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Delia led Dyon through the forest, walking a step behind him just in case her assessment was wrong. Dyon didn't find this to be too vexing. It would be more suspicious if she wasn't cautious of him.

"So, are you going to tell me what's so special about the lake?" Dyon looked back down toward Delia who had her eyes focus on the trail in front of them.

"Considering you couldn't immediately tell, you wouldn't understand even if I told you."

"Try me," Dyon smirked. It had been a long time since he hadn't understood something. On the off chance that he really didn't, it would only fuel his curiosity.

Delia looked up at Dyon and shook her head. In her eyes, he was a cocky boy who was a little too flirtatious. If he knew who her father was, or how easily she could kill him, he wouldn't be so casual.

"Simply put, everything in the universe has a will. The will of a lake is to be calm and serene. If you're swimming through it, you're obviously going against its will, so it will just as obviously fight back."

Dyon gave her a blank look before closing his eyes. To Delia, this was an obvious sign she was correct: he didn't understand.

Just as she was about to tell him to forget it, Dyon opened his eyes, "interesting..." He looked away.

Delia shook her head, 'who is he trying to fool?'

"I came to this school on the request of my mother. All she told me was that it was a completely different world with a new branch of science to explore. This 'will' you mentioned must have something to do with what my mother spoke about," Dyon's eyes seemed to glaze over as he continued down the path.

Delia found this to be a bit mysterious. If he was from a commoner's family, there's no way his mother could know anything about the martial world. However, calling what they practiced a new form of science would be exactly how any commoner would describe it. Although, in Delia's opinion, it would be more accurate to call it the oldest form of science.

As if hearing Delia's thoughts Dyon spoke again, "you probably think of it as the oldest form of science, right? Judging by how you described the lake, everything must have a will. Assuming this to be true, that would go right up to the expanse of the universe. Which probably means that if the will of the lake is so tangible, it can be said the most tangible will is the universe itself."

Delia's eyes widened before she settled into a smile, 'maybe he's smarter than I gave him credit for. He's still a little incorrect though, maybe I'll help him out this time.'

Before she could speak, Dyon continued, "But, I've been to and swam in many lakes and I've never felt like that before. Which means it has something to do with your world specifically," Dyon paused, "... which means one of two things. Either this is some sort of supreme lake that all other lakes bow to. Or, the true supreme power is found in the practitioners in your martial world, where you exert your will to manipulate other wills found in the world."

'To deduce that from a couple sentences. It seems like he doesn't need my help after all.'

"You seem quite capable. So, you should now understand why I don't believe you crossed the lake yourself. Not to even mention that you supposedly did it in 5 days."

Dyon gave her a mysterious smile, "maybe my will is more supreme than the lake's."

"Or that technology on your wrist is," Delia said defiantly.

To cross the lake in such a short time without the help of a device like the silver yacht, for example, is impossible. It would take a ridiculously high level of innate talent. In fact, considering he just gained the most basic of understanding of the martial world, his innate talent would have to be even higher to compensate for his lack of understanding of how to counter the lake.

Dyon looked down at his wrists and smiled, "have you never seen these before? Interesting."

Delia understood immediately what his words implied. She didn't understand their function, so therefore her guess had been incorrect.

'He must be bluffing.'

Dyon flicked his wrist and pulled out a steaming brown bag of burritos before looking at Delia, "want one?"

"No thank you. That isn't what an athlete should be eating," she shook her head firmly.

"Suite yourself," Dyon began eating.

Delia's eyes widened again, 'how can he eat so much and still be so fit.'

Dyon must have finished 5 foot-long burritos in their half an hour walk to the center of the forest. This wouldn't have been so surprising if they hadn't also been the width of his arms.

Dyon flicked his wrists again and selected a white pearl before popping it into his mouth. He held it there as they approached a large tree before swallowing it.

Delia looked at him confused, "you swallowed a pearl? I can see you're a glutton, but for inanimate objects too?"

Dyon chuckled, "I love a beautiful lady with a sense of humor. That was a cleaning pearl. I can't very well go to such an important event with bad breath."

