X: Ragnarok

May 11, 2013 in Ajitofu, X by Wasabi Warrior

Yoona trudged along the steep slope leading to the peak of the plateau. Sweat trickled down her forehead. She and Seohyun had been walking for days, stopping only every few hours to rest their legs. Minutes later, the silhouette of a large fort loomed in the distance.

A wide smile crept across Yoona’s face as she turned around and beamed towards Seohyun, “We’re here! Hurry up.”

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” huffed Seohyun, struggling to climb through the hard soil and long grass.

Before Seohyun even had the chance to catch up, Yoona tightened her grip on her knapsack and raced towards the gates of the fortress.

“So this is the training center,” she said, gazing at the finely-crafted arches and intricately designed walls. There were statues of knights and angels lined up across the entrance.

Having caught up, Seohyun bent down and leaned on her knees. Her shortness of breath was nothing compared to the feeling of awe.  “It’s—It’s beautiful.”

“Heh.” Yoona flicked her thumb against her nose and scoffed. “This isn’t so scary.”

Seohyun frowned. “Can we still back out? I-I’m not so sure I wanna do this anymore—”

“What’re you saying, Seohyun? There’s nothing to be afraid of while I’m around,” Yoona assured her, patting her back and letting out a haughty laugh. “I’ll protect you, no matter what.”

“You promise, Yoong?” Seohyun clung to Yoona’s arm and smiled.

Yoona pumped her fist upwards and jumped into the air. “Of course! I’ll be the strongest there is.”

When they got past the gate and the courtyard, the two were amazed to find a crowd waiting by the booth manned by the city’s respected guardians.

“Wow, look at the number of novices.” Seohyun looked around her, eyeing the different kinds of people that had come to take the training course. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? So many people are signing up to fight the monsters.”

Yoona raised her chin and smirked. “Yeah—but they’ll be breathing my smoke pretty soon eno—”

“Get out of my way, newbie!” A slim girl about 15 centimeters taller than her shoved her aside and shot her a glare. She had straight bangs and puffy cheeks. The girl chuckled, keeping her eyes on Yoona. “Kids like you should just go home. Not enough milk?”

“Hey, you!” Seohyun shouted, rushing between them and pumping her chest out. Her eyes shifted back and forth from the girl’s chest to the girl’s eyes. “I don’t think you’ve got any right to say that.”

The girl’s cheeks flushed red as she stepped back. “Hmph.” She spat on the ground. “Just don’t get in my way.”

Curling her fists and grinding her teeth, Yoona glared at the girl from the back. “I’ll show you. Just you wait.”

“And I’ll be supporting you from the back,” Seohyun chimed, grinning.

“Eh, Seohyun, stop doing that.”

“Doing what?”

“That. You know—that change whenever I’m—” Yoona’s voice trailed off and her cheeks reddened as she avoided Seohyun gaze.

“Huh?”

“Aish. Nevermind!” Yoona stomped ahead, leaving Seohyun behind. “I’m strong enough to handle anything that comes our way, okay?”

Before Seohyun could answer, the speakers around the area cracked to life. “Attention, all novices. Training will commence in half an hour. Please proceed to the registration area.”

“It’s—It’s really happening.” Trying her best not to be noticed, Seohyun silently backpedaled.

But before she could get far, Yoona turned around and signaled forward. “What’re you doing? Hurry up! I wanna be the first to finish the course.”

 

 

After being instructed by the training administrators to slay all the monsters they see and get to level ten, Yoona and Seohyun headed out into the training field, anxious and excited.

“It’s so cute!” Seohyun exclaimed as soon as she exited the gate. She pointing towards a fluffy rabbit that hopped in front of them. Unable to resist, she bent down to pat it. As soon as her palms made contact with the fur, the rabbit flashed its six-inch fangs and targeted Seohyun. Surprised, she let out a deafening shrill.

In one smooth, quick motion, Yoona leapt out from behind her, raised the rabbit up, and sent it spiraling towards the sky with a volley kick.

“Whew.” Seohyun breathed out. “Wait. Why did you d—”

Yoona’s eyes darted wide open as she realized what she just did. She grabbed her hair by its roots and fell to the ground, kneeling. “Why did I do that?” Yoona turned to Seohyun. “I panicked and I thought you were getting eaten up and I couldn’t hold my back strength. Our EXP. Nooooo.”

At a loss and stunned in disbelief, Seohyun stood still with her eyes wincing.

Yoona slammed her palm against the ground and rose with a smug on her face. “It’s okay, Seohyun. With my speed and strength, we’ll level-up in no time.”

But Seohyun was no longer paying attention. It seemed she had found something else. “Hey, Yoong look. It’s a—gaah!”

A pink-colored slime jumped from the ground and latched itself on Seohyun’s forearm. It was a round jelly monster with a pair of eyes and a mouth.

