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Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry

Within the halls of Dissidia Academy, life as a student is an adventure! Follow the Heroes of Final Fantasy as they fulfill the variety of challenges that lie before them, setting the path towards their future! However, underneath the depths of this highly established Academy ... lies a darkness that may throw the entire world into chaos.
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Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry

Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry
Friday Lunch Break in Dissidia Academy: the wide variety Students began to crowd towards the canteen and the surrounding Grounds to eat; basking in the fresh, open taste of freedom from the constant drag of Lessons. However, not all Students were free to run around and idle, there were those who had jobs to manage the Academy and the events that take place. They stood among the students as the most devoted and determined in the whole of the Academy: The Student Council.
Within this Council; there were a complete set of ten students who all excel in the academic subjects. The President of the Council, Warrior of Light, had been given the task of leading the team in creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere within the Academy. He was personally chosen by Headmistress Cosmos due to his capability of keeping a strong and clear mind through intense situations whilst showing he has a completely fair and just heart. Assisting him are fellow students in his class and members of the Council: Firion and Onion Knight. Both are highly advanced in intelligence and decision making. However, a rivalry that would equal the Father-Son rivalry of Tidus and Instructor Jecht has spurred up that has the whole of the Academy in deep gossip. Council President: Warrior of Light and fellow council member: Onion Knight have very opposing mind, generally resulting in intense conflicts of wit and intellect.
Warrior of Light, Firion, Onion Knight and the rest of the Council had entered the well-managed Student Council Room; situated on the Top floor of the Academy close to the Headmistress’ Office. The room was very open and wide; within the room was a large, ringed table that was completely spotless from dirt and ready to be used. Hanging on the walls were various notice boards filled with numerous papers; documenting a large number of upcoming events set throughout the current Academic year and important notices stating certain rules and guidelines that need to be followed. Situated on the right side of the room was a large, blank board; used mainly to write down important notes during meetings and placing images from the Overhead Projector above. On the far end of the room was a large, vast window overlooking the Grounds of the Academy, taking in the Sun’s strong rays and brightening the area with a pleasant aura.
The Council sat in their designated seat around the ringed table and kept up a strong, constant posture towards the President. Firion and Onion Knight placed themselves either side of Warrior of Light’s position, taking out sheets of paper to write notes on. The President himself, however, stayed standing as he placed a large Binder on the table; the Binder held various documents from past Council meetings, completely organised in order to easily access when need be. Warrior of Light then took out a sheet filled out with topics to discuss in the current meeting. He took a bulky black board-marker from the holdall beside the board on the wall and began to write down the titles of the topics on the board itself. After filling it all out, Warrior of Light cleared his throat, ready to speak to the Student Council.
“Welcome to the first Council meeting of the Semester.” Warrior of Light announced to the group. “As you all thoroughly know; it is OUR duty to make sure this Academy is well managed and – Onion Knight! Why is you looking towards the window!?”
Onion Knight had his head leaning against the palm of his hand and had instantly begun to stare out towards the window with a bored tone of expression. The moment Warrior of Light snapped at him, he straightened up and turned back towards the direction of the President, but still showing signs of boredom.
“Sorry, President; but the moment you began to speak, my mind was instantly elsewhere.” Onion Knight admitted, giving out a largely cocky mannerism.
“Is … that … right…?” Warrior of Light responded to his classmate with sudden frustration, gritting his teeth and veins popping from his forehead.
“Are you going to continue in drilling into our heads with pointless drivel, or will you ever get to the actual topics of the meeting?” Onion Knight then wondered in his cynical tone, a very small grin strapped across his face.
“Oh, don’t you worry … I’ll get to it.” Warrior of Light stated through his gritting teeth, eyes full of rage towards Onion Knight.
The two’s eyes locked towards each other as the tension began to rise between them once again, creating another battle between intelligence before even getting to the first topic. Firion, on the other side of the two, rolled his eyes with a frustrated sigh, finding this tension completely infuriating. The other members, however, watched in amusement whilst the tension continued to rise. Finally, Firion slammed the palm of his hand against the surface of the table, causing Warrior of Light and Onion Knight to snap out of their locked glare.
