Herah had five simple wants in life.
One, and this is most important, to honor La Flamme.
Two, the ability to create her art in peace, for it was a source of great pride.
Three, meet a space Cendre, because that would be fucking awesome.
Four, forge weapons and armor worthy enough to be wielded by a Nettoyant.
Five, have or meet someone to continue whatever legacy that will be left in her wake.
Herah also had three simple responses to anything that tried to stop her from completing these wants.
Or in extreme cases,
It was Tarkos, the second day of the week, and Herah’s second cycle at Noir E. Blanc Academy. The youngling was in class with her teacher, Elder Rose, doing what was normal for her for during the last quarter cycle in Rose’s class. Herah was ignoring the pink skinned and scaled elder while entertaining herself. The youngling’s source of entertainment for this very day was a portrait of Rose, which was nearly finished.
Parts of the teacher already completed were the eyes and horns, which had pink irises with slit pupils and were curled on the side of her head respectfully. Herah had also completed drawing the scales that covered Rose’s forehead down to her nose, the rest of the face being covered in skin. The youngling was working on the elder’s full-teeth smile, having just gotten up to the last of the elder’s fangs when the subject of the portrait broke her focus.
Normally, this sound would’ve been ignored since it was usually directed at other students. However, the youngling heard it in such close proximity to herself that Herah couldn’t help but turn her head up from her art to see whose attention Rose was attempting to get. This led Herah to be rather surprised when her eyes made contact with Rose’s glare, the elder’s arms crossed in front of her.
“What are you doing?” Herah asked her teacher, genuine confusion laced within her voice and expression. This was not only because of the fact that Rose had interrupted her working, something very few did in fear of a beating, but because it also broke the deal the two had made. The teacher only continued to glare at her unproductive student, causing Herah to glare back.
All of the other students in the room immediately stopped whatever they were doing to watch the duo, some even swapping cash while others placed new bets. The air was becoming thick with anticipation at what was going to happen next, neither of the two subjects of interest caring about anyone else but each other. They just continued to stare at each other until Rose said, “It’s about time we resolved the problem that you and I have.
Herah’s glare transformed into a smug grin, her response being, “You mean the problem you have, and I’m all down for it, but my condition hasn’t changed.”
“I will not call you elder, for you are not above me, and I will never admit such a lie.” Rose’s glare lost a bit of its edge, “I just want to solve this without needless violence.”
Rose snarled as Herah banged her head into her desk, the youngling’s body racked with laughter. Her laughter quickly switched into startled grunts, however, as Herah tried to lift her head back up. The youngling’s horns seemed to dig deeper into the desk at her attempts to pull her head away. This continued with Herah adding more force to pull her horns from their unconventional sheath, letting out a growl at the sounds of Rose and the rest of her class laughing at her predicament.
Turning her head to glare at everyone in the room, a hush immediately fell over the class. Herah then turned back to Rose and said,
“You want to solve this peacefully then do what I said, because I’m not changing my condition. The customs of the Cendreux, our people, determine that the only way we’re solving this “issue” is through obeying my demands, as the superior Cendreux, or one of us defeating the other.”
Herah began to stare at Rose with a mock look of concern and began to speak to the teacher with a worried tone, that both knew was fake.
“But by the sounds of it, you might’ve forgotten our customs.” Herah paused, giving Rose a faux worried expression, before shaking her head and throwing out her hand towards her teacher before continuing, “Nah. It couldn’t be that.”
Herah gave her head a bit of a tilt, acting as if pondering Rose’s problem then cheerfully said,
“Oh! Maybe it’s not that, maybe you forgot exactly how this all went down. Well if that’s the case, allow me to refresh you on the events that led to my “belief” of superiority.”
Herah got up from her desk and stood right next to Rose, turning her head towards the elder and tilting it up a bit since Rose had her beat by a few inches in height. Now in position, Herah whispered condescendingly,
“The first day we met, I walked into this class and blew three rings of fire at you, the first step to Ash va s’installer. You know, the common greeting from one Cendreux to the other when looking to shape first impressions. You answered back by backing away in fear, not shock or surprise, but full on fear. I was left rather intrigued by this, I mean, you are my elder, you’re supposed to show me my place, assert your dominance, and ash state me as your equal, anything but what you actually did.”
