Chapter 6: Driver Class: Basics and Duels

Both Dan and I left our dorm by seven o' clock. Getting outside the building was not easy; since most students lived in the central building, the hallways were very full. Thankfully, there were many elevators and large exits for our convenience. Once we stepped outside the Hyper building, we found an insane amount of people walking around the campus. Each step we took we always found a crowd of black suited boys or a group of red-ribbon adorned girls conversing on the school grounds. Though, it was not difficult to lose sight of the Heart building we aimed for. The Heart building was very tall, but in the structure of a cube rather than a tower. In fact, the other four island buildings were also smaller and almost in a rectangular shape, which filled my curiosity as how the hallways and classrooms would be like inside.

As Dan and I neared the Heart building, adoring students waved and greeted me as we walked past them. I returned their kind salutations as we continued on to the building, hoping no one was going to come up to me for an embrace. When we stepped inside, we found ourselves immediately in a hallway with classroom doors and hanging signs above them, which read 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, and so on. Right ahead of us was an open hall; within it were a couple of elevators as well as a flight of stairs. When we reread our schedules, our assigned classroom was 2-A, so the both of us followed other groups of students up the stairs rather than waiting for the elevator like a current mass was doing.

Up on the second floor, room 2-A was on our immediate left. An adult in the same white-black uniform from orientation was standing at the door. In fact, once I saw that he had a Flamma Driver, I recognized him as the same adult that began the school orientation. He was holding a clipboard with a list as he conversed with a small line of students ready to enter the classroom. We stared at the line for a few moments, until I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I turned my head quickly.


The girl gasped in surprise and almost tripped, causing some faces nearby to focus on us.

"Demi?" I questioned. I looked over at her, but I noticed another familiar face right beside her. "Miu?"

"Heh...well, I guess I know not to sneak up on you," she said.

"What're you both doing here?" asked Dan.

"Room 2-A is our class," Miu replied. She looked over at the classroom, and then back at us. "I'm guessing you guys have the same class too?"

"Yeah, we do," I responded.

Demi's energetic smile immediately appeared. "Awesome! We're gonna be the bestest of best friends!" She grabbed my arms and shook in her place. I wanted to shake her off, but I could feel her strength to be very strong to struggle with.

"Well," Miu began. She took a few steps ahead of us. "Shall we get inside our class?"

All of us nodded. Once Demi let go and caught up to Miu, Dan and I followed behind her. As soon as the student last in line entered the class, we could hear the man's clear and happy voice. When he saw me, he widened his eyes.

"Ah! It's you!" he exclaimed. I smiled nervously, unsure what to say. "Welcome, Leon Anson," he began. He extended his hand for a shake and I accepted. "I'm Mr. Ryans, your Driver teacher for the year."

"Nice to meet you," I replied. He smiled at me and then at my friends.

"I assume these are your friends?" he questioned.

"Yes they are," I said.

"I'm Miu Shimizu, pleased to meet you," she took a polite bow.

"I'm Demi Venlett!" She raised her arm high up with energy.

"I'm Dan Lufu," he also took a bow, but in a shy manner.

They all shook hands with Mr. Ryans, and he began to make additional comments. "Just so you know, the headmaster fixed the classroom assignments so that you four could be together."

"Really? That's nice of him," Miu stated. "Oh, is that your Driver?' she added.

"Yes, it is my personal," he replied. "And I see you two also have personals," he said, referring to Miu and Demi.

"How could you tell we were personal wielders?" Miu asked.

"Instinct," he said with a wink. "The thing is, I rarely ever get a personal wielder who is a freshman, so I could tell that since you're wearing them now, you're not normal students."

"Well, now you have some personal buddies!" Demi responded.

"Yep, I get to have four personal buddies."

"Four?" Demi looked at Dan, around the hall, and then back at Mr. Ryans. "Who's the third and fourth?"

"Leon is a personal wielder, of course. And the fourth personal I marked it here..." He flipped through the pages on his list.

