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VALOR - Chapter 5 - The Sins of the Father

by ShallowHouse

"Yvie Schrade?!" Coach Warshen was taken aback, "I thought you were just a branch family of the Schrade's, but you're... why are you in Class 4 instead of Class 1?"

"It was my own choice, sir." Yvie answered, "If you are wondering whether I was allowed or not, yes. I was allowed."

"How's your father?"

"Strict and uncaring."

"And sister?"

"Perfect as usual."

Maybe it was just her, but Isenna felt as if Yvie made sarcastic remarks, even though her voice was still as monotonous as ever. Coach Warshen nodded at her answers and asked, "So are you willing to learn from me the Wind Arts? Not to brag, but I'm the best there is in this school!"

"I shall take you up on that offer, Mr. Warshen." Yvie lowered her head.

"Please, I might be your sponsor, but I'm still your coach, so keep calling me Coach."

"Yes, Coach."

With a nod, Coach Warshen turned to Isenna, who had been a spectator up until now.

"And what about you, young lady? Do you want me to be your sponsor?"

"Oh! Uhm… I'll have to decline, sir." Isenna bowed, not wanting to look disrespectful, "I want to be an Agerlass."

"Agerlass?" the Coach guffawed perhaps for a full half minute, "I'm sorry, little miss Sarensen. I don't mean to insult you. The competition is definitely fierce for an Ager sponsorship. But fortunately, she hasn't taken anyone in yet."

"Uh, may I ask who she is, Coach?"

"Oh, you'll meet her. She will be your first professor tomorrow!"

"Then, I look forward to meeting her!" Isenna bowed with enthusiasm. "Thank you, sir!"

With a nod, Coach Warshen turned to the last person, Lothe Wercht, but he was gone. It seems that the conversation allowed him to leave unnoticed.

'I didn't sense him with my wind… Perhaps he is already knowledgeable in wind arts.'

Shaking off the thought, Coach turned to Yvie, "Come back here in your athletic uniform tomorrow at five in the morning. You'll be training with the others."

"Yes, Coach."

"Now go on and rest, the both of you! Resting is also an important part to becoming strong!"

Upon leaving and taking a shower with the other girls, Isenna followed Yvie to the locker room and put on their scholastic uniforms. A question suddenly entered her mind and asked the sitting Yvie, "What did he mean by the Schrade family?"

Every mouth in the room stopped speaking, and every pair of eyes stared at her. Many of those eyes were expressions of surprise, but some were of anger, and the rest were of fear. Ultimately, the one who broke the silence was none other than Yvie herself.

"The Schrade family is a distinguished family known for their uncompromising belief that a perfect human is all we need to win the war. And that's what they've been trying to do for the past… fifteen years."

Isenna sat down and whispered to Yvie, "Thanks for answering, but what's with the looks they're giving us?"

"…The Schrades have done terrible things to people for their research and experimentations."

"They hired my neighbor's grand uncle, and he never came back! His family didn't even receive any form of compensation!" Their classmates started to speak out.

"They stole my brother and used him as a sparring partner for their precious daughter! And all we got was three thousand yuls! That's barely enough to keep my parents and my little sister fed for a year!"

The rest of those with the angry expressions said out loud their woes as Isenna looked at Yvie. Her face was as stone-faced as ever, yet she kept staring at the floor as she clenched her hands tightly.

"Yvie, are you-"

A book flew from across the room and hit Yvie on the face. Isenna turned to the suspect, "Hey, why'd you do that!"

"I heard them talking to Coach Warshen earlier! She's a Schrade!"

Upon realizing that her appearance was similar to the Schrades, they booed as they opened their bags and threw books at her. She did not try to defend herself but took every hit without flinching.

"Hey! That's enough!" Isenna put herself between the crowd and Yvie. "If she's the same as them, why is she in Class 4 instead of Class 1? She went to this academy to learn, same as you! Why are you taking your anger out her for something she didn't do?"

"She might not have done it, but she knew! She knew and she didn't do anything to stop her family!"

"She's just a kid, same as you and me! Could she have done anything even if she wanted to?"

"Doesn't matter, she's a Schrade!"

Despite Isenna's intervention, the books kept flying. One very thick book hit her face and sent her stumbling over Yvie. Some of the girls gasped but the throwing stopped.

"Are you alright?" Yvie caught Isenna who seemed to be out of it.

"I'll be alright, the room will stop spinning. Who even brings a hardbound vampire romance book to school?"