Herah walked around to Rose’s other ear and began to whisper.
“Now, I understand you might’ve been surprised since, you know, younglings rarely ever perform Ash va s’installer when greeting an elder. I mean, the mere fact you’re an elder is usually confirmation enough to tell us to respect you.” Herah then pointed at herself, “But not for me. You see this school is filled with elders who do not deserve the respect and attention I would normally give to someone of that status. My “belief” as you so believe is non-existent. Because I don’t believe you’re beneath me.”
Herah then moved in front of her teacher, giving her a smile filled with a vicious delight, her next words were filled with such confidence that they might as well have been concrete,
“You. Simply. Are.”
Nearly two cycles worth of rage flooded Rose’s mind at that statement, causing the teacher to immediately rip the portrait of herself in half and grab Herah by the front of her sleeveless red tee, bringing the youngling face to face with her. Herah quickly lost her smile as her focus settled on the two falling pieces of paper. Only once the destroyed art fell to the floor did Herah look at her teacher, gritting her fangs while growling out in a voice now much deeper and feral,
“That. Doesn’t. Matter.” Rose said, mocking Herah’s earlier words, “What matters is getting you to understand how this works!” Rose yelled back, the elder’s anger on full display, gritting her fangs as her grip on Herah’s shirt remained tight. “You will learn to respect me, because I’m sick and tired of your shit!”
“Hey,” Herah started, her voice and face doing a complete one-eighty, her tone now extremely soft and her head looking down, “You remember what happened to Toby when that bastard spilled some water on a drawing I was making three weeks ago, don’t you?”
“Of course, it happened right outside my class. Toby just returned from the hospital today. What does that have to do with anything?” Rose answered back, now a bit confused.
“Well guess just how much worse you’re going to get for that.” Herah said, her voice still lacking life as one of her claws pointed towards the ripped pieces of paper that used to be Rose’s portrait.
Rose turned her head towards the scraps of paper, not realizing that her grip loosened up enough for Herah to grab the teacher by her head and force the elder’s face to meet her knee.
The sound of cartilage breaking was heard as Rose’s head snapped back and upwards in an instance, leaving the teacher reeling which in turn caused her to release Herah to cover her broken nose. After returning to her senses, the elder glared and snarled at Herah (who herself looked downright pissed) and began to shout.
“You know what?! Fuck it! I realize now that my hope for a peaceful solution isn’t going to happen. And as much as I hate to admit this, the only way my message will get through your thick skull is if it’s beaten into it!”
Finished with talking, Rose unfurled her wings, a pair of bat-like limbs that were a lighter tone of pink than the teacher’s skin, and with a single powerful flap, launched herself towards Herah. Grabbing the youngling by her face, Rose forced the duo to fly through her whiteboard Herah first, launching chunks of the lesson plan every which way as the two smashed into the lockers outside of the class.
Not yet finished, the teacher took Herah’s head and smashed it into the lockers again, crushing the steel with little resistance. Rose then began to drag the youngling’s head through these same lockers, leaving Herah covered in a mixture of school supplies, lunches, and personal medication. This short trip through the lockers went on until they reached the cement wall that sat at the very end which the teacher stopped at, then punched Herah’s head through. Rose followed this up by grabbing the downed youngling by her leg and throwing her into another set of lockers that sat on the opposing wall, completely caving them in as a result.
Rose refused to let up in her assault, dashing over to Herah, who had fallen out of the ruined lockers and stood up seemingly unaffected by the attacks, and drop kicking her down the hallway and into the fourth-floor stairwell. Herah crashed into the steps, leaving a few destroyed and the rest with the youngling embedded into them. Rose then flew over to the stairs and punched Herah down and through them.
A sound not unlike that of a bomb was heard as a dust cloud full of dust and debris was launched towards it creator, causing Rose to use her wings to launch herself towards Herah, breaking the sound barrier which caused nearby windows to shatter. As her body was launched towards Herah, the teacher flipped and raised one of her legs to slam into the youngling. Unluckily for Rose, Herah caught her foot and threw her through the wall just behind the now destroyed stairs.