The word 'personal' boggled in my mind, but eventually came to me. Personal wielders are people who carry their Drivers on their shoulders at all times. Normal individuals would keep their Driver in some sort of storage like a bag or purse, or if they were comfortable with it, keep it on their shoulders as long as they wanted. However, no matter the situation, personal wielders always wore their Drivers wherever they went. The special thing about personal wielders was that the Driver forms a special compatibility with the wielder, allowing him or her to extend the basic uses of a normal Driver, meaning stronger outputs of elemental attacks, maneuverability, and such. I would guess Miu would be very experienced in water attacks, while Demi could form earth out of anything she wanted. Mr. Ryans should excel in use of fire attacks.

As for me, I basically have all four elements with the addition of my heavenly-like attacks, so it's no mistake that I would be a personal wielder.

"Ah, here it is. The other personal wielder is named Aura Laven. I'm sure you know her?"

"She's in our class?" Demi responded. "No way!"

"Way," responded Mr. Ryans. "Well, go on in, we can talk later." All of us nodded. Once Mr. Ryans wrote something on his list, Miu and Demi entered the room first. He paused me, writing something on the list again before I stepped in. The first sight of the classroom was simply amazing. Clear lights illuminated the simple beauty of the high-tech classroom. Each silver and cyan desk fit two people, where in each seat there was a floating blue screen similar to the one at the Hyper Life restaurant. From my view, I saw letters spelling a name, meaning that they must be for assigned seats. I wanted to go and find my seat already, but I stopped at the wall behind me to wait for Dan. From there, I discovered that he was stopped for a small conversation. I hid behind the wall extension by the door, trying to hear what was going on. It was a bit difficult to listen in on the conversation due to the noise in the room, but I could still hear them well.

"I've heard you're the special one," said Mr. Ryans. There was a small pause.

"You're not going to tell anyone, right?" Dan asked.

"Oh of course not, there's no reason for me to do that."

"...I just really hate..." I couldn't hear the rest clearly because of an abrupt volume change caused by a few boys.

"Don't worry, Dan. There is no shame. You're just a very special case, and because of that, I believe you have some latent abilities just not ready to wake up yet."

"You think so?"

"Positive, but remember, time will only tell."

Another pause. I was very curious about Dan's "special case." What was wrong with him?

As soon as Dan entered, I acted like I did nothing else but look around the room. He got to my side, looking at me as if I was okay. I gave him a thumbs up and then looked around the room again. In my new discovery, I found there were a variety of students: the usual black and brown haired, blonde, dark green haired, cherry flowered, auburn, even a light violet colored one. The hairstyles these days...what were they?

I saw Demi, who was sitting with Miu, wave her hand from a far spot in the back of the classroom. She caught our attention and pointed to the desk next to her. It was a full empty desk, but I could recognize the letters spelling out both of our names. As we walked over, loud whispers erupted near us.

"Hey, it's that kid that saved Agem Town…"

"That Driver is so cool…"

"Man, I wish I was him…"

As I sat down in my seat, I looked at everyone staring at me as they chat with nearby friends. Then I looked at Dan, who smiled anxiously.

"You sure are popular," said Demi. I nodded nervously in agreement.

Without closing the door, Mr. Ryans walked into the room and stood behind a similar designed silver and cyan podium. When everyone recognized he was standing there, the volume gradually decreased.

"Welcome, my freshmen class," he said cheerfully. "Again, I am Mr. Ryans, your homeroom teacher for Driver basics." He eyed at me for a second, then back at the class. "For this whole year, I'm going to be the greatest teacher you'll ever have." The class chuckled and agreed with his words.

"All right, first things first." He opened up a blue screen at his podium and moved his fingers all around, dragging somethings and pressing invisible buttons. On our desk screens, a green checkmark appeared below our name. "This is how I will be taking your attendance. If you are currently present, then you must press the checkmark when you arrive in your seat. So, right now, please press it."

I saw other students simply tap their screens. Dan even went ahead and did it with ease. I tapped the checkmark, and my name disappeared. The menu turned to a lighter blue, and sat there.

Mr. Ryans looked around the classroom, and spoke again when he saw no more green checkmarks. "Now that everybody is here, let's start with self-introductions. I want to get to know all of you, and I want to you all to be familiar with each other. It's no trouble at all, I want you to stand up, tell us your name, what island you are from, and tell me what you like, or what's your favorite hobby, or what your goal is to get from Hyper Academy." He pointed his finger to a pink haired girl on his leftmost seat in the front row. "Let's start with you, hm?"

