Chapter 11, The Headmaster of Lothadore Academy
Pyrrha was in awe at the city of Lothadare. From the view over the road, passing in between the houses and structures built along the hillside both above and below them. She could see the entire kingdom all for miles. It was so big. And the towers skyscrapers in the near distance stood taller then the bell tower back home in Arthamore. So much so that they looked to really touch the very sky above them.
One of them looked to be circular in shape. Made entirely out of blue rectangular windows that bared the refection of the entire city and the other skyscrapers behind it. It had a circular base which stood over eight floors high. From there a more thinner tower of the same shape stood at the very center, reaching up higher then the other skyscrapers.
The sight alone was more surpassed how they were told in the stories. Or from how she had seen them on the media and in the theaters.
"It's so big." she said, glancing up at Qrow.
Qrow eyes shifted to the side as he glanced out over Lothadare. It was quite the view. Though it was nothing he hadn't seen before. He had been to Lothadare before and was quite familiar with the kingdom. And of the wrongs they and their two beloved families had committed in the past against the Faunas kingdoms.
Though that was for another time.
He was confused at why she was so amazed at how wide spread the kingdom was. Lothadare was a big city. But compared to Beacon and several of the other realms, it paled in comparison. Being that she was from the center realms, she must have seen Beacon for herself.
"Bigger the Beacon?" He asked, glancing down to her.
Pyrrha looked up to him, shaking her head.
"I've never been to Beacon." she said.
Qrow squinted his eyes, curiously. There was no way that could be true. She must have gone to the capital at some point.
"Come on," he said.
"You've must have been there sometime. What about all the parades and ceremonies they have. King Ozpin invites everyone from the center realms. Didn't your mother ever taken you? "
Even still, Pyrrha shook her head. She had never traveled to the capital before. Nor had she ever been to any of the other Kingdoms before. Only to ever seen them on the news or when she and Juane went to the movies. She and her mother never traveled far from their sanctuary from the war. Always staying close to Arthamore.
Pyrrha frowned as she thought of the home she had left behind. This was the first time she had ever traveled to another realm. She hoped that the wish she had been granted and that her family had escaped the burning ruins that was once their home.
"Mother only took me to some of the villages near Arthamore," she insisted to the Atarian Knight.
"She said it was too dangerous for us to go outside the mountains."
Qrow squinted his eyes. That didn't sound like Amara. She usually loved attending all of Beacon's Ceremonies. Whether it be the Knighting of the Prodigy, the balls at the Palace. Or even the parades celebrating the victory against the Grimm. It used to be a tradition her family had loved. They had attended every one of them.
Amara was protective in the past. Though never to the point where she would go against the traditions of her family. Becoming a mother seemed to have changed her. Especially in a time of all out war with the Grimm.
"I see," he said.
"So this is your first time outside of Arthamore."
Pyrrha looked back over Lothadare as she thought. For as long as she could remember, she had always been in Arthamore. She had never been to the capital city, nor to any of the other Kingdoms. And with the spreading of Grimm forces, Mother and father believed it was safer for them to remain in Arthamore. This was the first time she had ever seen one of the other Realm's Kingdoms.
She peered ahead and noticed a large castle of some kind at the heart of the city. Sounded by two separate walls, one of which surrounding the very gate leading inside the palace. The main gate had two different towers at each side. The mansion itself stood over three floors high with a triangular roof over top. And at the far end of the mansion stood a large tower that stood high over the mansion.
Pyrrha squinted her eyes, curiously.
"What's that castle over there?" she said, pointing over at the Palace.
Qrow glanced over at the castle. His bike slowed to a stop at the side of the road, placing his foot to the side. Pyrrha turned back to him, seeing him staring ahead at the castle, frowning.
"The House of Landora." He said.
Pyrrha turned and looked back toward the castle. Was it true? Was that really the very House where Akara's family?
She peered ahead at the tower at the far end of the mansions. It was then she remembered something in the Book of Akara and the Knights. When she wrote about her family's mansion it was said:
"When I was younger, I would reside in the Tower of my family's mansion. From there I could see all of Lothadare. It was there that I could see the people. And it was there my father said we could see liberty..."
Pyrrha gasped in realization.
"The House of Landora?!" she exclaimed in excitement.
"That's right, kid," Qrow insisted.
"One of lothadare's proudest families. Although now their but a shadow of what they once were."
