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Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry

Dissidia Academy: A predigious school for the ambitious and talented, where students strive to accomplish their goals and dreams.

Follow the heroes of Final Fantasy as they tackle the many challenges and tribulations that await them throughout the eventful academic year!
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Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry

Chapter 8 - Vol 3: Bitter Rivalry
Volume 3: The Innocent Thief – Part 1
Dissidia Academy, Lunch Break…
A wide variety of students made their way towards the canteen and the surrounding grounds, anticipating the savouring taste of the food displayed before them. They basked in the fresh, open taste of freedom from the constant drag of lessons, releasing all the gossip and chatter built up within them throughout the gruelling lectures.
However, not all Students were free to run around and idle without a care in the world … for there were those individuals who were tasked with managing the various aspects of the Academy along with the events that took place throughout the Semesters.
They stood amongst the rest of the students as the most devoted and determined in the Academy.
They were the Student Council.
Amongst this Council sat ten members, all known to excel in the academic subjects.
The President of the Council: Warrior of Light, lead the team with the crucial task in creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere throughout Dissidia. He was personally chosen by
Headmistress Cosmos, devoting himself to the Academy’s interests and showing capability of keeping a strong mind through intense situations.
Assisting him were fellow students in his class and members of the Council: Firion and Onion Knight. Both highly advanced in intelligence and decision making, proving to be valuable inclusions to the discussions during their meetings and events.
However, a rivalry that would equal the Father-Son feud of Tidus and Instructor Jecht had spurred up as of recent, sending the entire Academy into deep gossip.
Council President – Warrior of Light – and fellow council member – Onion Knight – had very opposing mindsets. If ever a topic to arise that interested the two, they would usually end up in an intense conflict of wit and intellect.
Whilst this could be an exciting prospect to witness; for other fellow council members, it was admittedly rather irritating to deal with on a frequent basis.
Warrior of Light, Firion, Onion Knight and the rest of the Council had entered the well-managed Student Council Room. This room was situated on the Top Floor of the Academy, only down the hall from the Headmistress' Office.
The room was very open and spacious, allowing for plenty of breathing space and hospitality. Situated near the centre of the room stood a large, ringed table, completely spotless from dirt and stains. Hanging on the surrounding walls were various notice boards filled with numerous papers, documenting many upcoming events set throughout the current Academic year in addition to important notices stating certain rules and guidelines that always need to be followed – no matter the circumstance.
Moving on to the right side of the room was a large, blank board, used primarily to write down important notes during meetings and placing images from the Overhead Projector above.
Finally, a vast, spanning window overlooking the Grounds of the Academy on the far end of the room, taking in the Sun's strong rays and brightening the area with a pleasant, relaxing gold aura.
The Council sat in their designated seats around the ringed table, holding a strong, constant posture as they faced the President. Firion and Onion Knight placed themselves either side of Warrior of Light's position, taking out sheets of lined paper in preparation of writing down their notes.
However, the President himself kept standing, placing a heavy, filled up binder on the table for the rest of the council to observe. The binder, as thick as one could possibly imagine, held various documents from previous Council meetings. It was organised beyond belief, set in order of date for accessibility and convenience.
Warrior of Light then took out a singular sheet, filled out entirely on topics to discuss for the current meeting. With this in hand, he took up a bulky black board-marker from the holdall on the wall and neatly jotted down the various topics for all to see. Underneath each title, he allowed space so that any suggestions and ideas from council members could be included.
After filling out the contents, Warrior of Light finally cleared his throat and twisted around to face the table, ready to speak to the Student Council perched before him.
"Welcome to the first Council meeting of the Semester." Warrior of Light announced to the group, showing off a proud and firm stance as he spoke. "As I’m sure you are all aware by now; it is OUR duty to make sure this Academy is thriving and–!”
Catching a glance from the corner of his eye, he abruptly halted his words and shifted direction.
“Onion Knight! Are you even listening to me!?"
Onion Knight was seen leaning back against his chair, his mind elsewhere. He was vacantly staring out of the nearby window, watching the clouds in the sky as they drift passed his view.
He was already bored, showing no respect to his Council President whatsoever.
