The next day, the two of them went to register for it.
“Have you practiced any martial arts before?” Nova asked.
“I did for a brief period of time when I was like 10 but it was a long time ago.” Alex replied as he and Nova entered the martial arts hall to register. After getting themselves registered they went around to take a look. Since Alex had practiced karate and jiujutsu, he opted for them. Nova also felt like taking the same courses and so he chose to follow Alex.
As they were going to leave Alex spotted Rose from the corner of his eye. He quickly went to say hello. He tapped on her shoulder and it happened again. Rose threw Alex over her shoulder and this time he was flat out on the ground. She immediately realized what she had done and panicked. She shook him a little to see if he was alright. Alex had almost blacked out. Thanks to the soft mattress the impact wasn’t much.
“Dude, you alright?” Nova asked concern. Alex kept staring the ceiling. Nova looked at Rose who only gave a nervous smile. From that day onwards Nova knew to be wary of the girl named Rose.
‘It seems she really is alright. Ow… forgot she does this, I handled it pretty well the first time around.’ Alex thought thinking about the time they met in the library.
Alex rubbed his head a little and sat up.
“I completely forgot, that you tend to greet me like this.” He said looking at Rose visibly scared.
“I am so sorry, it’s a weird habit I had when I was young, thought I left it behind long time ago… I am really sorry for this.” Rose said as she joined her hands in front of her face in an apologetic manner.
“It’s alright I should have learned my lesson the first time.” Alex said as he stood up.
“So, what are you here for?” Rose asked.
“We were here to opt for the trial classes.” Nova replied.
“Oh, that’s nice, if you guys want, I’ll give you both a quick run through of the trial sessions…”
As Rose began to explain about the classes, Alex contacted Miracle. The dragon was out of contact with Alex for a while. Alex had later realized that Miracle had to forcefully interfere a lot to keep him alive when the light rose from Xerxes’s grave causing him to fell asleep.
‘Say… Miracle, what do you think when you try to sense Rose?’ Alex asked.
‘Hm… nothing really, her mana reserves seem dormant just like any other human. Why do you ask?’
‘Well just wanted to confirm something… thanks.’ After he returned from Emerald Alex had thought about all the things that took place from him going there and back. The way that Rose had tried to attack Azmiel openly that day, raised some questions about her in his mind but seeing as how she seems to be a part of the martial arts club, her behavior looked justified.
Rose, “It’s good that you guys are trying it out, we’ve been advertising quite a lot but not many have joined till now.”
“We still need to advertise it; these scrawny dudes won’t even make a decent contribution to the club.” A voice came from behind Rose. Nova squinted his head a little at this person’s sight. Brad Kowalski and his group were the ones who used to bully Nova. They only stopped since the baseball team’s star player Tom stood up for Nova.
Alex noticed Nova’s uneasiness.
“Come on Rose, we still have flyers to be up on the notice boards.” Brad said as he began to leave.
“Sorry guys, I’ll have to leave but see you tomorrow at practice? Also once again, sorry Alex.” Rose said hurriedly as she left.
“Dude we still have time, we can cancel our names.” Nova said worried.
Alex, “What? why?”
“Because, that guy… Brad, he’ll turn me into a punching bag, now he even has reason to do so. I am sorry Alex but good luck to you I am outta here.” Nova said as he began to leave but Alex grabbed him by his collar.
“Don’t be stupid, you still want to hide behind Tom’s back, when Brad comes at you? Weren’t you joining to avoid that? Don’t you want to learn self-defense?”
“Yeah! I do but only if my body remains intact.”
“Don’t worry I got your back during practice.” Alex said as they began to leave.
Nova, “Okay, if you say so.” After deciding to help Nova, he wasn’t going to leave him hanging like that. If he can go against monster’s like Azmiel and Blake, Brad won’t be much of a problem.
The next day, a few minutes before the trial classes started, Rose was preparing for them in the studio where the club is run.
Suddenly Brad starts helping her with her chores.
“Say Rose, I heard you are single right now.” Brad mentioned moving the carpets with her.
“Yes.” She replied casually.
“May I ask a reason? I mean surely a girl like you can’t stay that way forever, can they?” Brad asked.
Rose knew what he was up to. It wasn’t the first time this happened. Many boys and even a few girls approached her like this. But she turned all of them down. She was simply here to catch some break from her Council duties and complete her studies here as a human. She wasn’t sure if this dating thing was for her. Not to mention, this wasn’t Brad’s first time, she had already given him an answer.
“Hm… no particular reason, I guess I never really found my type.” Rose said quickly and began to move towards the entrance of the studio.
“Ah- Well, you know, if that’s the case, I could possibly go out with since I am free—
“You don’t really have to do it, if you’re doing this just because you’re free.” Rose said giving him an eyebrow raised look.
“Oh- hah, yeah, I am not doing it for that, are you kidding? What I meant was—
Brad began to fumble at her statement. Most girls would love to have him but he had his sights set on someone whom almost everyone wanted.
“Brad, straight to the point, okay? We have the trial classes in a few minutes and I am going to be an acting instructor.” Rose said highlighting the urgency.
Brad nodded composing himself, “Well, what’s your type then? I am asking because I want to date you.”
Rose, “You already know, I declined before.”
“Yes! That’s why I am trying again, I don’t really take no for an answer. That aside, I think we’ll make a great pair.” Brad said with a toothed smile.
Rose sighed internally. While she knew, Brad wasn’t coming from a bad place while putting his feelings out, she wasn’t really sure about him, not to mention what she herself wanted.
‘How should I turn him down once and forever? …hm! Oh, he might be perfect.’ Rose thought to herself.
“Okay… well, I never thought about it much but I guess like strong guys.” Rose claimed.