"What do you mean?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
Qrow shook his head.
"It doesn't matter," he stated.
"We should keep moving. Headmaster Reuben should be waiting for us at the Academy."
There was then a loud hovering sound from above. Pyrrha looked back over the city and saw several large battle cruisers flying overhead of the city from the south west. Qrow squinted his eyes, curiously.
"That's odd," Qrow said.
"That's Lothadare's Third fleet. But what are they doing here, the Grimm are far to Ovala?"
Qrow pondered. If the third fleet was here, that could only mean the Grimm may not be far. But last he he heard, the Grimm hadn't been able to make any advances as of late. So then what is the Third fleet doing here in the city?
Whatever it was, they had to get to the Academy and soon.
"Hang on." Qrow said.
Reeving the engines, Qrow then drove forward onto the road. All as Pyrrha took one last glance to the House of Landora, left questioned by Qrow's claim. For what did he mean they were now shadow of what they were?
Qrow pulled up in front of the gates of Arthamore Academy. Pyrrha gave up at the gate which stood over several feet tall between a large white wall. With a curved top with each end touching at the very middle. With a with tall thin steel bars. And the very symbol of the Academy at the very center of it.
The symbol of which was that of the Family Crest of the Landora's. That of a Dragle. A winged creature part dragon, part eagle which stood on two hind legs and had two large wings with scaly feathers that shines like stars in the night. A long neck with fur as soft as the pelt of a wolf and a head with a long sharp beak like an eagle.
Mother and father had said that a Dragle was a a creature that brought prosperity and peace to all. That defended the realms from Darkness and the Grimm. Which was why it was the Grand crest of the Family of Landoras. For like the Dragles, they fought for the peace and liberty of all the realms and Kingdoms.
And Akara's Great Grandfather was one of the founders of Lothadare Academy. So forth the Academy used the grand Crest of the Landora's as the Symbol of their Academy. Training countless generations of Knights of Londora to fight in the name of Liberty and prosperity.
And it was one of the reason why Queen Maria instructed that the Prodigy be trained there.
Pyrrha looked down at the schoolyard on the other side of the gate. Only to see that it was empty. On the other side she saw only a wide pathway through the grass with lamps at each side. There were two separate buildings. One was entirely made of glass windows which stood over four floors high. And the other looked to be of Celtic design with tall glass stained windows along the side of the building. And one final one at the very end over the entrance.
And at the very center of the schoolyard was the main hall. A Building with a tall clock tower at the very center where the entrance stood below. With two three floored at each side of the tower.
But not a single student nor teacher in sight.
"Where is everybody?" she asked, glancing up at Qrow.
Qrow squinted his eyes in suspicion. Something didn't seem right. There should have been someone here waiting for them here at the gate. Where was everyone?
He pushed down the stand and stepped off his motor bike. He came up to the gates and pushed them open with a lout metal creek. He came into the schoolyard and looked around. But even still there was no one in sight.
He wondered if Reuban had gotten Maria's message. No, that wasn't like him at all. Reuban was always thorough when it came to such matters like this. Though that wouldn't explain why the schoolyard was deserted.
"Hello," He called out.
But he heard no answer.
Pyrrha slid off the side of the bike and walked up to Qrow.
"Doesn't look like anyone's here." He said, glanced down to her.
"Where did they all go?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"I don't know." Qrow said.
Qrow narrowed his head as he thought. Professor Reuben rarely ever left the ground of the university. That was unless he was called by the high council. But there was only one other place he would probably be.
"But I may know where we could find someone." He insisted.
Qrow and Pyrrha walked through the deserted halls of the Academy. Pyrrha looked about the hallway. There were several weapon lockers lined up along the walls off to her left. To their right was a large glass cabinet of trophies of the Knights Tournaments the Academy they had won over the years. Large silver and gold cups, Metals and monuments of Knights filled the many shelves inside.
They came out into the main hall, where they found a large wide rectangular pit with a three steps along each side and four pillars over each corner. There were several hexagon shaped tables stood within the pit below. Large banners of the Schools Grand crest hanging around the pit.
There was also the sound of water gurgling from the fountain at the top of the stairway off to their left.
Pyrrha turned and ran down into the pit. She came to the very center as she glanced above at the skyline which stood over the balconies of the three floors above.
"Wow." she said, staring up in awe at the skyline.
Qrow glanced to her from along the walkway.
