WAR BEGETS PEACE
Tifon: ”You have to be kidding me. ”
Mr. Clive: ”Im afraid Im not kids, the whole matter was settled by people whose names are even above my paygrade, teachers get no say. We only have to enforce it. ”
Apparently, due to some unforeseen economic turbulence with our neighboring land of Turkia, students that possessed any Boon at all now had to mandatorily participate in combat training, previously only performed solely by those possessing Boons of grade W and above.
Tifon: ”Wait, even me? But you know my Boon, it has no way of helping me in combat- ”
Mr. Clive: ”Well then youll have to learn of one, or just learn how to fight without a Boon. As I said its mandatory, no exceptions. ”
As the bell rang our P.E. teacher added ”Don forget! All those with Boons are exempt from their usual 3rd period, and should report to the 5th floors custom gymnasium instead! ”
The commotion after the class soon faded away and as I was walking through the halls to my next period I spotted Aurie, apparently having had the same announcement given to her as well.
Tifon: ”So, Im guessing you heard the news? ”
Aurora: ”Yea, but Im sure its just a formality, they have to do the class since theyve been told to. Besides, Im sure Mr. Clive will take it easy on people with Boons like ours. ”
Tifon: ”Well, that does make sense… ”
Auries point did put my mind at ease for most of the 2nd period, but once it was finally over, the panic came right back. I mean I had been excited before to witness the training. But never to actually take a part in it! The Gods can be so cruel sometimes…
Making our way to the 5th floor I noticed there were less than 50 of us in total, still, it was a lot more than the gym was meant for. In the crowd, I finally met gazes with Aurie, who then wading through the crowd of people gathered at the entrance of the gym, made it to me.
Before we had a chance to talk however a sudden ringing of feedback noise was heard from inside the gymnasium, before the course voice of what seemed to be that of a woman in her 20s amped out:
†††: ”All of you! Get your asses in here! ”
After everyone cramped themselves inside the gym we were finally able to get a good look at our kidnapper. She had brown long hair worn in military braids and was of a height approximating 170cms. She was of muscular build, and from her uniform, it could be presumed she served in the militarys Warrior branch, a small group of ops that was differentiated from the others by its recruitment of soldiers with weaponizable Boons. She began:
Commandant Calli: ”From now on you will address me only as Commandant Calli! Your visit to Tartarus starts now! ”
To say the least, Aurie was completely wrong.
Without wasting a second Commandant Calli split us into 3 main groups. Those with Boons equivalent to grade X, Hoplites, those of grade W and combatively oriented, Toxotai, and finally those of the same grade but not combatively oriented coupled with those of grade V, Psiloi. And so our training began.
First, we were made to watch the Hoplite group fight, out of the popular desire for Eion to be in the first match.
The commandant, out of curiosity as to why everyone wanted to watch him fight so badly, allowed it. His opponent would be the only other member of the same core, Arian.
Even though I knew that, in the natural elements, cryogenics stifle and overpower pyrokinesis, for some reason, there was no doubt in my mind that Eion would win the fight.
Getting closer to Arian before the matchup Eion discretely whispered.
Eion: ”It seems like we don have much choice in this matter. ”
Arian: ”Yes, I doubt theyd allow me to just surrender from the start, so Ill have to put on a bit of a show. ” Then Arian added aloud whilst quickly jumping back: ”Sorry about this. ”
Suddenly a roaring cone-like blizzard was summoned from Arians clasped palms and headed directly towards Eion.
The match had begun.
Seemingly caught by surprise, Eion quickly raised his right arm and, separating the fingers in his hand, created a blazing whirlwind from the embers that propped out of his fingertips. The cylindrical fire tornado seemed to first overlap with Eions blizzard, before suddenly expanding over the mass, and then all at once consuming it whole.
The mass of flame would have surely scorched Arian, had he come into the battle without a strategy that is.
(His mastery over the Apollyon fire is unparalleled, my FrostStorm is no match for it at max output.)
(My only option is an attack he does not see coming, one on his blind side.)
Arian was deep in thought before Eion started slowly approaching him, and then, suddenly he realized the method with which hed be victorious.
To wield the power of the Gods one needs a ritual to call it forth, for Arian it originated from the side of his palms and was amplified by clasping them. And in Eions case, the power lay in his fingers and separating them to take different points in the outline of a circle amplified the produced blazes power.
