Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Eleven
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Eleven things are strange

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For all her interest in Crests and the abilities they bestowed, and despite her vow to make Clary proud by being focused for once, Imogen's attention span could only last so long. Professor Mal had given them too much information in too short a class—way too many Crest categories for her to keep track of—and Imogen's biggest takeaway was that Dogberry was a muscle that she needed to exercise. It made sense, kind of. Just like how she got stronger and faster by running up and down the mountains back home nearly every day, she would have to train so Dogberry would come more naturally to her.

But how do you go about training an imaginary little guy on her shoulder telling her what to watch out for? She can't just imagine him doing pushups and running laps, can she? The thought made her giggle and while she knew that didn't make any sense at all, part of her wished that was how it worked. She entertained the thought for a few moments before waving her hand by her head, as though it would physically shoo her distractions away.

Crest training was fun, but also super important, she had to remind herself. Imogen couldn't wait until the next class to get started. With these disappearances happening, honing her abilities could mean saving a fellow student's life! She was planning on going out to investigate again tonight; how helpful would it be if she could just know right away when someone's getting kidnapped?

Class concluded with Imogen in a daze, eyes glazed over and staring vacantly at the drawings on the board. In the end, the most viable training scenario in the hundreds that she came up with as Professor Mal rambled on was the simplest one: she has to be in danger.

Imogen packed her things automatically as everyone else started filing out the door, now stumped by an entirely new dilemma. How could she put herself in danger? Preferably without injuring herself too much. It's not like she could just climb a tower and jump off—she didn't need Dogberry to tell her that was dangerous. She would have to not know danger was coming so that she could... know it was coming? Uh, it was better not to think too hard about it. She swears it makes sense.

"Oh! Iz, wait up a sec," Imogen called out as she spotted the blonde quietly slipping away as usual. She missed when Clary came back, but as she rushed past her and Jory, she gave her two thumbs up in encouragement. Her way of saying she didn't know what was happening with her, but she had no doubt Clary got this. Look at her, she even looked like she was ready to kick some ass right then and there!

As soon as Imogen caught up to Iz, she rummaged through her satchel and handed her a wadded piece of paper. "Can you throw this at me? I'm trying something out."
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@Achronum@Scribe of Thoth@Hero


Kayden crossed his arms, raising a princely eyebrow at his betrothed. Well, she wasn't laying it on too thick, he lied to himself. He felt the Eagles were some sort of diabolical triangle, with Rudolph in the meek corner and Veronica on the complete opposite end of the spectrum while Kayden desperately yanked upwards to keep the team afloat. Even with the drama of the Golden Deer and the Blue Lions, he still felt the Eagles had to keep on their toes. “When was the last time you could relate to anyone?” he asked her, a sardonic edge to his voice. If the Archbishop himself waltzed up and told her she was the Goddess incarnate, Veronica would believe it without a second thought.

Kayden then made a willful reminder to himself to gaze at Rudolph, and he saw the very unnoticeable youth fidgeting and strangely nervous. Well, differently nervous somehow, and something else he couldn't quite pinpoint. He kept himself from sighing and tried to seem supportive with a raised brow, awaiting a response. Rudolph wouldn't become more confident if he was scolded constantly, not that Kayden generally did that unless pressed. Unfortunately, this seemed one of those times.

"You're not opting out." Kayden told him, his voice as irrefutable as if it were etched in stone. Kayden wasn't mad, but he wasn't going to allow an argument, either. "You won't know how to use your crest unless you take the class, even if it works without your current understanding or will. If Tomai thinks you don't need it, then that's another story. But otherwise I expect you to be here next time. An-"

“Professor Roland, you disingenuous boor!"

He blinked, turning his head like a hawk that had caught movement. Though he looked less predatory and more bemused at the shout that had reached their position. He walked over to the doorway and peered out into the courtyard, watching as Clarissa of the Golden Deer began to utterly lecture Professor Lysander like he answered to her. "What the fuck?" He breathed quietly as he listened, completely confused as to what was the matter. Kayden chuckled incredulously. He wasn't offended on behalf of the professors, nor was he even glad another rival guild was causing a scene. Truth be told, he was impressed with the deer for her sheer audacity.

You literally challenged the head of the knightly order to weekly duels because you want to seduce her, a voice in his head reminded him.[/i]

Yeah, but I didn't yell at her, he thought back to the void of his brain.

He saw Clarissa turn tail and offer Derec to go riding, and he thought for a moment. He turned to his group, opening his mouth to to offer that they go and ask to join as a group, but he closed his mouth and decided that was a horrible idea. Instead, he told his fellow eagles this: "I'm going to get some information. You too take the rest of the day to rest." It was halfway the truth. Relations between the guilds were important, and he wanted to learn more about Derec and Clarissa's scruples when it came to crests. Plus he hadn't ridden since he had arrived. It was long odds, considering what just happened, but he was nothing if not confident. Clearing his throat and smoothing his rakish hairstyle, he walked out of the doorway with all the class denoting his station, coupled with a respectful inclination of his head when he reached them. He did his best not to look at the professor, trying to keep his voice low enough to not be entirely heard by him.

"Excuse my intrusion. I wanted to ask if I could gain permission to ride with you," the leader of the Eagles inquired. Even his charm might not help him here, but he went in. "If I am unwelcome, no hard feelings. But I haven't ridden on a good horse in far too long and I've had it with cramped classrooms." He fully prepared himself for a quick dismissal or even his own tongue lashing, and if it happened, he would remain impassive.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Clarissa didn’t stay long, but it was just as well; she was overcome with righteous indignation as she got back up, which suited her much better than gloom in Jorah’s opinion. Class ended soon after, but Jorah was in no rush to follow – by the snippets of shouts he heard from the courtyard, he figured it was best to keep his distance for the time being. He didn’t hide his smirk, snickering a bit at the tongue-lashing he imagined Professor Lysander was getting. It served him right, for sure, but what made it even more entertaining was that Jorah himself wasn’t on the receiving end this time.

He dearly wanted to sneak a glimpse of Lysander’s face before Clarissa was done with him, but in an uncharacteristic show of restraint, Jorah refrained. This was a touchy subject for her, and although he knew more than anyone else, she still deserved her privacy.

Which of course begged the question: why was Prince Eagle over there snooping in the doorway?

Jorah quirked a brow in the Imperial prince’s direction, openly examining his cartoonish posture, peering out the door and breathing shallowly like a child who thought his hiding place was foolproof. Leaning on a pillar, Jorah watched, shocked as Kayden drank up Clarissa’s whole exchange without even a hint of shame, before telling his classmates he was going to “gather information.” What the hell was he up to? Jorah had given the Eagles the benefit of the doubt, assuming they’d manage to be normal for the duration of the year, but it seemed he was wrong. Apparently, the Empire never stopped scheming.

