The room fell silent as soon as the shabby looking boy made an entrance through the auditorium door. The student's heads started to turn to take a glance at this mysterious person. The atmosphere of the room became heavy and tense like the calm before a storm.
“Glad you made it, Samael Heller!”, greeted Cecelia, sarcastically.
Samael bowed deeply,
“I am very, very sorry! I had to drop Lilith and Abigor to the school! I reached the school on time, but Abigor's teacher started to complain about his behavior and how weak he has grown in his studies, and also he fells asleep during lectures! His homework also remains pending and -”
“Stop your babbling! I’m not asking for excuses!”, thundered Cecelia.
“Uh... I am really, sorry! This won’t happen ever, again!”, apologized Samael as his head hung down bowing. His dark black messy hair wavered in the breeze that entered through the open door.
The students started to mutter among themselves as they peered at Samael and discussed curiously.
“Did you hear that? His last name?”
“The commander said, Samael Heller, did she?”
“Well yeah! I heard the same.”
“Is he what, I think he is?”
“Hop in your Queue, soldier! And fix up your attire! what are you? A lunatic drunkard!”, frowned Cecelia as her eyebrows twitched and her eyes shrink with anger as she glared at Samael.
Samael tiptoed and stood in the last of the queue along with all other students. Then he dusted away his clothes as well as his hair. The student that stood beside Samael felt a bit uneasy because of the dust that flew after Samael dusted his clothes. He then combed his messy hair with his fingers as he grazed and straightened the hair between his finger gaps. He even tucked his shirt neatly in his pant and straightened up the wrinkles on the shirt.
The students stood there staring astonishingly at Samael who was immersed in his grooming, carefreely and forgot about the current situation.
“Oi! Hurry up Samael, this isn’t your dressing room! Have some decency”, mocked Cecelia.
Like you are the one to talk!, thought Reeves who had an unamused expression as she watched Cecelia’s from behind the corner of the stage.
“And you people! Face forward!”, commanded Cecelia.
All the students faced forward at once.
Samael also stood in attentive position after he was done.
“Did you guys forgot that this is my domain? Who told you to turn your head away from the stage! This is my territory and my word is the law! Get this etched to your memory.”, Cecelia said sternly, “Samael tell me what do you think being a Knight is?”
Samael startled and became nervous. Some of the students around him peeked out of curiosity even though the commander commanded them, not to.
Samael dropped his attentive posture and started to scratch his head and tilt it to the ground. He closed eyes and tried to calm down as he began to think deeply.
His mind drifted in another dimension along with his concentration in search of the answer, every passing second. A cold sweat started to flow from his forehead which cooled down the nerves that pulsated and was clearly visible on his forehead.
His face started to turn red and his restless expression told that he was in agony.
“We don’t have a whole day! STOP THINKING and just SAY IT!”, shouted Cecelia whose not well known for her patience, “If I give you a whole day! Your answer won't change a thing! So reply me, right away!”
Samael’s concentration crumbled in a second! It was a useless farce, just to dodge Cecelia’s question.
He lowered his head in embarrassment and scratched his chin nervously.
With a distorted smile, he gathered the courage.
“Umm… A knight is a high position in the military post with many beneficial privileges, right?”
The students were shocked with such disjointed and incomprehensible answer. They had this displeased expression and their jaw dropped in awe. Some students were pissed who felt insulted. The most students with sour expression were the egoist noble and academical genius, students.
The atmosphere was really intense as if it would catch fire and explode any minute.
The students turned their heads to see the commander’s reaction who stood expressionless after hearing his reply.
Samael’s brow emitted cold sweat and he closed his eyes in fear and embarrassment. Despite academically weak, he worked hard to compensate his shortcomings with sheer physical prowess and hard work. But he got enrolled in the Archangel academy because of a special exception and not because of diligence.
After sometime expressionless Cecelia’s eyes widened with a smirk.
“Well, better than other student’s answer’s tho.”
The students were stunned once again!
Of course the most surprised were indeed the students with egoist as well as the nobles who mostly were the descendant of Knight’s themselves.
Samael also was shocked his eye opened, wide.
Then a gentle smile appeared on his face. It was very rare that someone would appreciate Samael's answer based on intellectual knowledge.
The unrest among the other students was visible clearly from the stage above. They were anxious for her reason! Why Samael’s answer was better than the brief and optimized answer of the daughter of Finance minister of Abros?
“Woah! You guys sure look pissed! So you people are angry? Are you feeling insulted?”, asked Cecelia with a taunting grin. Her arms rested on her hip as she stood, relaxingly. Her persona proved that she was a sadist.
The student’s anxiety increased further.
Only Samael stood with a puzzled look who wasn’t able to comprehend the situation, currently.
