Author's Note: How many chapters did it take you guys to realize I have no idea what I'm doing? Same. XD
For how excited he was to begin training with his new mentor, the word was hard to say without a yip of glee following, Zack slept in. Even after the bell went off, Zack waved his hand at Kunsel when he tried to wake him. Zack was so excited last night that he couldn't stop training until late afternoon, got some lunch in him and rested the rest of the day. His muscles are sore but in a good way. He has plenty of time.
Angeal is going to come to see him today. He's going to start his own personal training with his mentor. This isn't just a step towards becoming a First, this is a gigantic leap towards it. With Angeal's help, Zack's dream will become a reality. There is no way Zack can thank him enough. The man hasn't even done anything yet, and Zack can already feel the excitement overwhelming him.
Rolling onto his back, Zack throws an arm over his eyes. He can hear some of the boys bustling about, clothes shifting, the occasional word here and there. Zack opens his eyes and looks at the window, the sky a splash of orange and yellow. Something about today, Zack can feel it, is going to be different. Special, even. Zack has no idea how he knows, just that he does. Somehow, today is going to change something...
Zack stretches as far as he can, his toes and fingers pointed. He holds this pose, his joints cracking, muscles extended as far as they can go. Relishing a moment longer in the pleasant burn before Zack finally relaxes. Eyes drifting closed once more. Zack's tired muscles hum at the prospect of working out again today. It seems that working out has become a drug to him. He can't get enough.
After a long, drawn-out, relaxing silence, Zack rolls out of bed. He rolls his shoulders and makes his way to the shower, deciding to spice up his newly formed routine. He needs to be in tip-top shape for class today. Angeal is going to be watching him, finding better ways to train him. Now that Zack is thinking about it, Angeal must have been watching Zack for a while now.
He even knew about the first day of Zack's training. Has he been watching since then? But why didn't he say anything? That must have been how Angeal knew about Zack being in the gym that morning. Which begs the question, why has Angeal been keeping an eye on him? He did say something about his smile that first day of training, but honestly, Zack couldn't believe it.
"Flagged," Angeal had said. So he's been intentionally looking out for Zack. Maybe he caught Angeal's interest with his smile - of all things! - and was able to hold it because of other factors, maybe. That wouldn't be the first time that Zack was able to get people to like him and his winning personality.
Zack walks into the shower room, it's got a couple of dozens of boys in there. Zack heads into the next room, only four are in there. He goes to the back of the room where he usually takes his showers. He strips down, turning on the water and immediately stepping under the spray. He grits his teeth and tenses his muscles as the cold water washes over him, over his shoulders and down his back. He squeezes his eyes shut and tries to ignore the tingling along his skin. He'll get used to it. The sensation will pass in a moment.
Zack forces himself to relax, letting the cold water wake him up.
SoFirst-classss SOLDIERs don't have magical psychic abilities? It was just run of the mill stalking? Er... not stalking, more like playfully observing to find potential. Or whatever. Zack's not all that sure what to think about that. At least he didn't have to worry about learning that whole trick in order to become a SOLDIER but it does, admittedly, add to the allure a bit. Ultimately, though, everything is going to be alright.
Zack quickly cleans himself up, lathering his body with soap, and his hair with shampoo. He lets the cold spray wash away the suds, his eyes remaining closed the entire time. He lets his mind fall blank. He's just going to drive himself crazy with his racing mind if he keeps this up. He's just going to have to prepare for the day like it is any other day. Otherwise, his excitement might get the best of him. Once he's done, he shuts off the water and roughly towel dries himself before slipping into his clothes and heading back to the barracks. He drops off his dirty clothes by the foot of the bed, noting that he has to do laundry soon seeing as the number of clean clothes he has is running thin.
The cafeteria is loud as usual as Zack bounces his way through the large room toward his friends. He greets everyone that he comes across, starting to shake with his excitement again. Nothing can ruin his good mood, now.
"What's up, Zack?" Kunsel asks when the boy plops down next to him, his tray clacking against the table. "I thought you do a little bit of a warm up before breakfast every morning?"
"I usually do," Zack says, "but today is special." His hands are shaking in excitement. He holds them tightly to his sides to keep them as steady as possible. The probably didn't cloak his large, toothy smile.
"How?" Kunsel raises an eyebrow.
Zack grins wider. "Someone is coming in to watch me today. Take me on as a student, he said."
