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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by metanoia
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metanoia I don't like milk

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Location — Avalice Academy Plaza
@Blu
Most of the time, Caelum would often find himself exploring the wonders that interested him. The festivities he couldn’t help himself from noticing appeared like one of those things someone like him would delve into deeper. It appeared to feel like there was something to be found, something to know about, something magical to experience. But instead of doing any of that, despite his go-to actions suggesting otherwise, Caelum kept his place in the stands, feeling content watching.

His eyes had obviously kept their fixated gaze on the Miracle Seven (well six of them). They were everything he hoped they would be and more, but part of him felt disappointed in himself for not doing more. In the past when he thought about what it might be like to meet them, to see them in person, to possibly get the chance to talk to them, he always imagined he’d walk up to them with all the confidence of a true warrior and maybe make an impression on them. Perhaps it wasn’t much, but reality was not as exciting as the fantasies one entertained during sleepless nights.

As he could only gaze from afar, holding his sword tight and close to his person, Caelum looked up. At that exact moment, his heart was threatening to pound itself from his chest. Standing directly in front of him as if they were just any ordinary person, Ines the Silver, one of the strongest warriors in all of Genelogia and quite possibly someone so strong that she made Caelum look like a puny child unable to walk in a straight line, was just a few paces away from him.

Perking up immediately, a few stutters left Caelum’s lips. They were inaudible and completely unrecognizable within any language known to man. Coughing and taking in a relaxing, slow breath, Caelum gave it a second shot. “C-Caelum! My name is Caelum.” He managed to say without biting his own tongue. “Or if you m-mean my sword, it’s Stormbringer. My sword’s name is Stormbringer.” As he spoke, he gripped Stormbringer by the hilt with as much pride he could spare, given the state of his being right now.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Blu
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Blu Show's over, folks!

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Avalice Academy Plaza | Interactions: @metanoia @KoL @Relin

By now, Class-C has pretty much become the envy of the other classes. Out of everyone else here, three members of the Miracle Seven has decided that Class-C was the one that warrants a visit; even the original classes of the Miracle Seven's members haven't been shown that distinction. "What the hell? They're a bunch of losers. What makes them so special...?" One student from Class Quince remarks from afar. Two male Class-C students subsequently bump fists as they beam with smiles. "How is Ty missing all of this?" One of them comments. "Heh, he'd probably challenge all three of 'em to a sparring match if he was here." His friend jokes. "And you two are?" Nyx asks in response to Weyrose's question. "I'm Weyrose Scarlett and this is Morgiana Faetili. Fourth and Second Seat of the Miracle Seven respectively. Being our esteemed predecessor, we just wish to welcome you back to Avalice." Weyrose bows politely. "It's so very nice to finally meet the Nyx Yuria. As the Second Seat of my generation, I hope I have the opportunity to learn from you in the coming year. Especially since I've heard you're in possession of an actual Lexicon. Oh, our First Seat is an even bigger fan. He idolizes both you and the former First Seat, Weis Lucero." At the mention of that name, Nyx becomes visibly annoyed. "Me, I don't doubt, but how can anyone 'idolize' that overrated, unrefined hack of a First Seater I'll never comprehend!" Morgiana and Weyrose are immediately taken back by Nyx's outburst. "O-Oh?" Morgiana, blinking, could only utter in confusion.

Inès—expression ever unchanging as usual—simply stands there quietly as Caelum miraculously stumbles through his sentences. "Stormbringer... Good name for a good sword." She responds in her monotone way of speech. She extends her hands forward. "May I?" One would intuitively think that she is asking to examine the sword. After Caelum agrees to it and hands over the blade, Inès goes to unsheathe it partially. Looking over the milky-white steel, her crimson eyes seem to shimmer against the reflecting light; one could argue that her lips even curved into something resembling a small smile. "Beautiful. A brand passed from father to son. 'He who walks with the wind fear not being swept from the soil, for they may find their fortune in the endless sky'." She sheathes the sword once more and hands it back to Caelum. But how did she know that Stormbringer once belonged to Caelum's father? If Caelum looks puzzled, Inès would swiftly explain, "The mana that flows through a magical weapon persists long after its original wielder. That remnant, no matter how small, preserves its rich history."

As expected of the 'Lady of Blades', Inès is a veritable well of knowledge as it relates to bladed weaponry. She folds her arms once more. "You have strong eyes, Caelum. I'd like to meet those eyes one day in the field of battle." She compliments, stone-faced as she is. "Now isn't this interesting? It's rare for Inès to praise the sword-bearer after she's already praised the sword. You must be a special one indeed, Caelum." Weyrose says as he walks up to the two swordsmen. "I speak what is true. My words would be wasted otherwise." Inès responds, almost coldly so. "Me? I'm not very skilled with swordplay. I'm a practitioner of the martial arts. So when Inès talks about the objects of her life-long fascination, it just simply goes over my head." Weyrose playfully shakes his head and sighs.



Hana'O soon finds herself in an isolated garden area at the right edge of the plaza. She lets out a small sigh of relief as she is finally away from all the excitement of the festivities. She managed to purchase a nice cup of lemony tea and a plate of sweet grilled mochi on little wooden skewers. As she sets them down on a stone bench, she recalls the colorful cast of characters in front of the tea stall discussing the very topic. Looking behind her, she sees a wonderful cherry blossom tree in full bloom. Her eyes gleam with awe at its magnificence. Walking up to it, she places one hand on the trunk, gently feeling the bark. Fond memories of planting new saplings back in the days when she was part of Class Sakura comes rushing back to her.

But the flood of nostalgia quickly ceases when she senses a presence nearby. She turns around, one hand gripping the front collar of her kimono and the other still glued to the tree. She scans the scenery in front of her but sees nothing in particular. "Hello?" She calls out. "It's faint but I can sense your mana. You don't have complete control over it just yet so wisps of it disperse into the air now and again." She faintly smiles. "Your mana is rather intriguing. It's as if I'm in an endless world of mirrors. No matter where my gaze falls, I only see myself; beckoning my own introspection. It would make for a beautiful story..." Hana'O closes her eyes and let the sensation envelop her entire being.



"Heh, impressive." A singular voice pierces through the crowd of inspired students gathered around the culinary club's stand. As they all look behind them, they see none other than the Seventh and Fifth Seat standing among them. The hulking behemoth that is the Fifth Seat is holding an equally gargantuan stash of food with both arms. His lower-ranked companion has his arms crossed and proudly displays a cocky look on his face. "T-That's Lanza of the Lightning and the big armored guy, that's the nameless Fifth Seat." Students whisper among themselves.