“Getitoffgetitoffgetitoffgetitoff.” Seohyun flailed her arms frantically, failing to shake the monster off. “Yoona, what are you waiting for? Get it of now!”

“Wait. I’m still preparing for my special move.” Yoona unstrapped the wooden knife attached to her belt. She posed with her right leg stretched backward and her left planted firmly in place. She closed her eyes and lowered her body, holding the knife back with her right arm. After which, she raised her left palm and began breathing in and out.

“What are you doing? Hurry up!”

“Wait. I’m still charging.”

“I feel like I’m losing my soul. I’m—I’m dying. Farewell, my friend. I will think of you in the afterli—”

“Super-Omega-Double-Sonic-Bash!” Yoona’s eyes blasted open and she rushed forward, raising the knife into the air and slicing downwards against the slime.

But the knife merely bounced off the monster’s gelatinous structure.

Yoona shook her head in disbelief. The special attack she had worked hard to master and perfect proved to be useless against this adversary. She quivered in fear. If that attack didn’t work, then nothing would.

“I can feel it caressing my skin. It feels so soft and squishy and—it’s tongue—Are you fine letting this happen?”

She’s right, Yoona thought to herself. She couldn’t give up. There was nothing she couldn’t do if Seohyun didn’t set her mind to it.

“You filthy beast, get your mouth and tongue off Seohyun!” Yoona grabbed it with her bare fits and freed Seohyun’s arm. She squeezed and slammed it against the ground, beating it to a pulp in frustration. When she was done, the slime had turned to liquid. “No one makes a fool of Kim Yoona!”

 

 

After much struggle, the two finally defeated enough helpless cocoons and docile caterpillars to reach the required level. With exhausted bodies and tired faces, Yoona and Seohyun made their way back to the training center.

“We did it, Seohyun,” Yoona said, smiling. She put her arm around Seohyun and pulled her close. “We’re going to be guardians. With me slashing monsters up as a swordsman and you incinerating them as a mage, Midgard will be safe!”

“Hey, Yoong,” Seohyun called out as she dragged her feet forward. “I don’t think I want to be a mage anymore.”

“What? Why?”

“I was thinking—all this fighting, I’m just not suited for it,” explained Seohyun. “I think I’d do a better job of healing you and all.”

Yoona stopped in her tracks. “Y-You’re going to become an acolyte?”

Seohyun flashed a smile. “Yeah. That way, I can support you better.

“An acolyte, eh?”

“I-Is there something wrong?”

“It’s just that—” Acolytes had to remain single forever, Yoona thought. Forever. “It’d be a waste, you know? Your attributes right now are suited better for mages.”

“Oh, that’s fine. I can just adjust.”

“Yeah—okay.”

The two walked back in silence, crossing rivers and weaving through trees, until Seohyun noticed something was wrong and stopped.

“Yoong, you don’t look so good,” she said.

Yoona shook her head and shrugged. “It’s nothing. I’m just tired.”

“Here.” Seohyun reached into her pocket and brought out a vial of red liquid. “I’ve got one potion left. Drink it.”

Without looking at Seohyun, Yoona took the vial from her and kept moving forward. She downed the vial in one gulp and threw it into the bushes. She didn’t feel any better. Potions didn’t heal heart breaks.

“I guess it’s not enough.” Seohyun frowned and sighed. “Don’t worry. When I become an acolyte, I’ll be able heal to you better.”

“Heal me better, eh?” Yoona whispered to herself. “Why not just turn me into undead?”

“Huh? Did you say something?”

“I meant, I’d love that.”

 

 

By the Yoona and Seohyun returned to the training center, night had already fallen. The halls were empty and some of the candles had been blown out. The tables had been cleaned and the booth was unmanned.

“Why isn’t there anyone here?” Seohyun asked, looking around.

“Did we finish too early?” Yoona scratched her head. “Maybe the instructors didn’t expect anyone to make it back this fast and are still out on dinner break?”

The candle at the end of the hall was blown out, leaving the area in darkness. Luckily, Yoona was able to make out the figure of their instructor from early in the morning. She leapt for joy and dashed towards him.

“Officer! Officer! We’re back,” Yoona yelled. She grabbed his hands and began shaking it.

Seohyun arrived soon after with a fulfilled look on her face. Even she didn’t think they’d do so well. “Are we really the first to return?”

“Oh, it’s the last two novices. We thought you had died and were about to go look for your corpses.” He chuckled. “Thank the gods.”

“What—?” Yoona stared at him in disbelief.

The instructor took out his checklist and smiled. “But congratulations on passing.”

Yoona and Seohyun looked at each other, still stunned at the turn of events. Frustrated, Yoona pressed her tongue against the skin of her cheek. Seohyun, on the other hand, burst into a laugh as she patted Yoona on the back.

“At least we passed, right?”

“Shut up.”

“Y-Yoong? Don’t leave me!”

 

For your reference. Credits to its respective owners.