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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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"So...that's not normal?"

"It shouldn't be. He's just pros-" Max paused as Victor spoke, nose wrinkling as the vampire got far too close for comfort. Intimidation game, likely. Max wouldn't give him the satisfaction. He could practically smell the blood on the leech's breath, and he found the metallic undertone a bit too envigorating for his liking, like something was stirring inside him. It was that same feeling as when his magic was thrumming against the Awakening crystal. When did he become a sadist?

"You trying to kiss me or something?" Max even dared to make eye contact for half a second after he spoke. He was tempted to bring his eyes back up and risk hypnotism just to make a point, but it seemed Count Astronomy's attention had been stolen by Paleface.

Stupid leech should know better than to take his eyes off his opponent. Not... that Max was capable of doing anything here, but if he was this guy would be in big trouble! Maybe if this school bothered to teach magic and not just throw him in front of a glowing rock, he wouldn't be in this scenario. At least, not without a weapon. Hiding behind everyone else to ensure this prick didn't drink him like a juice pouch left the sour taste of cowardice in his mouth.

Max almost begged the vampire to deck him square in the face when Flower Boy of all people showed up to defend him. Well, defend Paleface, but it felt bad regardless. Retriever wasn't worth this, he could get what he needed from the library anyway; but if he ran away now he'd just look like an idiot. This school was a massive pain in the ass.


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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Hero
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Lilie nearly jumped at the arrival of the newcomer to the conversation--a vampire, by the way he stood grandiously, towering over the two. She couldn't help but wince slightly at the usage of the word 'slave' as he spoke, though at the mention of being an Astorio, her eyes widened considerably. What was a noble doing talking to them? At the mention of bowing or kneeling, she realized that she was genuinely clueless. Were you actually supposed to kneel? Aaron was doing it for the TA, Varis Sinnenodel, a noble vampire. But the way the brown-haired guy spoke made it seem like it was wrong to do so. He definitely had a lot more guts than she did, speaking back without so much as a hint of hesitation. How could he speak so boldly to someone who could probably tear his head off without any hesitation?

Before she could properly figure it out, she realized the vampire was looking directly at her. She recoiled out of instinct, though his gaze managed to send a chill up her spine, his comment sparking alarm in her head. She had absolutely no idea how to respond, taking a step back purely out of fear. Any words she could have had got caught in her throat, but really, what was she supposed to say to that?! But she didn't want to offend the noble--she had already offended her own last night, did she really need more vampires thinking poorly of her?

"Um...thank you...sir," She forced herself to respond, hastily tacking on the title. Sir was fine, wasn't it? She wished she could excuse herself and just run, but she felt like her legs were rooted in place.

Salem's voice caught her attention immediately, snapping her out of her paralyzing fear long enough to look at him. Looking between the Astorio vampire, the guy she had spoken to, and Salem, Lilie found herself wishing she hadn't said anything, her nervousness taking a firm hold of her.

"U-Um..." She tried to speak again, though the word was so strangled coming out it discouraged her from speaking any further.




Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by ReusableSword
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Victor Astorio


The boy before him seemed puzzled but wouldn’t back down. “Marvelous” he thought to himself. Watching the boys every movement and reaction. The girl wasn’t interesting any more, she seemed almost stuck in a puddle of her own making. The one in front of him at least had the heart to stand in front of him even if his heartbeat was escalating.

His smile never stopping as his gaze slowly shifted back to the one in front of him, he could hear another approaching them. “Don’t flatter yourself, you’re cute but you’re not that cute.” Again another thing to see if he could get under his skin, “you got balls kid, I’ll give you that, but you let that mouth of yours get you in too much trouble and this place will extinguish that flame.” He was also wondering how advice would go with this one.

“Is there a problem here?”

The voice calling toward them did not make Victor turn his gaze until Spellman was almost right next to them. Victor took little time to push the boy out of his way to get in between Salem and the girl. “Well hello there Salem Spellman, you are Salem Spellman correct? The hero of the night? the man of the hour? The one human with the guts or sheer stupidity to talk to the queen in such a way as you did the other night?” Victor was being incredibly animated for him, smiling and moving his arms as if introducing a hero to the stage. Victor had no problem making himself look like a fool in his experience it made others think him as a lesser person or threat then he was.

He was assuming about what was said but by the way Varis spoke of him, he knew it was not good. “Perhaps telling some half-truths would play better for this one. He does seem a bit more level headed compared to the other two” he thought. “You hear so many interesting things while working for the council. So what will you do? Family thinking you betrayed them, family business being investigated under suspicion of treason, and my personal favorite being, that your family may be barred from practicing magic ever again because of what You said.” He was well aware of what being investigated by the council meant, he also knew that like the Starag, family meant something to them.

“Choose your words carefully hero, all it takes is a well-placed rumor and your family dies thinking you betrayed them.” That was a bluff but Victor was wondering how much of their rights they knew about concerning council business. Giving the boy a smirk and a chance to think about his words the tall vampire turned to the petrified girl and stepped up to her.

Again, he stepped up closer than what would be acceptable in normal circumstances to the girl and lowered his head but this time it seemed almost with care as he got closer to her ear and whispered, “I understand I am scary, but if you let this fear of yours control you it will get you killed. Stand up to it and face it or let it consume you, those are your options. I’ll be waiting to see what you picked.” He smiled and stepped away from her, “I’m sure we will have a lot of fun with that… later.” This time he did not whisper he wanted the other two, especially Salem, to think he may have said something lewd towards her. Again, another thing to provoke them with.
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As soon as the vampire turned back to face Lilie and whisper in her ear, Salem felt a rage brewing inside of him. Both from how he spoke of his family, as well as how he was treating the other mages. He placed his hand on the Astorios shoulder, gripping it tight and turning him so that he would face Salem. "We weren't done speaking here. Now, I don't know what sick game you're playing at, but I can tell you Declan and the others will not take too kindly to such tyrants as yourself. I expect you to leave here with your tail between your legs before you end up leaving here with my foot up your ass. I don't know who you think you are, but in here you are bound by the same rules as every other student." Salem turned to Lilie and smiled "Let's go. This clown doesnt deserve any of our time. Feel free to come with." he said looking towards Max with a warm smile. "You can sit with us at lunch if you feel fit to. I know how you like your silence."
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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"I'd be more than happy to take him off your hands."

Aaron remained cordial even as his insides squirmed, Eris’ up-and-down look doing nothing to dispel the dirty feeling creeping up his spine. The vampire didn’t seem malicious, but Aaron could feel him appraising him, the way one might a statue, or perhaps a particularly expensive piece of meat. The following comment might have been flattering, but there was something about Eris’ look that left Aaron feeling a little too exposed to appreciate it.

Still, he smiled, dipping his head humbly. “Likewise.”

His smile disappeared, however, when he heard something of a commotion up in the seats of the auditorium, head snapping up to the source of the noise. Up above them was a strange sight, with Max and a tall, familiar-looking scarred vampire in some kind of verbal altercation and Lilie off to the side looking distinctly uncomfortable. When Salem joined the group, he was met with a condescending speil from the scarred vampire in reply, something about Salem speaking to the queen and putting his family in danger. But all of that had transpired just last night, in private; how could this vampire know anything about it? And where on earth had Aaron seen him before?

Confusion turned to anger, however, when Aaron saw the vampire lean to say something in Lilie’s ear, much to the girl’s apparent dismay. Immediately Aaron’s heart rate spiked, though the only outward display of any emotion was the tense set of his jaw and a twitch of his hand toward his sword as he watched.

Salem intervened, much to Aaron’s simultaneous horror and delight, by grabbing the vampire and turning him around, giving him some long-winded threat and turning to leave. The whole situation made Aaron uneasy; something in him didn’t expect that vampire to let Salem and Lilie go so easily, especially not after Salem's bravado. He wanted to intervene, diffuse the situation, but he’d learned well from last night not to go running off without Varis’ say-so; still, he’d been taught to stay alert and his right hand found its way to Dawn’s handle, Aaron almost subconsciously preparing for a fight.

“...Master, do you know who that is?” he asked cautiously, eyes flicking only briefly to Varis before settling back on the scarred vampire causing all the trouble.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Hero
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The Astorio seemed a little too keen on honing into Salem's business, surprising Lilie with nearly everything he said. Her eyes flickered to Salem as he was mockingly called a hero, but she had no idea anyone knew about what had happened. At least it confirmed Salem hadn't been lying to her--not that he had given her reason to think he would--but hearing it get dredged up like this and in front of people made her feel bad for him. The vampire seemed a little too interested in what had happened, putting a little too much energy in throwing it around. But why? To get a reaction out of Salem?

She didn't have the chance to think on it too hard, especially as the vampire felt it prudent to invade her personal space. Out of instinct her hand flew to her waist, only remembering too late that she had opted to leave her weapon in her dorm room. It didn't look like it was needed, the Astorio instead choosing to give her what sounded like actual advice. Blinking in confusion, he wouldn't give her a chance to respond as he stepped back, further confusing her with an...implicative statement.

And then Salem intervened.

Lilie was pretty sure she couldn't have dreamed what came out of the mage's mouth, both his actions and words shocking her just as much if not more than what the Astorio said and did. She thought Max was brave enough talking back, but Salem had actually put a hand on him! On a noble! But if he went too far, then bad things could happen. Instead she nodded in response to the words aimed at her, clearing her throat. "I'll...keep that in mind. Sir," Lilie said to the Astorio as she felt not acknowledging his words would have been rude. "Best to get going, anyway..."


Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Achronum
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“An Astorio of a lesser branch and a headhunter for the Council.” Varis replied absently as the discussion drew his attention. Varis would have more information once he put his inquiries out but the Astorio didn't rank high on his list of priorities and Varis didn't imagine that would change. Varis sighed again, a long suffering sigh of intellectual decency. What was it with these neanderthals and their constant disrespect of the sanctity of educational space? He stepped to the bottom of the stairs, clearing his throat loudly.

“If you are intending to continue your discussion with your pet, I insist you continue it outside of my lecture hall where you forgot your manners, Count Astorio.”Varis reprimanded Victor as red creeped into the edges of his eyes. “As for you Mr. Spellman, I recommend you watch your behavior while under investigation. Your family and your business depend on it.” Varis snapped at Aaron. “Boy, you will escort Mr. Alderman to the dining hall immediately. This is not an arena. I will not tolerate this behavior again.” He shook his head as he turned back to Eris and continued with their discussion as if nothing happened

“Unfortunately, I feel you would enjoy him far too much to train him properly. I believe it's best he stay with me; although, you are more than welcome to visit him if you wish.” Varis returned the egg to his briefcase and started powering down the computer. “Walk with me for a while after this. I'm sure you're interested in getting your fingers on your poor mage but I'll only keep you for a bit. I've the dubious pleasure of hosting the Academy's Chaend and there is nearly a year's worth of work to do in far less than that so I'll be handling that during this intermission. We'll have more time when we go into town later anyways.” He shrugged on his coat and snapped shut the case. “Now tell me, what delayed your arrival? I know you fancy the fashionably late statement but two days seems excessive.”
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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“Don’t flatter yourself, you’re cute but you’re not that cute. You got balls kid, I’ll give you that, but you let that mouth of yours get you in too much trouble and this place will extinguish that flame.”

Max actually snorted a bit in response. Either he had guessed the leech's game right, or Count Astronomy was blowing him off. He scowled at Victor as he was shoved aside in favor of Salem, although he supposed the vampire's attention shifting elsewhere was worth the minor offense. The mage's mind was far too preoccupied making sense of what Victor had said to Flower Boy to actually formulate a snappish response anyway. He was talking to the queen? Him? Makes sense, he was the Retriever's friend; people from upper circles stuck together, even among humanity. But the supposed treason charges were even more curious. Why would a suspected rebel be invited to a prestigious academy? And why would they be allowed anywhere near Her Majesty?

Max backed up a bit, distancing himself from the scene enough to prevent himself from being drawn back in but close enough he could still pick up on the juicy gossip about treason of all things, although it seemed Victor had once again shifted his attention to Paleface. Apparently she was cuter than he was, because Victor was even closer to her than he had been to Max. Unless... she wasn't the target to begin with. Salem's reaction had Max doing a double take to ensure he had seen it right, but it told him enough about the situation to put him back at ease, at least for his own safety.

Astronomy was trying to provoke someone here, and he'd gotten what he wanted. Flower Boy had walked right into the crude little web Victor had spun, and Salem even had the audacity to touch the giant of a man. Either he was exceptionally confident in his magical abilities or exceptionally stupid. Words can be written off, but physical contact and threats were an actual offense. The vampire could easily get away with punishing him for that, rules be damned. Couple this with the treason charges the Astorio had mentioned earlier, and this looked like Flower Boy's unlucky day. Over some woman he just met too, jeez.

Count Cinnamon seemed to share his thinking, given his warning. Max was a bit concerned that Varis already knew his name, though. He didn't seem like the type to be memorizing all his students, especially on the first day. At least Max was getting what he wanted, Retriever had to babysit him for the time being. Although him getting punished (in whatever loose sense of the word applies to merely being escorted out) and not anyone else involved in that altercation left him a bit miffed. He merely asked an innocent question of intent to His Magnificent Excellency, Count Astorio the Giant, hardly a crime.

"As much as I'd love to join you, I think I'm being assigned a chaperone," Max responded to Salem's question flatly. He doubted Astronomy would let Salem off so easily once they were both outside the lecture hall anyway. Max took up a spot near the exit, looking down on Aaron at Varis' side with thinly-veiled disdain. He was just eager to do whatever this leech told him to, wasn't he? Tool.


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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Aaron kept his eyes on the group in the seats as Varis explained, and hearing him refer to Salem as Count Astorio’s “pet” finally jogged his memory. He’d seen the tall vampire in Affinity Mastery, up on the balcony. He hadn’t paid any mind to him, but now Varis was talking as if Salem belonged to him. But that didn’t make any sense. Salem was Lucan’s vampire. Right?

He was tempted to ask, but Varis only paused in his reprimanding to snap his fingers at him and issue a command, claiming Aaron’s attention. Making a mental note to ask Lucan about all of that later, he shoved his concerns aside in favour of his task, offering only a dip of the head in acknowledgement before he set off up the steps. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it out of earshot in time to miss Eris and Varis’ conversation picking back up.

“Unfortunately, I feel you would enjoy him far too much to train him properly. I believe it's best he stay with me; although, you are more than welcome to visit him if you wish.”

Enjoy him? How? That stone in Aaron’s stomach grew heavier, and the reactive side of his mind immediately remembered their “preparations” before dinner, and Varis’ lewd suggestion on night one. It took a conscious effort not to look back (or squirm from that horrible feeling creeping back up his spine), Aaron instead looking over to Salem and Lilie. Lilie was still visibly uncomfortable, and when he caught her eye he shot her a serious look, darting his eyes toward the exit in a silent signal he hoped she’d understand as “leave.”

Salem, on the other hand, was only further stressing him out. Had he learned nothing from their ordeal last night? He’d already lost so much standing on his soap box with the Queen; was this really the hill he wanted to die on now, preaching respect for mages to an Astorio? Because Aaron wasn’t sure Salem knew how legitimate a possibility that really was. He sincerely hoped Salem learned well from those etiquette lessons Princess Ryner had placed him in; if he kept carrying on like this with nobility - or any vampire, really - he was liable to end up getting himself killed.

As much as Aaron would have loved to drag Salem away from the Astorio Count and knock some sense into him, he’d have to leave that task to whichever etiquette instructor he ended up with; “immediately” meant “immediately,” and Aaron was already all too familiar with Varis’ objections to hesitation. By the time he reached Max he’d only half-heard whatever sarcastic comment went with that tone, though that contemptuous look on his face was clear as the moon in the sky. Not happy about having an escort, probably.

Aaron kept quiet until they were out of the room, waiting until the door had fully closed behind them before giving Max an incredulous look of his own, gesturing back at the lecture hall. “What was all that about?”
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Victor Astorio


Feeling the hand on his shoulder made him pull his attention momentarily towards the mage that demanded his attention. Salem would only be rewarded with a smile and a flash of red around the vampire’s pupils. Salem made little attempt to try and figure out who he was talking to and seemed to play right into his hands. A basic strategy to goad your opponent and he fell for it.

This mage would be much more trouble than he is worth it would seem. Now all that was left to test was his combat ability in the arena, “the cub must learn his role.” He whispered to himself. Victor found it strange, teaching others, and how it brought out his old trainer and the phrases the old man used to say, “To clench all the reckless rage into control.” He finished the quote while he watched the boy pass him and attempt to drag his friends out of the class room.

Then came the words of warning from Varis. Victor turned his head towards him with a smile. “Who me?” as he gestured to himself, “I, an Astorio noble, would never do such a thing. To even suggest such an act” his face looked shocked then he laughed. “No your right, I should go before I break someone. Apologies.” The tall vampire put his hands in his pockets and walked toward the door.

He did however take a moment to look towards Maxwell, “if you want to get some of that aggression out on some of us…” he paused for a moment and licked his lips, “monsters. Challenge me at the arena during self-defense.” Walking past Salem and the girl he glanced over at them, “and I’ll be seeing you later… Spellman.” Victor said with a wink and a smile towards both of them.

Somehow being strange and creepy like this always put him in a good mood, just like stalking a panicking victim through the dark foggy swamps of the south. This even reminded him of one of the songs he would sing while doing so just to torment those few law breakers even more. And so as he left the class room on his slow walk towards the arena with a smile on his face, Victor began to sing. Well aware that to any normal person he was acting… insane.



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The dining hall buzzed with energy as mages and more than a few turned flitted from station to station. Students were still trickling into the hall in small groups discussing wherever they were coming from. Several familiar faces sat scattered around, Joey and Kanalie chatting away at one table as Declan and another mage played cards between bites. Their table and the surrounding ones were either empty or populated on the side far away from the group.

Elsewhere in the hall, Ralph debated something with Aine and Aricile as he scoffed at the latter’s gestures. Ailsalia sat adjacent to them, chuckling at something a vampire holding a mage’s leash was saying.



The Arena stood silent. Most students left as soon as they could but a few still wandered around, although some members of the Arena Guild stayed behind to clean and inventory equipment. The floor of the Arena was empty save a few training dummies and a locked sword rack left out for the next lesson. The clouds from earlier in the evening cleared somewhere, the Arena sands shimmering in the dappled moonlight.

