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16+ Language Violence

Iceflame// Chapter 13: Start the Change

by SalisRuinen

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Neana may have been the nurse of a high school, but the interior of her office was much more reminiscent of those in primary schools.

The room was very long and wide, split into two main segments: the smaller section where patients were examined and treated and the larger one, where four beds for the patients to rest on were laid out horizontally in pairs of two. The walls were the same shade of pink as the door of the nurse’s office, the floor – the same shade of purple as the metal letters on that door, while the ceiling was white.

Those pink walls served as the background for a symphony of different shades of blue, green, red, yellow and other colors represented by two mediums – tens of pictures that seemed like they were drawn by a child in kindergarten attached to the walls and just as many stuffed toys placed in every conceivable place within the room.

The nurse’s white coat over a peach wool shirt and grape-colored pants matched the color tone and feel of the whole room perfectly, the only thing that stood out to a disturbing extent being her pale bony face and icy-blue eyes that appeared devoid of any emotion.

Still, Annabel had always liked coming here whenever she had the chance and welcomed every opportunity to return. That’s why the hot heads’ chief medic was actually grateful to the baby doll for getting so beat-up that her classmate’s deva was not sufficient to heal her.

After the two students came inside, Neana motioned Yuki to the couch next to the desk she sat behind and on the side of which Annabel leaned, the desk being covered with a shockingly large array of boxes and bottles of pills.

(Neana) ‘-So, Yuki … (she clicked the ballpoint pen she held in her hand, getting ready to write on a form she was holding in the other) … how do you feel?’

(Yuki) ‘-Um, well … I feel fine, actually.’

(Neana) ‘-Fine is the last thing you should be feeling with those wounds.’

(Annabel) ‘-My thoughts exactly. How did you get through that without collapsing, girl?’

Yuki was now shifting her eyes between the younger and older medic with a confused look on her face.

(Yuki) ‘-I guess … I’m just good at taking a beating? Does that make sense?’

(Neana) ‘-Moving on. How did you teleport with a static deva?’

(Yuki) ‘-Does that have something to do with my examination?’

(Neana) ‘-It’s for my personal information, but it may also be related to your condition.’

(Yuki) ‘-King told me something about using a static deva earlier, but I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now. Is it a problem that I teleported? I thought everyone can do that.’

Neana and Annabel glanced at the other, clearly thinking the same thing.

(Neana) ‘-This one really doesn’t know a thing about devas, does she?’

(Annabel) ‘-She’s suffering from amnesia in regards to her past and anything deva-related.’

A flicker of curiosity shined in the nurse’s eyes when the junior healer said that. Which was strange, because due to being the most knowledgeable person in all of Sunbird, Neana was never curious.

(Neana) ‘-You may just be the most interesting patient to have walked through my door, Miss Iceflame. (her curiosity was replaced by a lack of emotion again) Here’s an explanation why your teleportation was so baffling. Devas are split in three big groups. There are the elemental ones, like the one you yourself possess, then there are the transformational ones, like the one used by our headmaster. And since you’ve been to the canteen, you’ve met our six-armed cook, I suppose?’

(Yuki) ‘-Yep. It’d be hard to miss him as he stands out both behavior- and appearance-wise.’

The deputy headmaster’s face twitched a bit and she narrowed her eyes from that response.

(Neana) ‘-Do you have a problem with people who stand out in appearance?’

Yuki had gone and entered dangerous waters with that sentence. Although saying the cook stood out had nothing to do with what Neana looked like, Annabel knew her well enough to realize that could still strike a nerve. Which meant prompt action was necessary to save the ice maiden from her physician’s wrath.

Or so Miss Iceflame’s classmate assumed until she pointed at her hair with the most charming of grins.

(Yuki) ‘-Not at all! I love people like that, actually! After all, I count myself among that group, given that I haven’t seen anyone else with a hair color like mine walking around!’

‘Nice save, Yuki!’ Annabel thought with relief as her fellow medic’s face returned to its normal expressionless form.