When Yvie saw blood trickle down Isenna's nose, she propped her up beside the bench and faced the other girls.

"I don't mind if you hurt me. I deserve it. But she doesn't." She took a deep breath then blew, saying "Eise!"

The air particles around her started to glitter and shine as they coalesced into clusters of floating ice shards.

"Leave us alone.."

The girls hesitated but eventually relented, all of them leaving together.

"But what about the books?"

"We'll just take 'em back after they've left."

As soon as no one but the two of them was around, Yvie went to check back in on Isenna.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I feel better now, thanks. What about you?"

Yvie did not say anything and could only shake her head slightly.

"Come on, let's get those checked out."

"Let me just sit here for a while."


Yvie carried Isenna on her back and grabbed both their bags before going straight to the infirmary. All the other students passed by them, ready to go home, all eyeing the duo who beelined straight to the nurse.

Luckily, they arrived with the nurse still there. A female nurse with blue scrubs.

"A thick book hit her on the head." Yvie set Isenna down on the bed.

"I got it from here." The nurse pushed Yvie aside and did a check up on Isenna. Her breathing, her pulse, her eye dilations. After a full minute of observing, the nurse sighed.

"Your friend is alright. Just give her an ice pack from the freezer. Put it on her for a few minutes and no more strenuous activities for a couple days."

Yvie did as asked, no questions.

After Isenna came to, she was immediately discharged by the nurse after saying the same things to her.

Having just exited Highmark Academy, Isenna checked her pouch to see if she had enough, 'I think I remember it costs like… fifteen yuls apiece so… I think this should work?'

"What are you doing?"

"Since we're new students in a new place, I thought we might as well go around and familiarize ourselves with the surroundings!"

"I live around here, so I would not mind if I could escort you anywhere."

"What?" Isenna was speechless. Not only was Yvie's answer so nonchalant though that was to be expected, but she is also a local. "That's great! In that case, can we go to Yahm Street? I heard there are a lot of food stalls there!"

"Sure. Follow me."

Isenna strolled around as she followed her friend. She took in the city's sights as they went careening towards their destination with Yvie stopping every now and again for her friend to catch up. The city's architecture was mostly archaic, their homes and the commercial buildings were made out of bricks and clay rather than cement, making Highmark Academy one of the few modern establishments in the whole area.

Reaching Yahm Street was an energizing sight where numerous people were selling food products ranging from fresh produce and raw meat to street food and pastries. A tourist or newcomer would wonder if a festival or something of the sort was occuring; however, it is, in fact, a large marketplace for food. Isenna's eyes scanned the whole area before telling Yvie, "Sit down here for a while." and pushed her down a bench out of sight from her destination.

She entered a bakery called "L. M. D'Arte" and perused the products. From the pricey chocolate cake to the plain cake bread, Isenna found the perfect cake to give Yvie.

"Excuse me," Isenna caught the attention of the woman behind the counter, a middle-aged lady with baggy eyes, a stern gaze, a double chin, and plump lips. "Oh, um, how much is that cake over there?" She pointed at the bluest cake in the store.

"Oh, that?" the woman's raspy voice screeched at Isenna's ears, but it wasn't a bad thing to hear. "A blueberry cake will cost you seventy-six yuls."

"Oh…" Isenna frowned, "Then… Do you also sell by the slice?"

The woman, whose face was already intimidating, turned terrifying. "What?" Her raspy voice went an octave lower.

"Well, you see… my hometown used to sell by the slice so the people who have less can get a taste…"

"I don't know where you came from, but this is the city of Arus- the capital of Arisia! Not some backwater town selling cheap by the slice! Now, if you're not going to buy something, get out! You're holding up the line!"

'The line?' Isenna turned around and saw a lot of people behind her. Feeling anxious with all the attention on her, she stepped aside and made her way out the door.

Isenna reached into her pouch and took out the fifteen yuls on her hand. 'What can I get for fifteen yuls then…' it was then when she heard someone call her name.


She raised her head and saw Yvie standing in front of her. "Is something wrong?"

"No, no!" she shook her head, "I was just lost, is all!"

She saw a dapper blonde lady wearing a suit standing behind Yvie.

"Yvie, we're blocking the madam's way." Isenna pulled Yvie near the wall, "Sorry about that!"

Yvie tilted her head in confusion, and the dapper lady chuckled with her hand in front of her mouth.

