A Yearning Soul
The entire next day Robin was whimsy about the Yugorn she saw. Since there was no schooling on weekends Robin had the whole day to herself. While eating her mother's cooking, an image of the beast human appeared in her mind. Robin's mother noticed her silence. "Your offal quite today, what's wrong?"
Robin stared at her food a few seconds more, "No, I'm just thinking."
"Well you must be using a lot of your brain, you're never this quite," She teased her daughter. Robin looked out the kitchen window that was right above the sink. The morning dew was beginning to disappear as the morning light touched it. Robin slightly went into a trance. "What a great day for a walk," She whispered to herself.
She got ready by throwing on a jacket and her favorite and only sneakers. She didn't even attempt to fix her very short hair and her parted bangs. Right as she walked outside on the porch, Robin felt the cold crisp air brushed against her face. This made her cheeks and nose redden. In the distances she heard the train that took people either to Port Coater, Poera or Witter, echo faintly then was carried off by the wind. Summer was finally coming to an end. Robin frowned as she stared at the grass covered in dew then began walking on the neighborhood trail. Walking on the dirt path was covered in pin needles, which fell from mighty evergreens planted years ago. Also dogwoods and plum blossom trees were among the trunks of the evergreens to fill the emptiness. This main trail is always used by the people and is well taken care of; it belongs to all of them and means so much. The neighborhood was closely bonded; Robin knew everyone in her area.
After passing by some of the farmer's fields and harassing the cattle and other farm creatures, she finally reached the bridge; this meant that one is now entering the town. Robin leaned on the guardrail and stared at the river's current. "Dang it. Why do I always keep my word?" She complained out loud. "I can't stop thinking about that Yugorn. I wonder what its face looks like? Do they really have fangs and claws and…whatever a beast has?" Robin let out a sigh. "I want to know! I want to, I want to!" She yelled out. "I'm so board with my life. Knowing that there are other countries and many unique races unseen by humans, I want to see them all," She slammed her fist on the guardrail.
For the first three days of the week, Robin and her friends stayed in the learning class. It wasn't until the forth day they entered the first class of Knight training. Like was mention before, the class was separated into groups that equal each other's strength and weaknesses. Robin crossed her fingers; hoping at least one of her friends was with her. Their teacher began calling out groups and Robin started to worry. She looked around at her possible teammates. Even though there were mainly humans, there was also a larger selection of non-humans this time. Robin then heard her name.
"Dryas (Dreh-us), Robin, Aires, Iori (Ee-or-ree), Jeff and Kai."
Robin smiled and faced her friends; she then noticed that Jet was going to be alone. "Oh man, sorry Jet," She tried to cheer him up.
"Thanks. I'll be alright…I hope." And with that, everyone went into their groups in different parts of the room. Robin, Aires and Kai stared at the new members. The girl named Iori (Ee-or-ree) was small in size and height. She had her black hair in two low pigtails. Her face looked annoyed with everything. She wore a dark purple tunic and black pants that came to her shins while a black ribbon wrapped around her right wrist.
Robin looked at the boy named Jeff. He appeared to be the same age as her and Kai. Although he's human his outfit was similar to Jet's. The thin belt that wrap around him twice had the same print as Aires's thin belt. Jeff wore his brown hair short, layered and shaggy.
Robin then looked at the last one. Her eyes enlarged with awe for it was a nymph. On its face, its skin was white but on the sides to the neck it blurred into an orange brown. The only other skin that showed was its hands, which were also the brown color. In the front of its elongated ears, dangled small leafy vines. Only on the back of its head, stuck out thin, long branches that angled downward. It wore a long green tunic and a wrap as a belt. The nymph named Dryas (Dreh-us) wore tight black pants under its dress like outfit. It's long blonde hair had a light tint of green to it. Dryas appeared to be an older kid then the rest.
Aires couldn't help but stare at Jeff's outfit. "Are you a male Vdai?"
