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I entered the arena hesitantly. Rin was already well ahead of me. ...Did I really have to practice sword fighting this early? I'd never done it before, and I felt like it was... unnecessary. But then again, this school really did have strange policies, so I didn't give it too much thought. And the traps Rin had mentioned earlier were intimidating enough for me to at least want to learn some form of defence.

The arena was like a stadium, and it was out in the field, behind the school. There were seats strewn across for onlookers to observe the fighting within the arena. I shivered a bit... This school, it was crazy. I couldn't wrap my head around it, no matter how hard I tried.

I thought back to what Rin had told me, on my way here. "The first day of the semester is for all the new students to get accustomed to the school-- so, traps are forbidden. However, tomorrow... Expect to 'die'. A lot."

I shivered at the thought. What was the whole point of this? ...It could be to encourage safety, my mind thought. To be wary, and always on the lookout. It taught survival skills. Maybe that was it. Whatever the case, it still seemed like an incredibly stupid idea to me.
I made my way to the armoury, where the instructor-- a muscular man, clad in steel armour, stood, waiting, observing the students who were coming in through the doors.

It appeared I was the last person in, because as soon as I looked at him, I could see his eyes staring at me. "..." He just grunted. I could see the disapproval on his face.

...What did they expect of me? Did they expect me to be a muscular, well-built student? Was I supposed to be ready for all of this?

Then, the guy walked up to me. "...Yer gonna have to toughen up if you wanna do well in this class, kid." He said, bluntly. I nodded, nervously. "I know." Was all I could say in response.

"...Good luck." He said, sincerely. I looked up at him, and he had a bit of a hopeful expression on his face. "Weakling's like you have come in here at the start of the year, and walked out at the end as tough as an ox. Don't look so hopeless, kid." He placed his hand on my head and ruffled my hair a bit, which came as a surprise to me. He then turned around, and clapped his hands. "Alright! Get yer gear and get yer asses out in the field! We've got fencing practice today!"

I heard a couple groans but no overall complaint. I gulped a bit, and stepped around the instructor, to look at some of the weapons... "...Which one do I pick?" I said to myself, worried.

Then, I saw Rin walk in front of me, looking over all of the weapons. He was in steel armour, and had a short sword and belt strapped to his waist. "..." He picked up a long sword, and handed it to me. "Try that."

I stepped back from him and gulped a bit. I gripped both hands around the hilt, and breathed out, nervously. I then took a swing. It felt... Surprisingly easy. The grip fit my hands. "...Alright, this works." I said. Rin smirked. "I know a long sword bearer when I see one... You all seem to have the same kinda build. Of course, there are a lot of exceptions." He said. I nodded lightly. "...What about armour?" I asked.

"...Hey, what do you think I am, a clothes outfitter? Find one that fits yourself!" He said, and walked away.

I grimaced a little, but headed over to the armour collection nearby... I spent a few minutes trying several different types of armour on, but nothing seemed to fit right.

"...It's not supposed to be comfortable, kid. It's supposed to protect you." I heard the instructor's voice say, from behind me. I blinked, and shrugged. "I'll just go with the one I'm wearing, then. Seems sturdy enough."

The instructor grunted, and turned away, heading out into the field where the class was waiting. I blinked-- I was the last one out, again? Just my luck... I quickly picked up my long sword, and rushed outside, joining the rest of the group.

"Alright! So, how many of you have had practice fencing?" The instructor called out. A few students raised their hands-- Rin included-- but overall, about half the class did.

"Alright. Pair up. Trained ones with newbies. Teach 'em the ropes. I'll be watching."
Rin paired up with a slender looking guy... And I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and saw the girl from this morning! "Hey, I thought I saw you earlier..." She said. I blinked. "...Janet, right?"

She nodded. "Uh-huh! Wow, we're in the same class! What're the odds?" She smirked a bit. I allowed myself a little smile. "Guess it's just a coincidence, eh?"

"A coincidence, in a world ruled by gods?"

"....Good point. Anyway-- um, do you want to train me? I assume that's why you tapped me on the shoulder, before..."

She nodded. "Uh-huh! I got practice last year, but didn't do well enough and got held back. Sucks that I have to go through this again, but eh..." She steps back, and raises her sword up, pointing it at me. "Alright, now get in this position... I'm gonna teach you how to block." I gulped, and nodded, mimicking her pose. For the next few minutes, she swung her sword at me, and I blocked mine.  

