Mordhaben's Institute for Aspiring Mages
Yrhen stiffened when she heard the cafeteria doors open, followed by the sound of many feet and voices heading her way. It was time for the tour to begin. Taking a deep breath she prepared herself to rejoin the group and resolved to stay as far away from the Breckenridge boy as was possible. Setting her face into her usual scowl she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against the wall. She intended to look as if she had been fuming and not fretting over her arm.
As the students began rounding the corner on the heels of the staff members Yrhen did not even look in their direction. However, she was watching carefully from her peripheral trying to locate Alex. But the entire group passed ans she didn't catch sight of him. Not knowing where the boy was made her nervous. She peeked around the corner not expecting to see him hanging behind, or rather she hoped he wasn't. She was not pleased to see he was behind the rest of the group, behind her
. Though it did seem to be for a benign reason; apparently he was helping another student with something or other. Damn, if I join the back of the group like I wanted he'll be coming right up behind me at some point. Even if I wait for him to pass I'll still get stuck with him, and if he notices me... I'll just have to leave him behind and see if I can use the rest of the group as cover between us.
She was not at all fond of being in the middle of a crowd it was marginally more bearable in comparison.
She hurried away while Alex was distracted and quickly caught up with the others. She then slowly worked her way into the throng, cringing at every shoudler brushing against her and ever breath of warm air too close for comfort. It wasn't long before it felt like her skin was crawling, but she did her best to bear with it. She wore a severely unfriendly face to ward of idle conversation and keep everyone that saw her at a distance. It worked for the most part, as it usually did, though thankfully many of the others were not the least interested in her. She even managed to pay attention and enjoy some of the tour, in particular, the Arts building and the common area just before it. Groundskeeper Billy had already left quite the impression on her with his beautiful work on the main courtyard, but this place was a masterpiece of gardening. She made a mental note to come back as often as possible.
Upon catching sight of the truly monstrous form of Professor Malovroch Yrhen immediately tensed and her adrenaline spiked while other students literally recoiled. It was almost unbelievable that such a creature was a teacher and no less... an arts teacher in a decidedly feminine dress and with a talent for baking. Of course the more she thought about it the less unrealistic it seemed; monsters were often very intelligent and human hangups on gender roles were probably a very silly thing to their kind. She could just imagine a stuffy city dwelling traditionalist meeting Malovroch and the thought almost brought a smirk to her face. At any rate the enormous flame wreathed professor managed to put her somewhat at ease and she joined the numbers that decided to step forward and accept the offered baked goods. She did not regret the decision.
As the tour continued Yrgen made note of several classes in the Arts building she would like to take, and made a mental map of the grounds so she (hopefully) wouldn't get lost. The entire campus was bigger than some of the villages she had lived in which was somewhat intimidating. Not to mention examples of the school's wealth were in almost every square foot. It was a little hard not to feel out of place at times. This was especially true of the research building which the eerie professor Brovak considered his domain. This was an area where her weaknesses were sure to become apparent as her magic use was comparatively simple and underwhelming, despite raw experience. She made it a goal upon leaving the building to not embarrass herself at the very least.
The last two areas of the tour included another pair of locations Yrhen instantly fell in love with. The first was the indoor pool in the Athletics building which she didn't even get to see. Despite that she was already wondering if she could reserve the pool for private use since she'd sooner hang herself than let anyone see her in a bathing suit. Then there was the dormitory common area, which was a veritable jungle walled in by the enormous buildings. Even though there was likely to be many students using the area she was sure she could find a little corner for herself. By the time the tour was over Yrhen was feeling much better and rather excited about the school.
When the other students started nervously searching for a roommate following the announcement Yrhen confidently, more or less, walked up to professor Volkova and produced a letter and a completed form. This was a special request for a private room arranged weeks in advance and the professor simply nodded after glancing over the documents.
