Work Header

Valley of Thorns

Chapter Text



Briar Rose watched as a makeshift hand lifted up the bloody hammer. Slowly her light green eyes started to flutter shut as she attempted to ensure that the enemy was asleep. Tendrils of purple thorns slowly let the girl down. Staring sleepily at the bloody carcass of the Nightmare, she slowly padded her way towards her new bed. However, the white light that shimmered next to the carcass took her attention away. The soldier that always resides in her arms started to squirm and wiggle at the sight of it. Glancing at the coffin, she assumed it was important. Intricate silver lining contrasted the deep sea blue color, it certainly looked fancy.


“Is it a new bed?” The petite girl asked herself, padding towards it. Now that she has a better look at the coffin, it did look much more comfortable than the Nightmare’s dead body. Not to mention, the Nightmare will be much colder and uncomfortable later on. Tilting her head to the side, Briar Rose commanded the thorns to lift the cover of the coffin and nestled herself inside. The little soldier started to move even more furiously in her arms as she lied down. Pouting, the girl let go of her little soldier, watching it leave the coffin, look at it’s master, then slump before running back to the girl. It stopped at the edge, stretching it’s little arms as high as it could.


“Let’s go to bed…” She mumbled, scooping up her faithful follower. Purple thorns encased the two of them as the world got darker. A small thud was heard as the lid of the coffin closed. And she never slept so good in her life.


The next time she would open her eyes, something was furiously trying to open the coffin. Briar Rose rubbed her eyes before glaring at the shaking lid. Then she heard a voice.


“Crap, people are coming, gotta get a uniform before…”


That was definitely not anyone she knew.

Chapter Text

“... This lid is too heavy…” The shaking ceased, before the voice signed. “I guess it’s time for my ultimate move! Gryahhh! Ah! There we go...”

Briar blinked slowly as blue flames appeared in front of her. The thorns did a good job of preventing her from getting burnt, but her sleep! Her sleep! Oh, how she hated to be woken up. Green eyes glared ferociously at the thing that disturbed her sleep.

A blue gray cat with the most vivid blue eyes stared at the girl, shivering at the amount of bloodlust her eyes combined. It gaped at the open coffin, shocked that the person was awake.

“Why are you awake?” The cat screeched, dropping the lid and scampering away. Grim couldn’t help but to gulp nervously as a veil of thorns unfurled and uncovered the girl. “H-How are you controlling that? Is that your Unique Magic?” Briar glared at it as a makeshift hand made of the thorns pulled out a hammer, one that Grim was sure would destroy him to pulp. 

Then he saw it. The little person in her arms, wearing a miniature version of the uniform. He just had to steal the outfit. But first, prevent himself from dying. It seemed fairly easy, right?




“I’m tired...” The girl said, rubbing her eyes once again before the hammer went up and slammed down where Grim used to be. Scampering out of the way, the cat monster gaped at the amount of power that the petite girl had. Footsteps were approaching the room fast, Grim noted. “How dare you interrupt my sleep!” She exclaimed, raising her hand and slamming it down, the thorns doing the same. Cracks started to show on the floor from the way the hammer slammed into the ground. Grim was slowly losing hope the more he stared at the extremely angry girl.

The door opened and the cat-raccoon-tanuki thing took the opportunity to run out of the door. Yelps were heard as Grim scampered off, however, they turned into gasps as Briar Rose floated right after the monster. They gaped at the enormous hammer she carried, running out of her way as she started to rapidly close onto Grim. 


Heels rapidly clicked as a redhead approached the chaos. Riddle Rosehearts let out a small ‘tch’ and felt disappointment as the other dorm leaders hadn’t bothered to lift their fingers. Maybe Azul, but he was thinking of ways on how the girl’s Unique Magic worked. The principal, Dire Crowley, didn’t lift a finger (as expected), and the other staff weren’t here yet. Redness started to creep up Riddle’s neck as he shouted:




 A heart shaped collar appeared around the petite girl’s neck. However, her movements with her thorns had not stopped. Briar Rose gingerly touched the collar, noticing how cold it was and how it felt like a handcuff but for her neck. Her head bobbed back and forth as she felt her eyes slowly shut and open. But she was slowly starting to become awake from the cold feel of the collar. It probably will hinder the way she wants to sleep as well. 