"...Alright, I think you've got that down. Now, try striking me... Well, my sword. Don't actually try to strike me. That'd hurt." She said, bluntly. I nodded. "...Y-Yeah, it would...."

So, we trained for a while. She went over attacking, dodging, and a few upper and lower strikes, and then showed me the proper formation to swing with maximum impact. Then, the instructor blew his whistle, and everyone lowered their swords, relaxing a bit and looking to him.

"Alright... Now, I assume you've all had enough time to go over the basics of training. Now, I'll show you what all that stuff looks like when put to proper use-- in sparring. For that purpose, I've called over a fifth-year student, Mr. Yuki, who will be my opponent." He said. A tall man, dressed in black, with blonde hair walked over, a long sword sheathed on his belt. The class stepped back a bit, clearing the field, making sure they had enough room, before Yuki pulled out his sword, and got into a prepared stance. The instructor did likewise, opposite him.

The tension in the area rose. I felt a true sense of power from both the instructor and Yuki. They were confident. Prepared. Trained. It felt like something out of a movie.

And then... Yuki rushed at the instructor, swiping at him with his sword. The instructor blocked easily, using his strength to redirect the sword away to give him time to lodge an attack at Yuki. Yuki jumped backwards, avoiding the swing, and then leaped back into action, jabbing at the instructor with his sword. The instructor parried, and the sound of two, well-worked pieces of metal clanging together filled the arena.

It continued like this for several moments, the atmosphere tense. Both sides were well matched, and more importantly, well trained. It looked like neither side would let up, in this epic confrontation of warriors. I watched, my jaw agape, eyes wide, not quite sure who to root for. Some students were calling out the name of the instructor ((Jin)), and others were calling out Yuki's name.

I found myself in between. Jin, was, after all, our instructor. He'd taught Yuki. Yuki, however, was a student, facing off against an authority figure. Both sides had reasons to root for them, so I just resorted to yelling "Do your best!" ..That got a couple weird looks from others, so I resorted to just keeping my mouth shut and watching the fight.
Eventually though, one would stand... Yuki swiped at Jin, but Jin was crafty. He ducked down, the sword slash going right over his head, and swing a mighty attack-- which cut right through the middle of Yuki! Yuki stumbled back a little, gasping... But then, a white glow would envelop him, and we'd hear a sort of 'poof'! Then, he was gone. I blinked, looking around, confused-- then I remembered what Rin had told me.

"...You just saw yer first death, and subsequent respawn. --That's what I like to call it, anyway." I heard Rin say, from beside me. I hadn't noticed him there this entire time. I gulped, and nodded. "Y-You sure he's gonna be alright?"

"Positive. I, myself, have a death count of two hundred and thirty." Rin smirked.

"...You sure that's a thing to be proud of?" I asked, my eye twitching a little.

"...Hey, the average death count is 500. The most someone's died I think was around 900 times... But that was because she was a dick."

I grunted a bit, rubbing my forehead. "...I think I need a minute..."

"...Take all the time in the world, kid. That feeling will never get old."

I blinked. "...What feeling?"

"...The feeling that everyone and everything here is completely insane. In fact, the only way to stay sane here is to embrace that."

"....Uh...Huh." I replied, not quite sure how to respond to that.

"You're in a weird world, kid. A world of gods, war, magic, and math. Just roll with it, is my suggestion." Rin said.

"..." The kid had a point. And really, rolling with it was the only thing I COULD do.
"Alright!" I heard the instructor shout, blowing his whistle. Everyone turned to look at him.

"Now! I hope you learned a lot from that demonstration. Because you're gonna need it, if you wanna stay alive for long. This school ain't like nothin' you newbies have ever prepared yourselves for. It's outta the fryin' pan and into the fire. You gotta be sharp-- like a blade. You gotta be swift-- like a samurai. Learn these techniques, and learn 'em well. Class dismissed!" He clapped his hands, and the class began to disperse. I blinked. "...Wait-- that's it?"

"Yeah. Hurry up and put that stuff away, or we'll be late for magic theory!" Rin said, motioning to my armour and sword. "A-Ah! Right!" I said, and hurried back to the armoury, putting it all away, gulping. Then, I headed back out, where Rin was already waiting. How the dude got changed so fast was beyond me.

"...Hey, Naema. Let's stick together from here on out. You look like you need an anchor-- a guide. Someone t'show you the ins and outs of the school." He offered. I blinked, thinking about it for a moment. ..."Yea, sure. Alright. What've I got to lose?"