She stood up and cleared her throat. "I'm Anna Youns from Aeria Island, and I want to become a professional athlete!" she exclaimed.

"Good," responded Mr. Ryans, "and don't worry, I can see that you'll be a very good athlete, Anna." The girl sat down, and then a honey-orange haired boy to her left stood up.

"I'm Derek Boyle from Flamma Island, and I want to be an archeologist," he said.

"Wonderful," commented Mr. Ryans. "Next?" The introductions kept going, student by student to the next row. Eventually, Miu was next.

"I'm Miu Shimizu from Aqua Isles, and I want to become a nurse." Then she sat down. Next up, was Demi. She stood up in quick speed, and spoke.

"I'm Demi Lenvett from Terra Island, and I want to become smarter!" All of us giggled, including the instructor. She sat down, but then stood back up. "Oh, and I love dancing!" Then she sat back down, without any sign of embarrassment.

My turn. I stood up, immediately gaining all focused attention within the room. "I'm Leon Anson from Heart Island," I said clearly. Many smiles and admiring stares had then appeared. I continued, "and, I want to make a lot of friends here." After the class erupted into small applause, I sat back down. Next up, was Dan.

"I'm Dan Lufu, and I was born here at Hyper Island…and…I…um…" I could tell he was very nervous as he stuttered. Speaking as if he wasn't prepared, he babbled something out. "…I want to become a chef."

"Really?" Mr. Ryans asked. "That's a good dream. Are you going to study food science next year?"

Dan nodded. Then, he sat back down.

Two people were left to do their introductions. On Dan's right was a girl with light-brown hair, known as Linda Leblanc, who wished to become a Driver engineer. Once she finished, the girl on her right stood up. She was the blonde haired girl with the Aeria personal.

"I'm Aura Laven, and I wish to become a Driver engineer," she stated.

"Oh, you want to be a Driver engineer as well?" asked Mr. Ryans. "For what reason, I may ask?"

"Because, it is convenient to have knowledge for how to fix Drivers if necessary," Aura replied.

"I see," Mr. Ryans responded. "Thank you, Aura." Aura gave me a quick glance full of sharp daggers, and sat back down. "Thank you everyone, now here's a little bit about me. Of course, you know that I'm Mr. Ryans. I was born here on Hyper Island, and my goal is to make sure everyone reaches their goal." He paused for a moment to drag something on his blue screen. "Now, I know your schedule says that this class ends at 8:50, and it's about 7:35 right now. We're all early, that's very good. You see, Drivers' Basics has a lot to cover, so I want to start class as soon as possible. If everyone can get here by 7:30, that's much appreciated. I don't mean to be harsh, but if you don't learn about Drivers, you're not going to get very far in life."

He made a small pause to let some whispers wander around the room, and then Mr. Ryans resumed. "So let's go ahead and begin class. I know it's the first day of school, and you're all probably expecting something fun to do. Well, you all will get it, after I ask you all a few questions about some basics that you covered during middle school last year."

Mr. Ryans tapped his screen, causing white words to pop up on our screens. It was a question with multiple choice answers.

"Please go ahead and answer the questions," announced Mr. Ryans. "This is no grade, but we are going to go over it together."

The class did as told. As I looked around, they were tapping the answer to the question as if it were basic. When I looked at the first and second questions myself, I felt it was novice level as well. For some reason, though, I could see Demi trying to focus really hard.

A notification on Mr. Ryans' screen informed that everyone finished the small five question quiz. "Okay, let's review," he said. After doing some more dragging on the screen, he slid his finger to his left, where a big blue screen had then covered the wall in front of us.

"Raise your hand to answer," he stated. "First question: Which of the following symbols represent a Military-type Driver?"

A boy in the front row raised his hand. "F."

"Correct," Mr. Ryans said. The answer F. was next to a star with a circle around it. The symbol represented Military-type. "Now, can someone tell why it isn't G., this sword?"

A girl in the second row answered, "Because G. is the symbol for a Battle-type Driver."