Herah, still laying atop the rubble that used to be a stairwell, stood to her feet, nonplussed by her teacher’s attacks and began to clean her hair and face of the accumulated debris. Herah did this by taking a deep breath and exhaling a small sliver of flames into her hands, and then simply thought of the fire covering them. With her hands now ablaze, Herah grabbed her own braided ponytail and moved her hands along it. This burnt away all of the dust and useless school supplies. With her red hair now clean, Herah let her ponytail drop back to its original length ending at her tailbone. Herah then moved onto her face and began to burn away the mess that covered it, until all that was left of was a pile of ash. The youngling was then left with cleaning her shirt and red jeans, which left another pile of ash on the rubble and Herah looking like just another student going to lunch.
Speaking of which, Herah walked through the hole co-created by her and began to look around in search of the elder, not really caring that they were in the lunchroom. Youngling and elder Cendreux sat in their seats, none really reacting to the fight that was going on, that was until a random student recognized the two and called out,
“Hey! It’s Herah and Elder Rose. I told you that they would crack before even a fourth of a cycle was over, didn’t I Lach. Now pay up!”
Suddenly everyone cared about the fight, a mass exchange of money occurring as Cendruex either paid up or got paid. Herah even saw some other teachers swapping cash, who once they saw the gaze of the rowdy student upon them, turned away with nervous looks on their faces. The youngling scoffed at the teachers, disgusted with their behavior. Herah quickly lost interest in the teachers and began to search for Rose in the chaos riddled cafeteria, wanting a bit more entertainment from the angry elder.
After a few seconds of searching, Herah, who had gotten distracted by a pair of student’s that were arguing over how much one owed the other, found her attention drawn to the shouting of several Cendreux students to her right. Turning fully towards the commotion, Herah was not at all surprised by the sight of Rose flying at her with one of her legs reared back for a kick. Sweeping her foot through the air, Rose attempted to send Herah flying, however, the youngling easily caught Rose’s leg and threw her away. A few seconds later, Herah heard more screams coming from another direction and turned to face what her guesses led her to believe to be Rose once again.
This time, however, her guess was wrong.
As if her entire body was slapped, Herah went flying back through her still co-created hole as the 9-foot table struck her, her body flattening against it like a pancake and her horns piercing the wood. Flipping both herself and the table while sailing through the air, Herah managed to get her horns out and land the table with only a slight bump, now speeding down the main hallway.
“Fight back!” Rose shouted in pursuit of Herah, her anger visibly increasing.
Herah merely flared her nostrils, released a tiny spout of flames in response. The youngling then gave her elder a smirk, finding amusement in her teacher’s reactions.
Herah had all the reason to, after all, Rose didn’t look too good. Her mint slacks and dull pink dress shirt had many tears covering them, her head was also covered in dust and debris and had a few cuts on the scaleless parts of her face. All of this damage from being thrown through a wall once. This was in stark contrast to how Herah looked, the youngling being completely clean and her clothes perfectly intact. Adding to this, even after all of Rose’s attacks Herah had no visible cuts or bruises on her body. Clearly, the odds seemed in Herah’s favor.
As Rose flew towards Herah, fire was blown into her hands covering them much like Herah had earlier as the elder landed upon the speeding table. Herah stared at the flames covering the woman’s hands and gave a snarky remark.
“Don’t tell me you forgot that burning me with fire is not a possibility, ash you can’t even do that to scaleless newborns.” Herah held her hands up, as if praising the sky and smiled with maniac joy while continuing her sentence in a frighteningly joyful voice, “Our ability to breathe fire is a gift from La Flamme herself, and our mistress would never give us such power without the ability to protect against it!”
Rose let out a snort of flames and swatted at Herah’s head, causing the youngling to bring up her arm in response, making Rose’s claws bounce off her scales. Rose then grabbed Herah by her shirt, causing flames to spread across all of her clothing, and punched her in the stomach. Herah gave a slight stumble back and then grabbed Rose by the face and slammed her into the table, causing it to shudder and crack, but not break apart. The elder responded to this by punching Herah in the wrist, causing the youngling to let go with a pained hiss and step back. This allowed the raging teacher to pounce upon Herah, knocking the youngling onto her back.
