Eugene walked from one side to the other, diverting from plants here and there. The sunlight entered through the yellow stained glass, painting the greenhouse even more as if the colour of the plants and lowers still wasn't enough.
Lazuli still hadn't arrived, but lateness wasn't something rare for the Dracae. Eugene's nervousness wasn't linked to the training that would start as soon as Lazuli arrived. No, he was desperately anxious because of the piece of paper under the daisies near the door. The letter of a dead man.
The circumstances weren't great for Eugene, who had discovered his place in the universe two months ago when he as attacked by a monster in an alleyway, something that definitely shouldn't have happened. When he found out his schizophrenia wasn't real and that the world was more than it seemed. When his best friend had confessed to being a mere bodyguard and that he did not want to be in the place he occupied for seven years. When Eugene saw himself, for the first time, alone.
"Alone". There were people around him. Well, not actually people, but he wasn't in a position to complain. He asked himself if he could call them all friends, especially after receiving a desperate letter from his deceased uncle, the man who occupied his place before he passed away. Words written hastily in a notebook page asked him to not trust anyone.
The door opened, causing Eugene to stop his walk. He breathed in deeply, furrowing his brows and trying not to demonstrate his mistrust when he turned around and faced Lazuli's milky white eyes.
"Laz!" He smiled, putting his hands in his sweatshirt's pocket.
"Why are you nervous?" The Dracae asked, frowning.
"I'm not nervous." He said, staring at the ground. He let out a sigh. "It's just... a bad day, that's all."
It wasn't a lie. That had been an awful day, mainly because of the letter hidden in the greenhouse. He bit his lips, gazing at the daisies that now seemed strangely suspicious. Lazuli did not seem to notice the guilty yellow flowers, because when their eyes deviated from where Eugene looked, their face remained without expression.
(Probably not that positive, since Lazuli rarely had a facial expression)
Lazuli was the person responsible for supervising Eugene's training, physically, mentally and spiritually. Apparently, all of that was necessary for the magical people that inhabited that world to consider him a Pontum. Couldn't they be happy with a teenager risking his life? No, they wanted him to go through a boring hell known as school. Of course, it was a special school, but was it really that different? If Eugene had to be inside of a room while having classes, he decided that no, it wasn't.
Back to what we were talking about, Eugene did not know that much about Lazuli. They were the rarest kind of Dracae, they seemed to not feel any kind of emotion and had the bad habit of drip sarcasm whenever they met the Raziel brothers, which led them to a passive-aggressive that was as interesting as it was stressing. There was also that annoying habit of overestimating Eugene's abilities whenever they were in front of others as if it was a competition over who had the most powerful Pontum.
Eugene felt like a woman, being objectified like that.
"Today I'll take you to the armoury." They said, awaking Eugene from his thoughts.
"Bless you." He said, frowning. "Is that some kind of lost city, food or...?"
"Arsenal." They said, turning to the door. During the to months of training, Lazuli had got used to translate their exotic terms for Eugene, who had no kind of linguistic knowledge. He was just a painter, Dallon was the poet.
His heart ached as he remembered that name, that insisted in coming to his mind together with blue eyes and dark hair, with the rare smile that seemed to be able to end all of the world's wars. Eugene ran a hand through his blond hair, letting out a sigh, not even noticing the daises as he left the greenhouse, closing the door behind him.
He knew Dallon Jean Miguel Souto when he was nine, on the school's playground. It wasn't a very gracious moment for Eugene, who was bawling his eyes out because of a bruised knee. The other calmed him down and took him to the nurse's office. Eugene had always been an anxious child, and if Dallon hadn't taken him there, he would never have had the courage to do so.
The two became friends quickly. Dallon was a year older than Eugene, and they didn't share classes, but they always met each other during recess and played together. Dallon seemed to like pretending that he was an astronaut, and Eugene soon got used to playing the role of the alien. Well, aliens were cool, anyway.
Dallon was Eugene's first and best friend, and finding out their friendship grew because of an obligation of Dallon was absurd, and broke his heart. So many moments shared together now seemed implanted memories by a cruel magical society.
He followed Lazuli through the Pontum Sanctum's hallways without really paying attention to where he was. That place was huge, and if the two ended up in a door Eugene didn't recognize - Eugene, who kind of lived there now, considering how much time he spent there - he wouldn't be surprised.
He wasn't that excited to explore the place, not ever since he learned to do portals. He used to spend his time in the greenhouse, taking care of the plants or reading books Lazuli gave him, occupying moments that would be haunted by obscure thoughts if his imagination had too much freedom. As they say, an empty mind is devil's workshop.
Eugene sighed once again, something he did a lot, lately. He stared at the Dracae's back, covered by indigo fabric, adorned by golden details. The fashion there was certainly different from the human's, but it was interesting in its own way. Eugene noticed each one of the main five people that lived there had their own style. He didn't really know much about, you know, normal Dracae, civilians, but their style seemed... uh, ninja style.
The Dracae he knew weren't normal, by any means. They were killing machines that would give him nightmares if they weren't in the same team., Godric, his history and politics teacher was a skilled militarian trained to kill silently. Narcissa, the one responsible for his medical training, was the type of person to heal you and take care of your wounds just so that she could beat you up again. Dante was a mysterious guy, with biceps the size of Eugene's head, and if that wasn't' scary... Eugene did not know what "scary" was.
"Why are we going to the Arm... The arsenal?" He asked. "Are you going to give me a weapon?"
"People don't get weapons, Eugene, they deserve them."
"Ok... Do I deserve one?" He inquired. The Dracae stopped abruptly, causing Eugene to hit their back. He wondered if it hadn't been something he said, but Laz's hoarse voice calmed him.
