DescendantBy: Madison L. Hughes My breathing was heavy, my fist sending shock waves of pain up my arm, as I snaked out to attack again. I refused to lose this fight.

I struck out at Nicolae again, kicking him in the stomach, then pulling my foot back before he could get a hold of me. Unfortunately he refocused quicker than I had hoped.He ducked low and kicked my own feet out from under me. As soon as I was on my back he took the opportunity, pinning me down, letting his weight fall on me. I couldn’t move my arms or legs with the way he had me restrained.

I could move my neck though. I mustered the rest of my strength pulling back, and then thrusting the side of head into his face.I had caught him off guard. He pulled back slightly, just enough for me to wiggle my arm out, and thrust my elbow into his cheek bone. I shoved him off me, turning over so I was on top of him. I pulled my dagger from its sheath, and lined up the edge of my blade to his neck. The sound of applause exploded around me.

My breathing heavy, I first got myself up, then helped my friend. “Is your nose okay?” I asked, “I got you pretty good with that head but.” I laughed, noticing the trickle of blood running down his face. He rubbed his cheekbone with the heel of his hand. “I’m more worried about my cheek!” Our laughter was interrupted by the booming voice of my instructor. “Dracos! Kostov!” Antonin roared.

“Enough of your little giggle fest! Dracos you did beat your opponent, but then you acted like it was over!” “It was over!” I yelled back defiantly. “You specified today we were doing one on one combat. I beat Nicolae!” The chastising look and the way he was yelling at me in front of my classmates was driving me insane. Especially after the text book perfect fight. “In the real world that isn’t specified for you.” His voice had a warning note, telling to back off, don’t start another argument like last week.

I wasn’t backing down from his challenge.”In the real world, if nothing was specified then of course I would still be ready. I’m ready now!” He went into attack, and I just barely blocked his punch.”That didn’t look ready to me.” He mocked. I lowered myself into a fighting stance. I would be ready this time.When I was young before my combat training started, I would watch the older novices fight.

It always seemed graceful to me, watching people move around the small arena. That’s how it was now. Fighting the people who trained you, gives an advantage.Every time he went to strike, I knew how to block it. After all he’d drilled these, moves into my head. There were two problems for me in this scenario. One, he taught me these moves so he easily knew them to, and two Antonin may be young compared to the other instructors but he still had about five years of real world experience on me.

I stumbled, and he took the opportunity in breaking through my defences. He kicked my legs out from under me, just like Nicolae had done. I really had to work on that. I landed on my back, getting the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t stop now though.I looked over and saw my dagger. I had dropped it after the fight with Nicolae. I reached out and snatched it up, tucking it into my jacket sleeve.

I felt Antonin grab my foot, and dragged my back away from the edge of the arena. As quickly I could I flipped over onto my back, thrusting my arm to gain momentum, and watched as my silver blade shot towards him.It stopped in mid air, just as I was expecting it to. Antonin used Earth magic, one of the four powers a bellator like us can  possess, earth, wind, air, and fire. I controlled fire. I wish I could use earth magic, silver is one of the many things earth users like him can control. Antonin lowered his hand, and the blade dropped alongside it, making a clattering noise as it hit the floor. Unfortunately the monsters we trained to fight -the mallums- did not possess magic.

That blade would have gone straight into his chest. He had to admit that. “Well done miss Dracos… well done.” He smirked. I knew he was impressed, even if he wouldn’t admit it. “Class dismissed!” He bellowed to the class.I jogged over to Nicolae, who had made his way over to his sister Elena. They had been my best friends since we were all dropped of at the compound at the age of three.

Now fifteen years later, I couldn’t imagine life without them. “Way to stick it to the man Kit Kat.” Elena chuckled.

I rolled my eyes both at her words and the nickname she had given me when we were five. My name is Ekaterina, most people call me Kat, but these two weirdos decided that ‘Kit Kat’ was better. Our conversation was  interrupted by a shout from a guy in our training class. “Hey Nicolae! You coming to the party in my dorm? “Wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Nicolae announced.