"Very good, Aislinn," responded Mr. Ryans. "Now, quick review. Tell me what Driver it is when I point to the symbol." He pointed to choice A, a blaze of fire. I noted that it was the same symbol as Mr. Ryans' personal Flamma Driver. Everyone answered Flamma. He had then pointed to choice B, two jagged lines of which the left jag was shorter than the right one. I looked over to Demi, and I remembered her Driver had the same symbol, so it was Terra. Once everyone answered, Mr. Ryans moved to choice C, three horizontal lines that curve at each end. The symbol was familiar on Aura's Driver. I looked over to double check, but the Driver was on her right shoulder, so I couldn't see. Regardless, everyone answered Aeria. Choice D was the picture of a raindrop, and I remember seeing it on Miu's Driver, so it meant Aqua.

When Mr. Ryans pointed to Choice E, he called on me. "Leon, I'm sure you know this one. Which Driver is this one?"

It was the symbol of a heart. I proudly answered, "The Love Driver."

"Good, good," he responded. "Now, let's go on." He tapped his screen, and a new question replaced the old one. "Which of these Drivers was not created by scientists?"

A black-haired boy in the third row answered, "Is it D?"

"That is right. There's no such thing as a Mining Driver, and I don't believe it will ever be created."

The first three answers were Battle-type, Military-type, and Training Drivers. I remember talking with Duer about Battle-type and Military-type. Training Drivers was new to me, but I expected them to be used to learn during school.

"Question three," Mr. Ryans continued, "What is true of a personal Aqua wielder?"

No one answered. Then, I saw Miu raise her hand and answer, "B. Gaining the ability to heal others' stamina and energy."

"Correct, thank you Miu," responded the teacher. "Do you know this from experience?"

"Yes," replied Miu, "though I don't really use it much since I don't battle often."

"I see. Well, now to question four. True or False: Drivers gradually recover one point of energy every two minutes when inactive."

Mr. Ryans called on Aura Laven, who raised her hand. "True," she said.

"The answer is true, thank you," replied Mr. Ryans.

"Darn!" exclaimed Demi. All of us giggled at her shock.

"Now, question five. It's a little obvious if you read carefully, but let's see what you all answered. Question five: What is the term when elements are naturally weak to each other?"

The answer choices were: "A. Elemental contrast, element, C. Polar effects," and "D. Natural weakness."

Dan raised his hand, and was called on. "Is it A. Elemental contrast?"

"Incorrect," responded Mr. Ryans. Dan looked a little disappointed, but I cheered him up with a pat on the back.

Aura raised her hand, and was called on. She answered in a clear tone, "D. Natural weakness."

"That is correct," Mr. Ryans said. "Is there anyone who doesn't know or remember what natural weakness is?"

A few boys and girls raised their hand. I also raised my hand, gaining attention not because I wanted it, but because I honestly didn't know either. Duer didn't mention natural weakness at all, so he must have forgotten. Regardless, I thought it was important to learn.

"All right then, let's go over it." Mr. Ryans dragged something on his screen and put it on the wall. There was a picture of the four elemental Drivers. They were in the formation of the four islands, but there were yellow lines connecting Flamma and Aqua, and Terra and Aeria.

Mr. Ryans began his lesson. "Using common sense, it's no question that fire and water oppose each other. Water can extinguish flames, or the intensity of fire can boil and evaporate the water...or, both will be at a standstill. Therefore, it just depends on the stronger person." He pointed to the Aeria Driver. "Aeria Drivers control the air, and Terra Drivers control the earth. Air and earth are both opposites, like fire and water. Naturally, wind erodes the earth, while large pieces of earth, like hills or pillars, block the paths of the wind. An Aeria wielder could break or wear off the earth quickly, or, the Terra wielder can try to ground the Aeria wielder by blocking his or her wind patterns. Again, it just depends on the stronger person." He walked to his podium to close the picture. "And that, is natural weakness. This is an important aspect to take note of when you are in battles. You should try to use the natural opposite element of your opponent if you can, so..." he paused by squatting down and pulling something out from the open space in his desk. He had then pushed it to the his left side where everyone could see the case, then he continued speaking. "Today, we're going to exhibit natural weakness. Everyone, please come grab a Training Driver."