“Can we PLEASE get through this meeting without the pointless staring contest!?” Firion bitterly blurted out, his face turning bright red with rising anger. “Maybe it would be efficient to start with information on the rumour that spread recently.”
There had been a moment of silence within the room; nobody was fearless enough to speak back to Firion. Eventually, Warrior of Light nodded, realising that now wasn’t the time for such matters.
“*Ahem…* Anyway, skipping the ‘unneeded’ filler; our first main topic is about Cid of the Lufaine’s upcoming visit.” Warrior of Light began to announce, annoyed that he couldn’t finish his introduction to the Council meeting that he had in fact rehearsed daily for this moment. “To further elaborate; his visit was meant to be today.”
Firion and Onion Knight looked at each other with confused expressions, wondering what the President meant behind the statement. Onion Knight had always trust his own instincts on anything he had come across; and in all cases, his intuitions had been correct. In terms of the current rumour about Cid of the Lufaine, he had trusted his own instincts that the rumours were correct. However, upon hearing the President’s statement, he began to have his worries.
“Well, I will now put those rumours to rest.” Warrior of Light continued on, his eyes swiftly scanning the room and the fellow members around him. “These rumours are in fact … true.”
Onion Knight gave out a relieving sigh upon hearing this, thinking that the idea of his intuitions being wrong would break him apart. Warrior of Light, however, was glaring at him with scorn eyes, finding Onion Knight’s relieved reaction infuriating. Onion Knight then began to retaliate with a similar glare. But as his sight locked onto Warrior of Light, he began to notice that behind the scorn and formal expressions were growing hints of excitement. From what Onion Knight could tell, Warrior of Light look up to Cid of the Lufaine as a hero and an inspiration. Accidentally, Onion Knight slipped a small, sudden chuckle, causing Warrior of Light to whip his heads around towards Onion Knight’s direction. His eyes had abruptly lit up in flames, namely due to his sudden rise in anger. Onion Knight sunk back on his seat and kept silent, deciding to hold back on mocking the Council President. The other members of the Council had been discussing their delight on the fact that the rumours were true. Swiftly, Warrior of Light placed up a hand to show that he hadn’t finished what he needed to announce on the subject.
“Furthermore, Cid of the Lufaine is currently touring the Academy with the Headmistress and Deputy-Headmaster.” Warrior of Light continued on, keeping up his sophisticated, clear tone. “In fact, he will be taking part in this meeting later down the line.”
Onion Knight then noticed a hidden smile form around Warrior of Light, seeming as though he began to struggle holding back his own excitement. Onion Knight had also felt a surge of excitement course through his mind, feeling that anything Cid discusses about would certainly positively affect the Councils thoughts upon crucial topics.
“Will the Headmistress also be joining our meeting, President?” One of the female members of the council questioned, raising a hand formally as she spoke.
“I haven’t been told but I am certain she will.” Warrior of Light answered back, nodding with a hopeful attitude.
Onion Knight knew exactly who had asked the question, his eyes locked towards the direction of the female member. She had been about the same age as most of the members, a good 3-4 years older than he was; and had long, fair-blonde hair that had been tied up gracefully with a dark-blue ribbon. Her attitude tends to be very confident and self-proud, hence her current held up posture. He knew her as a close friend to Terra Branford, although he didn’t know much of how far back their friendship was. What he certainly knew about her was her name being Celes Chere, and that she was Class 13F’s President.
Warrior of Light then suddenly drew in a deep breath, readying himself to move on to the next topic.
“Now then, moving forward to our next topic of interest ...” He began his announcement, placing a finger towards the second topic on the board “Is to establish plans for the first event that the Academy would be holding: The Academy’s Annual Social Club Open Day.”
Onion Knight expected for this one to come up before the meeting even started. Normally a week after the Academic year begins, the Academy arranges an Open Day for all Sports and Social Clubs to set up stalls and campaign for new members.
