32 But it’s only just the first week!

"I'll give it to you straight, you'll lose."

Micheal was outside of the nurse's office, waiting for me. I had no idea what he was doing here but I didn't want him to be prophetic either.

"And what makes you say that?" Of course, I was skeptical. I'd heard of all sorts of powers but future sight? Never heard of that one.

"I've known Blaze for over two months now. He transferred exactly two months ago and is undefeated ever since. He fought countless seniors. I saw his fight with one of our national rankers behind the gym. You can guess who won. And for the record, the national ranker was ranked 9th all over the world for his grade." So I guess, he wasn't being prophetic, rather he spoke from experience.

"I don't know if you know this or not, but my goal is to become number one, not nine."

'For the sake of the chocolate!'

The hallway was awfully empty. We were basically alone. So spouting embarrassing things like being number one, wasn't as embarrassing.

He grinned and then chuckled. "I guess there's no point in convincing you now. The chances are slim but I do hope you win though. I didn't see your fight with Blaze but I heard you did well enough. Hopefully, you'll reach your dreams." He smiled.

The way he said it, almost sounded like he'd given up on his dreams. It almost sounded a little comical. Maybe I was just being stupid.

"Yeah, thanks. And good luck with your job too. But isn't it hard to get some sleep?"

"To tell you the truth-" He came close. "We take shifts and I usually go to bed by 1," he whispered.

I guess that was normal. No one would be able to work without proper sleep anyway.

I grinned and gave him a thumbs-up as he left. He did the same. I didn't know why he came to see me personally while we barely talked once, but I was kind of glad.

And after walking halfway through the hall he came back, looked sideways, and grinned awkwardly. "I kind of forget to tell you about your duel." He sighed. "It's the day after tomorrow. You'll get more details tomorrow." He left without another word. I guess he was a bit embarrassed to forget his primary goals.

'The day after tomorrow huh? Wait, I need a sword!'

Actually, I needed a lot more than just a sword, but standing in the hallway, ripping off my hair, wasn't the way to go.

'Let's just head over to the dorms for now. My other sword should be there.'

The club had given me two as souvenirs but I already broke one, which meant I only had one left. The fact that it was just a basic sword was still bugging me.

I kept walking and eventually got out of the school building. There were plenty of people out and some of them weren't even students.

I didn't care and just walked.

In terms of speed and technique, I was superior to Blaze. But he had me cornered with strength and his ability. Not only could he increase his own speed, but he could also decrease mine. This was a tricky fight and I had to think of something to counter it.

"How many times do I have to tell, watch where you're going?" Someone yelled.

"Huh?" I promptly crashed into a palm tree.

'Again?'

I rubbed my aching forehead and glared at the direction the voice came from.

Eve was standing still with a smile, one hand on her waist. "Are you sure you're not trying to injure yourself before the duel?" She was taunting me, no less.

"I'm pretty sure I can come up with better excuses if that were the case."

She giggled, she giggled hard. "Yeah." She still giggled.

Her giggles only increased my pain. "What's wrong with whoever made this thing grow? And in the middle of the road?"

"Well, you'll have to take your plea to Ariel." Now she giggled just to piss me off. "Anyway, I'm under the impression that you needed a sword. You can borrow mine if you want to." She fingered the sword on her waist: the last part of her sentence was a bit too playful for my taste.

'Just who the hell is this Ariel!?' Needless to say, I was very tempted to bust into someone's room and do some slapping action, because my forehead was still doing 'the throbbing'.

But why was Eve being so generous? She was being way too generous. I got the feeling she had some ulterior motives. I didn't know why but accepting her sword seemed like a trap. Maybe I was overthinking things, maybe I was being stupid, but I still couldn't trust Eve.

"Sorry but, I don't think I should rely on you for this fight."

Eve's sword was special and it allowed me to use my powers freely for once. But it was also addicting. If I used this sword on more than a few occasions I got the feeling, I won't be able to part from it. I'd be too dependent on this sword: someone else's sword. Meaning, in the end, I'd just be dependent on her.