"Huh!?" He acted surprise to her mellow comment. "No. This outfit was a gift from a male Vdai," He smiled with his teeth.
"Is that Vdai named Jet?" Robin jumped in.
"Yeah, you know him?"
"Oh yeah. He's a friend of ours."
Jeff grinned, "A friend of Jet is friend of mine. I begged for this outfit so I could look awesome when I fight. All the other races have traditional warrior outfits but the humans have nothing! If ya have an awesome outfit it immediately intimidates your enemies." Robin then looked at what she was wearing. Just then the instructor told everyone that they'll being staying in these groups for the whole class and had to stay together. So Robin and the new group sat at the nearest table jointly. They started on an activity of introduction among themselves. Each had to fill out a sheet that the teacher provided about their race and weapon of choice. Each person took turns filling it out as well as telling their group what they wrote. Aires was first, followed by Jeff, who was human with clawed gantlets then Kai. When Kai told the new members that he was an oriental human, Dryas questioned him.
"How is that possibly? Are part of a secret colony?"
Kai didn't answer, he got embarrassed and looked the other direction. Dryas took the sheet and said, "obviously I am an nymph and I wield a sword." Then handed it to the girl named Iori. She wrote before saying anything.
"Slululian me, weapon I am," She spoke English oddly, which told that it was her second language.
Robin thought the way she said that was funny even though she knew what she meant.
"How does that work? Do you throw yourself into people?" Jeff started to laugh at Robin's comment.
Iori glared and said, "Stupid you, I told. I already told you, Slululian me." Robin's faced didn't change.
"What does that mean?" She played. Iori exhaled quickly through her nose and face another direction with her nose in the air. "What? You're not going to tell me?"
"I not bother, me no talk to stupid?"
"What?!" Robin stopped for she couldn't think of anything to say back. Iori slid the paper to her. Robin growled with frustration. She grabbed the pen and calmed down. "Fine, don't tell me. I don't what to know anyways." She wrote and spoke at the same time. "I don't have a race and…"
"What do you mean you don't have a race? Everyone does," Dryas posed.
"Well I guess I do but I don't know what it is. See my ability is a fire that let's me use telekinesis. I don't know of any race with that power."
Dryas nodded. Jeff jumped in, "Maybe you're some kind of super Vdai?"
Robin laughed, "Maybe."
The class began each day with their teacher lecturing about a battle situation. The groups would listen to him and then were giving a sheet to finish the rest their way as a team. This would take up most of the class time. The teacher was preparing them for the next class that started combat right away. The example today reads: the team encountered a Yugorn that is greatly dangerous. The Yugorn can detect sneak ups from behind, and can avoid any hand combat. Explain in detail and finish battle.
Robin felt a little unsure, "Why are the Yugorns the enemy?" She asked herself.
"Why, this is very simple," Dryas told and begun to write. "Jeff, Kai and I distract the Yugorn by pretending to fight head on. Also Robin could use her telekinesis to levitating near by object to help the distraction, while Aires uses her powers to actually attack since magic greatly affects Yugorns. To finish off the job, Iori will transform into a large heavy weight creature to perform an aerial attack."
Robin, Kai and Jeff were shock and amazed that Dryas came up with an answer within three minutes. "Any complaints?" Dryas added. Robin, Jeff, Kai, and Aries shook their heads; Iori didn't react. "Alright then, I'll turn it in." As it left, Robin turned to Aries and Kai, "How did that happen?" Kai shrugged.
Aires said, "I'm glad he's in our team."
Robin was shock, "Dryas is a boy?"
"Yeah, can't you tell?" Aires responded.
"No. He's the first nymph I've met. He's too pretty to be a boy."
"It's an nymph thing," Jeff added. "Each gender looks that way."
