Disclaimer: I own Namco, what now?!

Yeah, don't believe me?

Well, obviously, I don't own it. If I owned it, then Raph and Siegfried would be pushing each other against the walls of the abandoned Ostrhiensburg Castle and ba--

Mi-na: -breaks down the door.- Hey, HEY! Knock it off! You're buggin' the world!

What the FU--

Yun-Seong: OH, YEAH!

Oh, no.

Yun-Seong: OH, YEAH! -sips his Kool-Aid.-

Oh, NOHO!

Hwang: NNNNGH. PLAY WITH ME.

Fuckin' Christ. Goddamned Dane Cook... well, here we go. Kilik: A-B-C-D-E-F-G, I will ki--- WHOMP! -KO'ed.-

R. S. Valentine probably knows what I'm talking about.

--

This is another tale of souls and swords...

--

Parousia Military Academy.

In Adrian's opinion, it was not the greatest place in the world.

But, when you're dragged into some place, bound hand and foot, even a palace could become a prison.

--

In Jordan's opinoin, Parousia Military Academy was one of the greatest places in the world.

Sitting on the grass outside the massive stone building that once housed the Emporer's family, she could see that most of her classmates, and her instructors, thought the same. The wind ruffled her shoulder-length, pin-straight hair playfully, as if greeting her "Good Morning!" and the sun was out. It wasn't shining too brightly, but enough to cast huge shadows beneath the boughes of the trees. It was warm, spring-like for November, but the slight breeze cooled off those putting in some last minute training.

Across the lawn sat a young woman with long, mahogany hair, wearing a clean kimono top, and a blood red hakama. She, too, was smiling, even as she bandaged the ninja laying in front of her.

"Morning, Captain." Reno, a girl with short, dark hair and bright, almost white, eyes sat beside her. She kissed both of Jordan's cheeks, then followed her gaze. "Ah... instructor-watching... And how are Miss Aoi and Leiutenant Kage-maru this morning?" she chuckled. Reno was Jordan's best friend, aside from her own cousin, Lucia. Reno had interests similar to her own; the history of the four nations, gardening, cooking, and giving advice to the younger cadets, and joining the military academy to protect the people of the empire they loved. Like Jordan, Reno also enjoyed extremely light armor; while the skirt of Jordan's alchemist's dress was lighter in color and longer in length than the other's tight skirt, both had a high slit up the side. Jordan wore stealth boots that came up past her knees, and a pair of thin black pants for modesty's sake; Reno wore fishnet tights and thigh-high black boots to show off her legs. Paired with a rather feminine shirt, most people thought Reno would rather seduce the enemy than run them through. In truth, both girls would rather do neither, and the lack of heavy armor was for their weapons. A sword and shield and a chinese blade were too light to be weighed down by bulky armor.

Jordan laughed at her. "I think he was injured during the field exams and he's trying not to worry her," she finally replied.

Reno let loose a mock-sigh. "Ah, to be young and in love and engaged to that same person all at once..." She tried to pull up a very deep and philosophical air, but everyone knew she was too kind for that.

"I don't think you left your father's bar to find a husband in the military..." someone yawned before joining them. Lucia plopped down on the grass in her usual, less-than-graceful manner. When Reno leaned forward to kiss her, Lucia leaned in as well, for a chaste peck.

"No, my darling, I left to find you," she replied, allowing the girl to lean against her.

"You shouldn't sleep so late..." Jordan began.

"Yeah, yeah, what if someone blows a horn and Dalkia attacks... I'll just ram a sword up Queen Aurelia's a---"

"My, Lucia, who knew you could swear like a sailor? Maybe you should join my crew." Adrian, standing behind them with her arms folded across her chest, wore a grim grin.

"You're never getting out of here, Adrian. Not until we see battle," Reno said, her lips pulling into a smirk.

"Go ahead, make the 'worst pirate you've ever seen' jokes, barmaid," Adrian began. "But, before you start that, perhaps you should tell Meiga and Feofan that it's rude to stare."