"Hey, keep up!" he said.
Pyrrha looked back down at Qrow and ran to keep up with him. She ran up the steps and came up next to him.
"Where are we going?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"The only place Reuban would be at a time like this." he insisted glancing down the hall.
The Great tree of Kasadar. It was one of the few people Reuban comes to reflect. Sitting over a white stone bench, he peered up at the great tree before him. He was a man of his early seventies. Tall with long hair and beard, wearing a soft pair lenses over his eyes and light grey suit, holding a long black cane. With his hands pressed firmly over the top of his cane. All the while, contemplating the News of the Attack of Arthamore.
The letter he received from Queen Maria spoke about the vision she had of the Prodigy. She said she was sending one of her knights and that they would bring the Prodigy to their school. But after hearing of the attack on Arthamore over the Media, many feared that she might had been lost in the attack.
Times have grown desperate.
After Ataria had fallen to the Fallen to the Grimm, King Larr and the high council had issued command for all knights to join the war effort against the Grimm. Many of the teacher and students went off to join the Royal Guard. After learning the Grimm slipped past the main Gateway undetected by the Beacon Armada, defenses around the Kingdom had doubled. Or they joined with the forces in the outer realm of Ovala to help in repealing the Grimm forces.
Reuban uttered a sigh as he narrowed his head. When suddenly, he heard a voice from behind.
Reuban was startled at the sudden voice. But upon glancing back, he saw Qrow Branwen standing behind him.
"Qrow?" Reuban said, surprised as she stood up from the bench.
"Qrow Branwen, what are you doing here?"
"Queen Maria sent me." Qrow claimed.
"You?" Reuban said.
"Queen Maria wrote she was sending one of her knights. And she sent you?"
"Apparently." Qrow said, rubbing the back of his head.
"Did you find the prodigy?" Reuban asked, curiously.
Qrow glanced back to Pyrrha, who stood behind him. She glanced up at the headmaster, shyly.
"Well hello there, little one." Reuban said.
Pyrrha stepped out from behind Qrow. She raised her hand and waved to Reuban.
"Hello." she said, smiling.
Reuban glanced up at Qrow.
"So this is the one Akara chose?" He said, curiously.
"She's quite young to be the prodigy."
"I thought so as well," Qrow insisted.
"But apparently she the one Akara chose to be the next prodigy."
Reuban stood up as he glanced at Qrow.
"I heard what happened to Arthamore," Reuban insisted.
"How did you escape?"
Qrow narrowed his head, rubbing the back of his head.
"It was a close call," Qrow insisted.
"But we managed to slip out into the mountains. We had to evade several fighters before we could use the Pendant."
Reuban uttered a sigh of relief.
"Thank the Gods." He said.
"Queen Maria said you and your staff would be here waiting for us," Qrow insisted.
"Where is everyone?"
Reuban narrowed his head.
"Times have become desperate since we Ataria fell to the Grimm." Reuban insisted, as he made his way back toward the entrance.
Reuban came through the doors of his office as Qrow and Pyrrha followed him inside. It was there that a large desk with several artifacts along each side of it's surface. Three glass stain windows behind the desk, overlook the entire academy. Several large shelves stood along the walls off to each side. Most of them were wither filled with books ore other artifacts and weapons.
"What do you mean they were called to the palace?" Qrow asked, curiously.
"King Larr and the high council has issued a declaration," Reuban insisted as he came behind his desk.
"All students and Teachers from each Academy able to fight are to be drafted into the royal Guard and our forces in Ovala."
"Has Larr lost his mind?" Qrow proclaimed, raising an eyebrow in utter disbelief.
"Some of those students aren't even old enough to serve in the military."
It was indeed true many of their students were not of age to fight in the military. But their forces were struggling to hold back the Grimm as it was. They've had to spare whatever forces they could. And now with the news of Ataria being overrun by the Grimm and the recent attack of Arthamore, the threat of them evading their forces and attacking the capital concerned the council. If that were to happen, they would be defenseless.
As much as Reuban was resentful with the idea of sending his students into Military service before completing their training, the protection of their realm and their people was more vital.
"The Grimm have been relentless against our forces," He insisted as he sat down over his massive brown leather seat.
"If the Grimm manage to slip passed our forces like they did with Beacon, we can't afford the Kingdom to be defenseless."
"I understand that," Qrow claimed.