At first, the words didn't appear to make any sense to the brown haired boy, but then his spoon clanks against the plastic tray half way to his lips. His mouth falls open agape. He blinks a few times rapidly, then closes his mouth, opening it again a moment later, he asks, "Are you kidding me? You've been accepted as an apprentice? I had heard stories that it was a possibility but I'd never met anyone who was actually approached."
Zack is practically bouncing in his seat now, not bothering to hide his excitement anymore. "I bet! I'm so excited and nervous. I really hope I don't mess up. I mean, he's nice enough and he's been watching me from day one, I guess."
"So? Who is it?" Kunsel asks, leaning toward him.
"Who's who?" James asks, he and Gabe taking the seat across from the other two boys.
Kunsel looks over at them. "Zack was asked to be an apprentice. He's coming today to watch Zack."
Gabe and James hold identical looks of awe and shock. They both look at one another, a silent communication between the two of them, before they both look back over at Zack. It's at this point that Chase tentatively takes a seat down next to Kunsel, looking as if he's worried that the others would just ask him to leave suddenly. He relaxes when Zack glances over and says "good mornin' Chase."
"Are you serious?" Gabe asks, ignoring the tentative approach of the other boy. "Are you really being scouted, er watched.. I don't even know what to call this."
"What?" Chase looks around perplexed.
"I am," Zack says, glancing briefly at Chase to smile, before looking back to Gabe. "I spoke to him yesterday. He told me that he's probably going to take me out of my hand-to-hand and swordplay class. He wants to see if he needs to take me out of conditioning too."
"But who is he?" Kunsel asks. "Who's the First class?"
Zack taps his chin. He remembers Angeal's first name, but what was the last one? H-something. "Angeal... He... Ha..."
Blank faced, Kunsel asks, "Angeal Hewley?"
"Yeah!" Zack points at him, nodding. "Yeah, that's it. Hewley. How did you know?"
Kunsel stares at Zack for a split second before slamming his hands on the table. "Are you freaking kidding me, Zack? You are going to be Angeal Hewley's student? Are you kidding? Zack? Holy shit!" He reaches over to the younger boy and starts slapping his arm really hard and repetitively.
Zack, perplexed, looks around at all of the other shocked faces, holding his hand up to try and block the assault from the other boy. "What's the big deal with this Angeal guy?"
"Zack," Chase says, eyes like saucers. "Angeal Hewley is one of the original trinity. He's a close personal friend to General Sephiroth."
At first the words made no sense, Zack's eyes lulled back and forth as he tried to think about why that mattered. Yes, he had heard of General Sephiroth. He was the original SOLDIER. An idol among SOLDIERs. He's the one that the entire program is based around. Because of him, and two others, Shinra has gained as much power as it does.
That means, if Angeal is one of these guys, Zack is going to be trained by a legend. It's at this point that Zack wished he had looked more on the publicity side of the tabloids rather than just learning everything he can about Shinra itself. Now he's really embarrassed. Angeal must have thought that Zack was some kind of moron for not gushing over him. He probably thinks he's some kind of backwater hick. That's just Zack's luck.
Maybe something could ruin his good mood.
On the other hand, a legend like Angeal saw potential in him. That would be almost as good as the General himself walking up and telling him that he would make a good SOLDIER some day. Not that that would ever happen, but still. Zack had no problem with Angeal. He didn't know the guy was famous in any way, and yet the guy didn't seem to mind much. He never said anything in regards to it. This is awesome! Zack might really have a shot!
"Oh my goddess..." Zack sighs, staring off into space dreamy faced. Could this be happening to him? Could he actually be this lucky? To get the attention of someone so seemingly important?
"Dude, Zack, you are so lucky," Kunsel says, settling back into his seat, confirming what Zack was thinking. "I'm totally jealous."
Zack smiles lightly. "I hope I don't let him down."
Zack is practically shaking with nerves by the time class starts and they go through warm up stretches. Zack makes sure to be extra thorough with his stretching to ensure he's exceedingly limber for todays training. Everything has got to be perfect. He has to make sure that Angeal is blown away by how talented Zack is and the thought of taking back his mentorship won't even cross his mind.
"Do you want me to go hang out with Gabe, James and Chase so that you can focus on conditioning?" Kunsel asks when they are finally let loose to work by themselves.
Zack, glancing at the door for what feels like the thousandth time since class started, looks back over at Kunsel with a sheepish look. "I actually don't want to be alone right now. I'm a little nervous."
"Okay, maybe I'm a lot nervous," Zack admits. "At least until he shows up, can you stay?"
