• Contrary to popular belief, James was not stupid.

    He just prefers to rush head on to whatever life throws at him, full force and with a grin. Ready to blast anything that stood in his way, obeying orders like a programmed robot. Ian had come to a conclusion in the few month that he knew James, that his sandy haired friend was not scared of anything. He scoffed in front of superior officers, he spat at enemies, and he probably ate Skypians for breakfast.

    The reason James acted so bold and reckless was not because he was brainless, it was because he thought there was nothing to lose.

    How could anyone who already saw everything important destroyed in front of him be afraid of dieing? The whole thing was just a bloody progress, towards some bloody destination that was full of bloody obstacles, and one may, or may not be eliminated before they reach the bloody goal, wherever that was. Granted, Ian did not know the details of James past, in their time at the Academy, they reached the unspoken agreement that any discussion about their history was out of bounds, but he did have some grasp of his comrade’s life before the Academy.

    He knew James was just very alone, just like him.

    Ian thought as he watched his friend some distance away harassing some soon to die bandits. His own hand rose automatically to snap the wrist of the coward behind him, trying to stab him in the back with a dagger, and was rewarded with a brisk, satisfying snap and a howl of pain.

    James fixed the bandana on his head, mocking at his weak opponents, who were trembling in front of him. Ian snorted and decided to put out their embarrassment with four perfectly aimed shots from his perch on a boulder. The metallic tang of fresh blood contrasted with the fresh scent of grass and nature that hung over the forest.

    Then there was silence as the bandana clad youth shot a glare at the class perfect, his best friend, the rest of the bandits had long fled, leaving the forest in complete silence, save for a few birds chirping.

    “I took out three more than you,” Ian informed him smugly, strapping his automatic gun back into the handy belts attached to the academy uniform. “That means I win a point, 55-54 with Ian in the lead.”

    “That was cheating! I had them cornered.” James huffed in indignation, patting his bloodied outfit to prove his point.

    “Let’s see if you can catch up in sparring practice then.”

    “Hell yeah, I’ll beat the heck out of you.”

    Ian raised his eyebrows.

    “Okay, you were like, cheating before!” James protested, shoving his slipping sunglasses back to their proper place. “It was a miracle or something that you managed to win the spar!”

    “Hmm, yes and the miracle happened forty-seven times in a row, if I remembered correctly, I beat you every time we had practical.”

    “This time I will try harder.” James protested, crossing his arms.

    “Right,” Ian agreed, bobbing his head up and down none too enthusiastically, “Oh, just so you know, if we don’t head back to the academy now, we will be late for our afternoon classes.”

    “Oh yeah! classes.” James swore ungracefully, and took off in a blur. “Race ya!”

    “Che,” The brunette youth took after his friend with a slight smile, “The Academy is the other way! Geez, I told you it was not a good idea to go into the uncharted forests during lunch break.”

    The wind carried something that sounded like a ‘shut up!’ through the air. Ian laughed.

    He didn’t mind missing class, the calm boy knew more than his teachers anyways.

    No one gave a damn about perfect class attendance out on the battlefield. The only thing that mattered in the middle of war was if you could kill and obey. Then repeat, over and over.

    The Veltora military was really overrated.