Following Kayden out, he caught his odd appeal to Clarissa, the Prince apparently blind to the fact that she was upset. Jorah knew other people didn’t have the sense for emotions he did, but couldn’t he tell when it was best to leave someone alone? Or had the Crown Prince of Adrestia just never had an interaction blow up in his face? “Excuse the intrusion” his ass; more like excuse the blatant eavesdropping. Besides, his proposition was just… weird. He sounded like Raimund when he first learned to speak Fódlan, all excessive formality and strange syntax. Maybe Jorah was biased, but everything about this rubbed him the wrong way.

“Well well, isn’t that polite of you!” Jorah remarked loudly, sauntering over and inserting himself into the conversation. He stepped slightly between Kayden and Clarissa. “And here I thought Imperial royalty never asked for anything. How wrong I was; your lovely fiancée must have given me the wrong impression.” He smiled jovially at Kayden, his distaste evident.

“I know what you mean, though; I’ve sorely missed riding myself lately. But I gotta say, the saddles here are not the best.” He punctuated the statement with an exaggerated stretch. “The horses are great though, Goddess bless them. Shame I can't say the same for the equipment; probably not up to royal standards.”

He shot a glance to Clarissa, one that she’d seen a hundred times back home in Derdriu that roughly translated to “please end this conversation.”

“Anyway, what’s this I hear about a ride?”

Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Hero
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First Bell, 26th Day of the Great tree Moon

Bidding the gardener goodnight, Kaira departed from the Greenhouse. It was quite late and she had an early start, but so long as she went straight to bed, she figured she would be alright. A few shadows zipped across the grounds, their broad wings signaling the presence of the pegasi flying through the sky. They usually spooked her whenever she didn't pay attention, but she was glad they were in the skies tonight. She treated their shadows as guidance, making sure to walk where the sky could see her clearly. While she wasn't normally the type to be paranoid, she liked to be on the side of caution.

As soon as that thought crossed her mind, however, there was an ominous presence approaching her. Every hair on the back of her neck stood and she was overwhelmed with a sense of dread. She stopped in her tracks, feeling it get closer. An intruder? If so, they had somehow slipped past all the guards. But that was what happened that other night, wasn't it? A shadow had suddenly come out of nowhere and spirited a student away. A foolish part of her thought that perhaps this was a chance to face the would-be kidnapper, but could she really take them on one-on-one without a weapon?

She could feel a hand hover over her shoulder. Making up her mind, Kaira whipped around, ready to fire a spell. To her surprise, however, there was no one around and the grounds were completely silent to boot. The sensation was now completely gone, replaced by the breeze of the night. Her hand absentmindedly touched her shoulder as she looked around. She was so sure someone was about to grab her, but she appeared to be mistaken.

A large shadow suddenly swarmed around her, and she would have screamed had it not been for the pegasus descending in front of her. Chionne hopped off the beast, her face full of concern. "Are you alright, Kaira?" She asked.

She nodded, though not before sighing in relief. So much for not being afraid! "Yes, I am," She replied. "Did you...see anything around me?"

"I saw you stop walking so I thought that you might've gotten hurt and descended," Chionne admitted. "I didn't see anyone else, though."

Kaira was unsure. She trusted her gut, but if she was jumping at every shadow, maybe she was off. Still, it wouldn't do to worry over nothing if nothing had happened. "If it isn't too much trouble, could you walk with me to the Cathedral?"

"It's no trouble at all. You are pleasant company," She immediately assured her, taking the reins of her mount.

Sixth Bell, 26th Day of the Great tree Moon

The knock on the dormitory door had startled Lavender awake, the woman jolting up from her desk. She let out a small groan as her neck throbbed in pain--once again, she had fallen asleep pouring over some literature. It took her a second to realize someone was at the door, and she hastily walked over to answer it. Smoothing out any stray hairs, she made sure her posture was rigid and her expression was pleasant as she opened the door. Tragically, it was only that stupid blond Knight of Seiros waiting for her, perched against the frame like he was ready to greet some floozy.

"Good morning, beautiful--hey, hey, hey, wait!" Michail's greeting was nearly cut off by Lavender immediately closing the door on him. "Open up! I need your help today!"

She opened the door once again, unamused. "If you ask me to help you with 'that ache in your heart', I will bruise you up appropriately," She warned him.

Michail opened his mouth, though he immediately closed it, choosing not to joke. "Okay, I originally came here to borrow some manpower. We're going to be heading to Magdred Way today, but my sources tell me something funny is up. Think I could borrow a few of your students?"

Lavender gave him an incredulous look. "This isn't like borrowing a whetstone, you are asking for my students to take them on an incursion where you'll likely endanger them," She said. "Didn't you just receive a disciplinary for endangering your students? And now you want to take my own! You are unbelievable!"

"Aw, don't say it like that, that makes it sound sketchy."

"I don't know how to tell you this, but you're sketchy."

Michail sighed, though he produced a scroll for her. "Look, I made an official request and everything. Nothing sketchy, just an honest plea for more manpower," He said as she opened the scroll.

She skimmed through it quickly, her eyes flickering back to him. He wasn't lying, but she didn't like it, either. "Fine. I'll get my best students to assist. And I'll be coming along as well to make sure you stay in line," She said, jabbing him with the scroll.

Michail sighed, holding his hand to his heart. "It hurts that you don't trust me, Lav," He admitted. "I don't know what you've heard, but I can promise you, I value everyone's life on the battlefield. And I'm actually glad you're coming, too."

Lavender raised an eyebrow at him. "...really?"

He took her hand and patted it. "Yeah. You always keep me grounded," He told her softly. "Your swordsmanship puts mine to shame, your tactical mind sharp, and if I ride behind you, I can watch that sweet bottom of yours bou--ARGH!" By the time he finished, Lavender had taken a firm hold of his hand and twisted it.

"You are so predictable, you know that?"

Seventh Bell, 26th Day of the Great tree Moon

While most classrooms wouldn't fill until the eighth bell, the students had been called to the Blue Lions' classroom just a little earlier than usual. Michail stood at the front of the classroom, waiting patiently for her students to arrive. Lavender stood in front of the board, using chalk to draw up an accurate map of the Magdred Way, a path through the mountains and forest that lead to the city of Magdred. Tomai sat at Michail's desk, more interested in his book than whatever anyone else was up to.

