Shadow Combat

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I gasped as the King pulled down his hood, his familiar face igniting memories within my brain like sparks. He had raven hair that was swept across his pale forehead and his eyes were a bright scarlet. They burned like dancing fires at my cool eyes. Sharp incisors hung over his pearly white teeth and his youthful face almost glowed in the light below us. He smiled warmly.

"You've got your mother's eyes." He spoke softly, his voice smooth as velvet. I tensed at the thought of my mother and Carol, eager to find out more about my life and the reason why I couldn't remember it. My throat begged for water, my voice and body wavering in nervousness. "W-what happened t-to me....." Salty tears cut through my face like knifes, dripping onto the cold stone of the ruins. He smiled at me. "You poor thing. I'll tell you everything one day..."

I transformed into shadows and stormed to my chambers, ignoring the startled people walking through the corridors. Slipping through the tiny crack, I shifted back and stared at myself in the detailed mirror. A tornado of questions whirled through my head. "Does he know about my Angel powers? Does he know about Carol and Paul?" I sighed as I sulked towards my bed, the dress still clinging onto my sweaty body. A knock at the door. "Aurora, are you alright?" Caleb asked, clearly knowing his answer. "I think you know Caleb, don't play dumb." I snarled, my eyes flashing red. "It's serious."
"I don't care!"
"Let me in and I'll tell you."
"Why should I?"
"Fine then."

Black smoke poured into my room and Caleb materialised before me. "You need to meet the other students at this institute. You have a lesson on Shadow Combat within an hour". I stared at him, my eyebrows poised like snakes. He raised his in return. "Fine. I'll go," I muttered, "Just let me get this dress off first." I struggled at the fabric, wondering why Melissa had tied the corset so tight. "There's combat gear in your wardrobe. Meet us at 12." Caleb stated, quickly exiting the room. "What about food? I haven't ate anything since I got here. I'm starving."
"Come to the dining room. We will get you something."
"What like?"
"Whatever you want."
I smiled like a Cheshire Cat and immediately ran to my wardrobe. "Combat gear. Combat gear..... found it."

(See picture)
The midnight material hugged against my curves and the belt wrapped around my delicate waist. Straps wrapped around my legs, a knife compartment attached to my side. "Pretty hardcore...". Walking down the corridor was too much effort for me as I transformed into shadows and flowed like black sand through the hurrying people. It seemed like the hallways like stretched for miles, the main lobby within the distance. "I swear it was this way...." I thought, staring at the lobby intently. The sound of clashing plates echoed within my thoughts. "Yes. I was right. Its to the right."

The dining hall hosted a grand extended table, decorated with the finest flowers and ornaments. Candles flickered and emitted a soft golden glow within the white room, reflecting off the gleaming silverware. "Wow... fancy." Those who were eating looked up from their appetising meals and their stares burned through my skin. I could even sense their thoughts thought the thick blanket of silence. For what seemed like an eternity, a handsome butler approached me.

"Are you lost, Miss? It seems like I haven't seen you before." He spoke in English though he clearly looked like a demon. His eyes had a tint of red glowing through his topaz iris. A name tag shone on his midnight suit. "Damien." I plastered a fake smile on my face. "Not at all. I just want something to eat, that's all." He flashed a smirk and then turned his back. "Please take a seat. Any preferences for your meal?" He questioned again in English. I smiled wildly as Daemona flowed off my tongue. "Not really. What do you recommend?" He smiled in return. "I would recommend the pancakes and fresh fruit."
"Then I'll take that then,"
"If I may ask, where are you going? You look like you're going to Shadow Combat."
"I am, your point being?"
"You don't look like a Demon compared to the other students. Most of them have dark eyes and dark hair colours. You, on the other hand, have eyes like an Angel."
"I guess I'm unique." I spoke, anxiety coursing through my veins. The butler then turned to me. "Are you an Angel?" He said, turning my blood cold. "Make or break..." I breathed out forcefully and replied in Daemona. "No. I'm not." He nodded and made his way to the pristine kitchen. I heard him chuckle to himself.

After a minute, he came back with a delectable pancake served with syrup and fresh fruit. The flavours exploded in my mouth and my stomach gurgled in approval. "You're welcome, stomach."

Full, I shifted and flowed into the emerald garden and was greeted by several people. The sun gleamed within the pale sky and birds soared across the distant mountains. A crystal lake shimmered in the sunlight. A group of people stood at the edge of the water. In the front of the crowd was a woman decked out in combat gear. A cigarette hung loosely around her thin mouth. Her eyes were in a constant state of alert, scanning the surrounding every five seconds. Wrinkles cut through her pale skin and auburn hair fell loosely over her shoulders. Our eyes locked and she stood straighter. "You must be Aurora, correct?" The surrounding students looked at me, their eyes scanning every feature on my frail body. Some looked intimidated. Some looked intimidating.

A girl at the back of the crowd caught my eye in particular. She had long blond hair that danced in the wind, her outfit perfect on her toned frame. Emerald eyes locked onto mine. The silence hung like thick sheets in the air, suffocating me despite the fresh air slipping through my hair.

"Ok everyone! Let's finish last lesson! In your lines!"

"Ok everyone! As we all now, shadows can be used for offence as well as defence." Miss Compton bellowed, solidifying the shadows around her. "Get into your partners and practise your combinations!" The crowd then diffused and eventually got into twos, leaving me stranded with no partner. The woman approached and spoke in Daemona. "Can you fight, Aurora?"
"I'm not sure but I'll try."
"Have you fought before?"
"Only once."
"What happened?" A lump bulged in my windpipe. "I might as well tell the truth..."
"I killed her Miss."
She was about to speak but cut herself off. She paused, smiling. "Ok. That's fine."

"Again!"
I send a wave of shadows crash onto the tree once again, the wood still holding strong. Sweat poured off of my skin, my clothes sticking to me as I moved in discomfort. My eyes were fuzzy, causing me to adjust them to see the tree 10 metres away. "Hmm... Finish it off." She said, coming behind me and guiding my hand as the shadows climbed around me.

"You're not controlling them properly. It's like you're holding a leash too loosely." she said in my ear, twisting my hand and making my shadows scramble in fury. "It helps it gain power. Now do it." I shrugged her off and poised my shadows so they looked like spears. "I'll show you." Once there were 12 shadows, I clenched my hand and thrusted it out, letting them fly like arrows. They pierced the bark like paper and as I snapped my hand open, the whole trunk combusted from within, sending huge chunks of woods across the field. Cries and yells came from behind me as the tree toppled backwards with a crash.

Silence.

The teacher laughed behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. Parting her legs into a fighting position, her eyes transformed into a dark red. Darkness sprouted out of the ground like the roots of the tree, covering her body in a protective shield of black. "Give me your best shot." Fangs crept passed her darkened lips as small horns poked out of her head. She was in battle mode....

and despite the hours of training, so was I....

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