Heya, everyone! Bringing this chapter a bit early this week because I’m gonna be gone camping for the next few days. I planned on bringing two chapters this week but did not have enough time so I will be posting 3 chapters next week. Oh, and I will be posting a side chapter exclusive to my website so please keep a look out for that as well. 🙂
Training Day Pt2
I reached out my hand offering to help him up. He sat there for a moment but eventually grabbed my hand, standing to his feet, slouching his shoulders staring at the ground with an air of defeat.
“Listen, man, we gotta work together to get through this. No one asked to be here, all I know is if we are going to survive we need to do it together. I saw what happened between you and that older boy during lunch. Frankly, he is right man, all we can do is learn how to better defend ourselves to stay alive. They talk about us being weapons, eventually, they will want to use said weapons, so unless you plan to die quickly you better be prepared. Tyler, Daniel, and I have talked about our situation trying to understand more about what is going on, It seems our cell blocks work as units which would explain why we are training together but not with the other children we have seen at lunch.”
“Yeah, it seems we have been taken from the orphanages due to our mana quantity and quality, probably something that must be related to the experiment done to us, as well as the training we are currently doing. We need to prepare for when they decide on testing us live.”
Daniel backed me up supporting the idea of everyone working together. Succeeding our short discussion with the other children about the positives behind cooperating, soldiers following behind a couple scientists walk towards our group.
“Alright children, time to change the curriculum up a bit now. During the time of your training these last few days the goal has been teaching close quarter combat, as well as strengthening the body and mind. Now that the body is strong enough we will begin teaching you how to manipulate the mana within your body, as well as projecting it across objects to strengthen items.”
The rest of the week started with going to the dining hall where the children began eating together in a group discussing flaws, as well as joking around as young 12-13-year-olds should. Following the breakfast came training, daily we would be hooked up to the machines where we would use mana to project an astral projection of our bodies into the training room. This method allowed us to get real training in harsh situations keeping the experience and benefits, but not retaining any of the physical harm. During the time I have been here, in this facility, I have noticed the soldiers constantly watching me, more so than the other children. There are always eyes watching my back everywhere I go.
Our group’s new training went rather well, other than the fact that a few of the children struggled when initially trying to manipulate the mana within them. In my case, learning how to control my mana was relatively easy. I have felt my body train my mana ever since I first woke up on my bunk. During the training we have endured, it feels like my body has trained my mana within myself automatically, condensing it, progressing into a higher quality, non-stop.
A few weeks floated by, during this time the training has become more and more intense. We were instructed to fight full force in all training exercises with our mana activated to full output. Even though this helped train us in efficiently manipulating our mana as well as strengthening our mana, it caused great strain mentally. Having to kill the peers you train with, even if it is only a projection of them created using mana, they still retain all experience’s of the projection. Being desensitized to killing and being killed, no longer caring about the pain, or even your own safety. The only focus we had was training to be as efficient as possible.
I have noticed the biggest change in myself. Each time I dream, the scenery gets more and more blurred, the sunset becomes darker giving off an eerie aura, Cherry blossom petals no longer look vibrant and pink, instead, they are wilted leaving the branches of the trees empty. The tree mixed with the cool soft breeze chills my spine giving me a sense of emptiness. Okin day by day becomes so much more defined as a person. Seeing each other nightly, conversing about topics we care deeply about with the same feeling at opposite sides of a solution, but as of late, I find myself agreeing with Okin more and more. I even feel myself slowly forgetting about something, I don’t know what, but… I feel as if it was deeply important to me. Something I had to figure out. Now I only feel a strong desire to survive along with those closest to me.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have freedom again or what my future will be like, or if I even have one. All I know is Okin says we will have a future. That we need to survive until we get our freedom. Okin is also surprisingly knowledgeable when it comes to different areas including, fighting, tactics, strengthening and using mana. Following the initial introduction to mana use, the doctors decided to take it to the next level.
“When we brought everyone here to the facility we implemented something called mana machines into each and every one of you. The man-made mana injected into you creates a connection allowing a group to increase their awareness in battle. Starting today we will begin tuning into the connection. Building the strength of it finding ways to use it in combat situations. The six of you here will break into groups of three, then skirmish while connected as practice to familiarize yourselves with being connected.”
Connecting through mana was extremely simple. I began manipulating my mana, which heightens the senses. While heightening the senses it is possible to see the mana of other people, with the mana machines in our body, we can send mana into another person creating a two-way transmission. An individual’s mana creates an aura surrounding them like a beautiful white colored cloak, the cloak is created during the condensing of the mana, a result of training our mana through use. It is also designed by the wearer the first time they manipulate their mana. Individuals develop their strength which causes the cloak to morph, becoming more detailed, longer, and more majestic. When an individual activates their mana cloak, it gives off a feeling based off of the emotions of the wearer.
Individuals who just began training their mana have a weaker aura, with the design being more subtle, the length is also short, more in the style of a scarf wrapped around the neck. Our days went by training our bodies, becoming more familiar with mana, but the most important thing we trained was our minds. Learning how to make quick precise decisions on the spot. The process of connecting to one another became an extremely useful tool, the usages we found while skirmishing was unlimited, plans could be carried out faster not to mention more accurately, by being able to understand the location of our group members as well as knowing when they spot an enemy or when requiring assistance.
Two months have gone by since we began training our mana. We have all progressed well, our mana has begun taking shape, especially my own. My mana aura has grown to the size of a poncho, my design being a reaper with a huge scythe finely printed on the back, which Okin talked me into agreeing with. Finishing up our training for the day, we awoke then began getting the wires taken off by some nurses, during this process a doctor walks in gaining the attention of everyone.
“Alright children, tomorrow rather than having normal training you will be having a skirmish with another group. Victory will be decided after one group is defeated through either death or submission.”
After being brought to the projection room the next morning, we got hooked up as soon as we laid down on the beds. We are then transferred to a locker room where soldiers direct us to enter, they then inform us that we are supposed to equip ourselves with combat gear which included fatigues, helmet, combat knee pads, a combat knife attached on the right side of the belt, with a gun in a holster on the left hip. During the process of gearing up, the soldiers began explaining a little about the skirmish.
“Like mentioned yesterday, the objective for today is to win. You will be faced against another group as your opponent, kill them, or force them to forfeit to obtain victory. Use every tool or trick available, anything goes.”
Our group finished gearing up while we listened to the soldier talk about the skirmish taking place today. Finishing up what he had to say the soldier left the room, indicating for us to follow behind him. We followed him through the door, down a hall leading out into a large circular arena that had walls, towers, and other types of objects that can be used for tactical advantage, or cover. Walking to the center of the arena we stood face to face with the other group.