“Yes, Master. One set of clothing, some bandages and a stick. Everything Master needs for your fight against Master Haithur’s followers.”
“You’re actually mistaken. The set of clothing, bandages and the stick is not for the kiddies fight against those chumps.”
“I’m going to use these things to take down a god.”
“Okay, technically he’s not a god but an ageless entity possessing a huge amount power and knowledge.”
“I just wanted to say something cool when you asked me that.”
“Just give me the damn things!”
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Get ready… for 'The Greatest Show on Ea-“
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!”
“Holy shit! Did you hear how loud that cracking sound was just now?”
“It’s broken! His right arm is definitely broken!”
“Ahahaha. He’s so screwed! Serves the fucker right!”
The plan went off without a hitch. The boy had successfully convinced the onlookers that his right arm really was broken. Thanks to the long sleeved shirt he specifically told Synnove Ciro to acquire as well as some fine playacting, the boy has managed to disguise the extent of his “injury”.
I should have been an actor, the boy smiles inwardly. Even the stick hidden carefully on his body was useful in order to provide the necessary sound effect of bone breaking.
The boy had to endure a considerable amount of hardship such as receiving Master Wes’ sidekick, it hurt like hell by the way, and fighting all those duels one-handed, which he could have pulled off if not for Rolfe Primero’s interruption.
All the preparation, all the theatrics, all the deception was in order to lure the diligent student into a false sense of security. And it’s about to pay dividends in just a few moments as the boy’s right arm delivers a devastating punch to the entity’s left cheek.
I don’t care what you were previously in the past(s), the boy thinks. All I know is right now, you’re human and that’s all that matters.
The punch is so powerful, it tears apart the bandages that was used to put the boy’s right arm in sling. He feels something break. There goes his jaw, the boy thinks. Good. But probably not enough to bring him down.
A second follow up attack is needed. The boy’s left arm is practically out of commissioned, due to the insanely huge amount of punishment it received from the diligent student earlier. Which is why the boy chooses to launch his left knee into Rolfe Primero’s stoma-AAHHHHHHHHHH!
The boy suddenly lets out an agonizing scream. Something is very wrong. The boy sinks to his knee. His mind is overloaded with pain and alarm bells. It takes the boy a few moments to finally realize what has happened.
His right arm, the one he used to punch Rolfe Primero just seconds earlier, is broken… for real this time. The boy is suffering from such terrible agony, it makes the pain from sidekick he received from Master Wes a while ago seems like a warm friendly hug.
The boy would have clutched his right arm with his left hand if he could, anything to lessen the pain he is feeling, but right now his left arm is in no better shape itself. And so the boy lies kneeling on the ground, both arms dangling useless by his side. He is also biting his lips so hard to prevent any further screams from escaping, it begins to bleed.
In the mean time, Rolfe Primero is just standing there like a statue in front of the boy. The diligent student doesn’t look like he suffered any visible damage from the boy’s surprised attack, but it seems he is strangely stunned. After a few moments the entity finally speaks.
*groans in pain “What was that…”
“This is the first time in five years someone has forced me to use my mana shield.”
“Congratulations… Hgggggg… Do I get a prize…”
“I didn’t use it consciously, mind you. It sort of raises itself up automatically on its own.”
“I think… Hgggggg… automatically… and on its own means the same thing.”
“I forgot I even had that ability.”
“Yeah… I used to forget things all the time too...”
“Even when they came at me with knives and swords, there was never any need to use it.”
“…like getting milk and bread from the store… or my wife’s parents’ anniversary…”
“I could never get hit or allow a blow to land on me.”
“…seriously, who can be expected to remember… such small mundane things…”
“This continent is so strange. The air is thick with mana but only a few of you have chosen to take advantage of it.”
“…maybe I should invent something… to help people keep track of such things…”
“It’s either you’ve lost interest in mana and have abandoned using it.”
“…something that’s not similar to a journal or a diary… but helps remind you of the little information… you might have missed.”
“Or the knowledge of how use it has long been lost and you’ve forgotten how to do so.”
“…a book to help you plan your daily life… a planner daily… no… a daily planner… yes, that’s what I’ll call it.”
“Well, it’s no sweat of my back. If you guys are too stupid to take advantage of your mana–rich environment, then there’s no helping it.”