“ONION KNIGHT!”
It wasn’t until Warrior of Light had snapped at him that he had refocused, straightening himself up and concentration set in the direction of the President.
Despite this, his face evidently expressed the boredom that plagued his mind.
"Sorry … ‘President’. The moment you began to speak, my mind was instantly elsewhere." Onion Knight admitted unapologetically, growing increasingly arrogant in his mannerisms. “I’ll be sure to do better next time.”
"Is. That. Right?" Warrior of Light growled as he responded to his classmate, his teeth grounded with frustration as veins popped from his forehead.
"Are you going to continue with your pointless drivel, or will you ever get to the meat of the meeting?" Onion Knight then wondered in his cynical tone, a very subtle grin curling from the corner of his mouth.
"Oh, don't you worry … I'll get to it." Warrior of Light growled through his teeth, his piercing eyes full of fury.
The two locked piercing eyes at one another, tension rising between them as another battle between intelligence was soon underway.
Firion, having perched on the opposing side of the two, rolled his eyes with a frustrated sigh. The unneeded tension was infuriating, wishing there was a way for the two to act like civilized members of the Council instead of attempting to one-up the other.
Considering he already had to deal with the ‘other’ rivalry within the Academy, this was an issue he preferred not to be involved with.
With that said, the other members watched on in full amusement, silently giggling away and whispering with one another as they watched the carnage unfold.
SLAM!
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.
"For once in our lives, can we PLEASE get through this meeting without the pointless staring contest!?" Firion furiously roared at the top of his lungs, his face flushed as anger boiled within him. "President, maybe it would be efficient to start with information on the rumour that spread as of recent."
The room fell silent in an instant.
Nobody was fearless enough to speak back to Firion, astounded by the sudden loss of temper from one of the Academy’s most passive and level-headed students. Even Onion Knight and Warrior of Light – his two classmates – couldn’t believe he was capable of such explosive expression.
All members of the room stared at him, frozen in fear as Firion gradually reverted to his normal self.
After a while of silence, Warrior of Light complied with Firion’s demand, clearing his throat as he returned to subject of the meeting.
"*A-hem…!* A-anyway, skipping the 'unneeded' filler. Our first main topic is regarding Cid of the Lufaine's impending visit." He formally announced, albeit annoyed he had to skip his rehearsed introduction. "To put it simply … his visit was scheduled to be today."
Firion and Onion Knight briefly glanced at one another, wondering what the President had in mind.
Ever since the semester began, Onion Knight had taken in the numerous rumours regarding Cid of the Lufaine’s visit as ‘true’. He had faith in his intuition, an aspect to his character that never once lead him astray. No matter the prediction or the rumour, his intuition would always end up a correct.
And yet, hearing the word ‘was’ … caused uneasiness to grow within him.
"Well, I will now put those rumours to rest." Warrior of Light formally proceeded, his eyes swiftly scanning the room as he awaited their reaction. "These rumours are in fact … true."
Upon hearing this, Onion Knight gave out a relieving sigh as his heart almost skipped a beat. He could not fathom the idea of his intuitions being incorrect, believing it would break him if he was ever found to be wrong.
Warrior of Light, however, was glaring back at him with a scornful gaze, evidentially infuriated by Onion Knight’s irritating reaction. He held the temptation of making an additional comment, aware that it would only stir up an argument once again.
Noticing this death-stare, Onion Knight took no time to retaliate, mimicking Warrior of Light with a mutual glare of disdain.
However, as his sight locked onto Warrior of Light, he caught a small hint of growing excitement behind the irritable expression. From what Onion Knight could assume, Warrior of Light worshiped Cid of the Lufaine as a hero and an inspiration.
“…Heh!”
Onion Knight slipped a small, sudden chuckle by accident.
In immediate reaction, Warrior of Light’s piercing glare on him lit up like an unyielding flame, veins popping from his forehead as he struggling to restrain his inner fury.
Onion Knight sunk back on his seat and held his silence, deciding it best to hold back from mocking the Council President any further … for now.
During this time, the other members of the Council were preoccupied in discussing their delight on the fact that the rumours were true. Many were beyond excited to meet the legend in person, some even becoming flustered in the thought that they could possibly be striking up a conversation with him.