Each day, Dryas knew a strategy for each assignment. Because of him, Robin's team got top score on each one. Sometimes Iori added in ideas or changed a little bit. Jeff would tell Dryas that he would rather do this then that, while Kai, Aires and Robin sat there dumbfounded. The instructor soon caught on to Robin's team source of perfect scores. One day, the teacher lectured that sometimes a teammate can get injured and is unable to aid the team any longer. As he passed out the sheets he said, "I will choice who that person will be in your group." When he can to Robin's table, he faced Dryas. "Dryas, you will be the injured teammate and can not persist." When he walked away, Robin sighed.
"I knew it," Jeff complained.
"Oh come on, it can't be that hard," Robin tried to reason.
Aires grabbed the paper, "Alright, we encountered bandits and they wounded Dryas, what do we do," She said while fiddling with the pen in her hand.
Robin's team took the rest of the class to finish. When the sheet was graded and returned to them, they only received a little over half points. All thanks to Iori and Jeff who knew some war tactic skills.
While walking home, Aires, Kai and Dryas joined Robin on an afternoon walk. "Sorry about the grade, Dryas," Robin pleaded.
"Don't be. I should have never taken over so much."
"How do you know so much?" Kai asked.
"I took similar schooling in my home country when I was younger."
"Then why are you here?" Aires questioned.
"I would have never come here if it wasn't for the Yugorns who attack Ersvle. They damaged everything. So I was forced to come here and continue my training," He said in a soft yet confident tone.
Robin sighed in frustration. "Are the Yugorns really that evil?" She asked everyone.
"Huh? You don't know?" Dryas gasped. She shook her head. "Their beasts in the shape of a human. Their very savage like."
Robin didn't respond. Aires faced him, "I've never seen one either."
"Well, you don't want to," Dryas told. "They'll kill you at the second you see them."
"They all can't be that bad," Robin said.
"I'm afraid, they all are," Dryas added calmly.
"W-what makes them do that? Why do they have to kill so much?" Robin posed. Aires, who was also interested, looked up at Dryas for the answer.
"The Yugorns are beasts which means they strive on instinct. There's no ability for reason."
Aires and Robin were silent. "I can't believe I followed one. I'm so glad I stopped. I had no idea that my life was in great danger," Robin considered.
The sun shined brightly and warmed the land but sadly these humid days were coming to an end for summer was ending quickly. All the willows, evergreens and dogwoods have not changed color but were near to it. Robin, who was now walking alone, enjoyed the moment. She crossed the bridge and entered her neighborhood. Walking on a thin dirt path, Robin stopped. On each side of the neighborhood's entrance are two large willow trees. This made the area look like an enchanted kingdom. Songbirds sang as if welcoming her home to her peaceful realm. She noticed near the trunks of the trees were mushrooms. "I bet the fairies will be moving in soon." She joked as she walked by.
It has been two weeks since Robin started the second class. She and her group has one more until they can be evaluated to the next were real combat is involved. Robin sat in her room organizing her messes. She sat on the wood panel floor beside her bed, going through a box were she kept all her nick knacks that meant something to her. Just then Robin heard a dog barking near the house. Her bedroom faced the backyard and she rushed to the window. Sure enough a dog was running around in the yard. Robin quickly opened the window and yelled, "Lily! You better stay out of my mother's garden!" After yelling a little longer, she ran down stairs to the backyard. "Lily, get over here!" She called for the neighbor's dog. Friendly and trusting, the dog came up to her waging its tail. Robin signed and couldn't find the anger towards the dog. So she walked it back home. Her neighbor, a housewife and her two sons apologized. The two boys came out all excited to see Robin and asked to play outside with here. Robin was the only sixteen years old who enjoyed playing with kids, mainly so she could show off. This time she told them that she was far too busy to play for she was training to fight Yugorns. As Robin was returning back, she encountered her mother on the porch.
"Robin what were you doing?" She struggled to say as she juggled grocery bags. While Robin grabbed one from her mom's arms she said, "Oh, Lily was in our yard again." Her mother let out a big sign as she opened the front door.