"We'll find out later." They said, putting their hands in a steel door that seemed to not have a keyhole or a handle. Quite annoying, if you ask Eugene.
A blue light shone from Lazuli's fingertips, spreading through the metal just like heat. Magic was a weird sensation, to Eugene. Maybe it was for the fact that he literally learned some tricks a couple of weeks before, after a conversation in another plane of existence with his deceased grandpa. She knew her stuff.
It was a hot sensation, for Eugene. Heat running through his veins. When he used magic, he seemed to feel every and each cell of his body, which was quite uncomfortable. He was getting used to it, little by little.
"The armoury is a shared space. Other Representants or Pontum may be here." Lazuli said. Whenever there was a chance he could end up meeting Dallon, the Dracae made sure he would know it. He was grateful, but he also worried every time the Dracae said so, and wouldn't be able to concentrate on whatever they were doing.
The arsenal was huge. Different types of weapons hanged from the walls, from the ground to the ceiling, that seemed exaggeratedly far away. How did they take the weapons from the top? Maybe there were faeries there, that flew high up to bring them axes and lances? Weren't dwarves who made weapons? Maybe they kept them in the arsenal, too?
The place seemed to organize its weapons by type. There were different kinds of axes, with various sizes and weights grouped together; there were lances, bows and arrows, scythes, swords, rapiers, hammers, whips and etc.
So many questions popped up in Eugene's mind, he didn't notice that Lazuli had already abandoned him and was flipping through the yellowed pages of a gigantic book.
"You shouldn't stand in the middle of the way, noob." A feminine voice said.
Surprised, he turned quickly to see who was behind him, but he lost his balance easily.
His body didn't hit the ground, though. A firm hand held him from his green shirt.
Two people stared at him, one of them still holding him. Eugene knew them from a reunion a couple of weeks before. Leilani, the Mage Pontum and Aeris, the Kitsune Pontum.
Leilani let him go, smiling at him. She was the youngest of all the Pontum, being just fifteen, but she had more muscles than Eugene, who was seventeen. He scratched the back of his head, smiling shyly to her, who laughed.
"Are you always like that, noob?" She asked. "You don't need to get all shy, we don't bite!"
Aeris laughed too. "How are you, Eugene?" She asked.
"I'm fine!" He said, a little too loud, trying to look anywhere but them. "Uh... Why are you here? Not that you shouldn't be, you are Pontum, after all. It's normal for you to be in places like this, uh..."
Aeris put her hands on his shoulders, smiling gently. "Breathe, Eugene." She said, trying to calm him down. He did as he was told, as Leilani answered his question:
"We came here to train." She said. "It is hard for us to go against each other, because of time zones and shit."
"Yes," Aeris said "honestly, I was getting tired of training against Dallon. You know how it is, right, Leilani?"
"Oh, yeah!" The younger one laughed, and Eugene just couldn't face them. "Always the same tricks and attacks."
"I think he just lets us win. Have you seen him fighting for real?" Aeris laughed.
Leilani nodded. "It sucks." She said, turning to Eugene. "Do you fight with him for real or he also things you are too fragile to face his manly strength?"
"We don't fight." He said, shrinking. "Actually, the last time I saw him was in that reunion, a couple of weeks ago."
Leilani and Aeris frowned. "Well, but... didn't you go to the same school?" Leilani asked.
Eugene shook his head. "He went back to Colombia." He said, avoiding Leilani's questioning dark eyes. "We don't talk anymore. He doesn't want to have anything to do with me."
Aeris opened her mouth, but Lazuli's distant voice interrupted their conversation.
"Eugene, come here." They said, and Eugene complied.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"Trying to find some kind of weapon you can train with." They said, crossing their arms. The two girls approached them, curiously.
"Eugene looks like a swordsman" Leilani said. "What about a rapier?"
"Eugene is not confident enough to be a swordsman." Lazuli said. "Besides, he doesn't have the strength."
"I'm not even here." He mumbled.
"An arrow, then?" Aeris suggested. "It's good for building strength."
Lazuli flipped through the pages.
"It is possible. He needs to be useful, somehow."
Eugene frowned, trying to ignore that last part. It seemed that Lazuli had no sense of how to talk to people. He sighed.
"What kind of arms do you have?" He turned to the two girls.
Leilani grinned, her eyes glimmering. "I have an axe." She said. "Do ya wanna see it?"
Eugene nodded with enthusiasm. Leilani got up on some kind of arena in the middle of the arsenal, raising her hands up.
Her eyes were filled by a white light, the same that flickered around her fingers as if they were electricity waves. It didn't take long for a huge battle axe to occupy one of her hands, at the same time a loud bang filled the room, just like thunder.Leilani smiled wide, and Eugene felt the urge to ask: "Does that happen every time you, like.... summon your weapon?"
"Let's just say Leilani likes drama." Aeris laughed.
"Can I see yours too?" Eugene turned to her, and the woman nodded. She went to where Leilani stood and closed her eyes in concentration. With a quick flick of her wrists, two whips appeared in her hands.
"They turn into swords." She mentioned. True to her word, with another flick the whips got hard and stood in a straight form, turning into two blades.
"Can I get a cool weapon like that?" Eugene turned to Lazuli, who merely sighed:
"Those are short-range weapons. Maybe one day."
The smile vanished from Eugene's face, who felt like a kid who just asked something absurd to their parents.
"Even when you get the weapon you want, Eugene, don't give up on the bow and arrow. Archers are super cool and it can save many lives. Ok?""Ok." He nodded, a bit disappointed but definitely hopeful with the promise.