Now on top, Rose used her fist to smash Herah’s head through the table, causing the furniture to splinter and break apart. The still on fire Herah slammed headfirst into the floor, sliding forward as tile and flooring were uprooted. Rose jumped off and flew above Herah as this all occurred and, after a few seconds, slammed feet first into the youngling’s gut. As a result of this, Herah abruptly lost her momentum and breathe, a crater forming where her body stopped. Rose jumped into the air again, and as the teacher did so, Herah instinctually used Rompu to disconnect the nerves on her stomach. Rose came back down and began to wail on Herah, hitting the student in the stomach with a flurry of blows, a boom released with each strike. Each punch Rose landed, dug Herah deeper into the floor, steadily uprooting tiles in the process. Rose then, once again, grabbed Herah by one of her legs and threw her through a double door and into the gym.
A still flaming Herah skipped across the floor a few times before twirling about and landing on her feet, sliding a bit as the action was completed. Herah, hearing the flap of large wings, looked up towards the gym door. What the youngling found was Rose hovering a fair distance from the ground, slightly hunched over and breathing heavily. The teacher used one of her flaming hands to clean her face, then pointed at Herah and haggardly said,
“You will respect me.”
With those words, Rose launched herself towards Herah, leaving a sonic boom in her wake. As soon as Rose was within arms reach, Herah caught her teacher by the throat not even allowing the elder to attempt to punch her.
The back wall of the gym exploded from the force generated by Rose’s sudden stop, launching bricks out into the student filled courtyard it was right next to. Shouts and screams could be heard as the younglings scrambled for cover.
Herah and Rose paid no attention to this, their attention was solely on each other. Rose, still being held by the throat by her student, continued to glare at Herah. Her rage bled through her eyes as they attempted to stare the youngling to death. Herah, her clothes no longer on fire thanks to Rose, glared right back at her teacher.
“Are you done?” Herah asked, “Because the only one of us who looks hurt here is you. And that’s just sad.”
Rose weakly clawed at Herah’s face, dragging a claw upon the youngling’s face scales. Exhaustion had finally caught up with her body, but not with her will, defiance still in the eyes of the elder. Seeing this Herah couldn’t help but feel a deep amount of respect for the teacher, and after all of this, Herah felt it about time to share these thoughts.
“That!” Herah started, quite literally beaming at Rose, ” That right there is why I respect you!”
Rose gave Herah a bewildered stare, but the youngling just continued on not at all bothered by her teacher’s look.
“Your will far surpasses that of any of the other elders and younglings in this school, and I can respect that. You seem to believe that because I see myself as your better that there is no possible way for me to respect you.” Herah just shook her head, continuing on in her words,” But you’re wrong! I do respect you, I just don’t respect you because you’re an elder.” Herah then backed away from Rose, stood at attention and exhaled a flaming flower. The flower was no bigger than the younglings fist and made of blue flames, with four petals creating a parachute-like design with the connecting purple stems that merged into one, creating a small opening with what looked like a red orb in its center.
“A wisp lantern?”
This question came from Rose, the teacher not exactly sure of why Herah summoned the religious flower. In response Herah crushed the flower, the blue flames shrouding her fist which the youngling then slammed into her chest. This caused Herah to gain a shroud of blue flames.
“As a devote follower and worshiper of La Flamme, I require three things.” Herah then brought up a single finger, “One, an unwavering faith.” Another finger was raised, “Two, a keen eye.” A final finger was raised, “And third, an eternally strong will.”
Herah than brought her hand down, losing the flame shroud, and smiled at Rose.
“While I don’t know how strong your faith is, and I know for sure you’re not the most aware Cendreux, I know you possess an eternally strong will and anyone with that has earned my respect. After all, you’ve dealt with so much of my shit for nearly two cycles without ever attempting violence. To be honest, your threshold for dealing with annoying things far surpasses mine and most Cendreux I know.”
“Now you know that I respect you, but-” Herah then balled her fist and slammed it into her hand, her smile suddenly becoming vicious.
“You still owe me for the portrait.”