Lanza puts his hands in his pockets and walks toward the stall. "Quite the performance you pulled off there. It almost made me considered joining your cooking club. Almost." His words drip with such hubris. "That said... Why would I join a club that I've already far exceeded in skill level? I'll tell you what." He stops in front of the stand and slams one hand down onto the countertop. "Let's have a fun little wager, shall we? I'll do exactly what you just did but with one hand behind my back the entire time AND I can promise that my cuts will be even more precise than yours. If I win, you'll have to rename the cooking club after me and you, in particular, will become part of my personal crew of chefs. If you win, I'll join the cooking club as your underling and I'll even donate money for new equipment." Lanza closes his eyes and smirks. "So how about it?"
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by AThousandCurses
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AThousandCurses

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Sophiel Sargute


"Is that so?" Mandi couldn't be far from the truth. While it was touching that her fellow classmate was trying to compliment her, she felt nothing of it. She was still trying sort her feelings prior to her meeting with Mandi, so it was in a bit of a mess. "I think that is an incorrect statement, Mandi, just because-" She couldn't finished with what she saying as Yvain came over. After being prompted to tell her name, Sophiel was about introduce herself again until Yvain claimed her hand with one of her own. Just like Mandi, she felt rather surprised at this directness and was slightly flushed for a split second. No one held her hand before.

Though what shocked her was what Mandi did next. "M-Mandi! What are you doing?!" Sophiel said in a embarrassed tone. How informal... No informal was not the word for this situation, crass was the much more proper word. "You shouldn't just do that out of the blue, no matter if we're classmates or not." Shaking her head and turned towards Yvain. Clearing out her throat she made eye contact with the slightly taller girl, "I'm sorry for that, my name is Sophiel Sargute. Just like Mandi, I hope we'll be close friends in the future... Though not that close." She said the last part as a mutter.

Moving on from that strange event, Yvain mentioned something about pastries. While, she never did like them, she wouldn't mind going out for some. "I wouldn't mind, I wondered what they taste like." Sophiel said offhandedly before hearing Mandi 'compliments'. Could they be called compliments? If anything they sounded like flirtations. Shaking her head and signing, she began to resolve herself. She will not be flustered by Mandi's strange personality. "Indeed, I guess we should get in line before the line gets too long."

Following after Mandi, and Yvain if she decided to lead them, she looked at Mandi. "Also, Mandi, I'd appreciate if you refrained from exhibiting such behavior. People can take your actions in the wrong way and a misunderstanding may occur. I'm not asking you stop, but please stop doing it excessively." Sophiel said with a sign. At least she had forgotten that wretched feeling.

Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Relin
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Relin

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Ty Varen


The applause waned faster than expected, being replaced by quiet murmurs. "Hmm? Where'd all the excitement go. I thought it was a pretty good show..." One of the club members nudged Ty in the arm. "Uhh, Ty? You might wanna take the blindfold off now..." He lifted the blindfold up to his forehead, and was instantly greeted with a regal figure of blue and gold. One of the seven top students in Avalice, and one of Ty's prime targets: Lanza. Ty cocked his head curiously, wondering what to make of the guy. Would he be like the First, or would he be totally different. But then he heard the arrogance dripping from every one of his words. Ah. He was one of those. He didn't even flinch when Lanza slammed his hand on the table. He just met the man's gaze, glaring back at him and hearing his wager. He had considered calling out one of the seven during the festivities, but he hadn't expected one of them to descend from their thrones to challenge him. A simple and clear wager with an enthralled audience. Ty couldn't ask for a better stage.

"Heh, must've been a damn good show to get the attention of the Miracle Seven. Of cour--" The president of the cooking club slapped his hand over Ty's mouth while two other members grabbed his arms to prevent his inevitable struggling. "Sir, Lanza," He said. "On behalf of the entire cooking club, let me state what an honor it is that a great hero such as yourself would even consider gracing us with your presence. But, the terms of your wager do affect everyone here, so I'm sure you'll understand if we all take a moment to confer before the wager is accepted." All smiles, the three of them dragged Ty back and the club formed a small huddle.

"Okay, Ty, I know you want at him, but think carefully before -- OW!" Ty bit the president's finger to get his mouth free. "I'm challenging him!" Ty growled. "If you don't want the club name changed, I'll bet something else, but you're not stopping me." "Actually," one of the portly member's chimed in. "Lanza's Cooking Club has a nice ring to it. Good branding. It's hardly a punishment to benefit off of the name of the Seventh Seat." A thin girl adjusted her glasses menacingly and snickered. "Besides, Lanza sealed his fate when he issued his challenge. He said exactly what Ty did. Do you really think he memorized the order of vegetables to cut? And, even if he did, do you think he can yell as loudly as Ty to start the performance?" The club members grinned while Ty frowned. "A win by technicality," the president said. Ty's frown deepened. Another member said, "We can even give Lanza the rickety knife." "NO BULLSHIT TRICKS!" That silenced the club.

Ty stomped back over to the stall to face the Seventh Seat again. "Sorry about that. These guys don't get the point of a challenge. Yeah, I'll take you on. But, don't you think that wager is a bit lopsided?" Ty crossed his arms and smirked. "Here I was just having a good time and putting on a show for everybody, and it suddenly becomes the standard for a high stakes wager. You want to challenge me, let's make it a real challenge." Ty reached under the stall and plopped a sack of potatoes on the counter. "First person to properly cube twelve potatoes. Blindfolded. With one hand behind their back. And they won't give you the rickety knife." He shot a glare back at the person who suggested it. "They're fine with changing the name to 'Lanza's Cooking Club,' so I accept your wager on one condition. My service to your cooking crew will come with an expiration date. The day I beat you, I'm a free agent. Deal?" He held out his hand to Lanza. Even if he was a pompous prick, surely a member of the Miracle Seven would have the decency to seal a deal properly.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 11 days ago Post by Matsuri
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Matsuri procrastination station

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A L B E R T A

AVALICE ACADEMY — THE PLAZA


What was meant to be a conversation for two quickly became a topic for class discussion, not at all what Alberta intended. Usually she would have been irate at the sudden interruptions, but the two girls who had spoken up — and who she vaguely remembered being in the same classroom as her — didn't seem to be looking for a confrontation. Much to Alberta's surprise, considering the turbulent events that had taken place earlier in the morning. There was no reason for her to act hostile. Yet.

"But of course, my family has been brewing some of the finest teas in the continent for centuries," she replied to Kiara and Sekhandur. "Most of our plantations are based in Grünewald down south, since the weather is a lot milder near the coasts. Tea plants do favour climates where rain is most frequent, after all."

It was as if Alberta's perpetual ill temper had suddenly dissipated, now overcome with an intense, almost aggressive earnestness. There were very, very few things in the world she genuinely appreciated, and even fewer instances where she could express them; but once the right conversation met Alberta at the right time, there was almost no stopping her from blathering on about the subject in question. Sekhandur had asked her to regale them with her expertise, and Alberta was prepared to deliver.

"And yes, I make most of my teas myself, especially when I'm away from home. Anything I can't grow here myself, I just request to have imported from the plantations," Alberta continued, even setting down her half eaten biscuit sample on a table behind her. "Really, it's a fairly simple process, you know, withering the tea leaves to pull their moisture, bruising the leaves and letting them oxidise to strengthen their aroma and flavour, then steaming the leaves to stop them from oxidising which prevents damaging said aroma and flavour, then rolling the leaves into a desired shape which can actually further enhance the taste of the tea depending on how it's handled, and then finally air drying or baking the leaves to finish, but it's important they're not overcooked otherwise all your efforts basically amount to nothing and you're left with the hot, bitter taste of failure. And that's just for making black tea! There are many others that follow different processes, but this is the most common one."