“Geh, what’s this? I can’t use my magic?” Ah. She had forgotten about the monster that woke her up.

“My Unique Magic, Off with your Head, allows me to seal any and all types of magic.” Briar tilted her head to the side, staring at the red head. She wasn’t surprised that he was glaring at her as well. “And you, a new student, why are you wrecking the school? How did you get out of the coffin?” Briar stared at him, determining that this person must be important if others were shivering and looking away from him in fear.

“The Nightmare burned the top off…” She said sleepily, at this point her head was swaying back and forth dangerously. “It wanted my clothes…” The little knight in her arms started to squirm and poke at the collar she was wearing, obviously trying to get rid of it. Banging it’s mini halberd against it, Riddle couldn’t help but stare at it curiously, then that curiosity turned into shock as his Unique Magic broke. “Ah… Thank you…” The girl hugged her little follower tightly. Sleep was taking over her head, she can’t stay up anymore.

“Now, it’s time to sleep… Good night…” Thorns magically pulled out a large pastel yellow cushion, circling the bottom of it to become a makeshift bed. Briar Rose couldn’t help but pass out right there and then, curling around her little soldier, snuggling it. The dorm leaders (minus Malleus) now surrounded the girl, some amazed, and some cooing at the adorable girl.

“She’s quite the herbivore to be able to sleep like that right after managing to break through Riddle’s Unique Magic.” Leona Kingscholar stated, his ears twitching in amusement. “But to think that we have a girl this year… Interesting. Maybe I’ll take a nap with her right now.” A scoff came from his right, a beautiful man rolled his eyes at the ‘savage’ beast. 

“No, you will not. Can you not see? She’s utterly beautiful. I won’t have you ruining her image with your disgusting smell.” Vil Schoenheit glared at the rest of the dorm leaders. “She fits perfectly in Pomefiore.” The rest of them didn’t say a word about the girl, not denying the fact that she would fit well with Pomefiore. Then they all stared at the raccoon looking monster. It had broken into the school, awoken one of their new students, and created chaos around them.

“Now… What shall we do with this monster?” Riddle asked, his magical pen floating the yowling thing up into the air. “It did break in after all.” 

“Break in?” Dire Crowley asked, finally approaching the chaos that seemed to have ended. “What do you mean?” He then gasped at the sight of the sleeping girl, then at the floating monster who was screeching at Riddle to let him down. “What happened?” 

The dorm leaders had no shame to show a disgusted face as they knew that the principal basically refused to get his hands dirty no matter what. He ‘conveniently’ came in right after the drama had ended. A male with glasses crossed his arms and gave a polite smile to the principal.

“It seemed like a stray raccoon had made its way into the school,” Azul Ashengrotto stated, lifting his glasses a bit. “It managed to break one of our new students out of their coffin, and now the student is now taking a nap right here.” Glowing yellow eyes looked over to the sleeping girl on her makeshift bed of thorns. Her Unique Magic… Certainly was unique.

“Her Unique Magic is so splendid… I just want it…” Azul mumbled under his breath as he stared at the thorns that seemed to move back and forth, cradling the girl. “The things I can do! I probably will  be able to pass the Physical Test with no problems!” Crowley ignored the dorm leader’s rambling and noted that the girl looked familiar. The thorns, her short hair, the little knight she was cradling, the yellow casual dress, the glowing purple thorns on her legs, arms, and neck.

Where had he seen that before? 

Chapter Text

“Oi~~ Wake up!” 