With that task smoothly finished Yrhen hastily made her way back to the cafeteria, determined not to have her meal ruined a second time. This involved avoiding contact with others, especially any faces she could recognize but fortunately this did not prove much of a challenge. Everyone seemed very into their own business or wanted nothing to do with her and that suited her just fine. Her tray laden with a wide variety of cheeses and more unusual cuisine, including roasted crickets, she left the cafeteria altogether and made her way back toward the dorms. Apparently not many others had thought to eat outdoors and it was not at all hard to locate a secluded spot among the foliage and took her first few bites of the delicacy she had missed out on earlier.
Professor Katarina Volkova's Office
Professor Volkova sat staring at the clock in her small office, occasionally glancing at the shadowy figures moving about beyond the frosted glass window of her office. It was only the first day and she had to deal with disciplinary actions already, which didn't exactly set the tone for a good, uneventful year. She annoyedly bounced the eraser of her pencil on a scrap of paper with a list of students who had needed an appointment with her. There were far too many. And another one was due shortly.
Yrhen stood outside the office, steeling herself for what was to come. She had been there for a minute or two and she was beginning to think she was only working herself up rather than calming down. She took several deep breaths, preparing to actually open the door, then realized she was hyperventilating as opposed to taking slow even breaths. Halfway through turning the knob her answer to this was to hold her breath entirely. Halfway through the opening of the door she realized she had not knocked. She froze, thought about closing the door and knocking, thought about running, decided that was a really stupid idea, then settled on knocking with the door half open as it was. Holy crap I am such an idiot...
Volkova glanced at the door when she heard the knock, then glanced at Yrhen. Like so many others before her, this student was absolutely terrified by the prospect of disciplinary action. That would have to be remedied somehow - learning experiences aren't meant to evoke such fear, after all. "Come in, Yrhen. I was expecting you,"
the older woman said. She wasn't wearing the 'angry' or 'disappointed' expression one might expect in a disciplinary meeting, but rather something more neutral, perhaps bordering on soft.
Upon being prompted Yrhen stepped inside and took a few steps before she realized she had not shut the door. Rectifying this she finally came to stand before the professor, hands clasped nervously behind her back. Then she realized she was still
holding her breath. She let the air out slowly and as quietly as possible instead of all at once like her lungs begged her to do. This led to what she felt was a rather awkward moment of silence, one that she hoped the professor would break. Well, at least she doesn't look angry... "Please, take a seat,"
Volkova said, indicating the chair in front of her desk.
Following the professor's instructions Yrhen managed to sit down without any problems. She sat there, then, still not having said a word."So, how about you tell me what happened at the cafeteria?"
, the Professor asked. It was less a suggestion and more an order, but she said it with no hostility in her voice."O-of course."
Yrhen said, mentally kicking herself for the slight stutter that slipped out. "Well, I had arrived late this morning and was sent to the cafeteria where I... overheard someone, a short chimera boy, referring to another chimera student as... well, essentially a filthy half breed."
She paused for a moment to take a breath, the memory bringing back what she had felt then. "I had meant to just move on but... I admit I lost my temper. I, ah, pulled him to his feet, slapped him, and started yelling at him."
An image of the boys face and the look in his eyes played through her head."After a few moments I was more or less coming to my senses I suppose. But then... then, ah..."
She swallowed hard, finding the memory of her arm going haywire and mostly numb especially difficult. Just keep it simple. She probably already knows all the details anyway. "Another student stepped in on behalf of the one I had hit. I.. At that point I decided it would be best for me to just leave. Professor Brovak stopped us and.. issued our disciplinary orders. Then I stepped outside for some air."
She stopped there, not sure if she needed to say anything else.
Volkova silently listened, expression unchanging until the mention of Professor Brovak, at which she raised an eyebrow. She hadn't known Brovak to step in very often, and that he did suggested the situation was slightly more than just a squabble over 'racial purity'. "...Are you leaving anything out, Ms. Oharra?"
