1 The Naked Boy
The sun shone high in the sky, illuminating the clear blue waters that yielded to a massive silver yacht. Noble families exchanged pleasantries as they approached an unimaginably large crescent shaped island.
The captain stood stoically at the helm of the ship. Clothed in formal navy attire, his uniform was a crisp scene of whites, blacks, and golds. His right-hand man and friend of many years stood respectfully by his side, looking out at the opening gates that connected the ends of the island.
"Looks like another successful trip to Focus Academy, captain".
The captain, being a man of few words, simply grunted.
Back within the levels of the yacht, the façade of politeness was slowly fading as the heavy atmosphere of competition solidified in the air.
"I have the utmost confidence in my Hauk," spoke a towering man who easily stood past 2 meters tall.
A short Asian man stood with hands clasped behind his back chuckling, "your Storm family sure seems to have a lot of backbone when you aren't hiding with your tail between your legs".
A beautiful dark-skinned lady with sharp silver eyes slowly tilted a glass of sparkling wine to her full lips before saying, "that reminds me, how is the Ragnor family doing?"
"You!", the towering man seemed to almost lose his temper before slowly reigning himself in. To the surprise of those around him, he instead smiled and stroked his well-kept beard.
"I guess all these years of teasing has finally made you grow numb to it. Eh, Storm?". A handsome man strolled into the group of Nobles, wearing a bewitching smile and hiding shining golden eyes behind crystal framed glasses.
"Ah, Sapientia. Not at all. It's just that this year's round of opening ceremony performances will end with my Storm family receiving the highest glory".
"This should be disputed among the younger generation. After all, it won't be us going up there".
"You may be right, but I'll smile from the side nonetheless. We'll soon see who among the new batch is most talented".
The tall man turned back to the elegant lady and short Asian man before smiling once again.
"From what I hear, our children might not even stand a chance. Delia of the Patia-Neva family and Mayumi of the Kami family are said to be well past their years," spoke the lady after another sip of wine.
The Asian man shot a glance over, "I didn't know that the Duco family was so fond of giving up before putting up a fight".
A light laughter filled the floor, "don't mistake my intentions Bai. I've simply been suppressing information on my little fire spark."
"You should all warn your children to not be arrogant. Usually, it's only the founding families of the school who participate in this event. However, remember that a commoner actually passed the test this year..." the handsome man spoke before allowing his voice to trail off.
The silence of palpable. Their apprehension was understandable. As an appeasement to the common governments, the martial arts world issues a sort of bridge to allow students of common birth into their ranks. Over the centuries, this test has become more of a formality. Since no one has ever passed, it was, instead, a sign of good faith that the two worlds could continue to coexist.
"Do you think... their bloodlines could be awakening?" Spoke Storm in a hushed voice.
"Don't be ridiculous. We already checked his background. With the suppres –", Duco cut herself off, instead deciding to take another sip of wine.
Sighing, the Asian man turned to leave before saying, "This is the first time we've allowed a commoner to participate in the opening ceremonies. He's just the son of some bastard child who chose the mortal realm over ours. It may be surprising that he passed such a difficult test, but it's not exactly impossible given he as a little bit of intelligence. His future will be decided by his own merits."
The nobles didn't have much to worry about. With no family backing, it would be impossible for this commoner to do much of anything. However, these nobles had lived for many years and had come to learn that variables could destroy even the most carefully laid out plans. If this child truly was a genius – one worthy of joining a side or even main branch of a noted family, he could tip the delicate balance of the martial world.
Usually they would simply use their overwhelming power to stop this boy from joining, or even falsify the test results. But, the testing process wasn't only overseen by them. Families from schools around the universe had access to the results. If they tampered, it would only raise the interest of those families to recruit the commoner behind their backs. Even just killing him wasn't an option because a war with the human world wasn't something they could divert their attention to.
In the end they decided to admit him to the school. After all, even if he was a genius now, without proper resources he could be easily stifled.
The nobles dispersed, each unconsciously erasing the child from their minds. His 15 minutes of fame were up to them. Dark horse or not, a commoner could never compare to geniuses raised by their families.
