The bread was stale and tough.
Still, I munched on regardless. I was already becoming quite thin due to the intense heat I’d endured this past week so unless I wanted to go from kinda fit to mildly scrawny I had to keep my calorie count up. Hell even now as the sun slowly approached the noon perch on the sky, I felt the sweat accumulate around my gonads. It was moist and gross, to say the least.
As for the food, I suppose it’s to be expected when the company that stocks my fridge every two weeks regularly forgets to clear out anything I hadn’t eaten, which sometimes ends up being most of the food since I’m normally always out with Eva.
But then why didn’t I grab one of the fresher loaves you might ask?
A gremlin. A little gremlin disguised as women with an insatiable appetite that I could not understand.
“Oh fuck yes! This is so much better than algae ooze rations!” Reol, the munchkin with a bigger appetite than a defender type Power-Ball athlete, shoved food down her throat like it was all that mattered in life. My less than noble thoughts focusing in on how wide she opened her cute little mouth to devour the food in huge gulps.
Reol was in the middle of emptying out a can of whipped cream when, I heard Alice walk into the central kitchen, a room large enough to host a party.
My gaze couldn't help but focus in on the two long delicate ears that propped out of her silky white-blond hair. They gave her an aesthetic appeal that only Alsha’s horns could compare to.
Powers didn’t often cause a change in a human’s features, but it wasn't unheard of. It was mostly The Enhanced, individuals who had been genetically modified to get powers that had these defects. Though on a girl like Alice no one with eyes would ever call those lovely pointed tips a defect.
Or maybe I was being biased because I had an undiscovered ear fetish, who knows.
Still walking in, she caught sight of Reol who had just moved on to her next victim, a giant turkey leg that had to be as big as her forearm.
“Amazing isn’t it?” I stated, loud enough to break Alice out of her trance, her face still in shock due to Reol’s voracious appetite.
“She reminds me of the great Pythons of Yermin. I witnessed a young adolescent devour an entire mount in less time than it takes to knock an arrow.”
Beside’s the horrific description she gave about some supernatural snake monster, I was just happy she wasn’t giving me the stink eye from the day before. Still, I could catch the barest hint of distaste in her eyes. She didn’t seem to like me, but at least she was willing to work things out with me.
Now for the main question.
“So how’s our little dragon doing.” I had had to bring Alsha in as well after leaving Lucia to rest in my room, though I suspected any of the girls could have done it themselves, they just didn’t want to get themselves drenched in blood.
“She’ll endure. We can expect her to return to her top form within a day, Dragons are notorious for their vitality, and this one seems no different.” Her words calmed down my anxious thoughts. Not because I was worried for Alsha per say but because if she went and died I’d be fucked. But still to be back to full shape after losing most of the blood in your body? That's an absurdly sturdy healing factor.
“Still I was hoping she’d be exhausted for a few days, we can’t keep fighting her like this every time she wakes up. I need to reach some sort of compromise with her or at least force her to talk to me.” I was really really hoping she’d be more manageable after this incident, but if she recovers this fast, and keeps fighting us, she’s going to attract the attention of my neighbors. They might be more than a half a mile out, but those dragons roars are Muta beast grade loud.
“If you need me to I might be able to create a pair of Titan Bindings to hold her down. Although we will have to move her back outside.”
“What do you mean by Titan Bindings?” I kinda got the gist of what she proposed but how exactly was she going to make these said bindings. And would they really hold Alsha down with her strength? Even prisons nowadays struggled to make effective enough equipment to keep Villians with B-rank might in check.
An annoyed expression sprung upon her features, as though I’d just insulted her. I guess she didn’t take kindly to my totally reasonable question.
Like hello, I’m not from your fantasy world, why the hell would I know what Titan bindings even means.
In fact how the fuck is you even speaking English?
“We High-Elves are a superior race, respected wherever we go. The world whispers to us its secrets, and we use its divine teachings to shape the environment to our will. Binding this woman will be a simple matter.”
Then it finally clicked. This girl’s kinda racist or at least believe her species to be better than humans.
Great. Just great.
So I’ve got an egotistic dragon girl, a racist elf princess, a little gremlin that really hates ‘the man’ , a self-centered ‘noblewoman’, and a girl with a terrifyingly psychotic split personality.
And I'm supposed to be responsible over all of them?
God the things I do for love….
-Evalyne Turner - Location Camp Sparta-
My everything stung.
Every small movement sending a wave of agony to even the most obscure muscles in my body.
It was the third-day since Grunk the Savage had attacked, and the student campers were returning to finish the remaining 3 weeks of camp.
As for myself because of my special standing as the highest scoring freshman in the combat portion of the Guild Exam, I was allowed to remain as long as I took additional lessons from Mrs. Kaze the head instructor.