, the Professor prompted."I... the boy who interfered used magic. But it was nothing, really. Just some stunning magic. He was worried I was going to hurt the ki- the other student. It was nothing I couldn't handle."
Now that was about as deep a lie as she could tell without completely fabricating a story. She had not been ok with what happened, not even a little bit. And it was definitely not something she was in any way prepared to handle. But she could not bring herself to admit these things. Experience had almost hardwired her to avoid showing any weakness or vulnerability. She kept her face as neutral as possible and maintained eye contact with Volkova, just hoping she wasn't using some kind of mind reading or truth detecting magic. Shit! Maybe I should have thought of that before I opened my mouth... Lying to a teacher? I'm making all kinfs of great judgement calls today, aren't I?
Volkova was, despite Yrhen's worries, not using any sort of magic whatsoever. But she wasn't hired into her current position without reason, nor was her military history meaningless. She knew instinctively that Yrhen wasn't telling the entire truth, but pushing further wasn't something she felt the urge to do - that was Leonora's job. And as far as she could tell, she had been told the truth in regards to the order of events."Very well, Ms. Oharra. And... What did Professor Brovak do?"
, the Professor asked. It wasn't exactly a 'required' question, but Brovak being involved in anything
official irrationally worried her. She would decide on a course of punishment after Yrhen's response, regardless of what she learned. And she preferred getting information about Brovak from anyone other than
If she knew Yrhen was lying Volkova didn't say anything, which Yrhen quickly decided was worse. But it was done, and better to let it go if she could get away with it.
Yrhen was a little surprised that Volkova wanted to know about professor Brovak. Wasn't that something she should already know? Since Brovak had been the one to step in Yrhen had just assumed he had explained the situation to Volkova. But maybe that wasn't the case for some reason? The question made her uncomfortable, as did the memory of his hand on her shoulder. Repressing a shudder she answered as simply as she could."He stopped myself and the Breckenridge boy, scolded us both..."
[I]Another lie. You're on a roll, Yrhen. If anything Brovak only seemed to be dressing down Alex at the time. "...and then handed us both cards with our appointments for, well, this."
Volkova's expression changed from one of complete neutrality to one of understanding, followed by visible annoyance. "Breckenridge... That explains what Brovak is doing. Yrhen, did Professor Brovak say anything unusual to you directly?"
Yrhen remembered exactly what had been said, the memory was regrettably sharp. But she had already begun digging a hole based on omissions and lies so she opted not to repeat what Brovak had said. She shook her head and nervously glanced at a nearby clock. They had only been speaking a few minutes. "It was that bad? I suppose I could always probe your memory,"
Volkova threatened. She was getting close to crossing her usual ethical line, but her unease with Brovak's involvement justified it to her.
Yrhen's breath caught in her throat and she felt her heart skip a beat. At the very real threat being openly voiced her composure almost broke entirely and she stutterrd out the first cover she could think of. "Why- n-no! No, that's not what I meant! It's just he d-didn't have much to say. Nothing unusual anyway." Oh fuck, please do not... Please don't start looking around in my head."Then I'll take your word for it, I suppose,"
Volkova said. She had no intention of following through with her threat, but now that Yrhen absolutely refused
to say anything, she felt that her instinct that something was wrong was confirmed. "Now, on to your punishment. You weren't at the opening ceremony, correct?"
Yrhen resisted the urge to breath a physical sigh of relief. She couldn't tell if the professor actually believed her but at least she was letting it go. The thought of mind reading magic was as terrifying, if not more, than the possibility of a person teleporting right next to you suddenly. Or magic that disabled nerves... "N-no ma'am. I was... held up at the train. Everyone had gone by the time I arrived."
Yrhen answered, avoiding Volkova's gaze by staring at a paperweight on her desk.
Volkova nodded, shuffled around a few papers silently for several moments, and picked up her pencil again to start writing on what appeared to be a scheduling sheet. "While I can't grant you any leniency based on your not having been present when the rules on fighting and magic usage were told to the rest of the new students... I take partial responsibility for the incident at the cafeteria. As such, you will be meeting me here again at 1800 on the second day of classes, after your last period is over and during dinner hours. I will have food brought in so you may serve your required detention period undistracted."