Alberta took one second to catch her breath, then resumed. "Of course, you could just harvest the tea leaves fresh and soak them in hot water, but compared to dried leaves and flowers, the taste is completely different. Still, it'll probably taste a lot better than the teabag garbage some of these food stalls are serving, you might as well be drinking sugared compost with hot water poured on top of it."

She then turned to Sanhan, who, in the midst of her brief talk about tea processing, Alberta had completely forgotten was beside her. That, and her name had slipped from her mind since the morning introductions. But with the mentioning of tea escaping the young woman's mouth, Alberta at least remembered what Sanhan had asked earlier.

"A lemongrass and liquorice root blend should wake you up, it sure looks like you need it," she advised Sanhan, staring her up and down. "Go look for the Practitioners United stall, they're the only ones here who sell loose tea leaves that actually taste decent. Their president's got a few screws loose and he'll definitely try to sell his weird smoking herbs to you while you're there, but if you ask him for something specific he should give you the right thing."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheWendil
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TheWendil The Wendil-Sama™ / ಠ_ಠ

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Before Alberta could answer her question, Kiara found that their small group was becoming small no longer. Another girl, who she distinctly knew was in Class-C, approached. Sanhan, though, looked more dead than alive, and she was almost certain she had somehow gotten even less sleep than Sekhandur. But that was neither here nor there. What did matter was Alberta finally reveling in the finer elaborations of tea-making and the process of the drink. Whether she was goaded on by Sekhandur’s imploring or her own zeal for tea, Kiara wasn’t sure-no, nevermind. Because with the way Alberta was still going, it was clear there was passion there.

Kiara’s eyes widened slightly at the layers upon layers of explanations Alberta gave them. She almost wished she had a pen and paper to take note of each one because the more Alberta went on, the more fascinated Kiara became, drawn in by the other girl’s words. So enthralled was she that she ignored what was going on nearby with the other food stalls, though she could have sworn she heard Ty’s voice yelling out into the air about…something about cooking clubs. “Oh wow…that was…really amazing!” Kiara said.

For the first time that day, as far as anyone was concerned, the Class Rep had more than a bit of a smile on her features. “I knew tea brewing was a process, but I never imagined it’d take so much into it, especially to get the right flavors. It’s almost like alchemy in a way.” The fact the Blumenthals were famous tea brewers didn’t go unnoticed at all, and Kiara didn’t need any pen or paper to remember that fact. “I’m no stranger to tea parties myself, so if ever a need arises for one, I’d like you to be the first point of reference for the refreshments,” she followed up with a bit more glee than before.

“Oh, Sekhandur, tea parties must be common practice in your land, right?” Now she looked up at the Black Prince. “Surely you must host all sorts of tea parties and banquets in your court? I think I’d like you to help me set one up in the future. I can see it now; you can plan the gatherings and Alberta can plan the brews.” Now she turned her sight on Sanhan. “You’ll join us for a tea party too, right...Sanhan was it? It would do well in helping your sleep problems.” Kiara nodded, more to herself than anyone else, as if a tea party was already planned out in full step. Whether or not it was to be hosted in her dorm was another issue, more so for Sanhan and Sekhandur, but the possibilities were there-

“Hmm?” In the midst of her internal planning of the event, she felt a sharp and dangerous energy in the air. The source of it was incredibly close and spurned her to turn about and look in the direction of the other food stalls now. There she saw Ty yelling at one of the Miracle Seven. Both boys looked to be in the thralls of challenging one another to a competition, but what caught Kiara’s attention the most was Lanza of the Lightning’s presence. It felt very similar to her own, giving her pause in her thoughts for just a moment before she focused back on the others. Indeed, she didn’t need her Mystic Perception at all to know they were similar in magic; after all, it was in the Seventh Seat’s title. Curious indeed….

Hidden 2 mos ago Post by SilverPaw
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Ankaa Liu
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“Hello, Misaiya,” she greeted the enrobed male politely. “As Kress mentioned, I’m Ankaa Liu,” she once again introduced herself. She issued a contemplative “Hmm?” when Alstein assured Misaiya that he would be fine.

“An attendance list?” Ankaa questioned, glancing down in thought as she briefly put a half-curled hand to her chin. “Huh, you’re right, I don’t think he had one,” she admitted, shaking off her confusion. “Though I’m not certain professor Mavis used one last year, either,” she added with a blink, shrugging one shoulder.

“I honestly expected professor Nyx to just…memorize who was who,” she explained. “Perhaps worrying is unnecessary, however. He was not too put out at the other latecomers. And,” she said, voice picking up speed and conviction, “he was tardy himself.” Ankaa nodded once, as if that settled the matter, a self-pleased smile gracing her lips.

What she kept to herself was that she’d found their teacher entertaining when he was put on the spot and flustered. That, and the only time he’d used magic so far was when he’d been annoyed by being mistaken for a student, and the martial artist was definitely in favour of seeing more.

At Kress’ proclamation, Liu turned to stare at him, bewildered. “What line?” she asked, tone heavy with incredulity. “This here is just a very chaotic mob,” the girl proclaimed. “I would usually commend you for your patience, but when no-one else,” her hand made a pointed sweeping motion at the crowd, which practically embodied the definition of disorderly, “appreciates it, I am afraid it is very much pointless. I learned that lesson my first year,” she confessed wryly.

“I will join,” she confirmed. “As we seem to agree that we would like to see the experts at their work, may I suggest adopting the local custom and squeezing our way through?” Ankaa proposed, one arm spreading wide in the painters’ direction, the other turned towards her classmates, beckoning them with a come-hither motion. Her eyebrows were raised expectantly, but instead of progressing forwards as she’d advised and presuming they would follow, she waited for the boys’ opinion on the matter. Certainly, if they knew of a politer yet equally efficient way to go about this, she’d be willing to listen.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by samakama
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samakama はいどうもー / バーチャルニートサマカマです

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For all the limitations inherent in judging books by their covers, Misaiya had always thought it unreasonable to totally give up man’s most powerful perceptive tool - vision. And so, as he chuckled lightly at the recount of the morning class and Nyx’s unprofessional conduct, he observed.

Ankaa looked like a martial artist—perhaps it was the tied-up hair, and the way it floated wildly in the wind—and not one of those mystic types who were more philosopher than fighter in the less-than-positive ‘no action, talk only’ sense. Nor could she have been the opposite extreme, a bloodthirsty ruffian who beats people for fun, detests the weak, and has little brains to accompany their brawn; she surely had a better head on her shoulders than that. She appeared the more realistic and practical sort, who had the conviction and skill to defend themselves and those they held dear without losing to their own temper. The ideal practitioner of martial arts.

At least, that was Misaiya’s opinion. All predicated on an analysis that was anything but rigorous and the assumption that her demeanour reflected her character, he would note. A psychological report wasn’t his intention anyhow. As long as he kept the quick appraisal’s numerous caveats in mind, he could probably avoid prancing straight towards the most egregious faux pas.

