ACT I : INTRODUCTION TO SURVIVAL
February 19 2030 7pm
Nexus Academy, Central Park
As the chilly winter evening set in, Grey Silverstein, a young man in his twenties with striking blue eyes and a head of light gray hair, stood outside, exhaling deeply, his breath forming a misty cloud in the frigid air.
Suddenly, a familiar voice called out his name, drawing his attention. It was Erica, his childhood friend and a woman of undeniable beauty, with medium brown hair and a warm, compassionate demeanor.
Concern etched across her face, Erica approached Grey. “What’s the matter?” she asked, her voice laced with genuine worry.
Grey’s gaze softened as he looked at her. “Oh, it’s nothing much,” he replied, attempting to downplay his emotions. “Just feeling a bit down.”
Erica studied him intently, sensing there was more beneath the surface. “Is it because of the weather or something else?” she probed gently.
A wistful smile formed on Grey’s lips. “It’s nothing related to the weather, just my usual mood swings,” he admitted, hoping to alleviate Erica’s concerns.
Erica’s eyes narrowed slightly, her skepticism evident, but she chose not to press him further. “Alright then, take care,” she said, offering a reassuring smile as she began to walk away.
Grey watched her retreating figure, gratitude filling his heart for having such a caring friend. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he turned and made his way back to his dorm room.
Meanwhile, Erica cast a final glance at Grey’s departing silhouette, muttering quietly to herself, “Stubborn.”
Her attention then shifted to the surroundings as she noticed the delicate snowflakes beginning to descend from the darkened sky. “Ah, snow,” she murmured, a hint of delight in her voice.
Realizing it was time to head back as well, she turned on her heel and began her journey home, leaving behind the serene winter scene.
February 20 2030 8am
Nexus Academy, Training Grounds
The room reverberated with the resounding clash of swords, filling the air with an intense energy.
“You know you should take it easy, Vale”
Vale was a pretty well built guy with pretty brown hair with brownish eyes. He was also taller than most guys, if you saw him for the first time you would feel like he’s a delinquent
But he has a problem, which was a pretty big drawback for a guy like him: he’s introverted. Due to that, he sometimes gets bullied, although not physically as he’s well built, but some people curse him. I don’t know why…
He’s a friend to me so I sometimes invite him to a spar in fencing
Although he’s very bad at it
“Why are you always tripping ?”
“I don’t know it’s just happens”
“Sigh you really!”
So I put my one hand on my back and steadied my breathing
Put my rapier point to him
“Here I come”
I squared off against Vale, my longtime friend, on the fencing strip. I was confident, having honed my skills over years of practice and competition. Vale, on the other hand, was a bit clumsy and inexperienced, but I knew that he would give it his all.
As the referee signaled the start of the bout, I assumed my en garde position, holding my rapier steady in my right hand. Vale, on the other hand, held his sword awkwardly, looking uncertain.
I quickly launched my first attack, lunging forward with a swift and precise thrust. Vale stumbled back, barely managing to parry the blow in time. The sound of metal clashing against metal rang out through the fencing hall.
Undeterred, Vale pressed forward, swinging his sword in a wide arc. I deftly sidestepped the attack, then followed up with a series of quick, light jabs. Vale clumsily blocked the blows, but I was already backing away, out of range.
The two of us circled each other, both looking for an opening. I remained cool and composed, watching Vale’s movements closely. Vale, meanwhile, was starting to sweat, his breathing becoming more labored.
I saw my chance and lunged forward again, this time with a feint. Vale fell for it, swinging his sword wildly to block the perceived attack. I took advantage of the opening, delivering a swift riposte that struck Vale’s shoulder.
Vale grunted in pain, but he didn’t give up. He continued to press forward, swinging his sword with all his might. I parried and dodged the clumsy attacks, waiting for my chance.
Finally, I saw an opening. Vale swung his sword in a wild overhead strike, leaving himself wide open. I stepped inside the swing, then delivered a quick thrust to Vale’s chest. The sound of metal piercing flesh echoed through the fencing hall.
Vale staggered back, clutching his chest. I rushed forward to help him, taking off my mask to reveal a look of concern. “Are you okay, Vale?” I asked.
Vale looked up at me, a smile spreading across his face. “I’m fine, Grey,” he said, still gasping for breath. “That was a good fight.”
I helped him to his feet, and we shook hands. “You gave it your all, Vale,” I said, grinning. “And you almost had me a few times.”
Vale chuckled. “Almost doesn’t count in fencing, Grey. But thanks for the compliment.”
The two friends walked off the fencing strip, chatting and laughing as they went. Even though they had been opponents for a few minutes, their friendship remained strong.
“Hey Grey~ how about a bout with me ?”
There was a young woman on the campus who caught everyone’s attention with her stunning beauty. She had short, silky, shiny crimson hair and dark red eyes. Her appearance led some people to speculate that she might be from a lineage of vampires, but there was no concrete evidence to support this. Just one word from her mouth was enough to leave everyone breathless.
For some reason, she kept clinging to me, and when I asked her about it, she replied, “You defeated me in a fair duel!” It was true that we had dueled in a competition, and I had barely won. She had outperformed everyone with her speed and strength, and it was only by luck that I had managed to take her out before she could score any points.
Despite her beauty, there was something unsettling about her personality. She had a sadistic streak that made me uneasy.
“Hey, Grey, are you ignoring me?” she called out to me.
“I’m not ignoring you,” I replied. “About our duel, we can do it tomorrow, okay?”
“Tomorrow? Yes, you promised. I’ll be there by 10 am,” she said with a seductive smile.
“Yes, ma’am,” I replied, feeling a little uneasy.