"It seems the young miss does not know of my lady's status."

"She knows." replied Yvie, to which the lady gasped, "She just doesn't know how much influence I have."

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Isenna put her coins back in her pouch, rubbed her moist hand on her jacket, and extended her hand. "Greetings to you, I'm Isenna Sarensen from Windtal!"

Rather than shaking her hand, the dapper lady simply bowed a sharp forty-five-degree angle, "A pleasure to meet you, Isenna. I am the guardian of Yvie Schrade: Pantasilesa 'y Vanesca. My lady has taken quite a liking to you. I hope you continue to treat her well."

"Oh, uh, yes!" Isenna, uneducated in etiquette, bowed low to the point where she almost stumbled, much to the guardian's amusement.

"What were you doing out here?" Yvie spoke up, taking advantage of the pause in their conversation.

"Nothing, nothing! Just taking in the sights."

"If that is so, do you want to go to the store my family owns?"

"Seriously? You guys own a store here?"

"Yes, young miss. It's called L. M. D'Arte." replied Pantasilea. "And it's just there, right behind you."

Isenna made an audible gasp and turned her head to look at the name of the bakery behind her.

Yvie opened the door and beckoned Isenna to come over. "Come in."

Reluctantly, Isenna followed her back inside.

As soon as they entered, everyone's gaze landed on Yvie. The mean lady from before vacated the counter and bowed respectfully to her.

"Good afternoon, my lady!" She was nervously smiling, "Is there anything you want to have? It's on us!"

"I'm not the one buying. It's her." Yvie pointed at Isenna, "Is there anything you want to get?"

"Me? Oh, no!" Isenna waved her hands, frantically, "I don't have enough money to buy anything here..."

"My treat."

"In that case, I'll have that blueberry cake!"

Unfazed by Isenna's unabashed request, Yvie looked at the cake and slowly turned her head towards Isenna, "...Are you sure you want a blueberry cake?"

Isenna nodded as if her life depended on it. Seeing her so adamant, Yvie looked to Pantasilea, who shrugged and gestured to the employee. Nodding back, she quickly retreated behind the counter and took out a fresh blueberry cake, stuffed it in a box, and tied a ribbon on it. Yvie took the box and gave it to Isenna.


"Thank you..."

"Don't thank me yet. Come on, let's get to a table." Yvie left the store with her caretaker following behind her.

Isenna turned to the mean lady and bowed, "Thank you, ma'am!" before leaving to follow Yvie.

Sitting down on a bench near the Academy, Isenna happily opened the box of cake and took out a knife and fork from her bag.

"Young miss," Isenna turned her attention to Pantasilea, who called out to her. "Are you sure those are clean?"

"Oh, right!" Isenna rubbed her hand against her sleeve and chanted Ager. A small fire emerged from her hand and put her eating utensils over it. The caretaker merely sighed while Yvie watched curiously.

The fork and knife, now scorched black, was used to slice an eighth portion of the blueberry cake and Yvie and her caretaker watched as Isenna stabbed at the slice with the fork, tore it off, and put it inside her mouth.

The moist cake crumbled as her tongue grazed it. The blueberry taste was sweet and, at times, sour, creating the perfect blend. "MMM!" Isenna's eyes opened wide.

"You enjoyed the blueberry cake?" Yvie tilted her head.

"Yes! It's so delicious!" said Isenna as she took another bite.

"I've never seen someone eat our blueberry cake so enthusiastically than my lady's mother!"

"Wha ooh you wee?" Isenna's mouth was so full of the cake that they barely understood what she said.

"You remember that I asked if you were really sure when you said you wanted to have that cake, right? It's because the flavor, to most, isn't appetizing. No one buys it."

"But…" Isenna, having swallowed her food, wiped her mouth with her sleeve, "Why are they still selling it if no one buys it?"

"The blueberry cake was my mother's favorite. Only my mother likes eating it. Well, until you came along."

"I'll take that as a compliment!"

Pantasilea chuckled while Yvie sighed, looking up at the afternoon sun.

"My father was not always the bad man he is today, and my sister initially never strived to become the heiress. Mother's passing changed both of them."

Isenna saw Yvie's fist grip tightly, shaking. Not knowing what to do, she merely watched her hand until she saw a tear fall from above. Isenna looked up and saw Yvie look at the setting sun while barely able to maintain her expressionless visage.

"Today has been a very stressful day. I'm sorry for showing you such an unflattering side of me."