Kunsel smiles, nodding. "Got it."
As per routine, they start out by jogging around the perimeter of the room. Every couple of minutes, Zack will glance over at the door, waiting for Angeal's hulky form to pass through the threshold and into the room. Why hasn't he shown up yet? Maybe he decided that Zack was a mistake? That the possible potential that he saw was actually just a fluke. What if something happened? What if he was called off to do something that First Class SOLDIERs do? Missions or meetings, maybe?
Zack glances over to the door again, almost tripping over his own feet when he spots Angeal and that blond First Class standing in the doorway talking to one another. Zack looks over at Kunsel and makes a strange noise of excitement. He slaps Kunsel's arm repeatedly, bouncing around pointing. The blonde's mako blue eyes flicker toward Zack and he says something to Angeal.
After a moment, Angeal looks over at a bouncing Zack and smiles faintly. He holds up a finger to signal for one moment before turning back to the blond First Class to exchange a few more words.
"He's here, Kunsel, he's here!" Zack whispers loudly, hitting the brown haired man's arm harder.
Kunsel shoves him away. "I know, I see him. Stop hitting me, Zack!"
Zack smiles sheepishly, laughing to hide his nerves. "Sorry, sorry." He glances back nervously at the dark haired First, worried that he'll suddenly realize his mistake and leave. But after a few more minutes of speaking, Angeal turns toward Zack, who ceased jogging to do squats and offers him another little nod in greeting. Angeal then makes his way over to Instructor Kalegrin while the other First Class takes one last look at Zack before leaving.
Kalegrin looks a little shocked to see Angeal, but manages a salute before Angeal can wave it off. After a few minutes of speaking, Angeal nods, turning to Zack and makes his way over. Kunsel leans close, shrinking as the larger man gets closer.
"You good?" Kunsel whispers into Zack's ear.
Zack nods, smiling at Kunsel. "Yeah. Thanks, man."
Kunsel nods, saluting to Angeal before jogging across the room towards a wide eyed Chase, Gabe and James. Everyone else in the room is staring awestruck at the First Class. A sharp yell to get back to work from Kalegrin and everyone returns to their previous work out, throwing glances over at the cadet and the First. Their eyes are wide and fascinated.
"Hi," Zack says shyly.
Angeal's faint smile returns. "You haven't stopped bouncing since I came into the room."
"I'm excited." Zack grunts, looking away to hide his embarrassment.
"And that's fine. Now, just continue with your work out, I'll just be observing."
Zack hesitates. "Can we talk? I'm a little nervous. Kunsel usually talks to me while we're training but you scared him off."
Angeal at first looks a little remorseful at that, only to smile when he notices Zack sticking his tongue out playfully at that. "Sorry about that, Zack."
Zack continues his squats. "Why didn't you tell me that you were someone important?"
Angeal blinks a few times, the question catching him off guard. "To be honest? I was a little surprised that you didn't recognize me. I thought when you heard my name you would, but still nothing. It's unusual to come across someone, especially as young as yourself, that hasn't at least heard of me."
"No," Angeal says immediately. "It's part of the charm."
Zack tilts his head to the side. "Charm?"
Angeal smiles lightly. "It's a relief to see someone every once and a while who is none the wiser about all the company's attempts to shove our glory down the throats of our enemies and allies."
Zack pauses, considering that. "It's gotta be hard." Angeal stares blankly. "To always be watched. To be the center of attention, especially since you don't seem to want to be. It's different for me, who wants people to recognize me when I walk down the street, but that's got to be hard for someone who doesn't want that."
A thoughtful look crosses Angeal's face. His eyes look far away, the thoughtful look softening into one of unmasked affection. He's definitely thinking about someone who means a lot to him. He shifts slightly on his feet once again giving Zack the impression that the man is uncannily still. He lets out a long winded sigh, blinking out of his reverie. His eyes fall back to Zack's face.
"You're right. I was never all that interested in fame and fortune, just following my best friend into an unknown world. I never really gave all that much thought as to why the media attention annoyed me to no end." Angeal nods, more to himself than to Zack.
Zack starts up his squats again. He looks up at Angeal with big blue eyes. "Um, Angeal...? Is it wrong to want that?"
"What? Fame and fortune?"