“How about you two?””course! With finals coming up in a month we deserve a break!” I groaned. Elena had brought up what all the senior trainees were dreading.God I am not looking forward to two weeks of near non-stop combat. “We all need this party. I am totally in.””No you are not.” A fourth voice interjected. “Miss Ekaterina Drakos, will you please come with me quietly?”  The man who had approached our little group had asked a question, but from the sound of his voice, I knew It was a command.

“Care to tell me why I’m being dragged away?” I retorted. The look he gave me was blank, his features perfectly controlled as trained Bellators usually were. But there was a look of exasperation in his eyes that amused me.”I am charged only with escorting you to the governess.””I haven’t done anything serious enough to warrant a punishment from her this week!” amusement mingled with the exasperation in those blue eyes. That amusement disappeared as swiftly as it came, and he returned to his serious expression.

“You can walk back willingly, or I can arrest you, and drag you back.” He warned. That’s the last thing I needed. I already had a dangerous reputation of doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, being arrested wouldn’t help that at all.I began walking past him to the path that would take us to the headmasters office. I was very familiar with that office. When I didn’t hear footsteps behind me I turned. “You coming or what?” I asked.

Shaking his head he followed.As we walked I noticed his pace, swift yet somehow graceful even with his height and build. He wasn’t bulky, but he had obvious muscle from years of training. He made hardly any noise when his feet hit the cement walkway. I was trained to walk the same way but I still made some noise.He didn’t look much older than me. I pegged him to be about Antonins age.

Bellators were put into compounds like this one, at the age of three -unless you were royalty. Then you trained till you were eighteen. All this training was dedicated to three purposes. One -kill mallums. Two -protect human towns from these immortal beasts. And three – above all, protect the royals.After the age of eighteen -depending on your finals score- you were either placed on a team of five to guard a human town -though larger cities usually received more. Or were placed in the guard to protect the royal family.

This was simply expected. You did your job, and became a guard member or a stationed guard. Leaving for other jobs simply wasn’t done.It’s been like this since ancient Greece, when Bellators were first created. Evil creatures called Mallums ravaged humankind, until a group of men and women who wanted to fight back stepped forward. One woman in particular -Ambrosine- went after one. The legends say her sister was captured by Mallums, and Ambrosine couldn’t leave her to die.

Ambrosine was the first person to ever kill a Bellators.Most people believe that killing such a purely evil creature, created a burst of life that embedded itself into Ambrosine. She acquired the gift of controlling the elements. She told her group, and they hunted down Mallums, slaying everyone they came across.

They also were bestowed with powerful elemental magic. Though It’s said No one could even compete with the power Ambrosine held. The group called themselves Bellators meaning ‘the war’ we are the only Thing keeping Mallums from wiping out the human race. The Bellators eventually had kids who genetically received magic, but the second generation of our kind and every generation after that could only control one element. Our royalty are not descended from Ambrosine herself, but her best friend.

Surprisingly even with her best friend showing up in all our history books the first name of her friend never came up. All we know is her last name. Elliades. Now all the way down the line from ancient Greece to 2017, our queens all share her bloodline and name. I could see our destination in the distance.

Until now this man and I had walked in silence. “I swear I haven’t done anything. What do they want me for?” he gave me a sidelong look  as we continued walking. Then, returning his eyes back to the space in front of him he replied.”I told you. I am charged only with escorting you to the governess.

” I stopped dead in my tracks.”I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on.” He groaned, grabbing my arms and twisting them behind my back to quickly for me to fight back. “Hey! Stop!””I told you if you didn’t come quietly I would drag you up there.””Fine start dragging.” I snapped, letting my legs go completely limp. He actually started dragging me. “You weren’t lying.

” I sighed. Spotting a sign next to the path telling you which way was the gym, and which way was the cafeteria, I stretched out and linked my legs around it.”You just aren’t going to give me a break are you?” He grunted.”Nope! Not until you tell me what I did that was bad enough for you to literally DRAG me to the governess!” looking very annoyed he dropped me. As soon as I landed I bolted up and began to run.

