Ice Palace Chp 1

The Academies are centers of learning where those with the will and the ability come to train in order to become Heroes – those courageous man and woman who protect the peace of Avalon. In total there are five Academies, one in each of the big nations of Avalon: Atlantis, Alfheim, Escanor, Camelot, and Nysia. While the Academies are located in these nations, they are free from the influence of politics and are separate from the nation’s military. The mission of the Academies and their Heroes is to maintain peace in Avalon and protect it from the Demons of Tartarus.

Five years ago, the Shadow Wraith came to Avalon with his Demon army and all of the lands were plunged into a terrible war. We were on the verge of losing our world to the Demons when a young Hero appeared. He fought against the terrible Wraith Dragons and in the final Battle of Escanor, defeated the Shadow Wraith. With that he ended the Fifth Demon War and Avalon was able to see peace once more.

A series of wow’s spread through the group of young children touring the halls of Atlantis Academy. There were twelve of them, aged between seven and nine years old. Young Hero apprentices newly accepted into the Academy.

Hestia, their tour guide knew that the awe wasn’t for her story telling which she was sure they didn’t really listen to and which she thought was rather bad.  She was horrible at this tour guide business, this was the thought that dominated the mind of the newly graduated Hero who has an issue with low self-esteem.

The children’s awe grew to the point of agitation when they reached the center of the dome that made up the eastern wing of the Academy. Here, a silver blue lance was perched on a pedestal in the middle of the atrium.

Demon Slayer.

The lance with which The Hero defeated the Demon Shadow Wraith. The Hero. Hestia’s heart fluttered as she thought of him.

She and a few of the girls had secretly followed him on his morning exercise three days ago. Demeter had accidentally bumped into him one morning a few days before that when she accidentally set her alarm for five a.m. rather than six a.m. That was how they found out about his daily routine and then of course, all the other girls wanted to watch him. Suddenly everyone was able to wake up at five in the morning. They weren’t the only ones to watch him though. There were about half a dozen other groups of boys and girls, and even a few of the teachers that watched The Hero do his morning routine. It was obviously impossible that a person as powerful as he couldn’t detect all those people watching him, not even bothering to hide their thoughts and presence or even find a good hiding place. If he did know that people were watching him – which of course he did – he did a perfect job of hiding it. Hestia wasn’t as interested in his techniques and prowess as she was in his face. All the girls watching were the same – she would swear this on her honor.

“Can I be like him one day?” one of the younger boys said dreamily. This brought Hestia out of her own day dream.

“Like the Hero Ray”.

The boy put his right hand out to the lance, probably imagining himself holding the legendary weapon and being hailed as a Hero.

Then, a spark of lightning crackled in front of the boy’s palm.

Everyone in the atrium stopped and gaped as the spark grew into a torrent of lightning. The lightning coalesced and gradually took shape – into the real Demon Slayer, blue and silver lightning crackling around it.

“Demon Slayer” the boy breathed in awe.

Someone grabbed Demon Slayer. He wore blue and silver robes that billowed as lightning crackled around him. His hair was silvery blue like the moon, his eyes sparkled like the clearest lake and his face was white as snow.

The Hero Ray literally shone like the sun.

“You can’t be like me kid” Ray said to the boy.

He knelt down and ruffled the boy’s hair.

“One day, you’ll become a Hero even better than I am”

The boy beamed, his eyes sparkling. “I can really become a Hero like you Hero Ray?”

“It’s Ray. Everyone calls me Ray” Ray corrected the boy. “And like I said, you’re going to become better than me”

“Now then, who wants to have a go with Demon Slayer?” Ray said playfully, an offer to which all the new apprentices jumped at with excitement.

Ray didn’t hold back with the children, summoning his lightning armor and resizing it for the children as they each took a turn at holding Demon Slayer and wearing his Lightning Armor.

Hestia bowed slightly and thanked Ray for his help as he took his leave after receiving a call on his Universe 7 Arm Band.

“I’ll see you guys in Basic Aura Manipulation” Ray said to the children. “Don’t read about it before class. That would spoil the fun” the children cheered at this announcement which most of them – especially the boys – took to be a declaration that they didn’t need to study for the class.

Ray gave Hestia a personal smile “Sorry I can’t help out more, but you’re doing a great job. Thank you for your effort”. Even though it was just a friendly smile to Ray, and Hestia knew that it was so, it still caused her to feel like her insides were melting.

“Oh… and I will be doing physical training in the morning for the next two weeks. I’ll be using the S7 Mountains after for this so if any of your friends want to join they should inform me because it’s quite dangerous you know”

So he did know, Hestia thought. Well of course he knows.

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