Hello...Onto the chapter! Seriously though, I probably should have done this a few days ago. A quick update, I haven't been writing much these days...not because I'm burnt out, I actually love writing these chapters. It's sooo much fun! But recently I lost a very close family member, so I've been helping my family and dealing with it for these past few weeks. Its why I haven't written much these days. But I'm back and... I have more exams and tests...yeah! So I still won't be writing much. On that note, next chapter whoo! Next chapter will probably be the longest as I want to write the conclusion of this mini-arc and the next few chapters will be about Ameilia meeting Dragon.
*Quick note: This - (Insert best waifu) is for character thoughts and when Ameilia and Noelle talk it'll be like this - "Insert the best pie"
Brian refused to tell me what they talked about, but while I was sulking they apparently talked.
"Hey, Noelle!" Brian called to me, I was about two blocks away and they started running towards me.
"What? Did I not pay enough? Or is it something else?" As I said that, Dragon immediately turned his head to the side.
"No, we've talked and decided to help you find that guy." Brian said
"Wait find who?"
"I'll get to it."
I was prepared for different answers, but I was completely shocked when I heard Brian.
"What?" I asked, still reeling in shock.
"Yeah, I feel like I owe you guys! I mean I haven't talked with anyone in ages! Plus I admit that it does get fairly boring around here."
"...No...really It's fine. I can find answers by myself."
"C'mon Noelle! I'm I'm gonna be honest, that guy was probably paid a lot to stay quiet. He might even be long gone or dead, I think we should just let it go." Brian said in a sad tone.
"You can easily let it go, but I can't." Noelle told Brian in a serious voice.
"Then we can have Dragon help out. He lives around here. I'm sure he'll be able to find some clues more than we can."
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I could find something."
"For what price?"
"You barely know us and think we can just trust you so easily? I doubt you're helping just because." Noelle said.
"Hah! You were still that skeptical even back then huh?" Amelia said with a light laugh.
"What? I'm not that skeptical! I mean I was just being cautious."
"Sure, and back to your story."
"Price huh?" Dragon placed his hand on his chin and put himself in thought,"...Then I ask for a home I can stay in for a while."
"Great! You can stay at Brian's house!"
"Wait what!? He can't stay in my house my mom would freak!"
"Well, he can't stay in mine. Nobody lives in that empty castle except the various maid and butlers that come in and out every day. He'd be discovered easily."
"If you do I'll buy that cologne you've been wanting."
"Wait, how do you that!?" Brian said looking extremely embarrassed.
"You leave your screen open a lot. Or I can tell Barry how much of a quote,"Flea" he looks like."
"Dammit! Fine, but where should he stay in my house? He can't exactly live in any of the room's."
"That's no problem! I don't need a huge space. Got a roof or something?"
"Uh yeah actually! We've got an attic! With a comfortable amount of temporary living space." Brian said, putting emphasize on temporary.
"Good! Then do you guys have time now? I think I have a few places to search." Dragon said, changing his attitude to a more serious one.
"Yeah, we've got a little while-"
"Actually Noelle, mom will be probably be expecting us soon. So we should head back now."
"But-but!" Noelle protested.
"Nah it's fine, just come back tomorrow and we can start. I should be around here." Dragon explained.
"Alright sounds like a plan!"
So Brian and I left, we got home and the next day I was already excited and I guess I couldn't keep it hidden.
I guess I wasn't paying attention to anything 'Cause after that shout I immediately turned around, we were walking to school and I saw Brian far behind me.
"Brian! Come on! You're going to be late. Why are you walking so slow?"
He ran faster and reached me, he took several deep breaths.
"Slo-slow down! We're only going to school, you should call down. It'll look less suspicious to the teachers if you act normally." Brian said. "Or as normal as you can act." He mumbled
So after that suggestion, we went to school. It was a normal day, some history, math, music. Brian had to leave his 5th class early so he can go to the courtyard.
After school ended, I waited (impatiently) for Brian to finish so we could go see Dragon. It took another 15 minutes, but I saw him leave the front gate. I quickly grabbed his hand and forcibly dragged him over to District Z.
"C'mon Brian! The day will be gone if we don't hurry!"
"Slow down! It's only 3 in the afternoon! We've got plenty of time today."
I let go of his hand and we walked at a moderate speed to where we had last seen Dragon. We found the spot where we last saw Dragon, but he wasn't there. After standing around for a few minutes, we finally saw him coming around another corner. He wore the same white shirt as yesterday and had put on some black pants. He was looking down but slowly turned his head upwards and saw us, he immediately became excited and ran.
"Hey! You guys came! That's great!" He shouted, with a large grin. As he came closer we saw something on his back, it was wrapped in black cloth with a black handle sticking out.
"Is that his-"
"No No! I'm getting to that part!"
"What's that for?" Brian asked, pouting to Dragon's back.
"This? It's something I carry as a precaution. Ya know if we run into trouble. Speaking of that let's go! I found a place that'll be sure to have lots of information."
We nodded and Dragon started leading us around District Z. Nothing different, it was the same old trash-filled place, however, every once in a while we could see the remains of old stores being lit up and even having people around them! Brian and I were shocked.
"What's going on here? I thought this place would be completely shut down." I asked
"Hehe" Dragon gave a light chuckle as we looked confused.
