It was different. The most obvious change was the attitude. Here, people walked around with purpose, eyes clear and feet quick. They actually looked like people.
Xander was of the firm opinion that everyone outside the giant walls were lost ghosts. Everyone wore a smile and moved around, but it was randomly and with no end in sight. They were just going through the motions. It was nice to know somewhere in the afterlife people were still alive.
It didn’t seem fair. People worked hard their entire life, led on by dreams of eternal happiness only to actually get here and become zombies-
“And this is the academy.” The guide was speaking, some guy in a black robe and a sword hanging off his belt. He seemed bored, ready to get on and ditch the group but held back by duty. Xander sympathized, being the doorman some days just sucked. “First you will receive general training and be ranked.”
By this point, Xander didn’t care to listen anymore. The man kept talking but he had a very monotone voice and Xander couldn’t resist a yawn. Three days ago the man had picked Xander up saying something about hunger equaling power and dropped him off in a warehouse which already had a couple people milling around within. No one had seemed willing to chat and food had been laid out in a buffet style ready to eat. He hadn’t really seen the problem with shutting up and eating. His long life had taught him some patience, plus, the food had been really good.
“And if you’ll come this way we can get you situated into rooms and start training.” The man had perked up sometime during his talk, probably happy to get rid of them, and walked off with the group following.
Figuring it was always good to know where his room was, Xander followed. Maybe they’d let him take a nap immediately. It had been a very boring past couple of days and nothing seemed to drain energy faster than doing nothing.
Walking beside another recruit, one who actually looked alert and seemed to be paying attention, Xander utilized skills he hadn’t had a chance to stretch since high school. “Hey, so, do you know what exactly is going on here?”
The recruit looked over with an eyebrow raised, “You’ve just been recruited for shinigami training and you don’t realize it? You’ll probably wash out in a week.”
Xander narrowed his eyes ever so slightly, shinigami? Didn’t that mean death or something in Japanese. Death spirit, if he remembered his research days right. Japanese predictions weren’t exactly his forte.
But that man, the one he’d seen right after he died with Spike, he had worn clothes extremely similar as that of the guides. Said something about an academy as well. “Is this the Soul Society?”
At his question, the other recruit just rolled his eyes and snorted, “Man, you must be new. Jeeze. How’d you get picked up if you haven’t even been here long enough to learn that? What’d you do, run down and beg the first person you saw to take you in? Got lucky?”
Xander wanted to scowl and show this man exactly what he was made of, but it had been well over thirty years since he last felt the need to prove himself. Instead, he laughed and shrugged, “Pretty lucky I figure. All I know is there I was, sitting all sad and hungry and next thing I know I’m told to wait in a room filled with food. Seems silly to ignore the man, especially since no one else seems to have food here.”
“Most dead have no need to eat, any who do tend to end up here.” The recruit seemed to be loosing his patience though, fidgeting and looking towards the guide as they walked.
Figuring he might has well introduce himself and let the conversation end, Xander was about to offer his hand when the guide started speaking again. “And here we are! Just chose a bed and wait here till someone comes to get you to begin training. I’ll be seeing you later.”
Turning back to get that introduction done, Xander wasn’t too surprised to find the man already gone.
Spike frowned. Sniffing again as he looked up at the big walls. So the brat somehow found his way within, did he? Probably part of a group, seeing as the same stinks kept with his scent the entire way.
Snorting Spike looked around again, trust Xander to have found the only tour guide in the entire place. Now, all he had to do was figure out how to get in.