Either way, Ankaa was friendly and easy enough to talk to, Misaiya thought.

Then he looked again at her face, a proper and careful look.

She had a questioning expression; not the questioning expression of a typical questioner, which would have been normal enough to evade notice, but the questioning expression of someone who was utterly bewildered, like a foreigner watching a bizarre and incomprehensible local practice. Misaiya hadn’t been listening too closely to her tone of voice, and the compounding marketplace-like bustle was of no help. It was hence unclear to him what exactly Ankaa had found so strange.

Time to put on the thinking cap.

There were three possible sources of her confusion, at least as far as Misaiya could identify from what she had spoken aloud.

“Are you two waiting to get a portrait done?” she asked disbelievingly. “Looks like a long wait,” she noted, expression puzzled.

The first, “you two”. This would make it an expression of surprise that Kress and Misaiya specifically were doing something together. It was immediately evident that this was unlikely at best. Barring some foreign social norm not known to him forbidding his interaction with Kress or other similarly unprovable speculation, there were no concrete grounds to suspect this as the cause.

The second, “waiting”. He would admit that he couldn’t see the slightest outline of a queue, but surely waiting was not so peculiar a sight even here.

The third, “to get a portrait done”. Ankaa was asking, ‘why spend so much time on a drawing of yourself?’ Maybe the idea of wanting your own portrait was inconceivable in some way to her. Hypothetically, could it have been rooted in self-image issues, someone who couldn’t stand the look of their own face and couldn’t imagine wanting to see someone draw it? Not impossible, but if his previous assessment stood true (and that was quite the colossal ‘if’) then fussing over looks in such a way would have been vapid vanity in her eyes. Plus, there was nothing in her appearance for her to be ashamed about, though it’s not as if that had ever stopped anyone.

No, hers was not an outright negative response at all; she did not hate portraits. Neutral - would be the best way to put it. No strong opinion, because portraits are frivolous. They do not serve a purpose.

By extension, this implied that Kress and Misaiya were also frivolous people. How, then, should he explain and justify himself? A more utilitarian approach would fit well, something about evaluating the quality of the cocurriculars perhaps, or building a network of contacts, or, but then again he couldn’t make it appear as if he’d been examining her so thoroughly because, well, that would be unnerving, so it had to be natural, and subtle, and since Kress was here too, sounding too utilitarian would be off-putting, plus, blundering and making a poor impression on Ankaa would have repercussions on more than himself alone and he had to account for—

He was hearing and half-listening to everything Ankaa and Kress said, trying to follow along with little nods and timely chuckles and a content smile on his lips that was not mirrored in his eyes. Yet, occupied as his mind was, none of their words and sentences had any real meaning. Even as they moved on and spoke of other topics, the gears in his head kept turning and churning his brain into smooth mush. What should he do…?!

Ankaa put a rest to all this thinking and rethinking. It took but one simple sentence; sincere, straightforward.

“I will join,” she confirmed.



Damn.

Misaiya noticed that he hadn’t put the thinking cap on all this while. No, it had been a dunce cap.

What have I been doing?

Why was his mind wracked with such crippling indecision and complex inanity at a time and place like this? It was a fun fair after all, meant to welcome the new batch of students, people like Kress and himself. He may as well have some fun. Yes, that was right on—

“As we seem to agree that we would like to see the experts at their work, may I suggest adopting the local custom and squeezing our way through?” Ankaa proposed, one arm spreading wide in the painters’ direction, the other turned towards her classmates, beckoning them with a come-hither motion.

And just as quickly, Ankaa’s suggestion triggered a momentary lapse from this newfound enlightenment.

On one hand, queueing was a fundamental component of civil society. Waiting alongside everyone else was a little bit of equality in an often unfair world, and in Suanneipua it was so inviolable a tradition that you could reserve a spot in the line with nothing but shoes, and a seat or a table with some paper or a coin (or even a whole purse, though that was still a bit of a gamble) and only an oblivious tourist or an utter rascal would dare to break the unwritten rules.

On the other hand, this schoolyard pseudo-market clearly wasn’t a civil society. When in Avalice, do as the Avaliceans do. Misaiya had been to bazaars and wet markets many dozens of times, so this sort of chaos was scarcely an alien environment. He thought about the one next to his home, with geriatric grandmothers outrunning wide-eyed whippersnappers to get first picks from the fishmongers and fruitsellers, how nostalgic!

On the other other hand, there was the exasperated parent’s favourite ‘if everyone jumped off a cliff’ rebuttal. Perhaps all customs were simply peer pressure, codified and normalised. Hm…

Absurdity brought Misaiya back to his senses.

Ah, whatever. The journey here had made his body weary; that bout of irrationality had tired his mind. To live a simple, honest, and genuine life, like his two peers, Kress and Ankaa: that would be an ideal worth striving for. Ankaa had shown the futility of overthinking just now; it wouldn’t do Kress and Misaiya much harm to follow their senior’s lead again. Elder’s wisdom and what not.

“I haven’t any objections. We’ll be in your care.” Misaiya turned to look at Kress, asking for his assent, even as he expressed his own approval.

He faced the stall again, from which emanated laughter and cheering - someone must have been trying to hold an untenable pose, or perhaps made into a comedically grotesque caricature.

“I wonder what they can do. Should we ask for a realistic drawing, or something cartoonish, or…?” Misaiya let his voice trail off. It was rhetorical, more a vocalised thought than a serious question. He did have something to ask, though. Cocurriculars had brightened up many a slow and dreary day, becoming something he looked forward to and dedicated hours to without the slightest regret. If the school life and learning in Avalice was as holistic and broad, it would be quite wonderful.

“How are the clubs here? Are you in any, Ankaa?”
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Chezka
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Chezka

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When she was eight, Yvaine accidentally stumbled upon an unused room hidden in the sanatorium's eastern wing. It had been her reading room for weeks, and her refuge for when some of the girls' tempers flared, as it often did. The room had been her little secret, until one day when she found two of the older apostles occupying it. Yvaine interrupted what seemed like an intimate moment. They were locked in embrace and the taller of the two had been in the middle of planting a gentle kiss upon the other girl's cheek.

Yvaine hadn't wanted to disturb them, but they caught her and immediately stopped to explain themselves. They were just friends, they'd said; the taller one was consoling her best friend because she had failed an important exam. Yvaine nodded in understanding, knowing full well the strict punishment that entailed. And here she had thought they were lovers, forced to hide their relationship from their peers! After that, she'd scurried away to give them some privacy, embarrassed for misinterpreting the situation so completely, but touched to have witnessed such deep friendship.

Ever since, Yvaine had hoped to find such a friend. A kindred spirit to whom she could confide her soul. It was all she could think of as Mandi imprinted a gentle kiss upon her cheek. Yvaine was unable to stop the giddy smile from pulling at her lips; even Mandi had agreed that they would become very close friends. How wonderful!