Unbeknownst to Eion, when Arian had jumped back and summoned his blizzard, hed also kicked his shoes off. However, without being able to clasp the edges of his feets palms, his Boons power was reduced to a path of ice emerging from the side of his foot, slowly paving its way to Eion. But this was enough. Completely emerged in combating the threat in front of him Eion didn even spare a glance at his surroundings, and only after he had overpowered the blizzard with his blaze did he realize.
(What is that…? Ice on my hand from his last attack? But I countered it immediately, how could he have reached me?)
(Wait… I… I can move?!)
True enough, Eion was glued in place. A thin sheet of ice had covered him completely from the waist down and had even made its way up to his right arm, finally reaching his fingertips the ice covered the embers from which his blaze was deriving its source of power, and suddenly silenced it. Right on time too, before Eion couldve moved his arm away, and before his blazing tornado had reached Arian.
At the sudden disappearance of Eions flames everyone, after a moment of silence, realized what had just transpired, and the crowd immediately erupted with cheers and applause.
Eion: ”Hah, what can I say, it seems you got the better of me. ”
Eion didn seem to show any signs of malice after the altercation. The two went right back to being just as good of friends as they had been before.
Commandant Calli: ”Right then. Now, as you can see the sheer power of just one X graded Boon wielder is worth at least 100 men. Their lives take obvious priority in the field of battle. ”
The tone in the air suddenly altered to one none of us had ever been used to before.
”Their lives are… worth more? ”
Almost unconsciously my thoughts broke out from me.
Commandant Calli: ”You, odd-eyed cat, have any objections? ”
Tifon: ”No, its just- ”
Commandant Calli: ”Just what exactly? These are people honored by the Gods, would you doubt the Gods judgment? ”
It is said that the commandant was from a lineage long favored by the Gods Ares and Cratus alike, for the valor theyd displayed on the battlefield throughout their bloodline. Calli herself was even blessed with the favor of Strength by Cratus. However, there was one thing that the general public did not know of, the Gods of strength and war respectfully did not give away their gifts to just the courageous, but to the loyal, those with their favor were in complete submission to them. They were the cruelest of all Gods to those that served them.
But the others were cruel enough as well.
Divine Punishment: the wrath of the Gods, Their judgment on mortals. It has been long since buried in ancient bloodlines, the true toll of being favored by the Gods was the loss of all freedom. If they dared not act in worship to Them: their fate would be sealed, and their punishment would come, doubtless.
Commandant Calli: ”Ive read your file, golden-blood, you were once held in great esteem, with the greatest of hopes, but then came your sudden fall from grace. Could it be that the poisonous ideas you held even as a child made the Gods punish you in that matter? ”
Tifon: ”No I-, Ive never considered my Boon a punishment. ”
Commandant Calli: ”That would be the same Boon graded V, wouldn it? For those cursed by the Gods? ”
With every remark made by the commandant Tifons spirit was crushed further, after all, making soldiers from the ground up was her entire job description.
Commandant Calli: ”To think, a V grade holding himself as an equal with those loved by the Gods. I couldn imagine a more deluded ideology than that if I tried. ” Her hardy laugh was supported by some members of the crowd, soon enough most of them.
The commandant knew how to rally her soldiers.
There was one above them all who was altogether intoxicated with this new worldview just presented to them.
Eion looked on at the brutal slander of his enemy.
What the commandant said made sense to him, beside himself with joy, he felt as though everything had fallen into place for once.
(Thats right… Im just better than this drivel… Thats why I hate him so, that is the only justification I need, for he is cursed and I loved… That is why father hates me too, for I am his better in every way, yet he can stand that I was loved by the Gods more than he…)
Both of the boys went through a change at that moment that would define them for the rest of their lives. Setting everything in motion.
e wrong ”
Commandant Calli: ”…! ”
Tifon: ”We are all born into this world as equals, and we all die so as well. ”
The simplicity of his ideal was reflected in how deeply it struck the entire room. Those words left Tifons mouth as if premeditated, yet, that couldn have been the case. Since the ideal hed uttered was actually in direct conflict with his very own existence. And that is exactly what enraged the commandant so much. For his ideology put himself directly above all others in a category that he made seem almost self-evidently more important than any.
He would never be their equal in death.
Eion was horrified. His greatest fear almost actualized then and there, but he was spared this once.
Because the commandant would not tolerate resistance to disciplinary action.
Commandant Calli: ”A pretty fantasy… Well, care to show how it would play out in the real world? ”
The commandant said, now stepping into the arena in which the X grades had just done battle: ”Come now, it won kill you. ”
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