Surge Of Strenght

Time flowed like a stream; the period ended. Draven packed his belongings and headed to the art room.

He hummed to himself, the eye of the tiger song. The halls were packed, as the students moved to and fro to their respective classes. Draven pushed, squeezing through the crowd. Suddenly he slipped. A girl in a baby pink skirt and white blouse stepped closer to him; her plump, strawberry-red lips curved into a smile. She raised a hand.

Under her power, Draven floated to his feet, their eyes clashed for a fraction. She turned and walked with her friends. Draven mouthed "Thanks"

She paused and without looking back, she nodded; fading into the distance. Starstruck, Draven stood in the middle of the hall.  

Vernon spoke, breaking Draven from his thoughts. "Haha, who knew you would fall so easily in love? That's weak, kiddo!"

Draven whispered to himself "Why? … She seems familiar, where have I seen her before?"

A shoulder bumped into him. Finding his bearings, he ran straight to the art room which was in the next building. He panted, climbing the stairs.

Thinking of a solution he opened his status page and added two points to his speed and stamina stats.

Energised, he reached the top floor in no time. He took a deep breath and calmly entered the room. "Good morning, Ma'am!" 

"Good morning to you too, Draven!" Mrs. Smith turned from her papers with a gentle smile. 

Draven took a seat on the second row. He lifted the sheet covering his canvas and laid his painting essentials onto the table. Draven whistled, dipping his brush blue and started painting the night sky. 

Draven always loved art; other than the fact the teacher was a family friend; the subject was a bit carefree. She wasn't strict as long he paid attention to her teachings and submitted his work on time. Being the only student in his grade who opted for art; he could sing, whistle or listen to music while he worked. This was by far the most relaxing class. 

A group of clamouring girls entered the classroom. They greeted and conversed with the teacher. Hearing the girls high-pitched voices. Draven was distracted. He turned away from his canvas and took a glance at the girls.

Annoyed he gripped his brush tightly; trying his best to control his expressions. Before he ignored them and continued painting. He caught a pair of light-gold eyes gazing at him. At once, he recognized her.

She was the same girl, who helped him in the hallway. He stared back and shot her a smile.

The girl smiled back and waved her hand. Draven was caught off guard, he froze and butted his head into his canvas. He heard a soft giggle. Soon the group left, leaving behind their friend.

The girl discussed with the teacher about a few things.

Mrs. Smith called Draven. He paused his work and walked towards the teacher's desk.

He said "Yes Ma'am" Mrs. Smith spoke "Draven, this is Karisa. She is a foreign exchange student from Greece. Please guide her if she needs any."

Mrs. Smith sent him wink. Draven just shrugged it.

"Yes Ma'am" Draven said.

Mrs. Smith said to herself "Finally my class will no longer be boring. Haha haha" Like a sleazy old pervert, she rubbed her hands in delight.

"Abby can you please control yourself" Hearing Draven's plea, she faked a cough and fixed her expression back into a teacher.

Mrs. Smith said "Karisa don't worry you are in good hands. And I won't start teaching until next week so you are free to do whatever you want."

Karisa smiled and replied "Thank you Ma'am. I have always wanted to try art, thank you for giving me this chance."

"Oh, no need to thank me sweetie. And please don't call me Ma'am I feel so old already. Call me Abby during class. Its short for Abigail Smith." Mrs. Smith said.

Karisa nodded. 

For the first time hearing Karisa's sweet voice, Draven was captivated and spaced out. Feeling burn on his wrist, he silenced his yelp and shifted his attention to the suspect of his pain. "RRRH"

Ignoring Vernon, he listened to their conversation.

Karisa giggled. "Well, Abby you don't look a day over thirty"

Flattered, she said "Aww, you are just saying that to get on my good side."

Abby cleared her throat, said "All right, take a seat Karisa. I need to have a word with Draven" "And Karisa you are free to use the art room's supplies. I can't wait to see your creation!" 

Abby continued. She nodded, strolled to the nearby shelf.

While she was in the middle of choosing her brushes, Abby signalled him outside.

Once out, Abby took hold of his shoulder. "What do you think?".

Puzzled, he said "Huh? About what?" 

Abby laughed. "Come on. You know what I'm talking about?... I mean Karisa".

Unsure, where this was going, he raised his brows in bewilderment.

Abby patted his shoulder "Do you like her? I saw you gawking at her. Well, she does look good1 "

Draven quickly denied "No, I don't! There is nothing going on between us. This is my first time meeting her."

