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Yuki's Epiphany - Aetheric Academy Prequel - EBOOK

Yuki's Epiphany - Aetheric Academy Prequel - EBOOK

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PREQUEL to the AETHERIC ACADEMY

He wanted my seat. I said no. Then my whole world changed. 

Yuki's had a long day a school, and boards the train to get home. But when an exhausted business man descideds he wants her seat, things are about to go from bad, to crazy. 

Learn how Yuki, Katy's friend from the first Aetheric Academy book, ended up attending the first Academy for Novice Magi. 

If you enjoy this short story, then check out the first book in the new Aetheric Academy Series, and journey to a universe of Magic and adventure. 

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Yuki’s Epiphany

“Bye. See you later,” Yuki said, calling out to Sakura as she pushed through onto the train between the other passengers. As usual, it was packed with businessmen and woman, making their daily commute out of the city, back to their homes in the suburbs of Kyoto.
Yuki gave one last wave to her friend who stood on the platform beaming at her, before the doors slid shut, blocking her view.
With her friend gone, Yuki let her smile fade as she rubbed her temples, trying to massage out the gathering headache.
She had so much work to do.
Grabbing a nearby support, she shifted into a clearer spot, a little farther into the carriage, and sighed. It was the end of another school day and she felt shattered, as usual. She knew it would be worth it, though.
It was important to get a good education, as it would help her get a job later. Before that, though, she wanted to get into university and learn to be a computer game developer.
All in good time, though. She had a long way to go yet, if she survived this final year of school.
The train set off, bumping and shifting on the line as it made its way out through the city’s wards, getting closer to home. Yuki pulled out her phone and scrolled through several social media feeds, checking out what was going on. She smiled at the photos some of her friends put up, reading the comments on their posts with interest. The train lurched to a stop at one of the busier stations and she massaged her temples with her fingers as she focused on her phone, trying to rub away the building migraine.
People moved, getting up from their seats and pushing past. Yuki put her phone to sleep as the crowd moved and she made way for them. Several people got a little too close for comfort, but seconds later, once people had disembarked the train was a little less crowded.
Nearby, several seats had become vacant. Yuki eyed one covetously, as her legs called out for a rest. Several people moved to take the seats.
Yuki didn’t want to take it if someone else really needed it though, so she waited, casting her eyes over the people nearby.
As the seats dwindled, she saw a woman making for the final seat and when she looked up she locked eyes with Yuki.
“Oh, sorry. Do you want it?”
Yuki smiled. “No, please, you take it.” Please don’t take it, please, Yuki silently pleaded.
“No, no. It’s all yours. You look tired. Go on.” The woman backed away from the seat, offering it to her.
Yes!
Yuki nodded to the woman with a smile and a shallow bow. “Thank you.”
Sitting down and taking the weight off her feet was heavenly. She felt her legs tingle as the blood flowed through them, her muscles finally relaxing now that they were no longer needed to keep her upright.
Yuki took a moment just sitting there. She closed her eyes and did her best to shut out the noises all around her as she let her whole body relax. She could feel the headache growing behind her eyes and was looking forward to getting back to her room, closing the blind, and lying down in the darkness for a while. They had some Paracetamol at home too, that might help.
The train continued moving through the suburbs, as people got on and off at the various stops.
Yuki was scrolling through her social media feed when she spotted a pair of polished shoes come and stand right beside her, facing her. Without lifting her head, she scanned her eyes around and noticed the train had become busy once more. There was standing room only again, and as she looked down at the shoes of the man beside her, she got the feeling that he wanted her seat.
Hunching over, Yuki focused on her phone. She was tired and had stood during this trip too many times to count. She was going to sit here for another stop or two until it was time for her to disembark and walk home.
“Ah-hem,” the man coughed beside her. Yuki blinked and looked down at the man’s shoes again. One of his feet was tapping the floor. Yuki sighed and kept scrolling.
“Young woman,” the man beside her said.
Yuki stopped scrolling and sighed. She sat back and looked up at the man. He was in a dark suit with a loosened tie and looked down at her through designer glasses.
“Yes?” Her headache was building again.
“I’d like that seat.”
“I’m getting off soon,” Yuki replied, not in the mood to have an argument with a stranger.
“I’m sure you are, but I want it now. I work hard and I need to have a rest.”
“I’ve had a long day, too,” Yuki replied, feeling exasperated. Why should she give up her seat? He wasn’t an old man. He was young and quite capable of standing.
“Doing schoolwork? Hardly.”
Oh, that was what the issue was. She was a student, so couldn’t possibly be working as hard as he was.
“You have it easy,” he continued. “Now I really must insist that you allow me to sit down.”
“In a minute,” she replied, setting her jaw in defiance. She wasn’t sure where she was getting this strength from, to be honest. Any other day she would have happily given up the seat and stood for the final few stops until she got home. But not today.
Her legs ached, her back ached, her head was pounding, and this man was not helping.
She returned her gaze back to her phone and began to scroll again.
Several seconds later, the man grabbed her arm and attempted to yank her from the seat. He put all his strength behind it and pulled.
