Flexibility, agility, power. These things are normal for Edward Equiste as he swings his favorite sword. It’s nothing special. Has a sheet of its own that he dangles around his belt, a shaft and a blade that can cut through anything he wants to cut. Being trained under the most powerful guard within his father’s men, Edward wasn’t given any breaks.wrote:This happened a year after Word Fight as Edward struggles to be an ordinary person.
But that changed a year ago. His body undergone changes and his health deteriorated faster than normal. His stamina dropped and he has been feeling aches all over his muscles that sometimes he can’t stand. He felt the same pain when he had done intensive training with Mr. Stud but, in his present case, it’s worse. Mild headaches turn to grave ones and he would sometimes faint. And those sometimes felt like so often to him.
He was supposed to be the heir of a noble family, leading warriors into battle and to protect this continent. He was supposed to be someone who will become the strongest among fighters. He was supposed to be the one to take over the spot of his father for being the King’s trusted guard. He gave up his childhood, his wants, and his hobbies to become someone people around him told him to become.
But he didn’t hate it. He loved training despite it hurts his whole body and sometimes make him sleep numb. He loves studying despite all the headaches it gives him during meals with his family. He loves pouring all his time and effort into the program his father well-thought for him despite not being able to play with his sisters. Because he knew he was born to be a leader. He was born to be the next head of the Equiste Family – a noble family of warriors. And this was not because he was born under the family but he felt somewhere within him, lives a side of him that only lived for the purpose of fighting. And in every achievement he received, he was the most proud one.
That was until everything changed for him.
Edward desperately swings his sword again and again, feeling his muscles contract and release. His sweat trails his cheekbone down to his neck. He feels sticky all over bathing under the streak rays of the afternoon sun. His previous program – which when he was still the running heir – was to train his body five hours in the morning and six hours in the afternoon. The rest, he had to face the books and other lectures and meetings with his father. And above all else, he still wants to give time to his family and play with his little sisters. It was tough but he knew it was for his improvement. And he’s aware that his father will not arrange such a program if he can’t do it. He did but it didn’t last long. His current program only allows him to train physically for four hours in the afternoon. The rest is about studying and supporting his little sister, Eclair, who had become the heir of the family, with her training and studies.
He envies Eclair for she gets to become the person everyone wanted him to be – he wanted to be. She gets the program that their father prepared to become a leader. She gets the privilege of going with their father on meetings and she gets to take more combat lessons from his master, Mr. Stud, than him. She became the center of attention, not only within the family and the warriors, but also within the continent. It was supposed to be his spot. But it’s no longer his. Sometimes, he kept thinking if he was really born to become a leader. Or a even fighter. Or even be living at all.
Edward channels all these stupid thoughts and negative emotions through his body, moving every limb to wield a weapon. Sweat and feel that he’s really alive and his body still responds to his brain and that, he doesn’t feel anything. He wanted to do something to distract himself from the whispering of the maids and warriors around their vicinity, the worrying words of his mother and cautions of his father. He wanted to shut everything down around him and just concentrate on the blade he’s holding, reflecting the brightness of the sun.
“Ism’t it boring to battle against air?”
A voice infiltrated Edward’s system but it didn’t stop him from doing what he needs to be done. He knew that Mr. Stud will be coming soon to teach him more about combat as promised every after lunch. He just went on ahead of schedule since he couldn’t stand how everyone’s been asking Eclair on how her training has been going. No matter how he loves his family, there are times when he gets annoyed by everyone. It started when he was told that he could no longer be heir.
“I just wanted a warm up.” Edward answered without batting an eye to his master.
“Good timing. I brought someone over to be your sparring partner.”
Edward stopped at Mr. Stud’s comment and turned towards his master. He saw him already in his fighting gear – no more unnecessary cape and heavy armor. Edward once sees the full armor of the warriors as cool but now that he became almost a normal citizen, he sees it unnecessary. Altrus has been at peace for years and it’s unthinkable for a war to break through. Mr. Stud adjusts his light protection from scratches on exposed skin over long-sleeves and pants as he steps towards Edward.