Oh, how I wish I could punch my past self in the face for being such a dumbass. My only saving grace was that Lucas wasn’t here otherwise he’d be laughing his ass at how stupid I was to accept something without looking into exactly what I was agreeing to.
If I ever find out he did something similar I’d hold it over him whenever he entered his annoying super smug state.
So here I laid in my private cabin, wishing I could go home to drag a certain idiot to camp so he could at least rub my shoulders when I heard a knock at the door.
“Who the fuck is it,” I yelled. I’m in way to much pain to care about my choice of words. As long as it wasn't Kaze, there wasn't anything anyone could say to me.
“Dam girl, you kiss your momma with that mouth.” The familiar voice of a pervert entered my ears from the other side of the cabin door.
“Doors open you female menace.” With a slight jiggle of the old door handle Marvin, the only other true friend I had entered my cabin and caught sight of my dilapidated state.
“Wow, you look like shit!” The bastard then began to laugh at me, but I couldn’t really refute him because not only did I look like shit, I felt like it too.
I was lying on my couch, wearing a pair of shorts that reached my mid-thigh, while my grey tank top stuck to my body tightly due to the ridiculous hot night I had to sleep through.
I would rather die than let Lucas see me like this, but Marvin despite his typical horny teen antics never looked at me that way. I’d even asked him once about it around a year ago when the stupid thought that if a horndog like Marvin didn’t find me attractive, Lucas probably wouldn't hold me in any light either.
His response, ultimately reinforced my view of him being a true friend.
“Hahaha, you worried about your looks? You're killing me hahaha! Eva your easily a 10++. I have to smack Lucas out of a trance every time he sees you so much as expose a little skin. As for myself, what kinda bro gets between him and his girl. Sure you two might not be dating or anything but, I’ll eat my own shoe if you two don’t somehow end up together within a year or two.”
It was thanks to him that I’d finally gained the confidence to confess my feelings to Lucas at our graduation. Yet that idiot brushed me aside as though I was making a joke. I could tell he was hiding something from me, but I could not for the life of me think what it could be.
The memory caused annoyed sparks to jump off my body.
“Let me guess, you're thinking about our little weeb Lucas.” I became shocked at how easily he read my thoughts. Was I really that far gone?
“Hehehe, you're like an open book, 9/10 times when you're angry it's because of Lucas.”
“Well, your dam right! He just infuriates me sometimes!” I balled my fists in agreement. Marvin was the only other person I could vent around besides Lucas, but considering this venting was caused by that Idiot I couldn't exactly scream in his face.
Well, I could, but I would hate myself for it afterwards, even if Lucas didn’t hold my words over me.
“He’s got a gift for getting under people’s skin. If only we could get him to become a politician. His enemies would be too enraged at him to properly focus on winning their side.”
With Marvins banter defusing my tension and anger I chuckled at the thought of Lucas running for office. A pipe dream when you recognize how lazy he could be at times.
“Feeling better Miss Lightning Rod.” The use of an old nickname that I used to fervently believe I would end up as my hero name, catching me off guard.
“I hate that name.”
“I bet if Lucas called you it, you wouldn't say that. I remember him always telling me he loved it.” Ignoring his teasing, I decided to find out why he’d showed up for a random visit. We usually didn’t hang out often if Lucas wasn’t around. We were both busy people, and our powers being as highly ranked as they are meant we hand tons of things on our plates.
“Well, what’s with the visit?”
“I was just coming to say I was delivering a package to Lucas yesterday, when I found my guy in an even worse state than you, at least five pounds lighter than I remember him last time. Though after a little pep talk from the master of words moi, he bounced back. I even showed him a hot micro bikini calendar I’d gotten, to stir up his vitality. Nothing truly cures light depression like spanking the ole monkey.”
Beside’s the usual vulgarity and trying to lead Lucas down the same path as him by showing pictures of dumb bimbos being scantily dressed, Lucas getting a package of any sorts was odd.
His only living relative was his aunt, a despicable woman who had robbed him of his parent's hard earned fortune. If it hadn't been for my mom, and dad stepping in for Lucas he would have been left on the streets with nothing. Of course, I would have forced my parents to take him in if that happened but still that woman was a demon, and I’d almost lost it completely when I found out she used her power on Lucas in secret. If it weren't because her ability left no traces, and she had a lawyer that’s been known to work cases for the Vigilante Autarky I would have had my Dad hire Lucas a better lawyer so he could sue her ass.
“So what did you give him?” Curiosity peeked.
“You remember the Hero Author of the World, Steward Winstone?” Of course, I did, He wasn’t a very powerful hero, but his ability was unique enough to warrant some notice.