The students would recognize Lavender as their geographics professor. Why she was with their main professors was anyone's guess. And there would be four new faces that would enter the classroom as well...


Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Asura
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Albrecht von Varley

Interacting with: Nobody & Everybody — Location: Garreg Mach Monastery


Rising early was not a new experience for Albrecht, so when his professor had come to him the day prior with a request to meet before class in the Lion's room, he took it all in stride. An early night led into an early morning, and when the fifth bell chimed, he was already out of bed and washing up by the basin in his dormitory. Adjusting to the size of his new room had taken some time, but after a few weeks, he found the lodgings cozy despite their ascetic bareness. As an aspiring Knight of Seiros, he had made his peace long ago with the idea of barracks life, so his attendance at the officer's academy provided him a rare opportunity to play pretend and wonder what could have been.

After washing, it was time to pray. It was habitual at this point for him to make a quick trip to the monastery's church before class, say a few polite greetings to the clergy there, and engage in some silent contemplation. Today would be no exception, and if anything, Professor Lavender's arrangements made that all the easier—he could take solace in the silence of the still young dawn during his prayer, enjoying the quiet while he offered his devotions to the Goddess. She had been good to him for as long as he had drawn breath, so it the the least he could do to offer her his supplication for an hour of the day. But prayer was hungry work, and by the time he had navigated to the chapel, done his duty, and returned to the brisk air outside, his stomach had set to rumbling.

Mercifully, the cafeteria was on the way to class, and the sixth bell was only just then tolling. Hurrying along, the young noble made way for the place where he had enjoyed many a treat. The smell of freshly baking bread was heavy in the air even as he arrived, a sure sign that the diligent staff had already begun preparing the day's first meal. As he pushed through the doors, he found precious few of the student body there to stand between himself and a well earned pastry. Which, as luck would have it, were just being brought out.

"You've come just in time, m'lord. I've some fresh danishes today, if you'd like first pickings." One of the serving staff welcomed him, a woman whose face he had come to commit to memory. He had always made sure to do the same back at Castle Varley.

"Thank you, Gertrude. I'm sure they're excellent as always." He offered return, a polite smile gracing his fine features. It was good to be good, in all things truly, but especially to those of lower standing. Not least of which because he was almost sure danishes weren't standard fair among the breakfast menu—whether the handful of bakers and servers he had spoken to baked them in honor of his notorious sweet tooth, or it was simply a fortunate occurrence, was up for debate. But he was never one to look a gift horse in its mouth; his morning would be full of flaky, buttery delights, and if he was lucky, the filling would be blackberry.

_________________


The seventh bell came and went just as Albrecht polished off his third blackberry danish, and he made haste in venturing to the classrooms after thanking his hosts for the meal. It wouldn't do to be late for what was undoubtedly a very important lesson, if the professor had been so insistent on his attendance. As he rounded the halls, he idly wondered what it could be exactly that required his specific attention, but as with most things in his life, he simply contented himself with the knowledge that he would face whatever trials were ahead and—Goddess willing—come out on top. He arrived at the Lion's den shortly thereafter.

"Good morning, Professor Lavender," He was quick to greet once he was through the door, among the first individuals there, as expected. "To you as well, Professor Michail, Professor Tomai."

He offered each a bright smile, feeling positively radiant from the ease of the day. Once he had been acknowledged by his betters, he took a seat nearer the front of the room, and awaited his fellows to arrive. How interesting it would be to mingle among classmates he had yet to meet.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Salsa Verde
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Salsa Verde Chiropterologist

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There was always a stillness, devoid of sound and activity that lingered in the comfort of night, at least in the halls of Garreg Mach. Perhaps that’s why Aileas felt at ease, no one to bother her, no thoughts of what may happen to her house depending on the state of politics within the country. She sat her desk chair in front of the window and just watched on as droves of clouds formed and broke apart over the moon unable to penetrate the thick clouds. The window had been cracked a bit letting cool air rustle the trees and leaves outside, but also the bumps on her skin from the cold. She almost reveled in it. No amount of flipping, push ups nor tea could seem to put her mind to rest. Rampant in nature, it was in a flux of wondering what her future at the Monastery held. She knew it was a tradition, more so an honor to be there as not many others are offered the opportunity. Sleep eluding her, she would pace in her room, clean what little mess she had made from days previous, even had enough time to get a stretch in without the hint of dawn breaking on the horizon. With the moon only moving narrowly since her last check she stopped to think how the other two were doing. Despite the prospect of being in ‘rival’ houses it was still nice to think they had shared a spec of comradery before they transition here.

Still, the night felt long and she was no more fatigued than an hour ago. An idea filled her head and was the only option she could see making sense. Changing out of her nightwear she slipped something more comfortable on before slipping outside of her room. The courtyard was also quiet, there was no chirping of birds or discourse between guards. All the student and faculty were probably already asleep in their quarters. Looking around to make sure there were no prying eyes around she pressed on through the monastery, still remembering the layout from the tour. Quickly and quietly she made it to the wooden doors that house the training grounds just beyond. Grabbing the circular iron she tugged slowly until the door bugged open enough for her to squeeze inside. Her head popped out glaring around for one more patrol before shutting the doors behind her. It was dark, but luckily there was no roof, allowing the moonlight to bathe the training ground with just enough light she could make out the training dummy’s made of hay abound to a wooden cross. Her fingers lingered, brushing over countless wooden weapons that were tucked neatly in a rack.

Pretty soon she would have use of her own lance, but for now she had to settle on one of the wooden ones. She slightly hesitated when her eyes peeped the sword right next to it, but that was for another time with a more experienced teacher than the stationary lifeless ones behind her. She heard that there were sparring tournaments held here every once awhile during the semester, the thought alone was enough to shred whatever chance of sleep she thought she would get. Picking up the lance she spun it gracefully in front, behind, overhead, and even below with the aid of some acrobatics to sweep her feet upwards away from the blow. Pulling the straps around her hair buns tighter she attacked the dummies with some degree of control as to not let the crash of bludgeoned wood reverb through the monastery. With each strike and jab a soft shout rung out from her throat. Having to pull her blows was more work than she thought. Working up a sweat was just what she needed to put her rapid heart to rest. At this point the moon had begun its retreat and lowered from above, no longer providing her ample light.