Briar Rose once again opened her eyes. Groaning slightly in disgust, her green eyes glared at a pair of orange eyes. She noted that they had a black heart lined over their left eye, and that both of their eyes were indeed lined with black. The person flinched at the severity of her glare and scratched the back of his head sheepishly. 


“The sorting is about to happen, so you should be awake for it…” He motioned over to the mirror. In front of it, a line of robed students were nervously waiting for the mirror to announce what house they belonged to. Briar tilted her head to the side before deciding that perhaps, she should be awake. Tugging on the person’s sleeve, she motioned him to sit next to her on her cushion. He looked startled, like he wasn’t expecting anything out of her. Hesitantly, he sat down. 


“Name?” She asked, rubbing her eyes slightly. Her little knight was limp, simply pretending to be a stuffed animal even though others knew that it was alive. 


“A-Ace Trappola…” Briar could tell that the male was nervous, and it was making her nervous as well.


“I’m Briar Rose…” She murmured sleepily and faced the male next to her. “It is nice to meet you… At least you didn’t punt me across the room…” Briar got angry thinking about when Red Riding Hood had done that to her. Multiple times in fact. 


A laugh erupted from Ace’s lips before smacking a hand over them. His wide eyes showed everything that he wanted to ask of the girl. She slightly smiled in response to his wide eyes.


“There was someone who would always do that… She really wanted me dead…” And Briar swore that she was never going to get near Red Riding Hood again. The girl was so crazy that she didn’t know what to do. At least Snow White was much, much nicer.


As the line started to move, the tendrils of thorns that carried her and Ace floated right as the people in front of them moved. People around the duo looked nervously at them and whispered about the girl, noting how intimidating the thorns were. They were indeed terrifying. It was like the two of them were sitting on the palm of a giant thorn hand. 


Briar stared at the nervous male next to her. He was pretty stiff, it was like he was scared of her. Or maybe he was scared about what house/dorm he was going to get into.


“Are you scared?” She asked, brushing back a stray strand of her light brown hair to sit behind her ear. Ace looked startled at her question, he looked like he didn’t know what to say. The orange head fiddled with the edges of his sleeves of his robe, something that the girl noted that she had on. She just had it wide open to show off her baby yellow dress underneath. Maybe she, too, should close the robe.

“Um… Yea, I am sorta scared.” Ace mumbled out, “Sorta scared of you.” Briar tilted her head to the side, not understanding why he was scared of her. Ace’s orange eyes looked at her with frustration. “Um… You were out to kill that monster before… I think you scared a good amount of students…” The girl nodded, feeling proud of herself.


“Now, people won’t interrupt my sleep~” Briar said happily, hugging her little knight tighter.. “Anyone who interrupts my sleep will be killed.”


Ace looked absolutely terrified at that statement. He woke the girl up but he wasn’t killed yet. Will he be killed? The girl’s soft green eyes stared at Ace with friendliness so maybe not?


“But you’re a friend, so I won’t kill you. Take a nap with me next time~” Briar Rose hummed happily, swinging her legs back and forth. “Just don’t wake me up~” The two of them were at the front of the line. At last, the girl watched as Ace jumped off of the bundle of thorns and towards the talking mirror. 


“State thy Name.” An eloquent white mask spoke. Intricate black lace traced along the mask’s eyes. 


“Ace Trappola.” Ace said with a confident voice. The Mirror took one look at him before green flames burst behind the mask.


“The shape of thy soul is… worthy of someone who belongs in Heartslabyul.” Ace looked triumphant as he started to walk towards students who had very similar markings as him. They all somehow had had some sort of black markings right by one of their eyes. Except for that kid who somehow put that weird collar on her. Speaking of the collar, that raccoon-cat-thing that woke her up earlier still had it on. It seemed like the thing was at the mercy of the person in charge of this place.  Ace looked back at her and waved at her, giving her a thumbs up. 


And it was her turn. Briar Rose floated up upon the stairs, finally looking right at the mask that was stating whoever’s house they went to. 


“State thy Name.”


