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Rivals No More

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“Target acquired.” A young girl with long silver hair and red eyes aimed her lance, glowing azure as it charged up. SHWAAAAA. A beam of light ripped through a target dummy. “And over there.” She immediately jerked the lance to the left to hit another target nearby, before swinging it much further to the right to fire at a third target far off in the distance.

By the numbers.

“Changing attack mode.” The weapon changed from a lance rifle to a whip, as it lost its solid form and fell to the ground, her mannerisms changing along with weapon. While she sounded almost monotone with how she fired the energy blasts, her now voice picked up, her words being more pronounced. “Let me at them. I am so ready, they won’t know what hit them.” She loved when she could use the weapon in whip mode, her glowing red eyes widening.

She crouched, hand on one knee, other hand on the handle, scanning the horizon. She breathed deeply.

Then she took off, dashing across the open field within the testing grounds, taking a rightside arc, whip dragging along by her feet. Closing in on one of the previously blasted targets, she swung the whip, all in one smooth motion.

“HEEEEEEEYAAAAAAAAA”

The target was struck, blue sparks flying.

She closed in on the next target. THWACK

She loved the sound it made, the sparks, how in control she was of this whip. THWACK.

With increasing ferocity, she went across a string of other targets. THWACK THWACK THWACK.

The girl jumped back from the target dummies, then made a run for the surrounding forest, wanting to keep that combat high going. SSSSSSSS THWACK! “HAAAAAAAAA” She struck several trees, weaving in and out. It was a personal thing she loved doing.

“GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” The girl sprung from the forest, barreling toward a target. Despite the target being someone larger than her, she knocked it down with the impact from her velocity. She hopped back, looked down, and went at it. “HAAAAA” THWACK. “Take that!” THWACK. “I’ll kill you!” THWACK. The shouting of a human weapon, of someone who took great joy in inflicting this sort of damage. If this target was another human being, they would be well dead by now, their blood splashed across the face of this girl, who wouldn’t stop assailing until she got her fill. Dummy target or actual person, it didn’t make a difference, the lashes and tearing rendering the target nearly unrecognizable.

A voice came from not too far away. “You can stop now, the testing is over. We got what we needed.” At that, the glow disappeared from the girl’s eyes, as she dropped both the weapon and shield.

Off in the distance stood a woman in her late 30s. Wearing a lab coat over a slightly loose black shirt and a black pair of pants, she adjusted her eyeglasses, having finished her note-taking for this session.

Clementia Förster. A researcher currently based at Lanseal to study the Valkyria and their powers. Has messy black hair she simply chops away with a scalpel whenever it gets in her way. An emotionally void person, she believes the value of her research is absolute, does not bother with human traits like compassion, and feels no remorse about about the lack of ethics within her work. While called mama by Aliasse, Clementia sees her as only a test subject who obeys and does as she’s told. In short, she’s a cold bastard.

Meanwhile, the young girl had a look of innocence about her, the total opposite of how she was just before, as she waltzed back to where she started today’s testing.

“Mama, did I make you proud?” The girl hugged Clementia.

“Of course you did. You made mama very proud. Good work.” She patted the girl’s head, something done as a reward rather than any real care for her.

“Yay!” The girl beamed. “I will do anything to make mama proud!”

Clementia meanwhile kept a straight face. “Who knows when we’ll need to deploy you onto the field for actual combat, so it’s good to keep this up.”

“Oh oh! Can I go walk around campus? I wanna go for a walk!”

“You can, yes. You earned it.” She waved the girl off.

“Aliasse, out!”

Aliasse, a young Valkyria girl. 13 years old. Fighting is all she knows, having spent most of her life cut off from the rest of the world. The young girl considers Clementia her everything and a mother figure, having nobody else to rely on. Eager to please her, Aliasse often employs her talents to great effect on the battlefield, providing data to her mother figure for the sole purpose of getting her acknowledgment. She doesn’t know what friends are, nor how people live normally. While she can go from a human weapon to cheerful girl at the drop of a dime, she has nobody who can appreciate this lighter side of herself.

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“This has been such a nice walk.” Cosette was glad she had the idea.

“Yeah! This school sure is something!” Avan exclaimed.

“It’ll help with when classes start tomorrow, not having to worry about being lost. I could appreciate the design of this school all day.” Zeri adjusted his classes.

“You’ll have to tell us all about it! I’d be curious.” Cosette will remember to ask another time.

“We should do these walks whenever we have downtime. Who knows what we’ll find.” Avan laughed.

Zeri was zoning out, when he noticed something far off in the distance, within some shading. He thought it was a hooded figure. It wandered about, paused for a moment, then disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“Are you okay, Zeri? You look like you’ve seen some sort of ghost.” Cosette poked Zeri.

“I’m not sure, I swore I saw someone over there. Might have been a person, but I couldn’t tell.” Zeri adjusted his glasses, as if making a point.

“Whoa man, I hope there aren’t any ghosts or anything around here!” Avan staggered. “Now that would be too spooky! I wonder if we’ll come across any ghost stories.”

“I’d be spooked too!” Cosette reflexively held onto Avan.

“Maybe it noticed me and ran off? I wish it was just my imagination.” Zeri thought to himself out loud in response.

Was the sighting a coincidence, or a foretelling of things to come? What makes the researcher such a cold bastard? Who was this mysterious girl?

One thing was for sure.

Starting tomorrow, classes would be in session.