Chapter 15

After closing the door behind him, Ezart ran up to the silver haired Dark Sun.

"Where are you going?"

Dark Sun continued walking without even turning his head to acknowledge the person beside him.

"Back to class."

"Why? Why go back to D Class when you're already an ECS member?"

The silver haired teen merely smiled, "Because I find you interesting."

Ezart raised his eyebrows. "You're the one today who suicidally brought a desk to sit next to me, right?"

"And why would that be suicidal?"

"Because any normal person would know that disrupting my sleep would make me really mad, and I tend not to hold back when I'm mad."

"Well then you should get used to being disrupted then," said Dark Sun with a coy smile.

Seeing this fearless response, the spiky, orange haired teen replied, "Maybe you should also remember that I am still quite mad about you breaking my desk this morning."

"I do remember."

"Hmph," snorted Ezart, half in frustration and half in sarcasm, "Then you'd better treat me to a free dinner as an apology."

This caused Dark Sun to abruptly stop, almost leading to a collision between the two teenagers. "A dinner?" repeated a bewildered silver haired teen.

"You bet. I have my eyes set on this newly opened barbecue shop a little way down the street. I'm going to order the whole menu, so be prepared to empty your wallet," said Ezart evilly.

"Right... Dinner. I almost forgot." murmured Dark Sun to himself.

"What's that?"

Dark Sun shrugged, "Why not? Come over to my house then. We'll have... Fried chicken, burgers, and fries. Barbecue sounds good too."

Ezart looked at the silver haired teen with shock and amazement. He had taken quite a interest in this boy, and he didn't really know why. Perhaps it was because of his fearlessness towards Ezart, or it may be because of his fighting potential. Whatever it was, Ezart knew he had found someone similar to himself, someone who could command his respect. Ezart was looking forward to the next time they got a chance to fight again. But thinking back on it, they had only just met, and the boy was already inviting him over to his house? Ezart couldn't help but feel as if Daren had some sort of secret intent behind all of this...

Suddenly, the orange haired teen noticed Dark Sun tensing up beside him.

"Oh I am so mad at that stupid old principal! He hung up on me again!"

"Yeah, I'll show him! Nobody steals my car exhibition tickets and gets away with it!"

"Calm down guys! There's someone in front of us!"

Three people walked around the corner of a hallway, and paused in time, as if statues. Ezart immediately noticed Eloise, with her pink hair, and also the green haired Eli who he had met in the simulation. The red haired man on the left was carrying twin energy swords, and Ezart realized he had indeed looked quite familiar, but he just couldn't remember the man's name.

The statues showed Eloise's mace in mid-swing, but her face full of shock. The red haired man had raised fists but also held the same facial expression. Only Eli, the one trying to calm his teammates, rolled his eyes upon seeing Ezart.

"Daren!" shouted Eloise, the first to break the awkward silence, and ran up to the silver haired teen, "What are you doing here?"

"Um. Uh. I was- I was..." answered Dark Sun, hurrying to find an excuse. He knew that this hallway only led to the principal's office, and he really didn't want Eloise to know he just had a meeting with Antonias. Unknowingly, his eyes looked to Ezart for backup.

Ezart didn't miss a beat.

"You see, this little punk here admired me so much because I kicked his ass in today's simulation. After I came out of the meeting with the principal, I found him here waiting to invite me to dinner. And who am I to say no to free food? Haha!"

Dark Sun glared dangerously at the spiky, orange haired boy, but didn't say anything to object this tall tale. Ezart bit his own lip to keep himself from laughing.

Eloise on the other hand, looked terribly forlorn. With a pleading look, she asked Dark Sun, "Why did you ask Ezart of all people on a date? I thought- I thought-" With tensed fists, she pushed past the silver haired teen while shouting, "I misjudged you, Daren!"

"Wait!" implored Dark Sun, "It's not like that! It's a misunderstanding! Eloise!"

Meanwhile, Eli whispered to Elian, "Are you buying this?"

Elian softly laughed, "Not a bit. But let's just let this play out. It's Eloise's own fault for being so thick."