“But haven’t some Clubs already started up?” Firion questioned curiously, knowing from Tidus who has already began his Blitzball training sessions.
“Yes, so it seems.” Warrior of Light nodded, expecting that someone from the Council would ask such a question. “However, most Clubs have vacant spaces for fresher students and others who wish to join up. Also, it’ll help Clubs gain popularity among the students.”
Abruptly, Onion Knight gave out a loud, obnoxious yawn, “That’s all well and good but … what date will this Open Day run on?”
Warrior of Light’s eyebrow suddenly twitched, trying desperately to hold back an explosion of anger so that we wouldn’t act like a complete fool in front of the Council. He knew completely that Onion Knight was testing his patience, and made sure that he wouldn’t be beaten no matter what opposed him. Gritting his teeth, Warrior of Light turned to the boy and answered his question.
“If you must know, it’ll be this coming Tuesday.” Warrior of Light murmured, giving a piercing glare towards Onion Knight. “If you’re ‘child-like’ mind was a little more patient then you would’ve had your answer eventually.”
Onion Knight bit the inside of his lip as he glared towards the Student Council President, unable to speak back. The President knew all too well about Onion Knight’s actual age and the reason behind him being a few years ahead academically. Any jab that insulted Onion Knight’s age, height and appearance would cause some trouble in the boy’s heart; and even if they were bitter rivals, Warrior of Light made sure not to step over that line unless truly necessary.
Abruptly, there had been a sudden knock on the door, causing most of the members in the room to leap out of their skin with shock. Warrior of Light turned towards the door and stepped over to open it for the people on the other-side. Onion Knight continued to glare in silence, his mind feeling troubled from Warrior of Light’s words. Hastily, he shook his head and snapped out of the daze, brushing away the troubles in his mind. He took in a deep breath and kept a decent, formal posture on his seat. Warrior of Light opened the door, straightening himself up and holding back the urge of excitement.
“Welcome to the Student Council Room, Cid of the …” Warrior began to announce, only to halt mid-sentence, “Huh?”
He could only see Headmistress Cosmos, who stood cheerfully and sophisticatedly at the door.
“It is very nice to be here, Warrior of Light.” A sudden, formal voice spoke up from below both Warrior of Light and Cosmos.
Warrior of Light lowered his eyes towards the floor, completely put off by the direction of the voice. And then, as though he had just seen something vile, Warrior of Light’s expression turned with disgust. The pupils of his eyes minimized severely and his eyebrow began to twitch, unable to comprehend what he had just witnessed. Below him and Cosmos stood a Moogle; a small, white-furred creature with small, reptilian wings and a large red bobble on its head. Warrior of Light’s body shuddered; hoping that this was all a complete joke.
“Y-you’re … Cid of the Lufaine?” Warrior of Light stuttered, gazing down upon the Moogle.
Cosmos turned away, hiding her smirk and giggle.
“Yes, that is correct.” The Moogle answered, bowing respectfully.
The whole room froze; every Council Member suddenly became completely dumbfounded. Everyone had heard the tales of the Legendary Cid of the Lufaine but had never seen an image of what he actually looked like. This included Warrior of Light, who stepped back motionlessly and with a frozen expression. Cid stepped through into the room, examining the area around him. Onion Knight slowly rose from the table in order to grasp a good look at the legend. But, instead of being as speechless and shocked as every other member in the room; an unexpected, surprised smile appeared across his face.
Ah-Hah! I’m not the smallest person in the room anymore! Onion Knight’s mind cheered with joy, feeling that his small stature wasn’t as much of a setback in this current time.
Warrior of Light, on the other hand, couldn’t take his eyes off of Cid, finding it troublesome to grasp the appearance. As far back as he could remember, Warrior of Light always adored the stories of Cid of the Lufaine and became a true hero in his eyes; but the idea that during his whole life, he has been looking up towards … a Moogle; it was completely ridiculous to him!
