Chapter 17

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"Guns can run out of bullets. Guns can jam. Guns are unreliable.

But your sword will always be there. A sword is a hunter's best friend.

In battle, you have no time to aim. Strike on instinct. Never forget that Azumi."


"Kill it."

A baby dragon was on the ground. It's wings torn, it's tail cut. It looked dazed and in pain.

A small hand gripped small staff made of lacquered wood. Iron bands with decorative carving shield a razor sharp tip in place. A dragon lance. The ultimate weapon enhanced with magic that was strong enough to pierce the tough hide of a dragon.

The wielder of this weapon was a small girl. She couldn't be any older than six, with straight black hair reaching all the way down her back. Her large round green eyes were locked on the bleeding reptile. No emotion could be seen on her face.

She changed her position, moving so that she was balanced, with two hands holding the lance, the tip pointed downwards at its target. With no change in her expression, she plunged the weapon through the creature's lungs, into it's heart.



Azumi's eyes snapped open. Another dream. Not the usual one. And it didn't seem like just a dream. The images were too vivid to just be something from her imagination.

Azumi slid her feet off her bed and into a pair of slip-on shoes. She looked into the corner of the room. There, leaning against the wall, was a lance. A dragon lance. Just like the one from her dream. She'd first summoned it in her first class at the Academy. The teacher had insisted that she left it in her room, for it was a dangerous weapon. It had sat in that corner for eight years, but the perfect shine of it's tip didn't seem to disappear.

A soft shirt and trousers lay folded at the foot of the bed. She slipped on the shirt, wincing slightly as she raised her right arm.The medics had told her to rest and avoid strenuous activities in case her wound reopened. Azumi could feel the bandages, wrapped tightly around her torso. She needed to think of a way to overcome her hearing loss, if anyone sneaked up on her she wouldn't be able to hear them.
After completing her daily morning routine, she opened the door to find...

"Kira." There was no evidence of surprise in her voice.

The two didn't speak. They understood each other, there was no need for words. She was told to attack and she did, Azumi retaliated and now they were on the same side. End of story.

The two headed to the dining table together. Josh, Dom and Marigold were at their usual table. Jason and Derrick were at a different table.

"Apparently they though you were too dangerous to be around." Marigold said.

"Numbers." Azumi said, ignoring the previous comment.

Marigold sighed. "16 attacked. 5 dead. 9 healed. 2 in emergency care."

"From Kiren's side? Or from some random terrorists?"

"Kiren's side. Terrorists would have claimed responsibility. Plus, Kiren always has liked to attack in extravagant ways." Josh answered.

"Guys, can we not talk about it while we're eating? It's kinda making me lose my appetite." Dom complained.

"It's important." Azumi answered simply.

Silence descended upon them as they ate their breakfast.

"I'm going to train." Azumi said when she finished, moving to stack her plate, bowl and tray with the others.

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