Going back to when Anet brought her friends to the Advanced grade building… Moments before the commission by Livai’s friends started, the beautiful receptionist of the Advanced grade building, who welcomed the two groups, was in the midst of imparting the rules of the Summit to Zax, Serah and Zushi.
Now that the “fight” with Livai was finished, there were still a few things for Zax, Serah and Zushi to hear, and due to them leaving in the middle of the first explanation, the receptionist stubbornly insisted on repeating everything from the beginning.
“Firs, student Zax, as an Eden Formation’s student, you must register a DNA sample in order to get access to the Martial section of the Summit. Fortunately, I see here that your DNA sample was already submitted, therefore there is no need to trouble yourself”. As the receptionist confirmed, Zax had an eerie feeling in his stomach.
‘The school has a sample of my DNA…’ Thinking back to when he was brought to recover in the school, after concluding the issue in the Derneldar family’s territory, it was not odd that the school could get a sample of his DNA, but for someone to take it without his consent was a tad creepy.
“Proceeding to the student’s rules of conduct in the Summit”, the receptionist continued. “The Martial section of the Summit is divided to seven levels, each level, but the seventh, is then split into two sections of the same formations’ classes and techniques’ grades. The first level, which open to all students, retain F class Martial formations and F grade Martial techniques, while the seventh level is available to a selected students and retain S class Martial formations and S grade Martial techniques”. The receptionist explained before getting to the rules which apply to Zax.
“According to your registered information, student Zax, you have free access to all seven levels of the Summit”. The receptionist said with a hint of respect and a bit of envy.
Next to Zax, Anet also gasped in shock that subsided only after she remembered the words vice principal Mizuri said just couple of minutes ago.
“If you want to sign out a technique or formation from the Summit, student Zax, you are authorized to pick one technique scripture or formation scripture for thirty days. Should you lose the technique’s or formation’s scripture, you will be fined by the school. On that note, looking at your free access to all seven levels, student Zax, I must personally warn you that the jurisdiction of dealing with transgressions lie in the hands of a third realm expert”. The receptionist’s tip off came out in solemn, almost menacing, voice.
“Are you referring to Superintendent Ten Ram?” The old and aloof figure emerged in Zax mind and even before getting the receptionist’s confirmation he nodded to her warning.
“If you know Ten Ram, then I’m sure you understand”. The receptionist had a good impression from Zax’s character. Seeing that he was already well aware of the school’s most prominent figure, despite being a new student and despite the fact that less than twenty percent of the student body knew about Superintendent Ten’s former identity and frightening cultivation, improved that good impression.
“The doors to the seven levels of the Martial section are equipped with identification sensors and protected by defensive formations. Upon getting to them and wanting to advance to the next level, place a hand on the door and it will read your DNA. Abusing your free access to let other students or guests into levels they are not permitted for entering will be counted as another offense to the Summit’s rules, which will be dealt with by Superintendent Ten Ram”.
Once more, the mentioning of the third realm expert, Ten, caused Zax to node and attach great importance to the Summit’s rules.
“That should be all for you, student Zax”. The young receptionist turned to Zushi and Serah. “The rules for the school’s guest are much shorter and simple. You cannot enter the Martial section and unable to borrow books or records from the Summit, but while you are in, you have permits to all the other sections and can read whatever you like. Also, the computers in the Summit have abridged versions of all the books and records in the Summits, but those in the Martial section. You can send up to ten abridged books or records to an outside computer with this password”. The reception handed two paper slips, one for Zushi and one for Serah with several letters and numbers.
“Memorized?” She asked after about a minute.
“Yes”. Zushi and Serah both answered.
The receptionist took the two paper slips and disintegrated with her golden mist energy.
“Good. Whether you will use your passwords or not, at the end of the day they will expire. To renew your guest’s permits you will have to wait a month and then return, accompanied by a student or a member of the school’s faculty”.
Finally, the receptionist got to Anet, the last member in the group. “Student Anet, I’ll remind you that, as a member of the Student Council Class, although you have access to the sixth level of the Martial section, principal Ram restricted your access to borrow any technique or formation scripture for the time being. As for why, you should already know”.
Anet indeed know. It was not because she just became Don’s Tal and joined the Student Council Class, but because her training’s method was already set by Don and skimming through eye catching Martial techniques and formation will only distract her.
“I know”. Anet replied.
“Then you may all go now to the Summit”. The young receptionist said with a smile.
“Thank you for your help”. The four said before leaving to the elevators.
Exiting the elevator in the first underground floor of the Advanced grade building, the four enters the first of the two floors the Summit has.
The interior of the Summit’s first floor was circular, encompassing two third of the school’s grounds, and grandiose with a classical design from times before humanity immigrated to New Earth.
The first floor was situated roughly fifty meters underground. From its wooden flooring to the artistic ceiling, the height of the first floor was twenty five meters. Lines of large bookshelves were arranged with accordance to the Summit’s circular structure and at the edges of the first floor upholstered chairs and long tables were positioned and occupied by several tens of people who were already quietly reading in the Summit.
In between long tables was the only sign of technology in the first floor of the Summit. Those were the computers the young receptionist of the Advanced grade building mentioned.
“So huge…” Serah said with her eyes open wide, trying to grasp the full size of the Summit.
“In our school the library is electronic, since it is much, much cheaper than constructing an ancient fashioned library, not to mention one that contains so many paper books and records… ” Zushi also was at awe.
“Where the Martial section is located?” Zax asked Anet.