“Cid of the Lufaine … my hero … a Moogle?” Warrior of Light murmured breathlessly, sweating gawkily with a distant expression.
With that, Warrior of Light raised his head dreamily and fell backwards, colliding against the floor and instantly losing consciousness upon impact. All eyes in the room snapped towards the direction of where Warrior of Light fell, some leaping up in fright. Cid and Cosmos curiously gazed down towards the Council President, finding the sudden pass out unexpected.
“Erm … Isn’t it wise for him to be taken to the Medical Room?” Cid of the Lufaine questioned, looking towards the unconscious body worriedly. “The boy seems rather ill.”
“No need to worry, Cid.” Cosmos pleasantly assured, a pure atmospheric feel loomed around her as she smiled down. “Our Council President tends to overreact; once he snaps out of his little fuss and wakes up, he’ll be absolutely fine.”
Cid nodded awkwardly, understanding what she had meant but still felt concerned for Warrior of Light’s wellbeing.
Onion Knight placed a closed hand over his mouth, trying ever-so hard not to laugh at Warrior of Light’s sudden predicament. However, another thought had popped into his mind that caused him to become rather curious. He wondered as to how his friend Terra would react upon noticing Cid of the Lufaine’s intriguing appearance. He already knew that Terra had a certain secret adoration for Moogles, and that she wouldn’t be able to resist cuddling one that she would come across. But Onion Knight also began to dread this idea upon realising that he would have to be the one to hold her back from smothering Cid to death. The situation would not go down well on Onion Knight’s conscience, that’s for sure.
Cid hopped up from the floor and landed onto the table, being able to get a clear view of the Council Members. Cosmos took a spare seat next to Firion and elegantly sat down, ready to be involved with the meeting’s discussion. Cid twirled round, giving out the familiar Moogle ‘Kupo’ noise as he spun, and then bowed towards the members.
“Now then, it is a pleasure to meet you all.” Cid greeted formally and graciously. “As you all are already aware, I am Cid of the Lufaine, and it is an honour to join in with this meeting. If there are any questions you wish to ask me, feel free to ask anytime.”
At that moment, one certain question came up in every member’s mind: How is it that he is a Moogle? However, they all felt that it would be dishonourable to mention it, and so kept silent for the time being. Except one … Celes Chere, who raised her hand in pride. All the other members glared towards her cautiously, expecting the unexpected.
“Cid, sir; how were you able to accomplish such amazing feats with your … small stature?” She questioned, her eyes gleaming with eagerness.
Cid glared over towards Celes, none of the members were able to read his thoughts and expressions. Then a small chuckle escaped his breath, sounding as though the expression he would show would be grinning.
“An interesting question; however, this is a question I cannot answer at this moment in time.” Cid answered, shaking his head. “All I can say for the time being is that ‘No matter how great an obstacle can be, the smallest being will always find a way to move forward.”
Onion Knight’s eyebrow suddenly rose up with curiosity, finding Cid of the Lufaine’s words rather fascinating.
Abruptly, a random hand palm slammed against the top of the round table, scaring the living daylight’s out of every Council Member in the room. Only Cosmos, Cid, and Celes stood their ground. Every wide-eyed student glared over towards the hand, leaning back on their seats in terror. Just then, a low, tired groan echoed around the room. A shaking body rose from the floor, long white hair covered over the face and a zombie-like tone looming over. Finally, the figure raised his head and revealed the face from behind the hair. Dazed and confused, Warrior of Light examined the area, trying desperately to remember.
“Cid … the Lufaine … Moogle …” He murmured under his breath, his distant eyes scanning about.
The moment he caught sight of Cid of the Lufaine, the memories all flooded back into him. He straightened up his stance and sat down on his seat in silence, refusing to speak about how he had just acted.
“S-sorry about that, sir.” Warrior of Light bowed apologetically, fully conscious at this point. “I’ll be able to continue the meeting now.”
Cid nodded back, the expression he would be showing at this point would be an accepting smile.
