Misaiya felt quite vulnerable getting singled out all of a sudden, first by a classmate, and then by Nyx himself. The guy who had name-dropped him (and who looked on the verge of joining the many who were already crying) was not that far off the mark, except he could
actually manipulate his mana. Just… not particularly well, nor was he able to put it to any practical use.
He wasn’t sure what exactly to feel about Nyx’s appraisal.
Misaiya had wanted to say something to the expelled students, some word of comfort or empathy, though there was little that could be said to any useful effect in the heat of the moment - and then they were gone, transported away, with naught save tears and ruined dreams and shame. Was that really it? Was that the last the remainder of Camellia would see of their classmates? It was jarring; as if something had been missing, and now unease had taken its place.
Nyx's methods were surely heterodox, even amidst the sheer unorthodoxy that characterised Avalice. Even the upcoming Festival only intended to eliminate
a fifth of the classes. Camellia now only had a fifth of its students remaining
. This was by far the smallest class Misaiya had ever been in, and there was still no guarantee that their numbers would not be further whittled down.
And Nyx was either fearless, well-prepared, or too arrogant for his own good (or perhaps all three), considering how he had directed the expellees right to the principal. It would scarcely be a surprise if he had the administration's approval for all these antics, extreme as they seemed. But the teacher ironically also looked rather the rule-breaking, defiant type; if he was simply doing his own thing and giving everyone else the finger while he was at it, it would not be out of character in the least.
Either way, the school's office politics were none of his concern, or at least not for the time being. Right now, Misaiya just wanted a shower and some long-overdue rest.
Misaiya waved goodbye to Yvaine, who had been approached by what he presumed to be her room-mates — ah, wasn't that boy Ankaa's opponent? — and was apparently headed back to the dormitories. "Thanks for healing me, Yvaine. Do rest well, and see you in class tomorrow."
Which reminded him of his appointment with Kress and Ankaa. The late hour and the intensity of the day's activities meant that the visit to the paints club would be better off postponed. Maybe Nyx would even allow it during curriculum time as part of the 'opposition research' he so valued — but not today."Kress, Ankaa.”
The adrenaline that had been keeping him going non-stop for the past thirty-six hours had already begun to fade, and the fatigue of a vigorous full day and a half was setting in fast. Misaiya’s speech was more straight-to-the-point now, and you didn’t need eyes to tell that he was in no state to go campus touring. ”Today's been tiring for everyone; sorry, but it looks like we'll have to go see the arcane painters another day. Have a good evening."
Misaiya mustered only a brief, tired smile before trudging off in the direction of the dorms, his pole tap-tapping as he leaned on it like a cane and went off. He could not deny that he was somewhat excited to meet his own room-mates, especially since…
Wait, what if his room-mates had all been expelled?
There had been around five and a half dozen Camellians at first. With three people to a room (and a room or two of four), there were twenty or so occupied rooms. Yvaine and her two room-mates had somehow all made it in, so that left ten remaining students and at least nineteen rooms. Of course, the rooming arrangements would surely be adjusted as needed, but the odds of his original room-mates having been kicked out were pretty high — assuming things were completely random. Now that he thought about it, Ankaa and the boy she had been paired up with had both survived. Everyone in the three-way had too. And while Misaiya couldn't say for sure, he was pretty certain that most, if not all of the remaining Camellians had been fighting each other earlier.Don't tell me we're all in the same four rooms too.
Had his fate been predetermined before the spars had started, before he had even arrived at the school gates? Had Nyx been observing them for so long that he had already made arrangements far in advance? Or was it a happy coincidence?
The situation smelled fishy. But Misaiya smelled foul, and he would rather address that first. The entrance of the dorm was in sight now, his bicycle still parked against the wall and chained to a water pipe. The building was still unfamiliar to him, but he already felt a little relieved walking through its entrance.
Soon he was in front of his room. It was hard to miss, considering how he’d left all his luggage right outside. He opened the door, and—
‘Apartment’ seemed more accurate a descriptor than ‘room’. It did
, after all, have multiple rooms, and either way, it was certainly far larger than he had expected. In objective terms, the place probably wasn’t very big. But opening the door to see a wide-open common room with a kitchen and even more doors leading to even more rooms — perhaps it didn’t make much sense, but Misaiya felt immensely content
He would have let out a ‘wow’ or some otherwise astonished remark, had he not noticed someone fast asleep on the sofa. A room-mate, he assumed, and not some sort of burglar. Misaiya remembered seeing him earlier, but as for his name… Ah, there was something outside, wasn’t there?