“Well, well! If you guys think that getting a post as a Knight is a glorious and proud worthy, thing! You are so wrong!”, said Cecelia.
The minister seated was also surprised and watched Cecelia curiously while he grazed his french goatee beard as he leaned on the fence of the balcony.
“Anyone can be Knight! ANYONE! But the deeds you conquer after being a Knight is when you obtain, your so-called GLORY!”
The agitated students started to calm down as they listened carefully.
“Knight’s could lead a battalion of common soldiers who would obey them faithfully! But to minimize the damage as well as accomplishing your goal depends on the leadership of the Knight. Knight should earn its respect and feat of glory not just with the mere titles, but also with the struggle and endeavors he overcomes through! Then only you would call yourself a True Knight of Abros, proudly!”
Cecelia’s spoke in a grim manner but it expressed volumes.
The students understood what Cecelia wanted to say except Samael, who was clueless.
“My actual question was ‘What do you people think about being a knight?’ So my actual question was, your opinion! And not lengthy philosophical bullshit! In that manner, Samael answer was vague but close! Knight is just a stepping shoe, an empty shell! You gotta fill the void with the respect that you’ll earn and prove yourself! Then only you shall be called a True Knight!”, explained Cecelia in a serious tone, “Now everyone, Samael deserves a clap!”
The commander started to clap and then the students followed her.
Samael just understood the last phrase.
I don’t know how! But my answer was just blind shot in the dark!, thought Samael as he gently scratched his head and smiled blushingly. His face turned red and he quivered in delight. Getting praised and applauded by other students and the commander was very extraordinarily rare for Samael.
The ministers and his subordinates also clapped, although they can’t see Samael through that balcony, who was standing at end of the queue.
Cecelia raised her arm as a signal to end the clapping and the claps stopped.
“So now Samael would run 50 laps race across the Academy campus as a punishment!”, said Cecelia coldly.
The delightness disappeared from Samael’s face, in an instant.
Cecelia turned back to the students,
“This orientation is complete for today! Student’s go back to your appointed classes. Refer to the billboard outside the hall, which will give you a descriptive information about your sub-divisions as well as your assigned roll numbers! Your training equipment and regular uniform would be provided to you in your classes, according to your roll numbers. Samael meet me in the administrative office, I shall hand out your things, Personally! Class Dismissed!”
The auditorium doorway opened and the students walked out one by one, in a queue.
Everyone started to leave except Samael who was in a state of shock and stood like a statue.
The other students walked past him as they gawked in an eerie way.
The minister along with his underlings had already left the balcony.
The students all left, except Samael.
Cecelia noticed Samael who trembled in his boots as he gazed the empty floor. He stood frozen in place like a monument.
“Samael! Everyone has already left! What are you waiting for?”, asked Cecelia.
Samael came back to his senses, in an instant.
“Do you need an extra set of laps?”
“NOO! I am leaving already!”, replied Samael and dashed out of the auditorium.
Cecelia giggled than started to head back to the backstage exit, where she entered before. Reeves accompanied her along with the same heavy books, from before.
“Commander? You forgot about the etiquette of a lady, didn’t you?”, questioned Reeves who walked behind Cecelia.
“Come on! ‘All well, that ends well’, just don’t start your -” before Cecelia could finish, she stopped on her spot as her path was blocked.
“Greetings! Lady Cecelia! It’s quite an honor to meet you in person.”, greeted a short tiny man with a goatee along with old subordinates of his, who stood behind him. It was none other than, the finance minister.
He got on his knees and grabbed Cecelia’s hand, and gently kissed it.
Cecelia was annoyed and didn't like such noble treatment. She stared the bald shiny head of the tiny minister as he bent to kiss.
Cecelia cheerily answered,
“Ah! The pleasure is all mine, you better not…” she stopped at once.
Somehow, Reeves death stare from behind was very clearly noticed by Cecelia.
"Behave yourself, madam commander!",whispered Reeves.
Cecelia then reformed her sentence once again!
“I mean, hope you don’t have any problems with my way of teaching”, and she smiled gently. Although, it was a totally, a forced fake smile.
“No, it’s absolutely perfect! I really like you… Uh… I mean your style! Of course, you are quite a beauty yourself.”, complimented the dwarf minister as he ogled all over Cecelia’s body. His horniness was completely visible, despite married and having a daughter.
Cecelia's eyes opened wide in anger,
she felt like beating the crap out of the minister as well as cut his balls off, for good!
Reeves grabbed a sleeve of Cecelia with a pinch, benevolently.
Cecelia took a deep breath and regained her composure.
“Alright! I shall take my leave now! Have a good day”, and bowed and walk past him but the minister grabbed her hand and stopped her in place.
Cecelia turned back and glared at the minister with bloodshot eyes in rage.
