“I’ll draw its attention!” Shin cried. “Try to bring it down while it’s focused on me.”
He faced the golem with his shield out in front of him. He didn’t even reach for his sword, instead he put both hands on the shield. He managed to roll under the golem’s initial blow. The second came directly after. He put his shield in front of it, preventing serious injury but nearly getting sent flying backwards.
While the brunt of the golem’s attack was focused on Shin his allies moved behind it. Their mage began preparing a spell while the other two worked out a plan to trip the monster up.
Shin evaded another couple of blows. Keeping the golem’s attention wasn’t a problem but staying alive was proving to be a grave challenge indeed.
both the golem’s fists came down at Shin. His shield split in twain under the force of the blow, sending shards of tempered steel into his flesh. His arms felt limp and weak.
He dropped to the ground and rolled as far away as he could, but the golem wasn’t far behind. Lumbering towards him.
His troops interfered then. Hacking at the golem’s lower legs. It stopped its pursuit of Shin and went after them. They ran back the way they’d come, staying just barely out of its reach. They led it back towards the mage who finished her spell and hurled a ferocious cone of ice around the golem. Its movements slowed, eventually stopping altogether.
“Shin, are you all right?” The young man hurried over to him. The other soldier brought out her war hammer and shattered the now brittle golem.
The Academy was composed of a large domed building with pillars around the entrance arch. It was an impressive, even imposing, sight.
“I thought they’d have more decoration,” Lysara said. “Isn’t it a little… I don’t know, bare?”
“It’s made for practicality,” Twila answered. “There’s really no need for extraneous decoration.”
“Well, it’s still totally magnificent,” Lysara said. “The architects must’ve been really skilled.”
“I’d give you a tour,” Twila said. “But we really should hurry.” She dismounted. Fang shifted his position on her shoulder. “I don’t know how long I’ll be. The main town has some recreational facilities if you need them.”
“I’ll come along,” Axra said. “Maybe I can help you find the books you need.”
“I didn’t really come for books,” Twila said. “I came to speak with a couple of the instructors. Still, you’re welcome to come along.”
“I’ll stay right out here with the dogs,” Velvet volunteered.
“I’ll check the recreational areas,” Reginald said. “It has been quite some time since I’ve been to a city of high culture.”
“Bon, you wanna watch me perform at the nearest pub?” Lysara asked.
“No,” Bonnie snapped. “I’ve been to enough of your performances.”
“Oh, okay,” Lysara said. “See you soon, then.”
It didn’t take long before Bonnie, Lilly and Velvet were outside of the academy on their own.
“I… I don’t mean to pry,” Lilly said. “But what was that about?”
“What was what about?” Bonnie inquired.
“Well, earlier you threw a rock at Reginald,” Lilly said “And the way you just talked to Lysara… are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Bonnie stated. “I don’t really know why I threw that rock or why I’m irritated with Lysara.”
“Are you sure?” Lilly asked. “I… I’m not trying to force you but we’re friends so, you know, if you want to talk… I’m here.”
“I just felt really irritated with him and his flirting,” Bonnie confessed. “And there’s something about her… I don’t know how to describe it. I just feel really confused when she’s around. When I see her fawn over Twila I get really mad. Honestly, how pathetic is that? But…” Bonnie took a deep breath. “But when she calls me Bon, when she talks to me or smiles, I just get this strange feeling and I don’t know how to react to it. It’s like my stomach and brain just start tingling.”
“Hmmm,” Lilly muttered. “Maybe, and this is just a guess so don’t be mad if it’s wrong, but just maybe… could it be love?”
“Love?” Bonnie stated, incredulously. “Me? That’s ridiculous! I don’t love her! I don’t even care about her in the least.”
“Of course you don’t,” Velvet chimed in. “She’s overly bubbly. Excitable. And she’s just following along with no idea of what she’s doing. You might even call her obnoxious.”
Bonnie stomped over to his wagon and slapped him.
“I thought you didn’t care about her in the slightest,” Velvet said, rubbing his cheek.
“I… I…” Bonnie dropped to the ground near Lilly. “By the Gods… it is love.” She looked over at Lilly. “What in Tartarus do I do?”
“I… can’t answer that,” Lilly said. “You… you could tell her how you feel or, maybe, you could be satisfied just to be by her side.”
“Like you are with the Princess?” Bonnie asked. “I really don’t know if that’s my style. I need to think about this.” She looked over at Velvet. “I can’t believe I let this guy trick me.”
“I didn’t trick anyone,” Velvet sighed. “Not even a bit. What you want to admit to is your own business.”
“Well, let’s leave it at that,” Bonnie agreed. She lay down on the grass and stared up at the sky.