Arc 2 – Swing
Ch. 1 – Bitter
The ruckus of voices, the scribbling of pen on paper, the melodious chatter of a lively classroom – I kept looking outside the window, trying to find peace.
Pine leaves danced with the spring breeze, sweeping across the schoolyard. A pink sky wrapped each and every creature underneath its soft aurora.
A sweet smell of nature permeated the classroom, coming from the nearby forest. If you’d paid close attention, you could see the morning dew, coating every single tree in glimmering specks of light.
The pleasant atmosphere invited me to keep observing. Small grass-squirrels played in mounds of leaves, having the time of their lives with each other.
Warmth filled me. That friendly ambience was a sight to behold—
“Sit down everyone, class is about to start,” a sweet voice silenced the entire classroom.
Dejectedly, I looked away from the playing squirrels.
“Now that everyone’s sitting down…” She locked her eyes on a particular troublemaker. “… I need to announce something very important.”
Hmm…What could it be?
“The kingdom is preparing a special project so that students get used to Beasts at an earlier age. I know they can be really, really scary and intimidating, so please, keep yourselves calm when time comes.”
The students beamed with excitement. An opportunity like this wasn’t something we’ve seen very often, after all.
I’ll admit I’m very, very eager for this.
“So basically, along with an accredited Beast Knight, we’ll go on an excursion to meet some beasts face-to-face. More details will be given later.”
“Wooooo!!” The entire room boomed in enthusiasm.
Just the thought of being able to see beasts without the fear of being slashed to pieces thrills me! They are just so interesting and fun to study…
“Silence, silence!” The teacher desperately tried to pacify the agitated students.
Though I didn’t pay much attention to that. I was busier trying to calm myself down.
Honestly, this happy-go-lucky mood doesn’t feel all that real, since it’s been only a week since I left that hell-hole…
The teacher sighed. “Let’s begin the class, or else you’ll go back home ten minutes late!”
And with that, everyone went dead-quiet.
“Okay class, that’s all for today!”
The students cheerfully packed their bags as I kept my head low on the table, waiting for everyone to leave. This has been my routine for a while, since I try not to create any useless conflict with him…
The hothead of the class. If you do as much as breathe in his direction, he’ll fume at you, and in worst cases, you’ll go back home with a black eye and a broken arm.
One thing I’ve learned from rumors, and the one that honestly kept me 10 feet away from him, is that he hates crestless people to smithereens.
‘Better not risk it’, I thought while doing anything possible to not get near to him.
But why… Why do I have to be the only one in the classroom with him?! What a pain!
While trying to conceal my presence as much as I could, I took every bit of resolve in me, and peeked. His sharp, small eyes were fixated to my table, examining my every movement. For a moment, our eyes met.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit shit shit shit shitshitshitshitshitshit shitiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!
I immediately grabbed my bag and rushed out of the classroom, bumping on one of the tables. If I didn’t leave as soon as possible, I’d be crushed into minced meat – that’s what I felt when looking at him.
“Where do ya think you’re going?”
Turning my head around, and before I could do anything else, a rushing blur grabbed me by my collar and slammed me onto the wall.
“Y’know, Kyel?” He glared at me. “I’ve had a bad day today, and looking at your pitiful, useless self, I thought that I could de-stress a little.”
“P-Please, stop it Rick,” Running away and fighting are completely different things.
“Ya can’t stop it, and you never will be able to!” he scowled at my cowardice. His eyes seethed in anger.
Callused hands, shaky fingers, stern eyes, and a tinge of sourness – his grip tightened around my collar.
Between grunts of pain, the only thing I could I muster was, “P-Please…”
He sighed. “You’re a coward, you know? All I’ve seen you do is running away, and that…sickens me, to the very core of my bones.” He shook me away. “Grow a pair, will ya? … I lost my interest.”
Sticking myself to the wall, I watched as Rick stormed off. A tense sweat trickled down the ground, a sour lump clogged my throat, my eyes wavered to the floor.
Rick is someone that picks up any, defenseless, crestless kid he finds, just to lash out at them. Some return home with bumps and bruises, but they all ultimately cry, desperate for any sort of relief from that huge mountain in front of them.
A peace they most certainly won’t attain.
I let myself sit on the cold floor. With a messy shirt and sweaty face, my eyes lost themselves in the white of the walls.
“I hate not being able to do anything,” I whispered to myself.
I’m crestless, defenseless – but that’s what I’ve come to terms with long ago.
“I couldn’t do anything… right?”
No matter how many times I tried to stand up for myself, for others, things just ended up in the same way.
I don’t really talk much with Rick, and he’s honestly a pain… But he’s right.
“Is taking the first step a good idea? Will its results wound me?”
I’m a coward, I’ve always been since day one… Since the day that happened.
“Seriously… All this melodrama just for being pushed around,” I dusted myself off the ground.
After all, I couldn’t have done anything.
Thank you for reading!
It will take another week (or so) for my situation to stabilize since I’ll have finals this week. After that, the frequency of updates will (hopefully) go back to normal.
Again, sorry for the irregular updates!
>Updates (usually) every Saturday! <