Rin smirked. "You got no idea, kid." I didn't have time to ask what that meant before he began walking to the next class, rather quickly. I yelped in surprise. "H-Hey, wait up!" I ran forwards, managing to catch up to him, before slowing down my pace to match his. "Don't go off like that, you know?"

"You gotta move fast around here, kid. Alanian's could be watchin' you-- studyin' you. Finding your weaknesses-- and kid, you've got a lot of 'em. Best not to stick around in one place too much-- unless it's the homeroom." He said. I nodded lightly. "R-Right... Thanks."

"Don't mention it. Ares? We're all a team. A band of brothers. We look out for each other."

"And sisters." I mentioned, remembering seeing about an even split of boys and girls in the Ares house.

"And sisters, yes. But we call them our bro's for convenience. They don't mind. Trust me." Rin smirked a bit, and left me pondering what the hell he meant by that.

Rin lead me back to the school, and down a couple corridors to a stairway. We ended up on floor 3, and Rin stopped to double check his timetable. "3-4... 3-4... 3-4..." He said, as he walked along the room.

"H-Hey, watch out!" I called out-- but it was too late. Rin, distracted by the timetable, had managed to bump into a... Rather attractive girl. "Hey, watch where you're going!" She said, stepping back a bit. Rin just smirked. "I -was-." He teased. The girl's cheeks flushed red a bit, and she ran past him. "Creep!"

"Hey, at least I'm not a Myrian!" He called out.

"You're just as bad as they are!" She replied, from the other end of the hallway.

He smirked, shaking his head. "Girls." He chuckled. I folded my arms. "Maybe if you were nicer to them...."

Rin just shrugged. "They like it."

"…She just ran away from you."

"That doesn't mean they don't like it."

I applied my palm to my face, shaking my head. "…Whatever. Let's just get to magic class."
So, we walked down the hallway, before we finally came across room 3-4. I narrowed my eyes, my heart pounding in my chest. …Was I ready for this? I mean—magic? Seriously? I shook my head, gulping a little, feeling nervous. I'd felt that a LOT today.

"…You coming, or not?" Rin's hand was already turning the door handle. I gulped, and nodded. "I'm coming." He opened the door, letting me walk through first. I stepped forward, cautiously… Which then turned out to be a right judgment—my foot tripped some kind of invisible wire, and something smacked me in the head hard enough to cause me to stumble backwards and fall to the floor.

"OW!" I cried out, my hands instinctively rushing up to my forehead. I grimaced, and I could hear Rin swearing. "Who the hell—Traps are supposed to be illegal today! Someone's getting a smashing! Shit….! You okay, man?" He rushed over to my side, and placed a hand on my forehead, peeling away my fingers.

"…'s a big-ass bruise, man…"

"…I think I need a minute…" I gulped. I heard someone laughing in the classroom—I'd bet it was the person who set the trap. Which I now saw was a wooden baseball bat, hooked up to some sort of mechanism. "…The thing was literally invisible until you triggered it. Shit, it must have been the Myrian's… They get all kinds of shit like this…." Rin swore. He looked up to the baseball bat, and walked inside, working on what I presumed to be getting rid of the trap. Moments later, I heard a 'click' sound, and Rin walked out, carrying the baseball bat, and mechanism—dumping it on my lap.

"Memorabilia. The first trap you've ever activated. …There're gonna be hundreds more before the year's out." Rin said. I gulped, and nodded lightly, looking down at the trap. I'd have to piece together how it worked when I got home. "Ahn… …Thanks…" Was all I could say.

"…Hey, what's that necklace thing?" Rin said, suddenly. I gulped, looking down, my hand instinctively rising up and clutching the front of it. "Family heirloom…" Was all I said. "…Isn't it a little girly?" Rin asked, folding his arms.

"…Don't care… Uncle gave it to me… Somethin' about it being from a goddess…" I mumbled. Rin shrugged. "From a goddess? Why didn't you mention that sooner. That thing could be –valuable-."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"We could use it to buy people onto our side."


"Our side—on the campus, I mean. For the wars."

"…No. My uncle gave it to me. I'm not selling it."

"…You sure?"

"Positive. Please don't ask me again." I felt some sort of connection to the necklace… I think I liked it. I mean—sure, it was girly, but… What Uncle Mike said about it earlier—how it suited me? I think I understood what he meant—somehow. I don't know why, but it felt right when it was on me. Like it belonged there.