(Neana) ‘-Going back to our cook, he’s a representative of the third big group of deviants – those with somatic devas. As I said these three groups are the main ones, but each of them is subdivided into smaller groups. Elemental devas are active or static. Fire, air, lightning and such are examples of active elemental devas while earth, metal and ice devas like yours are examples of the static type. Each of these groups has a set of three definitive traits, by which they differ from the other. Active devas are much better for offense, don’t make for good defense or creating structures and can be used to teleport. Static ones are better suited for defense and creating structures, but can’t be used for teleportation. That’s the general rule.’

(Annabel) ‘-So you shouldn’t have been able to use your ice to teleport.’

Yuki’s expression made it evident she had been through too much shock for one day. Annabel wondered if anyone had ever had a more mind-blowing first day at school. And more importantly, could anyone else survive such a day with their sanity intact? Maybe this baby doll possessed a mental stamina as great as her physical one.

(Neana) ‘-Alright, then. Enough with the questions. Time to treat you. (she got off her chair, going over to the couch her patient was lying on, but looking at Annabel first) Are you going to stay here while I treat her? You’ve given her first aid, so I don’t think you’ll be of any further use here.’

(Annabel) ‘-I know. That’s not why I’m still here. (the healing beauty was now looking at the only bed of the four at the other end of the room that wasn’t empty and the group of students gathered around it, all from Ulura’s class, who were currently looking at Annabel as well) It’s just a precaution.’

The nurse followed the junior medic’s gaze, sighing.

(Neana) ‘-I don’t tolerate that kind of stuff in here, Annabel. You know that. If you’re going to do something with those brats, take it outside.’

(Annabel) ‘-The inner yard is ruined, so we can’t really take it outside anymore.’

(Neana) ‘-I’d rather you destroy the yard even more than cause damage to the nurse’s office. People come here to have their wounds treated, not to suffer additional ones. You ought to appreciate that as a medic yourself.’

The members of Ulura’s class, who had come to see her, had anger written all over their faces as the opposing class’s chief medic took a few steps forward and clenched her fists.

(Annabel) ‘-Don’t worry, I was kidding. I’ll deal with them somewhere else if they try something.’

Apart from healing, Annabel could also use a light deva and happened to be the strongest girl from her class up until Yuki’s arrival.

She was outnumbered and didn’t know what all the abilities of her enemies were, but if they or Ulura tried to hurt her classmate in any way, this hot head was more than ready to fight with everything she had to defend her.

The girl with white hair had made a miracle happen within a day from arriving in Sunbird. She was something special. And something this school sorely needed. No way in the hell was the healing beauty going to just let Ulura’s thugs take such a treasure away.

(Neana) ‘-Would you ease down, kid?’

(Annabel) ‘-I will if they do.’

(Neana) ‘-I restructured Ulura, so she could fall asleep. Her classmates are like a diffused bomb without her – their presence is still unnerving, but they can’t cause any real damage. So you can relax.’

(Yuki) ‘-Restructure? You don’t use a healing deva?’

The nurse turned back to the wounded baby doll now, pointing at Annabel without displaying any emotion yet again.

(Neana) ‘-Healing devas are for rookies like this one here. (she placed her palm over the deep cut across the left side of her patient’s middle trapezius) What I do takes a lot less time.’

(Annabel) ‘-It’s a bit painful, though. Nothing compared to what you suffered at Ulura’s hands, Yuki, but still. You may feel a slight discomfort.’

(Neana) ‘-As she should. That way she’ll think twice before wrecking the yard again.’

(Yuki) ‘-Technically most of that was Ulu …’

The skin on the palm Neana had placed on the ice maiden’s body suddenly transformed into a mass of small cubes that still looked like they were made of skin then, the nurse’s fingers going through a change of the same type as well. What happened next was those small cubes split up from each other and went inside Yuki’s wound, the area around the wound also splitting into a number of small cubes. As the new student started screaming with a pain-ridden expression that made Annabel look away from her face and focus on the wound itself, the cubes started interchanging their places in different formations again and again.

This lasted for about a minute before the left side of Yuki’s middle trapezius and Neana’s palm returned to normal. During that time the white-haired beauty’s eyeballs had all but sprung from their sockets due to the surge of pain, but when the procedure ended, her eyes remained in that strained state. Her classmate guessed the reason for that was surprise this time around, smiling as she was now looking at a face she had seen so many times. Whenever Sunbird’s nurse treated someone for the first time, that’s how they would always react.