“... Briar Rose…” She mumbled, straining her eyes to squint at the somewhat bright mirror. Flames burst from behind the mask, as it scrutinized her soul


“The shape of thy soul… is one that belongs in Diasomnia.”

Whispers broke out throughout the room. A small, yet petite man was suddenly in front of the girl, observing her with pink slitted eyes. One thing that Briar noted about him was how pale he was and his pointed ears. He wasn’t a human, she thought. 


“Oh? A human? We’ve never had one here in Diasomnia for a long time…” The male said, brushing back his black and pink locks of hair. “This will be an interesting year, dear human.” Briar nodded and followed the man towards the small group of people that were congregated there. As she approached the group, she had noticed that only one of them was a human, and the rest? They seemed like they weren’t human. Those snake-like eyes made her alert. The group took note of the man in front of her, then noticed the girl. They all looked shocked.


A voice boomed out:


“What?! A lowly human had managed to get into the prestigious house of Diasomnia?”

Chapter Text

Briar Rose glared at the person who yelled that. With green slitted eyes, the boy reminded her of the snakes back in the Library. At least this place doesn’t have the nightmares that bothered her, but there were even more annoying people here. Parrah and Noya were annoying, but this is on a whole new scale. But those eyes… Oh how she Hated them.


“Sebek, clearly the Mirror put her here, you must respect that at least.” The male who brought her over said. “I believe that it’ll be an interesting year with this sleepy girl.” His red slitted eyes gleamed with something inside of it. Briar Rose did not like the way they looked at this moment.


This whole House is dangerous. She thought, concluding that it was going to be a pain in the ass to even fall asleep there. After all, all of these people seem to be… Not Human in any shape or form. 


And she was a Human, she was something different from the rest of them. Her little knight rustled restlessly in her arms as the thorns that cradled her started to move more than it normally would when she was relaxed. 


“But a lowly human would be sharing the same house as Malleus-sama. We cannot have that here, Lillia-sama!” ‘Sebek’ roared out, causing people from the other houses to stare at them with confusion and fear in their eyes. “What if they bother him too much?” 


‘Lillia’ clicked his tongue, placing a hand on his hip. “... Sebek.” The said male shut his mouth at the sight of his senpai looking at him with disappointment in his eyes. “You’re going to upset the newest member of our dorm.” Sebek’s green eyes dilated in shock as he looked at similar green eyes staring at him with fury. “She may be human, but she knows how to deal with herself here.” Lillia started to walk out of the room, with the rest of the Diasomnia members falling behind him. “Now, let’s head back.”


Sebek shut up for the rest of the walk there, walking next to the girl who was sitting on her throne of thorns. He quietly glared at her, and the girl only glared back. Her little knight restlessly moved in her arms, squirming to the point that the girl only held it even tighter. 


“... Wake me up, and you’re going to get punted out of the building.” The girl said, before floating faster, as if she didn’t want to be near the male. Sebek growled and walked faster, catching up to Briar Rose. When he was about to say something (more like yell something), he noticed that she was already sleeping, her head bobbing up and down. His mouth gaped at the sight, and Sebek huffed, walking next to the sleeping girl. 

--------------------------------------------------- insert line break aaaaaaa -----------------------------------------


“Oya, who is this, Lillia?” Briar stirred in her sleep, feeling eyes of an extremely powerful being staring right at form. Her eyes snapped open, going into defense mode. Her headband bloomed the tiniest purple and white roses, and her little knight suddenly held a magazine of bullets, earning itself a little wizard hat, with matching purple roses littered on it. She stared in horror at the deep green eyes of the powerful being, before moving backwards extremely fast. The people around her moved out of the way, wondering what had made her so scared.


“Oya? It seems like she's extremely cautious of your presence, Malleus.” Lillia said, placing a finger in his chin. “This year will be interesting, will it be not?” He looked over at Malleus, noting how silent he was. 


