YU ELRATH'S POV:
I didn't move a muscle.
My eyes stood transfixed on the eleven-year-old boy leaving the arena, the dots connecting within my mind.
He was Darck.
The boy had purposely used my sword as a method of announcing his identity to only one person, but that wasn't even what shocked me the most.
He had learned the secret behind the crimson blade after only a year? The ability to store bind and release it on command was something I had spent decades harnessing, and yet Jay had managed to accomplish it in a single year.
My eyes shifted towards the dwarf, his body being taken away by the healers that supervised the matches. The fight was a massacre, a one-sided bloodbath where one of the two opponents was completely helpless against the other.
I looked over at Amelia, her eyes shaking ever so slightly in awe.
"Yu," she said slowly, still bewildered at the spectacle she had just witnessed.
"He's a lightning binder..." she muttered. "He's like me."
A lightning binder? I was pretty sure I hadn't seen any sparks of lightning during the fight, but it was true that the element could be used internally as well. His overwhelming speed during the fight suddenly made sense to me, the massive power behind his strikes was lightning.
"Yu," said Amelia again, having regained her composure.
"I want to become a teacher at the Academy."
ASTHIA DARCK'S POV:
My footsteps echoed as I walked through the heavenly light that separated me from the open arena just ahead of me. Cheers erupted around me, the entire stadium roaring in anticipation at the upcoming fight.
I looked at my opponent, the human fire binder ready to fight. I read everything about him instantly, my eyes burning with delight. His red hair and yellow eyes already hinted at his elemental attunement, but the difference in our power easily allowed me to sense him.
So he was equal to a lower A-rank?
It was extremely promising for an eleven-year-old student, and he was sure to have bigger parties and families attempt to hire him in the future. I sighed - a reflex that I had started repeating constantly. It was definitely something I picked up from Jay...
It was unfortunate that the opponent that he had been matched against was me. The only one in this school who could duel me on equal terms, and maybe even beat me, was Jay. Dragonkin training was unlike anything the alliance could possibly reproduce, and even if we didn't have any S-ranks in our current military, we were still far from weak.
I brought my hand forward, tracing a downwards line in midair and opening a small rift before me. I reached inside, pulling out my weapon of choice.
A black broadsword appeared from the void, its polished surface decorated with dark red lines. The decorative style of the weapon was made to match my knight's, Jay, but the type of weapon was created solely for its effectiveness in battle.
I readied myself with a casual stance, my battle clothes with minimal armor plating not hindering my speed and precision whatsoever.
"The match of Asthia Darck versus Tenor Lee will now begin," announced the referee. I had been told that the referees were only there for public entertainment and reassurance, and it was really the participants of the fight that decided when they wanted to yield or not.
Tenor launched the first attack, leaping into the air and crashing down on my location. The audience hushed, waiting for the cloud of dust to clear from the impact.
A small breeze blew the masking cloud away. I stood a few mels behind Tenor, my movements not having been perceptible.
A massive roar blew up around the arena, the crowd slowly realizing that I had evaded the blinding attack with ease. Tenor bit his lip, understanding that I completely outmatched him in speed.
Even so, the boy threw himself at me once again. I commended him for his determination, but that's all it was: determination. A mindset that ultimately led to one's demise if used foolishly.
I pivoted around my left foot as the student came rushing towards me, my hair fluttering around me as I avoided the attack. There was no point in boasting about my capabilities. Sending a message and needlessly bragging were two very different things, and my message had already come across.
This powerful binder couldn't even touch me, that was enough for the other students to understand.
A sudden red spark appeared around me, slowly expanding, endlessly growing as it became a deep crimson red flame.
The concrete around me hissed from the heat, my opponent flinching as soon as his skin came into contact with the air around my flames.
This wasn't the power of normal flames. If I was going to finalize my statement of power with one deciding attack, then I would unleash everything without hesitation. I would use the element that I had learned since an early age, striving to become powerful, striving to stand beside the knight that had fought for my sake.
The flames took the form of a wyvern's head, its body resembling that of a snake. It was a spell that could be used by both fire binders and infernal binders, but the levels of power weren't even comparable.
The manifestation of power swirled around me, its demonic eyes staring right into the soul of my terrified opponent. I launched myself into the air, twirling as I converted my momentum and redirected the attack straight below me.
I came crashing down on Tenor, making sure to hit his blade as to not immediately kill the boy. The wyvern followed my movements, diving straight into the boy's sword and the area around it.
Not a single sound echoed from the arena as everyone stood in awe, not knowing how to react to the demonstration of power before them. The smoke cleared, Tenor's body unconscious but very much alive.
I waited, the eerie atmosphere slowly vanishing as the first words arose from the public.
"T-That was amazing..."
The mumbled sentence snapped the rest of the audience back to reality, all of them immediately grinning from ear to ear.
A roar burst from the arena, a cry of excitement and awe so loud the entire campus was engulfed in the cheer. I smiled.
The message had definitely gotten through. I had shown, in this very match, what a dragon was able to do. This wasn't just a battle for entrance into an Academy. All nations had sent scouts to observe the fight, all of them analyzing what the race that had just come out of hiding was capable of doing.
What they had witnessed was a twelve-year-old girl with the same speed and power as some of the top AA-rank adventurers. A small girl with the capabilities of a monster, capable of wiping out battalions of normal soldiers with ease.
Some would come to accept this new ally with open arms, while others would seek to immediately destroy the threat to their power and their nation. Whatever the outcome, my role had been clear from the start, and I had been able to execute it flawlessly.
I walked out of the arena, throwing my weapon back into the void of my space bracelet.
"Not bad," said a voice from the hallway that led to my locker room. I laughed, my chest immediately telling me who the individual was.
"Oh, come on. I crushed it," I joked, sneering at the boy.
"Not as much as I did, though," he responded with a smile. I chuckled, not sure whether or not he was being serious. Did he really go all out in his fight?
I didn't know what awaited us in these next few years at the Academy, but something about the unknown excited me. I was now an official student in a human school, something that was only possible because of the boy that had miraculously run into a dragon girl.
A revolution had started, from the simple meeting of two young kids.
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