MENTIONS: Parthenia [@Click This] and everyone else.
Bloated, ivory clouds loomed far above the Irinduil students’ heads and refused to allow any semblance of cerulean sky to peek through the bulk of their masses. They watched the monastery from the heavens, stagnant and stiff. Moisture hung heavy in the air and a brisque early autumn breeze whisked over the cobblestone pathways, gathering crisp, blotchy leaves in its invisible fingers. A rainstorm was on the horizon. Sherry hoped that she would not get wet.
The majority of them had arrived around an hour ago. A caravan of horse-drawn wagons had brought them most of the way up the mountain, but much to her dismay, they had to walk the rest of the way. It was a tiresome trek, but Sherry had made it alongside her compatriots– and Roland. If there was anyone she couldn’t stand to disappoint, it was them… and the commoners, of course.
Archbishop Augustine greeted them at the entrance to the monastery. A tall, petite man, he bore long, black and white silk robes. His silver hair was done down in a smooth ponytail and his pale lips curled into a smile as he brought his arms up to greet the students at his feet.
”Irinduil opens its arms to you, future leaders of Musentia. It is an honor to greet you as Archbishop of the monastery.”
Such flowery words– nevertheless, Sherry listened well to them. Augustine looked just as her father described him to her. Pristine. Delicate. Almost like a portrait that had been carefully and painstakingly painted by a master’s hand. It was hard to believe that the Archbishop had once overlooked his tutelage as headmaster of the Officers Academy.
The introductory speech went as one would expect. Augustine presented the dean of students, stern-faced woman by the name of Iris, and the professor of the Ivory Serpents, a man named Talbot. Much to her disappointment, the professor of the Scarlet Foxes was not present… though she supposed she could do without them for the time being. Then came the assigning of the house leaders. The Ivory Serpents were dealt the heiress of Luralei, Francette Albillion Luralei, as their leader– a quaint little thing with a round face and an aloof glint in her eye. After the cheers of celebration died, Augustine presented the leader of the Scarlet Foxes, who was, much to her elation and delight, no one else but herself.
House leader! she thought as Augustine’s drone vanished beneath the veil of her excitement. I must write father. No doubt he’ll be ecstatic.
The rest of the orientation went on without incidence. Then, the students were duly portioned into the two houses and the time came for a tour of the campus. Professor Talbot was quick to take over the Serpents, and Sherry watched as they were guided deeper onto the monastery grounds. It was a surprise when Augustine took over the Scarlet Foxes in turn. Sherry wondered where their professor could be, though she didn’t dare ask him such a question for the time being.
Their first stop was a pleasant garden that had been built in the very heart of the monastery. The scent of exotic flowers wafted through the air as Sherry peered through the intricate gates that wrapped around its perimeter. Stone benches and decorated tables had been scattered around the grassy areas. Augustine stepped forward and pulled a key from his belt before he opened the gate and ushered the newly dubbed Scarlet Foxes inside.
”The gardens will be free to use anytime when classes aren’t occurring,” he stated, ”you may use this area for leisure or study. At times, we have the students tend to the flowers. It’s a very relaxing area, even during the winter– we even have the students give suggestions on what to plant during the cold months. If you’re interested in helping out, please speak to Professor Talbot.”
Who would come to Irinduil to learn about flowers? With a sly, sidelong glance, Sherry leaned towards Parthenia and whispered into her ear. ”I suppose I will consider it if I wish to die of boredom.”