Chapter 11: The Boy in the Purple Jacket

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Log #301: Biology

Hornauts are quite the annoying little pests, yet they somehow still manage without the massive bulk or superb stalking abilities of some of the more dangerous Shade. The toxins inside their stingers can be lethal, depending on where it is injected, although it appears to also be the base substance for its cure. The bugs often reside in massive nests, yet somehow always remain hidden in plain sight, especially in schools and academies. They are aggressive when antagonized, but if left alone, generally reside in peace. The general consensus is very similar to how humans once thought of spiders: creepy, scary, potentially dangerous, and an absolute pain to be infested with.

-General Shura Averin

418 BPE

The grass playfully danced with the clear sky as the wind lavished in the brilliant sunlight that shone overhead: a break in the forest of death, where two boys, age of eighteen, patiently waited to battle the other to the death. Both boys stood facing each other, their marvelous blades reflecting the terrible sunlight that saved just as many as it killed. They stood silently, eyelids barely closed, embracing the heartbeat of the other, and became statues fused into a permanent stalemate. In truth, it was no stalemate at all, but only appeared so—each competitor stood so still and so calm. The boy with the longsword was patient; the boy with the longsword was deadly. His opponent, the boy with the heavy sword, was precise; the boy with the heavy sword was cunning. Both of them were ill-advised to engage first, as the other would be granted an immediate advantage. So they waited, and waited, as the sun traversed the bright blue sky, leaving a trail of heat and radiation in its wake.

A spectator would be stunned by the standoff, as the suspense and intensity between the two fighters increased with every passing moment. Of course, neither one felt what a spectator would have felt—nobody but them experienced this suspense, this anxiety. Both remained content to bathe in the sun's loving and deadly embrace, and both accepted the other's hesitation to begin the assault. It was a stalemate; it was not a stalemate, for it could be broken easily if one should simply disturb the vegetation below their feet. Neither of them obliged, however, so the silence dragged on, hours for the spectator, but mere seconds for the competitors.

The one who sported a purple jacket clutched his extended blade expertly; the one who donned a black jacket gripped his weighted sword defiantly, and time dragged on. If one had observed the heavy sword owner's previous match that had begun as such, they could, without hesitating, relate to the statement that the last sparring match couldn't hold a candle to the weight, the tenseness of the air around these two swordsmen at the present date. It truly was a masterful scene, a piece of art, had there been anyone to document such a moment on a canvas at the moment. Instead, this beautiful stalemate was experienced and enjoyed by the two who participated in it alone, and one other; only they would ever know exactly how amazing and how cruel the suspense was that each boy provided with the other. Nobody but a spectator could experience such an intensity shared by these two opponents. The entire scene could have been summarized in one, true word: breathtaking.

The moment, after much hesitation, passed by, and the world resumed its course. Both fighters grew impatient after a long while, and silently agreed to meet at the middle in a clash of metal, as the battle went under way.


His initial strike was impressive; it refused to yield to my heavy slash, and despite its frail appearance, Francis's weapon had an unbelievable amount of durability. After the first strike, the innocence of the match vanished, and my opponent wasted no time in his assault. Hades was quite the tool: its range was phenomenal compared to mine, and it swung with such precision he might as well have been fighting point-blank. It was all I could manage to deflect every last one of his slashes, let alone find an opening to get close. Judging from his fighting style, he had practiced and perfected this way of dueling, so no opponent could even get within a few feet of their target.

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