The horned fae stared at Briar Rose with curiosity, marveling at how fast she had reacted, at how fast her Unique Magic seemed to move, transform, and bloom. It was fascinating, it was something that he had never seen before. The girl brought out the curiosity in the old fae, making him smile softly at her. 


Briar Rose held onto her little knight tightly, the glowing thorns that traced her legs and neck were glowing faster, for once, she was cautious. The horned being, an extremely dangerous being, smiled at her, causing her to freeze up a bit. 


“... We have to let the little girl sleep alone in her own room. Am I right, Lillia?” Malleus finally opened his mouth, causing others around her to tense up. It was the first time that they had ever heard or seen of Malleus. Now that he had spoken, a lot of the students now realized that he was indeed a scary being, his presence made them all tense up in fear. 


“Indeed,” Lillia replied to Malleus, before looking at the tense girl, “Miss Briar Rose, let’s get you to your own room. The rest of you shall choose a roommate to stay with for the next 3 years here.” Briar Rose stared at her small senpai before reluctantly following the male. Malleus started to walk beside the girl. Briar Rose soon felt herself tensing up as the trio continued their way towards the stairs of the dorm. 


“We’ll put you next to Silver, he’s another human in this dorm.” Lillia said, turning around while he was walking up the stairs. “I hope that you’ll be reassured that there’s another human in this place. Though, I am sure that you can defend yourself very well.” He gestured towards her thorns. “May I ask, how does your Unique Magic work? It seems like you can keep it activated all of the time.” Briar tilted her head to the side, unsure on what to say. Unique Magic? That was something she had never heard of before. 


“I do not know what this ‘Unique Magic’ is.” She said, “... Though I was born with these thorns from the start. It is a part of me, we are one,” Holding out her hand, the thorns swirled around it, allowing her to hold it. “It protects me, it allows me to sleep comfortably where I was before.” Lillia let out a hum of fascination, reaching out to the thorns. “... Do you want to sit with me?” Her senpai looked absolutely thrilled when she said the question. Without any hesitation, he sat down next to the girl, ‘oo’ing at how it felt, and he looked like a little kid once again. Though he probably was much older than the other people in this dorm. 

Malleus stared at the duo with jealousy in his eyes, he too, wanted to ride her throne of thorns. Briar Rose made eye contact with the male and flinched slightly, seeing his eyes just glow with envy in them. She pursed her lips before asking if he wanted to sit with them. Seeing how he lit up with excitement made Briar think that they weren’t as harmful as she thought they were. 


The thorns lurched under the weight of the three people, clearly not used to holding so many people at once. Briar Rose let out a small sigh as she felt the strain of the thorns under her. At least they were close? That was what Lillia said before. Speaking of Lillia, he patted her shoulder, allowing the three of them to come to a stop. The two faes hopped off of her throne, watching as a thorned hand open the door. 


Inside was a simple room, the walls were bare, there was a lot of space for the girl to decorate. Floating inside, Briar Rose finally stepped down from her throne. The thorns swirled around her feet and arms, forming thorn-like boots and gloves. Padding around, she looked around for more places to sleep besides on the bed. After confirming the different napping places, she finally climbed onto the bed and promptly passed out. 


Lillia and Malleus both chuckled at the sight of the sleeping girl. She looked like she was having a good dream, from the way that she smiled happily.


“... Lillia. She looks extremely fragile. Are you sure that this little girl managed to destroy a small part of the Room of Mirrors?”


“I am sure that this is the student that managed to create havoc in the Room of Mirrors. After all, she came bursting out of the room after the monster that broke in.” Lillia said, his eyes gleaming with curiosity. “This girl has never heard of terms from this world. She doesn’t know what a Unique Magic is, nor does she know who you are.” The vice dorm leader was extremely intrigued with this girl. “She looks like one of those People . The ones from the Grimoires.” 


Malleus nodded in agreement at the statement. He remembered the stories of them from his library, each of them was a dark and disturbing twist of the legends. The girl looked just like the one that was about sleeping for eternity. The fae then turned around and walked out of the door, Lillia following him as well.