Everyone cheered in the room once the case was open. Inside were numerous teal-colored Drivers, all with a Battle-type symbol. The students without a personal Driver stood up and went to go grab the Driver. Everyone was in the front of the classroom, staring in awe of their Training Drivers. However, Dan was still sitting by my side.

"You gonna go get one?" I asked him.

"Well..." he responded. "I'm just waiting for everyone to get out of the way."

Once nearly everyone had a Driver, Dan got up and went up to the front of the classroom. I saw that he and Mr. Ryans exchanged a brief stare. Mr. Ryans had subtly nodded, and then Dan picked up a Driver, but he went to the door. He exited, and most of the students saw him, but no one said a word about it.

Before I could ask about Dan's leave, our teacher made an announcement. "All right," he began, "everyone, please stand up, and enter Armguard state."

The class exited their seat as hands began to be put over shoulders, and faint glows illuminated within the room. We gave our Drivers the command, and everyone was in Armguard state. The students who didn't have a personal also donned teal-colored Drive Suits. Immediately, some students rubbed the rubber attached to their body, trying to adjust to the awkward feel of the suit.

Mr. Ryans entered his Drive Suit with Armguard state on as well. After that, he went to his screen and pressed a few buttons. The classroom suddenly flashed, and began to dissipate. Pixels of the room were replaced with a black void. As everyone looked around to find something shiny within the darkness, the empty space transformed into a grassy area next to a small forest. Everyone was amazed by the serene view, wanting to jump around and reach for the sky. A couple boys ran up to a nearby tree and slapped the trunk, checking if it was real.

"Welcome to the virtual teaching world for Drivers," Mr. Ryans announced. "Now, I want everyone who has a Training Driver to come near me." Everyone did as followed, leaving Demi, Aura, Miu, and myself standing opposing everyone else. Mr. Ryans took a step forward, giving one more check at the personal wielders. "Leon, Demi, Aura, and Miu," he called, "since you four are the most experienced within the class as of the moment, I'd like the assistance from each of you."

"What do you want us to do?" asked Demi.

"Simply, a test of who's stronger," replied Mr. Ryans. "Miu and Leon, fight against each other using water and fire. Go over to that spot."

"Okay," we responded. Miu and I walked to the designated empty area within the flat land and set a great distance between us. We looked at Mr. Ryans for our next instruction.

"Start!" yelled Mr. Ryans. Once Miu and I exchanged a brief stare, her drones were summoned. The drones began to encircle empty space, and water began to form within. It grew larger, prepared to be launched.

I commanded my Driver to conjure fire, and readied my hand to gather the power. A small blaze flickered, and then it grew into a great sphere of contained inferno. As I watched Miu continue to store her attack, I also prevented mine from being launched. Both of our attacks were ready to be sent.

We waited for Mr. Ryans' command. "Now, release!"

The spheres of fire and water collided, deadlocking at the center, creating a misty explosion. The power combined the dense fog with the lifted dirt, temporarily blinding everyone's sight. When it cleared, a small dip in the land between the both of us appeared.

The class and our teacher praised our par power with loud cheers. I gave Miu a thumbs up, and she replied with a calm smile.

Demi and Aura were up next. Set on another piece of distant, free land, Demi focused on creating a pillar in front of her, while Aura readied a powerful gust of wind to break it. Once given the command, they released their power. While Demi summoned a wide brown wall rather than a thin tower, Aura sent a piece of a maelstrom. Demi held her position, trying to keep the wall intact, but a crack was heard. The gust of wind broke through and shattered the earthen wall, also forcing Demi to maintain her stance and slide back. Once Aura saw that her defense was broken, she halted her wind.

Applause inspired Aura to humbly smile at everyone, dipping her legs with pride. But as I clapped, I couldn't help think how strong Aura was, or believe if Demi used all of her might or not. Miu and I went over to Demi to help her up, although she responded with a peppy jump. We hurried back over to Mr. Ryans and received judgment.

"You four did amazing," he said. Then, he turned to the rest of the class. "Let's see..." he paused for a moment, staring into blank space, however I could tell he was looking at an invisible screen. "I believe we have about thirty minutes left," he said, "so, everyone has free time. Feel free to try out the abilities in your Driver."