"I told them over and over, to put that dog on a leash. They never put it into consideration." They entered the kitchen and placed the bags on the kitchen island. "Did that monster harm my garden?"
"No," Robin moaned. "That old dog can't do any harm to anything," She informed as she dug through the bags. Her mother signed again. She began to put things away and changed the subject.
"So, how was your class?" Her voice was now kind.
"Great! I have one week left until I get to do some real fighting!" This slightly stunned her mother.
"Already? The headmaster is quickly making everyone Knights," She grew concerned. Robin smiled at nothing.
"Wow. Now that I think about it, when I become a Knight I'll get to see the headmaster in person. Boy, she's my idol."
Robin's mother forced out a small smile, "Robin are you sure you want to continue?"
Robin looked at her with a confused expression, "Yeah, Why?"
"Being a Knight means you'll have to go to war." Her tone changed to serious.
Robin chuckled, "Oh no, I'm not gonna be that kind of Knight. I'm going to be the ones that patrol around Kodallia." Her mother stayed silent. Robin grabbed a snack and headed back to her room.
During the last week, their instructor lectured about weaknesses, for an example how to approach a swordsman and find advantages. After he went through most weapons, he started talking about how to find weaknesses in races. Unquestionable, he lectured on Yugorns mainly. He briefly went over nymphs, Vdais and people from Poera. Robin felt uncomfortable and greatly wanted to leave. "How can he talk so freely about how to kill other races right in front of those races?" She questioned to herself. The feeling didn't change after class. Robin, Aires and Dryas walked around the school. Dryas noticed something was troubling Robin and questioned her quiet behavior.
"Dryas, are the humans at war with the Yugorns?" Her voice was soft.
"Yes, but right now it's postpone."
"It's not just with the humans," Aires added. "Most of the nations are involved, like my homeland."
"Mine as well," Dryas informed.
Robin signed in frustration, "Why? Did someone make the Yugorns mad and now this is their revenge?"
"Only the leaders know," Dryas told. He then looked ahead. "You seem very interested in them."
"Yeah I am. I almost followed one into the reservation."
"That would be suicide."
"I know. At the time I had no idea, even worst I brought Kai along," She shrugged. For a few minutes they were all silent until Aires asked about the evaluation. Robin too was interested on how it will work.
"I believe we will battle with some Knights under a time limit."
"Whoa, I can't wait," Robin grew excited.
Robin's excitement changed when that day came; her knees couldn't stop shaking as well as butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Each group waited together outside the training gymnasium. Robin shook her hands in front of her. Aires began rolling her neck. Iori faced them "You," She pointed at Robin. "No mess up. Whole team fail from you," She said in her annoyed tone. Robin grinded her teeth at her.
Before she could bark back Dryas cut them off, "I should tell both of you that the head instructors and the headmaster will be watching."
"What!?" Robin yelled. "The headmaster!?" Her heartbeat raced. "I'd never thought I'd see her so soon." She looked at herself and patted her clothes. Everyone waited impatiently in the cramp hallway. Jeff, Kai, Aires and Robin grew squeamish until Robin noticed Dryas who was too quiet. She stared at his face. His eyes darted around; it was as if he wasn't really seeing but visioning plans in his mind. "I wonder if he's coming up with a combat plan?" She softly touched his arm; this shocked him and he came out of his trance. Her arm came to her side. "Were you thinking of a plan?"
She moved in front of him and stared up at him with her bright face. "So, what's the plan?" Dryas told everyone to huddle close.
"Kai, Jeff and I will be close range while Aires and Robin attack from the side lines. Iori will react on her own."
"Wait?!" Robin jumped in. "Why don't you ever tell her what to do?"
"Because, she is a shape-swifter. They react at their own free will. It's a spirit that no one can tame." Robin and Iori glared at each other.
"Jealous?" Iori teased.
"Oooh. If we weren't on a team I'd kick your butt right now."
"Enough!" Jeff yelled. "We'll never pass if you two can't deal with each other."