Zack hesitates. "I don't really care all that much for money. I mean, yeah I guess that's important somewhere, but my entire life has been dedicated to being a hero. I guess that walks hand in hand with fame, but I didn't want to be a hero because I wanted everyone to know my name. I wanted everyone to know I'm a hero. I guess there isn't really much of a difference when you say it aloud, but that's how I feel." Zack blushes.
Angeal stares at Zack for a long moment. He smiles faintly and Zack tilts his head to the side again. Angeal shakes his head. "Puppy."
A little more of a tilt of the head. "What?"
"I think I've found a new name for you. Puppy."
Zack blinks. "But why?"
Angeal laughs, smiling. "You just remind me of a puppy." Zack rubs the back of his head, not really finding anything wrong with the name. In fact, if anything, that means that Angeal plans on staying close. Why name something if you don't plan to keep it? "Come on, pup, keep working out."
Zack's laugh is abrupt, already liking the sound of the nickname. He continues his squats. True to his word, Angeal follows Zack around the training room as the younger works out. Occasionally he'll give some advice on how to best go about improving his form. But he spoke about light topics with Zack while the boy works out. They talk about all sorts of random things. How the cadet program is going and how Zack likes it there in Shinra. Even things like personal interests.
"I didn't think it mattered," Angeal was saying.
Zack laughs breathlessly. "That's the entire point of the movie! The first ten minutes basically tell you the entire backstory of the movie."
Angeal shakes his head. "My bad. I tend to multitask while watching television."
"It's good movie," Zack says. "You should really try seeing it again. This time watch the whole thing from beginning to end."
Angeal nods. "Perhaps."
Zack finishes his fifty rep of crunches by the time Instructor Kalegrin called for group conditioning. Zack hustles over to his usual spot at the end in the back, beside Kunsel. Angeal stops parallel to Zack but against the wall to watch Zack go through the routine. He crosses his arms over his chest and doesn't say a word the entire time.
Thirty push-ups. One lap around the room. Twenty curl-ups. Twenty medicine ball twists. Three laps around the room. Twice through the tires. Forty jumping jacks. Climb up a rope and ring the bell on the ceiling. Then walk a lap around the room to lower the heart rate. It's brutal but at the end, Zack is always laughing. Usually within the top ten to finish, gives him plenty of time to laugh at Kunsel, who just so happens to prove that climbing a rope is in fact difficult when you are flipping someone off.
"It's not nice to laugh at a struggling friend," Angeal comments, not at all angry, as he steps up next to Zack who was taking his victory lap around the room. Zack shrugs his shoulders, grinning playfully.
"I know, but it's just something we do. I never mean it to be mean. He knows I love him," Zack grins. "Come on, Kunsel! Don't let that Gabe guy beat you!"
Kunsel, red faced, glares over his shoulder at the younger cadet, finally reaching the top and ringing the bell before making his way back down. "Shut the fuck up, Zack!"
"Screw you, Fair!" Gabe wheezes, making his way over to the rope. Zack doubles over laughing for a moment before squinting around the room.
"Go Chase! Don't let James win!" Zack cheers.
James gives Zack an exasperated look while Chase looks genuinely pleased at the encouragement and began to work all that much harder. Angeal keeps pace along side Zack as he does his cool down lap. Finally done teasing his friends, Zack looks up at his mentor.
"How did I do?"
"Good. You have a lot of potential. It helps that your energy is practically limitless. Let me ask you this: Is the training regiment easy at all?"
Zack shrugs, thinking about it. "I don't think so. I mean, that conditioning is brutal, especially on my arms but I'm getting used to it. I've been doing it for a few weeks now."
Angeal nods and they walk in silence. After a few moments, Angeal pulls out his phone to check the time. He snaps it closed and slips it into his back pocket. "I need to head out now, Zack. Good work. I'll see you after lunch."
Zack nods. "Okay. Bye."
"Bye." With that, Angeal moves smoothly to the door and out. The last thing Zack sees is Angeal's sword before the door closes. With that, Zack makes a mental note to ask Angeal about his awesome buster sword.
"That... really was the First Class legend Angeal Hewley," Kunsel pants, catching up to Zack, looking over at the door where the aforementioned man disappeared through. "I think I'm in shock. What's he like?"
Zack pushes some of his sweaty bangs from his face. Considering the question. "He's... normal. I don't know how else to describe him. For someone supposedly famous, he didn't really give me the impression that he was anything extraordinary beyond what is to be expected. He seems like a normal guy."