She turned to Sophiel, expecting another kiss of friendship to follow, and was surprised to see the other girl hadn't been as thrilled with the display. Ah, perhaps Sophiel was not ready to be best of friends just yet? Yvaine nodded to herself; of course, a budding friendship must be cultivated as well. She will have to prove herself deserving of their friendship.

"It's wonderful to meet you both!"

The trio approached the food stalls then, Mandi and Yvaine linked in arms. The student behind the charmingly decorated confections stand was a young man, looking more than eager to attend on them. He had an almost too-wide impish grin as he examined her and Sophiel, one that began to unnerve even Yvaine. The boy's gaze lingered longest upon Mandi, a hint of confusion apparent in his face and looking almost like he was struggling to make a decision about something.

"Here you go… ladies," he said with another pointed look at Mandi, handing them each an oblong pastry filled with a cream and topped with icing. "On the house! Make sure to check out the Baking Club. We're way better than the noisy Cooking Club over there." He gestured vaguely across from him, where some sort of commotion was stirring.

After thanking the man profusely, Yvaine took a bite of her éclair and swooned. The sweet chocolatey flavor had burst across her tongue and lit up her face with delight. "This is amazing, isn't it?" she looked at both Mandi and Sophiel expectantly, hoping they both enjoyed the treat as well.

Curiously, she glanced over where the member of the Baking Club was scowling, and was surprised to see a familiar face in the middle of it all.

"Oh! It's the arguing boy from class!" Yvaine noted happily. She thought it was funny how he seemed to have a proclivity for arguments, going so far as to confronting who she recognized as one of the Miracle Seven. Yvaine knew as much about the so-called school's greatest pride only from what the headmaster had mentioned earlier, and even then she was aware that arguing boy would be at a disadvantage. She hoped he would win anyway!

"Will class be like this every day?" Yvaine turned back to her two companions, hands pressed together in joy. Boisterous classes, outdoor ceremonies, food stalls, and wonderful performances. Everything was in stark contrast to the priory, where strict discipline reigned paramount. "Everyone seems to be having so much fun!"

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The hydromancer quickly blinked on hearing Sophiel raising her voice, drawing attention away from Yvaine's pristine smile. "Oh! You look abit red! I was just greeting our fellow classmate in an equally warm manner as she did to us, it is custom among the Shalash Indria nobles to greet dear friends in such a fashion, according to historian Volkam Joul which included it into his record of the life of Lord Isaraman of Dessha's biography, which was written some fifty years ago. Though maybe it was on both cheeks now when I think about it... I cannot quite recall it all." The young mage began to mumble the last part, tilting it's head to the side abit with an appologetic look to Sophiel.

"Oh but it's fine, it's fine. See? Don't worry about it okay?~" The mage waved to Sophiel in a reassuring manner and then looked Yvaine over, which seemingly had expected the same greeting from Sophiel by the looks of it. Mandi begun to beam on seeing that, it meant that not only did Yvaine accept the greeting but was fond of it. "I am certain this year will be a great one, let's do our best~" The mage cheered softly and began to approach the baking club's section. There seemed to be a big variety of sweets and pastries about, the young mage however kept looking over Yvaine and Sophiel more than the pastries. Then to the baker which seemed to stare right at the hydromancer, Mandi gave him a soft smirk as the pastries were handed out. "Thank you very much~ I would like six of those too. Here you can have these." The young mage rummaged through a small pouch fetching some coins, the young mage had spotted something on the baking stands which was too good to pass on. Six sticks covered partly in chocolate. Choco-sticks? Whatever they were, it gave the crafty hydromancer an idea of a fun game they could play later. The baking boy passed them all over in a nice paper bag.

"Oh they do look really amazing, I would love to have a bite~ Down the hatch you go. Mhm." Mandi said whilst taking a bite into the pastry. It truly was very sweet and rich in taste, Mandi would agree that this was well made. "Mhmm~ They are good." Mandi smiled to both Yvaine and Sophiel, the former had spotted a classmate beyond. The boy who was arguing with Alberta on Eris behalf. The hydromancer was certain that boy would be trouble no matter where or who he went with, but as long as he didn't cause trouble for them he wasn't going to find himself on the receiving end of divine judgement. Then came a question from Yvaine, and it was a question which Mandi also wondered about. If the class would be like this every day, but surely it couldn't be as chaotic as this day every day? Could it?

"I'm not sure, but if it is, I'm sure we'll manage~ Right? Having fun is important too... takes time away from all the serious things for abit." Mandi smiled to the both girls. "Oh and don't worry so much, miss Sophiel~! Relax~ It's fine!" Mandi smiled with eyes closed towards Sophiel, the black hair sliding from one side of the young mage's face to the other.

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Avalice Academy Plaza || @Blu


For the longest time, or at least since his father passed into the afterlife, Caelum had always protected himself with Stormbringer and in turn, had been protective over Stormbringer. To him, the sword wasn’t just a tool to use in battle nor was it a prop most he had encountered treat their swords as. To him, it was one of the last things to remember his father by. It was a cherished relic of the love his father showed him. Stormbringer was a part of his soul. That couldn’t be denied.

As Ines asked to hold it, though he was hesitant because he had never let anyone hold it unless their name was Caelum, he wasn’t in a position to say no. Or perhaps Caelum was and he just felt like he was in such awe that one of the Miracle Seven was a special exception.

So Ines took it into her hand, unsheathing the sword and speaking about its name, praising its name. What had prompted the boy to blink not aimlessly but with a genuine confusion at Ines was how she knew it was originally his father’s. “How did you know?” He would begin to ask shortly before Ines revealed that there had been traces of his father’s mana within the blade itself. By this point, Stormbringer was back in his possession and he couldn’t help but stare down at it, gazing with much intrigue into the shining silver of the blade. It was faint but the same glow in the blade filled him with a familiar warmth his father did whenever he thought back to their time together. “I can’t believe I never realized it before,” Caelum muttered, sheathing Stormbringer and resting it in his lap.

And as Caelum was dealt with another revelation, one that resulted in his previous stutter to return, he didn’t have time to process that Ines actually said to him she wanted to face him one day. He thought maybe she was joking at the expense of his clearly inferior skills, but when another member of the Miracle Seven joined them, Weyrose and Ines confirming it for him that she wasn’t joking, Caelum swallowed a tense breath. His mouth was drier than a desert and his arms shook. Whether they shook because he was anxious at the thought of facing Ines one day or excited at the chance to prove himself remained to be seen. Still, it was, at the very least, something that could very well happen and that gave him something to work towards.

“T-thank you,” Caelum said, feeling like bowing his head was appropriate. “I’m not sure if I would be able to give you a fair challenge, though. I have a long way to go before I’m at your level.” Truth was, Caelum didn’t know where he stood. Part of him wanted to test his strengths right now just so he could confirm it. “My father taught me everything I know. He trained me the moment he knew I wasn’t like others in my village. I know one day, I would love to see where I stand in this world. I mean, doesn’t everyone wish to know where their strength resides when compared to those who might be stronger with them?” He looked up at Ines and Weyrose, smiling, arms shaking with excitement.
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As the cooking club deliberates on how best to deal with the situation, Lanza stands by waiting with an all too calm demeanor. Either he's just extremely confident in his abilities or he's somehow assured that he will win. Although, his hulking companion doesn't seem to share the same level of enthusiasm as evident by a quick glance from the Fifth Seat to his underclassman; one that Lanza—somehow behind the featureless iron mask—reads to be an expression of doubt. "Relax, Sir. I've got this in the bag." He assures his superior. The private meeting between the cooking club's members finally ends when Ty shouts something about 'bullshit tricks' before making his way back to the stall to confront Lanza. There, he counters with a new challenge, one that involves both parties competing. At the utterance of the phrase 'first person to', Lanza's cocky smirk only grows that much larger. Only a right fool would challenge the Lanza of the Lightning to a game of speed.