I didn’t even make it two steps before he had his hands around my torso lifting me up and throwing me over his shoulder. I gave up the fight, letting him carry me the last twenty feet to the office building, and through the front door.He didn’t even put me down when we came to the stairs. He carried me all the way up two flights of stairs, through a hallway, and into headmaster Morenos office. The blood flowing to my head was making me woozy.

         Upon hearing the door open, headmaster Moreno spoke up. “Thank You for bringing the girl in Mr. Cossack. Can you please-” he became dead silent when he realized the state ‘Mr. Cossack’ and I were in.

He gave the other man a sympathetic look.”…

I shouldn’t be surprised. She has always been a fighter.” Headmaster Moreno said ruefully.”No trouble at all.” My jailer sighed sarcastically.

“I want answers!” I Shouted, still trying to find my balance, I still felt light headed. “Now!” I roared when no one answered me. They all looked at me shocked not expecting even someone like me to speak like that.My headmaster recovered first. “You have exceptional grades in both combat, and magical advancement.” It was true I was top of my class In both, but I didn’t have a clue what my grades had to do with this.

“Um… yeah?” I said much less confident than my earlier outburst. “So? What do my grades have to do with this?” I looked from face to face searching for answers I didn’t find. “You have been chosen Ekaterina.” A woman interjected. She has been sitting sitting in the corner merely observing the conversation before her.

I realized with a shock that this was the governess.”Chosen for what?” “It does not matter what, because I am not approving you for this mission.” She stated, then walked briskly over to a chair to sit. I had to blink a few times, still trying to make sense of all this.Before I could say anything my Headmaster interjected. “Why? She is exactly what you described was needed to keep this mission under wraps.

No one would suspect anything!” He argued. “She has a disciplinary record that would make it seem like a punishment had taken her away from the compound!” “This man had to carry her over his shoulder  to get her here.” the governesses voice was nowhere near as loud as Morenos.”What is going on?!” I bellowed. I couldn’t stand this.

“Your standing there deciding whether I’m good enough for a mission, and neither of you have seen me fight. Just tell me what’s going on so I can make my own argument!” I was going crazy! I didn’t have a clue what was going on, and so much information was being tossed around that I couldn’t process any of it. Morenno looked at me sympathetically, (that kind of ticked me off.

I didn’t need his sympathy) and after a moments hesitation he spoke. “The royals… they have been attacked. By Mallums.” I sucked in a breath. “We don’t know how the guard was breached… but we believe we have spy in our midst.” “What Bellator would turn their backs on their own people and job to help those monsters?” It was unheard of. Bellators helping Mallums? We have been enemies for thousands of years. More so… we took an oath when we completed training.

That oath is one of the most sacred events in our society. Who would abandon that? Why would they abandon that?Morenno sighed mournfully. “I don’t know, but we need to protect the royals.

Two groups are being put together. One will take Princess Nadiya and Prince Alexander. That’s the one you will be placed in-“Morennos explanation was interrupted by the governess yet again. She was really getting on my nerves. “She will not be going!” The lady shrieked.

“She had to be dragged up here! Her disciplinary record is a mile long, and we don’t even know if she is skilled enough for this!” Now I was really angry.  Before I could go over and smack to tiny glasses of her face, Mr. Cossack stepped forward. “The scene she made could be useful.” I had walked away willingly from my class, but plenty of people  had been there to witness me being tossed over this man’s shoulder.

“Her disciplinary record -for the most part- is made up of small infractions.” I blushed a little at that. My friends and I tended to get into trouble when we got bored.

“As for her skills, I walked into the middle of her fight in her combat class. She took down her teacher.” Again I could faintly make out some amusement sparkling in his eyes.”I still do not believe she is ready for this.” The governess rambled, now obviously flustered.”I am willing to spar with her. Show you how good she is.

