Chapter 22: The Blame Game

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Log #340: Academies

In the instance of a subject failing either the mental or psychological exam, admission into an academy becomes significantly more difficult. It is crucial that any Warrior-in-training i mentally stable, and has an instinctive tendency to remain calm and determined throughout any ordeal they may come to face. Despite our best efforts to ensure only the most stable of people become Warriors, there are occasionally those who either mask their insanity incredibly well, or just haven't even realized it themselves. Both instances are incredibly rare, and can cause serious problems in the future. If a student is, at any point, deemed to be too insecure to continue training, they are released from the academy. Often times, their resentment towards the academy that released them, combined with the power they'd gained from however long they were training, will drive the student to a less structured line of work. To put it simply, they go rogue.

-General Elvira Ramos

400 BPE

The sound of rustling bushes and disturbed vegetation hardly distracted me from the indescribable view laid out in front of me. The footsteps approaching from behind caught only a fraction of my attention, which was still trapped in awe. The sudden yelling and playful shaking of my shoulders, however, was enough to rip me back into reality.

"Jeez, what the hell do you want? What is it?" I waved my arm behind me violently, turning around to identify the interrupters.

Sarah and Matthew were stifling giggles, their palms facing forward as if showing that they mean no harm. The second they saw my face, however, their stupid giggles were silenced, faces deathly sober. The two of them inched closer, before sitting silently down a few feet away from me on their knees.

Sarah spoke up first. "Hey, there, Kazu. We, uh, noticed that you strayed from the group, and decided to go see if you needed some cheering up. I guess we were right, huh?"

"Yeah, clearly it's way worse than we'd thought. That being said, we still are gonna help. Just tell us what we need to do."

These guys. Straight to the point like always, I suppose. How annoying could you be? I guess skipping the "How are ya"s and the "What's wrong"s is just what they do, but that doesn't make them any less obnoxious.

"Hey, you two. Listen, I told the others, so I'll tell you, too. I'm fine, nothing's wrong, so don't even bother trying to solve a problem that just isn't there."

They looked at each other for a moment, thinking about what I said. I could already tell, though, that they weren't going to drop it. I sighed mentally, and prepared for a rehash of this afternoon.

"Is that so?" Matthew rubbed his chin, pretending to be pondering something. "Well, that's too bad, cause we ain't going anywhere. We're here to help, and unfortunately for you, we don't take 'go away' as an answer!" He leapt to his feet confidently, and dragged me to mine.

"H-Hey, let me go! Just let me go, damn it!" I lashed out at my assailant, my fist slamming directly into his wrist. Before he could react, I thrust my other fist forward, slugging him in the chest. He looked at me, and smiled.

"Done yet? I can wait all day."

I could not let this bastard get away with taunting me. A strike to his gut, a chop to the knees, even an attempted headbutt to his ribs had no effect. I let out a frustrated grunt, and aimed a final jab at his throat. My hand shot forward, only to be caught by the hand that wasn't holding me up.

Instead of countering my strike or striking back, he simply let go of my hand, watching it fall to my side.

"How about now?" His voice was somber, quiet. There wasn't a trace of weakness or pain to be heard.

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