Ezart scratched his head, still trying to keep a poker face after seeing Eloise's reaction. Looking at the silver haired boy's distraught expression, it was all he could do not to burst out laughing.

"Well then," said Elian, cutting away the awkward silence, "Excuse us, but we'll need to go catch up to Eloise and calm her down now." With a curtly nod to Ezart, and a suspicious look towards Dark Sun, Elian and Eli passed by the two boys, and made their way to the principal's office.

After seeing the trio disappear around the turn of a hallway, Ezart burst out in laughter.

"Pffftt! Hahahahaha! Oh my god! Did you see her reaction? Oh my- Oh that was priceless! Haha!"

Ezart's stomach hurt so much from laughing, he had to kneel on the floor, one arm banging on the wall as he tried to stifle down his laughter. With one look, he took in the clueless look of Dark Sun and was sent into another round of laughter. This time he resorted to rolling around on the floor.

Dark Sun was indeed clueless. He blankly looked at Ezart's amused expression, the latter whom is still on the floor, clutching his belly. All he could think about was why Eloise was so mad. And date? What did she mean by date? Especially with Ezart?

Finally, after a few moments, Ezart stopped his laughing and panted, trying to catch his breath. "Oh my god that was brilliant. Haha!" He even wiped a few tears away from his eyes. That was really funny, especially with Eloise's reaction. God knows how she imagined the whole situation inside her head.

The silver haired teen was still standing there in shock, had it not been for Ezart's pull.

"Come on, slow brat! My stomach's growling!" complained the spiky, orange haired boy. The dragon on his face was still writhing with amusement, "I'm still expecting the fried chicken, burgers, and fries! With barbecue of course!"

Dark Sun's mind was still in shock as he allowed himself to be dragged around by Ezart. All he could think about was Eloise's angry expression. Had he done something wrong? Again? Sighing to himself, he realized once more, how difficult women could be to understand.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Antonias tapped his pen profusely on his desk, one hand supporting his chin, and smiled to himself. He found someone quite interesting today. Oh yes. Quite interesting. Eyes drifting to the signature on the ECS consent sheet, the old principal couldn't help but feel the hint of proudness at securing such a valuable member to his organization. Daren Avery, or should he call him, Dark Sun? He pressed the play button on his laptop, and re-watched the scenes inside the simulation from earlier today. Scanning over the fight scenes, the silver haired boy was indeed merciless and cruel. Nodding with approval, Antonias drummed his fingers on the desk and fast forwarded the recording.

A blurry image of silver wings suddenly caught his attention, and the old principal scrambled to back track towards that scene. His security cameras weren't able to catch all of it, but those short few seconds showed a clear shot of metallic feathers that vibrated softly before flapping away towards the sky. Running his fingers over the keyboard, Antonias was unable to find any other cameras that picked up the angel's image, as it had already escaped the range of their shots. It won't be until a few minutes later that his ECS trio met up with the said angel, or rather, 'Dark Sun' from the angel's username.

"I'm giving it to you," came the recorded voice of the angel inside the recording, handing its firefly to Elian and Eli. The principal's eyes narrowed, thoughts moving back to the screen that held a dying Eloise, and a worried Dark Sun. Why would this young boy care so much for one his ECS members? But then again...

He skipped the recording over to the Third Stage of the simulation. A nightmarish, bloody, humanoid figure suddenly appeared out of nowhere, with username 'Dark Sun', that jumped into the midst of the chaos. The old principal's eyes watched like a hawk as he observed the devil defeat all the A class members with ease, until confronted by Ezart. And even then, the spiky, orange haired boy was forced to retreat every time his enemy attacked. The devil in red then proceeded to take off Ezart's mask, and hesitated for a while before making his move. But when he did attack, Ezart had no chance to even retaliate.

"A real devil..." murmured Antonias to himself. Out to fight next was Eli and Eloise, both holding their respective weapons and at top combative positions. The two managed to hold their own for a short while, but it was clear that their enemy wasn't using his real power. With one swift movement, Dark Sun managed to pull off both ECS members' masks, and saw their true identity.

