"The Princess here on Terra?!" The onlookers roar.
Sylvia hugs me.
"Five years is far too long, my brother. Theres no need to worry, news of this hasn leaked outside yet. I just need to do some PR here. Im sure you have a lot of questions, and Ill answer them later on in the week."
What a spectacle.
I stare at her with wide eyes. "Im gonna be in class with Terrans. How are you in my class? Wait, what do you mean brother?"
"Im only one year younger than you. We are family by blood as you can tell by my eyes and hair and the apparent resemblance to our sister.
Let me explain the ranking system a bit, Terran students with high power pressure potential will be integrated into Nansronian classes—peer-to-peer teaching to speed up the learning process. Pressure control is crucial. Once mastered, there won be any out-of-control bursts of power. The more people in control helps to direct the flow."
That makes a lot of sense.
She lets go of me and speaks to the crowd.
"By the potential critical power pressure rankings, a total of six people are eligible to participate in Nansronian classes. As a representative of the crown I have the right to name, but Ill leave that to the Headmaster."
Master Flintelan steps forward after a long while.
Where the heck was he when I needed him?
"Excuse me. The six students eligible to participate are Will Arrow, Sara Knight, Stephen Moore, Serena Saven, Becky Reinheart, and Hank Kane. Those who Ive called, please come to the stage now."
I watch as Sara, Stephen, and the three other students line up on the stage to shake hands with Master Flintelan and Sylvia. Stephen was smirking at me. One of the girls in the lineup was following him close to the hip.
My eyes widened. I recognize her! I knew that shiny long black hair and sea-green eyes were everywhere. She used to go to school with me!
Serena waves to me. "Will, hey. I can believe its you! Its been almost two years now since weve met face to face."
Stephens right eye twitches. He walks past me with a disgusted look on his face. Serena sighs and follows behind him, shaking hands with Master Flintelan and Sylvia.
Sara shrugs her shoulders behind me. This isn going to be an easy year with them around. Stephen, Serena, and I have a history, it may be innocent, but it resulted in betrayal. Serena in the corner of my eye gives me a sly smile.
She was planning something. It was in her nature. I couldn put it past her that both she and Stephen had some planning for me. Serena may act nice and friendly, but she has a hidden agenda.
"Shes planning something isn she?" Sara asks in a whisper. Her lips nearly brush my ear.
"Looks like it," I whisper back.
"Should I confront her later?"
"Not worth it. I could be wrong and it would lead to bigger problems. She may try to seduce me like back in high school."
"Alright, just let me know. We are family, you know." She waves back at me and proceeds in line to shake Master Flintelans hand.
Master Flintelan shakes her hand in earnest. "Its been a long time Ms. Knight. How about we catch up sometime as Master and student?"
Sara draws a blank.
"I used to know you?"
Master Flintelan nods. "I used to teach you both."
Sara steps back a step. She glances at me and I nod to her in encouragement. She then shifts her sights back forward.
"I see." She mumbles faintly. Do you know what happened to my parents then?"
"I do not know what transpired with your parents. I see that all kinds of questions are swimming through your mind but I can not answer what I don know."
"I understand." Sara lets out a sigh and walks away to shake Sylvias hand.
Sylvia approaches her and dives in for a hug. Sara yelps in surprise.
Sylvia squeezes her. "So you are my new sister. Mom was right to adopt you. We would all often play together after your training day was done. You and my brother both have an imminent sense of family and I am very happy that its still there. I know you three all have memory loss, but I can see that both you and my brother are still a force to be reckoned with. Im sure once you three stop taking the pills, your memories will slowly return. After that, Ill crush you in the arena." Sylvias eyes glow for a second and she lets out a small devilish smile.
Sara steps back and walks away.
"Im not getting into this. You surely have a brother complex," she says walking away.
"I do not!"
While I was watching this exchange. Both Becky Reinheart and Hank Kane had come up to me.
Becky is a girl with long brown hair with royal Purple Blue eyes. Her long hair was pulled into a side ponytail. She had a good hourglass figure like most of the girls Ive met.
Hank Kane is a guy with dark brown almost black hair. His chocolate brown eyes almost sparkled. He was a little pudgy but surely hed lose that in less than a week.
I shake both their hands in earnest. Im sure well come to know each other within the next few months.
