Destiny cannot be manipulated, softened or decieved. Destiny is cruel...
Ray picked at his food without interest, the Food Hall was as loud as ever, students sat with one another, talking, laughing, and enjoying each others company. But Ray was different, he was alone. Opposite him sat an empty chair, this chair had been his company for years, he sat here everyday; wishing someone would fill that chair...
A loud gong sounded through the hall, time for the afternoon lessons. Ray was one of the many students at the Order, a combat training academy located east of the large town, Gynacin. The Order had produced some of the most prestigious warriors in the region, Ray's one and only dream was to become powerful, maybe then, people would notice him. He reached the door of the class hall and pushed it open, the class hall was already full of raucous noise from the students already present. Ray entered, his head hung low as if deep in thought, making his way to the back of the hall, taking a seat on a mat of weaved straw, waiting.
Moments later, the door swung open once more and a very handsome boy strode in, closely followed by a group of friends. Ray kept his head down, hoping against hope that the boy would not notice his existence. The hope was futile.
"Hey loser", Ray's clothes were gripped powerfully and Ray was hoisted up from his seat. Ray slowly looked into the eyes of the person he despised greatly.
"Did I say you could look at me?"
Ray was pushed to the floor, his head thumped against the ground. The group of friends burst into laughter, cheering the boy on. Anger coursed through Ray's body, yet he dared not rise up against the boy. Ray was bottom of the class; he couldn't fight any student on equal footing, especially not-
The boy turned, a girl walked towards him. Her eyes her of the purest blue, like sapphires sparkling in the moonlight, her dark brown hair cascaded past her shoulders like a waterfall, her face was as radiant as the sun, the smile on her lips affected the heart rate of any boy who was lucky enough to point their gaze in her direction.
"Tanya", Leon announced smiling.
"Leave the wimp alone, can't you see he's about to piss his pants?"
Leon laughed and slipped his arm around her waist as they turned away from Ray. Ray pressed his eyelids together, refusing to let tears mark a path down his cheek. He couldn't help himself, he'd liked Tanya for months, even though she continually insulted him, he still hoped that one day she'd ditch Leon-for him.
The lesson was nothing too exuberant. The class mentor, Master To'r, had announced to them that they were going to begin a new course in a week's time. Ray's ears pricked up as he heard this.
"A new course?" said someone from the front.
"The time has come where you are all at the age and capability to begin the course on-" there was a pause from To'r, he glanced around at the students, smiling as he saw them all lean forward, anticipating his next word;
"Energyin" he finished. There was a united whoop of glee from the class, well nearly all of the class, Ray remained as silent as a hunting predator, yet his heart rejoiced. Even though he was abysmal with physical combat, he always knew, deep within him, that he could master Energyin.
"Okay, settle settle!" said To'r smiling at them as they punched fists into the way and began excited conversations. It took a while for them to quiet down; Ray listened intently as To'r spoke.
"Now, can anyone tell me what Energyin is?"
"It's the substance that is present invisibly in the air around us, we can draw on it to form weapons and-" the girl speaking yelped as the boy behind her poked her sharply between the ribs. The class laughed, even Ray smiled a bit, the girl was the class boffin, she knew the answer to everything but was nearly as hopeless as Ray when it came to combat.
"Yes, you have the basics correct".
Master To'r rose to his feet, interlocking his fingers and cracking his knuckles.
"Everyone watch carefully, I shouldn't be showing you this so keep your mouths shut when you go through that door, got it?"
Nobody spoke, they simply nodded, Master To'r was in serious mode, which spelled trouble for anyone who went against what he said.
To'r raised his left hand and held it as if a ball was clutched in his grasp, the next moment a blue spark appeared there and rapidly grew into a perfect sphere.
"Name a weapon", he said slowly.