Volkova's pencil stopped moving, and she looked back up at Yrhen. "Any requests?""Requests? I.. No ma'am. But if I may, how was anything that happened your responsibility? I was the one that couldn't keep my cool and caused all this trouble.""Just go with it, Ms. Oharra. It's either that or I let any other staff member take you in, and that may include Professor Brovak. I don't think either of us wants that. If you need a justification though, it was my responsibility to inform all new students of the rules, and I allowed you to go uninformed, even though I wasn't aware of your late arrival until the tour began,"
Volkova said. She was being as genuine as she could be with the 'offer' (more of a very strong suggestion, really), and was hoping to make it clear that she was offering Yrhen an 'easy way out', so to speak.
With Volkova making things as clear as that Yrhen decided it would be best to accept what the professor was trying to do. She felt guilty about doing so but there was little else she could do at this point. She nodded that she understood, eyes still downcast."The Cafeteria is still serving dinner for another couple hours, if you weren't able to get anything before. I'll see you tomorrow during the entrance exams. You're dismissed, and good luck.""Yes ma'am. Thank you ma'am."
Yrhen stood and saluted before hastily seizing on the dismissal. She closed the door behind her and quickly put distance between herself and the professor's office. She really hoped the things she hadn't said wouldn't come back to haunt her.
Dormitory Building Q3-414, Yrhen Oharra's Private Room
Earlier that day Yrhen had let the fraternity boys decide what she would need for furnishings, as long as it was natural wood and some classic lanterns and candles were made available. Mostly she had spent a lot of time grilling her poor upperclassmen on the details of how privacy and security were maintained for each room. After the greater part of an hour she had decided she could live with the fact that it would take a professional mage on the level of the teachers to breach one of these rooms using teleportation or Vision magic. She also came away from the conversation even more fascinated with the workings of more complicated magic like that which protected the rooms.
Closing, locking, and thoroughly checking both the door and the windows Yrhen let her duffel bag fall to the floor and removed her gloves. The small rooms were sparesly furnished which was just fine with her. The second bedroom did not even have anything in it which somehow made her feel more comfortable. She ran her hands over the small desk, bedframe, and nightstand. Apart from her requested fire based light sources one of the fraternity boys had the insight to leave a stack of paper and an inkwell complete with its own classic quill. She hadn't asked for anything like that and had her own notebook and pencils but she found herself liking the extra touch.
She went into the bathroom and tested the shower, which heated up nicely and much hotter than what she was used to. A hot shower felt like the most wonderful idea right about now but she decided to wait until she was at least unpacked and settled in. That shouldn't take long anyway.
Returning to the bedroom she finally nodded to herself, satisfied. She felt much more relaxed now that she was alone in her own private room and decided to strip out of her heavy, stuffy clothing she had been bound up in all day. The relatively cool air was a huge relief after her day of being uncomfortably close to far more people than she was used to. Though the room was small it was still plenty large enough for her to finally stretch, really
stretch. She sighed as she let go of much of the tension she had held onto and gently massaged a knot in her shoulder. She stood for a while, doing nothing much beyond uncramping various muscles until a thougg occurred to her.I'm here. I'm going to be a mage.
With this realization her face transformed into an expression she had shown no other soul all day: undiluted joy. A sound halfway like a giggle and halfway an excited squeal escaped her lips as she threw herself onto the bed. She completely ruined the neatly made bed burying her face into the ridiculously soft down pillow, which was another pleasant surprise. All of the bedding was actually super nice but looked deceptively plain, and she hadn't even thought about just how important that would be. She rolled over onto her back, clutching the sheets and blankets to her chest while she stared up at the ceiling.