"Stop being shy. If you want her, I can help you get her? And it will be our secret" Abby winked.

Draven blushed, contemplating for a moment. "No, Abby. If I like her, I want to approach her by myself through fair means!"

Staring straight into her hazel eyes, he said "What kind of man would I be, if I hid my girl away from everyone… treating her like a little secret. Sorry, but that's not the way I swing!"

The bracelet vibrated, he paused. "And I seriously don't like her. I was just surprised; she was the first person in this school that actually helped me."

Abby was in a shock for a moment and laughed "Haha, I can't believe my best friend's nephew grew into such a fine man. Chill, I was just testing if you were like them!" by them, she refers to his unbridled clansmen.   

Abby patted his shoulder "Have fun with your youth and don't be such a spoilsport like your dad… He is such a bore. Anyway, take good care of Karisa, I like her!"

Draven smiled; Abby can be annoying sometimes but has Draven's best interest at heart. She left him in the hallway and headed to the staff room.

Abby was almost like a second mom. When he was younger, she used to look out for him at school and help him with his homework. And would occasionally cook food for him. Whenever his parents were in a foreign country, normally his Aunt Lisa and Abby would look after him and his siblings.

And even after he failed the age ceremony, his aunt Lisa and Abby were the only ones who were there with him. Sometimes his mother would occasionally visit him secretly.       

Draven headed to the washroom and locked his cubicle. Bringing the bracelet to his mouth, he whispered "Vernon what was with that vibrate?" The bracelet buzzed green, taking him to the system page.

Vernon said "That vibrate was to notify you about the new task and mission. Oh, and you earned a 15exp." 

Puzzled, he said "What? How?"

Vernon said "Remember, acts of bravery. Speaking boldly and passionately also counts!"

"Oh, can I have the strength elixir? Draven said.

Vernon asked "Yes, Orally or Injection?"

"Hmm… orally please." stiffly replied.

Vernon mocked him "Are you a man? Try the injection, it's much faster. Orally is slow but will gradually increases your body's strength"

Draven didn't budge to Vernon's provocation. A blue vial materialized in the air. His eyes sparkled in glee as a descendant of the Castel clan; he knew how valuable this elixir was.

This a Tier 2 elixir and the last time he had seen it, was on an auction going for 50,000 credits per vial.

Vernon spoke "Stop gawking at a low-level elixir like a hungry dog. It's insulting. You can easily buy twenty of them from the system' store."   

Knowing it was the real deal, Draven was overjoyed. He uncapped the vial and gulped it down; feeling refreshed.

 A second later, heat coursed through his veins, the muscles on his arms inflated a few inches. A wave of great pain struck him, clutching his head, he dropped to his knees in the cubicle.

 Draven tried to hush his voice, to controlling his scream. He bit his arm, digging into his flesh, he drew blood. The pain hit him like a truck, spreading to his whole body.

Holding his legs to his chest, he panted. As the pain slowly retracted, leaving a fiery heat on his hands and feet. Picking himself up, his legs wobbled like jelly. Unable to control his body, he grabbed the toilet seat for support. The toilet seat formed a few cracks. Afraid, Draven pushed off and slipped.

The Vernon popped out and laughed. Vernon later advised Draven to wait for a few minutes for his body to adjust to the boost of strength.

Gaining some strength over his legs. He huffed and decided to leave.

Just as Draven was about to leave the cubicle. A group of boys entered the washroom, laughing and shouting. Seeing his bullies, he tiptoed to the exit. ‘Man, I hope these guys don’t notice me!’

The moment the boys saw Draven; the atmosphere grew cold. Draven froze in his steps.

Their eyes full of ill intent, bawled their hands into fists and a couple of them activated their powers. With a cocky grin, they encircled Draven, pushing his back to the wall.

Draven heard footsteps approaching the washroom; a couple of handsome boys dressed in black and grey entered the room. One of them sauntered with confident gait. "My, My, What a lovely surprise? Isn't that Draven Castel, the fallen heir of the Castel clan? Let's have some fun, Haha!"

Osborne Greenfield laughed hideously, reflecting his detest.

Draven narrowed his eyes, he clenched his fist within his jacket's sleeves.

Osborne said "Thank you guys for holding on to the dog for me. Tonight, all of you guys will get free V.I.P passes to my club."

The guys cheered and laughed. Osborne raised his hand; the room went silent. Sparks flew between Draven and Osborne.

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