Lantis took a deep breath before knocking on his brother's office. He tapped the door thrice and then waited for his brother's acknowledgement. "Come in…" he heard his brother's voice from his office. "Well? Shouldn't you be assisting your classmates for your class event?"
"I have done what I was assigned to do."
"So what brings my brother here?"
"The Shidou brothers had challenged me for a duel."
"And so I would like to ask permission to use the gym after lunch. I wouldn't want you scolding me about it when you find out."
"…It's about your relationship with their sister is it not?"
"They wanted to… 'test' me…"
Zagato laughed out loud. "My, my brother…and I had never thought you'd go into such trouble just because of a girl."
"She's not 'just a girl'."
"I figured that…Do what you need to do. You own this school too anyway. Besides, it would really be…a very interesting event."
Lantis then turned around and walked away. "Ja…"
"Oh and Lantis…"
"You'd better pass this…uh…test…"
Zagato smirked as he watched his brother walk out of the room. It's a wonder how this girl had made a difference in his brother's life. 'I think it's time that I meet her…'
He looked at the clock hanging on the wall in front of him. He stood up and walked out of the office. He has so much time at his disposal that it's really boring for him…that is, until his brother gave him an idea. 'I'll have lunch with Emeraude first.'
* * *
Eagle stared at his friend as they walked towards the gym. Like a very confident general in a coming battle, there was no trace of nervousness on his friend's face. He knew Lantis had always been calm in situations quite similar to this; too calm in fact that it's almost intimidating. "So do you think you can beat him?"
Lantis looked at him as if he'd heard a very silly question. Well, actually, it was silly, and besides, Eagle knew the answer already. Lantis answered him nevertheless, for the sake of conversation, "I'll beat him." It was a statement uttered in full confidence, a statement that if someone, who didn't know Lantis Kyle Sol very well, overheard, it could be considered to be very boastful. The thing is that, Lantis never boast. If he says he is going to defeat someone he will defeat him, even if it's the devil himself.
"So ne? Why did I ever ask?" He laughed softly at himself. "You were looking forward of having the eldest of the Shidou brothers as an opponent weren't you?"
Lantis nodded. "He would be a very good opponent."
"Well, well Lantis, I say, you're rather bored of the idea that it's Masaru Shidou you're dueling with…"
"I didn't say that…"
"Well, you don't have to…he knows you very well," someone said behind them. Both of them turned around and saw Zagato and Emeraude. "We came to watch your duel, brother…and give you moral support," Zagato said with a sneer.
* * *
Primera watched as Hikaru lead her brothers in their classroom and towards a vacant table. She bit her lips nervously; she knew she had to talk to her now. She started walking towards Hikaru. "A-anou…can I talk to you for a moment? Please?" The sincere, friendly smile Hikaru gave her surprised Primera. 'How could she even smile at me like that after all that I had done?'
"Why of course Primera-chan…Excuse me onii-sama…" Hikaru then took Primera's hand and then lead her towards a more private side of the café. "Yes Primera-chan?"
"Well….a-anou…I just…I just want to say sorry for all the things I've said and done…"
Hikaru shook her head and smiled, "Don't worry. It's okay."
"I mean, he saved my life you know…When I was in elementary? And well, I liked him a lot from that moment. Since then I was like his biggest fan, always following him around and things like that. See he's really nice…even if he didn't look like it, and I saw in his eyes, that he's lonely. I thought, that I can make him happy…And then you came along…From the day he met you he started smiling. I was angry at you because, I never made him smile."
"He detest sweet things you know…"
"Yes I know…"
"…But he ate those pies…"
"Yes he did…" and the strawberry flavored candies…and the ice creams…and the cakes…
"It must mean that he really loves you a lot…"
"Can we be friends Hikaru-chan? As in, real friends."
"Pri-chan…I like that…" Both girls giggled. "Seriously Hikaru-chan, Lantis-sama would do anything for you…"
Hikaru sighed. "Yes he would…"
Primera noticed Hikaru suddenly looked sad. "You don't like that he would?"
