The Strength Within

Final Admittance

In a society run off strength, mankind needed an accurate way to measure the strength of each person. Through a decade of trial and error, it was eventually learned that an artificially manufactured crystal called Armorite was capable of measuring the magic held within a person. Being artificially made, these crystals became widely available in the every day market. Once an individual circulated their magic into the crystal, no other person was able to access that crystal. Only the bound person could utilize its functions.

Although it was a long forgotten practice, it was possible to raise ones innate strength. Not single person was able to show an immense or note worthy increase in strength so it rapidly became an unused practice. Due to this, most Armorite gauges were simply tossed aside after an initial reading.

Opening his eyes after half a minute, Joe looked down at the gauge. Seeing the number 117 portrayed on its flawless surface, Joe was over joyed. The average person would range between a reading of 75 and 90, yet, his was over 100. Just from seeing the reading, Joe became ecstatic. Looking around at the expectant gazes sitting around the table, he could just smile. ”Ive decided, Im going to aim for greatness. Im going to study harder and get into the Academy when I come of age! ”

The others hadn seen his reading but from his reaction they became more curious. Ziaga Academy was the pinnacle of status in their nation. Simply attending gave a person many luxuries others would never experience. One became eligible for attendance once they became fifteen but even then they would have to excel academically and have notable strength. The graduates would go on to become the backbone of society so only outstanding individuals were admitted.

”If you can actually get in then you won ever face struggles again. Even if the chance to enroll is slim we will all support you the whole way. ” Allison was trying to maintain a sense of optimism. She had tried enrolling when she was younger. Before Laine was even a thought in her mind, she had studied meticulously and passed the written entrance examination with astounding results. However, her innate magic was insufficient for enrollment. She only held slightly higher than average talent with a reading of 92 at the time. The minimal requirement for admittance was 100.

”I will get in. I have to. Once I graduate, I will make life easier for all of us. Its the best I can do to thank you for everything these couple years. ” An enormous smile spread across Joes face as he looked over at Allison. If not for her, he was uncertain what kind of life him and Sarah would be living. He was certain that it would have been miserable even had they survived to this point.

With a newfound resolve, Joe returned to his room. He quickly finished the homework for that day before moving onto the rest of the week. Seeing that it was just after midnight, Joe opened his textbook and began studying the content for the remainder of the semester. He knew that the journey ahead was going to be difficult for him but determination boiled through him. He made a promise to himself that night. I will never again let someone tell me my own worth. I will show everyone that Im better than they think I could have ever been.

A couple months went by at a snails pace. Joe had spent every moment after his birthday with his face buried in some textbook. He finished the first semesters workload in under a month and then moved onto the second semester. Before their mid-semester Summer break, Joe was already learning the next years material. He went from an average academic ranking to the top of his class. Hed essentially left his peers in a cloud of dust and was already trailing on the coattails of the upperclassmen.

One night, just before break, Joe decided to pull an all nighter because he wanted to take the next years midterm examination as well as his own. Just as the Sun began to crest the horizon, Joe was ripped from his studies by a high pitch scream coming from Laines room. Without a care for his own well being, he quickly arrived in front of the closed door before bursting through. The sight before him instantly froze him in place.

Next to the bed stood a slim beauty with waist long brown hair. Being startled by the slamming of the open door, the beauty snapped around and locked eyes with Joe who was stuck in place with his mouth slightly open. Her green eyes instantly contrasted the growing red hue of her face. Being slightly too tall and fulfilled for the pajamas she was wearing, the girl cover her chest with her left arm and tried pulling the front of her blouse back down to her waistline. After about two minutes of staring at each other, Joe finally opened his mouth slightly embarrassed. ”Um, happy birthday Laine. ”

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