Chapter Eight - The Introduction

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Shoutout to @sarcasm4jessi for the amazing cover!!
When I came to, I was greeted by bright lights shining directly into my eyes. Squinting, I turned away with a little groan.

            "Oops!" I heard. "Sorry, I'll close the shutters." I heard a bit of shuffling and sure enough, the room became dark enough for me to open my eyes with ease.

            When I was able to focus on things, I found myself in a room with Cole, Claire, and even Alex all sitting across from me. The couple was close together on a small love seat while the guy I've spent ample amounts of time with was on a single armchair.

            "Where am I?" I asked while rubbing at my eyes. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder and I had to stifle back a moan in pain.

            "Medical ward," Claire answered while pressing a button on the wall. "Cole had to bring you here after you passed out."

            I felt myself turning red and I fell back against the pillows. "Oh, man. That's embarrassing. How long was I out for?" Looking at Cole's clothes, it couldn't have been too long because he was wearing the same thing from this morning.

            "Only for an hour or so," he answered when he saw me looking at him.

            "And embarrassing? After what you did? I find it hard for anyone to think of you as embarrassing," Alex commented while leaning back in his seat. It wasn't until this moment that I could notice just how blue his eyes really were and how well they stood out against his black hair.

            "What do you mean?"

            Alex snorted. "You placed as a level five, the highest you could've gotten. Don't you know how rare and phenomenal that is?"

            "You did everything right," Cole said with a smile. "But there is some bad news..."

            I raised an eyebrow, "What?"

            "You're a little beat up, which isn't anything serious. You'll feel it for a while but you can still train and what not. The healers will try to get rid of them as much as possible," Claire answered in her usual, upbeat voice.

            "Oh, that isn't bad at all--"

            "And a few inches of your hair was burned off."

            My eyes widened as I reached behind my head to my ponytail. Sure enough, part of the ends were singed off, leaving a few strands on my fingers. Luckily my hair was long before, probably needing a cut anyways, so it wasn't the end of the world.

            "Don't worry," Claire started. "You're still pretty. I'll chop off the ruined parts tonight."

            I gave her a thankful smile and relaxed in the bed as a woman walked in, clad in scrubs and tightly pulled back hair.

            "Hello, sweetie! How are you feeling?" She asked while coming to take my vitals.

            I shrugged. "Fine, I guess. I have a headache and I'm ready to nap for a century but other than that and a few sore muscles, I'm good."

            She hummed in approval, "That's good and expected considering all that you did this morning. I'll try my best to ease the pain as much as I can."

            She pulled the blanket off of me and I was surprised to find a few scarce burns and scratches lining my legs and torso. I watched as she would press her hands against the wounds, burning from the pain at first, but then having it slowly recede to a dull ache. When she pulled her hand away from the worst of the burns on my side, I was surprised to find that it was mostly gone. I felt my eyes widen and the people in the room chuckled.

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