After some time just laying there enjoying the feel of the bedding she sat up and stretched some more. She then wrapped one of the blankets around her shoulders and walked back out to the main room to look over the kitchenette more closely. Ha, nicer than some of the places we've lived. I wish I could have brought Me'me and Pe'pe along. Maybe they could have stayed in the village? But no, traveling and looking for a new place in the cold seasons? Better to wait and- oh, that reminds me! I haven't written them a letter yet!
With that thought she went to the desk and lit the candle resting there. Let's fix that.
The Written and Physical Exams
The written test was about as grueling as she expected; there were very few questions she could answer confidently. On top of this some of the questions seemed a little off or had small errors in how they were worded. She answered these as best she could but her already limited confidence was used up quickly. Then came the final question. She had expected to have to explain why she wanted to be a mage, and a military mage at that. Military life was not easy or pleasant and more was expected of a professional magic user than the common soldier. Thus she had thought long and hard about her answer, and she often recited it in her head, so she began writing without skipping a beat.
Halfway through she suddenly stopped, and stared at the words she had written. In order to protect those that cannot protect themselves, and to uphold the values of our great nation... Now that I look at it on paper it all feels so... plastic.
She scratched out everything she had written so far and flipped the paper over. Using her arm to cover her paper from any potential wandering eyes as a matter of habit she began again.
Seven months ago I was standing on the edge of a cliff, wondering if I would feel my bones shatter or if everything would just go black---
Not long after the written exams conclusion came the much simpler physical tests, which Yrhen felt she had a bit of an edge on. At least that was what she thought until she was instructed to pull a ridiculously heavy cart as far as she could. She had excelled at the running and long jump challenges without even using her full potential, but as she stared at the simple cart before her she knew with certainty she was about to embarrass herself. And in her mind, she was not wrong. Despite her experience with an oversized rifle powerful enough to pierce tank armor, the average time spent actually holding and firing the weapon was very minimal. Yrhen was athletic in her own right but she also had a very slight build and not much weight. This notable lack of raw strength was on full display as she struggled to move the heavy cart at all.
To make matters worse the observing instructors were having a hushed discussion as Yrhen grunted, strained, tore up dirt, and sweated profusely with almost nothing to show for it.
After it looked like she would rather kill herself trying the feathered chimera stepped forward and with a very soft, gentle voice told her she had done well and should save her energy for the upcoming combat exam. Yrhen said nothing and met no one's eyes, only nodding in acknowledgment before stalking away with a scowl on her face.
Laboratory- Magical and Combat Exams
Yrhen held on to that scowl from that point until the younger, larger Vance sibling called on her to join his group for the next phase of testing. Much to her relief everyone around her picked up on the signals she was putting out and no one once disturbed her. She listened silently as their overseer gave clear, detailed instructions on what to do. She was nervous about the initial magical familiarity test. It wasn't that she was inexperienced, quite the opposite. But her prefered abilities were centered around conserving as much energy as possible. Manipulating air was not very difficult, did not take as much energy as some other magical disciplines, and often did not require much precision or concentration. However, while the techniques she knew were useful they were also bound to be much less powerful than what she suspected the other students could do.Alright then, why don't I keep it small and save my energy for the big test? I'm starting to feel sore from pulling that cursed cart anyway. I can just imagine how many of them were laughing at me. Doesn't help that I don't even know what half this stuff is. I better deliver on this big test, I owe it to my grandparents after everything they've sacrificed for me. Let's see if you can't make them proud, eh Yri?
Using only a little bit of magic Yrhen focused on two different points near the table. Expending small bursts of energy she created a small upward gust of air just strong enough to send one of the heavier materials (some small bit of metal?) about a foot into the air and then over the edge. Then, using more focus, energy, and as close to perfect timing as she could muster, Yrhen created a second gust from the floor. The chunk of material was again tossed upwards and this time almost at the exact height she was aiming for. Trying to make it look casual she reached out and snatched it from the air.