Ten minutes later, another teacher appeared, coming to see how the fight ended. What they found was Herah standing next to a bloodied and unconscious Rose, with her scaly hands covered in blood. The teacher then called the hospital, letting them know that Rose needed to be picked up. It was another ten minutes before an ambulance arrived and transported the elder to a hospital. As Herah stood next to the destroyed gym, the youngling watched in mild amusement as the ambulance drove away, not at all worried for the elder.
“Herah War Hej, would you please report to the principal office?” A loudspeaker sounded out from next to Herah, causing the youngling to groan and began her walk to the office in question. After a brief trip down the destroyed hallway, Herah flew herself up onto the fifth floor and turned left into the office.
Once Herah stepped inside, the youngling found herself face to face with her black scaled and skinned principal, wearing his white suit and sitting in his white leather chair.
“Noir, you asked for me?”
Herah’s brash tone and completely relaxed stance caused one of Noir’s eye to twitch. Noir then sat forward and brought his arms in front of him, glaring at Herah as he did so. After a bit of Herah staring back him unimpressed, Noir looked away from the youngling with a sigh. The elder then turned back to the student and began to speak.
“Young Hej, I know you know why you’re here, and we both how this all began. So, let’s skip right to what I need to get out of the way, why don’t we?” Noir said, with Herah simply give her head a lazy nod.
“I understand that you and Elder Rose got into a fight that left a bit of wreckage, bit being an understatement. So, I’ll be going over the damage you two manage to create.” Noir then took out a moderately thick folder that Herah rose her brow at, surprised at the fact someone managed to record all the damage they had created that quickly.
“On the third floor, where the least damaged was created by the way, you two managed to create a hole that had a diameter of ten feet and was six inches deep in a fact enforced brick wall. You then managed to cave in and wreck fifty lockers, forty of which you apparently had your head smashed through, that were made of fact enforced steel.”
Noir paused and flipped to another page before continuing.
“We then move onto to the stairwell and windows you two destroyed, a combination of fact enforced rebar, concrete, and glass. But for you two they might’ve as well have been paper, since it’s currently spread across the entirety of the first floor.”
Noir paused once again this time to massage his forehead before continuing to read the report.
“Speaking of the first floor, you managed to create a hole in the wall of the cafeteria and-“
“I co-created that hole.”
Noir only stared at the youngling in confusion, seeing this Herah continued.
“I co-created that hole. You said “you” created that hole. It was a collaborative effort between me and Rose.”
Noir merely rubbed his forehead again and continued his overview of the damage created.
“Anyway, after the cafeteria wall, which was made of proven bricks, had a hole fifteen diameters wide “co-created” by you, a cafeteria table of plywood reinforced so heavily with facts that it might as well have been five hundred pound steel table, is now splintered apart and spread throughout the hallway.”
Norwe flipped to another page.
“Speaking of the hallway, while the entirety of it isn’t destroyed, over a hundred feet of tiles uprooted and stabbing into all the lockers, walls, and even the ceiling near it. And that crater, wow just wow, an eight-foot-deep crater that managed to create twenty feet worth of damage.”
Norwe then flipped to the final page.
“Finally we get to the gym, the place in the school most specially built to deal with large amounts of physical activity, which had the entirety of the back wall destroyed, which was made of even more heavily proven bricks than the cafeteria wall.”
Herah watched Norwe closed and set the folder down, before turning his attention back on the youngling.
“I tell you all of this because this is your most destructive, in control, incident yet. All of this damage caps out at about,” Noir paused for a moment to make sure the number was right, “2.9 million dollars. We’re not funded by our government and this school isn’t made of money!”
Noir finished, his anger finally getting the best of himself. Yet even with his anger, Herah didn’t look the least bit ashamed about anything that had happened. In fact, the youngling looked completely unfazed.
“You’re acting like you can’t have the geology class fix it free of charge, plus I haven’t caused the school that much damage.”
In response to this, Noir reached under his desk and took out a stack of papers that had to be at least five feet.
“This is recordings of all the damage you’ve caused to this school, just this cycle. If I added the last cycle to it, the stack would break through our roof.” Noir then leaned over his desk and glared at Herah, “Why should I let you stay at this school?”
Each word was said deliberately drawn out, making it clear that this was Herah’s last chance. Herah realizing this only, glared back at Noir, looking down upon the elder and said,