Before we knew it the assembly was finally over. Not much happened after I shook hands with Becky and Hank. The Headmaster had made everyone swear that they wouldn speak of what had transpired. I never found out the consequences, but lets hope that nobody would tell a soul.
What is next are classes and dormitory assignments.
I watch as Emily and Jason are directed off stage with the other students from Terra and into the hallway towards the dormitories. My group stayed in the auditorium to receive further instructions from Master Flintelan. We sit down in the six conveniently empty seats in the front row.
"Well well well. We all are now alone." Master Flintelan says happily. He turns to my group of six. "You six are coming into a very accelerated course. This is going to test your strengths and perseverance."
"Well bring them up to par," Jake shouts, nearly leaping out of his seat. "I can wait to spar." He makes a sword-slashing motion with his hands.
"Now does anyone want to volunteer to help them with history?"
All the Nansronian students looked at him with blank looks.
"I didn think so. Thats my job."
Alecor stands up from his seat. "Master if you want, let me see what they got in the arena. Itll be worth your while."
"By the cosmos no. I will not allow it this early."
"What are we even doing on Terra anyway? You got Mari, Jake, Anastasia, heck even Sylvia here to help with the Terrans accumulate. We should be home training."
"Hey, Im here as well!" Katrina shouts.
Master Flintelan frowns. "That attitude is exactly why you all are here."
Everyone tilts their heads quizzingly.
"You all must pay attention to culture and other walks of life. Learn the customs and histories of different societies. How are you supposed to make peace with worlds and people you don understand? How do you think a certain someone was able to create treaties and friendly relations? You can do that without the knowledge and know-how."
Alecor slumps down on his seat and so does half of everyone in the room.
"The four people you mentioned are here for the same reason as you. Make friends with the people of Terra." Master Flintelan points to us six. "These six students that were picked are just the beginning of future peaceful relations with Terra."
Arelena stands up from her seat and throws her fist in the air. "Well do our best Master!"
Master Flintelan smiles. "Thats what I like to hear. Now its time to send you all to to get ready for classes for tomorrow , you all are still required to attend until the age of 26. Do not forget that. I will find out if you skip your classes, and I mean you Mari Summers and Alecor Ragnar. The usual lies will not get to me this time, we aren in the academy on Nansron, so I won turn a blind eye.
Mari, sitting on the seat next to me, drops her jaw. There goes my plan of skipping classes again. Jake and Katrina snicker softly beside her.
I shake my head amused. With her personality anything is possible.
Master Flintelan glances at me.
"Your personality sure has changed, hasn it? Five years is all it took to change you completely. The delinquent is gone."
"What do you mean sir? I created mischief?" I couldn believe I created chaos.
"Will is a golden boy, Master. I can believe that he would do anything," Sara exclaims brightly. Sara ponders for a second and shouts. "Don tell me I was an accomplice to these two!"
Mari smiles wickedly. "Oh, but you were. So easy to rope you in."
Sara puts her fingers to her ears. "Im not listening to anything. Please move on." She lightly waves to Master Flintelan innocently.
Serena and Stephen give us both curious looks. I can say I blame them. I didn even know that this side of me used to be.
"Can you get on with it Master Flintelan? I want to go talk to my sister," Sylvia complains behind me.
"Ahem, now the six of you will be living with the students from Nansron. Will, Stephen, and Hank will be sharing a room with Jake Horano and Alecor Ragnar. Sara, Serena, and Becky will be sharing a room with Mari Summers and Anastasia Suns."
Sara and Becky shout in excitement. Serena made a frown and then her face went blank. Mari gives Sara a high five over my head. Anastasia cracks a small smile.
Alecor gazes over at me with a grin and gives me a thumbs up. I could already tell what he was thinking. I can remember again so he can pry me for anything in the past. Jake on the other hand was thanking any deities he knew.
At the corner of my eye, Arelena was crossing her arms in discontent. Guess she is a little jealous of Mari and Anastasia.
Sara turns to me.
"Will, what about Jason? Weren you guys going to room together? Emily was going to the room with me. This didn go as planned."
"I believe that I may have a solution," Master Flintelan says, "They can both live with you on the Nansronian side. Theres room for six in each room at the academy."
"This is great," Sara takes my hand, "she won have to live with a stranger."
Sylvia pouts. "I wouldve lived with her."
"She isn used to being pampered. Emily likes to do things on her own," I interject.
