Chapter 3

The lessons of the day went on in the usual manner. I noticed Amie in the back row with her brother Tom he had similar sharp features as Amie; I remembered the last time we met, at the annual Praetorians ball. The man was a foot taller than Amie with a love for animals, any conversations about wildlife and the golden tint in his eyes glowed.
Mr. Raven lesson was going through the ancient praetorians that became legends, some of them so far back in time what’s left of them were statues in the hall of heroes, ‘when the centurion called Joshua Drake came that’s when things went wrong for the praetorians’ his voice raised making a point Mr. Raven looked at everyone to let it sink in ‘who was the centurion you may ask, first, he was a man of great skill so gifted he could use all three arts,’ some students’ in the class seemed in awe, especially the other praetorians ‘for those of you, not a part of the praetorian world this means he could control Kensei. The power of the mind this enabled the use of telepathy and telekinesis, Dengen is physical base energy, allowing body enhancements, the plus abilities to mold energy for attacks and defense, and finally the Chikara arts a more subtle spiritual energy this helps the user to conjure up elemental attacks such as wind, fire, etc. If the praetorian is strong enough in Chikara they can summon monsters,’ the images on the screen changed showing such uses, a couple of students jumped at the scary image of a summon monster. The red eyes of the beast bored into you sending a small chill down my back. ‘This was the first and last time in history that one person had that much power.’

‘What happened to him,’ one student asks
‘Sadly greatness had its pitfalls he became insane for power, according to the history texts he didn’t start that way. At first, he was a great leader saved thousands, if not millions of lives, by stopping and avert many terrible disasters.’ students leaned forward in their chairs trapped in Mr. Raven flair for the dramatic, he loved it when all eyes were on him ‘you’re probably looking for the ‘but’ in this story’ we all nodded in agreement. ‘The centurion known as Joshua Drake left the galaxy for a few years beyond the empire and into unknown regions, his heart set on saving lives other than who is in this glorious empire, upon his return, though something turned him evil by what means we still don’t know, he didn’t come back alone Joshua came with an army of hideous creatures called the Grismon, the dark, tall slaving beast that could easily rip you apart,’ the screen changed showing a Grismon which looked similar to the ones in the books I had been reading, I heard some students breath in noticeably. ‘Other terrible machines came also such destruction from these devices destroyed whole planets in moments, this all happened just over twenty years ago, even today out on the fringes of the empire some planets and cities are still in need of rebuilding and repairing.’
I was looking for a way of asking parents about Nelus this was even better, It was a part of the history lesson and Mr. Raven knew his stuff ‘I read that the last known battle with the Grismon was on Nelus’
Raven smiled, making me nervous ‘at least someone finally got down to the library, yes Nelus was the last place recorded of seeing the deadly species. Yes, Amie a question’
I turned ‘me and Devin looked over the records and found that the Winter family was there at Nelus’s last battle do you have any information on what happened’ Amie asked, did she just read my mind? I still looked in her direction, her eyes landing on mine, she smiled.

‘Well am sure the Devin family can add more to that than I, according to the notes on file that battle was short and bloody the praetorians at the time came out right on top of the planet, giving the Grismon no time to build a defense and within a space of a day through air and ground assaults the fight was over. The aftermath of that battle turned the once beautiful world of Nelus into a desolate wasteland, even today it still hasn’t been touched or resettled by anyone from the empire just a small space station there circles the planet for study.’ Raven chuffed ‘let’s turn over the subject to the next praetorian legend, Grand Master Rhina Winter.’
After that the day went on, I was back in the library but instead of studying subjects in classes I have done, I looked for techniques in the arts to help pass the test Grandma would make us do. Coming across several rudimentary books about self-defense designed for people in the military I found a book called the art of stasis, you wouldn’t think much of the book, looking through the pages it was all about focusing and internalizing your energy to create small but intense uses of Dengen. Describing the skill seemed simple enough as you strengthen your energy in your core, it allowed you to fight in longer battles by maintaining stamina and energy, it also said you should store small amounts in a reserve well over long periods for you to tap into in times of great need, your output of Dengen is only for each object you connect with and uses small concentrated bursts timed with each movement.