"Mace!" someone shouted, the next second, To'r was holding the handle of a mace, the long chain and lethal spiked ball swung hypnotically from side to side. There was a simultaneous whisper of awe, Ray watched without blinking. Unconsciously, his left hand moved into the same position as the mentor's, he glanced down at it, a small blue dot of Energyin hung above his palm. Ray gasped and closed his hand at once, nobody had seen it, he sighed in relief. But he was wrong. Someone had seen it.
When using Energyin actively, the vision of the user changes subtly so that one is attuned to the mysterious flow of the substance. The vision of one user differs to that of another; this gift of vision is called Energyin Perception. In the perception of To'r, all was black with the flow of Energyin represented by light grey. The ball of condensed Energyin in his palm was represented by a darker shade of grey; the students were all swallowed by the darkness of his perception, all of them except one. A small dot of grey hovered near the back of the hall, To'r blinked and it was gone. He closed down his perception and the ball of Energyin dissipated into the air, he looked closely at the boy seated by himself. Unruly black hair, spiked in random places as if he had attempted to style it, hardly any outstanding muscle mass, an uncommon factor for a boy of his age.
"Ray", said To'r slowly and seriously, "outside. Now".
Ray looked up in shock, "but-but".
Did he see it? Ray wondered as he stood up, trying to ignore the leers of the other students. To'r held the door open for him; Ray did not know what being on the other side of that door would bring.
Ray lay quietly in his dormitory later that night lost in thought. To'r had said nothing to him; instead he had simply told Ray to close his eyes for two minutes before letting him back in the class hall. The situation confused him greatly, Ray disliked being in the dark, he wanted to know what was going on. There was a knock on his door. Ray sat up. Someone was knocking his door? There was another knock at the door, followed by another. He swung his legs off the bed and made his way to the door, he opened it quite suddenly. What he saw left him breathless.
Morning came, rays on thin light shone through the curtain, lighting up a portion of the girl's face. A soft wind blew through the open window, pushing the curtain aside slightly and allowing more light into the room. The girl stirred and a soft hand rose to rub tired eyes, she was soon fully awake and she lay there looking up at the blank ceiling. Her name was Samantha, a top student from the Academy of Rycugin who had yesterday been transferred to the Order, to realise her true potential. She didn't know what to expect from her first day here, she did expect the stares from all the boys and the jealous glares from the girls; she'd gotten that at the Academy. However, one thing was puzzling her, and it had nothing to do with lessons...
The door was knocked lightly twenty minutes later. Samantha was ready and waiting. She walked over to it and twisted the handle; opening it she composed herself before her eyes saw his face. What is wrong with me? She thought as his shy smile sent a wave of warmth through her being. She shook it off, remembering the promise she'd made to herself, but then moments later the wave of warmth swept over her again.
"Did you sleep well?" the boy asked, Samantha could hear a rehearsed tone in the question. In spite of herself, she smiled at him, watching confidence blossom in his eyes.
"I slept quite well, thank you".
She stepped out of the dormitory and closed the door behind her, "so where would you like to go first?"
It had been strange, their first meeting that is. One of the mentors had greeted her at the Entrance Hall and then promptly taken her to meet her "guide", the person who'd show her around bright and early the following morning. The strangest thing was the way his face had changed the moment he saw her, it went from puzzled to astonished in less than a moment. Samantha hadn't known what to make of it. If a boy had stared at her like that back at the Academy, she would've made sure he couldn't stare at anything for a week. But something about him had stopped her from confronting him; somehow, she knew the boy was alone. And so as they walked down the quiet corridor, she went against her promise for the first, but not the last time.
"What's your name?" she asked abruptly as he was explaining the lesson schedule to her.
"My name?" he asked surprised, she smiled at him radiantly, the boy tried very hard not to stare at her as he had done the night before.
"My name...is Ray", he said at last, "I'm Samantha", she told him.
"You're a lucky boy, Ray", she said.
"Huh?" his facial expression made her laugh, "why's that?"
"Not a lot of people get to know my name, that's all", and then she winked and for that brief moment, Ray thought he was in heaven.