Without much else to do and since it was one of those rare days where she actually had enough energy to punch something, Mei decided to hit up the training centre. Unsurprisingly, it was empty. Mei began attacking a training dummy.
Mei usually didn't see many people in the training centre. She glanced at the one who just entered the room, intrigued by the katana slung on her back. Nonetheless, she continued beating up the dummy with her fists.
Mei raised an eyebrow. This girl was certainly experienced. Too busy being distracted by the katana, Mei kicked the metal base of the dummy--hard. "Gāisǐ de--!" She bit her tongue to keep her from cursing further and waited for the pain to subside.
Mei gritted her teeth before sighing. "Yeah--yeah. Fine, umm, I'm good. Nice--nice katana stuff, uh, whatever your name is." Barely five minutes of practice and Mei was already beginning to feel drowsy (thanks, chronic fatigue syndrome), and drowsy Mei was not good at conversations. "I'm... Meixiu? Mei."
Mei shook her head. "Not really. I just don't get to practise here for... various reasons--even when I do, it's at a much later time, so that's probably why we've never come across each other." She cocked her head to the side. "Are you new here? You don't look new."
Before Akane could get any advantage, Mei ran for her water bottle, picked it up and splashed Akane with it. Mei had never tried this on another water Elemental, but she used her powers to constrict the water around Akane's neck and choke her. Time to see if it worked out.
Using her powers depleted Mei's last amount of energy. On that note, she collapsed to the ground, breathing heavily. She then sat up straight and nodded. "Been practising for a while. I wondered how well it would work on an experienced water Elemental--well, a knight, in this case. Not very good, as you can see." Her breathing rate returned to normal. "It's a shame I can't keep up for long. You were putting up a good fight."
"So did I. Calms my nerves." Mei headed towards the door. "There's a great place for tea near the Academy--well, not that close by, so I can't go very often. Of course, it doesn't beat what I had back home, but it's still pretty good. We should go there sometime, if you're up for it."
Mei narrowed her eyes, trying to recall this. "Oh. Right, right. Uh. I'm not dressed or anything yet. Do you mind if I quickly get ready? Sorry to keep you waiting even further." Mei walked to her closet and quickly snatched a top and shorts. "You can wait outside. I'll take less than five minutes."
"It's usually never crowded, so it's nice to sit there and relax," said Mei as the continued walking. They took a right as Mei continued, "It's free of many... annoying people. Do you ever get people thinking you're Chinese? Well, Japanese in my case." Mei sighed. "Not every Asian person is Chinese or Japanese, ugh."
"Large and roomy; nice and quiet." Mei entered through the doors into the restaurant. As expected, there were many empty tables and the entire area radiated a quiet, calm aura. "Shall we?" asked Mei, gesturing to one of the empty tables.
She didn't want to tell the story of how she went from a Yakuza protege to an honourable Knight. "It's a long story. I had a rough past, so I was inspired to adopt an honourable personality and serve the Water Kingdom."
Mei could feel the temperature drop. "Just the ticket," was the last thing she said before changing the subject. "Well, I started learning martial arts when I was eleven. I rarely have the energy to do anything, so it was pretty tough at first."
"Really? Th-Thanks," muttered Mei awkwardly. That was honestly one of the first times she had received a compliment. "Since I've been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, the only things I do are eat and sleep--naturally, people perceive me as lazy."
Mei wolfed down her chow mein. "Well, aren't Elementals supposed to go to the Academy? I know someone who joined late and is a bit of a disaster with her powers." She shrugged. "Either way, I come from a long line of Water Elementals--purely water in my veins. Every Chen has studied at the Academy since it was built."
"I sometimes get assigned to protect people who don't know that they're Elementals, who need to discover their powers and find a safe passage to Elementrium. How we know this is because the parents of the Elemental who doesn't know about their powers has to report their birth in Elementrium. I also kill seriously dangerous people, I attend the coronations of practically every royal in Elementrium, I travel between Earth and Elementrium.. there's a lot to mention. My favourite duty is representing the Water Kingdom in Knight tournaments. Yes, they have those."
"Sometimes King Petrova asks me to take part in tournaments, on behalf of the Petrovas. I gladly accept and I go head to head with various other Knights. I have one favourite competitor - Solar Knight." Akane gave a little smirk.