"I guess men have their pride." She smiled bitterly. "You're not a member of the club yet, so I don't think they'll lend you one either. After all, they've already given you two good swords."

'Two BASIC good swords. I was the one who chose them though…'

I kind of wanted to punch myself right about now.

But I'd already made my decision. There was nothing I could do about it. "I'll think of something."

I started walking. Once I passed Eve, she whispered something. "You know, maybe…. Maybe if you pulled this off, I might even reward you with-" her voice was getting awfully seductive.

So, I plugged my fingers in my ears and just ran. I already had enough things to worry about, I didn't need more from her. I could still hear her giggling though. Boy, was she loud, and annoying.

***

I reached the dorm and as expected my room was empty for once. No matter when I came to the room, Merin was always here. He wasn't someone I respected but he was someone I trusted, maybe not totally, but definitely, enough to enjoy his company.

It was because of that nagging idiot that I felt at home. I didn't feel lonely even though I never spent more than a day away from my family. But after three days, today, I felt lonely, in this room of solitude.

With a sigh, I changed clothes and looked at the torn uniform.

Mom would be more than just furious. This was a little bit beyond fixable with traditional means.

I almost sighed again. Then I remembered. 'Oh right, I've used up my sigh quota.'

My sigh quota, a thing that Elsa just randomly made up. Apparently one day I was sighing a bit too much and it irritated her to an extent that she consulted mom and mom made me swear that I wouldn't sigh more than ten times a day. It was a stupid thing but I didn't rebuke them: I didn't have a choice.

When the thought of this stupid promise crossed my mind, I chuckled subconsciously.

I picked up the pace and cleaned things up. It was almost nine-thirty and I didn't want to sleep just yet.

'Oh yeah, I still had that assignment.'

KNOCK!

The moment I sat down at the table, someone was at the door. I really, really felt irritated.

With a grumpy attitude, I slammed the door open. It was an inward door, so the person on the other side was unharmed.

"Yes?" My voice was more coarse than intended.

"Were you stroking your junk or something? Why are you so irritated?" the voice was female and it was quite stern.

Though I wasn't doing what she suspected, it still flustered me.

"But girls aren't supposed to-" Before I could finish, she held a finger to my lips and blitzed in, locking the door in the process.

"We need to talk."

It was Marg. Marg was inside my room. And last time I checked, the dorm manager had flipped out though Elsa was my sister. So this, the incident of Marg being in my room, was big.

Being flustered was an understatement. Why would a girl in her nighties just turn up at my room at nine-thirty in the night, when my roommate was out no less? I kind of knew where this was going. I knew I saved her, but this was a bit too much. My heart wasn't ready for this kind of commitment. "Look we're too youn-?" My pores leaked. This was bad for my heart. I knew I never wanted relationships but maybe deep down, I subconsciously wanted it? Now even I wasn't so sure.

"Your mother keeps contact with me so when she heard you got into a fight, she told me to come get you back home for a few minutes."

'Huh?' I stared at her for a good minute before realizing what kind of shit I got myself into. The earlier flustered-ness vanished in thin air and the sudden gravity of the problem surfaced.

I swallowed. "Wait, my mother keeps contact with you, about me, instead of me?" My own sentences started to confuse me.

"What else would you expect? You don't have a holo, and even if she phones you, you don't pick up."

She was right. I never really used my phone ever since I got here anyway. The small sweat droplets became buckets. Mom was a simple person. She was great when she was being nice but when she turned…. Just thinking about it gave me heartache.

'Wait, what if she finds out about the uniform too?'

"Ummm, could you tell her that I'm a bit tired so, maybe tomorrow?" My teeth clattered. This was bad, very bad.

Marg walked towards me and I walked back. My back touched the wall and her hand touched my shoulder. "No." She only said one word before the whole world turned black and white: space warped, and I was back to our living room.

Mom was glaring right at me, with a smile.

'Oh, shit….'

Next chapter