“... I want to check the Library. I’m sure that there should be some books about the Grimoires.” He rumbled out, taking long strides down the hallway. His green eyes shone with curiosity, with greed for knowledge. 

“If she is from the Grimoire, then will the rest follow her?”


Chapter Text

“Human! Wake up, it is the first day of school and you’re already going to be late! WAKE UP!”


Blankets were thrown off of the snoozing girl, exposing her to the cold world outside the protection of her blankets.


Briar Rose’s eyes snapped open, her green eyes gleaming in an unimaginable way. A giant hand rose from under the bed, smacking Sebek right out of the already open window. The girl yawned, her head bobbing from how tired she was. That was one of the most comfortable sleeps she ever had, however, considering her situation… Maybe it was best for her to get ready for this… ‘school’. 


The sleeping beauty stretched her arms out, looking around her room for something to change out of. Afterall, she still was wearing the robes that were magically on her when she had awoken. Slipping off the bed, Briar Rose spotted a new set of clothing, noting that it had pants instead of a skirt. She preferred to have a skirt, it allowed her to sleep much more comfortably. 


Nonetheless, the girl slipped out of her dirty clothes from yesterday and changed into the new set of clothing. Sighing slightly to herself, she noticed that she had never felt so clean before. Yes, there were times where she had bathed, but she was always wearing the same dirty clothing. Slipping on pants, the girl finally plopped herself onto her throne of Thorns, and floated out of her room. 


Following the path that she had taken yesterday, Briar Rose managed to find her way towards the dining room.


------------- line break -------------


Eyes stared with curiosity and with slight fear as the thorns opened the double doors. Some students let out a sigh of relief as they stared at the girl who was sleeping happily.


The little knight that was always in the girl’s arms hopped down, commanding the thorns to pick up whatever food it thought was best for its master. It slowly shook its master awake, watching diligently as the girl groggily opened her eyes and slowly nommed on the delicious plate of food her little soldier got her. 


“Sleeping Beauty-chan,” Lillia said, appearing next to the girl, causing her to quirk an eyebrow at her senpai. “Do you want to head over to classes first? I believe that Crewel-sensei wanted to get your measurements so that you can get more clothes.” The girl tilted her head to the side, unsure about what he wanted.


“More clothes…? I don’t need more clothes. After all, they’re going to get stained and dirty before you know it…” She mumbled, remembering that it was impossible to wear new clothing. The nightmares were going to tear and stain them. Whenever her hammers obliterated nightmares, she found it impossible to clean off all of the blood in time before she encountered another wave of them. Surprisingly, when she had entered the coffin, it cleaned up her bloody mess and made her look presentable.


Lillia hummed a bit before grabbing the girl’s hand, pulling her towards the entrance of the dorm. Her bare feet padded on the floor as she stared wide eyed at her senpai. 


“We’re going to Crewel-sensei,” The vice dorm head said, smiling in amusement. “And I wanted to ask you a few questions about where you’re from.” His red eyes sparked with curiosity. “Have you heard of Parrah and Noya?” Her eyes widened, suddenly remembering that she had to go back. Even though this place was luxurious, her goal was to revive her author and sleep for Eternity.


“Oh~ It seems like that you do know of them.” Her senpai said, entering the Mirror that would take them on campus. “I figured that you were from the Grimoires. None of the young ones know of them, unfortunately. But old faes like me know of them. They were so interesting.” Lillia started to lead the girl down the hallway over to their professor’s office. “I think it might be a bit hard adjusting to this new place, compared to where you came from. However, it is fascinating that a legend has come to us. Do you think the others will come?” Briar sucked in a breath, floating after him. She had never thought of it before, however, knowing the rest of their personalities, it would mean big trouble for this world.