“…leather bound black or brown cover… put some calendar and other shit in it…. and I’ll make a fortune selling it at the bookstore…”
“Now back to the question of what to do with you.”
“You see, if it was any other guy who had dueled me, I would have commended them on their effort.”
“Maybe let them off with a few minor injuries, and wait in anticipation if they’ll return to challenge me back.”
“But you… you got close to beating me today. You managed to land a punch on me.”
“And if that wasn’t a big enough of an insult, you forced me to involuntarily use my mana shield. Something that I swore I would never do when I entered here in this academy.”
“The people on this continent are so fragile. You just bump a little into them and they’ll snap in half, like twigs.”
“Which is why I decided to give them a handicapped. I wouldn’t mind using half of my strength or letting them hit me once in a while. What I absolutely forbid myself from doing is using my mana shield.”
“Kind of takes the fun out of a fight if the one time a person finally hits you with his best shot, his efforts were all in vain.”
“I decided if anyone managed to force me to use my mana shield, I would consider it as my loss.”
“I was one year old at that time.”
“But as you can guess from the fury rising in my voice and the anger shown, in my face…”
“…I’m a very sore loser.”
*clasps hands “How bout a compromise? You kneel and admit my superiority, and we’ll consider it a tie.”
“Oh wait. You’re already kneeling.”
“Then just lower your head to the ground and kiss the dirt. It’s not that different of a gesture really.”
“Fine. I’ll sweeten the deal. I’ll teach you all of my fighting techniques. I’ll train you, and when you’re ready, we’ll do this song and dance routine again and again.”
“Until the end of time… or until one of us keels over and drops dead… whichever comes first really.”
“So what do you say? Lower yourself to the ground and live to fight another day?”
“Or refuse and die pathetically now like the beaten dog that you are?”
“I’m only going to offer this once.”
“I SAID FUCK YOU!”
“I did not cross an infinite ocean of time and space just to bow down to the first arrogant son of a bitch that I crossed paths with!”
“No, you go to hell!”
“I SAID KNEEL!”
Rolfe Primero blasts off a wave of killing intent the covers the entire courtyard. The boy remains standing albeit unsteadily but Master Cahris who nearby is blown backwards. The male teacher rolls on the ground until he comes to a complete stop a few yards away.
Elsewhere, the onlookers are affected by the killing intent by a varying degree. Most of the female elite students are unconscious on the ground, having passed out but not before accidentally wetting themselves out of terror.
The male students are all on the ground. Some of them straining to lift their heads to see what’s happening but give up soon because of the pressure.
Headmaster Joss, Master Wes and a few of the teachers are on all fours, with their backs and foreheads wet from perspiration. Heavy beads of sweat fall from their faces as they struggle to get back up and failing.
Only the boy and the entity remains standing in the middle of the courtyard. But a lone figure is making her way to them, crawling to get to her master’s side.
“Master… is… in… danger…”
“Godsdammit Synnove! Stay there!”
“You idiot! I’m telling you to go back!”
“Interesting. Shall I deal with her first before I kill you?’
“YOU LEAVE HER ALONE!”
The boy lunges headfirst at Rolfe Primero’s feet. He may have lost the use of both his arms but he still has his mouth and teeth. And those should be sharp enough to tear off the diligent student’s heel.
To hell with the mana shield or whatever, the boy desperately thinks. I’ll grind my teeth to dust if I have to in order to stop him.
The entity casually sidesteps the lunging boy and delivers a sharp kick upwards that hits his right shoulder, flipping the boy and making him land on his back.
Intense pain shoots up his right arm and shoulders, enough to make a grown man pass out but the boy ignores them and struggle to stay awake. Something enters the boy’s vision.
“Look up at that clear blue sky.’
“Enjoy it, because the next last thing you’ll see is my boot smashing your head into the ground.”
“Last chance before the hammer falls down. Do you yield and admit your inferiority to me?”
“...you know, we have a saying where I come from…”
“Oh yeah, what’s that?”
“Go suck off a horse.”
“Very well then…”
The boy closes his eyes. An image of his wife and his children flashes across the boy's mind. I'm sorry guys, I failed you all a second time.
*stomp and the sound of a wet squelch can be heard
The boy opens his eyes and looks to the side. He sees Rolfe Primero’s right foot in the wet earth and mud just inches away from his head.
“What the hell!”