Beneath the floor of the Arena, Dracion filed a few injury reports. A few mages tried to break his dulling enchantments and suffered the backlash he wove into them. Athena helped as the pair worked in silence. Athena’s partner, a mental mage named Hannah Harbuckle, sat in the corner eating and working on homework, muttering to herself all the while.

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Victor Astorio


The tall vampire had no trouble walking through the crowds of mages and vampires alike, they were heading away from where he was heading after all. Walking towards the arena in autopilot, he was thinking about what had just transpired. Going over his actions and the actions of the others again and again.

Victor took the time to memorize their looks and reactions to how he acted and to what was said. He only wished he stayed around long enough to see Salem’s reaction to realizing the vampire he laid hands on was a noble. He knew he would still wait longer to tell the boy they were stuck with each other. Yet for some reason out of all of those mages, the one that stuck with him the most was that girl. Something about that girl looked like… her.

The vampire was quick to pull himself from his thoughts and his sudden realization, a ghost from his past that continued to haunt him. Getting a grip of his emotions and thoughts, he began looking around only to see the entrance to the arena and the few that still paced about. He needed to clear his thoughts and his mind of that memory that was better off buried. He knew this was just the place to do it.

Walking slowly and quietly, each step almost melding into the stone floor as he approached the arena itself. He didn’t want to draw attention to himself or have someone stop him before he got to the sand. Those that were around didn’t seem to pay any attention to him, a mage eating a sandwich and going over homework, a few instructors doing paperwork, and fewer still cleaning up the area. Seeing as how no one tried to stop him or approach him even, he took to taking off some of his clothes.

Untying his boots first, placing his socks inside them then taking off his jacket. Victor found himself pausing for a moment, just a moment of hesitation before pulling off the black turtleneck. He neatly placed his things on a nearby stone bench with his Astorio amulet on top of everything so no one would mess with anything.

Stepping out onto the dimly lit sand one could clearly see the extent of his scars and markings now. Every mark that tarnished his powerful frame, every mark across his back, his shoulders, down his arms, and along his chest, many still disappearing below his belt line. A scar on a human or a mage was one thing; a scar on a being with superior healing abilities was another. A scar for a vampire meant repeated injuries in the same place again and again until the healing ability was not able to keep up anymore. Some of these marks could be explained through training, some through bad luck maybe, but to one that knew what they were looking at would know it to be the result of prolonged torture.

Some scars looked to be made by a surgical instrument of some kind, most looked like they were caused by a bladed weapon, others from what could only be described as some sort of acid or flame perhaps, and a few that looked like exposure to sunlight. Still in the dim light of the arena, the large vampire picked up a hand full of sand and rubbed it between his hands. Closing his eyes and breathing deep, he took an aggressive stance and raised his fists. Opening his eyes he let his current mood take over and his eyes were flooded with darkness as he began to strike with punches and kicks at the air and at some unseen enemy.
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As Varis responded to Aaron’s question and went about restoring some order in the room, Eris would grab his bag, figuring it was just about time he started looking for his own little one. The classroom’s inhabitants got more and more interesting: a Starag, a Spellman, an Astorio headhunter. Watching the little grouping for a moment, he eyed the mage with those blue eyes of his, a face he wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon. Maxwell Alderman, a nice name at least, though Eris made a mental note to work on that scowl and lack of social awareness. Alongside him were the hobo (ugh), the Astorio (he'd have to keep an eye out for that one), and a streak of white (no exaggeration, she looked like a drawing that had yet to be colored in) with an adorable face. For a second, Eris thought he recognized the last one, but after coming up empty on an identity, he shrugged it off as a coincidence.

Speaking of working, the Sinnenodel noble confirmed that the Starag would be no good in his hands; disappointing, but a fact. The blond was too stunning not to get to know, but he wouldn’t mind visiting him once in a while. For now, it looked like there was some catching up to do. Eris checked his watch, still blinking with a horde of notifications despite clearing it out earlier.

Giving Varis his full attention, Eris put on a slightly coy smile. “A bit, a while...I don’t mind,” He couldn’t quite stop himself from teasing as he twirled a long lock of his own hair between his fingers before following Varis’ lead. “I expected to miss the initial night, but Viscountess Vasiliev encountered some unexpected pushback on some business we had going, and when she asked for help I couldn’t say no. I knew it would take more time, but it made my arrival more unexpected, so it worked out,” Eris explained himself, free hand gesturing about as he spoke.

“You do know how to take advantage of a situation.” Varis said dryly. “It was an eventful few days you missed. The Royal Guard arrested the Marivaldi’s original partner, my Lady and the Queen invited a few of us to dinner that quickly turned into an absolute debacle, the Eves and the Astorios both replaced their original student representatives here on campus, and apparently the Knight of the Evening is attending as well. The Princess seems to be losing her hold over this madhouse. A pity. I’ve always respected the institution.” Varis stepped away from the podium and started up the stairs. Despite his irritation at the celebrity’s entrance, Eris' presence made things more...bearable. The next few years would be absolute murder on his routines and some sense of familiarity was much appreciated. Not that he’d ever tell Eris that. Easily, at least. He’d save that for when he upset the other too much.

“Five years I think is the last time we managed to cross paths. Between deflecting Lord Marivaldi and Princess Ryner’s moronic amendment concepts, putting down a few dissident voices in the family, and clashing with the Astorios, there’s been little time for more than the necessary social engagements.” Varis grumbled as he pulled open the doors and swept through them. “I’ll have to make time for you to visit the castle though. Eloise has been asking after you and I’m sure her family would like another face to bother. And I think I’ve finally found a few bottles of blood that’ll make you change your horrendous eating habits.” Some of the blood flavors Eris described made Varis shudder in disgust. He’d assigned himself the job of finding something to stop that awful habit and after twenty seven- or was it twenty eight?- years of knowing him, Varis found it incredibly frustrating that nothing was good enough to ruin the taste of anything else. The noble had to commend the actor for his versatility but developing a need for a specific taste would help put Eris further under his thumb, after controlling the primary production method of course, and he could wield the vampire’s influence with little need to reciprocate.

“I’ll admit, I’m surprised you didn’t mention you were attending the Academy as soon as you received the invitation. With how busy you must be dominating businesses and breaking hearts, what brought you here? Nobles don’t have the freedom to refute it but you aren’t a noble.” Varis glanced over the vampire, expecting him to keep pace.

Eris couldn't quite hide his surprise at the list of events Varis informed him of, mulling over possible causes. Well, one he had an idea of why, but the rest seemed too coincidental to clutter the first few days one after the other. A madhouse was an accurate term, though the thought gave him more excitement than he would admit. And here he thought he'd have to suffer through boring classes while trying to find his own fun. He nodded in understanding, though he chose to keep his comments to himself for the moment, as he was well aware of their surroundings and any possible unwanted company.

At the mention of the mage, Eris let out a polite laugh. He had forgotten how time seemed to work differently for mortals; five years didn't seem like much of a stretch, but most little mages often found it a sizable gap. “Bother away, I believe I'm in for some reprimanding on how I haven't shown my face in some time,” He seemed more amused than anything, though at the mention of blood he gave Varis a genuine grin. It probably didn't seem like much to most, but Eris liked to think he knew Varis well enough to know what that comment meant. Reaching over to the redhead he tucked back some of Varis’ hair, his fingers brushing against his jawline. “Nice to know you've been thinking of me,” Eris told him, somewhat elated at the idea. As for his other question, there was an array of answers he could have given, but he chose the simplest one. “Why wouldn't I take the chance to spend four years alongside you?”

Varis gave Eris a raised eyebrow and a mildly exasperated look at the comment. Not even fifteen minutes into their first discussion in a brief while and Eris was already being… well, Eris. The vampire’s disposition set Varis on edge far too frequently but Varis couldn’t ignore underneath his frivolous exterior hid an oddly kindred spirit. Their methods varied drastically but Eris’s carefully calculated maneuvers were a sight to behold when they fell together perfectly. When he’d shown up uninvited to Eris’s family’s party, he’d known exactly who he wanted and how to get him. Though sometimes he had the nagging feeling he fell into Eris’s trap, he dismissed the idea just as quickly.

“I’m taking the boy for his first ear tag once he’s completed self defense. Bring your mage along so they can start getting acclimated.” Varis checked his watch as they walked, glad the clouds were letting up. After last night, he wanted to do some work outside. “Did they tell you who your mage is or are they having you meet them later?”

Booo, just a sigh?! Oh well, better than getting ignored. Though it was Eris’ turn to raise an eyebrow as he was invited to go along with his mage, the vampire scratching his chin. “Ah...looks like the mage that stood up to the Astorio is my little one,” He said as he fished the envelope out of his pocket, pulling out the photo of Maxwell Alderman and admiring it for a few seconds. “Good to see he has a spine, makes things more fun if you ask me,” He grinned before placing the photo back in his jacket.

Pausing for a moment, he figured now was as good a time as any to ask. Lowering his voice slightly, he figured he'd try to satisfy his curiosity. “Speaking of which...who'd you have to fuck over in order to get an actual Starag?” Despite the less than savory way of asking, the question was a legitimate one. It was no secret that the Starag line was exclusively for the Noila lineage of vampires.

“Convenient. That’ll save us the introductions. Perhaps their little lunch playdate will go well.” Varis commented as he considered how to answer Eris. In truth, Varis knew less than he cared for of Ryner’s little game. Despite working towards a similar goal, the Princess seemed to have a few other objectives and unknowns that made Varis nervous. A fact he took the liberty of reminding her every opportunity he had. Though it had been a while. Perhaps he ought to send her a gift basket with an illuminated lettering plaque reading “Why are you like this?” He made a mental note to do just that.