Taking note of the sun on her tail she slipped out of the arena and back to her dorm. She didn’t know if it was too late to shower or not, but she went ahead anyways and relaxed under the stream of ice cold water. Finally setting her head to her pillow she drifted off into sleep, only to be awoken by the sixth bell. Aileas was no stranger to the consequence of her actions and today would be no different, she was built for little sleep, in her mind she functioned better with less than more. Her stomach growled in hopes that she would not have forgotten to feed her since the previous morning, lest she was late for her first day of class. Thankfully her sleep deprived past self so wistfully ensured she had everything right on hand to get ready. Rushing out her dorm she headed to the cafeteria with the advent of the seventh bell. Tunnel visioned she missed the exodus of students leaving the cafeteria surely headed to the Blue Lions classroom, one she knew to be just as green as she.

The smell of fresh danishes caressed her nostrils inviting her to the front. Most of the pastries were gone leaving only few option. “Sorry dear, looks like we only have cheese left” the patron said already knowing Aileas was there for breakfast, the saliva moistening her lips was just another not so subtle hint. “That’s okay! Cheese is my favorite, I’ll take 5 thank you!” She said eagerly, while the kind lady was both impressed and confused at her request. Aileas stuffed one danish in her mouth while she juggled the other four on her way to the classroom. Entering the halls she punched a second danish down her mouth hardly able to breathe between swallows and puffs of air from speed walking. Rounding the corner she passed the classroom entrance, realizing, then pivoting her foot to pirouette back to the doors. “Mrnin Prufser” she mumbled attempting not to be rude halfway through chewing her food. She worked her way to the middle of the room and sat, finally able to breathe clearly. “And Good Morning to you too Professor Tomai!” Today was going to be a good day, at least she declared it so.

Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Raijinslayer
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Interacting with:Albrecht@Asura , Location: Garreg Mach Monastery



Breathe In

A moment of silence, soon followed by the clashing of blades in rapid succession. Thrust to counter thrust, riposte into a quick assault, a deft deflection into another parting. The swordsman held his blade at the ready, electric blue eyes never leaving the imagined opponent he faced, only letting his tension ease when he heard the toll of the bell ringing out from the Monastery's clocktower. With a twirl of the wrist, he fits the tip of the blade up to the edge of his sheath and slides it closed in a single deft motion.

Breathe out.

"That would be. . . sixth bell, I think?" Ezekial mutters to himself as he looks around the training room. Proffessor Lavender had given their class a bit of a free period for the day. . . except for him and a few others, much to the young Gloucester's slight irritation to have his studies interrupted so. But such are his duties, both as a noble and as a student, and so he cuts his training short.

Gathering up his belongings, Ezekial walks outside into the open courtyard as he heads for the classrooms wondering what errand thneir proffessor had for them now.


Ezekial came in shortly after Albrecht had arrived, having taken the time to wash the sweat and grime of training off him.

"Good Morning, Professor Lavender." The young Gloucester walked in with his finest smile, giving a small salute to the woman before moving to the other teachers in turn. "Same for you both as well Professor Tomai, Professor Michail."

Some form of soecial training exercise with another class? Odd, but not unheard of. Ezekial pondered the presence of the other faculty but didn't say much on it as he moved to a seat towards the front of the class as well nodding to Albrecht even if he wished he could afford some distance from the young man. Not out of any true distaste but just. . . something about the sincerity of the Adrestrian's manner felt so unbelivable to him every time he talked to them. Still, a distrust for sincerity was no reason to be rude or hostile, so he offered his fellow student a smile as he settled in. Besides, better to stick to someone familiar for now, rather than potentially drawing attention by avoiding him.

"Good Morning to you as well, Albrecht. Any thoughts on why Proffessor Lavender called us here today? A Mission? Maybe Training?" Perhaps roping her students into a plan to help her find a decent man for once. Ezekial chuckled to himself at the last thought, being somewhat aware that their professor's. . . assertive attitude had thrown off a few suitors. Then again, most of the suitors she tended to attracted were less than desirable so he really couldn't blame her for the poor luck. . . even if he wanted to tease her about it every now and then.

Before he'd gotten a reply, however, another familiar face walked into the room.

Ah, the busy body from Farghus is here as well, with the typical mouthful salute. Ezekial offered the girl a small polite wave as she moved to the middle of the room, wondering idly if that was her second danish, or her 22nd. If he didn't know any better, he'd have thought the girl was a starving peasant the way she horfed down anything resembling food. Honestly, he found it a wonder she managed to keep a figure with all she ate, but given the amount of work she always seems to be doing, the stress and constant momvement probaly had a hand in that.

In any case, if she didn't want to engage with him than ezekial was fine with keeping to himself as well, having done his due dilligence to at least acknowledge her.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Auberon had no objections to an earlier class. He had to keep his bedside prayers brief and his breakfast briefer, but an earlier start might mean an earlier finish, and that meant he'd have more time to devote to training later in the day, or at least reviewing his performance if the class itself was particularly physically demanding. At least, under normal circumstances; with all the talk of abductions and conspiracies, changes in schedule boded ill, at least on the surface.

Goddess above, what if one of his classmates had gone missing? Would they have called such a somber meeting in a classroom, or hosted it in the cathedral under the watchful eye of the clergy? Professor Roland seemed to be in everyone's poor graces lately for... some reason, and Michail and Professor Malathice certainly didn't seem up to the task of comforting everyone.

Auberon strolled down the dormitory hallway, giving each of his Lions' doors that he passed a pensive glance and a light rap of his knuckles against the wood. Saints know, they probably needed the wake up call. Still, he lingered in front of each door for a moment after knocking, silent with the hopes that they would open the door and reassure him that they were indeed still alive with a morning greeting or at least a dismissive grumble. As to be expected from such an unenthusiastic knock, he didn't have much luck, at least until his last stop, where the door gave way underneath his gentle knocking to reveal a half-asleep Derec. The blond blinked a few times at the scene, stupefied, but quickly recovered his composed neutrality.

"Uh... what's going on?" Derec mumbled, clearly still groggy.

"Just, erm, making sure everyone's awake on time," He replied quietly, "I can wait if you'd like to walk to class together. Otherwise, good morning, I suppose." The offer came out almost as an afterthought. Derec didn't look like he'd be going anywhere in a timely manner, but Auberon wouldn't spurn the companionship if he could get it. It was small comfort, but it was comfort nonetheless. It beat internally praying for his friends' safety until class started, anyway.


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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Asura
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Albrecht von Varley

Interacting with: @RaijinslayerLocation: Garreg Mach Monastery


It was something of a surprise to Albrecht that the next few people to shuffle into the room were familiar faces to him⁠—he had been under the impression his presence had been specially requested. Perhaps the entirety of his unit had been called? It would be a shame if he only ended up partnering with students he had already made the acquaintance of, especially when he had gotten his hopes up on meeting some new faces. He didn't have too long to ruminate on it, however, as one of the two others to occupy the lecture room spoke to him. He hadn't gotten to know Ezekial too well, as the Leicesterian had always been rather standoffish during their few conversations, but he wasn't the type to hold demeanor against somebody. Everybody had their own reasons for behaving how they did.