Throughout the next 15 minutes, Warrior of Light continued to go through the main topics of the meeting, eagerly allowing Cid and Cosmos to suggest options towards specific topics. Firion also contributed towards many of the topics, speaking out about his own opinions. Onion Knight, however, took a back seat in his mind and watched the meeting pass by. But as the meeting continued on, a curious question began to grow in his mind. He noticed that someone was missing within the room. He scanned the entirety of the table, but could spot every member of the Student Council. It then instantly caught on to him. He rose up a hand, the question sticking in his mind intensely. Warrior of Light turned to Onion Knight in a snap, instantly being cut off from one of his long-winded speeches.
“What is it now, Onion Knight?” Warrior of Light broodily asked, eyes glaring like daggers. “If it is another one of your ill-mannered comments then you’ll be heading straight out the door.”
“No, it’s a legitimate question.” Onion Knight shook his head back; however his eyes were locked back on the Council President with the thought of going for another round. “In fact, it is a question I would like to ask the Headmistress.”
Cosmos turned towards Onion Knight with curious eyes, her kind smile giving Onion Knight a sudden calmed sensation.
“What is it you wish to ask me, Onion Knight?” She questioned curiously.
“It’s just that Warrior of Light mentioned earlier that both yourself and the Deputy-Headmaster were giving Cid a tour of the Academy.” Onion Knight began, standing up as high as he could and keeping the formal tone in his voice. “However, only you and Cid arrived to join in with our meeting. Why didn’t the Deputy-Headmaster appear?”
Suddenly, a small giggle escaped Cosmos’ breath, causing her to place a hand against her lips in order to prevent her laughter from fully escaping. The Council Members were all gazing towards the Headmistress with curiosity, wondering as to why she was laughing. Warrior of Light, Firion, and Onion Knight glanced towards each other in wonder, finding her reaction to the question peculiar. Finally, Cosmos had been able to control her laughter and took in a deep, calm breath to control her own emotions.
“Well, Deputy-Headmaster Chaos was unfortunately unable to join us for the meeting today.” Cosmos began to answer, pausing every-so-often to keep herself in control. “The reason behind this was that he had been caught up with some … ironic complications on the way here.”
 
Elsewhere …
 
Crowds of Students gathered round the rear entrance door of the Academy Building; a small, cramped Fire-exit door that leads towards the Academy Grounds. Tidus, Cecil, Cloud and Terra wondered over towards the crowd with curious expressions, questioning themselves as to why there was so much commotion. They slithered through the gaps in the crowd, making sure they were all together as the continued towards the front of the crowd. With Tidus leading the group, eager to find out the cause of commotion, they finally reached the front. However, the moment the four of them caught sight of the reason behind commotion, they entered a sudden state of shock. The Deputy-Headmaster Chaos had lodged himself in the door, completely unable to break free due to his large body mass and tough structure. Many of the Students had taken out the cell-phones and began to snap photos of the situation, non-stop crying with laughter as the cameras in their mobiles continuously flashed in the Chaos’ direction. Tidus was the first the break out in laughter, hugging his abdomen in pain as he cried with uncontrollable laughter.
“T-this ... this is just too hilarious!” Tidus wheezed underneath all of his eruptive laughter.
Cloud was the next to lose the control over his emotions, struggling to breath over his laughter. Cecil and Terra both followed; Cecil chuckling underneath his breath and Terra giggling away non-stop in her soft tone. She couldn’t even hold back her tears of laughter due to the amount of irony this had been for the Deputy-Headmaster.
Suddenly, a small, deep grumbled was heard underneath the crowds’ commotions.
“What a pain …” Chaos murmured, feeling completely embarrassed by the situation.
 
Back at the meeting, both Warrior of Light and Onion Knight gave out an instant “Oooh …” within sync of each other as they gazed towards Headmistress Cosmos.
The rest of the Council Members erupted in laughter, finding the whole situation hilarious. Celes stood her ground and kept completely quiet, however a small twitch of her tense lips shown that she had been holding back a giggle. Cosmos joined in with the rest of the Council Members and let out a light-hearted giggle; unable to hold her own emotions back any longer.