” I was grateful for this man help. The mission they described -while sounding dangerous- sounded important. We were trained for this, and I knew I could protect the royals.Mr.

Cossack and the governess stared each other down, a battle of wills. “Wonderful idea!” Morenno hastily stepped forward, trying to play peacemaker. Ten minutes later we were standing on a mat in the gym. Weapons lay around the mats edge, and magic was aloud. “What’s your name?” I asked my opponent.

He had defended me in the office and even complimented my combat skills. In this whole mess he was the only thing keeping me sane, and yet I didn’t know his name. “Mr. cossack” sounded much too formal for this man in traditional fighting gear.”Dimo.” He replied. He still had his stern facade thing going on, but he seemed a little more relaxed as we waited for our cue to start.

“I’ve been calling you Ekaterina, do you prefer something else?” I was pleasantly surprised. No one of higher ranking than me had ever given such a generosity, even as small as my nickname.”Most people call me Kat. Though if you were there for the fight, and heard about the party, then I know you heard what Elena and Nicolae call me.” I mused.He laughed.

“Kit Kat? As in the candy? Why?” I resisted the urge to punch his arm.”I don’t know! Elena started calling me that years ago! I’ve told those weirdos to stop but-“”Excuse me Mr. Cossack, and Miss Dracos.

Can we get on with this?” The governess piped in. God I was really starting to hate her. Despite my feelings toward her I lowered into my defencive position. I noticed his stance.

My inference earlier was correct, just from his positioning you could tell he had good training.My evaluation took place in the blink of an eye. Then went into attack. I went to punch his face but he blocked my attack, grabbing my fist.

I struck out with my other hand, and he grabbed that to. Not giving up yet, I launched up driving both feet into his stomach, he stumbled back. The only problem was he still had a hold on me.

I went falling with him. He landed on his back, while I pounced over him and doing a cartwheel to keep my balance.I spun around only to see how quickly he had recovered. He was already back on in his feet. I needed to delay him. I stood straight, my shoulders back, with a flick of my wrist I sent a streak of fire in his direction. He just barely dodged it.

I didn’t want to seriously injure so I made sure he was able to narrowly dodge the flame.I repeated the action, sending streak after streak of fire. Each time he had just barely recovered from the flame before. When I thought I had him distracted enough I swooped my leg around him. Swiftly kicking the back of his knee.

He fell onto one knee.I unsheathed the blade at my thigh and went in for the killing blow. That’s when I discovered what magic he used. Water. Fire users could make fire with their bare hands, but it took a lot of energy. Earth users could control many things but rock was supposed to be easier to control. Air users obviously had the air.

Because of our magical limitations around the compound, and around most large groups of Bellators we kept the elements near. Three large pools of water sat around the arena. Pits of fire and rocks sat among them. I didn’t even realize what was happening until I was forced off of Dimo by a huge wave of water. Choking on the water I didn’t see his blow coming. I was on my hands and knees when he kicked me in the side. The pain was blinding.

I needed to get my wits about me, if I stayed on the ground I was sure to lose this fight, and I would never go on that mission. I bolted up before he could kick out again. Lucky me, he barely missed.

I stooped down snatching up my weapon. He had his in hand as well, we smoothly transitioned into hand to hand combat again. My arm swung out going for his, the blade grazed his skin, splitting the thin fabric of his shirt before that same white fabric was stained  red. He hardly flinched. He went for my stomach, I lurched back, making an odd C shape with my body.His hand had missed my stomach by a few inches. He slashed sideways and pulled his blade across my stomach splitting the leather protecting me. We didn’t wear metal because it didn’t allow enough movement for combat.

Dimo charged forward slamming into me and knocking me flat on my back, laying his wait over me. He had almost lined up his dagger to my throat which would signify my defeat, when I grabbed his arms right above the elbows. I channeled heat through my palms and into his skin, burning him. He pulled back enough for me to grab his own arm jerking it up to line his own blade up with the artery in his neck.I won.