(Neana) ‘-You look like you want to say something, Yuki, but take a deep breath before you do. I just added quite a bit of stress to the one your body’s gone through in a short while.’

Neana’s patient followed her advice, trying to look at the place where the deepest cut on her body was, not a mark being visible on the skin there now.

(Yuki) ‘-H-how did that happen?’

(Neana) ‘-It’s my ability. Restructuring organic and inorganic matter. Changing the structure of something includes not only replacing that structure with a different one, but also changing the structure to its original shape or removing that shape as a whole. The only problem is it takes a while to find the right sequence to fix the damaged area after coming in contact with it. But it still works very well for healing wounds on living things and repairing damage to all kinds of constructions.’

(Annabel) ‘-Which reminds me. Why don’t you help us with fixing the damage done to the inner yard? We'll finish up in no time with your deva.’

Annabel had a smirk on her face while saying that, countered by a stare of death from Neana as she looked at her, making the healing beauty freeze in fear. As the deputy headmaster’s target was temporarily paralyzed, it was easy to touch her. And that’s all it took.

Restructuring waves were channeled through the younger medic’s body by the now enraged older medic, her wrath making her face look as terrifying as it had ever been.

(Neana) ‘-This is Sunbird, damn brat!!! Everyone takes responsibility for their own actions around here!!’

(Annabel) ‘-Why aren’t Ulura and her classmates taking responsibility for theirs, then?!’

She wanted to ask more questions of the same type as she was quite outraged by the injustice of the tyrant and her class being home-free after all that they had done to Sunbird. The pain from the restructuring waves took the breath along with the words out of her mouth before she could do that.

(Neana) ‘-I’m sure Zoran explained to you why! If you start disregarding the rules and looking for easy ways out of your punishment, you’ll be no better than the bullies you hate so much!! Your class has a chance to make a real change happen and like it or not, this punishment is the first step towards that!’

(Yuki) ‘-So … the headmaster’s not punishing us just to take it easy on the cleaning staff and to appease the Nightsongs?’

Completely ignoring how Annabel was writhing in pain, Neana turned to Yuki.

(Neana) ‘-You still don’t understand how clever Zoran is, kid. He’s always planning a few things at the same time, trying to achieve the best outcome for every situation. And if he wasn’t as good at that as he is, he wouldn’t have lasted as this school’s headmaster for over ten years now.’

(Yuki) ‘-Could you continue that explanation after you’ve stopped restructuring Annabel? I’m sure she was only joking when she asked you about helping us with our cleaning duties.’

Neana shrugged, patting the student’s forehead without even looking at her, which led to all the restructuring particles being consumed back in her body and Annabel returning to her normal appearance.

(Neana) ‘-She’d better. We don’t tolerate slacking off around here. Especially when it concerns the students’ future, as it does in this case.’

(Yuki) ‘-What does that mean exactly?’

(Neana) ‘-If Zoran were to punish Ulura’s class, they might have taken their punishment quietly, but would’ve tormented the students after that as an outlet for their anger for being punished in the first place. Such a turn of events wouldn’t have been good for anyone. Making you do that work instead however and you guys proving you can do it dutifully will show everyone that not only are you willing to stand up to those tyrants, but you’re also much more responsible and concerned about the school’s well-being than they are. And maybe the students should rally behind you rather than do whatever Ulura’s thugs want them to do.’

Annabel’s body and mind had finally calmed down enough after that short bit of torture to join the conversation, the hot heads’ chief medic still rubbing her forehead while doing that, however.

(Annabel) ‘-So the headmaster is trying to take the power Ulura and her class have without directly going against the Nightsongs, who are protecting them?’

Neana looked back at the outraged healer now.

(Neana) ‘-If you understand that, swallow your pride and do whatever Zoran’s asked you to do along with the others. And do it well. That way we can assure those bullies will not be a problem for anyone anymore.’

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Tue May 24, 2022 4:26 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...

Apologies for the amount of notifications you're surely getting from me, but I'm back with yet another review!