As a final condition, Ty suggests that if he beats Lanza in a fight during his time as part of Lanza's personal culinary team, his services would terminate. "Oh? So your goal is to stay in my employ forever then." Bemused, Lanza shakes his head. "Very well. I accept those terms." But mere words aren't how men agree to a deal. Ty extends his hand forward, awaiting a shake. Fancying himself an honorable gentleman, Lanza removes one of his pristine gloves and takes hold of Ty's hand in firm affirmation. The stations are quickly prepped, and both parties take their places behind a cutting board. Twelve potatoes, one knife, and two determined competitors. Lanza ties his blindfold, places one hand behind his back, and slams the other onto the board. His knife flies into the air and he catches it with his free hand.

Suddenly, the air begins to ripple and crack with static pressure. Any uncovered hair starts to stand on end. Objects made of metal are trembling energetically. This causes the students in the vicinity to panic. "My apologies. This is just what happens when I'm feeling eager." Lanza states with his signature cocky grin. Shockingly, Lanza isn't even exuding any mana, or, if he is, the amount is so minuscule that it's undetectable. Such is the power of the Miracle Seven. Holding his knife to the sky, the blade is then enveloped by lightning. Lanza is definitely not one for subtlety. "O-Okay then, both competitors at the ready... And start!"

Lanza immediately goes to work peeling, slicing, dicing—all with a single hand as per the stipulations. It's inhuman how fast he's going. At some point, his hand and knife blends into some incomprehensible blur, making the action impossible to watch. "This can't be possible. How can a human hand move with such speed...?!" In a flash, it was over, signaled by an audible gasp from the audience. Some time after, Ty finally finishes. The crowd is silent. "Lanza... finished first," is the first thing both competitors hear. "I think it's best if you see the results for yourselves. Gentleman, remove your blindfolds." Lanza confidently does so. "Game, set, match."

As the blindfold comes off, Lanza looks down to see his glorious work. His eyes widens. But, not with joy. "N-No..." He utters in shock. In his manic lust for speed, Lanza has inadvertently pulverized his twelve potatoes into an unrecognizable mash. No cubes can be found on this cutting board. The president's fists trembles with untamed excitement. "TY IS THE WINNER!"

"Noooooo!" Lanza falls to his knees, defeated by, not just Ty, but his own hubris. The Fifth Seat looks on silently. Though you can never tell from his face—because he lacks one—it's almost as if he knew all along that his underclassman would lose. It seems the old saying rings true in this very moment: pride goes before the fall.

Despite the traces of doubt that Caelum has about his own strength, deep within he knows he desires to face Inès in battle as well. At the very least, to understand how his power stacks up to stronger opponents. Understanding that very same desire as she has felt it many times before, Inès nods with a slight smile at Caelum. All of a sudden, yelling can be heard in the direction of the food stalls; a familiar voice at that. "Well that sounds like Lanza making a fool out of himself." Weyrose sighs as he starts to make his way over to the source of the commotion. "Oh dear... Time for a daring rescue. Inès, you coming?" Hearing that, Inès nods in acknowledgment. "Shame." She says in regards to having to end her pleasant conversation with Caelum. She makes her way over as well, trailing behind her other two classmates. While the members of the cooking club celebrate, Lanza seems to be having a difficult time dealing with his bitter defeat. "Ty, was it...?" Seething with rage, he quietly asks. Then, still on his knees, he points at Ty in a dramatic fashion.

"I'm going to have my revenge! I will beat you in the next culinary competition, mark my words! First you, then my Captain! I'll beat him too and take the First Seat for myself!" Lanza passionately vows. Nyx, having followed along to see the theatrics, stares blankly at the Seventh Seat. Uhh, is this not reminding him of anything personal? "That's enough excitement for one morning." Weyrose nods at Inès. Nodding back, the Third Seat grabs hold of Lanza by the neck of his cape and casually drags him away. "This isn't over! I'll see you during club hours, you bastard!" Those are the last words from Lanza before him and the other Miracle Seven disappear from view.

"I'd say 'good work' but I don't actually know what happened here." Nyx tells Ty plainly. Just then, the chime of the school bell echoes throughout the plaza, indicating that noon has arrived. Closing his eyes, Nyx locks onto the individual mana signature of every one of his students, including one that never showed up to morning class and thought he was sly enough to shuffle into the group during the welcoming ceremony. Following that, he uses a telepathy spell to broadcast a message. "This is your professor speaking. The afternoon class session starts in fifteen minutes. So get your asses back to the lecture hall, now." Nyx orders. He then looks over to Ty and Caelum. "Well? You heard what I said." He tells them before literally sinking into his own shadow as if it were a puddle and disappearing from the area completely.


OOC: Posting early in light of the outages.
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Eris had a wry smile in her lips as she walked from behind whatever cover she was using. However, it wasn't a smile born out of frustration or disappointment, but rather, curiosity. “That's certainly entertaining. It's the first time I heard anyone describing it like this. Usually they feel more... unnerved?” she said in an amused voice, pretty much talking to herself.

“Apologies for my lack of manners. I'm Eris Reinhardt of class C,” Eris curtsied gracefully as she introduced herself. “I suppose I'm an admirer? That certainly seems to be the right word,” she added, basically talking to herself again.

“Worry not, I have no intention of ruining your moment by challenging you to a duel or anything like that. I imagine it must be very tiring to have to worry about that every time someone approaches you.”
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Ty Varen


The tension in the air was palpable as Ty shook hands with Lanza, sealing their deal. Ty could feel the seventh seat's mana pouring out from him. It was almost blinding. If this were a duel of magic, Ty knew just from feeling that power that he wouldn't stand a chance. Fortunately, this was a cooking duel. Ty knew he was good at this, so he definitely stood a chance. His hairs stood on end from the electric aura, but he took a deep breath to calm himself. This wasn't like his duel with the first. It was just a friendly competition and if he lost, he'd have to cook. He liked cooking anyway. No big deal. He kept telling himself that as he put on his blindfold and the club members lined up the potatoes for him. He flared his mana and touched each potato once. He knew where the were now. He could do this. He folded his left hand behind his back, and the competition commenced.

Ty set the knife down and grabbed four potatoes, making a square in front of him. He could cut the four at a time to give himself an edge. Chop, chop, chop... Swift, efficient blows began to cube the potatoes. Ty had never done anything quite like this before, but as he brought the knife down onto his targets, he was actually a bit impressed with how well he was doing. Then, he heard the chopping next to him. Holy Shit! He sounds like a goddamn woodpecker! Ty thought, furrowing his brow and redoubling his efforts to chop more quickly.