Yuki yelped in shock and pulled back. “Hey!”
“Get off!” he cried.
“Arrgh, stop it, you’re hurting me.”
“I just want the seat.”
“Arrgh, just…”
People around them were moving and calling out.
“Hey, stop it.”
“Leave her alone.”
“Just get off the seat.”
“I’m calling the police.”
Giving up the seat was not an option now. Not in Yuki’s mind. He’d lost that the moment he’d touched her. There was no way she was giving in now. No way. As she struggled against him, and the people around them shouted and reached for them, trying to split them up, Yuki caught sight of the man’s face.
His teeth were gritted and his eyes held a madness within them. He was almost foaming at the mouth there was so much spit flying as he struggled against her.
Behind her eyes, her migraine grew. In a matter of moments, it went from a minor annoyance to raging pain. It felt like her eyes were about to burst.
Yuki grunted with effort, and as the pain grew while she pulled away from the man, her low growl turned into a roar as it felt like energy was rushing through her. Suddenly, all that pain and pent up anger rushed out of her and into the man.
There was a sudden flash. With a bang, light filled her eyes as the man flew off of her and crumpled into a heap in the aisle.
Released, Yuki fell back on the woman she’d been sat beside, and stared down at the man in horror.
What the hell had just happened?
Was he dead?
Her eyes flicked from person to person, taking in the shocked faces of those all around her as they looked from her to him and back again.
Looking over, she saw the man groan and move.
Yuki let out a breath. It felt like she’d been holding it for an age as relief flooded through her system. As she took a few life-giving breaths, she caught several glances that she didn’t like. Accusatory, unfriendly looks. She felt a sudden need to escape.
The train lurched to a stop.
This was close enough. She could walk home from here. He was alive and she didn’t want to be here anymore. She felt terrible for leaving him, but she couldn’t stay.
Yuki got up and marched to the door just as it opened and left the train. The next few moments were something of a blur as she strode along the streets, making for home.
What the hell had just happened? What on earth was all that about? She had no idea what she’d done, or how she’d done it, but somehow, she’d taken the pain that had built up in her mind and attacked that man with it.
She could distinctly remember the tingling feeling that had flowed through her arms and down into the man, where it flashed and sent him flying.
It kind of felt like she’d electrocuted him, but she couldn’t be sure, not least because, how the hell would she have done that?
She didn’t have a taser. She didn’t have anything on her that she could use to shock someone.
The strangest thing about all this though, was that from the moment she’d shocked him, her migraine had disappeared. She actually felt great. All that pain had just gone.
It was a crazy thing.
In the distance, she heard sirens. Were they hunting for her?
Yuki picked up the pace as guilt for whatever it was she’d done started to bubble up inside. She’d never meant to hurt him. That was the last thing she’d wanted to do. Part of her wished she’d just given him her seat. Why hadn’t she? What on earth did she gain by refusing to give up her seat?
For all she knew, she could be wanted now.
She suddenly had visions of turning on the news tomorrow and seeing her face plastered across the screen or a video of the scuffle, with the news anchor saying the authorities were looking for her.
Yuki was nearly jogging by the time she reached home. She just wanted to be off the streets and away from casual view. It felt like everyone knew who she was and what she’d done.
“Hello, Yuki,” a male voice called out.
Startled, she jumped and looked up. She’d half expected a police officer to be stood there, waiting for her, ready to drag her kicking and screaming to jail.
But it was just her neighbour.
“Oh, hi, Mr Shinoda.”
“Good day at school?”
“Aaah, yeah, I guess.”
“Good. You work hard, young lady and you’ll go far.”
Yuki nodded. “Thank you, Mr Shinoda. I will.” Making her way into her house, it felt good to finally shut the front door behind her.
“Hello?”
“Hi, Mom.”
“Your back a little later than usual today,” her mother said, poking her head around the corner.
“Oh,” Yuki replied, unsure how to answer. “Um, well, I got off a stop early. I felt like a walk.”
“Okay. Ready for some food?”
“Yeah. Let me just put my stuff in my room.”
As she passed the main room, she spotted her father and sister too.
“Aaah, she’s back, excellent. We can eat.”
“Ugh,” her younger sister grunted. “About time. I’m starving.”
Yuki disappeared into her room and dropped her bag on her bed. She stopped and looked out the window. It was open and she couldn’t hear the sirens anymore. Maybe they weren’t looking for her, after all.
Yuki looked down at her hands and turned them over, looking for any hint of burns or anything. But there was nothing.
“Yuki, dinner’s ready.”
“Coming,” she replied, giving her hands one final flex to check everything was in working order. They seemed fine.
Had she imagined it all? Maybe she’d pushed him and not realised.
But that didn’t make sense. She knew what she’d seen. She knew what had happened.
She sighed and put on a brave face as she left her room.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrew Dobell. Welcome to my website.

I'm the creator of the sprawling multi-series urban fantasy Magi Saga Universe, and the action-packed New Prometheus cyberpunk series.

I'm a storyteller at heart and have always loved creating worlds, characters, and thrilling narratives through both art and words. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and have a keen interest in cinema and genre fiction.

I'm also an artist and have worked for many years as a professional illustrator and cover artist for other authors.
I love creating art based on my novels.

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