"Your right, this place should be shut down. However, people like the 7 Earths have their operations out in the open sometimes. Maybe it's to intimidate others or they're just being foolish. Or other times, it's people opening small businesses like bars and attracting the adventurous who live outside Z. And there's also the homeless who live in the abandoned buildings." We didn't say anything as he talked. We were amazed an empty place like this could still attract people.
"Anyway here it is!" I hadn't noticed but we had walked a long way from where we started. The building Dragon showed us was a small place, with a dimly lit sign that had most of its letter scratch offed. Although I could make out the words "BAR".
"This place?" Brian asked skeptically. I couldn't blame him though, the place reeked of alcohol and we were pretty far away.
Dragon didn't respond for a minute, which put me on edge. But he finally said,
"Yeah it's the place...I've got to ask something first. Noelle, Brian are you sure about this? I can't guarantee that I'll be able to keep you both safe if we go inside. What I mean is are you both prepared for a fight?" He asked seriously
I looked down, while now I would say yes easily. Back then I would be unsure, I wasn't as trained as I am now and the thought of fighting put in a fearful mood. However, even then, Brian responded like he would now.
"Yes! I'm ready and capable!" He barked like a soldier.
"Fine, then I'll need to test that first before we go inside." As he said that he grabbed the handle on his back with his right hand. The wrapping wasn't thick and as soon as Dragon started pulling the handle the cloth started unraveling. It continued to unravel until we could see what was hidden, it was-
"I guess I was right."
"Hmph! Sure you were, now back to my story!"
What was underneath was a sword. It was completely black, both the blade and most of the hilt, which I saw was something on it. The blade was straight, although I wasn't an expert I could tell that the blade may have had a slight curve. I thought it looked cool but Brian...
"That looks awesome!" He shouted with glee. Honestly, he looked like a kid admiring a toy.
"Doesn't it!" Dragon said back, looking equally as joyful.
(Boys and their ways of bonding are weird.) I thought holding onto that fact.
"This'll be a quick test. I know you've got a sword too. Bring it out and we can get started."
Dragon was right, Brian was training in order to be selected into the military.
"Wow, even then that was his dream?"
"Yeah, it's one he decided a long time ago. Says it'll make him feel connected."
As you know, the Adv School offered extra classes for people who want to join. Brian had been studying to try out to be apart of the swordsmen. Typically the class would use various types of swords as part of the curriculum. However, Brian brought his own sword, one his family owned. It had a brown hilt and a white blade. It was also pretty long for Brian's height at the time (he was 16 and 5ft and 5 inches). Coincidently, Brian had brought with him today, it was sheathed at his left hip. He pulled it out and showed it to Dragon.
"Here it is, I'm going to be a bit honest, I haven't trained for too long so forgive me if my style is crude." He told Brian sounding disappointed in himself.
"No problemo!" Dragon said cheerfully, "When I began I was pretty bad as well. Consider this more training." Dragon then gripped his blade, holding it with his right hand, while he put his left into a fist. Brian meanwhile gripped his sword with both hands.
The way they held their swords was pretty different. Brian used both of his hands and held his sword upwards near his head. Dragon though held his sword with one hand and kept it low near the ground.
"That's a weird way to hold a sword." Brian commented, "Doesn't look too effective."
"Hehe don't worry about it. It's my style of swordplay. If you have nothing else to say, then we can start...now!"
I could see them both gripping their swords tightly, silently staring at each other, waiting for someone to make a move. It stayed that way for another few moments, until...
"Hahhh!" Brian yelled as he started forward. He charged and raised his sword and then slashed downward to Dragon, who narrowed his eyes and prepared to block. He raised his sword to block and held it horizontally. Their blades clashed and it seemed like Brian was having trouble trying to get through Dragon's sword. Dragon, on the other hand, didn't seem as worried, although his hand still moved slightly while blocking.
Eventually, Dragon made his move. He lifted his right leg before crashing his knee to Brian's stomach, causing him to dip his head and lose his breath. Dragon then moved his sword towards his right and slashed. Brian who was on his on one knee still was able to block Dragon sword with his own. However, Dragon had more strength and was able to swing his sword all the way to his left, which caused Brian to be thrown to his right while his sword fell from his hand onto the ground near Dragon.
"Yo, is this it? Or can you get up? 'Cause if this is it..." He didn't finish as he picked up Brian's sword. "If you don't get up...then I'll have to get even more serious."
Brian was on the ground for a few moments before he finally stood up again. His breath was a little labored, but I could see the determination bringing 8n his eyes.
"I'm good." He said fiercely
Dragon smiled, "Cool." He then did something neither of us expected. He grabbed Brian's sword and tree it over to him. Brian was surprised and almost dropped his sword again.
"I'm guessing by what you just did...you can't fight with two swords?"
"Yep!" He said cheerfully, "I'm ok with one sword, but two I'm crappy at. It's harder for me to fight like that." He then put his sword on his back again, strangely, the black cloth appeared from the hilt and wrapped his sword again.
"Let's go." He said
"Wait!" Brian called, "What about our match?"
"We'll do it another time. That was just a test. Now for the hard part." He turned around and said, "When we get in there you guys stay behind me. There's going to be some tough characters. But don't worry as long as we don't run into any of the 7 Earths we're good!"
(Why do I feel like we're jinxed?) I thought
Brian picked himself up and lightly dusted his pants and came up behind me and Dragon as we started ahead.