Okay we've got another character introduction! There are so many of them I've definitely lost track of who is who. Each of them are interesting in their own way but having such a large cast means I'm struggling to connect with any of them in a meaningful way before we jump onto the next character.

I did find it strange that the first thing that happens in the nurse's office is that she takes out a pen and asks her how she feels like some kind of psychologist. I was expecting a more physical examination, or at least for Annabel to download the info she had from having just tried to heal Yuki. I guess this section however answers my original question about the teachers/adults only having 30% power vs the student's 50% in that the adults are still stronger or Annabel would have been able to heal Yuki. At what age do their devas mature?

This was a helpful section to give us more insight into how devas work and I feel like it was definitely needed given the amount devas have been talked about so far.

Also... the restructuring sounded painful! Annabel said a bit painful but from Yuki's scream it sounded way worse than her fight with Ulura. And the fact she used it on Annabel... is that ok?

I much prefer Zoran after this description of him although I have to say I'm a bit lost to the direction of this story. We seem to be zipping around a lot and I'm hoping the arc is going to become clearer soon.

Hope this helped!


SalisRuinen says...

Thank you for the review! Notifications like the ones I'm getting from your reviews are always welcome, so don't worry and keep at it (if you feel like it, of course)!!
To be honest, Neana wasn't even supposed to be in the story originally. I included her to introduce another teacher from Sunbird and have someone give an explanation about devas who's different from the characters usually giving explanations. I will admit that the story gets a bit heavy in terms of characters around here, though, so I may change the moment of Neana's introduction.
This chapter is also the least thought-out one out of all the ones I've written so far, so that's why the examination doesn't sound quite right. I'll be sure to edit it when I get the chance.
The restructuring is painful. Annabel only told Yuki it doesn't hurt too much to make her relax. While more painful, it's also more efficient and much faster than healing, so using it for medical purposes is allowed, even for minor injuries.
The direction the story is heading toward will become clear in the next chapter, while this one will be reworked to better suit the overall flow, so don't worry about that. I do apologize if reading through this was inconvenient in any way.

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Tue May 17, 2022 8:30 am
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VengefulReaper wrote a review...

Hey, just here to leave a quick review!

Overall, this was a great chapter with a lot of lore into how devas work (static vs active) which was much needed considering how many devas have been introduced thus far. I think now was a good time to lay the framework for how they work so the readers know what active and static devas entail if/when they are referenced.

The first few paragraphs are a great description of the room. You certainly are getting better and better at creating an image in my mind of what this room would look like. One thing to remember is that humans have 5 senses. How something looks is usually enough to get people to picture where our characters are but descriptions of smell (stinky, flowery, nauseating), feel (tense, relaxed) or touch (rough, smooth, sharp) help readers immerse themselves in the world you've created. Sometimes this isn't needed as everyone knows what a hospital smells like or how wood feels for example. In fantasy, however, it can be a powerful tool for making a familiar aspect seem foreign. Just something to keep in mind... It's not something that's really needed here.

(Yuki) ‘-I guess … I’m just good at taking a beating? Does that make sense?’

(Neana) ‘-Moving on. How did you teleport with a static deva?’

This exchange seems a bit clunky. Yuki asks a question but Neana doesn't even acknowledge it. Try and add a sentence or two where Neana seems to stare at her in confusion, then breaks her glance and shakes her head. Then she says "Moving on...."

I also initially thought that teleporting was limited to the lightning deva Hikaru had but it's an interesting choice to make teleportation a trait of all active devas. I like it, though, because it does separate the fighting styles of active and static deviants even more. It seems Yuki has the best of both worlds. Incredible stamina, good defense with the static deva, and mobility with her teleportation. I do wonder what her main drawback would be, though.

During that time the white-haired beauty’s eyeballs had all but sprung from their sockets due to the surge of pain,

This is great! It's a visual reaction to pain that is really intense. It's great imagery. This is what I wanted in the fight earlier on. You're getting better and better at writing these kinds of small details that make huge impressions on readers. When you eventually do go and edit the last few chapters make sure to add in some of this when Yuki gets injured. Make it more severe since you said Neana's reconstruction should cause LESS pain than her fight with Ulura.