Sure enough, there was a small sign on the main door. Dorm C-D. Ankaa Liu, Caelum Tempesta, Eris Reinhardt, Misaiya.
The last name had been hastily scribbled on some paper and stuck to the bottom of the sign. Huh. Ankaa’s here too. That’s nice. And this—
Misaiya glanced over at the sleeping boy, —must be Caelum. Odds are that Eris made it too, so all four of us are still here.
A little smile unconsciously crept onto his face. That was good to see. It also fuelled his overactive imagination and left his mind screaming about statistics and probability and shuffling a deck of cards, though that would be a problem for some other time that wasn’t now.
That didn’t stop Misaiya from thinking about meaningless things, though. He still couldn’t match a face to the name ‘Eris Reinhardt’. It had to be a girl; yet even knowing that, there were still five whose names he did not know. The most chaotic
-looking of them would probably be the white-haired one, but the surname did not match well. Next, by his reckoning, would be the girl with purplish hair who was little taller than Kress. It was difficult to articulate any particular reason why — she certainly appeared more like the cool, etiquette-trained type, though not even a draconian governess could truly stamp out a noble child’s secret hobbies and proclivities. whatever the case, Misaiya had convinced himself that that girl was the most probable Eris. This, in spite of the fact that he would find out the truth with absolute certainty by the end of the day.
And now it was time to step foot into the dormitory life, a life of…
A life of what?
Misaiya had no idea what to expect from dorm life. But he knew his room-mates (housemates?) would shape the experience a lot, for sure, so it was fortunate that at least Ankaa was trustworthy and good-natured. It wouldn’t do to demand much of others but offer little himself, so he began with showing a little courtesy to Caelum. Dragging his luggage in, as he had previously planned on doing, would have been easier and quicker. But in order to avoid rousing Caelum, he instead lifted his entire rucksack off the ground and gently hefted the whole thing — which was a little under a quarter his own body weight, mostly in light casual clothes meant for wear indoors and in the summertime — into an unobtrusive corner of the common room. It wasn’t exactly a herculean task, yet his limbs and his back felt sorer for it anyways.
Misaiya set down all the assorted items he had been lugging around the whole day. First were his formal robes, which went folded into a designated bag. Those might need to be washed by hand, though he had yet to find out about how laundry would be done in the dorms. Next was his equipment. Rifle, pole, and sheathed machete he laid on the ground against the wall, quietly noting that he would have to conduct maintenance on them soon, while the sling was simply draped over them, carelessly.
Toiletries and a change of clothes took only a minute to find, and before long, Misaiya was enjoying a refreshing shower. He let the warm water run from his scalp down to the tips of his uncut hair, drowning the dust and the dirt before flowing away into the drain. This had to be the cleanest he’d ever felt. Then again, the sheer amount of sweat and grime that was only now being rinsed off had left him the dirtiest he’d ever felt, too. Soap lather had never been so smooth and sweet-smelling before.
His early morning shower had left him energised for the upcoming day; now, perhaps it was the humidity, but he felt both an aching tension in his body and an unclear haziness in his mind. A dual-pronged exhaustion struck him even as he dried himself off and put on some clothes — another white shirt, and grey pants with socks.
Had the girls come back already? Was Caelum still on his sofa? Misaiya could probably see for himself, but his brain had decided to go on strike until it got some sleep. Now on autopilot, he emerged from the bathroom, bagged his dirty clothes, and stashed them into his rucksack, before remembering that he still had no clue which bed was his.Ah, and I should do some stretches first or I’ll wake up sore…
Part of Misaiya’s mind was telling him ‘yes, you should’. The rest of it held the opposite opinion quite strongly, and his drowsy body was backing the latter. He slid down the wall onto the floor next to his rucksack, pushed his still-damp hair out of the way, and lay his head on bent knees. These pants are so soft and comfy.
The weighty gravity of sleep encumbered his mind, and soon he had dozed off completely.