"I can't say that I do," He answered softly, though his teal eyes did drift towards the board, "Although, if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say we'll be engaging in a field exercise today. Professor Lavender is putting quite the amount of detail into that terrain."

The Goddess only knew what their educators had in store for them for the day to come, but he wasn't especially bothered either way. When the time came, all would be revealed. In the meanwhile, there were more pressing matters; he had finally gained a conversational partner! Though he had never been one for the idle gossip that some of his contemporaries relished in, he did enjoy chatting with his fellow cadets whenever the opportunity presented itself, and perhaps today was the day he could try to crack the hard shell that the heir of Gloucester built up around himself.

"I'm sure you're excited at the prospect, hmm? Finally having the opportunity to put all that practice to good work." Albrecht had caught sight of the Deer in the early hours of the day once or twice, presumably either going or returning from some kind of sword training based on his choice of attire and equipment. Talking about one's interests was usually a sure way into their good graces, and if nothing else, it would help fill the time until the others arrived.
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Interacting with:Albrecht@Asura , Location: Garreg Mach Monastery



"A strong enough guess, I'd say. I wonder if it's that time of year."
Ezekial glances towards the map with a scanning eye, recognizing the terrain from his studies. "Magdred way, known for it's dense forestry and occasionally even denser fogs. I don't know terribly much about the area, but it would make a suitable place to train for fighting at a disadvantage if the fogs are up."

That, and provide a perfectly reasonable excuse for a little 'training accident' if one was so inclined to cause one. Anything could happen in the fog, after all. The young gloucester didn't let the sour thought show on his face, though one might notice a slight shift in his eyes as he gaze lingers on the professors. Before another moment passes, however, Ezekial merely shakes his head as he turns his attention towards the Adrestian boy's attempt at small talk.

"Ah yes. I will admit that having a chance to properly how my swordsmanship gives me a bit of exciement, even if it might not be what my family had wished for me to learn. The Leicester Alliance is known for it's bowmanship, after all, but it never really appealed to me when I was younger. Besides, by the time I grew into my title, I had already become too attached to the blade to really give it up. That said," He raises a hand to conjure a small sigil of Thunder between his fingers, letting arcs of electric energy dance between them a bit before he letting it dissipate harmlessly. "Never hurts to cover your bases if you come across a foe that you can't easily reach on foot."

"But enough about me, what kind of things have you been studying, Albrecht? You always seem to fly by most of our classes, I assume you have a free hour or two to spare for your own side interests?" Ezekial smiles as he returns the idle chatter back to Albrecht, though truthfully he didn't think the boy would have much of interest to say. While undoubtably skilled, Ezekial was certain that anything the Adrestian would dean to share with him would be very droll and typical of such a diehard devotee of Seiros. He'd met dozens of such characters before and he'd not doubt meet dozens more that would bore him to tears about praise and worship and other such things. While he did hold a grateful spirit towards the Goddess, her followers tended to be some of the most long-winded speakers he'd ever met.
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Clarissa murmured the last of her morning prayers before turning on her heel. Her usual route typically kept her there a while longer, content to bask in the rising sun filtering into the holy sanctum, but the Academy adjusted their morning schedule and the stolen time left little opportunity for idleness. A minor inconvenience at worst but in light of their newest class, she felt the loss of the time for contemplation sharply. Especially since the last time their schedule was disrupted, it ended poorly.

Crest abilities. She scoffed as she marched across the bridge. As if she, an Edmond, needed education in Crest Abilities. Even babies barely taller than their mother’s knee knew what her Crest could do. The Crest of the Beast was a warning, a threat, and a responsibility all wrapped into one damned bloodline. She’d been dealing with it her entire life, drowning in the misery and demands that came with its curse. And thanks to the ignorance and disregard of Roland, it was more difficult to keep it under wraps. All it would take was one person pulling at the right thread and all her hard work would crumble to the ground.

Clarissa bid her good mornings to the few people in the dining hall at this hour but in another break from her routine, she took a simple breakfast, nothing that couldn’t fit in one hand easily, and continued out to the small fishing pond near the greenhouse. It was no ocean but it was comforting to be near the water nonetheless. She’d left herself time to eat a proper breakfast but found the confines of the dining hall stifling after four lessons on the crest that she’d had to grit her teeth to keep from berating the Professors again.

In reality, she knew she was being foolish. Imogen wouldn’t think any different of her if she knew. In all honesty, Imogen probably wouldn’t even understand the implications of her Crest. Jorah already knew and he’d been her best friend since they could walk. Isolde seemed like she just wanted to stay out of everything as best she could and that wouldn’t change. Auberon was a toss up; either he’d decide he was here to cut her down or she was part of the Goddess’ plan for the Unit. She’d like to think Lienna wouldn't really care so long as it didn’t directly affect her but the rest of them, she didn’t know. Even Kayden, who she tolerated far more now that she knew him beyond a reckless fool who endangered his friends, she barely knew. But the fear of the truth was a part of her now and it’d take more than some logic and hopeful thinking to change that.

Too soon, she finished off her small breakfast and found herself on the way to the Blue Lion’s classroom. It took a deep breath and a quick head shake to get herself focused, but she drew her shoulders back, kept her chin up, and decided that whatever she found waiting in that classroom wouldn’t be enough to drag her day down.

She swept through the threshold with her usual confidence, continuing to the front as she surveyed the assembled parties. Professor Tomai and Michail were there, not an unusual sight, but the sight of Professor Lavender drawing a map on the chalkboard was an unexpected surprise. However, it was one particular Deer that caught her eye. Ezekiel Gloucester sat at the front of the room, casually chatting with another student, someone she vaguely recognized as part of the Black Eagles, and her interest was piqued. He’d found himself in another Unit so even though they shared a House, their social circles had drifted as soon as they were separated.

“Good morning, Professors.” She greeted them, offering them a brief curtsy before taking the seat next to the Gloucester. “And good morning to the both of you as well. When I finished my prayers in the cathedral this morning, I certainly hadn’t imagined you a part in this, Ezekial. Our paths rarely seem to cross; this Unit method seems to have driven a larger divide in the Houses than I thought. We should find a moment over tea to talk some time but before that,” She sent a smile at Albrecht, “I apologize for stealing your conversation partner momentarily. I am Clarissa von Edmund, heiress to the Margravate of Edmund in Leicester. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
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By the time Auberon’s knock sounded on her door, Lienna was already awake, albeit wishing she wasn’t. She was no stranger to early mornings, but she’d been able to convince herself to sleep in enough times since coming to Garreg Mach that it was always a slap in the face when old habits came back to drag her out of bed even earlier than Auberon did. At least when he did it, she could blame someone else.

