Ri looked down, realizing she was no longer on the ground, and could only shake her head, 'this guy is so over the top.'
Dyon looked down at Ri who was now beside him as they soared out one of the openings of the 2nd floor and into the large and open inner space, "Are you sure you won't reconsider?"
Ri looked up in confusion, "reconsider what?"
"Me calling you beautiful, of course," Dyon said with a grin.
Ri hit Dyon's shoulder, "your words are decidedly less pure than Lyla's. Have you even been back to visit that little girl? She misses you."
Dyon thought back to the adorable little 5-year-old girl with the beautiful eyes and long pink hair, "I haven't been back, but I'm constantly keeping tabs on the situation through Little Black."
"Oh? You can establish a mental link with Little Black. He must not be an ordinary beast then," Ri said thoughtfully.
Dyon smiled. He was aware that only the best of beasts had strong enough talent to allow mental links. Weaker creatures would die from the strain.
"She really means it when she says you're the most beautiful girl she's ever seen, you know. I never hear her say that about anyone else, even her favorite nanny, Ms. Everdeen."
Ri smiled, "I know she means it. I can tell. You on the other hand, are evil."
"Too bad you think that way, Ri," Ri didn't know why, but she trembled when Dyon said her name, "Because I really mean it when I say it too."
Ri looked over at Dyon, expecting to see his normal playful grin, but, he wasn't even looking at her. His eyes were focused ahead, a light smile playing his features.
Ri smiled, but said nothing.
While Ri and Dyon were slowly making their way to the now grand event, the geniuses of the major families and academies were arriving.
Uncle Acacia could only shake his head and sigh. He had told Ri ages ago to go and get the boy, but it seemed like she had late tendencies comparable to even Dyon.
Near the center of the large square structure's inner space, a coliseum rose out of the ground. It had almost a kilometer-long radius and rose higher in the air than even the structure that surrounded it.
In a high up structure around a table, Headmaster Acacia sat with two other headmasters of comparable demeanor. Mathilde Academy was headed by a member of the Grimbold major family. A stoic man with broad shoulders and striking red hair that denoted their family. Florence Academy was headed by a member of the Nodin major family. His green hair was as dark as his eyes. His figure was similar to headmaster Acacia's, being sharp and stifling.
Beside them, sat their grand elders – the men who had been at the castle just a few days ago. Unfortunately, due to the letters in the sky, the castle was no longer habitable. They could only wait for the words to dissipate. Since they could no longer debate the lay of the Elvin Kingdom, they decided to witness these events under Elder Cormyth's goading.
"So, Elder Cormyth, what was your reason for intruding on our assessment ceremony," headmaster Acacia spoke with little respect in his voice. He had spent years listening to this very same man shame his elder brother's rule, thus, he had little patience for his antics.
A cold light flashed in Elder Cormyth's eyes. He was a grand elder of an academy. He was among the most powerful martial artists in the kingdom and he had major sway in the moves the kingdom made. Yet, he was being looked down on by a commoner. A commoner who only had rights to lead an academy due to a brother that was nowhere to be found.
However, remembering his purpose, he once again smiled, "no need to be so anxious, headmaster Acacia, all you need to do is allow your proceedings to continue. After they've finished, there can be a friendly competition between our schools. After all, we all have the same goal here, no?"
Headmaster Grimbold remained silent. Although Cormyth represented his academy, it was clear that he wasn't supporting the Grimbold family. If anything, he was directly opposing them.
Despite the tension, Elder Deryth and headmaster Nodin remained expressionless as though the worries of the kingdom had nothing to do with them.
Headmaster Acacia lightly smiled, "we'll begin once everyone is here. I don't think a grand elder of the Mathilde Academy has a right to dictate the start of an Acacia Academy event, no?"
Elder Cormyth's face froze, but he didn't respond. He instead looked down towards the collection of geniuses. Comparing them to what Acacia Academy had to offer, he chuckled to himself.
In this current generation, Acacia Academy only had 5 notable geniuses. The three beauties, Jade, Celine and Opal. In addition to the disciple of headmaster Acacia, an orphan he named Aeson Acacia. The final was a lad from one of the 21 sub-families: the Benes family. This was truly a poor showing. Especially since females rarely chose to campaign, although there were some who did. Often, their families wouldn't allow it.
Actually, Ri Acacia was the exact exception to this. She had expressed her desire to do so from a very young age. However, she was still too young, and no one was aware of what her talents were. She never showed up to assessments and had never fought anyone of note. The only thing that might speak to her talent was her family lineage and the fact few dared to comment on her normal appearance.
However, to Elder Cormyth, this was trivial. He never had the Acacia family on his radar because they hadn't even been good enough to be a sub-family until headmaster Acacia's brother became king. And now that that king had disappeared, what role would the Acacia family ever play again?
In the coliseum seats, countless voices could be heard. Many of them were from Acacia Academy, looking down at the geniuses as well. The suspense of this event had been building for many days now. The headmaster had been appearing at assessments he usually never attended, the beauties of their school came to witness these same assessments, and now, geniuses from all over the city had come to their school. Everyone was wondering a single thing: who were they all waiting for.
The funny part was, depending on who you asked, each would have a different answer. But, only one group would be right.
Btw, I usually think of Benes as being pronounced Ba-nez. I think it sounds cooler that way as compared to pronouncing it beans, lmao.
I really like this arc, it should be a nice little action filled mini saga to get a change of pace from all the world building and mysteries. Hope you enjoy
follow me on twitter @Awespec if you wanna interact