“The final year. Time seems to go so fast, right?” Luon muttered as he ate breakfast with the others.
“You can only do so much within two years,” said Gizmo.
After the end of their second school year, they rarely played with each other online. Everyone was off to their own devices as if they were completely burned out from the aftermath of the tournament, and that wasn’t the only thing that changed for them. Everyone who participated in the combat segment of the competition had locally became famous. Luon who enjoyed going to the library to use the computer stopped doing so when groups of people would come to annoy him.
Of course, he still snuck out when he equipped his invisibility cloak, only sometimes he would forget to re-equip it. Luon spent his days loitering around at home pondering about his future when he wasn’t off entertaining himself with books and movies.
Today was the day before the start of their new school year. The group which consisted of everyone except Thomas who was accepted to work under Zekar decided to hang out. It was challenging to get Zekar to agree, but after some insistence from Luon, Zekar hired Thomas to help him out in exchange for crafting techniques and a small sum of money. Thomas became the second disciple under his wing, and according to Zekar, Luon’s engineering techniques could be considered equivalent to a level 3 engineer.
The group met outside of a shopping district that had numerous restaurants. They were here for only one goal, an eating challenge to celebrate for obtaining, third place. With the media causing havoc for a few months, they were unable to celebrate, but now they can peacefully do so. With the absence of the Long family, the headmaster of their school was sent numerous interview requests, but that had all died down in the summer; now they could enjoy all the flavors that humanity had to offer.
“Ohhh!” while Gizmo and Luon were making some small talk Bendan devoured plate after plate. When it came to crabs, he couldn’t help himself, as they tasted too good.
Gizmo frowned as he carefully protected his food from the wild beast. Gizmo turned to Luon and asked him, “Speaking of which, what do you plan to do after you graduate? Engineering? The army? Or maybe you want to settle down and start a family? Hehe, got any special girl in mind.”
It wasn’t the first time he had thought of this question, as if he had anticipated the question Luon said, “I don’t know, maybe I’ll join the army, or maybe I’ll go work at Novera Corporation. We’ll see when we get there.”
Gizmo wasn’t satisfied with the answer as he pressed on by asking, “What about girls? Got anyone you like? There are a couple of roses to pick from the garden, do you have your favorite one yet? Don’t tell me you want to find one on the street.”
‘Are you seriously asking me this? You know we got some crazy girls in our class,’ thought Luon as he only replied with a sly smile to evade the question. Seeing how he wasn’t able to probe any more information Gizmo stopped asking and focused on eating.
At this moment Thanatos asked, “Are you sure you aren’t interested in anyone? A flower withers and vanishes if left unattended.”
‘What’s with you guys and flowers! Girl’s aren’t flowers and I ain’t interested,’ thought Luon as he replied to Thanatos’s remark.
“I was only saying that based on experience, people come and go and relationships are the same. This world isn’t completely safe. War and strife are around the corner, and even without them people still die, as if they were fated to do so. You know this, but will you deny it?” Thanatos asked.
Luon didn’t immediately reply to his remark as he thought long and hard about it and gave a small sigh as he stuffs his mouth with food. Every night he had seen more scenes of Thanatos life, and the further he got into it, the worse the story becomes. After the war between races had started pillaging became a norm. The first person he had lost was his parents, and soon it was his friends. People are fragile existence, and one could only grow stronger until they die. With every encounter, Luon felt Thanatos exceed his limits to the points where his bones would creak in despair. However, after downing a healing potion, he would walk on, fight on, and continue. What drove him on throughout all of this? He desired to live, for his family, for his friends, and more importantly his desire for self-fulfillment where he found it within the stories he had lived to learn. Being alive is a blessing, and it took Thanatos his lifetime to understand all of this.
Luon recognized his point of view. He thought about the girls he was somewhat familiar with. Belle was a misfit, with her gothic clothes, black eye-patch, and her antics, Luon found her to be a very unique existence, not that he wasn’t a weirdo himself. After the tournament, Shizuka who always wore the school’s military uniform became too busy to talk to Luon. She spent the majority of her time studying even harder and dealing with many problems that existed within the corporation alongside her father. Her diligence caused Luon’s impression of her to improve.
On the other hand, Luon saw Arisa quite often, to the point where it became excessively strange. He would encounter her almost every day, and it would all start with a coincidence. Sometimes the two would hang out, and the other times they only made some small talk before Luon left to do some business.
The strangest part was that this continued even after the summer had started, and one day he had found her inside his house preparing dinner with his mother. It was almost as if she was a stalker, which he inwardly denied since Luon couldn’t possibly think of any time he would have triggered her flag or at least he truly believed so.