“Not me. Ryner. Between their lack of public appearance and the discussion at the Queen’s table last night, it seems the rumors suggesting a rift between the Princesses have more weight than the royals admit. I think Ryner is setting up to consolidate her power and earn her mother’s favor again.” Varis murmured just loud enough for Eris to hear, his eyes darting around the campus. He didn’t need the wrong person muttering behind his back; he needed the right person. “How exactly the Starag trade works into this is unclear to me yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a favor exchange between my Lady and Ryner.”

“But for such a vaulted linage, the boy is completely incompetent.” Varis’s voice returned to normal volume as he grimaced. “An excellent distraction but I have little time for that now. I have an entire event to organize and I’ve barely even considered a theme, not to mention the artists. I can’t even assign the boy letter duty because his handwriting is atrocious. I have to write them myself and still develop his critical thinking skills. Plus, the Noilas apparently encourage modesty in their mages. What an unnecessary complex. He had the audacity to hesitate the first time he knelt and dressing him was nightmare. His closet is basically the same shirt and slacks combination in different shades of grey and black.”

A rift between royalty? Eris furrowed his brow as he mulled over Varis’ words, though he supposed it made sense considering how long it had been since the two princesses had appeared in public with one another, let alone any other social gatherings. He clicked his tongue at the mention of Lady Sinnenodel--no other being in the world matched that living nightmare--though he supposed he wouldn't think too hard on what sort of favor could have been exchanged. Too many questions and he'd end up irritating the redhead more than usual, though any proper guesswork would need more facts.

Once the topic returned to something more lighthearted, Eris’ expression followed suit, barely suppressing a bemused chuckle. Between teaching and organizing a holiday in little time, Varis was going to get busy very quickly, it seemed. Tapping his chin for a second, he decided to throw in a line for the vampire. “It's a bit last minute, but...considering how I've just saved the Viscountess, I can get Feliks Vasiliev for Chaend, if you'd like,” He offered, bringing out his phone as it buzzed. Grimacing at a message from his sister, he tucked it back into his pocket. “You need only say the word.”

On the topic of the Starag, Eris found himself interested, the slightest pang of pity for both mage and vampire. Varis wasn't an easy person to deal with; he hoped the boy with sun-kissed hair would understand that sooner than later. “Modesty has always been one of my favorite things to break; mortals are just so damn cute when they try to cover up, the reactions and excuses they come up with gratify me to no end,” He replied airily, waving his hand around freely. “It's almost like a puzzle to solve, eventually they either give up or expose it all willingly. They're not bright, but they can learn.”

“This puzzle ought to solve itself so I can use it to its full potential.” Varis sighed but waved it away. “Like you said, he’ll learn or I’ll break him. Either way, I fully intend to use him for the time being. I know more than one person would pay nicely for his genes and he'll advance my status nicely while I have him.” Varis shrugged.

“Mr. Vasiliev would be a feather in the event’s cap if he attended. Ryner swoons over that dress he made her still despite his arrogance and unnatural arrangement with the Viscountess.” Varis clicked his tongue disapprovingly at the thought. Marriage between a vampire and a mage ought to have a singular purpose and that particular combination did nothing to further the interest of that purpose. The mage was skilled but the Sinnenodel wouldn’t indulge him; Varis preferred timeless designs, ones that would stay classic through the ages, and no mage could truly comprehend the full scale of eternity. Magic or no, they were still bound to their mortal coils. “Still, I suppose my opinion doesn’t much matter here. Would Mr. Vasiliev respond better to an invitation from you with my seal or should I send one personally? He seems the type of man to work with referrals only, if just to leverage some power.”

Despite his relationship with the Viscountess, Eris knew better than to reach out himself; no doubt the mage would jump down his throat and never let him hear the end of it, especially after he had just helped out his wife. Granted, he intended to use that to push him towards a response in Varis’ favor, but he would rather not deal with the ensuing comments on a lack of professionalism. Detrimenting the Sinnenodel would only end badly. He had no actual opinion on the marriage between the two, finding it more odd than anything. However, he had known Katya for decades, so he might have been harsher had it been a third party.

Of course, his actual words came out less eloquently than his line of thinking. “Send him an invitation at your earliest convenience. I'll...talk to the Viscountess again, see if she can't persuade him,” And then have to wheedle the mage down. But that was his problem, not Varis’, so he would take it in stride.

He did, however, throw Varis a slightly cheeky look, unable to resist. “The arrangement was made from love, mon beau,” He flourished his words, attempting to wave away the Count's negative opinion. “The one force neither mortal nor immortal stands a chance against--but I daresay the former is much more susceptible, clinging onto it as fleeting as their lives are. I’d go so far as to argue that they're like that with every emotion: love, hate, joy, fear...you already saw that Spellman ‘hero’ defending the weak despite the consequences. It would be admirable if it wasn't so stupid.”

“Sentiment develops weakness and weakness makes one vulnerable. Age will strip us of our empathy but for now, we cannot afford such a mistake in our echelons.” Varis countered Eris's frivolous obsession. Emotion was the purview of the lesser, of those who lived for a moment and then disappeared among the annals of history. Varis would be damned if he would allow such a moronic value unravel all his work so far.

“I'll have a letter sent to him later in the evening. I should have the event's theme finalized during the boy's last class.” Varis sighed as he thought about this. Frankly, Varis wasn't sure he could pull this off. Most vampires spent decades gathering and commissioning for their year to host. Varis had managed to shrug off the responsibility thus far and now he was left scrambling since his Lady decided this was his year and she was one of the few people he wasn't confident he could out maneuver. If he organized it properly, he could fill more space with less as part of the theme of the event.

“That reminds me. You won't happen to know anything about the Eves attracting necromancers would you?” Varis asked, the faintest hint of amusement at the corner of his mouth.

The redhead's answer was predictable enough, though it still tickled Eris nonetheless. Just getting acknowledgment was enough to satisfy him for the moment, instead using his energy not to laugh at Varis’ next question. “I think it holds some merit, didn't you see that ghost of a girl among the other mages? Nearly gave me a fright!” He joked.

“Targeting a crumbling house with vicious lies.” Varis deadpanned, shaking his head. “The Marivaldis infiltrated the lower court of the the house and it's been absolute mayhem since then. I should tell you I'm disappointed but it's been amusing watching the two claw at each other.”

Eris gave him a half-hearted shrug, a rare look of nonchalance on his face for just a moment. “That house is on its last legs. At some point, you have to put the dying animal out of its misery,” He lowered his voice as it took on a tone of clear distaste. “The Marivaldis had already known of the Eves’ waning power and influence. They just needed the slightest nudge in the right direction before jumping at the next opportunity...it's been a long time coming. I'm genuinely surprised no one else thought to do it.”

“As much a failure as they are, they fulfil a critical role at the table. The ensuing chaos of losing a house would cripple our society for centuries either as the Houses fell into outright war or stalled out until the Council collapsed.” Varis explained as they approached the main administrative building. “All of our Houses are funneling money into them so when it comes time to pick a new Lord or Lady, they are indebted to someone. The Eve House will rise again. I just need to ensure they're under my thumb.” He stopped them in front of the building, clearly heading instead to the library.

“We're dealing with the boy immediately after his last class. I'll feed and then we'll be off so meet us at my dorm.” Varis instructed.

He was right, of course, but it didn't sway Eris’ opinion. If anything, it almost justified his reasoning--it was easier to swoop in and take advantage so long as you knew what you were doing. The idea of the houses going to war did entertain him to no end, but it just wouldn't do to plunge society into such a terrible thing.

Instead he would concede with a slight nod of acknowledgement, perking himself up as they came to a stop. “Then I will see you later, Excellency. Au revoir,” He bid him farewell as the redhead continued into the library.

Now, onto his other business. He figured it was about time he had a proper introduction to his new little mage. Glancing at his watch, he figured the thing was either in the cafeteria or on route. Either way, he was on the prowl, making his way there and keeping his eyes peeled.


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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Hero
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Hero The Brawler

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Once the teacher's aide had intervened, the tension seemed to have died. Lilie watched nervously as Aaron approached, his bright eyes darting to the door. If that wasn't a signal to get out, then she didn't know what was. Aaron had left with the first initiator of the conflict--shoot, she never did get an answer or a name out of him, did she?--and the Astorio seemed either satisfied with what happened or didn't care to continue, she couldn't tell which. The casual mention of breaking someone was alarming alone, but it was also the nonchalant way of just saying it.

Honestly, the entire situation just left her confused.

Letting out a breath she wasn't aware she was holding, Lilie shook her head at herself. The vampire was right about one thing; if she was going to freeze up anytime there was a vampire, she was going to end up useless. At the thought of that, she looked around to see if she could find Mariette, only to see very few people left. Maybe she was avoiding her.

Patting Salem's arm, Lilie motioned for him to follow her as she began to walk, burying herself in her thoughts for the moment.


Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Achronum
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𝔏𝔲𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔅𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔞𝔲𝔵



Despite being woken a few times by Damien, Lucan slept rather peacefully. He considered it one blessing of his rough and tumble lifestyle. Sleep was sacred and embracing it was like embracing a long lost friend. As such, it was easy to enter the unconscious world and when he was awakened, he asked himself a quick decision. Was he in any danger, and if not would he be needed. As such, when he awakened for the last time at a mental predetermined time, another talent he had picked up in his long years, he was fully refreshed and the only other anchor on his comfort was the hungering thirst within his throat. He knew his eyes were turning away from the violet hue and to a more crimson, and he was regretting his decision to wait this long for a feeding. He had the control for it, that was for sure but it was never a pleasant experience and this time was no different.

He stood and stretched himself out, shaking his head to clear his head fully. After he let the sleep fully leave his brain he stood and walked over to his closet. All of his belongings had in fact been retrieved and he shouldn’t really be surprised at how well the oiled machine of the Academy moved, but he hadn’t expected everything to be hung neatly. He removed a rather different choice of clothing for the day and within ten minutes had dressed. The routine was nice, something that Lucan could always fall back to if he ever found himself not knowing what to do.


After he finished dressing he placed his handkerchief into the right front pocket of the jacket and strapped on his belt, which also held his Rapier. Now content with his appearance he left the room and wondered briefly where his new Mage had gotten off too.

Said new mage managed to submerge himself in playing for approximately three and a half songs before the irritating antsiness set in. Normally, playing soothed him and he could lose himself in the feeling of strings against his fingers, the light vibration of the wood against his legs, the tap of his foot against the ground but everything was too new too unknown. It was oppressive, crowding just on the edge of his awareness, and kept him from sinking into that quiet headspace. So he’d put his guitar back with a huff, plugged his headphones into his phone, and did what he did best: make a mess.

Clothes that had been carefully hung and folded were torn off their hangers and ripped from their drawers only to find a chair, the bed, or the floor their new resting place. The desk was quickly acquainted with his gauges and school supplies, covering it in a messy pile. One towel was flung over the glass door and the other dumped in a heap on top of the toilet lid. The neatly organized bathroom supplies knocked over and leaning haphazardly against each other. With each mess made, he felt himself fall into familiar territory. Messes, controlled chaos… Damien grew up with that,he thrived in it. This clinical perfection physically hurt him, reminded him that everything was different. Exciting yes but terrifyingly different.

Damien swept out his room and into the kitchen, the first place he noticed the apprehension lurking beneath his eagerness. Everything had a home and to its home it returned. No slumber parties with the cutlery, no mingling of friends in the pantry, no pleasantries exchanged between the milk and the eggs. Sterile, clean, precise, and nice. Damien grabbed ladles and a large wooden spoon, tossing them in a large measuring cup on the counter. He mixed the cutlery in the drawer and randomized the utensils and practically turned the pantry upside down. The fridge, although he kept everything in their proper containers, looked like a tornado tore through it. Between the blaring of his headphones and his single minded focus on fixing the kitchen, he didn’t notice Lucan exit his room.

The english language has two hundred twenty-eight thousand, one hundred thirty-two. This is including obsolete and derivative words but on a large scale there is a word for every single situation imaginable. Or at least, Lucan Bordeleaux thought there was a word for every single situation. But when he raised his head to stare into the kitchen where Damien was busy defiling the sanctity of organization, none of those two hundred thousand something words were able to come into his head. For a moment, the vampire thought he was dreaming still but the noises and the smells were to real and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was actually happening to him.

“ATTEN! TION!” It was the only set of words that he could formulate and only because of his long time drilling. His voice resounded throughout the apartment, and it was a good thing that the other students were in classes because the yell would be heard through most of the building. It was filled with authority, and laced with a fierceness that not many humans would be able to say they have ever heard. After his scream he just stared into the kitchen and at Damien for a long moment. He made no movements, not even the smallest twitch. In fact, not even his eyes moved, though Damien could tell they were different. Instead of the dark violet eyes that the Mage would have seen throughout the evening, they were a rapidly growing crimson color. They matched his outfit perfectly and the absolute stillness was more deafening than the scream before it.

Finally, after what would probably feel like an eternity, Lucan spoke. His voice was soft and low but still commanded deep respect. It harbored no back-talk and just a slight quiver gave away just how upset he was at the current moment. He was starving, and his control was lacking but Lucan Bordeleaux didn’t become one of the youngest serving Royal Guards, nor the next Sword of the Night by failing. ”I assume… This activity you find yourself in was a way to get acclimated with your new establishment. But I will tell you this once, Mage’s have had ‘accidents’ for doing less than what you’ve done. These things belong to me, this apartment is mine and you touching them without permission is a serious breach of respect. You don’t know this and you won’t like this, but that is the world you find yourself within now. As it stands you will clean, everything, and return the room back into the perfectly organized utopia that you found it. What happens in your room with your belongings is up to you but out here. Out here will be neutral territory going forward. It will not be touched unless it has to be, and if you or I touch it, it will go right back to where it came. Understand?” He knew his tone was lower, knew that there was a slight growl at the end where he underlined in no specific terms that there would be no argument over this command at this time.

He moved forward and adjusted his suit, tilting his head at the young mage near him. ”Go and get changed for the last half of classes, and then present yourself to me for feeding. I prefer to feed away from public instead of drinking my partner in broad daylight. He turned away from the boy and shook his head, this was going to be harder than he initially thought.

Damien Baker will be the first to admit he does not handle terror well. His family’s history of watching horror films just to annoy him attests to that. Jump scares, suspenseful music, sudden scene changes, and unreliable narrators are only second to children in horror films. What about them make it so much worse than creepy adults, Damien doesn’t know but children are absolutely terrifying. So when Lucan unexpectedly shouts at him as he’s buried shoulder deep in the fridge, Damien will admit yes he screamed and yes he did banging his head trying to jump further into the machine. He would not recommend that to anyone unless they were a child in a horror film. Then he would highly encourage it, chain it shut, and dump it into the ocean.

He turned around, pulling off his headphones and a long string of expletives on his tongue that died as he froze like a deer in headlights. Swearing was likely a sure route to losing his fingers real quick right now if the fact he was being stared at like a piece of meat and/or a soon to be murder victim was anything to go by. Damien had to admit that as old fashioned as his attire was, Lucan really did make the outfit look good and his recently changed eye color only added to it. Well, mark him down as scared and horny. Damien clutched at his chest dramatically as he caught his breath, listening to Lucan’s little tirade. While his brain acknowledged obeying Lucan right now was likely the sane option, Damien’s mouth gave no fucks as it went full throttle on the train of regretie.

“Accidents?” Damien repeated after a moment. “I’m not going to cut myself if that's what your afraid of. I’m not that much of a klutz. But let's take a moment to unpack all this other garbage that spewed out of your mouth. Touching without your permission is a serious breach of respect? Firstly, I don’t respect you because you’ve done nothing but terrify me tonight so that works out. B, this is all Noila property last I checked-it being the Noia Academy and all that- and not Bordeslax or whatever crazy last name that I will work on eventually. P.S. My name is also on the placard, just in case you missed it. And finally, you want blood right? Well, I need to eat to make it so I’m going to eat when I want to replace the crap you’re sucking out of me.” Damien crossed his arms and raised his eyebrow at the vampire’s back all while groaning internally. Might as well go all in if he was going this far.
“And which is it?Is this neutral territory or your territory, sir?” Damien spat out the title, feeling his irritation at himself and his irritation at Lucan bleeding into each other. “Because last I checked, you don’t eat crackers or cheese or eggs or milk or anything else in this section of the damn apartment so really I’m pretty sure this more reasonably falls under mortal terrority. Far as I can see, there is almost zero reasons to even be in here expect to make sure your damn blood bag is eating properly.” Something in his head clicked. Lucan had at least been reasonable earlier and now he was snapping about food. Damien’s jaw dropped and he straight up giggled. The vampire was hangry. Was this a joke? A hangry vampire? It’d be almost adorable if the man didn’t have the ability to rip him limb from limb. Damien couldn’t resist another chuckled as he approached Lucan, nudging the vampires shoulder with his own.

“How about we cut straight to the feeding part? I just need a sweater and I’m ready to roll anyways. You said I got to pick so just feed from me directly. The whole needle thing seems so impersonal.” Damien’s nose wrinkled at the idea. “So how do we do this? Do I need to sit or stand a certain way or does your tongue get really long? Not sure how this whole eat them thing works since you’re basically the first vampire I’ve been this close to for an extended period of time.”

Self control, Lucan had it and prided himself on it. Self control, he had it and prided himself on it. Self control…. The mantra continued as Damien began to talk back again and Lucan just barely held on. He was in no position right now to have the boy go on and on about how life wasn’t fair. Lucan decided he was done with it, for now anyway. ”You don’t have to like me, I truly don’t care if you do or don’t. But you will respect me, even if I’ve done nothing to deserve it because that is what’s expected of you. You like life I suppose correct? Like breathing, and eating the food in that fridge? If you don’t learn to respect me of all vampires then you will die at this Academy, that’s a simple fact. This is the world and life you’re now living in, if you don’t like it then tough. As far as the objects in this room are concerned you may have them all if you so desire but you will not make it a pigsty because unlike you I have class and disorganized Mage droppings all over the place will not be tolerated. You will find I’m much easier to get along with than just about any other vampire baring a Marivaldi, but it doesn’t change the fact that you belong to me now. Yes, that’s right, you belong to me.”