Delia looked away to a hidden control panel on the large tree, ignoring his comment.

Dyon looked amused at her reaction before his eyes focused, 'they have the technology to build such a high-tech elevator within a tree, to sustain underwater architecture, and to overcome the will of a lake with a yacht, yet they don't know anything about storage bands and cleaning pearls. How odd.'

"Do you know how much time we have until the ceremony? In fact, are you attending?" Dyon asked as they stepped into the tree.

The tube fit the mood of the skyscrapers and risings. The ceiling and floor were fitted with miniature hexagonal tiling. Fitted in between them was a glass cylinder with yet another control panel built into it.

"The ceremony won't begin until tonight. I am also about to attend my first year here, so I will also be participating. I'm not sure if you're aware, so I'll let you know that this opening ceremony is taken quite seriously by the 6 pillar families of this school. Usually, only chosen among those 6 families can participate, not even sub families can have their children perform. The fact that you've been allowed is a gesture of good faith to the human world, I hope you don't embarrass yourself with your antics."

Dyon looked at her calmly before replying, "perform? What are you talking about?"

Delia looked stunned, "you don't even know that you're meant to display your talents at the opening ceremony? This is supposed to be an opportunity to entice mentors and by extension resources from the school," Delia shook her head in pity, 'he's already behind in resources because his family isn't of the martial world. If he doesn't perform well, hasn't he already lost?'

"Interesting. So, this is how your martial world works? I guess it's not too far off from the real world. The elite display their talents while the poor never get the chance," Dyon sighed.

Delia looked at him, 'that's his first thought?'

"Don't worry about me, I'll think of something."

Delia refrained from speaking. There was no point. Even if he had come prepared with something, it would have been meaningless. If he hadn't met Delia, he wouldn't even have the most basic of understanding of the martial world. To now be expected to wow experts was too much. That's probably why the families agreed to allow him to perform in the first place, 'he's going to embarrass himself... maybe it's good that he's so shameless.'

Dyon was deep in thought before he looked up with wide eyes. The elevator had come out of the metallic tunnel it was following to reveal the expanse of the underwater skyscraper. The building was filled with students ranging from his age to about 20. The blue lake layered the building with a constant light blue hue that gave the building a calm feeling. But what really caught his eye was the massive wall of books; even as the elevator continued down, a continuous wall of books was seen off to Dyon's right.

'that must be a library that spans through multiple floors,' Dyon guessed.

"We have a few hours, right? I'd like to visit that library. Is it possible?"

"You haven't received your identification materials yet, but I can lend you one of mine. You'll have to return it to me at the ceremony."

Delia wouldn't usually do this, but she felt bad about what was about to happen to Dyon. She understood the people who seemed the strongest on the outside, were often the weakest in the face of true trials.

'I hope this helps,' she thought, hiding the emotion in her eyes.

"You're quite nice for a noble woman," Dyon said smiling down at her, "I'll return the favor when I can."

The sadness in her eyes hadn't escaped Dyon's gaze. Regardless of his intelligence, it was impossible to tell what the root of the problem was. But he was keenly aware that he was being pitied.

'Considering her response when I asked about the lake, this will she spoke of is not something that's easy to understand. The fact this opening ceremony is meant to judge the chosen of this generation means this understanding of will is without a doubt of utmost importance. I have about 8 hours until the ceremony begins. I've already thought of many applications for this will she spoke about. If I'm right, I just might be able to cruise through this ceremony. Interesting, you wanted to make a fool of me, hm. Well let's see how that works out for you.'

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Seems like the pillar families aren't too fond of Dyon's appearance. I wonder what that means about the relationship between the human world and the academy? Does that extend to the rest of the martial world too? What has Dyon figured out about 'wills'? Is Delia Dyon's love interest Surprised maybe, maybe not. *shrug*

Follow me @Awespec on twitter if you wanna chat about Focus, its characters, or theorize about the future!

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Awespec

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  • Awespec

Bio: Med school student who loves to write :)

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