"No…no…I do like it…Demo…See my brothers…they challenged him to a duel…"
"Oh sorry…What happened?"
"Well just they found out that Lantis and I were a couple so…"
"Well they wanted to know if Lantis is uhm…worthy…to be my boyfriend…"
"You mean he's gonna have to fight all of them?"
"No, just Masaru, my 2nd eldest brother."
"After lunch, at the gym…"
"Uh-oh…It looks like they're heading there right now…"
Hikaru quickly stood up and then said, "I gotta go Pri-chan…" She then ran towards her brothers as they headed towards the gym. Primera then rushed to the kitchen to tell Hikaru's friends what's going on…
"What did you tell her now Primera?" Umi said, thinking that Primera did something to make Hikaru worried.
"No…it's not me…Promise! Look…we're okay now."
"Why did she look so worried then, after talking to you?"
"See, that's why I'm here. Hikaru's brothers challenged Lantis-sama for a duel at the gym. He's going to fight with Masaru Shidou now!"
"Fight Masaru Shidou? Are you into your tricks again Primera?"
"No I promise! I'm telling the truth!"
"Oh my God! So that's why Hikaru-chan looked so worried!"
"What is it all about Umi-chan?" Fuu asked them.
Shidou and Lantis Sol are going to have a duel at the gym now!
"A DUEL BETWEEN MASARU SHIDOU AND LANTIS SOL AT THE GYM NOW?!" Zazu exclaimed as he overheard the girls' conversation. Unfortunately, the whole café heard him, and their customers started rushing out of the room.
"I bet the whole school is heading over there …"
"Rumors do spread fast around here…"
Looking at their suddenly empty café, Fuu said, "Well then I guess we won't have any customers until they're finished." The rest agreed. "We'd better hurry ourselves…Lock the doors and all, we're going to the gym…"
* * *
Lantis looked around him and scowled. "What the hell are all of them doing here?"
"What do you think? They came to watch of course!" Eagle answered him with a smile.
"What do they think of this? A carnival show?"
"Maa…maa…take it easy. Forget about them, just think about the duel." Eagle then took the padding beside him (which looks like a leather breast plate) and helped Lantis wear it. He saw Hikaru ran beside him. Looking into her eyes, he saw her worry and distress. "Don't worry my love I'll be all right."
"You should be," the girl told him. He nodded and walked to the center of the gym where Masaru is already waiting.
His brother had asked Lafarga-sensei to be the judge of the match. It was a practical decision since the teacher didn't have any bias and since the fight is a very serious one for all of the parties concerned, it has to be a clean one.
Lantis took a deep breath and looked at his opponent. The truth was the he had expected all this to happen, but he thought it was Satoru Shidou that he was going to have a match with. Nevertheless…
The duel started at last; the gym that was very noisy a while ago became really quiet. All of the people watching there knew that concentration is very much important. Still the two main players did not break their initial pose – standing there face to face with distance far enough from each other, feet apart and both hands on their wooden swords…Both of them waiting for each other to make the first attack.
Lantis barely saw Masaru lift his left foot off the floor to attack him and yet he did. He managed to get away though, avoiding a strong hit on his stomach. A 2nd blow followed right away, which is much difficult to avoid. Lantis' quick reflexes' made him jump backwards though and out of the way. 'What is he doing?' Hikaru asked herself. 'Why isn't he attacking?'
"You'd be just wasting your energy trying to dodge my attacks Sol-kun…" Masaru told him. Lantis did not reply. He instead blocked Masaru's latest attack using his sword.
'This is not how my brother fights!' Zagato thought. 'His moves are too sloppy. He barely even get to dodge Shidou's attacks!'
'Something isn't quite right…' Hikaru said to herself.
Satoru got lost in his own thoughts while watching the duel. 'It looks like my brother is doing very well…But why is it that I feel something isn't going as it is supposed to be?…Could it be…that…'
Blocking Masaru's sword again from his kneeling position, Lantis had to twirl his own body so that he would not end up lying defenseless if Masaru managed to put more force on his sword. "What's the matter Sol-kun? Tell me, are you really that weak?"