Anticipation released from everyone once the words "free time" were heard. Boys and girls chatted amongst their selves—some played with mere fireballs, trying to use each other as target practices, or examine the other elemental abilities they had.

I was left standing by Miu and Demi, unknown of what to do or talk about. Mr. Ryans walked over to us.

"Are you three doing all right?" he asked.

"We're fine, we just don't know what to do," MIu replied.

"Hmm..." Mr. Ryans looked at me, and then at Demi. "Leon, how about you have a duel with Demi?"

"A duel?" I repeated.

"Great idea!" Demi exclaimed. "Can it be an Armor duel?"

"Of course," responded Mr. Ryans. "I'd like to see you both in battle. Leon, I suppose this will be your first duel with another Driver wielder?"

"Yes," I answered. "Are there any rules or anything?"

"Not at all," he said. "All you must do is fight until one person's Drive Armor disappears. In other words, you fight until one of your Drivers is out of energy."

"All right then, Demi, let's have a duel."

"You bet!" She punched their air with enthusiasm. Mr. Ryans directed us to a large, blank spot, and Demi ran off to the far side. Immediately, we caught the attention of most of the class after we faced each other and placed our hands on our Drivers. When light illuminated the symbols, I placed my hand over my heart. Demi activated her Armor state by crossing her arms and fists. Our Armguards dissipated and combined with the forming metal covering from top to bottom. As I finished, I called out Lightheart in my right hand. Looking at Demi, her slim body was covered with earthen-colored protection, holding a thin, yet sturdy design. The only distinguishing characteristic on her whole body was her arms: the armor on her arms transformed into a sharper and tougher design that is unlike any usual arm protection on regular Drive Armors. The armored fists were exceptionally thicker than the rest of the body armor, but other than that, a sharp armored wave cut through the middle of her gauntlets from her elbow to the top of her hand. It was clear that Demi is a fist-fighter.

"Bring it on, Leon!" she yelled. I responded with a quirky smile, and used wind power to rush at her. She stood there, keeping her stance, until I was close enough before she punched the ground. A pillar suddenly shot up in front of me, but I boosted upwards and flew along its surface just in time. I shot up above the pillar and dove down, readying my sword. She kept her arms crossed and took the impact of my blade. There was a small shockwave around from the force we both exerted, but neither of us suffered. Demi kept her stance and pushed me off, firing earthen tacks as I flew away. A gust of air from my hand halted the spears, but Demi rushed my way on the ground and jumped at me. Her fist was prepared for a punch, and I boosted the air below me to fly high up. I couldn't evade in time, but, I only received a scrape of the fist, so the damage was reduced. However, I didn't leave it like that. As Demi fell, I dropped a fireball right at her. She was still stuck in air and had no way to dodge, instead, she punched the fireball to the side. The impact exploded on her arm, dealing much damage, but she reached the ground with a smile.

I landed a few meters away from Demi, readying Lightheart in both of my hands. This time, Demi charged at me with her fists ready. I ran forward as well, and began a close-combat conflict. Her punches shot straight at me, each I dodged or blocked with my sword. When I found an opening, I retaliated and slashed at Demi. She flinched, and it was enough of a stun for me to unleash a flurry of slashes at her. But each one, she dodged or blocked with her arms, and though she received the hits, it looked like she was barely struggling. It was until then I remembered that the physical defense of Terra Drivers was significantly high, so Demi could probably take a hundred of sword slashes and still be standing. Therefore...

When I swung for the last time, I let a hand go free and released a fireball. She took the hit, and flinched as well, noting that she took the damage more seriously than Lightheart slashes. As I believed the damage was fatal, Demi recovered quickly by crouching down, and swept her leg quickly. I was successfully knocked over, but I didn't touch the ground. As if she had Aeria powers herself, she continued her attack right after by kicking me up into the air. Then, she made a few graceful steps and a spin, kicking me away. I flew backwards and crashed onto the ground multiple times, but regained my posture without difficulty.

Her combo attack—a sweeping kick, an upwards kick, and a rhythm of steps before a finishing kick—that was unbelievably powerful, yet stylish. It had seemed like she integrated her favorite hobby with fighting.