He wasn't even halfway done when Lanza's chopping stopped. Ty felt a sinking feeling in his gut. He knew it was over. However, even in a marathon, someone had to come in last place. He'd finish his course and at least try to lose with dignity. Twelve potatoes chopped, and Ty set his knife down, rested his hands on the table, and stared down blindly at his pile of neat little cubes. "Dammit..." he muttered. It felt like the gap between him and them hadn't grown any smaller. "TY IS THE WINNER!" "Wait... WHAT!?" Ty ripped off his blindfold to see what the hell just happened. Did Lanza accidentally chop off a finger or something? That was always a risk when working this fast. He looked over to Lanza's table and saw a mutilated potato puree. Definitely not properly cubed.

Ty was conflicted. In a way it felt like one of those bullshit technicalities he wanted to avoid. But, no. This wasn't a fight, it was a chopping contest and the terms were perfectly clear. In a fair and honest duel... "I BEAT LANZA!" he shouted, throwing his fists up in the air victoriously as the seventh seat sank to his knees. The crowd was in an uproar at this upset victory. The cooking club was certain to get a whole slew of new members after this. Like any good rival, Lanza swore swift vengeance on him and Ty responded to the challenge with a smirk. "You're ten years too early to challenge me in cooking, Lanza!" Heh, he'd always wanted to say that. "But, I'll gladly accept once you're ready."

The Miracle Seven dispersed, and Ty nearly jumped when his professor addressed him out of nowhere. "I wasn't doing anything!" he blurted out, his reflexive response to being addressed by any teacher when he didn't know they were there. While Ty adamantly denied that professor Mavis's shock-based discipline had any effect, at least some part of it had rooted itself in his subconscious. "Oh, I mean, hi Professor Nyx. Apparently Lanza really sucks at cubing potatoes." Ty rubbed the back of his head and laughed nervously. He couldn't tell if the professor was mad at him, or just mad in general. But before he could get a read on the guy, he melted into his own shadow. Just like casually, no be deal, shadow melding.

"If he can do that, then why was he like an hour late to class?" Ty mused, but he just shook his head and said goodbye to the cooking club. "I gotta go guys. If I'm late, my professor might blow me up." The club members exchanged concerned looks, both at how a professor could inflict such abuse on a student and at how Ty could talk so casually about it. But, Ty just gave one last wave and headed back to the lecture hall. He found his seat and actually sat properly for a change. His head was still buzzing from everything that had happened. He beat Lanza. He half expected to wake up from one of professor Mavis's shocks, but apparently it really happened. What a strange start to the school year. He couldn't wait to see what would happen next!
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“Is that so? I apologize then, I wasn’t aware,” Sophiel said in an apologetic tone, along with a face that matched with worry. Was this how people greeted people in Shalash Indra? While Mandi’s claim was dubious at best, Sophiel didn't know much about Shalash, so she couldn’t just judge carelessly. “Even so, my warning still stands. This place isn’t Shalash Indra, please… kiss with moderation.” A red flush grew on her face once again as she looked down at the ground in embarrassment.

She allowed Yvain to tug her along with Mandi, who seemed to enjoy this a little too much, Yvain led them to the confection stand. The sweets had a, well, sweet smell as the aroma of it as it being baked somewhere within the stand. She stared at the cashier as he looked rather too interested in serving them. “Thank you very much,” With a tone not so friendly but came out rather as warning, she took a bite out of the pastry.

It was sweet.

The chocolate tickled her tongue as it flooded her tastebuds and the bread was relatively soft. She preferred much more bitter foods, but this was fine. Looking over towards her companions, she observed their reactions. Yvain and Mandi seemed to enjoy their sweets, the latter much so seeing her exaggerated reaction when she consumed her own sweet. “Yeah, it really is,” Sophiel said, feeling the need to reply with her own comment.

Sophiel looked up to what Yvain was pointing at. It seemed like Ty was arguing with Alberta… again. She had the huge urge to pinch the bridge of her nose but prevented herself from doing so. “I doubt all of our days will be like this, but we’ll definitely have some more in the future.” She replied to Yvain’s question, they’ll most likely have to go through some things in the future.

She just sighed as Mandi smiled at her again. Mandi was going to be a handful along with Ty, Alberta, and maybe a few other classmates.
The professor’s announcement rang clear into her mind, which made her straighten up a little. “I guess we should get going before we’re late.” Sophiel said, stretching her arms a little. Looking back at the two, she gestured with her head that they should get moving before going to her class herself.
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As the rose-eyed girl prattled on endlessly about tea, Sekhandur had to fight to keep his eyes from rolling into the back of his head. How was it possible to blather this much about something so uninteresting? It almost beggared the imagination, but Sekhandur had known several scribes and nobles that were similarly long-winded about their own pet interested. He blamed himself for this situation, partly at least, since he encouraged the girl to carry on about the subject. Even so, it was only to be polite, and politeness had its limits.

Kiara spoke up when she, unbelievably, finished speaking, reminding Sekhandur why he hadn't started beating the other girl with his staff to get her to shut up. Really, she should have thanked Kiara for sparing her from that fate. She herself began to go on about tea parties, and Sekhandur suffered a moment of sheer panic. If this carried on much longer, he doubted that he would be able to maintain his facade of interest and civility. He had to change the subject, and quickly, if he was going to maintain any sort of respectable reputation with his roommate.

Sekhandur gave Kiara a half-apologetic smile, before saying, "Actually, I prefer coffee to drink, usually." Tea leaves were a luxury import in Kemet, but his people had been cultivating their own coffee shrubs for centuries. "My people call it ahwa, and it is customary to serve to guests. Really when I think of a 'party,' well..." Sekhandur gave a small, almost embarrassed laugh, as he tried to think of how to sanitize his "party life" to maintain respectability. "It is really more like a banquet. Food, wine, music, dancing..." His mind lingered on the dancers that usually entertained at noble banquets. Their costumes usually comprised of jewelry, makeup, and little else. "Dancing is very important." He emphasized, hoping desperately to shift the conversation in that direction.

Luckily, he would not have to count on that chance, as a voice in his head announced that their recess had ended, and it was time to return to class. Sekhandur nodded amiably to the women he was speaking to, and turned about to head back to the lecture hall. He sighed in relief, having been saved from both his hangover and that nightmare of a conversation. He would have to thank their professor in some small way. Even if he didn't understand Sekhandur's reasoning, it still never hurt to suck up to authority slightly, especially in a new environment.

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A L B E R T A

AVALICE ACADEMY — THE PLAZA


In truth, Alberta hadn't been fully aware of what she was saying as she carried on with her spontaneous ramblings. Such outbursts, rare as they were, were often times met with puzzled looks or apathetic sighs in her past. Not that she had many people to talk with back home in Grünewald anyway.