He finished for the moment and stared at his partner before stepping closer. His eyes were turning even more bright red and his usual grin was becoming much more feral and sinister. He tilted his head like a predator would to prey and circled Damien a few times while he spoke of food and feeding. He would have made the human comfortable on the couch or chair but after what the lad had put him through, Lucan wasn’t going to be so nice. As he finished his circle he locked eyes with his Mage and placed a hand on his head. ”Don’t. Move.” came the whispered order, his last word ending with a soft growl. He leaned in closer and took a few seconds to regain composure. He wouldn’t drink this human dry, despite how annoying he was. ”Just relax, and shut your face.” He added the last bit as an afterthought and grasped Damien closer to him, leaning down more and more until he was in a comfortable position himself. He listened closely to Damien’s heart beat, not wanting his recent fear to sour the blood. Some vampire’s enjoyed the sour taste, and he actually felt a bit of pity for mage’s that had to deal with such antics. He himself however preferred a relaxed partner, and as such he waited until Damien was good and ready before he plunged his teeth into just the right spot. He tested his control even more and didn’t drink until he was sure Damien was content, or as content as one could be, and only then did he begin feeding.

A retort already sat on the tip of his tongue, taking in a breath to condemn the damn vampire’s ego but the moment Lucan started circling, he slammed his mouth shut with an audible click and watched through narrowed eyes even as he fought the urge to laugh again. The guy was practically playing with his food and he had the audacity to say he had class. The more he interacted with the vampire, the funnier Lucan got. He’d have to find some more buttons to push because this was just too good. He weighed his options, sit and take it like a good mage or have his own fun and see how long he could make it before Lucan managed to get his hands on him, but the vampire decided for him. The hand on his head shook him from his ponderings and Damien locked eyes with the vampire. Nervous? No. Terrified? Absolutely. Why didn’t he pick the needles? Then it would be much less terrifying. Could probably look away from this, think about anything else if he wanted. Why did he think-

The bite hurt less than he expected but it still brought a pained hiss to his lips. His hands pressed against Lucan, reactively trying to shove him away, before the sting faded away and a tingling warmth took its place. His heartbeat roared in his ears and with every beat, that warmth surged through his. He felt himself get dizzy, a giggle locked in his throat, and he clutched his arms around the vampire in an attempt to steady himself in a room that spun pleasantly. He felt light headed and happy and a little tired, the pain of broken skin fully drowned beneath whatever Lucan did. He tried to talk, to babble about how weird it was, how everything felt so much better, how he didn’t mind his vampire was an ass, that his family was so far away, that the quiet and calm was killing him but warmth soothed away the words until all he could feel was the blood seeping out of him and the vampire keeping him upright.

Lucan didn’t pay the mage any attention, he was far to focused. He did feel the terror however, and slapped himself mentally for not trying to calm the lad down before he started. It didn’t matter, and Luc was far too thirsty to care at this point. He drank slowly, not wanting to lose the control he had fought for three days now. When Damien struggled against him at first, he just held the boy tighter in his grip and relaxed that grip as Damien started becoming limp. Luc was an old pro at this, though he had to admit he enjoyed the flavor of Dame’s blood, and while the lad was infuriating beyond belief and truly tested Lucan’s abilities this was much nicer than he was used to.

When he had his fill, Luc leaned back and away from the Mage letting his saliva begin to heal the wound so Damien wouldn’t bleed out. As with everything, Lucan made no mess and left no trace that the feeding had even happened, other than the enthralled mage still being held up by the vampire. Luc moved over to the couch and gently placed Dame onto it and then headed to the fridge, rolling his eyes when he saw the state of it. He removed a soda and a small slice of ham and placed it on the nightstand next to the couch for Damien to have when he recovered.

Damien giggled as everything moved around him, settling into the couch with a whine as Lucan left. The mage shifted and squirmed until he could slouch into the furniture and sighed once Lucan returned. He beamed at the vampire and tugged on the vampire’s sleeve, trying to get him to sit next to him.

“Siiiiiiiit.” Damien's words were slurred as he tugged at Lucan. “Didn't take you as a hit-and-quit type. Is this what drinking is like? Awesome. Do this more often yeah?” Damien giggled more. “Makes everything happy!”

The room slowly settled again and Damien blinked up at Lucan, snatching his hand away as he realized what he was doing. Instead, he grabbed the soda and popped it open as he eyes Lucan warily. The earlier experience with the vampire had him on edge still and he was ready to bolt if he needed now that the whatever drugged state he was in wore off.

“So, what's next?” Damien asked carefully.

Lucan watched with sparks of amusement flickering into his eyes which had returned to their normal violet coloring. He did sit at the edge of the couch when requested though he was ready to stand at a moments notice when Damien recovered. ”I don’t know, I’ve never drank. As for what’s next you will be introduced to the rest of the school during lunch. And perhaps if you’ve listened to a single word I’ve tried to tell you, you’ll be ready and won’t get yourself killed on the first day. As I said before, I am sorry that you’ve found yourself here but as my Mage you’re my responsibility to keep safe. To do that I have to be rough around the edges so you learn, I’m sure you won’t make it easy but perhaps after a few days you’ll see you could have gotten way worse in terms of vampiric partner and that everything I’ve done is to ensure your safety while at the academy.” He stood and held out his hand in an offer to help Damien stand.

”Now, go and get ready quickly so we’re not late.” He gave a very soft smile and a shake of his head. This kid was going to kill him.

Damien peered suspiciously at the hand. The emotional whiplash between living--undead? Not living?--nightmare and chiller stick up the ass guy was keeping him pretty off track. What exactly was this dude? He fed so guess he isn't hangry anymore? Yeesh, gonna have to keep this guy full cause living nightmare version is 100% not okay. After a few moments of hesitation, Damien took the hand and hauled himself to his feet.

“Or instead of rough around the edges we could use our words and be all like “Hey, that mess stresses me out mind not doing it in shared space?” And I'd be all “Dude, you right! I was hella rude sorry man.” Instead of going for the punch to the face style but uh, thanks for looking out for me I guess?” Damien thanked him as he made his way over to his room. “So uh, I'm assuming you're not cool with me dressing like this? I only got like one button up shirt and maybe a nicer pair of jeans. Nothing like…” Damien gestured up and down at Lucan.

Luc tilted his head as he considered the other option and looked almost like a dog would after being told ‘no’. He watched as Damien started to leave and adjusted his position on the couch. ”As I said, a learning experience for the both of us I suppose. He then gave an up and down motion with his head as he took in Damien’s appearance once again, he would have to take him shopping at some point. ”I won’t be as strict when not on school hours but during those I would ask that you take sincere pride in your appearance. As my Mage you have the opportunity to wear my crest and colors should you desire and we will go shopping for said clothing at a later time. For now, wear your best.

“Is this a real actual decision? Or is this like when Mom and Papa ask me if I want to study or go hang out with my friends and if I choose what I want, I get in a fuck ton of trouble or do I really get to choose what I want?” Damien asked as he headed off towards the bedroom. “Cause if there is an option to avoid the whole angrily remind the mage you own him now, I’d like to avoid that!” Damien shut his door behind him and surveyed the result of his earlier antsiness, grimacing. Oof, no wonder Lucan got pissy. His parents would have too. Damien shrugged off the thought quickly as he dug out the black long sleeved button up and the nicer pair of jeans and changing quickly, jamming his feet back into his boots and pooping out of his room with a “Taadaa!” and jazz hands. His top two buttons were undone and his sleeves were rolled up but he obviously tried to keep the wrinkles out of the clothes. “Better?”

Lucan closed his eyes as Damien entered the room, deciding not to comment on the last words the mage gave. Instead his thoughts flickered to the Academy as a whole and his new role to play within it. Tensions with the Royal Family always made his job stressful and this one promised to be the most stressful yet. The last bit of Nox’s briefing kept coming back to him. Having permission to detain royalty was never something Lucan had expected to hear come from any source, let alone Nox herself. He was broken out of the more stress related thoughts when Damien came back out of his room wearing his new clothing. Luc looked him up and down, surprised at how quickly time passed and nodded a few times. ”That’ll do for now. Now, lets go.”

He stood and left the room without waiting for an answer and made his way outside of the dorm where the cart that he and Damien had used earlier still awaited them. Luc started it up and, when Damien was on board, took off for the lunch hall. He would have walked, but they were running a bit late and Lucan didn’t want to miss any more of the school schedule since thus far his attendance was less than perfect. The two arrived a short time later and Lucan led the way to the buildings doors, turning around to stare at Damien sharply. ”While inside stay by my side the entire time, and try not to stare. If a vampire speaks look down until you’re addressed directly. Be on your best behavior less you accidently give insult. I will try and get you a seat at a table with all Mages but I can’t promise. Understand?

Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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“if you want to get some of that aggression out on some of us… monsters. Challenge me at the arena during self-defense.”

Max merely grunted in response to Victor's proposal, turning his eyes briefly from Aaron to keep an impassive watch on the vampire. Count Astronomy was having far too much fun with this, but his interest in Flower Boy specifically suggested a bigger game than mere entertainment. The mage could've just been overthinking things - the Astorios weren't exactly known for their subtlety, after all - but it was better to be safe than sorry around leeches. Besides, as he stood now he couldn't take him up on that offer even if he wanted to. It wasn't like he had enough of a grasp on fighting to take on the Astorio even if Victor were mortal, let alone with vampiric abilities. Max would only have to get grabbed once and he'd be done. Something to work toward, then.