Besides those three, he had a good relationship with the girls in his class, his female admirers, and Janet, the other female idol members who were quite tricky to meet. Since the journalist and press were looking for some suitable material to write about, they had become famous as Janet was one of the critical components to winning the combat portion of the tournament. Riding on a different train to fame, Zythos had also used this opportunity to raise the status of the Mythos Clan as they began to spread their influence, and they weren’t the only ones, besides Novera Corporation, the Nightwalker family also began to expand its power.
Thinking about his relationship Luon could only conclude one thing.
‘Nope, I have no girls in mind whatsoever,’ Luon thought.
Thanatos was speechless, despite experiencing his lifetimes worth of experience to some extent Luon proved to be quite indifferent as his personality never change. Thanatos merely thought that Luon was just an easy-going, busy-body, and righteous youth. He would get the job done when required, and when he can’t, he knows who to rely on.
By the time he finished his thoughts, the others had already cleared all the dishes to Luon’s dismay. He could only sigh as he thought about their first class tomorrow. It was an introduction to space combat.
The first year focused on developing strengths and updating a child’s knowledge, the second year took it and made it practical as students were made to battle one another. As for the final year, it was designed to allow students to freely choose their respective fields, except for the class, Introduction to space combat.
The universe isn’t restricted to one planet, let alone one solar system. There was a multitude of worlds to visit, people to meet, species to discover, and an enemy to be fought. All of this or the majority of this was done in space.
When Luon logged into the classroom using the Vortex Container, he found the setting be similar to their combat class, only it was a simulation, and the classroom was in a virtual spaceship.
Luon could feel the lack of gravity as he began to float lightly, and he wasn’t the only one. His classmates who had also logged in and started to fool around. However, this didn’t surprise most students, if they had taken the survival camp, entered the Alliance tournament, or visited any planets by spaceships then they had already experienced this feeling.
At this moment, Luon’s friends had logged in at this time, and they all crowded together occupying a corner of the room for themselves. Luon could see some of his classmates gossiping while pointing towards them, but he ignored those looks. Especially by the ones from a group of females who had gotten excessively enchanted by the appearance of Luon and the others hanging out with each other.
Soon enough he saw more familiar faces, Zythos, and his goons, Arisa, Shizuka, and Belle. He was also surprised to see Janet in the room since they rarely had any classes together. The classroom that was filled with chatter ceased once the teacher entered the room. Luon was surprised to see that their teacher for the class was both Captain Waver and Helen. Luon could only conclude that the school must have arranged them to be their teachers for the final year in consideration for their victory at the tournament.
“Space combat isn’t easy, unlike battling in the air, water or the ground it’s something difficult to accomplish. When you’re in space, there is nothing for you to push on to aid you to move. Only by generating a propulsive force could you do anything,” said Captain Waver.
Captain Waver began to go over the fundamentals and restrictions of space combat. With the usage of NG-Arms, users could freely attack Inzektors in space, but due to its limited rate of production and power sources. The Alliance found themselves overwhelmed by the massive Inzektor force. Other than NG-Arms, they had developed spaceships that come in numerous sizes for different purposes.
The lesson that Captain Waver was assigned to cover was the basics of fighting in space with and without NG-Arms, and how to fly a military standard space fighter, Dael. The most important segment of his lessons was focused on the Dael as many of the battles are fought on it. Luon looked at the Dael with a complicated look as he compared it with a normal Inzektor. The Dael was roughly two times bigger than the average Inzektor, but Luon couldn’t help but imagine if a storm of them caught him. Those buggers would ravage every part of the ship, and he would die from air lose, which is why it was quite evident that every single combatant in space wore a spacesuit.
Captain Waver assigned the students to different rooms to make them fight the Inzektor that was the size of an ordinary automobile. With metallic black exoskeleton, the Inzektor that resembled a dragonfly that mutated its body in the shape of a wolf with wings scared the mass with its intimidating appearance.
The Inzektor in front of their eyes was the standard space type Inzektor, and they usually fought in swarms. Luon began to spar against the Inzektor only to find it difficult to accomplish so.
His first lesson failed, it took him the same amount of time as the average student in his class to accomplish it. Luon was disappointed at his result. He looked at the top students who managed to kill it faster than him and found that they all used rifles.
Luon concluded range attacks would be the ideal way to deal with the Inzektors.
As class soon became over, Luon was met with Gizmo and the others and asked what their plans for their elective were. It appeared that they weren’t interested in any particular courses and just chose the ones that interested them.
Luon then noticed on the list of possible electives, a class that interested him a little bit, space command. It was a class that only has three open spots that were available to students that the school recommends as it was taught by outside military personnel.
Luon submitted his application, and moments later he heard the result.