"But the reason we came to this Academy is so you can train the prodigy. Your Academy are the only ones left who know the Knight's teachings."
Pyrrha glanced up at Qrow, curiously. They kept mentioning the Prodigy? Was he referring to her?
"Didn't you inform the council of Queen Maria's letter?" Qrow asked, curiously.
Reuban shook his head.
"I'm afraid it can't be helped," He stated, glancing back at the Knight of Ataria.
"And with the recent news of Arthamore, we feared the worst. Besides, the other professors have all gone to aid our forces in Ovala. I could contact them but it may be days before they are able to return to train the prodigy."
"Then it's worth the risk," Qrow insisted.
"We have to get someone who an train the Prodigy. It may be our only chance to defeat Salem and bring an end to a war."
Reuban narrowed his head, leaning back in his seat as he pondered. Many of the professors here had studied the teaching of the Knight's of Opara and had mastered all their ways and Techniques of Fighting. Such takes years of practice and studying from the old books records. He himself knew much of the knight's teachings. But he was far too old to teach the girl.
He could contact one to at least return to the university to train the Prodigy. There would be no Guarantees as to when they would be allowed to return to the university. But what other choice was there?
The Prodigy was the only hope they had for defeating Salem and the Grimm.
"Very well, Qrow," He said, glancing back to them.
"We will need to speak to the Grand Council tomorrow."
Qrow nodded his head.
"Alright." He said.
"In the meantime, I will allow you and the Prodigy to stay in the dorms," Reuban said.
"The students have all cleared out their dorms. So they should all be cleared."
Qrow came in through the front door of one of the dorms on the third floor. He step as he glanced around at their living arrangements. There was a kitchen off to his left with a fridge, stove and Microwave. There was a long Colbert separating the kitchen from the dining table. Across from that was the the living room which consisted of one single couch and two armchairs in front of a large flat monitor over the wall.
He looked back at Pyrrha.
"Come on, Kid." He said.
Pyrrha walk in after him. She looked around the dorm, curiously.
"We're staying here?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"Looks like it." Qrow said as he peered down the hallway at the four rooms.
"There's four bedrooms down the hall. You can sleep in whatever one you want. I'll take the couch."
Qrow walked over into the living room. He then turned and sat d own, uttering a sigh as he leaned his head back. He reach down into his pocket and pulled out his drinking flask and undid the top before taking a drink.
"I'll have to go into town to get us some dinner." he said as he leaned his head back.
Pyrrha narrowed her head. So much had changed and in such a short time. But why? Why were they here at the Academy? In a Different Kingdom no less?
She thought back to what he said back in Headmaster Reuban's office. He kept saying Prodigy. Was he really referring to her?
Pyrrha walked up to Qrow.
"Qrow?" she asked, curiously.
Qrow leaned his head up, glancing down at her.
"What is it, Kid?" He groaned.
"Who did you mean when you said Prodigy?" she asked, curiously.
"Huh?" Qrow said, tilting his head.
"You and that man were called me Prodigy." Pyrrha insisted to him
Qrow then narrowed his eyes. He then stood up from his armchair as he walked over the window. Placing his arm over the window frame, he leaned forward as he pondered. He knew he would have to tell her at some point. He had been holding it off until they had gotten to Lothadare. Now that they were here, now seemed like the time to do so.
"Did anyone ever tell you about the Prodigy of the Realms?" Qrow asked, glancing back to her.
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Oh, yes," she insisted.
"I read it in Akara's book. When the former knight of Opara chooses their successor and trains them to be the next knight."
Qow nodded his head.
"That's right, kid," He said.
"And Akara has chosen her Prodigy."
Pyrrha looked up at Qrow in confusion.
"But mother and father said there could never be another prodigy." She said.
Qrow stood up from the window and turned to her.
"So they say," Qrow said.
"But the fates spoke granted Queen Maria a vision of the future. And that vision showed that Akara had chosen a prodigy."
Pyrrha widened her eyes, both in awe and anticipation.
"She did..." she said.
As Qrow nodded his head, Pyrrha felt a rush of excitement. She couldn't believe it. Not only had the cycle of the knight's not been broken, but now Akara had chosen a prodigy.
"But does that mean...?" she asked, curiously.
Qrow then turned to face her. But what he would say next would change everything.
"Its you," Qrow said.
"Akara chose you as he Prodigy."