To add insult to injury, Auberon’s knock came even earlier today than expected; the sky was barely light when he arrived at the door, and she held her breath until she heard his footsteps resume, hoping he’d assume she was still asleep and not bother her about it. She was already irritated from waking up so early; she didn’t need the first face she saw today to be Auberon’s.

By then, her fruitless attempts at going back to sleep had succeeded only in frustrating her, and Lienna reluctantly got out of bed and went about her routine. Truth be told, she didn’t feel as bad as she expected to, and a look in the mirror showed the usual shadows under her eyes had begun to fade. Probably because, for the first time since arriving at Garreg Mach, she’d slept… relatively soundly. Normally she was hounded by confusing, distorted dreams and started awake in the dead of night with the same urgency as any Srengese raid, haunted by that ever-present feeling of being watched as she tried to lull herself back to sleep. But while her sheets were undeniably twisted from tossing and turning, she never did wake in a cold sweat, and she didn’t feel the eyes on her back with the same intensity as before. Why would that be?

The thought tumbled in her mind as she went about her morning routine. Was the increased guard presence around the Monastery finally quelling her dread? She had never found much comfort in guards before. As she pulled off her nightgown, she noticed the new smoothness of her arms, looking a little less corpselike than the sharp bones she was accustomed to. Her ribs were a bit less easily counted, too. No doubt the new abundance of food and shelter was the culprit; Hells, maybe her new lifestyle was making her softer in every respect.

That was fine by her. The sooner she could start taking survival and safety for granted, the better. Dipping her hands into her wash basin, she was distracted by a thin sheet of ice forming over the surface, blooming out from her fingertips like blood on snow. She watched with interest until the whole basin was covered, the paper thin skim of ice taking on the filigree pattern of frost on a window. She poked a few exploratory holes in the ice, her routine momentarily forgotten.

Maybe that was what had her at ease all of a sudden; these new Crest classes had her mind abuzz, not to mention her extra meetings with Tomai. More and more she found herself too busy thinking about Crest theory and sorcery techniques to worry about how many times a day a hidden assailant might jump out from the shadows to abduct her.

Honestly, it was a welcome change, if not a smart one.

Having had her fun, she finished getting ready, buttoning her bishop sleeves and tying her scarf around her waist in a limp bow, as had become her habit. She wasn’t out of her room quite as fast as some others, but the dining hall was still empty enough when she arrived that she could have a hearty breakfast in peace and make it to class without being the last one to arrive.

In fact, to her surprise, she was almost the first to arrive – or the first of the Rose Unit, anyway. Lienna initially thought she had the wrong classroom when she was greeted to three unfamiliar faces and her geography professor, and almost turned and left before she saw Tomai and Michail at the head of the room as well. Not hiding her look of offended confusion, she simply slipped past the strangers (and Clarissa, who was talking to them) and took a seat far enough away that she hoped they wouldn’t bother with her. She tossed an especially disapproving look to the girl scarfing down danishes as she walked past, giving her a wide berth as if to avoid any splashback of pastry from her churning jaw. Maybe she was just biased from growing up hungry, but it was awfully irritating to see someone go to town on their food that… excessively.

She tipped her head in silent greeting as she passed Professor Tomai, looking grumpier than usual. It would be funny if she didn’t share his frustration, albeit possibly for a different reason. He was probably put out over whatever they were doing this morning, which didn’t bode especially well, but Lienna figured some of that discontent must have been coming from their… less-than-successful meeting yesterday. It had been mercifully short, only about an hour compared to their usual three, but what it lacked in length it made up for in absolute dead-end unproductivity. Tomai had it in his mind that her lineage might be the key to her “abnormally presenting Crest”, so the evening was spent with Lienna being reminded how little she really knew about her family and Tomai being frustrated there wasn’t more information to be had. Shock and awe, turns out coming from a fractured family wasn’t super uncommon in the Faerghian region ruled over by redheaded manwhores.

Macuil’s heels, she could have told him that in five seconds and saved them both a lot of time.

Content to let that debacle live in history, Lienna turned her focus to the geography professor, already hard at work drawing a detailed map on the chalkboard. She somehow doubted that they were called in early for a special cross-unit geography lesson, so why bother with a map? The other students were speculating that it was a field training exercise. Lienna wasn’t thrilled at the prospect, but she hoped that if that was indeed the case, they’d have at least warned the newbies to give her a wide berth. With any luck, the professors wouldn’t soon forget what happened on their last little excursion.


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Finally scarfing down of what remained of her danishes or rather what didn’t she was finally able to both breathe and witness all that was going on around her. Wiping any excess glaze or cheese off her face she made herself presentable once more. Just in time too, seeing as the students one by one began pouring into the room. There was one more familiar student she saw from where she knew Albrecht from as well. The two seemed way more regal and eloquent than she, but she also supposed that came with the territory of being royalty and not limited to dukedom. She wondered just how the two of them were adjusting to being in the monastery. She stood to join the conversation that was undergoing until she saw another member slip themselves into the medley.

Knowing nothing of whom nor where she was from, Aileas was fascinated by the wildfire that was her hair. It was somewhat akin to the color of Ezekial’s but a more orange flame. Either way she took the wave from Ezekial as an invitation to discourse rather than a formality. Making her way down the stairs she couldn’t help but overhear the on going’s of the conversation from the new student. She was apparently of the same country and allegiance as Ezekial. The idea of tea did sound good as her mouth was a bit parched from the amount of sugar and dough she had just consumed.

Entering the fray she bid her hat in as well, “Pleasure to make your acquaintance just as well Clarissa, I’m Aileas Hyland Dominic, of House Dominic. Hello Albrecht and Ezekial I’m glad to see a few familiar faces” she said a bit dryly. As much as she felt more comfortable with a lance than with a dress she still had socialites and manners imprinted on her in large part due to her mother. Still clueless to why the class was called so early, Aileas was eager for it to begin. “Why do you think class is starting so early?” She said hoping someone would acquiesce her invitation for conversation.
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Rudolf was agitated, to say the least. The disaster of a Crest class he'd been dragged to every day was bad enough, and at least he didn't have to wake up early for that. His Highness would lapse in his vigilance eventually, and there would be nothing to stop Rudolf from simply walking out of the classroom next time Professor Tomai broke into a tone-deaf tangent about invisible Hresvelg children like it was a neat case study with no consequence and not a living nightmare for that Saints-forsaken individual. For him.