Zoran seems to be a master planner of sorts. Flipping the tides in Yuki's class's favor instead of Ulura's by portraying them as the "more honorable ones" is really clever. 1000 IQ play for sure xD. I also like that Neana is passionate and protective of the people in Sunbird even though she has an emotionless demeanor most of the time. It's a nice nuance to her character.

As always, thanks for the chapter. Take what you find is useful and discard the rest. Keep writing!

The Reaper sends his regards...

SalisRuinen says...

Thanks for the review!
I realized I can add descriptions of smell, touch, etc. when you pointed that out in the review of the previous chapter, so I'll be sure to fix that. I definitely want to make the descriptions as good as possible. And you're right about Neana's reaction to Yuki's question. I should've shown how she ponders that at least a bit.

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Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:49 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...

Hey! Forever here with a review!!

Huh so my whole review got deleted, let me type it up again...At last I have got some time to review your piece. The first thing which stood out to me was the length of the sentences. I would suggest to split the sentences into two or more parts. For example, consider this sentence:

Those pink walls served as the background for a symphony of different shades of blue, green, red, yellow and other colors represented by two mediums – tens of pictures that seemed like they were drawn by a child in kindergarten attached to the walls and just as many stuffed toys placed in every conceivable place within the room.

It was just a whole paragraph and only one sentence. It can be re-written as
Those pink two mediums. There were tens of pictures.... attached to the walls. Just as many stuffed toys as the..... were

Well, that didn't come as being very good but I hope I succeeded at making you understand the point.

This nurse definitely has an interesting character(Well, I never seem to find another word for describing things). She seems to be pretty serious about her nursing and the school too, that explains why she has been chosen as the deputy head of the school. There's one thing which I noticed in her though. There was a sudden change in her character in a place. I don't remember the exact place but I guess it was when she suddenly became angry and sent a restructuring deva through Annabel. I interpreted her character to be a bit different from that, I guess. From what it seems to me, she is a quiet and serious person. She ddin't appear to be violent to me at all. We don't know her fully though.

I really liked the atmosphere of the nurse's room. It kind of seems to be soothing for a treatment and the perfect atmosphere for children(I just realized that Sunbird should have some real "children" in it). From the colours of the room to the way they seem to go with one another- I really liked that.

I have already forgotten if I told it in the previous chapter(I guess I did) but the plot needs to go forward. We already have a lot of mysteries yeeted at us and to me it seems like we will get even more mysteries before anything happens. Though you are providing answers, they seem to be very vague to me. We don't know the crucial point that you obviously do. So it's very natural that there are a lot of things which make sense to you but do not convey any sense to us. Forget you are the writer and then read the story(if that makes any sense lol). For example, the explanations that Neana provided. I highly reckon that they are very important but still it didn't seem very important to me.

Ah they will have to do a lot of cleaning now.

Keep Writing!!


SalisRuinen says...

Thank you for the review! And I'm very sorry your first review got deleted and you had to write it all over again. Makes me appreciate even more than you went through the trouble of writing it one more time.
I thought I could write longer sentences when describing things, so I apologize for not being more informed about that. I'll make sure to fix it up.
Neana is quiet and serious in general, but gets really fired-up when Sunbird and its students are concerned, especially when the students are not following the school rules (like not taking responsibility for one's actions %u2013 the thing she mentioned). That is similar to Zoran's behavior, actually, which is why they're the headmaster and deputy headmaster and work so well together.
About the plot's development, what happened in this chapter was the revelation about Zoran's intentions regarding Yuki's class %u2013 to make them the new main stars of the school, which will create further tension between them and Ulura's class. That's what all this is about %u2013 building the tension between the two classes until it reaches its boiling point. So the explanations Neana gave are not that important in terms of the whole story, but are key to the events that will happen in this arc.
Maybe the problem lies with the chapter itself, though. Its contents were supposed to be very different along with the second half of the previous chapter. I just thought I could use the opportunity to give more information about Sunbird by introducing another member of its hierarchy, but maybe that was a mistake. A mistake that will be quite hard to fix, because I've already thought of the role Neana will play in the next arc. I guess I'll just have to go with things as they are.

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Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:06 am

Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
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