The first thing Nino felt was a heavy drowsiness. Like her head was enveloped in cotton, her body feeling numb. Soon she was able to open her eyes, thankful for being dark around her. Slowly, with a hand to her head, did she sit up in the bed. For a short moment was she about to fall back, the dizziness was overwhelming. Luckily it subdued quickly, and she was able to squint her redwhite eyes and look around in the room.
A small dim lamp was glowing over the door, giving just a shed of light in the small room. A bed, a desk at the wall and chair beside. A man sitting on it.
The sudden realization made her nearly jump and fall out of the bed seeing the man, not noticing him until now.
Kirill was awake, he had been that for hours as he had been sitting in the room, watching over the girl as he had been ordered. Like any good soldier, would he without any hesitation, follow orders. Although he didn't say anything, just piercing orange eyes that seemed to make a hole in Nino's soul. "Ehm... Hey?" The redhead felt more and more awkward as the young man just sat there with his arms crossed over his chest. "What happened?"
Finally he responded, a slight movement on his eyes, a wrinkle on his forehead. "You don't remember?" His voice was powerful, even with such low tone and dialect.
"No, I do not remember anything." Nino mumbled and sighed slightly, her head was still oddly numb and heavy, like all was a blur. It was like her thoughts constantly dispersed as soon as she tried to get a hand on them. While she had been struggling with trying to remember, did Kirill calmly observe her. The orange eyes were like amber, and hard as it is . It was somewhat dominant and dangerous about him, something that made Nino being way more nervous.
"I understand." he said with a heavy accent, and stood up from the chair. "Rest."
With his few words did he with three long strides leave the room, and left Nino in bed, numbed and worried. Was she still in school? Was she in a hospital? Slowly her thoughts became clearer, things became more sharp as her mind got out of the cotton it was stuffed with.
Gently the redhead slide out of the bed, bare feet that moved a heated floo . With very small movements had she moved to the window, as if the slightest disturbing gesture would cause chaos in the room. There was concern and caution that drove her, with a bit of curiosity, when she pressed the button next to the window to let the sun visor slowly slide up. The pleasantly warm rays of the sun blinded her and quickly raised a hand to shade the sore eyes.
It was an incredible sight that met her eyes. It was obviously that she was on school property, with the vast building glimpse in the corner of her vision. Several rows of apartments and houses where visible, where students flocked around, most likely homes for the students in the school.
Luminance Garden was far greater than she could believe , impressive but also a little scary, for it felt like she was in a center of power, with the great building in the center, reaching up high.
A click was heard when the door suddenly opened to the side and made Nino turn around in an instant. The sudden movement was made her dizzy and was like she lost all her strength, but the bed was close and gave her support. Apparently she was still affected and weak.
"Oh dear, still dizzy?" The woman who had stepped in had the friendliest of expressions, with some concern in the soft green eyes. Nino stared at the woman for a moment, from the hair that was on the left side pink and white right , it clearly voluptuous bust under her coat.
The feeling of being tiny suddenly felt more palpable.
"I'm fine." Nino mumbled and pulled the blanket around her, with only her face visible. A childish gesture, but right now it felt as if the quilt was the only thing that protected her from everything.
"You're still a bit pale, but you just need to take it easy and eat a decent meal and it will be probably better." the elderly woman said and smiled broadly as she sat on the chair Kirill sat on before. With a used and nimble movement had Blossom picked up her notepad, and with a little electronic pen started to write and browse all the files and texts that glimpsed on the screen.
"I'm Dr. Cherry Blossoms, medical consultant of Luminance Garden and head of the Medical Bay." She introduced herself with a gentle voice, and Nino nodded like a caterpillar inside its cover.
"My name is Nino Garnett." It had taken a short time before she hesitantly said her name. Soon, she realized that Cherry did not stress her with questions, and let her get all the time she needed. Something Nino appreciated.
"Nice to meet Nino . If you're feeling a little sluggish, it is because we gave you Regen II Drop." Cherry said with a gentle smile on her lips, while Nino immediately became confused and a little red cheeks when she asked. "Regen II?"
The female doctor looked up, a little surprised. "Oh, you have not heard about it? Or maybe your memory is a bit foggy. There is a medicine that accelerates the cells development, to increase the body's regeneration ability." she said as she explained about the medicine. "There are seven different strength degrees, and you got one of the weaker."