The room was thick with anticipation.
Noticing the conversations becoming overbearing, Warrior of Light placed up a hand to silence them. He had yet to finish on the announcement, and little time to spare.
"Furthermore…!” He called out in a loud tone, his voice clear and sophisticated as attention returned to him. “Cid of the Lufaine is currently touring the Academy with the Headmistress and Deputy-Headmaster as his guides."
The room turned unexpectedly silent, the surrounding eyes growing wide.
"As a matter of fact, he will be taking part in this very meeting."
The Council Members instantly switched to one another in surprise, showing a mixture of anticipation and nervousness.
A hidden smile formed on Warrior of Light’s face, seeming as though he was struggling to hold back his own excitement. Onion Knight was the same, shaken up with hyped up adrenaline.
"Will the Headmistress also be joining our meeting, President?" One of the Council Members curiously asked, respectfully raising a hand as she spoke.
"I haven't been informed but I suspect she will." Warrior of Light returned with a hopeful nod.
Onion Knight knew exactly who had asked the question, glancing over to the female member.
She was approximately around the same age as most of the members in the room and could be recognised with her long, fair-blonde hair. It was elegantly tied up with a dark-blue ribbon, effectively complimenting the contrast in colours. She was brimming with confidence and self-pride, so much so that she could give Warrior of Light a run for his money.
Onion Knight personally knew her as a close friend to Terra Branford, although was unaware as to how they became friends or when their friendship commenced.
There was one aspect to her that was certain, though: she was Class 13F’s respected President, and a student who strives to be an influential role model within the Academy.
Her name: Celes Chere.
Drawing in a deep breath, Warrior of Light proceeded onto the next topic of the meeting as Celes nodded back in satisfaction.
"Now then, our next topic of interest..." He began to announce, placing a finger towards the second topic on the board, "is to establish plans for the first event of the semester: The Social and Sports Club Open Day."
Dissidia Academy’s Annual Club Open Day; an event where students involved in a variety of club activities set up a plethora of stalls and attractions to entice potential new members to join their proud establishments. Every year, the Open Day was a competitive battlefield, Clubs using whatever sleezy tactic they could muster to draw in the required numbers.
It was a day many Clubs had obsessed over, yet it was also a day many non-member students feared … especially the Academy freshmen.
"President, sir. From what I can recall: some Clubs have already started." Another member of the Council commented, aware of some sport-based Clubs already commencing in afternoon and afterschool sessions – such as the Blitzball Club.
"Yes, that is correct." Warrior of Light nodded back, expecting such a question would emerge from his fellow Council Members. "Due to high demands from supported organization, many Clubs are required to start sessions as early as possible. Whilst I personally see this as an unreasonable requirement, it ultimately can’t be helped."
Abruptly, Onion Knight gave out a loud, obnoxious yawn, "That's all well and good, but … a date would be helpful."
Warrior of Light's brow reactively twitched, trying desperately to retrain the temptation to throttle Onion Knight in explosive anger. He was very much aware that Onion Knight was purposefully testing his patience, seemingly focused on getting a hyperbolic reaction out of him.
Warrior of Light vowed to not give in to such petty behaviour.
His teeth grounded, Warrior of Light turned to the boy and answered his demand.
"If you must know, it'll be this coming Tuesday." Warrior of Light murmured bitterly, giving Onion Knight a judging gaze as he spoke. "If you're child-like mind was a little more patient, you would've eventually had your answer."
Onion Knight bit the inside of his lip as he fiercely glared back towards the Council President, unable to retort.
Warrior of Light was fully aware of Onion Knight's true age and reason for entering Dissidia Academy a few years ahead of his year group. Any jab or insult that related to Onion Knight's age, height and appearance would easily trouble in the boy's heart.
Even though they were rivals, Warrior of Light was careful to tread over such remarks. He would only cross the line if the occasion deemed it necessary.
Admittedly, the restraint was proving to be much more difficult overtime.
Knock-knock…!
Just then, a sudden knock on the door echoed throughout the room.