Just then the doors opened and two Kodallian Knights walked up to Robin's group. "Names?" One asked. Dryas told him everything he needed to know. "How many non-humans?"
"I, a nymph and Iori a shape-swifter," He informed. Robin tried to remind him of her but he stuck out his arm to hold her back.
"I remind you non-humans if there's any attempts of assassination of the headmaster, you will be an outcast of the conservatory and your team will start over all their training."
As they walked in, Iori said to herself, "figures."
Aires over heard her, "So, you are on the other side." She didn't respond. Robin too heard their conversation.
"Other side?" But before she could ponder more, she found herself in the gymnasium. In the northward side was a booth were four head instructor sat. In the middle of them was the headmaster, a mid age woman with blond wavy hair that came to her shoulders. Robin couldn't keep her eyes off of her. The headmaster scan their files then signaled three well-trained knights to enter. The team got out their weapons and was ready. The headmaster stood up. "Your goal is to defeat these Knight in any way possible, except death," She spoke in a serious and confident tone. "Begin."
Right way a Knight went after Dryas. Their swords grind together has he blocked. Kai and Jeff attack the second while Iori charge at the third. Aires quickly faced Robin, "Our turn. I'll aid Dryas," And with that she took off.
Robin stood still, watching the battle. "What's wrong with me? I've fought before, why can't I move?" She looked at the headmaster, who glared at her. Robin quickly looked away. "Alright, time to prove myself." She ran over to Kai and Jeff.
The Headmaster watched each one and quietly discussed with the instructors. "The nymph will be quite useful."
"And the others?" One asked.
"We'll wait before we judge," She told in her serious tone.
Dryas and the first Knight were greatly matched in skill while Aires aid him, giving him advantages. Jeff, with his clawed gantlets gave everything he had. Kai mainly played defenses, which was a good distraction so Jeff could strike. Since there was nothing to levitate, Robin was forced to use her fists. Iori hadn't transform and use hand combat. The headmaster kept her eye on Iori and the instructors notice that the girl bothered the headmaster.
As the third Knight grew more aggressive, Iori became defensive. Slowly he started to corner her. Right when he swung his sword downwards she transformed. This startled the Knight. What was a girl became a lion. Immediately the headmaster's eyes widen with shock.
Jeff, Kai and Robin were having trouble, this Knight was more skillful then the three of them and kicked Robin down. She laid there in pain, squinting her eyes. Suddenly she noticed an empty chair by the booth. Robin got up half way and her fire grew around her hands. With her mind the chair was levitated and flung into the Knight. Automatically, the headmaster stood up. "Enough!" She shouted. Everyone stopped and looked to her. She signaled the Knights to leave and told the team to come before her. "Your records say human but you are not, why?" She posed to Robin.
She cleaned her throat. "Well, ma'am I don't know what my race is," She said humbly.
The headmaster looked at all of them. "You all have qualified to become Kodallian Knights." Robin smiled at Aires and Kai. The headmaster signaled in a Knight. "Follow him." As they did, the headmaster called out to Robin. "I have the answer to your race."
"What!? Tell me!"
At the same time a head instructor stood up. "No manners. How dare you speak to the headmaster like that." Robin didn't realize that she was rude.
"Oh, sorry I didn't mean to," She humbled herself.
The headmaster scanned Robin. "I'll summon for you later. You may go." And with that she joined her team. The Knight led them in a near by classroom.
While walking, Aires asked Robin what the headmaster told her. "She knows my race. But she'll tell me later."
Inside the room, other's that have succeeded were packed together. Everyone was waiting all together until the evaluations were finished. Robin's team sat together in the back. "Isn't it wired that we passed without finishing?" Jeff asked.
"It's because of Robin," Dryas told.
"What do you mean?" Robin asked
"The way she was interested in her. I can only assume that the headmaster is pleased to have some one like Robin joining her military."
Robin blushed. "Wow, I didn't know the headmaster knew," She smiled at nothing