That moment, I felt a bit of a tremor run up my spine… Which stopped, as suddenly as it had begun.

"…You okay, man?" Rin asked, worried. I nodded, unsure… But otherwise fine. "Y-Yeah, I'm fine."

He offered a hand to help me up, which I accepted. I wobbled a bit, feeling a little dizzy now that I was on two feet, but it didn't take long for my senses to recalibrate.

"Some knock on the head… Should heal in a half hour, though. School magic, and all that."
"…Right…" Somehow, that didn't reassure me. I walked into the class… And tripped on the same wire. Again.

Then I got hit in the head.


"OW! WHAT THE HELL?!" I cried out, in pain, stumbling back. I heard muffled voices. I looked up, my eyes watery—another baseball bat. From the other side. I groaned, stumbling over, feeling like I was about to pass out.

"…Naema?!" I heard Rin's voice, but it was faint. I was fading. Oh god, I was fading.
…That was when I woke up on the floor in the reception room, with a sharp gasp. I cried out in pain and shock, feeling incredibly disorientated. What just happened?! One moment I was there, and the next, here…? I checked my hands. No baseball bat thingy. I checked my neck—fortunately, my necklace had come with me. I breathed out in relief—I didn't want Rin to take it, and sell it.

"…First death of the year. Yer one unlucky kid, ain'tcha?" I heard a voice say. I looked around—and saw the receptionist girl. I grunted, picking myself up. So that's what happened… I'd 'respawned', as Rin had put it. I stood up, brushing myself off. Luckily, I had everything that was connected to my person—including my backpack, and clothes. I winced a bit as I imagined showing up like that naked. I shuddered at the mere thought.
Then, the school bell rang. "Shit! ---Shit, shit! I'm late!" I ran as fast as I could down the hallways, up the stairs, making my way back to room 3-4…

It took a good three minutes, before I was back at the door--- which was now shut. The hallways were likewise, empty. Everyone'd gone into class, even Rin. I gulped, and opened the door… I rushed in as fast as I could, trying my best not to trip over any wires, my eyes closed, as I braced myself for another hit.

…That was when I ran into a desk, and knocked it over.

"Agh! C-Crap!" I opened my eyes, to find the entire class just staring at me. "Shit, shit, shit, shit…" I muttered under my breath.

I looked quickly around for any spare seats. There was, luckily, one next to Rin. First, I helped put the desk back up, and then I headed over to the free one, shifting nervously.
"…You okay, man?" Rin asked. "You look really, really pale."

"…I'm fine…" I said, in a weak voice. Rin just grunted. "Whatever you say."

And so, the class went on. Despite the subject matter, it was pretty boring—we were going over the history of magic, and how it shaped the world. We already knew this—at least, I did. Apparently, we weren't actually going to start LEARNING magic until a couple weeks. The teacher had said that in order to be able to use Magic, we had to understand how it was used in the past—reshaping islands, enchanting items… It was quite entertaining, but there were no actual demonstrations—just stories. Regardless, I listened intently.
I did notice something strange, though. About midway through the lesson, my entire body shivered. I looked down, wincing—and saw that my necklace, was glowing. I blinked. "…what…" I said, under my breath. My hand rose up to grab at it. It felt… Warm.

I shook my head, gulping. There was no way this could be a magical artefact! …But then, I remembered that it'd been given to my uncle by this town's goddess. That… Didn't exactly help my thoughts.

I tried to take it off. It felt like it was stuck to my skin. I shrank down further into the seat, pulling my shirt over it to try and make the glowing less obvious.

…I shook my head a little, feeling all twitchy. The glowing faded. I let out a loud groan.
"…You okay?" Rin asked me. I shook my head. "…Feel sick…"

Rin didn't respond. Not until several moments later. "….Naema. Dude. Your –EARS-."

"….What's wrong with my ears?" I blinked, turning to look at Rin. I felt my head twitch a little. Rin was just… Staring at me. As was the rest of the class. "No, seriously. What's wrong with my ears."

"…You don't… You don't feel those?" Rin asked, his voice low.

"Feel what? I just feel a little ill…." I tilted my head. Then, I brought my hands up to my ears.

They weren't there. All I felt was hair.

I rubbed around that area. It was as if there –were- no ears there.

…Then, I got a crazy, insane idea. I slid my hands even further up. …Resting atop my head were these triangular, furry… Things, poking out of my skull. As I rubbed them, I could feel it. The ears—my ears, twitched at the touch.

