"Get back... Armor Breaker!" The shout pierces the air, as the beautiful swordswoman of the Arseid school jumps into the air and brings her sword down on the opponent, staggering them. "To you, Elliot!"
As the same blue-haired woman jumps back, a young boy with orange hair and his staff jump in. "Got it!" He pushes his staff in the direction of the enemy, causing three blue orbs of Orbal Energy to be unleashed and connecting with the Evil Crow. This, in turn, has said Crow fall to the ground. At the same time, the other half of the group consisting of a man with a Tachi and black hair strikes the second Evil Crow, followed by an archer with golden hair.
"That was great, Rean!" The girl, named Alisa, had the back of her hand collide with the back of the man with black hair, whose name is Rean. "Yeah, you too, Alisa." The battle the four were engaged was over.
"Haha... Man, you two link pretty well." The orange-haired boy, Elliot, said. "Well, we still have to keep up with you two, you know?" Rean said, directing his words at Elliot and the swordswoman, Laura. "N-No, it's difficult enough as is to keep up with Laura..." Elliot said back, seeming a little embarrassed. "Really? If it is that hard to keep up with me, I could hardly tell. Still, I believe we should continue making our way towards the forest." Laura stated and reminded Group A of their current objective.
"Yeah, Laura's right. The farmhouse should be just up ahead though, same with the entrance to the park. So let's keep going!" Alisa said, pointing towards the direction of the windmill in the distance. "Yeah. Class VII, Group A, let's move out!"
"Aidios, help us...!"
Group A of Class VII ended up biting more than what they could chew as they defeated the fake park rangers. They have spotted the goods, but a giant beast, the Grunoja along with two Gordi Chief had decided to enter stage left. Rean, with his new power of Flame Slash, along with Laura's Radiant Dance, was able to eliminate the Gordi Chief without difficulty. Thanks to the support of Elliot's Resounding Beat, and Alisa's Blessed Arrow, the four were able to hold out for a considerably long time for the beast to get weak.
"Alright, Class VII! The beast is almost down, but don't let your guard down! It's still got plenty of energy!" Rean called out to his comrades, as he unleashed the fourth form of the Eight Leaves One Blade style, Autumn Leaf Cutter. Delaying the enemy, Laura and Alisa took this as a chance to unbalance it for a chance to use their combat links, both times successful with Elliot following after Laura and Rean after Alisa.
As the beast made its move, it charged over to Elliot. "A-Ah...!" Before it could unleash its Fists of Fury, Laura jumped over to Elliot, raising her sword above her head. "No, you don't!" She called out, enduring the relentless assault the beast gave. "Laura...! Are you all right?!" Elliot called out to Laura, who was on her knees and weak. "I'm fine...! I can still go!" She said, her body defying her words. "Alisa, take care of Laura! Elliot, link with me and we'll distract it!" Rean called out, as Alisa nodded. "Laura, just be careful!" Shortly after, the combat links changed. with the orange glow connecting Rean and Elliot, and a blue glow connecting Laura and Alisa.
As Alisa activated her ARCUS to use Teara on Laura, Rean was able to unbalance the enemy with Autumn Leaf Cutter, allowing for Elliot to cut in. "Take this...!" As Elliot cried out, his reactions were slightly faster, his movements swifter. Laura was able to recover shortly after what seemed like water surrounding her was absorbed by her, and moved in to attack. The beast let out a deadly roar, but no one was phased too strongly by it. Combat links changed once more back to what they were prior, and Laura struck the beast once more, unbalancing it.
"Elliot, after me!" Laura called out, and for a moment, it felt like the world was reshaping, as Elliot and Laura could only see their target. "Understood!" As Laura sent in one strike, Elliot followed up with a strike from his Orbal Staff. The beast let out a cry as the duo finished it off, with its body falling to the ground and eventually fading.
"Phew... It's over!" Elliot let out a deep sigh of relief. The other three wanted to walk over to him, but they were too tired to keep moving, falling to their knees. "S-Seriously... What was that thing...?" Rean said as he tried to use his sword to keep himself up. "It was... Quite the formidable foe, but it's... Finally down." Laura said, also using her sword to keep herself from falling down on her front. "That thing was huge and strong... Sheesh..." Alisa said as she ended up using her hands to keep herself up. Then, the sound of a whistle.