The former heir noticed another figure, tailing Mr. Stud. It was Loki Salvatore. Edward’s been seeing him in and out of their home, visiting Mr. Stud more often than the last time he saw him. Their eyes would often meet and they would bow to each other. But no more exchanges than that. Probably because due to their first meeting that caused Edward to be more secure around the guy or because he’s no longer an heir and see no gain in speaking with the young lad any more than he needs to. This applies to everyone who talked their way to him when he was still a future leader of combat.
Edward can’t help but raise a brow at the red-haired lad. Almost mirroring Edward, they are almost at the same height but it was obvious that he’s older than the Salvatore kid, two or three years. Loki was also wearing a light protection just as him but it only showed how their body build was too different from each other. Despite having a weak body as everyone says, Edward still maintained his build to avoid his health to deteriorate any further and to be able to keep up with his master’s teachings. But just like how they were raised differently, Edward can tell how much their abilities are also different.
“Are you sure he can keep up?” He said to Mr. Stud with a frown, sounding cocky. He could be cocky or maybe not but Edward was so used to being a leader that he sometimes don’t know how to act as an ordinary pupil or anything ordinary at all. Because his ordinary was to be someone greater than anyone. But that was in the past. Whether he likes it or not, he has to do things as an ordinary person should do. It has been a year but for Edward, everything is still the same as it was supposed to be for him.
Loki’s expression doesn’t change much. Edward learned about it after meeting each other during parties and whenever he visits their house. But Edward saw how his facial muscles twitched at his remark.
“Despite how he looks, he received almost the same training as you.” Mr. Stud explains with a hand that earned back Edward’s attention. “That is, your current training, I meant to say.”
Edward scoffed. “So you’re also belittling me now.” He’s aware he sounded pathetic but Edward is sure that amongst all people, it was Mr. Stud who knew how much he can do. Not even his own father can tell what Mr. Stud knows of him.
Mr. Stud grins. “Who on earth would do such a thing against you?”
Edward was surprised. Ever since the announcement of the switch of heir, everyone pitied him. There was no one who treated him the same as before. They all went from strict to soft, from sturdy to worry, from stiff to bleak. Sometimes, from respect to sympathy. And his own family is no different. At least, except Eclair who never changed aside from her role and to Clara who doesn’t give a care, really.
“You must have misunderstood, Edward.” Mr. Stud taps Loki’s shoulders as he explains, “I’ve come here with Loki Salvatore to give him a piece of training that he’s been lacking. Of course, getting him done with a fellow warrior is not the best bet so I thought I should come to you. But you seem to be opposed to the idea…”
“What do you mean?” Edward’s brows crossed further. He has been going up against his master, his fellow warriors, Eclair, and his father that he doesn’t understand what Mr. Stud is trying to do.
“You weren’t raised to become ignorant, as far as I remember, young Equiste.” Mr. Stud chuckles but stops himself fast. “This is for Loki’s improvement and for your practical use. Ever since… that day,” Mr. Stud obviously trailed but, “you’ve refused to spar with anyone else besides me and lady Eclair.”
‘That’s because no one comes at me seriously now…’ Edward wants to get back at him but gave the idea up. It should’ve been obvious to Mr. Stud as well.
“So I’ve been thinking of getting someone else. Someone who hasn’t faced you in a friendly battle. Someone of almost the same age as you. And such luck, Loki here has been under my care for a while due to his family’s request and I found the encounter such a good opportunity. Although he hasn’t been that well off yet.”
Edward took his time to understand his master’s words and to study Loki. With one glance, anyone can identify who would win. But a friendly battle is part of training. He never once thought of winning against warriors when he started out. It’ll be just the same. Only a little different. Edward is the warrior and Loki is the trainee.
“Alright then. But I have to warn you.” Edward didn’t address who but both Mr. Stud and Loki listened to him. “I don’t do mercy fighting.”
For the first time, Loki’s expression brightens into an acute smile. Or a smirk. Or more like a grin. But it didn’t matter to Edward.
Despite being an unneeded heir, if there is someone else who needs him for just being him, he’d be more than willing to be that person.
Loki bows his head and said, “Thank you.”
Edward does the same.