Sylvia hits the back of my seat lightly. Her eyes are hidden behind her bangs. "I understand," she says gloomily. "Fine, Ill dorm with Katrina and Arelena Terra then."
"Wait. Why are we talking all about this in the open?" Stephen asks quickly.
"There are no secrets between us in the fleet. Dark secrets may be hidden but the truth binds us together," Jake says with a flat tone. "Theres a reason the Fleet is like a well-oiled machine and its because of the inspiration, and fear of one individual that binds us together. That individual knows plenty of our secrets and hopefully, we will never be on the wrong side of the stick. Cunning and exploitative, friends and comrades come first, with no mercy for enemies. A sinister dragon is hidden above the clouds. One who truly destroys scum." Jake glances at various people behind him and faintly smiles. "Im sure you all who are behind me know who Im referring to."
Everyone nods nervously behind us. Mari and Sylvia smile wickedly, showing that they know who it is. Anastasia is rolling her eyes in the background.
Mari glares over at Stephen, "So what is the deal between you four? Ive been curious often about the occasional glares that you four give each other. The Fleet is built on trust so spill it." A smirk soon follows. "Or do you not want to say? All secrets and grudges work their way out of hiding one way or the other. Surely theres history. You know who they are and yet there is…quarrel."
Stephen was about to answer but I interrupted. "Theres nothing between us," I say turning to Mari, "we were once friends, but now we
e not. Lets not open old wounds."
Mari raises a brow.
Something is stirring within me. Anger? Resentment? Sadness? These three emotions were written clearly across my face.
A memory surfaced in my mind just now. I could remember the last time I felt this mix of feelings. A wave of blackness surrounded me then. A man was lying on the ground before me. Tears are pouring down my face. Why is this happening? Who was this man lying before me? Younger versions of Emily and Sara, their faces in horror. They were frozen in shock. I had an inkling that I know who this man is. I crawl to him and move him to face me. He was barely alive. I inch closer as he tries to speak.
"Remember friends are the most important, family as well. Live your life a proud life and hold value in those who you trust. Never give in to the dark. Nothing is black or white, it is just simply gray."
As the memory finishes, I crack a smile and look at Stephen. I have become calm and composed.
Sara gives me a concerned look. "Will, are you alright?"
My smile grows wider.
Sylvia must have noticed my change in emotions because she looked very happy looking at me. She soon leans over my seat and talks into my ear.
"You must have just remembered something didn you brother?" She sweetly asks me.
"Reality is simply gray, I whisper.
"Thats one of our fathers sayings," Sylvia whispers back. "Do you remember anything else?"
I give her a faint nod.
"I remember pieces of who I used to be. My emotions for Stephen may have unlocked part of my memories. The most important ones regarding now."
"Do you remember why you are on Terra?"
"Thats a shame. At least we have a mystery to solve, otherwise, my time here would be for naught."
I poke her head.
"Hey, remember what Master Flintelan said."
"Argh, fine. Ill take this time to learn about Terra." She slumps back in her seat annoyed.
Mari nudges me. Do you want to tell everyone or are you going to keep it a secret that you remember bits and pieces?
I shake my head. I think its better to keep it a secret. Many of them are currently looking down on me. Its about time I showed them a lesson. Heh.
I never felt calmer in my life at this moment. Indeed never more diabolical. The question is… Am I leaking a murderous aura? I look from side to side, no one seems to be in fear. Phew, no one felt it.
Wait no. Someone at the back was shivering. Darn. Everyone looks at the back wide-eyed.
"I just felt the chills." One of the students says. "The pressure felt so familiar."
I duck in my seat. I didn mean for that to happen.
Master Flintelan looks at me. It was clear that he felt it as well before I dispersed it. He leers at me clearly understanding what had happened.
"Hu hu. Its obvious you didn suppress your feelings enough." Sylvia chuckles softly. "Leaking a secret before you make it. Surely most of us couldn feel it. So small only someone weak could feel it. My brother is so clumsy."
"Okay everyone you are all clear to move to the dormitories. Under the seat, you will find a tablet and a watch that will be yours to use and keep. Your room assignments are being sent to your watch." Master Flintelan says to us.
Sure enough, the devices were under the seats.
"The watch is also partially your key. It is prepared as well as your biometrics so only you and your roommates can access your room. The tablet is self-explanatory. Now disperse and get ready for tomorrow."
Finally, we can leave.