Internally she was really excited that bit of precision casting had gone so splendidly, but she reminded herself that it was probably an underwhelming show of magic. Expressionless she met the professor's eyes expecting to see boredom or worse, disappointment. Instead...Is that look... is he impressed? It's subtle but I'm almost sure of it...
She turned away again and suppressed a smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. She almost missed the man's approving 'well done' as she stepped aside for the next student. Almost. That sense of accomplishment and boost in confidence only lasted so long as she watched the others show their talents or knowledge and time seemed to drag on. It actually wasn't very long at all but Yrhen had once again worked herself up to a fair bit of anxiety by the time Hans brought them to the cage to reveal the creature within.
She had of course noticed the covered cage on first entering the room but she felt it unlikely anything beyond the average student's capability resided within. It sounded like she wasn't wrong from the introduction given, but Yrhen remembered seeing on of these once long ago. She had kept as much distance between it and herself back then so she never learned what it was capable of or its name back then. She understood the very real threat the creature posed in its natural environment right away and today's test would be simulating an encounter to the monster's advantage. Worse than that, besides knowing the Deadlands were fatally poisonous, she had never even been close and knew next to nothing of the kind of terrain and flora one would encounter there.
She swallowed hard and stepped forward as her turn was called. She wasted little time in figuring out how the hood was supposed to be worn and secured. It's going to be very hard to hear and see in this thing. That alone could be fatal and if these Ashoppers are so obsessed over the filters.. anyone separated from the expedition probably don't live very long. And that's exactly the situation we're being put in... What kind of insanity even drives people to go into the Deadlands?! And just how many filters do you need to have a chance of making it out alive? Wait..."Sir? How many replacement filters do individuals bring on an expedition?"
She asked keeping her voice even and neutral.
"Several hundred at minimum, generally. Losing consciousness in combat with an Ashhopper is a virtual guarantee that even if you wake before they finish going through your stockpile they'll have eaten enough that you won't be able to make the return trip. Swapping filters is possible, but not advisable unless you already have a replacement in hand, and is virtually impossible with a damaged mask. The gases of the Deadlands will kill any non-Monster in seconds if you breathe them in."Seconds...
"Let's put it another way: One small breath will give you a cardiac arrhythmia for the rest of your shortened life, even if you don't die. But I suppose you don't have to worry about that. If you're going to try to keep your air supply clean, you'd better do it well."
Uncertain of whether or not she could keep her voice even after hearing that Yrhen only nodded and checked her mask again before slipping it on. She nodded sharply at Hans to let him know she was ready, or as ready as she could be. Fully prepared or otherwise it was best not to waste any more time worrying herself into a panic.
She stepped into the room trying to ignore how tight the hood felt around her neck. She took in as much as she could about her new environment with her much diminished senses. It was beautiful in a way but very alien and threatening. She was sure much of the environment itself was hazardous if not potentially fatal. This was more or less confirmed by a swaying fungal growth and the very recognizable razor grass patches. She shuddered a little remembering every past experience with the sharp flora all at once. There were few things she hated more than razor grass and that was saying a lot.
The door sealed shut and she could at once feel the magical pressure from the Ashoppers coming into existence though she could not discern exactly where they were from that alone. As quickly and silently as possible she moved to the most effective cover she could find.How much time do I have before they sniff out my filter? If they're so aggressive.. I should have come in here with a plan; now I had better think fast. I wonder... if this isn't actually too different from normal hunting? I probably shouldn't obsess over defense. There's nowhere to run, I'm too limited here. But...
A thought occured to her and instinct told her to decide before she had a chance to overthink and hesitate.
She took several deep, rapid breaths and as quickly as she could pulled the filter from her mask. In the same moment her other hand clamped down on the hole left in the filters absence. She held her last breath. There was no telling what would come of this gamble and there was probably only a breath or two of clean air in the mask itself. This needed to work; there was no certainty her magic was good enough to clean the air without a filter. She hoped she wouldn't have to risk it.
