Despite being the next in line to be the greatest mind of his nation, Lylen always had issues with teamwork when he was younger.
The dark haired boy was very intelligent and seemed to have a sixth sense for design on just about anything, but when it came to working in a team, he clammed up, he got angry, he was much more stressed in general.
While his mentor Blaine was very patient with him…
He wasn’t so patient with their neighbouring kingdom’s next science lead in mind, Roderick.
That boy seemed to have it all. He was just as smart, just as in tune with design, but he was also a great team player. He would crack a joke and calmly introduce his ideas and he’d have a team following him in no time.
Lylen hated it.
He hated how it impressed Blaine so much.
Blaine was his idol and hero, who was this happy-go-lucky kid to come and steal his attention away?
It was another session in Ilpha’s labs, and all the students from the two kingdoms had been set onto tasks to get them thinking. The task to design an interesting energy source.
Not too bad, Lylen thought to himself. He slipped his pen into his hand and started jotting down various notes and scribbling down designs that came to his mind. Perhaps energy from various different elements could be harnessed, carefully translated into energy…
He was engrossed in his work, he paid no attention to the room of desks around him. He always found himself sitting at the front of the room, so he wouldn’t have to look around and see all the others around him.
The room around him was a rather big room with blue walls and clean white tiled floors. All the desks were laid out in symmetrical rows, all facing forwards to a big wall with a desk and a white board behind it.
After a little while, he finished his ideas to his liking, and placed his pen down looking rather satisfied. The quiet around him told him that all the other students in their matching white coats and silky uniforms were still going.
But glancing to his side, he could see that Roderick appeared to be finished as well. And seemed to glance his way at that right moment. Even the boy’s brown eyes looked welcoming and soft…
Lylen glared away with his much more intense yellow eyes, hidden behind his thick green glasses lenses.
“Hey,” Roderick spoke up softly. “What did you come up with?”
Lylen glared his way without turning his head, leaning himself forwards to rest his arms on his desk, to sit in a lazy slouch.
“…Element generators.” he grumbled lowly.
“Oh, cool.” Roderick answered with a small smile. He looked down at his own paper, feeling the need to explain his own ideas after having asked. “I was thinking about generators, but like… With Witches and Wizards around again, maybe their magic could help power them without them being damaging?”
There he went again…
So friendly, yet somehow, having good ideas. It infuriated Lylen every damn time.
He never answered, and glared away once more. He was such a difficult boy to try and talk to, it was a wonder how anyone could try at all.
Eventually they were stopped by their mentors, and after a brief lecture, their current lesson drew to a close and they were allowed a break at last. While most of the students rushed off in their own groups, the elven scientist Rythen had taken Roderick with him, since he was his chosen student.
It left just Lylen in the classroom with Blaine, he came to the front to stand at the desk Blaine sat behind.
The man with thick, black curly hair glanced his dark green eyes at the young boy for a moment. “You don’t seem very happy.” he commented bluntly.
“Am I ever?” Lylen puffed out a sigh.
Blaine shook his head, even a playful smile had come to him. “You are occasionally… Only when your mother is around, it seems.”
Lylen pouted at the remark, folding his arms close to his chest. “Well…”
“What’s wrong?” Blaine asked suddenly, shoving the papers he was briefly looking at away from himself to focus his attention on Lylen. He seemed to be the only one that wore a pale green coat rather than a white one. His silky blue clothes were similar to the Ilpha students, despite being their teacher.
It was hard to admit.
Lylen always had this issue, of watching that Roderick boy succeed, watching everyone enjoy his company…
While he remained secluded in his own personal bubble.
“…Do you still think… That Roderick guy is better than me?” he asked with a frown, what were usually his cold and distant eyes had gone wide with hurtful curiosity.
Blaine was honestly surprised by the remark. “Still?” he repeated unsurely. “Who has ever told you he’s better than you?”
This time it was Lylen to get a little shocked by what he heard, he stumbled around in his mind for a little bit. “W-well, it’s just, he always gets so much praise! You praise him all the time, and Rythen always does it too… I-I never get that sort of praise. I… I guess I’m a little jealous.”
Blaine sighed softly to himself, at least being calm about understanding the problem. He was a young boy, of course he was going to get a bit jealous if someone seemed to be doing things a bit better than he was.
“We praise him because he has a really good attitude.” Blaine started calmly. “He always supports the other students, even you, as much as you push it away.” he went on, leaning himself comfortably on the desk in front of him. “We praise anyone when they do well… Don’t forget that I can always commend your hard work. I just can’t praise you for being so uncooperative with your classmates, I can’t encourage you to keep acting like that.”
It was hard for Lylen to really grasp acting any differently, but at least he understood. He always seemed to let any praise at all that he got slip his mind whenever he watched Roderick getting it all.
But that was just because he deserved it. He was hardworking and always ready to help.
Lylen nodded his head slowly. “…D-do you want to get a snack with me?” he asked bashfully, his hands fumbling around unsurely with his white sleeves.
“Sure.” Blaine answered bluntly. “I could go for something right now. Come on.”
A short story based on the youth of Lylen, from my story Two Sides!
You can still buy the book here: https://www.createspace.com/7276274 And it’s also on Amazon Kindle if you’re interested!