“I do not know if they are able to come here… However, it will cause chaos to this world.” Briar Rose said, “Especially with Parrah and Noya. Those two will do anything to create burdens for us. They rule the Library. There is no way to know what they might do…” Then she proceeded to fall asleep, her body reaching its limits on staying awake. 


The next time she woke up, Crewel-Sensei had gotten all of her measurements, and was putting the final touches on a skirt for the girl. Her eyes brightened as she yanked off her pants, causing the two men in the room to yelp, and pulled on the finished skirt. 


“Thank you, Sensei~” She hummed out, feeling much better than when she was wearing pants. It was to go pantless or wear a skirt. Maybe shorts. She only wore shorts when she was in her Breaker mode. 


“Pup, I hope that you will be able to go against all of these boys here. And I won’t be easy on you either.” Crewel stared at her with an unknown emotion on his face. Briar nodded, not understanding what he said, but pretending that she knows. 


The first half of the day flew by real quickly, Briar never felt so relaxed before. Being on edge constantly was exhausting, especially whenever Red Riding Hood was near her. But it was so much easier to sleep and be awake in this place.


However, that relaxing day came to a halt when lunch time came around. The girl was looking around for a place to nap, however seeing the monster from yesterday being chased by possibly Ace and another student made her curious to see what was going to happen.


She cautiously followed the two running students, and peered into the cafeteria, where Ace and the other student were arguing. The girl noted that the nightmare that woke up her from inside of that coffin was on the chandelier. 


“O-oi oi oi oi, wait a second!” Ace screeched, causing her to snap her head towards him. “Why are you pointing your magical pen at me?”


The other student stared at Ace like he was the dumbest student alive. “I’m going to throw you up there.”


And Ace flew. Right to the chandelier, bringing it down. Coughing lightly from the amount of dust that flew into the air, Briar felt a hand on her left shoulder. Looking to her left, she stared at Crowley-Sensei, who seemed to become more and more infuriated as he stared at the broken chandelier. 


“What are you all doing?”

Chapter Text

His eyes seemed to glow with yellow fury.


Ace audibly gulped, scrambling to get out of the mess that he was in. Briar Rose watched in pity as Crowley ripped another hole into Ace, the nightmare from yesterday, and the other student. Looking at their defeated faces, she stared curiously at what Crowley said in order to make them look that way. 


“Ah, Briar-chan~” Ace said, finally noticing her standing in the doorway. He hurriedly approached the girl. “What are you doing here?” Briar Rose stared at the male before looking down at the fallen chandelier behind him. Ace sighed and slumped forward in defeat. He knew what she was asking about. 


“Oi Ace, we have to get going if we don’t want to be expelled.” The other student said. Staring at him, Briar noted the dark blue spade that was next to his right eye. His hair sort of matched the color of the spade, however, it was a few shades lighter than it. Making eye contact with him, the male’s face burst into a light shade of red. 


“... I know, I know.” Ace sighed, finding this task a huge burden. “Sorry, Briar-chan, I’ll talk to you later. Juice and I have to go get this magical stone for the chandelier or else we’re going to be expelled.” The girl tilted her head to the side, not understanding what he was saying. “Agh~~ We’re gonna get kicked out of the school if we don’t get this thing for the broken chandelier.” 


“Ah…” She mumbled, thinking about what to say. “I can help if you want?” Ace’s eyes lit up as she tentatively offered her help. “We’re just searching for a stone, so I can sleep while this little guy can search for me!” Briar hummed happily as Ace sighed once again. 


“Yea, we’ll probably need all the help we can get.” The other guy said, placing a hand on his hip. “Oh, I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Deuce Spade.” His blue-teal eyes furiously avoided looking into her light green eyes.


“I’m Briar Rose...” The girl started to follow Ace, who had started to walk to somewhere. “Where are we going?”


“To the Hall of Mirrors. We need to get to the Dwarves Mines. It should have at least a magical stone.” Deuce mumbled, the girl nodding along to what he said. 