Lucia and Reno looked over to their classmates, who blushed and scattered.

Lucia stood up, waving her fist at them. "Yeah! You'd better run! I know where you sleep!" she shouted.

Adrian let out a low chuckle, and something sparkled in her dark eyes. "They don't sleep. They stay up all night watching you..." she taunted.

"Wanna be a dead pirate?" Lucia inquired.

"Let's see you try," Adrian said evenly, pulling her sword from it's sheathe. Adrian had a strange and unusual weapon; she called it a snake-sword, or the Valentine. It was a multi-sectional blade. When swung just right, it broke apart into a whip with many shards of the blade. Reno disliked it, claimed it to be witchcraft from the Halteese Republic. Both Jordan and Lucia had tried to use it, with very ittle results. No matter how many times or ways she swung it, she could not get it to become a whip. Lucia had maanged to get it apart, and then cut palm deeply. Everyone had found that odd, because Lucia had a knack for using strange weapons. Jordan suspected that it was science, or good construction, a switch in the hilt somewhere, but definetly not witchcraft, that was the secret to the blade.

Lucia blew a lock of her long, wavy silver hair out of her eyes. "Alright... my love, my sword?" she said, glancing to Reno. Reno handed her a chinese sword.

"You two are going to get us in trouble..." she warned, as Lucia took the hilt.

As the two began to duel, a fifth female figure ran over. "Oi! Stop that!" She had long brown hair with two perfectly curled tendrils framing her cheeks and doe-like brown eyes. "St. Vincent! Strife!"

Lucia and Adrian stopped in mid-strike to look at the top student in their class, Abelia. Without even looking at each other, Lucia leaned forward, and Adrian rolled over her back. A bladed whip caught the ankle of Abelia's heavy leg armor, and forced her to one knee. The girls clasped hands and curtsied.

"Oh, very funny! The field exam is about to begin. Jordan, pick your partner," Abelia instructed, then went off to find her own posse.

"Lucia."

Reno gave a mock pout. "Guess you're with me, Adrian..." she said, standing and sliding an arm around her hips.

Adrian gave her a look that said it all: 'I will fucking CUT you.' (1)

Reno giggled and brushed her cheek against the other girl's. Adrian, despite her poise and sass, was at least four inches shorter.

--

"Stay to the right, Lucia... No, don't look at me that way, I mean..." Jordan said, trying to stay calm and failing miserably. She was so nervous about this... their last exam, against General Girardot. If they passed this, they'd be joining Abelia's unit... they'd be cadets. If they didn't pass... Jordan wasn't going to think about it. They had to pass.

She pulled her shield against her chest for a moment. She had always called it the 'Momento', because it was the last gift she'd recieved from her mother before she'd left home. It wasn't anything fancy, but perhaps it needed a new name...

Now wasn't exactly the time, but it wouldn't hurt.

"Lucia... how did you decide the name of your weapons?" she asked softly.

Lucia's eyes lit up. "Well, I just picked names that sounded pleasant. Why? Are you finally thinking of naming it?" she asked.

She nodded slowly. "Yes. It needs one."

"Well... how about... St. Evremonde?" she suggested.

"Like the character from Dickens'?" Jordan raised a dark brow.

"Yes! It's a wonderful, romantic novel, and the names are so... pleasant..." she said.

Jordan gave her a soft smile. "The St. Evremonde it is, then."

Lucia laughed. "It's quite alright. I've a sword named Othello and a staff named Rosalind..." she said, before Abelia sounded the horn, and they both took off. Jordan could hear the blood pounding in her ears.

The final exam had begun.

--

Chapter fin.

Yup, that's it. I hope you liked it. I know, it wasn't totally serious, but... I wanted to introduce my characters during a pleasant, normal part of their life. Except for Adrian, of course. You'll find out more about her later on.

I'll leave you to review. Please?

(1) This line is copyrighted to The BirdFox Hybrid Productions. Go read the 'Carmine Complex'. NOW.

Or, review me. That's cool, too.