“S-so, in the end, we decided to … l-leave him there after we called for emergency s-services.” Cosmos finished her explanation, tears streaming from her eyes as she continued to giggle away.
“They should be arriving anytime now, I am sure he’ll be wedged out from the door in no time.” Cid stated, seemingly to be the only person in the room who did not break out in laughter.
Warrior of Light turned away swiftly from the rest of the Members and chuckled underneath his breath, hastily trying to gain back control over his emotions. Onion Knight cheekily laughed away, not needed to hold himself back.
 
After another 10 minutes, the Student Council meeting had finally drawn to a close. Warrior of Light stayed behind to eagerly speak with his hero, even though trying not to bring up the Moogle appearance whenever he spoke. Onion Knight swiftly packed him items up and strode out of the room with the other Council Members. The moment he had exited the room, he suddenly caught sight of Terra waiting for him, her pleasant, silent smile glowing towards his direction. He smiled back and began to walk with her towards the stairs, deciding to head towards their next lesson even though there was still 15 minutes of lunch left before the Academy Bell would ring. They began to discuss about the Council’s meeting topics and also laughed away about Deputy-Headmaster Chaos’ unfortunate predicament. Terra had told him that the emergency services had been able to break Chaos out from the door, although the door and frame would need to be replaced due to the whole framework being completely bent out of shape and unable to keep the door itself shut. As they reached the 5th Floor that lead towards Food Tech - one of the only subjects that Onion Knight seemed to dislike and struggle in – Onion Knight abruptly halted his movement. Terra then stopped and turned towards him with a confused expression, finding his sudden change in expression rather abnormal. Onion Knight closed his eyes and listened carefully to the atmosphere around them, feeling as though something wasn’t right. Just then, there was a sudden crash originating from one of the rooms underneath them on the 4th Floor of the building. This was then instantly followed by a loud, feminine scream.
“Terra, quickly, something’s happened on the 4th floor!” Onion Knight loudly commanded his companion, hastily rushing down the staircase towards the 4th floor.
Terra instantly followed him, worried as to what just happened.
They swiftly reached the 4th floor; heart’s beating at a tremendous speed. Onion Knight hastily scanned the area, trying to find which room the incident had happened in. As he leapt round the corner of the empty hallway, he instantly caught sight of one of the doors leading into a classroom slightly opened. He hastily launched himself towards the door and caught the handle tightly. He pushed the door breathlessly and took a step into the room. Then, like a fuse, he gasped in shock. Terra finally caught up with him and glanced into the room, wondering as to what had been happening. The moment she realised, the whole area suddenly felt as though time had completely stopped.
“What the ...!?” Onion Knight murmured, unable to find the words to complete his sentence.
The room had been a complete mess: Sheets of paper all over the floor; a large, smashed window allowing in gusts of wind; various desks toppled; and most crucial of it all … a fairly small blood stain marked on a cracked wall. As Onion Knight’s eyes shifted lower towards the floor, he suddenly took a stepped back in horror. A female student with shoulder-length, dark green hair lied lifelessly on the floor; blood trickling from her head. She wasn’t moving, yet faint signs of breath escaped her mouth. Standing between Onion Knight and the unconscious girl was another student. He was male and had dark, blond hair. He seemed to be breathless and had his back towards Onion Knight, a stance as though he was in shock.
“Wait, that’s … RYDIA!!!” Terra suddenly screamed out in horror, running over towards the unconscious girl to check her health.
Rydia had been picked up carefully by Terra as she tended to her wound, her body completely limp. Her hair ornament seemed to be missing from her head, meaning that it could have been stolen. Onion Knight froze whilst he glared over towards the male student, realizing who he was. On the boy’s lower back was a long, blonde-furred tail. The boy then turned towards Onion Knight, his wide eyes full of abrupt confusion and shock. Onion Knight locked his eyes towards the boy, not knowing what to make of the situation. And then finally, Onion Knight spoke out to the male student in horror.
“Zidane … what have you done?”
 

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