Ixa snarled, she was clearly ready to end this fight before the prince arrived.
Students watching from the windows dispatched themselves to find security personnel. There were only a few people on campus that could intervene.
Out in the courtyard, not one of the huge mass of the students moved. Ixa was sovereign territory. Even the new students knew better than to meddle in the mess made by the prince’s .
The ignorant, blonde-haired Winter student had made the mistake of questioning Ixa’s abilities. He just couldn’t see why any man – in particular, the Summer prince, would employ the protection of a girl. Bodyguards were pretty common among the elite, but for obvious reasons they only hired men. With the Summer country being the only country under a monarchy, the young man believed this to be a sign of the Summer decline. With arrogance some would have called courageous, he stopped Ixa from among her friends and bluntly insulted her.
The Winter student’s words still reverberated in the ears of the frozen onlookers.
“Too bad you weren’t born a man; then you could have earned your post. I heard you had the stupidity to take the job because you were a fan of Prince Cecil. What a stupid reason to risk yourself. You could get killed, you know. Little girls should only be brought up as proper ladies. Have more pride in being who you are. There is no way a girl can protect the Prince as well as men can.” At this point he started to circle Ixa like she was prey. “Oh, maybe that is the reason Prince Cecil has three other bodyguards. Because you are insufficient…”
Students winced remembering the flying punch. It was no jab. When the Winter student saw the blood he spiked his arm, but his fist never reached Ixa before she threw him to the ground. Over the next couple of minutes, the crowd watched as the foolish boy tried to catch Ixa.
Ixa was about to pommel him when a voice rang out, “Stop! Ixa I command you to stop!” A gray-haired, old man stomped his way towards the fight circle. The angry headmaster easily created a path among the tightly packed bodies of students. Without hesitation the old man directed his attention to the injured boy. He helped the bruised boy up and gently encouraged him to go home.
The boy, named Lessa, obeyed silently as his friends congregated around him. Without a word the gray-haired Prince Cecil turned and walked out of the circle. Ixa had been with the Prince long enough to know that she was to follow him. The two of them walked to the Headmaster’s office.
Prince Cecil heaved a sigh. For a few minutes he attempted to gather his thoughts. When he swiveled his chair around, the window illuminated his chair so Ixa couldn’t read his face.
“Ixa, do you remember your purpose?” He sounded conflicted.
“Yes, your highness. My first purpose is to protect Prince Basil.”
“Is that all?”
“No, sir. I am to keep attention away from myself as much as possible.” Ixa shifted her weight to her other foot.
“Yes. That is one of the reasons why I let you attend this gaudy school. This is one of the best institutions in the worlds. You are only posing to be my bodyguard. Do not let ignorant words get to you. You must not hinder Basil when he ascends to the throne. Your reputation could cause us some trouble. I hear some male students have taken to following you so they can catch you unawares and humiliate you. Currently, I could care less if they succeed. You mustn’t allow them to know the existence of the heir apparent. You absolutely cannot let your guard down, else I would be unable to abdicate the throne when the time comes.”
Prince Cecil rubbed his eyes with his hand.
“Basil is the most powerful sun-folk in existence. As of yet he is still unstable, even dangerous. Until he learns to control his powers his name must not be connected to the throne,” said Prince Cecil. Though his eyes could not be seen, Ixa felt an uncomfortable seriousness that left her shuddered.
He turned his chair to the side, so the light shone on his face.
He said, “I hired you because you are the perfect cover. No one suspects you to be as strong as you are.” He paused then continued, “And because you are the best I have seen in your field. Such talent cannot be bought. I will let you go this time, but the next scuffle you create will force me to suspend you. Were you a normal student I would have expelled you long ago. I understand that it takes a lot of patience to deal with the mockery, but deal with it. You have the responsibility of Basil’s temper as well. There is no room for mistakes, my dear.” With his last words the headmaster turned his chair back to face Ixa.
He would have looked into her eyes, but Ixa’s head was bent down. The tired man could see she was ashamed and embarrassed at the ruckus she had caused.
Ixa opened her mouth looking pained. She said, “I’m very sorry Prince Cecil. It won’t happen again.”
After a few seconds of silence he said, “Good.” He turned his chair back to the window.
“You may take your leave.”
The door closed and Prince Cecil sighed again. A powerful fighter was easy to replace. There were plenty of “bests” in the worlds. But Ixa was the only one who could calm Basil down when his powers were out of control. They needed her near. If Basil could not ascend the throne, Summer would cease to be a Season. What a disaster that would be.
Summer was powerful now in name only. Being one of the founding seasons with Winter, they were positioned well. With Spring being so restless, times were getting dangerous. Summer needed power, and fast.