Max followed Aaron wordlessly out of the room, content to meander along casually at his would-be babysitter's side with his hands in his pockets until the Retriever spoke.

“What was all that about?”

"I think Count Astr- Astorio was just bored," he half-lied. The vampire definitely looked like he wanted to be entertained; he was far too dismissive of Max's flippant attitude to have actually had his pride wounded by Max's uppity comment about a mage's place, but he was too deliberate in his goading to be simply trying to provoke a reaction without rhyme or reason. "He came up, called me a slave, and your friend that wears too much flowery perfume stepped right into the little web the leech was weaving. Do tell him to be careful, apparently he's on the Crown's bad side?" Max finally cocked his head toward Aaron and arched a brow innocently.

The Retriever keeps interesting company if he's willing to associate with a suspected rebel. Either the rumors were just that, rumors, or he was caught up in the scandal somehow.

"So what about you, you just the teacher's pet or do you make a habit of licking boots?" He kept his voice level enough, more snide derision in his tone than outright vitriol. It always helped to know the standing of those you associate with - as horrifying as the thought of the Retriever being "someone he associates with" was.


@Obscene Symphony
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Salem looked a Lilie, rage still in his eyes. Maybe he did need these ettiquite classes? Or at the very least, maybe he should start going to the Arena and take his anger out in a combative way. Regardless of how he channeled his new found anger, he needed a way to channel it. Maybe now with such an empty dorm, he can throw himself into his work and create new compounds and such to help advance science. "One sec." Salem quickly pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down a note, folding it into a triangle and then tucking it into his pocket before nodding at Lilie to go. "If we hurry we may be able to catch up to Aaron and uh...huh I never caught that mages name earlier. He seemed to be interested in yours and Aaron's fight, but we got interrupted by some school...guards? Well one was decked out in Knives just all down his body. Dont want to cross him."

As soon as the pair exited the classroom and went into the hall, Salem could spot the other two mages some ways away. "Leta try and catch up to them! Maybe get that mages name. Kinda feel bad that that dick of a vampire is his you know?" Salem didnt give Lilie much time to respond before just smiling and bolting off towards the other two. Although he never took classes for fighting, working with plantation type conditions gave him a toned body, endurance, and calves for days. Soon after his brisk jog, just five feet apart (cuz hes not gay) from behind Aaron, Salem pulled out the note and flicked it at the back of the light mages head. Yelling out Duck! Well after it had hit him.

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As time went by, the hall only grew louder as more students poured into the space. The sky outside cleared up and the moon shone brightly in the midnight sky. A flock of charmed paper butterflies fluttered around the room, settling periodically on people’s head before taking off again.


Interacting with: @ReusableSword


hortly after settling into his routine, Vicor would have been aware of something brushing gentle against his mind. It seemed curious, touching just briefly and then vanishing. It wouldn’t have been anything to care about but a group of students stepped silently into the Arena. It started with three mages, older students by what Victor could tell, who stood watching him for a while, faces as animated as if they were holding a conversation but their lips never moved. The rest arrived in pairs of two, putting themselves between the three mages and Victor, until 16 mages stood in the Arena sands as they watched Victor. Their faces all twitched in reaction to something simultaneously as they watched with various levels of boredom or amusement or fear.

Things changed finally when a boy came stumbling into the Arena and every head turned to watch him almost landed in the sand as he caught his breath. He sent a pleading look toward the first three who entered but grimaced and rose again, making his way to the Astorio.

“Ah, uh, hi, excuse me?” The mage asked hesitantly, hesitant to approach. “We have something to ask you, if you don’t mind that is?”

Downstairs, Hannah yelped as she clutched at her head. Her homework went flying and she stood, a quiet incantation sending them back to her desk with a wave of her hand, as she made her way upstairs. Athena threw her a questioning look but Hannah waved her off with a “All hands on deck apparently.”


Interacting with: @WeepingLiberty


Amaris made it halfway to her destination when Princess Ryner’s personal mages silently fell into step next to her. Both mage’s maintained a cool air of neutrality, faces blank as the guided her towards the main administrative building in silence. Amaris was guided into the building and up a set of stairs tucked neatly away into a corner that lead to two landings. The first landing, the group continued past but a hallway stretched away from the stairs with only a few doors breaking the monotone walls.

The second landing was much smaller. It had a waiting area with a few plush chairs and a coffee table. Some music played softly out of a gramophone in the corner and a tower of records stood next to it. The pair of mages didn’t stop. William knocked twice sharply and stepped off onto the side of the door, as did Sariel, bothat attention as the door opened when Ryner called “Enter!”

Ryner’s office on property was far more sterile than her one at home. A painting of the Queen hung on one wall surrounded by a variety of plants while a few bookshelves lined the other. Two leather chairs, upright and rather uncomfortable looking, sat in front of her desk on which Amaris’s book lay open. A bottle of blood and two glasses sat near her.

“Would you care for a glass of blood, Countess?” The Princess asked as she gestured for the Countess to sit. “It may make explaining how you came to be in the possession of such a dangerous artifact a little easier.”
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Gisk
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Cassandra got caught up in the surge of people, but managed to fall briefly in step with her vampire. They didn't talk as they walked, Cassandra didnt want to be the one to initiate a conversation, and Amaris had opted for silence for reasons of her own. Despite being shorter, Cassandra's stride took her a little ways ahead of Amaris, and so she looked back when they had reached the dining hall.

"I'm starving, and I think that... Countess?"

She was gone. It had been a short walk, but even so with their silence, Cassandra couldn't be sure when they had separated.

She bit at her lip. Should she have followed? Was there a que she had missed? She decided no, probably not. The Countess had been straightforward with her so far(or so she thought), Cassandra didn't think she would pull some bullshit test.

She continued, now nervously looking around, hoping she would see Amaris before too long and be able to join her.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Slave, nice. The Astorios weren’t exactly known for their tact, but bored or not, Aaron had to wonder what Max had said or done to earn such a spiel from a vampire that had nothing to do with him. The mention of Salem, however, earned somewhat of an exasperated sigh, Aaron briefly rubbing his temple as he walked. “Yeah, it’s a bit of a long story but apparently he’s pretty intent on getting his head chopped off before the week is out.”

Max’s next comment was no more fun a topic, though Aaron had to smirk at the wording. Teacher’s pet… a little morbid, but he supposed it wasn’t terribly far from the truth. Of course, his smirk didn’t linger long; it was clear enough that Max wasn’t impressed with what he saw. Aaron supposed it made sense, Max’s demeanour practically screamed “human upbringing.”

“Count Sinnenodel is my…” He trailed off for a second, hesitant to finish that sentence and goad Max into some other snide comment. He cleared his throat. “...I’m Count Sinnenodel’s mage.” He looked over to Max, eager to change the subject. “Anyway, where is your partner? I can’t imagine he’d be thrilled about that little exchange back there. It might be wise to lie a little lower, you could end up getting the both of you in trouble.”

Max gave the subtlest beginnings of a smirk at Aaron dancing around the word ‘master’. He was just kissing the floor a few minutes ago, did he really have any pride left to defend? Retriever being Cinnamon’s mage was an interesting twist. But why was Varis teaching a class if he was a freshman? Or could first year mages be assigned to upperclassman vampires? No, that wouldn’t make sense, given that the vampire would leave the school before the mage did.

“Dunno, haven’t seen him since yesterday. Maybe he has treaty law in a different hall,” Max responded nonchalantly. He honestly hadn’t given Morrigan much thought at all. Maybe he was just unconsciously blocking the fact out of his head that he was now legally at the beck and call of some newly-turned wimp. “And I didn’t even do anything. Astorio came over there of his own accord and started getting in my face while I was talking to your girlfriend.” It was mostly true, it’s not like Max was being particularly antagonistic back there, especially compared to Flower Boy.

Hmm, another one gone since yesterday? Aaron would be lying if he said he was terribly interested in the doings of some random Embraced, but at the very least it got them off the topic of Varis. It might have been strange for both Lucan and… Morgan? Morrigan! To have disappeared on the same night if Aaron didn't know the reason for Luc’s disappearance. Unless the Royal Guard employed a meek new Embraced fresh out of the turning process without his knowledge, Aaron was sure it was a coincidence.

Dismissing it as just that, he was more concerned with talk of that Astorio count, shaking his head at Max. “No, I mean your response. I'd be more confused than surprised that an Astorio decided to mess with you, but it's usually best to just smile and nod until they get bored with you. Standing your ground like that is only going to make it worse, especially in your position.”

Max snorted dismissively, “I just asked if he was trying to kiss me. He was about an inch from my face, and I know how eccentric these noble types can get. It was a valid question.” He feigned his best face of innocent curiosity, as if his response hadn’t been a deliberate jab. The act held for a moment or two, then Max dropped it in favor of his usual apathetic stare.

“But I don’t really care about him anymore. Talk to me about magic, since I just can’t help myself but get into trouble, apparently.” Max muttered, flexing his fingers in front of him for effect. Not that he expected anything to happen, let alone without a catalyst, but he still wished he could feel something when he tried to do magic. “I need to generate a pool of energy to work with, everything else is secondary at this point, especially asinine partner exercises.”

Aaron might have laughed at the kiss comment had Max had that little exchange with anyone else, but as it was, the thought of back-talking a noble like that just sent a shiver up his spine. The subject change to magic was a welcome one, though; tonight had already been stressful enough without dwelling on all that.

