwazeak. He has nothing to do with this.”
“Ah, but he does. Once he’s involved with you, he has everything to do with this.” Staring at Kwaserah with threatening eyes of understanding, he told her, “You don’t want to disappoint father do you?”
Kwaserah acted rebelliously. “Father doesn’t own me, I’m my own person. Unlike you, I don’t care about what he expects from me. I walk my own path.”
“Are you brave enough to say that to his face?”
“I’m not talking to you anymore.” Kwaserah turned her back and started walking away.
Watching her distancing figure, the 5th Elder spoke softly, “Naïve little sister… I was like you once but father’s wrath is more terrifying than you could possibly imagine. You’ll know soon enough of what I speak.” The 5th Elder teleported out of sight.
Back to the fight… Axel continued to bombard Drainus with his endless uprising of sharp daggers. Almost all of the inner arena was being stabbed into submission. Drainus tried waiting for the daggers to stop shooting out of the ground before she commenced her counterattack but alas, that plan was fruitless due to Axel’s never-ending dagger assault. She had to think up another plan.
Shifting from side to side with adroit momentum, Drainus was getting closer and closer to Axel’s position. She waited until she reached 30 metres in front of him before unleashing her secret weapon. Arousing her Krowqui, she transformed the scattered wetness across the desert stage into many small bubbles. Next, she commanded them to assault Axel from all directions.
“Nice try, bitch. I expected that attack.” Axel quickly guarded himself against the shooting droplets by oscillating numerous miniature daggers around himself. He thought that he had the advantage over Drainus and that it was only a matter of time before he impaled her body and acquire victory. However, what Drainus did next had him and many members of the crowd dumbfounded.
“You’ve already fallen into my trap!”
This utterance of Drainus startled Axel. Peering through the gaps of his oscillating dagger shield, he saw Drainus waving her hands around in a particular hand sing. “What is she trying to pull? There’s no way for her attacks to penetrate my ultimate shield of defence.”
Watching keenly for a visible attack that he could have the potential to counterattack, Axel suddenly felt a heavy tug pulling on his viscera. “What is happening to me?” He observed spikes protruding from his body. However, these weren’t spikes. They were actually parts of his skin being stretched to their utmost limit by the water in his body.
“Max Liquid Burst!”
Upon pronouncing the name of her killer technique, Drainus finished manipulating her sapphire Krowqui Circles and clasped her hands. Immediately, myriads of crimson water droplets began bursting from Axel’s body. He was suffering from massive blood loss along with damaged internal organs. The excruciating pain in tandem with his unconscious state caused his dagger domain destructive technique to become undone. Drainus stood over his maimed corpse with a triumphant air of hubris reimbursed with victory.
After a moment of silence, the audience began to rail like crazy, even some of Axel’s fans switched sides to the victor.
“She really did win.” Gnihzur became amazed by the hooded crow’s predictions. Turning to face him, he asked, “Just as you’ve stated, the Water Tempest Queen won. How did you predict it?”
“It’s a simple skill of observation. The match was already over from the very begging.”
Gnihzur found this answer vague. “I don’t understand what you mean. Please elaborate.”
“They were very far away, moreover, moving very fast so you probably didn’t see it.” The hooded lad used his Digital Feather to bring up a projection of the match replaying in slow-motion. “The very moment Axel landed his first blow on Drainus, she released many conscious water particles that seeped into his body unnoticed. From then on at any given moment she could have ended the battle.”
“Then why didn’t she do it?”
“The obvious answer I can come with is to make the match more entertaining. The audience would have been very disappointed had it ended so quickly.”
“I see… show biz, eh?”
“That’s right…” The hooded lad conversed with Gnihzur for a while; although, Gnihzur did most of the talking. He was about to reveal his name when an interruption came along.
“Hey, Gnihzur, who won the match?” Kwaserah approached Gnihzur from behind with curiosity leaving her beak.
“Huh…” Glancing behind him, Gnihzur responded, “Kwaserah where were you? I thought you ditched me because my company wasn’t to your liking.”
“No way. I just had to take care of something important is all.” Kwaserah avoided giving a direct answer. “So, who won the match?”
“The Water Tempest Queen.”
“Really? I wasn’t expecting her to win.”
“Me neither, but this guy over here told me that… huh?” Gnihzur was shocked to see that the hooded lad was no longer in sight. “Where did he go?”
Kwaserah looked around as well. “Where did who go?”
“Never mind, it’s nothing.” Gnihzur thought to himself. ‘That guy moves like a phantom.’
A short while after coming out of the small Hub, Kwaserah told Gnihzur that she was heading back to her nest.
“But why? The day is still young, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you’re that eager to finish unpacking?”
“As a matter a fact I am. The sooner I finished unpacking, the sooner I can start brushing up my skills for the Guild Test tomorrow.”
“Guild Test, what Guild Test?” Gnihzur didn’t have a clue about what Kwaserah was referring to.
She told him, “There’s a Guild Test occurring tomorrow morning. Every student who joined us in the Orientation Shrine received the information on their Digital Feathers. Didn’t you also receive a transmission?”
Checking his Digital Feather for any messages, Gnihzur came up empty. “Oh! So that’s it!” He remembered something important. “I traded the Digital Feather issued by the academy. That’s why I didn’t receive any transmission.”
Hearing this, Kwaserah gave him a serious scolding. “Are you mad? How could you trade such an important relic without making sure that you made a backup? The academy’s Digital Feather is pre-programmed with important information that is required for our stay and daily studies. Now that you traded yours, how will you gain entry to your nest?”
Pondering for a moment, Gnihzur remembered a vital piece of information. “Yes, not to worry. Before I traded the Digital Feather I did create a system backup and saved it on the Cloud Framework. I just haven’t downloaded it on this new one as yet.”
“If I was you I wouldn’t delay much longer. Just hope that the data is compatible. This is where we part ways for the day. See you tomorrow morning at the Orientation Shrine.” Kwaserah sped off in the direction of the Residential Rekishda Tree.
“So beautiful…” Gnihzur observed the glittering rays bouncing off her feathers as the shimmering sun sets its course across the horizon.