The minister had a smile like a child looking at a candy, although it was hand grenade this time! Any time going pop!
Reeves became nervous as the atmosphere became very dense. She lugged the books in one arm and reached out for the spare knife for defense, just in case! It would be helpful to defend the minister if madam goes berserk! Although the minister would be good as dead if the commander had made her mind.
Cecelia stared back him in rage, but she didn’t make any hasty move.
“Could you accompany me, in my chariot? You seemed tired, let’s take a detour! It would be very relaxing and I know, few good spots! Just you and me time!”
Cecelia glared back coldly,
“I don’t want fats to collect in my butt as I relax! I got many more duties and responsibilities, unlike some lazy, horndogs! Anyway, I shall take my leave, now! Good day sir!”, and she shrugged off the minister's grip.
She exited the auditorium whereas the minister stood, frozen in his place.
Reeves bowed deeply in an apology!
"I Apologize on behalf of Lady Cecelia! She is under stress because of work, so please Sir forgive the commander for her insolent behavior!" she begged and bowed humbly before the advisors and the Minister.
The minister stood motionless and expressionless, in a state of shock.
The advisors were furious!
"How dare she disrespect the finance minister of Abros like that? We must immediately inform the king, at once!”, said one of the advisors.
The other advisors nodded in agreement.
“I am really sorry! She didn’t mean that. She really had a bad day!”, pleaded Reeves, as she hung her head low.
“No! Who does she think, she is? Disrespecting the minister of finance, of Abros nation! It’s not the only insult to the Lord but to the entire noble house of Goldclair! Such rudeness won’t be forgiven”, said one of the advisors whereas all other nodded like sheep. He approached the minister and got close to his right ear.
“My lord, punish these lowly heathens! The powerful authority as the commander has poisoned her brain! Let’s report to the king at once, lord!”, said the advisor as he looked down on Reeves as a mockery.
“I like her!”, muttered the minister.
The advisors and Reeves were stunned.
The minister returned to his senses,
“Well, indeed she seems very troubled! No need to fuel such tiny matter. She really is a charming beauty!”, praised the minister as his eyes lit with respect and cheeks were flushed red.
“She wasn’t rude! She was just embarrassed when I asked her on a date. That rudeness is what got me charmed! Anyway, ready the carriage. We shall have the date perhaps any other time, I guess.”
The advisors were surprised but just for a second. The advisors were already aware of their Lord’s lecherous womanizer habit, which is why this was not unexpected.
They followed the chubby minister who seemed in a very good mood and he whistled in joy as they approached the exit.
Reeves stood still till the ministers left.
She left a big sigh of relief,
“Thank god! Minister was a masochist. The first time, I am grateful for a pervert being alive!”, mumbled Reeves to herself.
Reeves also depart from the auditorium in search of the commander, who likes to roam and drink whenever her moods off.
The academy was lively and noisy, the teachers had handed out the students their respective training equipment, uniforms, books along with much other stuff.
They had a homeroom introduction session like any normal school. They introduced themselves to their other classmates in front of the homeroom teacher.
The whole introductions farce went till the late evening.
Everyone got to know each other except, Samael who still was completing his laps.
The bell rang and the first year classes for the day was over.
The students started to leave their classroom.
Some students were already good friends as they gossiped while walking their way to the dorms. Whereas some liked personal space or just not good with the crowd.
This is the last lap! Come on my LEGS! You can’t die, on me Now!,
Cheered Samael to himself.
His clothes were soggy wet with sweat and dust.
While he jogged slowly with his last energy reserves. He saw the first year students leaving the campus.
Seeing them leave, he realized it was getting pretty late. He also needs to collect his stuff and go to his part-time job.
He regained speed and dashed and completed his last lap!
And suddenly he leaped down the ground as he lied on his back. His body was almost paralyzed by exhaustion. He lied down and just stared the orange sky which became redder by passing sunset.
Damn! I screwed up, once again!
The students glanced at Samael curiously, in a weird way.
Samael was the talk of every student.
His behavior and also his last name was a big topic among them!
Two fellow senior students stood in the corner of the field as they viewed Samael who laid down on the dusty ground.
“Hmm, so that’s the guy?”, asked the first student.
“Yes”, replied the other one.
“Well, I knew that the infamous son of the traitor would be joining this academy. But I did not know that his adoptive foster parent is from the house of Heller.”, said the first guy as he watched Samael.
“Indeed. This has complicated issues with the other nobles. House Heller would not change their decision and they are even ready to cut off the ties with King, if needed. They won’t hand down the orphans.” replied the second student.
“Well indeed. House Heller is a very important and powerful household. Losing such an ally would be a fatal blow to Abros.”
“So what now?”
“We wait! We can’t do anything at this point! Who knew that Cecelia Heller had adopted the last offsprings of the traitors.”