2.2: Bond Of The Blade

Sitting uneasily in the center of the room, on one of the gray couches- the one with a box beneath the broken front right leg- Rum waits quietly. His magnetized leather band is fastened across his waist so his sword’s blade doesn’t cut into the furniture. He’s leaned forward so far to ensure that that his knees and knuckles brush the coffee table betwixt all four couches.

     He looks around and judges that the rest of the room is in no better condition than the couch. One of the eyes on the stove is missing a range surface element. Not only that, but there’s a huge burn mark on the floor between the stove and wall. One of the wooden panels in the kitchen is broken, exposing part of the foundation underneath. The freezer handle is without the top horizontal piece connecting it to the door. The couch across from Rum is in particularly bad shape with one of the cushions looking like a deflated ball.

     “You can stop right there, Aurum,” Professor Tameri says as she fills two cups with tea.

     “What do you mean?” Rum asks, accepting his cup.

     “This is the teacher’s lounge. Us professors have, whether purposefully or not, caused this room damage, as we came to know each other.” Tameri sits on the deflated cushion. “We’ve left it as is to remember how much we’ve grown as a group. As educators.” She gives Rum a discouraging look. “So, do not think of how to use your family’s donation to fix it up. Should we choose to do so, we’ll do it on our own.”

     Rum shrivels inside and leans back. “Am I that obvious?”

     “Yes, and no. You aren’t the first student to pity this space. However, I’m getting a good sense of your attitude.” Tameri sips her tea. “Aurum, how old are you?”


     “Okay, before we continue, I’d like to know if I may ask you personal questions- two or three- to determine something important for future lessons.”

     Rum pauses, tea almost to his lips. I told Mom I wouldn’t reveal too much, but if this helps me learn, then it should be okay. Plus, it’s an Ohaida thing based on what Professor Tameri just said. Mom must’ve known it would come up.

     Rum raises his head and sternly asks, “Just two or three?”

     “Just two or three,” Tameri parrots.

     Rum nods. “If I’m allowed to ask about that title thing that Aven mentioned. Not yours specifically, but what a title means and is.”

     “I can do that,” Tameri replies. “Have you heard of the Ohaida House nickname yet?”

     “Yeah. Some of the seniors dubbed it “Slayer House”.”

     “Not the current seniors, but the very first graduating class dubbed it so. History books don’t often get it accurate, but our class archives in the basement were written by the original professors of Four Hearts Academy. The Founding Four is their worldwide designation.”

     “You’re telling me that four people founded this place? That’s incredible.”

     “Well, they had an immense amount of support. They needed it. But that’s not the story for tonight. The Ohaida of the group, Keria, was a soldier who was on the fast track to becoming a knight. Only the most reputable Ohaida soldiers, ones who’ve earned titles, can be promoted to knight. She was the first Ohaida professor and set the precedent that all other professors to follow after her must have titles as well. So, since that time, no Four Hearts Academy Ohaida professor has been without a title, myself included.

     “Titles themselves are usually two words long- an attribute or value the soldier instills, could relate to their powers, or even something of their choice, followed by the word “slayer”. Even rarer are the titles decided by one’s peers or the public.”

     I wonder if Mom has a title, Rum ponders.

     “Every Ohaida professor hopes to instill their instincts and practices into future generations,” Tameri proudly says.

     “Does that mean Ohaida students are groomed to be soldiers?” Rum asks gravely.

     “Absolutely not,” Tameri replies warmly. “You see, I’m one of the rarer ones who didn’t choose my title. It was given to me. The love of those around me is what earned me that. I want my students to experience that, too.”

     Rum grins wide, feeling a wave of pride add to his already positive reception of professor Tameri. She reminds him of his mother at this moment, wanting others to be the best version of themselves. Although, with him and Auriel, the shared attributes are only the beginning. Like his mother, Rum is well-practiced in wielding heavy weaponry. He never understood why she never let Rum use her weapon until the professor’s earlier explanation.

     That settles it. She knew what I’d learn here.

     “I’m ready, professor. Fire away.”

     Tameri nods. “Very well. First question- how did you come by your buster sword?”

     “My mom gave it to me five years ago. She returned home from a business trip and said it was made with me in mind.”

     “Second question- how did you feel the exact moment you touched it for the first time?”

     “Not too different, except for the sudden need to puke. The same year I got my sword, Nuria had also awakened her fire powers. That same morning, she tried to cook beef with her flames. It wasn’t my proudest moment.” His laughter dies down when he notices the thoughtful gaze on Tameri’s face.

     “Do you recall feeling any excess heartbeats?”

     “What do you mean?”

     “Aurum, Ohaida are special in the way that our Sudita is also called Bond of the Blade. Ohaida normally experience it when they’re young, between the ages of 9 and 18. The moment they touch the weapon they’re fated to wield, their heart beats twice simultaneously. It feels like your heart double taps your sternum like a bass drum. At that moment, your heart links to your weapon for life.

     “Which brings me to my third question- did you feel that when you grabbed your buster sword?” Tameri asks.

     “To be honest, I don’t know. My mother gave me the sword and I had no knowledge of Bond of the Blade, so whatever happened when I grabbed it isn’t something I can recall appropriately. I was excited, so I’m sure my heart was racing,” Rum states shakily. “Is there a way to test it?”

     “There is, but it’s nothing to rush, Aurum. I’ve seen plenty of kids who’ve had similar experiences. In time, you’ll erase any insecurities.”

     “Am I that transparent?”

     “This is where I bring students for the BOTB talk. Expressions, questions, reactions, they all tell me equal information.”

Rum takes a deep breath and leans forward. Hope she didn’t read all my expressions that well.

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