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Pan Yimu

Not having yet replenished her supply of reading material Yimu had for once decided to turn in early. She’d already memorized most of the factual information in the books she’d brought after all, only a little of which was new to her in anything but wording, and it wouldn’t hurt to be able to wake up earlier anyway.

When she awoke it was in fact earlier than she would normally do so, something she’d no doubt have been grateful for in light of previous experiences where she'd accidently slept in, had her attention not immediately been drawn to the aberration hovering above her nightstand. At least she assumed it was an aberration, the appearance matched what frustratingly little information she’d been able to find about the oddities.

The gears in Yimu’s head began to turn, quickly shaking off any of the residual grogginess that remained from having just woken up. She knew that aberrations were generally considered to be dangerous, but that there were also rumors that they could raise one’s RAS if absorbed at the cost of a headache and some cravings. Hell at one point she’d considered trying to find one to test those rumors and raise her pitiful RAS, but had given up when she realized she had no idea how to find one and that her time would better be spent on more surefire ways of improving herself… Now though, finding the thing wouldn’t waste any of her time at all.

Actually, looking at the risks she wasn’t sure there was much of a reason not to absorb the aberration. Supposedly aberrations were particularly dangerous to non-mages, but that wouldn’t be a problem for Yimu, and if the things actually could increase RAS, Yimu could even see the potential for that whole thing being a wives tale spread to keep common folk from competing with the upper classes, though she supposed there wasn’t really a way for her to safely test that. The other possible side effects, headaches, addiction, mood swings, hardly even registered to Yimu, she was more than confident she could deal with such things. If anything, not absorbing it would be a travesty.

Her decision set in stone Yimu set about absorbing the aberration, before her roommate had the chance to wake up and see it.

Yimu was glad to have finally received her timetable, and made a point of having it committed to memory by the end of her luncheon. The courses themselves were about what Yimu had expected, which was to say immensely enjoyable.

Zander Mozaru’s class on Sensing and Drawing afforded Yimu the chance to show off a little, as while she was far from the best, sensing and drawing were both things she’d had plenty of practice with. While she was slightly disappointed that her first class didn’t exactly teach her much as she would have liked, Yimu could respect the practicality of gauging the students capabilities in the first place, a teacher that knew what they were doing would be one that could teach her more in the long run.

Her second class, Avincan with allcaster Serra, was enjoyable for a whole different reason. Yimu could practically feel herself learning, and the prospect of understanding a whole new language, brought to mind several books she’d in the past encountered but hadn’t had the ability to read. While she hadn’t brought any of those books with her, she was sure she’d come across more, especially if she looked for them, and that was a tantalizing thought indeed.

Yimu’s third class, Binding Magic with Alois Lascand, was probably her least favorite class of the day, not for lack of interest in the subject overall, but simply because she couldn’t bring herself to care all that much about “the solemn duty of binders'”. She sincerely doubted that anyone with ethics so dubious so as not to get what Alois spoke of, was going to be swayed by it, and she’d honestly would be a lot more interested to learn about binding magic itself.

Where her third class had been Yimu’s least favorite however, her last, Chemistry Magic with Ardredelle Latvar, was probably her favorite. Chemistry Magic was probably the field of magic she’d had the least practice with. Sure she’d done some rudimentary research into the theory behind chemistry and chemical magic, but she was yet to actually put most of that research into practice, something she was more than a bit disappointed in herself for. Actually, doing that was almost a weight off her chest and though she’d never admit it, when she’d managed to induce hunger in the praying mantis, Yimu had felt more than a little bit of that childish “I made that happen” kind of pride.
Pan Yimu

Yimu thought about her mentor's words. Some petulant part of her still managed to be irked by the Zeon’s wishy washy interpretation of a straightforward question, but for the most part she found herself cought off guard by how similar his philosophy was to her own. Replace learning with opportunities, which learning was in fact one of the many paths to, and their views would have been almost an exact match. Still, she couldn't see what use there was in offering opportunities to those that already had them or putting effort into trying to shape the opinions of others that had no doubt already formed their opinions of her before they’d even met, as the Zeno seemed to imply she should.

She was still thinking about this as Vyrik, seemingly having only awoken just in the nick of time, rushed to catch up with her, offering her a piece of bacon in exchange for information on where they were going. Yimu opted to ignore the part where Vyrik got her name wrong even as she accepted the bacon, she wasn’t one to turn down good food and he was close enough on the name that correcting him wouldn't be worth the effort. Instead, she offered Vyrik an answer to his questions, “Wasn’t told, but I’d guess we’re getting shown around or else we’ll be selecting our classes now. I’m assuming both of those will be happening today.”

As it turned out Yimu was correct about their activities for the day, and she found herself staring down her course registry forms, which specified up to three choices to be split between six options, or rather five considering she was automatically locked out of the Atomic course on account of her RAS. Unfortunately her limited choices would mean she’d have to specialize, something she’d avoided doing thus far. At a glance, binding was far too useful not to take, Yimu couldn't imagine any reasonable scenario where she wouldn’t be able to draw for it and the versatility of its casting was obvious, so this made her first choice. Chemical magic was tentatively locked in as her second choice, it was again very versatile, synergised well with binding magic and could be used as a medium for converting energy between several of the other schools in a pinch.