So when Kiara and Sanhan replied to her with genuine curiosity, Alberta had to hide the twinge of joy that threatened to surface on her face. She kept a nonchalant expression to save herself from further embarrassment, not at all matching the feverish passion she had put into her long-winded explanations about tea. But when the subject suddenly switched to parties of all things, the feigned apathy on Alberta's face began to reflect true disinterest.

Parties were hardly a source of excitement for Alberta, more a source of the more unpleasant memories she'd harboured during her childhood. It was uncommon for her grandfather to accept invitations to such events — he was more concerned with scribbling the mornings and nights away in his office than interacting with other people, especially Alberta — so it was practically unheard of that an invitation would ever be extended to her.

For the few celebrations Alberta did attend, one could hardly call them 'parties'. As the memories briefly came back to her, her face twisted into a harsh grimace. The stench of acrid cigar smoke, the sounds of slurred drunken laughter, the sickly sweet taste of stale gingerbread pudding; the mesh of recollections made her nose twitch with discomfort.

"I don't care for such celebrations," Alberta said in a nonchalant tone. "There are more important things I'd rather commit myself to. But…"

She trails off and puts a thumb to her chin, as if she were in deep thought. "I guess offering advice on refreshments isn't something I'm opposed to. I suppose if I'm forced to attend a… party of any sort, I'd rather have something pleasant to drink while everyone—"

Alberta was then rudely interrupted by the sudden surge of electrifying mana several yards away, the menacing energy sending an uncomfortable itch through her skin. Thankfully, the mana vanished into the air as quickly as it had appeared, and Alberta heard loud cheers from whatever commotion was taking place. Just that one, minor occurrence was enough to sour her mood again, and whatever positive feelings she had left from the previous conversation were now gone. And before she could even close the discussion, another interruption in the form of her professor's voice echoed in her head, ordering the class headed back to the lecture hall. Alberta groaned, running a weary hand through her hair.

"Well, you heard the professor. I'm leaving," Alberta finished coldly, walking away from Kiara and Sanhan at a brisk pace as if their conversation had never happened.
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Well if they were so insistent, then Kress had no problem with i-

"This is your professor speaking. The afternoon class session starts in fifteen minutes. So get your asses back to the lecture hall, now."

"Ah," he said, stopping mid-step. "Guess not, huh."

Haha.

Oh well.

...

"Well, sucks that we won't be able to seem them in action, but Arcane Painters basically use these special paints that gradate into different shades depending on the time of day and the weather, making portraits that change with the environment! With some extra magic, they can even make it so that the portrait, say, grows with the subject. I've heard before that in certain knightly families, they had paintings done of their children so that, if they went off into expeditions to the Dark Continent, the parents would still be able to see their children doing well! In some ways, due to differences in the type of magic used, Arcane Paintings are actually more reliable than scrying or divination if you wanna know how someone's doing from far away!" Kress sucked in a deep breath; he was already heading back to the classroom. "Of course, magic exists that can create totally realistic pictures that are completely to life, but a true painter not only replicates their subject's appearance, but even enhances it. Like, hm, how should I say this...ah right. A beginner paints the outside, a master paints the inside. Other people can see things that you can't, and it's always super fun to see what others see, y'know? Maybe that's a bit narcissistic though...but anyways, if you're interested, Ankaa, Misaiya, let's head over there afterschool and see if they're still doing paintings?"
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“Alright!” Ankaa answered with a grin, pumping the air in victory, even though only Misaiya had agreed so far. Then she was distracted by the boy’s question. “I was hoping I could ask them to draw a mythical beast of some sort,” she commented, rather eagerly.

“Hmm, I’ve only been in some on a trial basis last year, since I wanted to try out many,” she answered, her shrug and smile for once hinting at a slight embarrassment on her part. “However, I did not commit to any. I intend to do so this year, though I’m still undecided,” she noted with a shake of her head. “There really are a lot, you know! Sometimes I think there are more clubs than students,” she chuckled, obviously exaggerating.

“Any activity you can think of, there will likely be many clubs dedicated to a specific aspect of it. For example, there are several clubs for hand-to-hand martial arts, each dedicated to specific techniques and philosophies. Then there are some that focus on arranging duels or tournaments, others are concerned mainly with self-improvement, spirituality, or health, and so on. It’s tough to pick just the one, and you’d have to be very efficient to be in multiple ones,” she explained.

Ankaa was so absorbed in the conversation with her classmates, she was rather startled at professor Nyx’s voice resounding in her head. “Aww, we were just about to get in front,” she complained, though her tone was light and not deeply regretful. Orders were orders, after all, and there would always be other opportunities to see those students paint.

As the trio made their way back to class, Kress orated a short but concise lesson on the matter of Arcane paints, to which Ankaa listened attentively without interruption. Only when it was clear that the blue-haired boy was finished, did she comment. “That’s fascinating! I had no idea that a portrait could actually be some useful. You know a lot,” she offered with an appreciative nod to the shorter male.

“I wonder how specific the information about a person can be,” she muttered, more so to herself, though still loudly enough that her companions could hear. “It could be a decent alternative to the standard check-ups of patients, especially for those with chronic conditions who choose to stay at home…Though I wouldn’t be surprised if the existent runes and charms couldn’t be surpassed by a painting. Especially if the painter’s perspective muddles the accuracy,” she rambled quietly, inhaling audibly once she was done.

Ankaa finally registered Alstein’s last question with a slow blink. “Oh, ah, yes, definitely,” she said, regathering her thoughts to the present situation. “I’d love to, I have plenty of questions,” she agreed with a firm nod.
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Kiara couldn’t help a small, nearly minute frown when both the other students gave their answers and thoughts about the tea party. Though in hindsight, she supposed something of that sort of event wasn’t the best way to introduce the new school year. Even so, she wasn’t completely discouraged as Sekhandur’s words had her thinking, resting a hand on her elbow and a finger to her chin. “Oh, coffee. I never really considered that, but now I’m wondering what’s actually the better beverage. Tea or coffee…and I guess a banquet would make more sense with our class size. I’m also curious how dancing could factor into it as well. Food for thought; I’ll keep that in mind Sekhandur.” She flashed her roommate a small smile even as Alberta gave her thoughts.

Somehow, she wasn’t too surprised the other girl had bitter views on large gatherings, but she was pleasantly receptive all the same when she began mentioning her willingness to give drink advice. But alas, before anything more could be said, the sound of their professor rang clearly in their heads. It seemed they wouldn’t be having the entire day to themselves as some might have thought, though then again, that was only to be expected for a so called “cursed” class. Kiara returned Sekhandur’s nod and even gave Alberta one too, unphased by the ice in her voice. “You all go on ahead. I’ll catch up,” was her only reply to all three, even Sanhan, before she went about to her own devices.

Naturally as Class Rep, she figured she may as well make sure everyone was actually going back to class without ditching. Such a task was remedied somewhat easier in its scope when Class-C was surrounded and filled with such strange but unique faces easily identifiable. Only when every student was accounted for did she head back to class herself, the last to arrive, but not late by any means either. She only had some slight regret she didn’t have the time to talk to her sister or apologize to Alberta for Eris’ crude actions. Oh well, it was only the first day.


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