Oblivious to his impact, a lean light-skinned boy rocked in a small wooden boat attached by a line to the back of the massive silver yacht. He slowly awoke from his nap to find that he had glided through the gates along with the ship.
He jumped up, almost forgetting where he was. Steadying himself, he looked around. His eyes were large, sparkling a light hazel before tapering into a light green to grey color. Given his age, his muscles weren't well developed, but they rippled with a youthful vigor that could only be gained through intensive training. He was tall for his age, being about 1.8 meters in height already despite being only 13 years old.
His features had a certain immature and budding handsomeness to them. Considering his partial African origin, his hair curled on his head, only shifting slightly in the wind and shining in hints of brown, red and gold. But what threw the guards on the walls of the gate off the most, was the fact that, other than his twin wrist bands, he wore nothing else to cover himself.
"Who the hell is that kid!" The guards were about to jump into action when they were stopped by their acting commander.
"Leave him be, the captain of that ship already informed us about him. He couldn't pay to be on the ship, so he followed behind".
"Is he from a branch family that lost the backing of their main branch?" The guard who cried out asked.
"No. From what I hear, he's the first commoner they've allowed into Focus Academy."
The surrounding guards were stunned. Being from branch families themselves, they were all too aware of how difficult it was to survive in that school without proper backing. But, even they had some, regardless of how small it might be. To join the school with no family in the martial world... That was something they couldn't imagine doing.
The boy continued to scan his surroundings before smiling a wide smile. He waved to the guards on the wall before jumping into the crescent island's inner lake.
"He jumped?!" Even the commander was stunned this time. This kid was just too much. It may seem like he had made it into the academy, but the area within the crescent moon island still spanned hundreds of kilometers. If he left the lead of the silver yacht now, he wouldn't make it to the opening ceremony being held in a few days without help. The commander assumed that because the boy was attached to the back of the ship, he couldn't see the far distance that still needed to be traveled to reach the academy.
The commander shook his head, "it's better if he learns early of the large world he just stepped into. Don't help him. There are no life ending dangers in the lake anyway," with that, he walked away.
The boy had not a care in the world. It had been a long trip, so he decided to clean himself up a bit and get in some exercise. In his mind, the distance to the center of the lake wasn't that far anyway.
"hm, it should be about 300km from here to the center from the information I gathered. Should take about 4 days," the boy smiled a bright smile while reclining in the lake. He spun around and kicked himself into a freestyle swim, "let's see if I can do it in 3".
What the commander didn't know is that the boy knew the distance, and was quite confident in his ability to make it. However, what the boy hadn't counted on was the density of the water.
When he began his swim, the boy frowned. This wasn't the first time he had swam a long distance, yet, this time felt completely different.
His confusion was warranted. For water to be as clear as this, it should mean that most of the life within it was gone. He could see hundreds of meters below the surface, and yet, instead of the lack of additional substances making it easier to swim, he found it exceedingly difficult.
He dipped his tongue in the water.
"It's not salty?"
Although this body of water was usually called Crescent Lake, it wasn't cut off from the ocean outside. If the gates didn't have passage ways for the water, they would be too difficult to open and cause a massive wave each time they were used. So, for this water to be so weighty, and yet not salty and still be devoid of life, left the boy confused.
By the boy's calculations he had 5 days to make it to the opening ceremony.
The boy smiled, "if it wasn't at least this difficult, your so-called Focus Academy wouldn't be worthy of Dyon Saccharo."
This has been my brain child for the better part of 3 years now. In fact, Dyon might as well be my own child as ridiculous as it sounds for a 21yo to have a 13yo for a son.
If you ever want to interact with me, ask questions about the book, etc etc you can follow me @Awespec on twitter. You never know, maybe one of your suggestions would fuel the best chapter I've ever written. I'm not very active right now, but that's because I've really just started on the journey. I can already tell that the first time I receive a notification I'll faint from excitement.
Anyway! I've rambled on for long enough. Enjoy raising this child with me! :D
Also, this is about as short as a chapter will get. Later on, chapters will be more than double this size.