Now the old principal would've originally been quite worried had any bystanders been there to see this scene. His secrecy of the ECS members would have been left out in to the open. But at that point of the game, no one was left in the simulation except for Ezart, Dark Sun and his ECS trio. Antonias sighed with relief, praising himself on the decision of not broadcasting today's simulation to the entire school. He knew that Ezart wasn't the type to blurt things out. So hopefully it was okay. Hopefully.

But there it was again! The lingering hesitation of the devil confused Antonias. He couldn't move, or didn't want to move, even as Eli drew a dagger from his pocket and threw it towards his jugular. Dark Sun remained as still as a statue looking at Eloise.

Why? Why Eloise?

The old principal paused the recording and focused one of his cameras onto Dark Sun's face.

Was that fear he saw? No. Shock? Surprise? Regret? No, that wasn't it either. No, it was moment of understanding.

For that one moment, the principal saw the devil's emotionless face change to show a sign of understanding and realization. But the same question repeated in his mind.

Why Eloise?

Of course, Dark Sun did slow down upon hearing Eloise's voice over the phone during their meeting, and he did seem quite intent on keeping his identity safe from Eloise, even if it meant joining ECS. Back then, Antonias had sensed something strange was afoot and used that to his advantage to threaten Dark Sun. But he still doesn't understand why the silver haired boy even spared a thought for a girl like Eloise.

And what did he understand? What did he realize at that moment?

Antonias crossed his fingers together in contemplation. If he remembered correctly, Eloise just broke up with her 15th boyfriend last month, wasn't it? That boy had been one of her longer partners, lasting for two weeks before running away like a puppy with its tail between its legs. It wasn't that Eloise was a sadistic, evil girl either, it was just that her personality was so much more different than a normal girl. Would a normal girl say hi to someone by waving her huge mace in someone's face? Would a normal girl express her love by hugging someone and breaking several of their bones?

The old principal laughed to himself when he thought of Eloise's life threatening hugs. She had a good heart, but the last time she tried to thank him, Antonias ended up in the hospital with two broken ribs. He was surprised he survived at all after that experience. He was an old man now, and old men just weren't as sturdy as they used to be. After that, Eloise was banned from hugging anyone, for the sake of others around her.

But Elian did always complain to him that Eloise would break that rule with her boyfriends, causing them to all run away with fear from her at the end. The result was a sulky, irritated Eloise that would throw the most horrible tantrums if frustrated. Antonias sighed. Eloise really was a pretty girl, she just had trouble controlling her power sometimes.

But Eloise would keep finding new boys, causing her two teammates much distress. It didn't surprise the principal that she might've chosen Dark Sun this time either. Antonias shook his head sadly, feeling quite sympathetic suddenly for the silver haired boy.

But back on topic. What was the special link between Dark Sun and Eloise? 'Daren' had only transferred here today, after all. It just doesn't make any sense.


Antonias raised his head in surprise. Where had she popped up from?

"Grandpappy, I'm sorry. Please don't get mad. Please," came a young girl's trembling voice from behind one of his sofas.

"Come on, Hawthorne. Get out of there," soothed the old principal, finally getting out of his desk and extended his two hands, "Come on, grandpappy's not mad."

"No. What if grandpappy was mad and left me in that scary truck again?" cried the young girl, on the brink of tears this time.

Sighing, Antonias was forced to kneel down to comfort his granddaughter . "I resent that, Hawthorne. That wasn't on purpose, you know that. Now come on. Grandpappy's really not mad, but grandpappy's back will be sore tomorrow if you don't come out of there!"

"Wah! I'm sorry!" cried Hawthorne, jumping into her grandpappy's arms, "You really won't leave me in that scary truck again?"

"Of course not," soothed Antonias, "You'll never be alone again, alright? Now sh... Calm down, grandpappy's not mad."