He lingered outside the doorway to the classroom, first out of confusion - a couple of faces from his old unit led him to believe he'd simply wandered to the wrong place in his freshly-awakened stupor - then out of cowardice. If he was recognized even once, that insufferable cacophony of congratulations for his 'promotion' to the Rose Unit would follow, or perhaps jealous mutterings about how unfair it was that he of all people was put in the Archbishop's pet class. He could explain that the Rose Unit was looking more like a trial group for Professor Tomai's Crest research and less like a prestigious military academy unit every day, but then he'd be hounded for what made his Crest special. It wasn't; it sucked and he didn't want to talk about it. And all of that was before the grueling task the professors doubtlessly had planned for them today. Inter-class competition, surely, where the most spiteful of his former classmates could beat the crap out of him for his 'betrayal', and the nicer ones could do it just because that was their assigned objective. And then Rudolf would get a pity commendation because the rest of his class was superhuman and nobody bothered to look at him long enough to evaluate him. If they ended up marching the classes down to Gronder Field for a mock battle, he might just walk home and never come back.

Come to think of it, he didn't know why he hadn't marched back to his room already. What was the worst they could do? Kick him out of Garreg Mach? Have him return home disgraced and ashamed? He already didn't want to be here. But for some reason, his legs wouldn't move. He was such a coward.

The crimson-eyed boy trudged in to the classroom at last, barely suppressing a sigh as a cursory examination of the chalkboard revealed they were definitely not bound for Gronder. So much for his escape plan. Maybe he could just hide until it was all over, not that he knew what it was yet. Announcing his presence to the professors seemed like a bad idea, Clarissa was friendly enough to entertain his questions but she was engaged with a crowd and the less eyes that landed on Rudolf today, the better. That just left... Leena, or whatever her name was. The girl was as icy as her magic without being as disdainful as Her Future Imperial Highness, so Rudolf figured that would be his best bet at avoiding needless talk while still sating his curiosity.

"What are we doing?" Rudolf asked quietly, hoping a pointed question would get him a pointed answer and not tedious pleasantries about how weird it was that she hadn't seem him approach.


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Derec slowly blinked as Auberon spoke, catching about every third word or so. It was his own fault for having stayed up all night, though, in his defense, the shadows striking through his room had been enough to haunt his nightmares. Actually, his sleep deprivation was likely the result of the sheer amount of stress he was experiencing. Those damned Crest classes were going to be the death of him. It was a good thing that he didn't care much for his grades, otherwise, he would probably have to worry about that, too. But he was caught in a relentless cycle: he could not properly concentrate, and he could not concentrate out of fear of revealing his Crest, and he could not reveal his Crest because he could not concentrate.

But none of that related to his current situation. It took him much longer than it should have for him to realize that Auberon was waiting for a response. He slowly nodded, gently closing the door and making an effort to rub the sleep out of his eyes. It was best to go now lest he fall to temptation and end up passing out on his bed. And so he went about getting ready at a quick pace, splashing water on his face and pinching his cheeks to wake himself up.

By the time he stepped out, he still looked tired, but at least he was dressed. "Sorry for the wait," He mumbled, resisting a yawn as he looked at Auberon. "I, uh, wasn't expecting you to wait up."

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Auberon stared quizzically at the door as Derec closed it, still unsure as to what his half-slumbering companion meant by that nod. Was it an acknowledgment? An agreement to his offer? Derec nodding off and catching himself midway? His Lions could get mad at him for his wake up knocks all they wanted, but they were clearly warranted if this was how they intended to stumble into the classroom. At least no one had slept through a class yet, or else he might have to start barging in when his knocks were left unanswered. Or find a female volunteer to barge in, in Lienna's case.

Upon Derec's return, Auberon still found himself without an answer as to what that nod meant.

"Why would I have offered if I didn't intend to stay?" Was he not a man of his word? Would a man of dubious character have even bothered to make such a stupid lie anyway? It was certainly an early morning, but that was hardly an excuse to be outright delirious. Unless Derec was pursuing a secret training regimen at night - and Auberon certainly hoped not, what with a kidnapper on the loose (and because he hadn't received even a single invitation to spar) - the redhead really had no excuse to be this tired. Maybe he needed to hydrate better.

"Not a morning person, I take it?" He asked rhetorically as he started toward the exit. That trait seemed like it should've been a rarity among the common folk, didn't they have farms to manage or something?

When they arrived at the Blue Lions' classroom, Auberon was met with a handful of unfamiliar faces, and what seemed to be a geography lesson taking shape on the board, judging by Professor Bartels' presence. One of the newcomers he recognized - vaguely, but enough to know she was Faerghian. The orange-haired boy's identity was lost on him, but Clarissa's conversation partner appeared almost too recognizable. Why, he could've been Count Galatea's son had Auberon not known any better. He definitely wasn't a cousin the blond had ever been introduced to, and surely a bastard would've been at least gossiped about. Maybe a distantly-related Fraldarius that got all of the Galatea and none of the Kellen in the looks department.

Whatever curiosity Auberon harbored over the lesson evaporated in the face of the familiar stranger, so much that he forgot to thank the Goddess for Her minor miracle of getting Lienna to class even before he had arrived. Then again, Derec had taken a while.

"Good morning," Auberon greeted with a respectful dip of his head as he approached the group, "Clarissa, I hope you'll introduce me to what look to be our classmates for this... exercise." His gaze trailed briefly over the trio, lingering on them in order of importance. He gave the fiery-haired male only enough of his attention to adequately size him up, offered a polite smile to his Housemate, and then set to work staring holes into his would-be relative's head as blatantly as he could get away with in polite company.


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Tomai gave little more than a wave whenever he was greeted. While Lavender had yet to respond, it was clearly because she was focused. Once she finished, she turned to face her trio, looking at each of them with a smile.

"All will be explained shortly," She promised, ushering them to take their seats, though she had hers sit towards the front. "Hmm...we're missing one. Still, it's best to brief you all on today's mission."

She drew a circle around Garreg Mach and Magred, tapping the Magred Way twice. "Professor Michail is overseeing the carriages and has left it to me to inform you all of today's mission. The Church has received a plea from Magred, requesting assistance," She stated. "There are some dissidents of the Church that have been demanding the people to forsake the Goddess' teachings. Such blasphemy can't stand, and thus the Knights of Seiros will be dispatched. In the meantime, this Unit will assist by helping the townspeople that have been stranded in their homes while the Knights are occupied taking down the leader of the dissenters."