Many members of the council leapt out of their skin in abrupt fright. Warrior of Light switched towards the door, swiftly stepping over to greet their expecting visitors.
Onion Knight continued to watch in silence, his hand clenched into a fist as the Council President’s small comment dug deep into him. In that moment, he shook his head and let out a rejuvenating sigh, quashing what negative thoughts he had in order to prepare an ideal first impression for the incoming visitors.
Warrior of Light opened the door, straightening himself up and sustained the urge to lose composure over meeting his hero.
"Welcome to the Student Council Room, Cid of the-!" Warrior began to welcome with pride, only to halt mid-sentence.
"…Eh?"
He could only see Headmistress Cosmos, who stood before him with a cheerful and pure.
"It’s a pleasure to be here, Warrior of Light." A sudden, deep voice spoke up from below both Warrior of Light and Cosmos.
Warrior of Light gradually lowered his eyes to the floor, his mind completely overturned by the unexpected direction of the voice. He had assumed Cid would be standing before him with the Headmistress, going so far as to imagine a tall, humanoid figure standing idle at the doorway.
And then, just as his gaze spotted the owner of the voice, Warrior of Light's expression twisted with disgust.
Below him and Cosmos stood a Moogle; a small, white-furred creature with small, reptilian wings and a large red bobble on its head. In its full appearance, a Moogle was considered as one of the adorable creatures on the planet. Some would even worship them as a deity or mascot of the world.
However, in this very moment, ‘cute’ was the last thing on Warrior of Light’s mind. His body shuddered as he was in denial of his gaze, hoping this was all a prank to make him crack.
"Y-you're … Cid of the Lufaine?" Warrior of Light anxiously stuttered, his feet shuffling back as he continued to stare at the Moogle below.
Cosmos instinctively turned away momentarily, hiding her smirk and giggling reaction.
"Yes, that is correct." The Moogle answered in honesty, respectfully bowing before the Council President.
The whole room froze.
Every Council Member in the room was left dumbfounded by this sudden revelation. They had all heard the tales of the ‘Legendary Cid of the Lufaine’ yet had never seen a verified image of him – only speculations and concepts made by online fanatics. This also included Warrior of Light, who was unable to comprehend the revelation.
Cid stepped through into the room, silently yet cheerfully examining the area around him. Onion Knight slowly rose from the table in order to grasp a good look at the legend, his eyes wide with shock and awe just like the other Council Members. However, unlike his fellow Council Members, he was not left speechless.
Instead, a gleaming, enthusiastic smile had spread across his young face.
Ah-Hah!!! I'm not the smallest person in the room anymore!!!
Onion Knight's mind was screaming out with joy, ecstatically throwing his fist up in the air as he found his small stature was not as much of a setback to him in this current time.
On the other hand, Warrior of Light could not take his eyes off Cid, his horrified expression frozen in place as he watched the Moogle waltz around obliviously.
As far back as he could remember, Warrior of Light had always adored the stories of Cid of the Lufaine, from his astounding feats or valour to his breath-taking wisdom. Cid was a true hero in his eyes, a being that could never be compared no matter the circumstance.
And yet, the idea that during his whole life, he had looked up to … a Moogle!?
"C-Cid of the Lufaine … my hero … a Moogle?" Warrior of Light murmured breathlessly, sweating gawkily with a distant expression.
Whoosh … Bang!
With that, Warrior of Light lifted his head dreamily and fell back from where he stood. He fell flat onto the floor and lost consciousness upon impact.
All eyes in the room snapped towards the direction of where Warrior of Light had landed, some taken by surprise. Additionally, Cid and Cosmos glanced down to the Council President with curious gazes.
"Hmm … Isn't it wise for him to be taken to the Medical Room, Miss Cosmos?" Cid of the Lufaine openly question, tilting his bobbing head in genuine wonder. "The boy seems rather ill."
"No need to worry, Master Cid." Cosmos pleasantly assured, showing an atmospheric aura as she smiled down. "Our Council President tends to overreact. Once he recovers from his little fuss, he'll be as right as rain."
Cid nodded awkwardly, understanding her words. With that said, there was still an underlying feeling of concern for Warrior of Light's wellbeing.
