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amaliaverdezoto > The Selection > 5 Academy Year 1 - Friends
I run down the shaded path, chilled by a gentle breeze permeating my damp clothes. With my chest burning from respiratory exhaustion, still tired from training, I look ahead and realize the building isn't that wide; I'd reach the other side in five minutes at this pace.

There are metal devices sticking out across the entire length of the wall. They are small globular iron contraptions, spaced half a foot apart solely on ground level. What're those for?

Hot sweat drips from my entire head, still panting from exhaustion. When I move my arms even a little, they feel like dead weights. I run in a slouched position due to burning in my abs and lower back. I distinguish a tingling sensation on the surface of my skin around my body among my muscle aches. I knit my eyebrows. What's this feeling…? I didn't feel this when I ran here from home… It almost seems like my Mana wants to come out, but it feels…different…

I think about letting out this feeling to see if it would be different than any other time I released my Mana, but I refrain. I'm at the end of the path. I run past the wall and stop. Afterward, I look down on my arms as I rotate them. That's strange. I don't feel it anymore… Oh well, it's time to eat!

Up ahead, there's a large, open grassy area between the Academy and another large building. Crowds of kids enjoy servings of food throughout the grassy area. I put my right hand over my stomach as it growls probably in response to the delicious food in front of me. I gulp, anxiously walking around to find where they serve the meals.

"Kaister, over here!" a familiar voice shouts.

Kaister…? Oh, yeah… Drugo calls Hiro, Hiroster, so… I turn toward the voice and then find Luna and Drugo waving. I wave back and run over in excitement.

"Hey!" I cock an eyebrow when I observe that none of them are eating. "Why aren't you guys eating? Not hungry?"

There's a brief silence accompanying everyone's blank facial expressions.

"Whose fault do you think that is?!" Hiro lashes out at me as he clenches his right fist. I only raise my eyebrows and frown while still wondering what he's talking about. "I'm starvin'! Ya better have a good excuse for this, Kai."

I wrap my thumb and index finger around my chin. I know why I was late, but I still don't understand why he's mad at me… I can't tell him I was playing with my Mana… Hiro's glare catches my eye.

"Uhhh…" I mutter.

"Sitos, you're bein' unusually quiet, say something to 'im! Weren'tcha two in the same group?"

This bastard… He's probably gonna tell everyone I was crying and say I'm a weakling… I frown while clenching both of my fists. Sitos turns around with his arms crossed. He wears an apathetic facial expression. I relax my hands as I quirk an eyebrow. Huh…? I thought he'd be furious with me… Why's it look like he doesn't care?

"It does not matter does it? Let us get his ticket and eat already."

"What?! You're goin' to forgive 'im that easily?!" Hiro exclaims, meanwhile Sitos stays silent with the same expression.

"Well, you heard him, Kaister. You should've gotten a red piece of paper from Teacher Moria, right?" Drugo confirms.

Red paper…? Moria…? Oh, so his name is Moria! I reach for the red slip of paper in my pocket and hand it to Drugo, who takes out five other pieces of red paper and adds it to that pile. He turns around, walks towards an unfamiliar adult, and hands the paper to him. My eyes wander around the scenery surrounding me.

Hmm… Everyone is in groups of six; I wonder why that is? Drugo comes back with six pieces of yellow paper in his hand, giving each of us one. I scrunch my forehead as I stare down at the yellow piece of paper in my hand. "Umm… What's this for?"

"We can get food from over there with this slip of paper now. Since you weren't here for the instructions, we'll explain it to you while we eat." Drugo explains.

We go to where there's food spread out on top of several tables. A giant pot

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