Kunsel, cheeks puffing out with exertion, tinged red. He rolls his shoulders, trying to lessen the amount of pain he knows he's going to be in later. Zack quickly follows his lead. After they finish their lap, they do some other cool down stretches before taking quick showers and heading to their next class. Zack can barely sit still, his muscles are tired and are starting to get sore, but he's still excited to continue training with Angeal.
As his Instructor goes on and on, Zack's eyes travel to the window next to him. The first class was promising. Angeal seemed pleased enough with Zack's performance. And he did say that he could see Zack again after lunch. Wait, does that mean he needs to go to his class? Is Angeal going to pick him up from there? Or is he going to watch him like he did in conditioning? This mentoring program, Angeal said it was new. To look for potential First Class SOLDIERs.
Zack smiles to himself. He can't wait to send a letter back home. His ma and pa will freak when they find out. Lissa will too. Lissa was the girl that Zack's ma really hoped would be the mother of her grandkids but Zack still isn't in that stage of his life where he's interest in girls. He's seen girls where he says to himself "Man, they are gorgeous" but he has yet, mostly because he's not even fifteen yet, thought, "I'd hit that" or whatever it is horny boys are suppose to think when they see a girl that they are sexually into.
Lissa, being two years older than Zack, seemed to like him well enough, but agreed when Zack told her that he wasn't interested "yet," he said. "But maybe someday but not now." He didn't know how else to tell her that he didn't want to be with her now. She agreed, said she was too young to be thinking about marriage. A few days later, Zack joined Shinra. It's not that Zack is opposed to girls, just not now. So he and Lissa agreed to be friends, in spite of Zack's and Lissa's mothers both wishing for more.
Things are just starting to get interesting here. Zack needs to only focus on his dream. That is his primary focus. That is the thing that means the most to him. With Angeal's help, he will be able to make his dream come true.
If that were the case, Zack would forever be in Angeal's debt.
Zack is so excited for the next portion of his training that Zack has to choke down his food in order to be in tip top shape for later. Zack can see his friends around him, talking and laughing and he's sure some have even spoken to him, but his mind is so filled with thoughts of hand-to-hand training with Angeal, he can't even begin to think about anything else. He has to physically stop himself from running all the way to his hand-to-hand class. In fact, he took extra long trying to make his way to class with Kunsel.
"Are you excited to see him again?" Kunsel asks.
Zack laughs sheepishly. "Does it show?"
Kunsel grins, shrugging a little. He bumps Zack's shoulder with his own. "A little. But it's to be expected after all. Even now this is all so surreal. He seemed cool earlier, I think you're stressing over nothing."
Zack smiles crookedly. "You think so?"
Kunsel claps Zack on the back. "Totally. Relax, dude. You're fine."
The two work their way through the crowds to get to their class. The conditioning class is the only one all cadets have at the same time, the rest is different schedules depending on the cadet.
"You're birthday's coming up, right?"
"Nine days," Zack says, finally realizing just how far and how close it is. He shakes his head in astonishment. Maybe it was a little bit further away than what he alluded to with Tanner. Hopefully the bartender won't be too mad at him if he finds out.
Kunsel purses his lips. "You'll be fifteen, right? Got any plans?"
Zack shakes his head. "No, not really. Actually, Kunsel, do you mind if we don't talk about this? It's going to be my first birthday from home-"
Kunsel holds up his hands, nodding surely. "Of course. Sorry, Zack. Another time, yeah?"
Zack nods, smiling thankfully. "Thanks, man."
This is the first time he's going to have a birthday without his parents there to celebrate it with him. Most birthdays are celebrated religiously in Gongaga. It's a quant, close knit community that knows pretty much everything about one another. Whereas one person would see it as intimidating to know so much about your neighbors and to have so much known, it's a comfort to Zack. He knew who he could go to for what and have a general idea about how they are going to react. This is really the first time in Zack's life that he's been able to look around at the people around him and know next to nothing about any of them.
It's a little disorienting.
Zack slinks into the room and, with a little wave to Kunsel in departure, he sits against the wall, lowering to the floor. He pulls his legs up to his chest, wrapping his arms around them and lowering his head onto them. He's so... happy? Yes, happy because everything is finally starting to fall into place. So much so that he's starting to get drained emotionally.
And maybe he's a little sad that he's not going to be able to celebrate his birthday like he used to, but he knew that coming in right? He knew that this place isn't just an oversized Gongaga. This isn't where he was born or raised. This is his new home. This is where he belongs. This is where he will become a hero.