Hastily placing a hand over his mouth, Onion Knight was desperately trying not to laugh out loud in the presence of Cid. Watching the entire scene unfold in front of his tear-filled eyes, he immediately cemented the memory as he imagined how he would use it to further tease Warrior of Light during future arguments.
However, another thought had left him genuinely curious, his gaze shifting to Cid of the Lufaine in intrigue.
He wondered as to how his friend Terra would react if she were to stumble upon Cid of the Lufaine's unique appearance. From the many occasions that he could recall, Terra was known by many for her fondness for Moogles. In the past, she was incapable of resisting temptation to cuddle anything that bared resemblance to the mythical creature – whether it was a stuffed toy or the real thing. There were moments where her obsession was so severe that Onion Knight had struggled to pry her of a Moogle no matter how hard he fought to restrain and separate her.
With his gaze following the Moogle around the room, a sense of looming dread was cast over him. He imagined a scenario where Terra had locked Cid in her arms like a steel trap, hugging and smothering the poor Moogle to the point where he was unable to breathe.
It was a hypothetical scenario, yet one that made Onion Knight feel eerily uncomfortable – as though his conscience was ordering him to ‘not let Terra anywhere near Cid of the Lufaine’.
Speaking of said Moogle, Cid hopped up onto the table with a feather-like leap, allowing himself to gain a clear view of the Council Members perched before him. Cosmos took a spare seat next to Firion and elegantly sat down, anticipating involvement in the meeting's discussion.
Cid twirled – giving out the familiar Moogle ‘Kupo’ noise as he spun on his two tiny feet – and proceeded to bow before the Student Council in respect.
"Now then, it is my pleasure to meet you all." Cid formally greeted, returning to an idle – yet bobbing – stance. "As I’m sure you are already aware, I am Cid of the Lufaine. It is an honour to join in with this meeting. If there are any questions you wish to ask me, feel free to ask away."
In that very moment, one certain question appeared in every Council Member's mind – as if in sync with each other:
Was Cid of the Lufaine always a Moogle!?
However, they all concluded that the question was far too dishonourable to mention, and so kept silent for the time being.
That was all, except for one member … Celes Chere.
With her arm raised in pride and anticipation, she was desperate for her question to be answered. The other members glared towards her with caution, expecting the unexpected.
"Cid, sir. How were you able to accomplish such amazing feats with your … small stature?" She generally wondered, her eyes gleaming with eagerness.
Cid glared over towards where Celes sat, his thoughts and expressions unreadable to the audience in the room. Then a small chuckle escaped his breath, indicating that the expression he would be showcasing was an amused grin.
"An interesting question. However, this is a question I cannot answer at this moment in time." Cid responded, 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 succeed."
Onion Knight's brow suddenly rose up with delighted surprise, finding Cid of the Lufaine's words of wisdom enlightening.
SLAM!
Just then, a random palm slammed against the surface of the round table, causing members of the Council to leap out of their seats in abrupt fright. Only Cosmos, Cid, and Celes stood their ground, simply turning to the direction of the hand in wonder.
Just then, a low, tired groan echoed around the room.
“Nn…!”
What followed was a shaking body emerge from the floor. With long, silver hair covering over the face and a zombie-like tone looming over, the rising figure gave off a demonic aura. And then, the figure finally raised his head, revealing his face from behind the long hair.
Dazed and confused, Warrior of Light examined the area around him, attempting to remember why he had fainted in the first place.
"Cid … the Lufaine … Moogle…" He murmured lifelessly 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 at once. He hastily straightened up his stance, brushing back his now unkempt silver hair and neatened up his uniform.
"S-sorry about that, sir!" Warrior of Light bowed apologetically, flustered in embarrassment. "I'll be able to continue the meeting now."
Cid calmly nodded back, acting as though he was showing off an accepting smile.
Throughout the next fifteen minutes, Warrior of Light continued to discuss through the main topics of the meeting, pointing and scribbling on the board as he explained. On various occasions, he eagerly allowed Cid and Cosmos to suggest options and alterations that could benefit the topic at hand.
Firion and Celes also contributed towards many of the topics, including themselves where they felt their opinions were required.