"...I hear that Group B turned out to be a disaster." Rean said as the four were talking on the train. Since Class VII's field study was over, it was time for them to return to Trista. Accompanied by Sara Valestein, their instructor, they began the ride home. "Yeah, I mean, having to deal with Group B, then coming back to us all on the same day... Makes sense she's so exhausted." Alisa said as she looked over at their sleeping instructor. "Still, after all this, I think I'm starting to get an idea about what the purpose of these field studies are." Laura said. "Yeah, me too!" Elliot said as Alisa began to speak on her thoughts. "This also seems to tie into the purpose of Class VII... We're going to places we've only read about in the Empire, and getting firsthand knowledge on the situation developing around the Empire."
"Well, you're half right." The familiar voice of an instructor spoke, as the eyes of the four turned over to their now awake instructor. "What? I could've sworn you were asleep just now..." Laura said. "Eh, who knows? I'm able to switch on and off, like a light whenever I feel like it! Anyways, yeah. Your class is going to places all across the Empire, learning about the environments to where you could potentially be deployed..." Sara explained. As she said that, Rean seemed to be in thought. "I guess that makes sense. Still, I've never heard of a military academy using this sort of exercise... Rean?" Alisa said as she turned her attention to the closed-eyes Rean. "Hey, something up?" Sara said, calling out to him. "Oh, no, it's nothing. It's just... The tasks we had to do around Celdic are similar to the M.O. of Bracers."
"Now that you mention it..." Alisa said. "The Bracer Guild... They have branches all over the continent of Zemuria, but only a few of them are still active in the Empire." Elliot stated, saying what he knew about the Bracer Guild. "Yes, and their symbol is represented by a Supporting Gauntlet since their tasks involve helping with the problems of civilians," Laura said. As she said that, everyone turned their eyes into glares over at Sara. "Ahaha... You got me! In that case..." As Sara was about to explain, she fell asleep. Everyone sighed at that. "Seriously, whenever we need to know something from her..." Elliot said. "Well, I'm sure we'll find out the true purpose of it all later," Alisa said. "Oh, right, Elliot, Laura. I've been meaning to ask you two..." Rean began to speak.
"Hm?" The two said in unison. "What was that... I don't know what to call it, move that you two did when you took out that beast?" Rean asked. "Now that you mention it, your movements were really fast... I couldn't keep up with what you two did." Alisa pointed out her view of the scene. "W-Well, that was, uh..." Elliot began to speak. "I'm... Not sure, myself. My best guess would be it relates to the ARCUS." Laura said. "Got it in one! Give three cheers for Ms. Arseid!" The 'sleeping' instructor said. "If you're going to sleep, then sleep," Rean said. "Nah, I'm a switch. Anyways, as for what happened... It was supposed to be a surprise mechanic of the ARCUS for later, but it seems you two were so in sync that you were able to use that feature earlier! I like to call it the 'Rush' feature." Sara explained. "Rush? Makes sense with how fast they were moving." Alisa said.
"When we triggered the 'Rush' feature, though, I felt like I could only see Laura and the enemy... The world around me I wasn't able to see it anymore!" Elliot said, telling everyone his view of the situation. "It was the same for me. I was quite surprised at how effective it was, too, at taking out the monster." Laura said, confirming Elliot's view and offering her experience. "Well, that's because it's supposed to be an ability that attacks the enemy attacked and those right around it. Still, you'll have to learn more once I give you proper use! And with that... Snore time." As Sara finished speaking, she went back to sleep. "Rush, huh... It seemed to be really effective." Rean offered his two Mira. "I, for one, would like to see if we could pull it off again sometime. Perhaps master it before Sara even has to truly let us?" Laura said, explaining what she wants to do.
"Well, there is the Old Schoolhouse we can train in if Rean calls upon us," Elliot said, looking over at Rean. "Yeah. Besides, I'm sure Principal Vandyck will give us another request related to it, so I'll be sure to invite the two of you down there to practice it." Rean said, inviting the two down. "Oh, can I come? If that's the place you, Elliot, and Gaius were training in, I could probably really use the experience." Alisa said, asking to come along. "Yeah, I'm sure the four of us plus Gaius can all go down at once. Not sure if the others would want to, though." Rean said. "I'm sure that with me and Alisa assisting you, the five of us will make a swift exploration in that schoolhouse." Laura said, showing her confidence. "Yeah. With all of us, there's nothing we can't do!" And with Elliot's words, the other three then spoke...