When I checked my energy meter, I had around five hundred and fifty. As I scanned Demi with my Driver, she had about seven hundred points of energy. The combo I suffered damaged me by a lot, so I had to make sure not to let myself be open again.

Since Demi's profession was high physical defense, an elemental attack would make a difference. I had the choice of a fire, earth, wind, or water attacks. With my power, they would have equal output of power. However, earth is resistant against earth. Using a water attack would mean I had to make sure I pumped enough pressure to crush Demi enough. Wind is her weakness, but a blast of wind is strict with aiming, and no doubt Demi would want to dodge it. Therefore, fire was my best bet.

Instead of a fireball, I conjured a different image. If blazes of fire could form anything, then I had the right to choose any form I wanted. To test this image power, I pictured a wall of fire crashing onto my opponent. For that to work, I had to be close to Demi, and I needed an opening. When I remembered the abilities of the Love Driver, I knew what to do.

I used the wind to boost my speed and dashed at Demi. Her eyes kept up with my speed, and took a stance to block a sword slash. Instead of swinging at her, I dashed past her and turned around, firing a beam of light at her. Demi turned, but couldn't block in time, and took a stunning hit. With Demi paralyzed for a brief moment, I took the chance to fly forward and take a swing. A spark signified significant damage, but Demi recovered from the stun beam and punched the ground. A pillar shot from the ground blasted me upwards in a swift fashion, damaging me and leaving me high up in the air. I fired another beam of light as I fell and controlled the wind below my feet, but Demi jumped to the side and returned with a flurry of sharp stalagmites shot from her hands. I slashed and knocked each spear away and flew at Demi as she kept firing. It was too late for her to evade or cancel her attack as I was already in close range. With focused fire in my hand, I swung it all down, crashing a great wall of fire onto her.

"Waaah!" she screamed. It sounded as if she were in pain, but it was no doubt that the fire dealt immense damage. I flew backwards and examined the situation as the fire dissipated. Dust and smoke filled the range around Demi as I waited, but in a short moment, I found Demi still standing with her Armor on.

"Nice one, Leon!" she yelled. "But, I'm not done yet!" She punched her fists together. There was a short pause in the action, but an earthen hand carrying my opponent into the air in my direction caught me off guard. The endless arm reached my height, and Demi unleashed a swarm of straights at me. I took a few hits, and received one more that locked me in a bind, allowing her to swing her fists upon me and sent me falling. I crashed onto the ground and suffered a damaging impact, shutting my eyes from the dirty dust. I was still in Armor state as I got up, but my energy was nearing a hundred, and Demi was at the same level.

We both decided it was time to finish the duel. With everyone's eyes focused on us, we readied our weapons, and ran at each other. I lifted my sword up, ready to slash, and Demi readied her thick fists, ready to punch. Both of us took a swing, and the impact caused an explosion. We both were damaged, but neither of us focused on who was finished as we crashed backwards.

Within a short moment, a glowing noise was heard. It was the sound of Drive Armor disappearing. I attempted to see if I still had my Armor intact. I gripped my sword to make sure it was there. And, they both were there. That meant...

As the smoke cleared, Demi was laying on her back, only in her Drive Suit. I took one more look at myself, completely in white armor.

"And the winner, is Leon Anson!" yelled Mr. Ryans. I puffed out the last of my power as the class cheered.


"Oh my gosh!"



I let out a subtle grin under my breaths and hurried over to Demi, who was getting up.

"Ow, ow, ow...sheesh," she grumbled. She stood up easily, grooming herself. When I came by, she extended her hand out at me. I was confused at first, until she spoke.

"Great job!" she exclaimed. "That fight was so amazing!"

"Really?" I chuckled.

"Totally! The way you keep zooming in the air to attack me—it was like, woosh and shwing!" Each sound effect she interpreted came with hand gestures in different directions. I laughed as she described the way I had fought. Classmates had then joined our sides, staring at us with eager faces and commenting their amazement. Miu had hurried to my side and examined Demi.

"Are you all right?" she asked.

"Don't worry, I'm fine," replied Demi. "Just a little tired."