“Ah~~~ If this stupid monster hadn’t gotten to the chandelier, we wouldn’t have been in this mess…” Ace groaned, glaring at the silent cat that was following them. “Why are you following us still?” The cat looked startled, then smug. 


“Well, the Great Grim is looking for a way to become a student here. If I manage to get this stone, and present it before you dunces do, then he’ll let me become a student while the two of you are expelled.” The cat grinned maniacally before looking at the girl. “And you! I’ll make you bow before me. I haven’t forgotten the humiliation you have given me yesterday!” He screeched but gritted his teeth as he saw that the girl was already sleeping.


The duo stared at each other before walking towards the Hall of Mirrors, making sure that Briar Rose was following them. The little knight in her arms seemed to be controlling the floating thorns as they walked into the darkness.


Line break


Ace looked over at the girl as he heard a small groan from her. Briar Rose rubbed her eyes sleepily as she noticed the forest around her. Looking panicked for a moment, she relaxed as she saw Ace staring at her.


“Where are we…?” the girl asked, tilting her head to the side. 


“This is the path towards the Dwarves Mines.” Ace replied, “This whole place gives me the heeby-jeebies, so let’s get the stone and get out of here as soon as possible.”  Briar Rose took a look around her, noting that it definitely felt like somewhere inside of the library, perhaps in one of the rooms with the Giant Troll.


“Eh… I’ll protect you.” A petite hand came to lightly pat the top of Ace’s head. He stared up at her with curiosity. “If there are nightmares here… Only I am able to fight them… After all… No one here has the ability to fight them.” 


Grim, Ace, and Deuce stared at her like she was crazy. Of course they knew how to fight using magic? But what did she say about nightmares…?


“Hmph. The Great Grim should be able to scare anything off.” The cat stated. “I’ll get 'em with my flames.” Grim’s ears started to glow even more blue. Briar held onto her little knight even tighter, feeling a tickling sensation down the back of her neck. Ace let out a sigh of relief as he noticed the entrance of the mine in front of them. 


“Ah~~ We are finally here~~” Ace said, grinning mischievously. “That house didn’t have magic stones, so I’m sure that we’ll find some here.” Grim on the other hand, flattened his ears as he stared hesitantly at the dark hole that led towards the mine. 


“We are going into this dark hole?” He squeaked out, clearly scared about entering a sketch place. Ace and Deuce stared at the cat with eyes that said ‘duh’. 


“Scared, that’s lame.” Ace snickered out, clearly loving how Grim got all riled up. Turning towards the girl, Ace noted that she was more alert than she normally seemed to be. Watching her snooze in class earlier made him snicker internally a ton. Especially seeing Trien-Sensei get huffy and puffy about her sleeping made it really hard for the male to hold in his laughter.


“Briar-san, are you ok?” Deuce asked the girl, also remembering how she was sleeping a ton during class. The girl just floated towards the entrance of the mine, not saying anything. The Adeuce Combo yelped in surprise as the thorns surrounded the girl, before morphing as arm length gloves and knee high boots. Her little knight standing on her shoulder, gripping the back of the girl’s neck. 


“W-What is that?” Deuce gaped at the giant thorned sword that the girl was holding. It looked like she was struggling to hold it, however a small huff from her and the sword was snuggled in a bundle of thorns across her back. 


“... A sword.” She said, tilting her head to the side. Briar Rose stared at the mines with an unknown look in her eyes. “For fighting.” Ace and Deuce looked at each other like she was crazy. Ace sighed and shrugged, stalking towards the entrance. The rest of them followed his lead.


The trio plus Grim were looking through the mines, with the two males losing hope on finding a magic stone. Briar Rose stood far away from them, allowing her little knight to run around its miniature sword, using it to bang on the rocks. The girl felt uneasy, feeling that something was going to happen. 


Meanwhile, something was stirring in the mines. Gripping its stone pickaxe, a giant figure slowly started to make its way towards the intruders.


“m Y stONe.”