Onion Knight, however, took a backseat in his mind and watched as the meeting pressed on.
Overtime, a single question gradually formed within his head, starting off as needless curiosity to genuine intrigue. To be specific, he had noticed that a certain someone was missing from the room, yet he could not confirm the identity of the person of interest.
At first, he scanned the table of Council Members, only to find that every member was present and accounted for.
He then shifted his focus onto the two visitors … and immediately realised the missing person’s identity.
Fwip!
He rose up a hand, the question sticking in his mind like glue. Warrior of Light switched to Onion Knight in a snap, unexpectedly being cut off from one of his long-winded speeches.
"What is it now, Onion Knight?" Warrior of Light broodily asked, eyes glaring irritably. "If it’s another one of your ill-mannered comments then you'll be shown the door."
"No, it's a legitimate question." Onion Knight shook his head in certainty, his expression filled with honesty. "In fact, it’s a question I’d like to ask the Headmistress."
Cosmos glanced over to Onion Knight with a curious expression, her kind smile giving him a sensation of tranquillity.
…Although the mention of ‘Headmistress’ caused an eye to twitch momentarily.
"What do you wish to ask me, Onion Knight?" She cheerfully asked out, tilting her head slightly.
"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, giving context to his following question. "However, only you and Cid arrived to join in with our meeting. So, I’m wondering: Where is Deputy-Headmaster Chaos?"
“Hm … hm-hm-hmm!!!”
A small giggle suddenly escaped Cosmos' breath at the question, quickly placing a hand against her lips in order to prevent her laughter from fully escaping.
The Council Members were all staring at the Headmistress with curiosity, wondering as to why she was in a fit of giggles. Warrior of Light, Firion, and Onion Knight watched on with awkward expressions, completely oblivious to the reason behind this change in character.
Finally, Cosmos took in a deep, calm breath to control her emotions, allowing herself to settle down before answering the question.
"Unfortunately, Deputy-Headmaster Chaos is unable to join us for the meeting today." Cosmos began to answer, pausing every-so-often to keep herself in control. “You could say … he’s a little caught up."
Elsewhere…
Crowds of Students gathered around the rear Entrance Door of the Academy Building; a small, cramped Fire-exit door that led towards the Academy Grounds.
Noticing the growing crowd, Tidus, Cecil, Cloud and Terra with wonderous expressions, questioning the sudden rise in commotion. They slithered through the gaps in the crowd, passing giggling and laughing students. Tidus took charge of the group as they closed in on the door – eager to find out the cause of commotion, whilst Cloud positioned himself towards of the rear – finding this entire occurrence bothersome as exhaustion filled his bloodshot eyes.
Finally, they reached the front of the crowd with the door in full view.
They then entered a state of shock, taken aback by the reason behind all the commotion.
“Ah … Ah-hah … AHAHAHAHAHAA!!!”
Deputy-Headmaster Chaos had accidentally lodged himself between the door, unable to break free due to his large body mass and solid structure. He was hunched over, his usually constant fanged jaw lowering into a frown as crippling embarrassment had consumed him.
Students were snapping photos of him from all directions, their cell-phones flashing as they continued to cry of laughter and non-stop amusement.
“HAHAHAA…! A-ha! Ah-haha…! AAH-HAHAHAA!!!” Tidus wheezed underneath all of his eruptive laughter, hugging his abdomen in pain. "I-I can’t … I CAN’T BREATHE!!!"
Cloud was the next to lose the control over his emotions, struggling to breath as he hid his fits of laughter. Cecil and Terra both instantly followed: Cecil chuckling away underneath his breath whilst Terra was seen hunched over and hand over her giggling mouth.
And then, a deep yet almost inaudible grumble was heard underneath the crowds' commotions.
"What a pain…" Chaos muttered.
Back at the meeting…
““Oooh…!””
Warrior of Light and Onion Knight had both murmured in sync to each other, eyes widened at the thought of a situation so ironic.
As expected, the rest of the Student Council erupted in laughter.
"S-so, in the end, we called the emergency services … and left him behind." Cosmos finished her explanation in a complete stutter, welling up with tears streaming as she could not hold back her giggling any longer.