"…Um… …Just what the –hell- are these?" I squeaked—surprised at the pitch of my voice. I guess I was more shocked than I felt.

"…They… …Look like –fox- ears." I heard a random student say. My ears twitched a little, and I felt like I was gonna pass out.

"…Um… Did anyone SEE them appear? They were normal when I walked in…" I asked, shaking my head.

"…Um—yeah. Your head… Glowed red." A student seated behind me replied.

"…My head? Not just the ears?" I Inquired.

"…Yeah. And your face is a bit different too. …Looks more… Girly?"

...I don't remember much after that, because the next moment, I found myself lying on a bed in the Nurse's room.

I blinked, feeling heavily disorientated. My ears twitched, as I looked around. The bed was soft. And there was nobody around, but me. I shook my head, my entire body felt hot. I trembled a little—I hope I hadn't gotten sick! Was this the work of Ares? He hated me after all, right? No, I thought… I shook my head. Ares didn't have a thing to do with it. It was that damn necklace.

I looked down… To find no necklace. In its place, there was… a dark red patch of fur, spread around my chest in some kind of fire symbol. I ran my finger across that, and shivered. The fur… It was definitely attached to me. I looked like some kind of freak… But luckily, it didn't rise high enough—It could still be covered by my shirt. I breathed out in relief—but then swore when I realised there was no hope in hell of hiding the ears.
I whimpered lightly, and curled up into a ball on the bed, shivering. What was wrong with me? What—What happened, period?!

"…Nothing is wrong with you." I heard a voice sound through my head. A familiar, feminine voice. I rubbed my forehead, looking around—the area was still empty.

"T-Then why the hell am I hearing things?" I said, aloud.

"Because. I'm your vessel." I heard the voice speak again, and rubbed my temples, groaning. The voice… It was familiar. I felt like I'd heard it before—but where?!

'…My vessel? What the hell does she mean?' I thought to myself, struggling to figure this all out.

"…Or rather, we're each other's vessel. It's complicated."

'…Wait, you can hear my thoughts?'

"You're hearing MINE, aren't you?"

'…Who are you?! What's going on?!'

"…Who am I? Illaena."

'….' I literally had no words. No thought could sum up my feeling greater than: "Oh shit".

I recognized that name. She was the person—the BEING who gave my uncle that necklace. …She was a deity. A Kitsune deity.
The New World: Rebirth
Part One: [link]
Part Two:[Here]
Part Three: [link]
Part Four: [link]

The New World: Challenges
Part One: [link]
Part Two: [link]
Part Three: [link]
Part Four: [link]

The New World: Intermission
Part One: [link]
Part Two: [link]
Part Three: [link]
Part Four: [link]
Part Five: [link]
Part Six: [link]

The New World: Shadows and Nightmares
Part One: [link]
Part Two: [link]
Part Three: [link]
Part Four: [link]
Part Five: [link]
Part Six: [link]

The New World: Changeling
Part One: [link]
Part Two: ....
Part Three: ....
Part Four: ....
Part Five: ....
Part Six: ....

Here's the second part! Enjoy, don't forget to comment and critique!
Add a Comment:
EndiDraws Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Note to self, if my uncle gives me a necklace he said he got from a god....throw it out or sell it
link-evils-bane Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
jaredsmith19988 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
shits gettin nuts also yay for respawing
wish i could do that to people
want them to fo away knofe them and there away
Esevans Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012   General Artist
Quote: "Which then turned out to be a right judgment—my foot tripped some kind of invisible wire, and something smacked me in the hard enough to cause me to stumble backwards and fall to the floor."
Think you meant head. :D

Story is most entertaining. Looking forward to reading more. :D
adaminator1 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Hah, nice catch! Thanks, I'll fix it :>
frugalberrypie Featured By Owner May 20, 2012
like too much shivering, but good enough for a book with editing.
C10artfan Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Hobbyist
That last bit of speech summed it up perfectly, this was realy good and I can't wait for the next one
luvinanime25 Featured By Owner May 18, 2012
aahh okay...a tg that's basically a kitsune's connection back into the world and he being the next heir to be a host for the goddess and was never told that he was going to go through this. right?
waffliesinyoface Featured By Owner May 17, 2012
I just love that second-to-last line.
adaminator1 Featured By Owner May 17, 2012
Glad you liked it. ^-^
Add a Comment:

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