Last time Hawthorne had gotten into an argument with Antonias, he was called to an emergency meeting with the principal of another school because D Class had barged into one of their classrooms and started a huge fight. Because of the urgency, Antonias didn't have time to make up with his granddaughter and rushed off to the meeting, leaving Hawthorne alone in her kindergarten. Apparently, Hawthorne thought he had abandoned her and hectically ran off before her teacher could find her. She found herself following an old man that looked like Antonias from the back, and when he saw him climb into a truck, she climbed into the back trunk as well. Some one closed the door and she was unable to get out in time. One hour later, when a tired Antonias finally came back to the kindergarten to take Hawthorne back home, the kindergarten teacher was searching everywhere, and was ready to call the police. In the heat of the moment, Antonias dialed up 5 of his ECS to search for his granddaughter, of whom included Eli, Elian and Eloise. It was a heart racing long wait, as millions of horrible images and consequences ran through Antonias' mind at once, blaming himself for leaving his only grandchild alone like that. An hour later, the principal got a call from Elian, explaining that they had captured the truck driver, and found Hawthorne safe in the back of the trunk. She was crying and making a lot of noise, which made the truck driver stop to check what was wrong. It was just when the truck driver decided to drive to the nearest police station that the ECS stopped his truck and was ready to have his life if Hawthorne had been hurt. In the end, Hawthorne returned safely, and fostered an exceptional love for her three saviors, but had also developed an extreme fear of the dark and cramped spaces.

Antonias sighed. She was only four at the time, but still for some reason believed that whole incident was caused by her grandpappy who was mad at her. Now whenever Antonias gets cross with her, Hawthorne would burst out in tears, blaming her grandpappy for that incident, and Antonias would have no choice but to shut up and calm his granddaughter down.

Sniff. Sniff. "Grandpappy, did you figure out who Dark Sun was at the end?" asked Hawthorne in a small voice.

"Mm, not really," answered the principal, "There's still quite a lot I haven't been able to figure out about him yet..."

"But grandpappy's not mad that I broke the rules and gave him a firefly, right?"

Antonias smiled, "Of course not my dear, I think I might even have to thank you. Because you allowed him to come to the Third Stage, I got to see many interesting things!"

Content now, Hawthorne also managed a smile, "Isn't he the coolest, grandpappy? He's going to be my future husband!"

The old principal winced. What was the little girl thinking? Dark Sun as his future grandson in law? Antonias shivered at the thought.

"Can I meet him sometime? Please?" asked Hawthorne.

"Absolutely not!" warned the principal in a stern voice, but immediately regretted it after seeing his granddaughter's scared reaction, "I mean, he- He's very busy everyday, and he rarely comes to my office. He- uh, and he already has a girlfriend!"

Hawthorne was shocked, "What? A girlfriend? Who?"

Antonias mentally banged his head against the wall. He was just digging himself into a deeper hole, wasn't he?

"Eloise! Dark Sun's girlfriend is Eloise!"

Hawthorne's mouth opened up wide. "Big sister Eloise is going out with Dark Sun?" After a short pause, she added, "Is Dark Sun going to end up in the hospital?"

Antonias smiled bitterly before replying. It seemed like Eloise's boy hunting ways have become known even to his granddaughter. But he had to keep this lie going! He really didn't want his Hawthorne to be idolizing, then perhaps marrying, an assassin.

"No, Dark Sun is going to be fine. But he's very dedicated to his girlfriend, and I'm sure he has no plans to be cheating on Eloise either."

Sighing, Hawthorne still wasn't ready to give up yet. But she did really like big sister Eloise. "Can't we share?"

The old principal firmly shook his head. "No. You may not share. Dark Sun is Eloise's boyfriend and that's that."


The principal saw a huge piece of wood flying towards him and wasn't able to dodge in time. Oh that was going to bruise. But before he fainted, he did see his infamous ECS trio standing outside his office. Was it just him, or did all of them look quite mad? Eloise looked especially irritated, eyes watery with tears. With one foot still raised, she was undoubtedly the one who kicked down his door as well.

The pink haired girl marched in and declared, "Who's my boyfriend?"

For those of you who have no idea who Hawthorne is, she is actually a character from No Hero, the sequel to Eclipse Hunter. Her Chinese name is 荆棘, which translates directly to thorns, or brambles. I decided Hawthorne sounded better, so there you go!
I had originally decided for her to be an OC, but thought against it in the end. She was so similar already to an existing character, so why force an OC into this? Of course, some things are going to be changed about her, but I hope her relationship with Dark Sun is going to remain the same. :)