"They should be arriving anytime now.” Cid informed them, seeming to be the only person in the room who had not broken into fits of laughter. “I am sure he'll be pried out from the door in no time."
Warrior of Light silently switched to the board behind him, his shoulders shivering as he purposely hid his own chuckling.
Ten Minutes later…
The Meeting finally concluded, with Council Members packing up and leaving the room in dribs and drabs.
Warrior of Light stayed behind to eagerly discuss with Cid of the Lufaine, acting oblivious to the Moogle appearance as they conversed about a variety of topics. Headmistress Cosmos – as Cid’s personal guide – also stayed, although it was more out of obligation rather than actual interest.
Onion Knight swiftly packed up his items and left the room with the other Council Members, feeling a fresh sense of relief as he entered the Top Floor corridor. It was then that he noticed Terra waiting for him, pleasantly waving in his direction as he approached.
The two made their way to the staircase, discussing the Council's meeting and laughing away at Deputy-Headmaster Chaos' recent misfortune. Terra updated him by explaining that the emergency services were eventually able to break Chaos out from the door after a few failed attempts. Because of this, the entire framework was now bent out of shape and unable to hold the door in place.
Unfortunately for the Deputy-Headmaster, the repair costs were coming out of his wage.
As they continued to chuckle and giggle away, they soon reached the 5th Floor – leading to their next lesson: Food Tech.
It was the one subject that Onion Knight despised, seemingly due to the teacher in charge of the upcoming class … or just due to his genuine struggle of the subject of cooking.
Suddenly, Onion Knight halted his movement, his expression dropping without notice. He closed his eyes and listened out to his surroundings, feeling a sense of trouble hanging in the air.
Noticing him stop in his tracks, Terra slowed down as turned to him in confusion.
“Onion Knight, why are you-?”
CRASH!!!
Just then, a loud noise erupted from the Floor below them, followed immediately by a deafening scream.
"It came from the 4th Floor!” Onion Knight loudly commanded his companion, hastily rushing back to the staircase. “Terra! Quick!”
“O-ok!”
Terra complied and followed him close behind, unable to hide the worry in her eyes as they both reached the staircase.
It took no time for them to reach the 4th Floor corridor, their hearts racing as they searched for the cause of the noise.
Hastily scanning the area, Onion Knight desperately searched every room in his sights. Terra did the same, peering into each room as they rushed down the corridor.
So far, they found nothing out of the ordinary.
They continued their way around the corner of the empty hallway, reaching a series of doors that held the ‘Math Rooms’.
That was when Onion Knight instantly caught one of the doors left open – leading to ‘Math Room 4’. As if by instinct, he ran up to the door and entered the room without a hint of hesitation.
He then gasped out in horror.
"What in the...!?"
The room had been a complete mess.
Sheets of paper was spread out across the entire floor; a large, smashed window could be seen allowing gusts of wind to enter; various desks were toppled over; and … a small, fresh bloodstain was seeped into the wall directly ahead of him.
Terra soon entered the room behind him, her eyes widening as the terror set in.
Their eyes shifted from the blood on the wall to the floor.
A female student with shoulder-length, dark green hair was lying lifelessly on the floor next to the bloodied wall, signs of blood trickling from her head. She was completely motionless, yet only faint signs of breath could be heard escaping her mouth.
Standing between them and the unconscious girl was another, male student. He had dark, blond hair tied back in a long tail. He was evidently breathless and obliviously had his back to them, acting as though he was also in complete shock.
"Wait, that's…!" Terra breathless gasped in sudden realisation, racing over towards the unconscious girl. “RYDIA!!!”
Terra carefully yet frantically tended to the limp Rydia’s wounds, using the material from her uniform to secure the head injury. She also noticed that Rydia’s Hair Ornament was missing from her head, assuming it was either stolen or separated from her during the situation.
Onion Knight stood frozen in place, glaring over to the male student before him. It had not taken him long to identify the student, immediately recognising the blonde-furred tail that was far to iconic to ignore.
The boy gradually turned to Onion Knight, his body shaking as his expression was filled with confusion.
His heart racing in terror, the bewildered Onion Knight called to the student.
"Zidane … what have you done?"

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