Nino nodded slowly as she took in the information she received. When she thought about it, she had seen something about it on television, mass debates on Regen medicines, whether they are hazardous or not. Many cases of fatal overdoses, black-market trades and forbidden experiments worked against the medicine that also saved countless lives, with the power to even regenerate lost limbs. "I understand." Nino replied quietly, felt increasingly foolish. A feeling that made her want to go to bed again, and hope she woke up at home.
But at the same time she knew that it would not happen. "Can I go home now?"
Cherry looked surprised at Nino. "Of course you can dear." she said and smiled slightly as well. "But the question is, why are you here, you are not enrolled in school."
A few seconds did Nino chew for a reply, while she attempts to remember the details but things were still foggy. "I would leave an ID chip to a guy here , he forgot it at the diner. Ehm ... Berry King 's his name I think." she said and frowned while Cherry blinked. "Oh dear, a King? But I think I might know who this is, wait and I'll contact him."
"Ah, no, it is not necessary --- " But before Nino had managed to stop the older doctor, had she already disappeared out through the door while Nino was left alone again. When she thought about it too, why had she gotten Regen medicine?
It had been an incredibly messy day. First day of school, and Berry had been delayed after helping the girl Nino. Worse was that he had lost his ID badge, and then the mysterious attack on the schoolyard. The little boy rolled up the sleeves of his large shirt and muttered while he was looking through his bag again after his tray. Without the ID badge could he not enter. Even worse was that he had all of his accounts and the information on it. So no money either. Yay...
Without an ID badge, were you vulnerable. Something Berry knew all too well.
Small, scrawny, not the best looks and general a nerd, was he a stigma among young people in the community, something that has not changed over the past hundred years.
Easy, he became pushed aside by students who were both older and larger, they took no notice of him, they never did. Which was a bit painful but he had come to term with it a long time ago..
He took a deep breath, and focused. "Think positive, you promised yourself that." he muttered to himself; he would try was more positive, and make many friends, just like his big brother.
Suddenly the phone rang in his ear , an old melody from any antique games and quickly, he pressed a button on his collar. "Berry King speaking." he said gently, amazed that someone called him. "Oh, dear, good that I got a hold of you. I am Cherry Blossoms, medical consultant of Luminance Garden, and I have a friend of yours in the infirmary." said Cherry in the phone and Berry frowned.
When did he get a friend?
After a brief explanation from Cherry and fortunately, friendly students, had Berry been able to find the small private hospital that belonged to the school. He pressed the green button at the wall and the door slid into the wall and he entered cautiously. "Sorry to interrupt, I'm Berry King." he said timidly. "Oh dear, you really resemble your mother. You grown so big."
Cherry giggled slightly. Her mention that he resembled her mother, and the voluptuous bust that seemed to cover his field of vision, did all and all make his ears red.
"Do you know mother?" he asked, slightly embarrassing and Cherry nodded. "Oh, we're old friends, me and Celina. I was a midwife when she gave birth to you."
She smiled slightly and got a nostalgic look as she thought back in time, as the elderly often got. There was silence and Berry felt a little vulnerable and nervous. " Um, y-you said something about a friend to me?"
The woman blinked and laughed softly. "Oh dear, forgot about it. Come with me, she's awake."
Cherry smiled mildly and went in to one of the smaller rest rooms, beckoned at Berry that followed doubtful. When he saw the familiar red-haired girl in the bed did his eyes widen. "Nino? What are you doing here?"
"I ... would return your ID-badge." she said, scratching her cheek and held it out to him. "You dropped it in the cafe."
" Oh, thank you! Really saved my skin." Relieved, he took the badge, which resembled a clock and put it around your wrist, and the world seemed suddenly much safer. As an afterthought, he frowned at his forehead and looked at her. "But what are you doing here? In the hospital?"
"I fell and apparently hit his head and passed out." It felt incredibly stupid, and waited some stupid comment, but heard only a 'ohh' and then a nod from Berry. "Hope you feel better now."
Apparently, not only he who falls and gets hurt. "Yes, I do. " Nino smiled slightly and looked wonderingly at Cherry who giggled a little. "Are you two together?"