She drew a small diagram of a battle formation. "In order to ensure the success of the Rose Unit, four members of the Iris Unit will be assisting. Albrecht von Varley, Aileas Hyland Dominic, and Ezekial Gloucester will strengthen the frontlines while Celeste Gloucester will strengthen the backline. As they are under my tutelage, I can promise that they've been trained sufficiently and will be beneficial to the Unit as a whole."

She tapped several units. "Professor Euphemia, Professor Michail, and I will act as an advance unit. We will be taking a couple of volunteers and splitting our forces into two," She said. "The advance unit will enter the town first and weed out the leader, while the rest will be strictly on guard duty, protecting the townspeople. We have intel that states they intend to hold the townspeople hostage and we cannot let that happen. Both parties will have their danger, but so long as everyone follows orders, I have all the confidence that we will succeed."

Placing the chalk down, she looked at the students. "I'll happily take any questions at this time, as well as any volunteers for the advance unit."


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Albrecht von Varley

Interacting with: @Raijinslayer@Achronum@Scribe of ThothLocation: Garreg Mach Monastery


Albrecht simply nodded along as Ezekial explained his attachment to his swordsmanship, and how it didn't quite fit with the image of his kingdom. He couldn't much relate to that; the Empire played host to all matter of warrior, with no one seeming to define them more than another. Dark Magic was a popular enough choice among some, he supposed, but he never had much talent for the rote memorization required to excel in spellcraft. What magical abilities he did possess were the result of his faith in the Goddess more than arcane formulas. Arcane formulas that Ezekial himself must have had some skill in, if he was bold enough to demonstrate them right in the classroom. Perhaps the standoffish nobleman possessed a not insignificant amount of pride beneath his steely exterior.

Of course, the topic wasn't to linger on the redhead for too long. When the question fell to what the Varley spent his time doing, Albrecht could only smile sheepishly.

"Oh, nothing terribly interesting, I'm afraid. I've spent much of my time here in either practice or prayer. I find both to be quite soothing in these trying times," He offered, well aware that while most inhabitants of the officer's academy certainly shared his faith, precious few were quite so dedicated in their devotions, "I suppose I have been enjoying the company of some my fellow students, as well as the monastery's personnel. It would be such a shame to arrive in a place with such a diverse set of people and not try getting to know them, wouldn't you agree?"

The fates conspired to see Albrecht make good on that claim, as no sooner than he finished speaking did another join them. The young woman with the fiery mane engaged Ezekial with a flurry of commentary, but he wasn't left out for too long before she turned her attention to him. His lack of greater political interest prevented him from placing her name and title to a particular region, but it was all the same to him; she was a noblewoman regardless of her origin, and he would treat her with all the courtesy that entailed.

"The pleasure is all mine, Clarissa von Edmund. I am——"

Unfortunately, he didn't get to finish his introduction before another arrived. This time a tall, irate looking gentleman with a certain air of familiarity to him. He had yet to meet this one either, although he would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, with how the blond seemed to stare daggers at him. Perhaps he was just a particularly intense individual; the academy did breed the competitive sort.

"——Albrecht von Varley, Heir to the Duchy of Varley." He finished his initial sentence once the newcomer had said his peace, though even two years later the word 'heir' seemed to feel strange in his mouth. His hopes to spare Clarissa the labor of introducing somebody she did not know were fulfilled when Professor Lavender suddenly interjected and explained the task at hand.

Valiance was no strange concept to the young Varley, and so the urge to volunteer for the advance unit was almost as strong as it was immediate. His personal glory, however, came second to the safety of others, and it did not sit right with him to charge headlong into battle while innocent commoners remained vulnerable to assault. He was certain the others in this unit were as capable as any in protecting them, but the Goddess had gifted him with incredible fortune. What better way to repay that fortune than by protecting her faithful from the depredations of the heretical? He opted not to raise his hand when the time came to step forward, though he did keep an eye on the others to see who would decide on enlisting.
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Kayden got out of bed bright and early, but once he got dressed and smoothed his perfect hair, he decided to go on a jaunt rather than immediately to the room they had been summoned to. He had time, and felt like a brisk walk on the grounds would clear his head for the day. He had much to think on, though thankfully Veronica was not one of those topics. She had been...relatively tame the last few times they had been within proximity to one another. Well, he pushed her out of his mind and reflected on the horse ride they had earlier. Jorah's obsession with hating him seemed to have been lightening up slightly, and though he hadn't had the chance to speak to Derec, Clarissa was a gem. He was honored to make her acquaintance. All of those present had been grand riders too. The Eagles might have less problems than the other two Houses, but they weren't as personable either except for himself. Hopefully they would be able to change that.

Kayden stopped himself, realizing he had been so lost in thought he had forgotten to wake up his team. Not that they were expecting him to, but he felt it was his responsibility. Cursing, he raced to the classroom and stepped in a minute or two shy of them starting, right when people were taking their seats and whispering to one another. He scanned the room and counted the Eagles, pleased when he realized they were all present. He made a point of searching for Rudolph, finding the diminutive student was present whilst simultaneously looking like they wanted to leap off a bridge rather than be here.

Same old, same old, then.

He made his way to the front of the classroom and found Clarissa, Albrecht, Alyeas, and Ezekial. He had not spoken much to the latter bunch, though Albrecht had been assigned to the Eagles. “Fair weather and good morning,” he said to them in greeting, not deigning to make any more conversation so as to focus on the board. The Geography professor had a detailed map of Magdred Way. The professor did not disappoint, the curves of the terrain and the foliage was well presented, letting Kayden get a good idea of the forward tactics they would use. He struck a professional poise, hand on his chin as he listened intently.

Volunteers? Was this a training exercise? Immediately he wanted to raise his hand and be thrown into danger, but once he absorbed the information, he realized it would only be a small cog in the wheel of the plan. There were people to be kept safe, and as much as he liked running in the vanguard, he knew it was good leadership and a showing of nobility to uphold lives over glory. He also knew he was trying to convince himself he was being pragmatic, when his conscience was what was truly making the decision for him. And if Kalliope and her knights weren't where the volunteers were going to be, then he would see if they might hang around the defenders before or after their advance.

Something did not sit right, however. He hoped this wasn't going to be a rehash of the last battle. Defending people's backs on a five to one ratio had not been his idea of a sound plan, but it was all he could have done at the time. At least he would have backup, now.
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