Slamming down next to me was a tired-looking brother ‘you still reading books’ the words sounded forced ‘Devin books don’t help in a fight, practical training, and instruction from masters will’ I looked at Varak nothing in the universe wanted me to agree with him but Varak always looked for shortcuts.
‘Varak all of your skills are unfocused you do more damage than hitting the target when dad showed you how to form and fire an energy bolt not only did you missed the target he had set up you took the roof out,’ I said, he was interrupting my studies and he knows that bothered me,
Varak glared at me getting annoyed ‘your bolt didn’t even damage the target it was so ineffective I could have done more damage by breathing on it’ I smiled at Varak this didn’t help defuse the situation, father told Varak to calm down on several occasions when generating the power in his hand’s, Varak being eager to impress all the time makes him overdo it hence the roof coming off or home
‘At least mine hit, father was very pleased I guess that counts as a win’ that had to sting we were only one year older from that moment and Varak was turning green with jealousy, my book got flung across the desk by my brothers Kensei, his anger didn’t give him the control need to make the book fly away, it just fell off the table hitting the ground. I picked it up from the floor next to me while he stormed out.
Later that day there was no sign of brother, I guess an argument will brew before I get home. I walked down the steps of the school, Amie and Tom were at the bottom waiting for their ride home ‘hello Devin have you been studying in the library all day your eyes look exhausted’ Amie said I pulled the best smile under the circumstances. I read the book all the way through, each exercise I came across I tried, every time had been a failure seeing Amie after my failure put some energy back into my soul.
‘Come on come on where is he,’ tom said
I looked at Amie inquiring ‘don’t mind him Tom has discovered a new animal’
Tom turned to us with excitement ‘it’s a new form of Lanquill apparently it can be domesticated’
I thought back to the wildlife class when I was in junior school, the only thing I remember about Lanquill’s was a huge size bird that lived in the mountains and a nasty temper ‘aren’t they a dangerous animal’ I said,
Tom showed even more excitement ‘that’s what’s so great about this new breed a few Lanquill have mated with a more docile species of bird and the only place they are selling the eggs are on the other side of town I can’t wait to get one and that will only happen if our ride shows up,’ Tom began moving around impatiently to find their ride leaving Amie and me alone
‘Tom is going mad over this he can’t wait to have a giant bird as a pet, mind you training animals and understanding them is his specialty, what have you been doing you looked drained,’ she said, her hand reached out and touch my shoulder ‘it’s a new technique am learning haven’t quite got used to it,’ I said there was that smile again which made me want to grab her with a big kiss.
The hovercar arrived and within moments of Tom rushing Amie inside she quickly waved goodbye and once the motivators kicked in the vehicle pulled away smoothly going around the bend. After watching the car disappear, I headed home at a sedate pace reaching the front gates of home.

As I neared, loud noises emanated from the backyard. Again, I assumed my brother was taking his frustration out on the holographic targets which helped us train when we were younger. Rounding the corner to the back, I watch my brother unleashing everything he had at father most of it was uncontrolled, impressive energy, but still no control, the energy waves hitting the target which at this moment was father, these got deflected easily into the ground or air where they do no damage ‘come on son, it’s fine to take my head off, but if most of them go wide how will you defeat your target, especially a moving one’ father taunted this just made Varak even more erratic, the only difference now was a venomous look in his eyes. Feeling the air condense around my brother from the power he created this shook nearby trees, knocking the cherry fruits out onto the ground.
Varak channeled energy into the palms of his hands, something dark and murderous was being created solely for taking down his intended target, father felt the increase, giving his son a feral smile the look of a hunter ready to take on the beast ‘come on son show me what you got’ he shouted over the racket, he screams my brother unleashing the power gripped between his fingers sending a solid wave of pure white light, it nearly reached father but the stream of light stopped as Varak fainted falling to the ground.
A flicker of movement father caught him just before he hit the ground face first. ‘Is he all right what happened’ I could hear concern leeching from my voice.

‘He will be fine, just pushed himself too far, good thing schools out for the weekend, Varak won’t be awake soon,’ with an easy lift father carried him inside the house and laid Varak the in bed.

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About the author.
Albert is an ex-royal air force photographer. He is passionate about novel writing and creative arts, his work can be seen on and . Albert enjoys gaming with his son and records them to replay on .

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About the author. Albert is an ex-royal air force photographer. He is passionate about novel writing, creative arts and news www.yomina.com

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