355 A punching bag
The council members had done as the first Leader asked. They had moved from the meeting room, down to one of the training rooms below. When they had entered, a lesson was currently taking place. The hall was enormous but plain inside. There was no equipment apart from the wooden flooring, and the only thing that could be seen was a group of teenage students receiving instructions from a teacher upfront.
All the students seemed to be dressed in the same type of clothing, black standard uniform with red trim around the rim of the design. While the teacher wore what looked like an overly large over coat. He too had a different coloured trim around his clothes and also the same crest as the first Leader wore.
As the Leaders entered the room, the teacher who was taking the lesson, eyes widened. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Students, quickly bow down to the Leaders." He said urgently.
The group of around fifty or so students immediately turned and bowed down when all the Leaders entered.
It was rare to see all the Leaders together unless they were to meet the King, or a meeting was about to take place. He was unaware of such a thing happening.
"Oh, that's right! I forgot about the current tour being organised in the main castle," Bryce said to himself. "I hope you don't mind Phil?"
"Not at all," Phil, the teacher said. "It's an honour to even be in your presence."
In chorus, all the students repeated what the teacher had said, keeping the exact phrase at the same time. "It is an honour to be in your presence."
When Peter entered the room with Fex and Silver, he was surprised to see how similar it seemed to the Military Academy. The only difference was it appeared like they had more respect for the Leaders, and everything was a lot more organised. Rather than them being compliant and obedient through fear, Peter could tell even just by looking at the vampires, that they were obedient through respect.
All students were now sitting on one side of the room. Their teacher was in the front row, while the Leaders where all lined up at the other side. The students were nervous just by looking at the Leaders. Some were already part of a family, due to their close connections. While others, although they might be under the same banner, wanted to prove their worth, in order to get a higher position in the family.
The vampires who weren't directly linked to a family were referred to as the Pool. Once a year, vampires would be able to move between families that they were currently registered in, and the students would be able to select which families they wanted to join. Similar to how seasons worked in sports.
Of course, spaces were limited to each family, as there were only a total of 1,500 spaces per family.
On a year-to-year basis, this number would increase, based on a few factors, such as whether or not the city could handle an increase of vampires that year. If so, then the allocation number would increase. But that time had already passed, and all the current vampires had been registered, setting the number at 1,500 per family.
Out of this number, fifty of those in the family would have a direct connection with the Leader in some way. An additional hundred of those would know the families' ability, while the rest would just be simple soldiers in the Pool. For those that knew or were to learn the families' ability, they would bear the families' crest on their uniform.
All of this meant there weren't many students who attended school in the first place, but the vampires always focused on quality rather than quantity.
Bryce stood in the centre of the training hall with a stick in his hand while Peter was still chained up by his side.
"This is your last chance to fess up," When Bryce said this, he was talking to the Leaders, but Fex felt as if the words were being directed at him.
"Fine, Phil! Select your best student out of this bunch," Bryce said.
"That would be Xander, my lord!" Phil shouted in confidence.
Xander immediately stood up. Most of the vampires there were handsome or beautiful, but even he seemed like a pretty boy compared to the rest, his brown hair curled on both sides and having a body frame of a top athlete.
"Come here, boy," Bryce said, noticing that he too had the same crest as his. Seeing the crest, meant he was one of the hundred selected to be in the family and thought there must have been a reason for him to be selected.
Xander had reached the centre and stood on one side, while Peter stood on the opposite. Then by using his hands, Bryce moved both of them to face each other.
"Have you learned the families' ability yet?" Bryce asked.
"Not yet, sir!" Xander replied.
"Good. Maybe this match will be a little entertaining. I shall get these two to fight. It will be good for us to see where the current generation are at."
"You're going to make me fight with these," Peter said as he lifted his hands, but suddenly, a loud thud was heard. When looking at what had caused the sound, the black cuffs that were on him had already hit the floor. In the center of them, it looked like they had been cut.
'I didn't even see when it happened.' Peter thought. 'These Leaders are strong… even stronger for Quinn.'
Bryce was telling the truth when he said he wanted to see the students' current fighting level. There had been reports that they were the worst and weakest generation the vampires had so far, but that wasn't his main reason. His idea was allowing Peter to fight there. There were two chances he could find out which family he belonged to.
When people were desperate and felt like their life was in danger, even vampires fought with everything they had, and in doing so, he was hoping the captive would reveal their ability. The second reason was if his life was in danger, the connection between the Leader and the vampire would be felt.
Bryce's gut was telling him this wasn't just a regular vampire.
Fex didn't even know what to say or do at this point. The only thing he could do was let things play out.
Bryce went back to join the other leaders, hoping he could get a closer look if one of them were to react.
"Begin!" Phil shouted, and Xander immediately charged forward.
From the get-go, they could see him spring to action.
"No wonder he's the top student," One of the Leaders said.
"Ah, my Fex is still faster than him." Lee started to brag, but of course, that would be the case. Fex had acquired special training, due to him being a son of the Leader. He didn't exactly attend normal classes. Even when he did, he never felt like he fitted in anyway.
Peter, seeing this, stood still. The others thought Xander was simply moving too fast for him to react, but that wasn't the case at all. As Xander approached him, using all of his strength, he threw his fist right into Peter's face. The blow was hard and blood splattered from his mouth across the floor.
However, his body hadn't moved a single step from the powerful blow. As Peter turned his head back to look at Xander, he started to place his hand on his jaw that seemed to be shattered but was already healing.
"Well, that hurt a bit," Peter said. This was an unusual feeling for him, but this was because he still had the blood of Quinn running through his body, powering him, causing him to feel alive.
Xander was slightly stunned. A blow like that would have knocked most people out, or at least sent them back a few feet. Still, he regained his composure and started to punch away at Peter's stomach.
The speed was amazing, and punch after punch was being delivered. The power was so strong that Peter had been lifted off his feet, but the punches continued, not allowing him to fall to the floor. They carried on moving him slightly back towards the edge of the room.
"I thought you said we were meant to watch a show of skill, not a beating!" One Leader shouted out.
"I thought the kid had something in him. His eyes said he was different," another replied.
"Oh no, the blood!" Fex panicked. The more Peter was getting hit, the more of Quinn's blood was being spilt. The aura and smell surrounding Peter would soon weaken to the point where they would find out who he really was.
But Fex wasn't the only one who could tell what was happening, Peter too. The blood flowing through him was not only being spilt, but was also being used to heal his wounds. He felt the power draining from his body fast.
Another punch was delivered to his body, and his back was now up against the wall.
"You're done!" Xander said, throwing out both of his fists at the same time with more power than before.
Bryce carefully looked around to try to look and see if any of the Leaders had any type of reaction, but there was none. When he turned his head back around again, he was surprised to see the fight wasn't over.
"I am not your punching bag," Peter said as he balled his fists.
Using all of his strength, he gripped as hard as he could, shattering both of Xander's fists, pulling him forward and using that moment, he gave a thick boot to his face. A few seconds later, Xander fell to the floor.
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