“And you, Vale, don’t you dare hurt my friend, okay? Because I’m the only one who can hurt him,” she added, turning her attention to someone else nearby.
“Y-Y-Ye-s Ms Raven” Vale said who broke in a cold sweat
That was Katherine Raven, the heiress to one of the most powerful families in the world, the Cerises. Her family name was synonymous with crimson, and I couldn’t help but wonder if they had some kind of connection to blood. I didn’t want to speculate too much, though, lest I find myself in trouble.
“Okay, Grey, see you tomorrow,” she said, winking at me before walking away.
I was left standing there, feeling a little bewildered.
“Hey, Grey, how did you get to know the Blood Empress?” my friend asked me.
“Blood Empress? What?” I asked, confused.
“That’s what they call her. It’s a title, like ‘Queen’ or something,” he explained with a chuckle.
“Ah, I see. Maybe it’s because of her background and appearance,” I suggested.
“True,” he agreed before bidding me farewell and heading off to his next class.
As for me, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person Katherine Raven truly was and what kind of future lay ahead for me as her friend.
February 21 2030 10:10 am
Nexus Academy, Training Grounds
The clash of metal echoed through the fencing room as Katherine and Grey sparred with their foils. Grey’s movements were precise and calculated, his cool-headedness evident in every move. Katherine, on the other hand, moved with agility and strength, her sadistic and seductive personality showing in the way she toyed with Grey.
Their battle had been ongoing for a while now, with neither gaining a significant advantage over the other. Both of them were starting to tire, sweat pouring down their faces as they lunged and parried.
“You’re getting slow, Grey,” Katherine taunted, a wicked grin on her face as she feinted to the left before striking towards Grey’s right side.
Grey deftly parried her attack, responding with a quick counter-attack that Katherine barely managed to block. “I’m just letting you think you have a chance,” Grey replied, a small smirk playing at the corners of his mouth.
Katherine’s grin widened, the challenge igniting a fire within her. She launched a flurry of attacks, each one faster and stronger than the last, but Grey parried them all with ease.
“You’re still holding back, Grey,” Katherine taunted, her voice dripping with seduction. “I know you can do better than this.”
Grey chuckled softly, his calm demeanor still intact despite the intensity of their fight. “You’re not the only one who can play mind games, Katherine.”
Their banter continued, with each of them taking turns teasing and taunting the other, but it was clear that they were both enjoying themselves. As the fight drew to a close, they both collapsed onto the floor, gasping for breath but still laughing.
“Remind me never to underestimate you, Katherine,” Grey said, his cool facade finally slipping as he grinned at her.
Katherine grinned back, her sadistic side now replaced with a playful one. “Don’t worry, Grey, I’ll always keep you on your toes.”
“I see we have the Swordsman himself in our midst”
taunted a blond-haired man named Edward Anderson, heir to one of the wealthiest companies in the land. He had a baby-smooth complexion and green eyes to match his short blond hair, likely due to his privileged genes. However, he was infamous for his nasty habit of belittling and bullying others with his minions. He was a sly and manipulative young master, so one had to be cautious around him.
“Likewise, Edward,” replied Katherine with a hint of disdain.
“So, how are you doing, Katherine?” Edward asked teasingly.
“Oh, nothing much, just sparring with Grey,” Katherine retorted, rolling her eyes.
“How about a friendly game with me and Grey then?” Edward proposed, his voice oozing with false friendliness.
“I’m already tired, so I’m going to bed,” Grey replied curtly.
“Is that so? I thought I could at least challenge our esteemed Swordsman to a few swings,” Edward sneered.
“Rookie? You?” Katherine snorted in disbelief.
“If I remember correctly, you were the runner-up until Grey showed up,” she added with a smirk.
“Ah, yes, perhaps you’re right. I couldn’t even handle our talented Swordsman, let alone the Blood Empress,” Edward chuckled smugly.
“Well, you two can continue chatting. I’m off to bed,” Grey declared, walking away without another word.
“Wait, I can at least walk you to your quarters,” Katherine offered, chasing after Grey’s retreating figure.
“Okay,” Grey agreed, allowing her to escort him away.
Meanwhile, Edward was left standing there, ignored and seething with anger.
“This feeling…it’s something I’ve never experienced before. Is this what it’s like to be ignored?” he muttered to himself, his laughter turning into a bitter, maniacal chuckle.
February 21 2030 9:30pm
“Goodnight sweetie~” Katherine said teasingly
“G-Goodnight to you as well”
‘Katherine and her teasing’
Now that I’m here
As I look around my apartment, I see a modest neighborhood outside my window. I’m not so well off as an orphan, so I had to find an affordable place to live. My apartment is small and simple, with minimal furnishings and basic appliances. I may share the space with a roommate to split costs.
The street outside is busy, with a lot of noise from cars and other vehicles. It can be a source of annoyance or distraction for me, but it is a trade-off for living in a more affordable location. I don’t have much access to green space or parks nearby, which can make finding outdoor recreation areas difficult.
Due to my clumsiness at work, I try to find jobs closer to my apartment. Luckily, there are small local businesses and factories nearby that offer me employment opportunities.
Despite the limitations of my surroundings, I’m grateful to have a place to call home. My apartment provides me with the basic necessities to live comfortably, and I can make the most of what’s available to me.
Grey was completely spent, man. He had been grinding all day long and his body was begging for a break. As he stumbled into his room, he collapsed onto his bed with all the grace of a sack of potatoes. He was so exhausted that he didn’t even bother taking his shoes off – he just sprawled out on top of the covers, arms and legs akimbo. His eyelids were heavy and his mind was fuzzy as he sank into the softness of his mattress. Finally, he could rest.