Both of them blushed and began to stammer when they tried to explain to mouth on one another that it was not. "Oh dear, I understand, misunderstood it then. But you both look adorable together." she said and smiled broadly. For a second, her gaze became more serious when it were directed against Nino, although her features remained soft. "The headmaster wanted to talk to you Nino."
Immediately Nino became cold inside, felt like a hand grabbed her heart. The headmaster? Over this school?
How would it go?
There were many rumors in the newspapers about the headmaster of Luminance Garden, but how much was true and not didn't Nino know. Only that she was afraid after hearing the rumors, that could be true. But she felt a little calmer when Cherry suggested that Berry would show the way, the only one she actually knew, somehow, in this place.
"I did not know you were a... D-Gen." Nino said gently and step aside for a group of students. At first glance they looked like the students in school, like her own. But looking closer, you could see a difference; one student whose hair was moving unnaturally, another with completely pitch black eye and another had snake-like moves. Inhuman, monsters as they were called in the media.
It made shivers go down her spine , these forces had to destroy nations, such as during the Burning World War thirty years ago. Horrible stories she had learned in school, how those with powers performed the most cruel form of wars and atrocities, and that now their children were these students.
"Ah, yes, I am." Berry scratched his the purple hair and laughed nervously. "Hope you do not hate me for it or so."
That's why he never said anything about it outside of the school or home; people were afraid of it, of him. But when Nino looked at him, the short scrawny boy who was smaller than her, could she not help but smile . "No, I'm not afraid of you." Instantly his face lit up in a big smile.
How could she be afraid, when it was he who had saved her?
"Thanks Nino, it feels much better." He smiled big as they walked, it was like his entire persona was showing in his face, never hiding his emotions. Nino, who had gotten a little more courage, looked around the school. "Do you know anything about the school Berry? I do not know much more than what you have seen on the news now and then."
"IF I know!" Berry laughed and she could see how excited he became. "The school was built thirty years ago, right after Burning World War. But the concept of the school has been around for almost eighty years. Though then it was AUG:ers, to teach them about the powers that they were given. Luminance Garden was created to teach the children born with these gifts, to master them but also to teach them about the world, and teach the world about us."
Berry explained like a history book about the school, the difficulties it had to realize it's dream, how they endured threats and resistance from people. But how many famous D-Gen 's come from school, and how eight other schools have been built around the world in the image of Luminance Garden. "Three Kingdom Garden in Scandinavia is the second largest school, and ---"
Suddenly he stopped and both realized that they were in the waiting room to the headmaster's office. The waiting room had two couches and a few chairs, a potted plant in the corner and a few magazines. Something that occupied part of the room was the desk in the corner with a man sitting behind it, probably a secretary. A human, which was a surprise since most people used AI secretaries today.
"Have you made an appointment, if not, I ask you to do so since Headmaster Lazarus is very busy today." said the man with a sharp voice, one that was sustained to be said against. The black hair had streaks of gray in it, well combed back, with square glasses over his nose. Properly dressed in an a uniform resembling the students of gray and blue, was the man was apparently strictly applicable accoutrements and etiquette. Especially when he gave them both an imposing gaze; Berry with his enlarge clothes that were folded up and Nino who had simply her own rags.
"I was called? Nino Garnett." said Nino and swallowed when the man stared into her eyes. It felt like cold fingers touched her head, a chill that spread through her body. With a blink, it was gone and her body felt warm again. The secretary pressed a hand against his temple. "I understand, apologize Miss Garnett." he said curtly, nodding toward the couch against the wall. "Sit down, Headmaster Lazarus is busy for the moment, but soon time for you."
They nodded and sat on the sofa, with a heavy silence except fingers knocking against the keys when the secretary wrote. Soon the door opened and they both looked up to see a dark-skinned man stepping out. Dark goggles covered his eyes with white hair that framed his serious face. A student in school, if judged by his uniform, and blind as he fumbled with a white cane in front of him. For a few seconds he stopped and simply seemed to stare blindly in front of him before he walked and disappeared through the door Nino and Berry came through.
The secretary looked sharply at both of them and pressed a button on the computer.
"Headmaster Lazarus, Nino Garnett with companionship are here, you had called her."
"Send them in, Durand." replied a woman and Nino blinked a little over it. She had been sure it was a man who was the headmaster of the school.
More could she not think about when the door was opened to the side, and with a glance at Berry nodded nervously, as they both went in.