Someone touches his arm. Zack jumps, pulling his head up to look at Angeal's calm face and gentle eyes. A small crease between those two orbs. The only sign that he has any emotion.
"Are you okay, Zack?"
Zack smiles lightly. "Yeah, just a little down. Just got taken down a dark mental road and I'm struggling to pull myself back from it."
Angeal shifts on his hunches. "Come, let's walk."
Zack blinks a few times fast. "Uh, but what about class?"
"He knows that you're in my care now. Let's go." Angeal holds out a hand for Zack to take. After a moment's hesitation the boy complies and is easily pulled to his feet. With a single glance over his shoulder at his fellow cadets staring after him, he heads to the door.
As they walk down one of the many, carbon copies of the same layout of the halls, Zack looks up at Angeal. "Um, sir? I'm sorry."
"For what, pup?"
Zack's eyebrows furrow slightly. "Um... I don't really know. I just figured it was the best thing to say in this case."
Angeal shakes his head. "You are so much like him..." he murmurs under his breath, eyes focused ahead of them like he hasn't marched through this particular hallway at least a million times.
Zack stops, eyes wide. "I'm like General Sephiroth?" Does a comparison like that even exist in the real world? And this is coming from someone who supposedly knows the general!
Angeal stops along side him, looking back at him with a neutral expression. "In a lot of ways, yes. He's not very good as social interaction so to fill the silence, sometimes he'll just apologize because he doesn't know how else to start up conversation."
Zack looks at his new mentor perplexed. "I'm like General Sephiroth," he mumbles, shaking his head. "I can't even begin to believe that. Holy chocobo." He starts moving again, still in shock. "That's like saying I got the same third cousin of president Shinra. It just doesn't happen."
The older man smiles lightly at that, keeping pace easily with the smaller boy. "Believe it or not but Sephiroth does have traits about him that can be linked to normal human behavior." At Zack's weird look, Angeal adds, "I mean he's a lot more normal than people think. Most people think he's silent and calculating all the time, and mostly he is, but a part of it is him trying to read people. Subtle hints only confuse him. If you want him to understand something, it's best to just come straight out and say it. Much like you."
Zack nods. "That's so true. I can't read signs very well. You just got to come straight out. That or I'll be the moron guessing what you want for the next couple of days, or months, depending on how patient you are."
Angeal chuckles. "I understand. Some people are just built like that. Whereas my other best friend likes to drop not-so-subtle hints like it's his job." Angeal has this affectionate gleam in his eyes that Zack can't help but admire. He's never really had solid friends back home like he does here. Kunsel, first and foremost, but then there's Gabe, James and even Chase is becoming very reliable. It must be nice to have someone or a few someones that you know intimately enough about their secrets and their lives that others wouldn't probably know.
Angeal stops in front of one of the doors and swipes his key card, punching in a code. The door slides open and reveals what can only be described as the First Classes gym. It's probably twice the size of the cadet gym capable of holding at least thrice as many cadets as there is now, comfortably. On the far back wall is all of the work out equipment, all new and pristine, top of the line quality. A large patted area in front of Zack and Angeal with the same ugly blue mats. The space is wide, wide enough to accommodate people swinging large swords around.
Speaking of which. "I like your sword," Zack says, pulling his eyes away from the gym to his mentor.
Angeal looks a bit taken back by the sudden interest, but takes it in stride nonetheless. "It's my pride and joy. It's a symbol of my honor."
Zack looks at the impressive swords on his teacher's back. At the very least it's bigger than Zack. "How do you wield it?"
"With great difficulty at first," Angeal says with mirth. "But like all tools, everything becomes easier with time. Even wielding the most hulking of blades."
Zack stares wide eyed. "Wow, Angeal. You're like some kind of sage. Or perhaps a guru of knowledge."
Angeal smiles fondly at that. "Like the use of a tool, the gathering of knowledge steams from experience and time." He stressed the word to make his point. Zack nods, awestruck by Angeals wise words. "Now, let's see what you can do, shall we, pup?"
Zack whoops, darting into the room. His earlier dark mood already forgotten. He spins around, enjoying the wide open space. Finally, he turns to Angeal, grin wide. "Are you ready for this, Angeal? I'm pretty impressive if Instructor Torin wasn't lying."
Angeal pulls off his buster blade and leans it against the wall, slipping his boots off at the corner of the mat, Zack is quick to follow. They walk into the center of the mat and turn to face each other when Angeal finally speaks, "I'm looking forward to it."
This is gonna be great!