I actually won against a fully trained and graduated Bellator. I would be placed on the team for the mission. I  wanted that spot.

I knew I could protect our royals. My thoughts were interrupted by the governess.”Very good.” Her grating voice was full of reluctance.

She turned to Moreno. “Do you really believe she is right for this?” I clenched my fists. This was what I trained my whole life for, and I had just beat a sanctioned Bellator and she still doubted me?Moreno sighed, he was obviously annoyed as well.

“She is top of her classes. Well her magic and combat classes.” That was a low blow. In math and science U may suck but in history and languages I was really good! “Her slight disciplinary record will contribute to the cover story of a runaway.” He stated, trying to appease this lady.”A run away? I wasn’t aware of that.” I cut in.”yes yes.

The cover story is that you ran. Mr. Cossack is searching for you. There is a runaway girl cover up in another compound who will join you In a few weeks.” This was a great cover story but it had some holes.

“My friends. They won’t think I ran. Everyone else knows I wouldn’t leave without them, they’re the closest thing I have to family.”Dimo gave an odd look. The governess rolled her eyes. “Silly teenage rumors do not concern us.” She spoke as if I was a five year old child who did not understand.

“Why do we need a cover story anyway?” After the attacks you told me about is it so unreasonable to believe they would hide the royals? I shouted back.Anger flared in her beady black eyes. “If people know who have taken the royals into hidingd then it is that much easier to track them down.” She spoke slowly as if I was incompetent. “Your little friends will get over it when you com back.””And when is that? When do we come back? Is This ever going to end? They are royals! And if people have broken through our security now they will get through it again!” I wanted to be part of this mission, it was what I had worked my whole life to do, but they still haven’t given me all the details.

“That is your job!” The governess exploded. “As you have pointed out you trained your whole life for this. To protect your royals!” I understood her. I wanted to do this, I had just thought we were guarding them back at their court. How could I leave Elena and Nicolae forever? Everything came rushing in.

No classes, no structure, on the run with royals… and leaving my friends behind, but this was my job.”Okay.” My voice was more confident than I had expected it to be. “No more questions. I’m going on the mission.” I gave a pointed look at the governess with that last sentence. “When do we leave?”Dear Mr.

Provost, You may be wondering, where in the world is the rest of her story? My answer for that is it will be written. While creating this world and the story around it, I toyed with the idea of being a writer. I have decided I will turn This story into a book. Of course I could not possibly turn this into a book in a mere month. So i found a way to meet the criteria for this project with what i have given you. Dialogue is used, the story line is fully introduced, and you see a down sized version of a heroic journey. Kat is in the ‘Status quo’ phase when she is a normal Bellator training. She enters the ‘Call to adventure’ part of her story when she is informed of the mission, and what it entails.

Dimo assists Kat by siding with her, saying she deserves to be on the mission. Her trials are her literal fights, her inner conflict between leaving her friends or doing her job, and of course being dragged against her will. She is also faced with convincing the governess that she is ready.Her approach to the governess is laying out her thoughts and strengths.

Her approach to her fight with Dimo is assessing him before the fight began. She observes and then engages.She is in crisis when she nearly loses her fight with Dimo -which would have showed the governess she wasn’t ready. She also struggles in the governess saying she might never return. The thought of leaving her friends terrifies her.

She is given her treasure when she is approved for the mission. The result for her is her whole life changing in a single day. Her return so far would actually be when she first learned of the possibility of never seeing her friends again, she thought of turning the mission down, but came back to the thought of her duty.Her new life is a non-structured life on the run. Always aware of the danger, and foolish teenage antics put aside. Her resolution is to stick with what she has always been taught, what she has lived for, and accept the mission.Her departure would of course be the literal departure from the compound she was raised in.

I only hope you choose to support my new found passion. I met all the technical requirements. If you wish, as I continue this story I can send in my chapters. This may have been the start of something amazing, and hey, if you truly think of it, isn’t everyday our own heroic adventure if we choose so?Madison L. Hughes

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