Yrhen pulled back her arm and hurled the filter across the room. And then she waited, silent and still. It didn't take long for the Ashoppers to take interest, in fact some of them were on the filter immediately. Gripping her outdated Condenser adrenaline shot through her and she focused much of the air near the monsters into a single point.Wait! Wait... The timing doesn't feel right.
Her instincts served her better than logic as usual. A few more Ashoppers broke cover to join what was quickly becoming a frenzied fight. Wait.
Her lungs begged for a breath of air but she resisted and watched. One more, then two more. By the time her vision was starting to get spotty Yrhen was almost sure all the creatures in the room were tearing at the carbon filter and eachother. Her heart rate slowed and a sort of calm settled over her.Now.
She set off the collected air like a bomb, which this spell more or less was exactly. Concussive force slammed into the Ashoppers bodies and they were torn to pieces far more effectively than she had expected. She quickly became acquainted with the fact that Ashoppers were not very well held together as several tiny body parts bounced off her even from her concealed position. Unable to hold her breath any longer the used up air expelled from her lungs with enough force to puff up her hood. She greedily sucked in another breath and forced herself to hold this one as well while she scanned for survivors. But this was proved unnecessary as the gas in the room started to be sucked away into the vents.Did I really get them all with that one explosion?!
The door opened and filling the frame was the enormous form of Hans Vance. He gestured for her to come back out of the room and stepped aside as she did so. She was quick to remove the uncomfortable hood and taste some fresh air after her brief time in the stuffy thing.
"Miss Oharra, I would like the pleasure of being the first to say you passed with flying colors. I'll be sure to take your skills into consideration for your future classes and I apologize if you feel I underestimated your talents. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you see fit. You should enjoy yourself, I think you've earned it. The big man smiled at her and Yrhen very simply nodded in response to his praise. She walked out of the testing laboratory seemingly fully in control and calm, not looking at anyone else on the way. However, her thoughts were a whirlwind and she felt dizzy from keeping it all inside.
But above it all, at least for now, she felt truly happy
. Professor Vance had respectfully kept his praise low key but she could tell...I just aced that fucking test!!!
The cat-like girl's eyes widened a bit in surprise. She stopped clutching her tail and sat up straight. She looked into Berke's eyes as if searching for something, though what that could be was anyone's guess. Whatever she saw there it seemed to satisfy her and she actually smiled."N-no-nowhere special real-really."
She said hastily, forgetting to mind her stutter. Her smile faded but she didn't look unhappy like she had before, just tired and nervous. She cocked her head slightly, her hair falling away from her face even more but she was too focused on Berke to notice. "A-actually if you don't mind I.. I would like to hear more about y-you and your home. I've.. never been to Altay."
The blue haired girls eyes widened in surprise and she burst into laughter. "Too fair! I walked right into that one! Monster hunting though? Respect."
Still chuckling to herself Zyphyria turned her attention to Mycona as the other girl spoke and yet she never once gave off the sense that she was ignoring L'ilisht to do so. "That's a fair philosophy. Me? I'm doing great! My tests all went well but I don't think that Leere guy liked me as much as you, if we're going by that weird number game he plays. How about you? What have you been up to since we last saw eachother? Do you two already know one another?"
She asked pointing at Mycona then L'ilisht. She turned in Berke's vacated seat so she had both equally within sight. She seemed really interested in getting to know her new schoolmates but unfortunately fate had other plans. The clocks of the room lit up and rang all at once. "Whaaaat? Already? Dammit that's so annoying! I didn't realize that chatty cat had chewed through so much time. Hey, why don't we walk up to the dorms together and get to know eachother better? Sound good?"
Elsa's ears stood straight up as the bells harshly cut off her conversation with Berke. They drooped in apparent sadness or regret as the girl that had just started calming down again started getting the remnants of her meal together. She looked back up at Berke the slightest bit of hope in her eyes."Are you.. can we... talk more? It's fine if you don't want- if y-you have plans."