“Well if you're talking about your magical stamina, that just takes practice, like physical stamina. That will come with time.” He shrugged. “It sounds more like you need to clear whatever is blocking you and get the magic flowing to begin with.”

He spun his ring for a moment, thinking. “When I started, my magic was like a really sensitive light switch,” he explained, “It was either full power or totally off, and nothing in between. So my problem was figuring out how to moderate the flow, like a dimmer switch.” He gestured to Max. “Yours sounds kind of like a faucet with a rusted tap. It needs a good yank to get it unstuck and something to keep it moving before you can do anything with it.”

“And how do I do that?” Max grumbled with a hint of growing annoyance. He could define his problem just fine, but that didn’t give him any clues on how he was supposed to fix it. The lack of tangible information on the subject was infuriating and honestly baffling, even considering how great a feat characterizing the metaphysical must be. “I’ve already tried brute-forcing it, it didn’t budge. Unless I can coax my magic out with treats like a dog, I’m out of ideas save for blind trial and error.”

Honestly, he just needed enough magic in the crystal to characterize his affinity. He assumed similar affinities acted in similar ways, so that would at least give him an idea of what to reference for further development. Although he didn’t suppose a light mage would give him any tips on that. He doubted he’d be lucky enough to get an affinity like that anyway. Plus, it was way too passive for his taste in every circumstance aside from melting leeches.

“So, does your magic work the same way other light mages’ magic does? Or am I going to be playing a guessing game for my entire career?” Wouldn’t hurt to confirm his theories; the TA was right about one thing, adhering too strictly to false information would set him back further than just blindly experimenting would.

“Probably more of those asinine partner exercises,” Aaron quirked an eyebrow at Max, and couldn't help but crack a smile at his impatience. He'd been practicing magic for what, a night so far? If he expected to develop his skills instantly, he was going to be in for a rude awakening. But Aaron supposed he could sympathize to a point. He'd been so excited to start practicing after his awakening that he'd nearly injured himself more than once trying techniques that were way beyond his skill level. Somehow, though, it didn't sound like excitement was the source of Max's hurry.

He'd take pity on the guy, though. “And I really don't know, I've never met any other light mages,” he admitted, “but magic is a very personal thing. It develops just like your personality does, accumulating over a lifetime of experiences and emotions. You'll probably find yours is a lot like you. Maybe that's why it's so stubborn.” Aaron chuckled at the comment, but it was a legitimate piece of advice.

“Seriously though, emotional issues can often manifest as problems with your magic. Maybe your impatience is actually the thing holding you back,” he suggested, more sincerely this time. “You might be putting too much pressure on yourself. It could help to relax your expectations a bit and let your magic work at its own pace. I mean, if someone kept nagging at you to do something you didn't want to, how likely would you be to cooperate?”

Damn it, the Retriever was… actually making sense. Frustrating sense, but sense. Take it slow. Max could do that. Probably. Wasn’t like he had a choice in the matter if he wanted to actually get somewhere. Slow progress was better than no progress, even if it was infuriating.

“Alright, I guess you have a point,” he grumbled out defeatedly, “but what else do I try? Do I lazily sit there with my hand on the crystal for hours until something happens? And don’t say partner exercises because I’m not even competent enough at this point to participate in those.”

Max really wasn’t used to tackling something without being gung-ho about it, especially if there wasn’t even gradual progress to justify the glacial pacing. Either he did it or he didn’t, and there wasn’t much use worrying about what he decided he didn’t want to do. Ultimately, though, he knew that waiting for something to happen was basically what he was stuck with, at least until his magic decided to cooperate. That still didn’t stop him from fumbling around for an alternative, though.

Aaron grinned, not really having expected Max to agree. Maybe he’d been a little harsh on him. After all, being too eager was better than being apathetic, even if it posed some of the same problems. He just wished he could be of more help; a teacher he was not, and magic was such a personal thing that it was difficult to apply his experience to someone else. Although, now that he really thought about it, the underlying concepts were similar, just manifesting in different ways. Hopefully that would be enough to at least push Max in the right direction.

Max’s next question kept Aaron quiet for a moment, trying to remember exactly how he’d worked around his own challenges early on. Really, talking Max through all this basic magical theory was getting his own mind working, forcing him to consider problems he’d never faced. It was a fun exercise.

“...Well, like I said before class, you could try to motivate it,” he finally mused, “like… have you ever had a moment where your magic did something of its own accord?” He looked up at the sky, noting that the clouds had begun to clear. “For example, after my Awakening, bright lights and lighting changes never bothered me. My eyes adjusted right away when the lights turned off, and I could look right at the sun without squinting. Or, when my mother was first learning, she accidentally set my aunt’s hair on fire in a fit of frustration.” He chuckled at the memory; Clara still made fun of his mother for that.

He looked over to Max curiously. “Have you ever had anything like that happen? Even something small? Because whatever you were feeling or doing in that moment would have motivated your magic, and it might be something you can tap into again to convince it to cooperate.”

Max considered it for a moment. Nothing particularly extraordinary had happened to him in relation to his magic; even yesterday could’ve easily been a fluke. Still, it was something to work with. What was he doing before that? Oh, right, everyone on campus decided to pester him one after the other for some reason. His face soured outwardly, though he didn’t seem to be directly focusing on Aaron.

“Yesterday, about half the student body decided they wanted to bug me on my way back to my dorm for some reason, and some idiot trampled me on the sidewalk,” He started, eyes narrowing in distaste, “I ended up roped into some petty feud he was having with his vampire; long story short, I got mad that I couldn’t just, y’know, blow him up or something and I felt this… jolt up my arm.”

It sounded pretty pathetic when he put it that way. Whatever, no Noila dog’s opinion of him mattered anyway. Though spelling it out did get him thinking. While his magic may not respond to him getting mad at it, it seemed to respond to perceived external threats. At least, he was assuming - one incident didn’t make a trend.

Aaron nodded as he listened, somewhat amused both by Max’s expressions and by finding out that his gruff exterior apparently wasn’t just skin deep. The reaction he described was weak, but then again, Aaron’s had been too; it had taken him a while to realize that the changes in his vision were a result of magic and not just weird coincidence. An emotional trigger, though, now that was interesting.

“And you know it’s not a basic affinity,” he repeated from earlier, thinking out loud. It was usually basic affinities, like his mother’s, that reacted to emotional triggers, complex affinities usually being more connected to more complex brain processes as far as he could remember. Of course, it was possible to trigger one’s magic in a plethora of ways, as far as he knew, and the issue of magic being such a personal thing made guesswork difficult. It did get him thinking though, and he had at least part of an idea.

“It’s possible you and your magic could be more in tune than you think,” Aaron suggested. “Sounds to me like it reacted to your frustration, like how two people who don’t otherwise get along can find common ground when they have a common enemy.” He shrugged, resting a hand on his pommel. “I don’t know how wise it is to go around looking for trouble to try and recreate that, but maybe you could try to stimulate it by doing something that energizes you in a more positive way. Can you think of anything that might do that?”

“I don’t know what it reacts to. I’ve gotten mad plenty of times since then, and it didn’t do anything.” Max grumbled in annoyance. There was nuance to this, somewhere, but whatever it was, he was missing it. And what did the Retriever mean by ‘positive way’? What did he have to be positive about? He was surrounded by annoying leeches and their bootlickers who won’t leave him alone for some reason.

“I’ll figure something out, I guess. Do you think they have books on this stuff?” He assumed the answer was ‘no’, but it couldn’t hurt to ask. He hoped grasping the basics was the hardest part, otherwise he’d spend his entire school career resisting the temptation to rip his own hair out.

Aaron nodded as the pair approached the dining hall, pausing in front of the door. “I would imagine,” he replied nonchalantly, “Surely someone has researched this kind of thing. Try the Academy library after class, I hear Her Highness has amassed a pretty impressive collection.”

He was going to add some comment about how it was only night one and how Max should try to have patience, but as he reached for the dining hall door he felt something collide with the back of his head. Aaron turned around abruptly, half-expecting to find Ralph laughing and readying another projectile, but was met instead by Lilie and Salem, the latter of whom made his presence known with a comically late, “Duck!”

At the sight of the two, Aaron’s expression fell from irritation to something more polite, the mage sighing as he bent to pick up the projectile; another one of Salem’s notes, apparently. Tucking it into his pocket, he offered the pair a smile, willing his initial aggression to subside. Goodness, he was more tense than he realized. Maybe that little scuffle back in Treaty Law had shaken him a little more than he’d thought.

“Good aim,” he joked, waving the two over. “Come on, why don’t you sit with us?”

Aaron led the group to an unoccupied table near the middle of the dining hall, glancing around at the paper butterflies fluttering about before fishing Salem’s note out of his pocket and opening it. He read over the contents of the note twice, a smirk forming despite the gravity of the situation Salem was joking about. Instead of writing his reply, however, he re-folded the note and looked to Max, who had seated himself two seats away and looked generally as if he wanted nothing to do with any of them. Thinking it would be better not to poke at him, Aaron instead turned to Salem and Lilie, offering a friendly grin.

“Salem, Lilie, this is Max,” he introduced them, gesturing to the brooding mage across the table before looking to Salem specifically. “We’re out of class now, how about we try talking again?” he gently suggested, “I mean, it might be a little hard to eat and write notes at the same time, and we wouldn’t want to be rude.”
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