“Well, I gave Lucas a special Journal written by Steward Winstone. The dam thing was bursting with energy only found on manuscripts written by the man.”
“So?” Unsure of where this conversation was going.
“Well, I happened to be a big fan of the man’s literary works, and have been very invested in finding out what happened to him seven years ago, after he disappeared.”
“Heros disappear all the time, sometimes they're found dead years later, sometimes they simply go Villian. It's nothing new.” What point was Marvin trying to make?
“His disappearance was weird sure, but the shit that was happening around him before that was what really caught my eye.”
“Did you pay a powered investigator? Otherwise, there could be a lot of holes in whatever you want to tell me.”
“Oh man, an arm, a leg, and few favors I have to fulfill once I master my power.”
“Stop trying to build suspension and just get to the point already.” Annoyed at his theatrics.
“Your dream of bringing Lucas to the academy might not just be a dream anymore Eva!” What the hell did he mean by that?
“I was already going to drag the Idiot by the ear if he didn’t agree to become my agent so what does this journal have to do with anything?”
“Lucas might have awakened a power last night!” I moved so fast, I caused Marvin to fall to his ass.
“Dammit, Eva! Chill!” But there was no chilling. I HAD to know what he meant. Lucas never held any sort of jealousy towards me for having a power, not even the slightest remark ever left him. Instead, he made fun of me for the odd things that being supercharged did to my daily life.
But I, on the other hand, dreamed of Lucas having power, to work with me on the same team. Him watching my back, and I, his. But as the years flew by he never showed any indication of an ability, even after I forced him into using the Guild’s detectors every six months since we were 15.
“What do you mean he awoke a power! This better not be one of your stupid pranks or so help me Lucas won't be here to stop me from frying you.”
“HAHAHA, god you're so emotional at times. This is why you should have let me finish explaining things the way I wanted to. You would have seen the bigger picture and have been entertained.
“Marvin.” My voice was calm, despite the turmoil that were my emotions.
“Sorry! I’ll get right to it Eva!” Finally.
“So before Winstone went missing there were rumors of his ability giving others powers, this caused some interest that even made it into the news, but was quickly disproven when he announced that he simply helped people with strange powers awaken. From that day though he stopped showing up in public regularly and was soon posted as missing. It might have ended there, but this man named Kyle Rottor turned up at a mall while boasting that he was a wizard because he could cast spells. While he wasn't at all strong his ability was extremely diverse as he sent out fireballs, lightning, ice, and even a corrosive gas just by chanting weird words and waving his hands around. He was captured but also soon disappeared as well. Winstone was of the belief that a lot of powers are never awakened because unlike more orthodox ones such as our own they need specific requirements to be activated.”
His explanation seeped into my brain as I tried to comprehend his words. Powers that needed specific actions to activate? Could it really be true? If so what sort of power would Lucas awaken?
“But wait why would you give Lucas this journal if everyone that had anything to do with it went missing? What if Lucas gets kidnapped too, then who cares if he gets a power. If he disappears, nothing will matter in the end!” I realized that Marvin had dug into something more profound than someone our age should be dealing with.
“It’s fine, I got the journal at a flee market when I heard that Winstone use to visit it quite often, selling his lesser works as a side job. I was disguised when I bought it. And just to be extra safe I used my father's Silent Room.”
“Good at least you weren’t a complete idiot.” A sigh escaped me. No one would be able to track Marvin after spending some time in the Silent Room.
“But we do have a problem…”
“I swear to god Marvin if you keep pulling me along this ride I'm going to choke you to death.”
“Well knowing Lucas, he likely used the book soon as I left.”
“And that matters why?”
“This is why.” He pulled out his phone, something we technically aren't supposed to have on us during camp because of the security risk it allows rouge technomancers to abuse.
“Channel 101 News breaking report. I'm your host Gloria Borger, and this just in. A Massive energy spike like never before seen sends dozens of satellites out of orbit and destroys billions of dollars in Power detecting technology all over the world. The UN is requesting the US to do an in-depth study since the source came from within their borders. Some countries are worried the US is developing a new superweapon, and are demanding to be allowed to send researchers to the triangulated location that is New Athens City in upper Pennsylvania. More info will be given at the 6 O'clock news later this evening. Don’t forget to tune for the most accurate news channel on the air.
“Coincidence?” I asked Marvin a quiver in my voice.
“It happened literally 45 minutes after I left. If it's not him, then I'm more worried that New Athens is about to be destroyed by some crazy new weapon.”
Lucas you idiot, if you really did awaken a power even my mom won't be able to save you if they find out it was you who use caused all this damage.
My thoughts then turned to how fast I could get back home if I really pushed myself.