"Oh no, it's okay! I'm actually surprised you told me something like that."

"So am I. Throughout my life, I've been approached by people who just wanted connections. You're one of the few who I've really considered talking to. I'm glad to have met you."

Yvie was surprised when she saw a teary-eyed Isenna.

"Yvie…" She sniffed as she pulled her blue-haired friend in for an embrace. "I'm also glad to have met you! Having no one you know in school is scary- although you were scary at first since you were all like… 'You there.' but-"

Pantasilea chuckled while viewing the sight of her lady being hugged by her new friend. Of all the people she and her master have met, this girl, Isenna, seemed to be a very sincere and genuine person.

"It seems my lady might finally smile again if she sticks with this girl." She muttered under her breath.

After a long period of hugging, Isenna packed the rest of the cake. She and Yvie went their separate ways with Yvie going home to her family's estate and Isenna going to Highmark Academy Girls' Dormitories.

Is this a review?



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1204 Reviews

Points: 104035
Reviews: 1204

Fri May 26, 2023 8:38 am
IcyFlame wrote a review...

Hi Shallow!

In preparation for our Review Day this weekend, and our #TeamTortoise event next month, I thought I'd better give my reviewing muscles a stretch and what better way to do that but to review a piece of work that's been in the Green Room for a little while.

I haven't read any of the previous chapters of this so I'm hoping I can get the gist from just this one, but apologies if I mention something you've already covered off.

This feels like a good point to introduce all the tension you've included about Yvie's background and the Schrade family. The subsequent bullying and confrontation showcase Yvie's stoic nature and Isenna's defense of her friend and I think it's a good way of building up their characterisation and relationship; it's pretty engaging and helps to develop their personalities.

I also enjoyed the contrast you have at the end of the chapter vs the beginning. The beginning was full of a lot of tough moments for Yvie, but I like that you end on a positive note as Isenna enjoys a slice of blueberry cake, because this for me highlighted her enthusiasm for new experiences and also shows her growing bond with Yvie. The scene provides a moment of respite and a glimpse of the characters' friendship which has clearly been strengthened by the book throwing incident! It would be easy for Isenna to drop Yvie after that but the fact she's stood by her sets up their friendship well.

Overall, the chapter has an intriguing storyline and introduces conflict and tension between the characters. In terms of improvements, I think one of the biggest things you could do more of is exploring the emotions of the characters. While the dialogue effectively conveys the characters' responses, there is limited exploration of their emotions. This will help your reader empathise more with the characters and means we care more when things happen to them later down the line.

I also agree with Kaia below that a little more description here and there would be a good thing.

Broadly though, I think you've done a good job of effectively balancing character development, world-building, and starting to add emotional depth. This was an enjoyable chapter to read, and I'll certainly look out for it you post future chapters!

Happy Friday :)


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62 Reviews

Points: 578
Reviews: 62

Tue Apr 11, 2023 8:32 pm
KaiaJersaga wrote a review...


First off, I want to say, good job with the writing! Your characters are so sweet, and I love their names especially Isenna. Did you come up with that yourself?

Here are a few tips I want to pass on...First of all, I suggest adding a little more description. It wasn't until the last sentence that I realized that Yvie has blue hair. Also, using more description for your characters will help keep every character straight as in some places I got confused between which character was who. But if you just threw in a few more lines of physical description for your characters, I think I could keep them all straight. :)

I also wanted to point out really quickly that technically "alright" is not a word. It should be "all right" but you can leave that if you would like. No biggie.

Lastly, in these lines...
"But what about the books?"

"We'll just take 'em back after they've left."

I was confused who was saying what. Maybe add a dialogue tag to one of them, so I know which character is saying what?

You are certainly creative. I love how your characters clean their utensils! I wish I could do that! (Maybe it'd keep my hands warm in the winter too?) I think my favorite scene written here was the one with the blueberry cake. So relatable and cute!

Overall, I really liked it, and will go back and read the other chapters so I get a better feel for the context as I just noticed this lonely piece in the Green Room and thought you might enjoy getting another comment. ;)

Happy writing!

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8 Reviews

Points: 23
Reviews: 8

Thu Jan 19, 2023 5:48 pm
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wilsonsimpkins says...


i see by the chapter title someone is a fan of metal gear. anyway great contrast between father and daughter is great here.

"Now I realize that there is no righteous path, it’s just people trying to do their best in a world where it is far too easy to do your worst."
— Castiel