"Here," Miu said. Miu's drones appeared and flew in front of her extended hands. The drones began to spin like a tornado, and water was shot out of Miu's hands. The water was absorbed by the drones, and were then splashed onto Demi. Strangely, Demi wasn't wet, but her face displayed a feeling of relaxation. When the water stopped, Demi jumped up and down.

"Woo!" she yelled. "Aqua healing feels so nice!"

"Doesn't it?" Miu asked. Then, she looked at me. "Do you need to be healed too?"

I wasn't certain of the idea, but I replied, "Sure." The drones began to spin again, and water splashed onto me. I had understood what Demi had felt—the water that Miu summoned was fueled with revitalization powers. I suddenly felt full of energy, as if I didn't even have a duel.

"Wow," I commented. "That's an amazing power."

Miu nodded in agreement. "Glad to see that you both enjoy the power of water."

A whistle blared from Mr. Ryans' direction, drawing everyone's attention. The loud sound was an application on his Driver, and was sounded once more. "Everyone, gather around! It's time to go!"

I withdrew my Armor state and hurried with everyone to Mr. Ryans. When everyone was gathered, the virtual world began to disappear, and we were all back in the classroom. Chatter initiated immediately at how amazing the duel I had with Demi was, and additional comments were mentioned.

"Haha," chuckled Mr. Ryans. "I supposed everyone had fun?" Everyone replied with eagerness. "Well, I'm glad then, but it's time to go." Groans emitted and comments such as "I don't wanna go!" were said. Everyone reattached the school clothes that were absorbed by their Drivers before returning them to the large case. As I summoned my normal attire, I saw Dan enter the classroom in the corner of my eye, taking off his Driver and giving it to Mr. Ryans. I hurried over to him and asked where he had gone.

"Where have you been?" I asked. "You missed a duel between me and Demi!"

"Oh, I watched, don't worry," he said. "It was a great fight."

"...Huh?" He saw the duel? Impossible. I never saw him in the virtual world. "What do you mean you watched? I thought you weren't with us."

There was a bit of anxiety in his voice. "I was, but I was behind a tree, so no one really noticed me."

I grew suspicious. "...Why were you that far away from us?"

"Well..." he began, "...I was just embarrassed."

"About what?" I asked.

"...I don't like standing around everyone else in a Drive Suit, so Mr. Ryans let me stay away from everyone."

"Oh, okay," I replied. I couldn't believe his answer, but it was understandable. Drive Suits were uncomfortable, and standing around in public with them was slightly awkward, since the suits were definitely tight on the body. Struggling was inevitable unless you were used to the suit.

The bell had rung, signaling the end of the class. The class began leaving the room to their next class. Demi and Miu came up to us, informing their next destination.

"Dan, where were you!" Demi exclaimed. "You missed—"

"I know, I know," he said. "I was watching, don't worry. You both fought great."

"Oh, well thanks!" responded Demi.

Miu giggled at the moment. "Well, I'm off to History in the Flamma building," she said. "What about you guys?"

"Dan and I have Biology in the Aqua building," I answered. "What about you, Demi?"

"English in the Terra building," she said. "I guess this is where we part for now?"

"Until lunch then," Miu said. "I'll see you guys later!" She turned around and headed for the exit.

"Same here!" Demi said. She lightly punched her fist with mine and left the class.

I looked at Dan. "Ready to go?"

He nodded, "Yep." We said our good-byes to Mr. Ryans, and headed out of the classroom. We continued the day walking to our classes and meeting new faces, new teachers, and relentless fans of the Love Wielder.

Though, one thing is for sure: even though I had to live the rest of the school days with learning, I know that I will always start each day energetic and optimistic in Drivers' Basics.

Leon: Next time on Love Driver!

Demi: Lunch time, lunch time~!

Miu: Oh wow, even the food here is delicious!

Demi: Lunch time~!

Miu: Time to dig in—oh, Aura? What're you doing here?

Aura: Love Wielder, I challenge you to a duel!

Leon: Wait, wha-? Now? At least let me eat first!

Aura: Well, hurry up then!

Demi: Oh wow, a duel between Leon and Aura?! This oughta be exciting!

Dan: Episode 7! Leon VS Aura!

Miu: Aw, Dan, you only get one line in the preview...

Leon: Don't worry, I'll give him some of my lines next time!