He used his Soul Sense to search the Summit, but it was obstructed by a formation that inhabited in the entire first floor of the Summit. The formation was exceedingly resilient than any of those Zax encountered before in the school. Its restriction gave a similar sensation to the oppressive force of the Savage Caves. Zax options were to either fight it or succumb to the two meters radius it confined his Soul Sense. Naturally, to not arouse Superintendent Ten’s wrath he chose the latter option, being a good guest to the Summit – he still did not consider himself a student of the school.
“The Martial section has its own floor below this one. Unfortunately, only I and you can go down to it”. Anet stated the obvious simply from feeling bad for Zushi and Serah.
“You don’t need to worry about us. We already know that maybe Half the purpose of Zax wanting to come here was to check the Martial part of this library”. Serah said, hinting to Anet with her eyes what could be the other half. “You two can go ahead to the Martial floor and check whatever technique or formation you want. I’m more interested in the art section of this library and I’m sure Zushi, too, have want to check the stuff in this floor”.
“I’m fine”. Zushi affirmed, knowing where Serah was going with sending Zax and Anet without them. Besides, with his gaze, which was captured by the enchanting vista of the first floor of the Summit, it was evident that whether alone or with his friends, he could do fine in this amazing library.
“Then we will head down and meet you later in about half an hour”. Zax jumped on the chanced Serah provided him to be alone with Anet. After the hug, the passionate statement and his friends laughing at him, his mind cooled down a bit, allowing him to think of better things to talk about with Anet then spout cheesy sentences.
“There is a counter at the center of the first floor with two students that are assigned as the monthly caretakers of the Summit, since it doesn’t really has a librarian. You can seek help there in finding the sections that interest you and we can meet in the counter half a hour from now”. Anet suggested.
It was written all over everyone faces why they were so willing to split into two groups, and Anet, much like Zax, also had things she wanted to tell him without the stress of others listening, be they strangers or friends.
While waiting standing alone in the elevator, Zax and Anet did not talk much, but their hands were held together in mutual affection.
Going down further in the elevator to the second floor of the Summit, to the Martial section, the elevator’s doors opened after descending for about seven seconds and eighty five meters below the first floor.
“Let’s go”. Anet took the lead and pulled Zax out of the elevator into a small cubic room with two doors on the left and right.
“The right door leads to the fourth level and the left to the fifth and so on”. Anet said. Going a few steps to the left door, she placed her hand on it. A hand shaped lift flashed from underneath Anet’s palm and the door opened.
As the door, which was made from impervious metals, sunk into the floor Zax caught a glimpse of its thickness and was surprised.
Anet stood right next to him and while waiting for the door to completely submerge in the floor, she said. “You can’t tell using a Soul Sense, but the door is forty centimeters thick, couple with the metals it was made of and the formations imprinted on it, even a second level Core Master would not be able to break through it”.
“Of course, from the fifth level and above the B to S class formations and B to S grade techniques are kept. Inside the space of the fifth, sixth and seventh levels it security is even more harsh!”
After the door sunk a short sound rang.
“We need to cross the doorstep within four seconds”. Anet did not notice, but the more she talked with Zax, even though they just left Zushi and Serah and Zax, himself, was short on words, the more joyous her tone became.
The fifth level was empty from human presence. Its shape was plain and cubic like the previous room and fifteen meters in front of the two was the door to the next, sixth level. The differences were in the size of the fifth level, which was three times larger than the room before, and its interior, which gave it an air of the inside of a bank’s vault with the many deposit boxes that were embedded to the walls of the fifth level.
“You still can’t use your Qi, right?” Anet asked before proceeding.
“Yes. I was hoping to find a technique or formation that can be executed with soul energy”.
“Oh, if that’s what you want we should go to the next level”. Anet declared and without lingering, walked with Zax the fifteen meters to the door to the sixth level and placed her hand on it.
While the door to the sixth level functioned in a similar manner to the previous door, Zax mind was whirling.
‘Seriously?! How can my mind go blank the moment we left Zushi and Serah?!’ Zax helplessly reprimanded himself. ‘She’s holding my hand with more firmness than I hold hers. She talks and smiles and pulls me after her… But the hug and the things I said before were probably a bit excessive and irresponsible… even if I want to stay with her and she feels the same way that I do, I still have to go back to Valgarel and I can’t take her with me. Not before I’ll be strong enough to protect her from anything and everything by myself… If I want to be with her, I first have to make things straight!’
Zax loved Anet, but he had commitment he could not neglect. His Master, his big sister, Laivien, Grandmaster Kartion and the rest of his Martial household needed him. If he wanted to be with Anet he first had to explain where he currently stands, and if she truly feels the same way and can accept his situation, only then can they be together. Not before he would take his time discussing with her.
“Anet!” Zax felt her pulling him to cross the doorstep to the sixth level, yet pulled her back to him, not caring if they would have to repeat to procedure and if the door might had delay mechanism to prevent multiply repetition.
“Zax?” Anet was startled by his abrupt behavior.
“Err… sorry”. Zax realized that he scared her. He released Anet’s hand and stepped back whilst the door to the sixth floor rose from the floor.
“Nothing happened, but what do you want”. Anet calmed down and said with a soft voice. She was not angry or annoyed for almost roughly being pulled back. Besides, if there was force behind Zax’s action, with his flawless control over kinetic energy he negated it before any harm could occur to Anet.
Tenderly sliding her hair from her face, Anet gentleness and beauty caused Zax to tarry before he had a change of mind.
‘At the end of things, if I love her and she feels the same way, does anything else could pose a problem? Properly telling her how I feel…’ Saying these words in his mind, a sense of tranquility began to fill Zax, slowing down the whirling. ‘Should be what I do first’. He made up his mind.
“Zax?” Still waiting for an answer, Anet could him again.
Releasing a pent up breath, Zax quelled his heart and said with a relaxed, content voice. “I love you Anet”.