Satoru looked at Lantis… 'Masaru is very determined. And this Lantis Sol, should attack him before it's too late…' He watched as Masaru got ready for his next offensive move. 'Is…he going to finish it now…?'
Indeed Masaru was getting impatient, and he wanted to finish the duel once and for all. His next attack would be quite difficult to dodge, since it is a quick combination of several kendo attacks, which his father had taught them.
Lantis almost didn't get to dodge the first move, and dodging the following swipes are getting more and more difficult. 'What? An attack from all directions?' Masaru was swift; he'd give him that. Swift…but very impatient. For every dodge, Lantis studies his opponent's technique, reading every move, every swipe, and every step.
Lantis smirked, that is until he felt a pain on his shoulder. Now he didn't felt that coming. He'll just have to attack now then. Satoru by then recognize the change in Lantis' posture… 'MASAKA! He…he was…!'
"Ne, 'nii-sama. Lantis-kun…he was protecting Masaru's honor earlier…wasn't he? He was protecting brother's pride." Kakeru told his older brother. Satoru nodded.
Hikaru's eyes widened. 'Masaru-nii-chan! Lantis-kun…'
Masaru striked again, only to meet Lantis' sword, blocking his attack. Zagato saw his brother's moves get more forceful and yet more refined. Every single detail of Lantis movement is now close to being perfect which is a big difference from what was mere sloppy dodging. Gradually, Lantis is changing places with Masaru, for he is now at attacking the older man. What actually surprised Masaru was that Lantis was able to duplicate his sword technique earlier and use it against him. "So that was it…" Zagato mumbled.
"What, darling?" Emeraude asked.
"My brother was suppressing his strength…He didn't want to end the duel too soon since it will humiliate his opponent."
Masaru wasn't able to dodge Lantis' attacks. 'He's too fast…like…lightning… And to think he's using my sword technique that he had just seen a while ago.' He didn't even feel Lantis' sword hit his shoulderblades, his knees, and then both of his hands…Masaru Shidou just found himself kneeling on the newly-polished gym floor, unable to move, his sword far away from him and Lantis pointing his sword at his face. Masaru then acknowledged his defeat.
Lantis knew that if he hit Masaru too hard it would have broken his bones, so he just delivered the technique using light and controlled blows…just enough to make Masaru's shoulders feel heavy…enough to make his knees temporarily weak and just enough to knock his sword away from him. 'I wouldn't want Hikaru to get worried too much if I had hurt her brother…'
At last it's all over…He had proved that he could fight for his princess if needed.
* * *
An hour had passed since the duel. Lantis, Eagle, Hikaru and the Shidou brothers sat together in the Class 1-A's café. "I really admire your courage Lantis-kun," the eldest of the Shidou brothers said. "…and your exceptional skills…" and your thoughtfulness for my brother's pride and honor.
"You may have defeated me…but that doesn't mean I approve of you for my sister!" Masaru told Lantis as-a-matter-of-factly. "You still have to exchange diary's with me!" The rest of the gang sweat-dropped.
"H-hai…" Lantis managed to say. 'Baka.'
"Mou, Masaru-kun… You shouldn't be too hard on Lantis-kun…" Eagle said. "Besides, your sister do love Lantis-kun dearly…"
"Why didn't my sister fell in love with you?" Masaru said, almost whining.
Both Hikaru and Eagle blushed. Lantis couldn't help but glare at Hikaru's brother.
"You got problem with what I said, brat?" Masaru told Lantis.
"Urusai!" Satoru said at the same time hitting his brother's head and then turned to Lantis. "You have proven yourself to us."
"…Still that does not mean you can marry her yet!" Masaru butted in.
"Baka," Lantis muttered under his breath.
"What did you say brat?"
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yey! The last chappie! Hmm…thanks fer all the ppl who read me story. Thanks for the support and reviews. And well…I hope you liked it. Ja ne!