That left one school of magic to choose. Yimu pretty quickly dismissed magnetic, as many uses for it as she could see, it didn’t compare to her other two options, especially if she also considered the ease of drawing. That left the kinetic and arcane schools of magic, both with their own pros and cons. Perhaps it would be best to consult her mentor on the matter, her opinion of him had improved considerably after finding out his philosophy about learning, even if it still wasn’t great, and she’d have to consult him to pick three classes in any case, besides, if she failed to leverage the opportunity that the Zeno represented, it’d be her at fault, not him.

With that out of the way for the time being, Yimu turned her attention to the elective courses, which fortunately was a far easier ordeal. The arts stream failed to catch Yimu’s interest, at least not nearly to the degree of the other streams, with a couple of the streams even seeming like down right silly choices. Who in their right mind would chose to learn tayloring when binding magic existed and could achive similar results? Fundamentals of natural sciences, on the other hand, was an easy pick and after some deliberation she decided that while several of the other courses in the academic and skills streams certainly interested her, none of the stood out as being things she couldn’t teach herself on her own if the opportunity or need ever arose, to that end Yimu turned her attention to the language courses, checking off both Revidian and Perrench.

Marking down her final remaining choice Yimu let out a slight sigh. She could of course see the necessity of focusing one’s attention on a select few subjects from an academic level, after all, advanced applications of subjects tended to require a significant investment into building the groundwork before they could reasonably be attained, but at the same time it still felt bad to be limiting herself in such a way, the form almost acting like a visual representation of her removing her opertunities.
Honk honk.
Pan Yimu

Yimu was awoken by Marlijn as the other girl made her way out of the room they’d shared for the night. She probably could have done with a little more sleep, but she was used to less, she’d ended up turning in early after finishing up both of the books she’d brought with her and revisiting a few of the passages that had eluded her the first time over. Besides, she hated going back to sleep, unless she was too tired to function it meant she was wasting time, and even when she was that tired it still felt like it.

Got to remember to ‘borrow’ more books soon, she noted to herself, watching Marlijn one-eyed as waited for the Eskandish noble to leave, getting up herself once Marlijn had done so. Yimu gave herself a moment to clean herself by drawing upon the dirt on her body and clothes, a habit she’d started first as a means of practice and later continued for the convenience of having her clothes last longer. When she was done Yimu got up to head down the stair herself.

Not planning to give any greeting herself beyond token responses to any that were sent her way Yimu quickly maneuvered herself towards the scent of food, plopping herself into the nearest available seat. “When do we start learning?” she inquired, turning towards Zeno Mozaru, even as she took her first bite, quickly pausing to go in for a second bite as she realised how good the food was.
Pan Yimu

As much as Yimu tried to focus on her reading she found herself frowning a little as each noble had their name announced. She’d never really understood why nobles felt the need to announce their names and lineages. Being proud of something they had achieved themselves would be one thing, but gloating about something they had had no say or hand in bringing to fruition was simply absurd! Especially if that something was as trivial as being born, something which literally every person, of every class, has done. Perhaps a life without hardship skews one’s idea of just what constitutes an achievement…

Sighing to herself Yimu glanced up from her book to briefly cast her gaze around at the various impromptu displays of magic put on by the other new arrivals. For the most part these seemed to be simple displays of power and though a few were somewhat impressive or showed some degree of skill, it wasn’t like watching the displays was going to grant her any special insight, so she simply dismissed the displays as more showboating for her to tune out. Maybe if commoners weren’t the last to go I’d do some magic of my own, put some potholes in the ground or something, Yimu mused to herself, not that she had any clue how she’d pull that off without getting caught but the thought was fun.

Eventually, Yimu managed to tune out most of the sound and action going on about her in order to focus on her reading, if only because the whole ceremony was drawn out so long. Like this Yimu spent the majority of her time buried in her book, only finally being drawn out by a massive if very brief energy surge from the direction of the stage. Glancing about for a cause, it didn’t take long for Yimu to conclude that it had been a flashy way for the Arch-Zenos to get their attention, much like the display of clearing the weather earlier. Yimu couldn’t help but be a little disappointed at having missed whatever display had been made, but that disappointment what quickly forgotten as the assignment of zeno was announced.

Though she’d never admit it, Yimu started to get a little nervous as the names were called out, worried that some clerical screw up might have resulted in her not being on the list. She was pretty confident that even if that were the case she would be able to sort things out, perhaps even twist the mess up in her favour, yet against all rationality, she couldn’t help but feel butterflies in her stomach, a mounting unease that only grew until finally, fourth from last, her name was called.

Some part of Yimu’s mind urged her to simply run up onto the, but that might give the impression of her being excited to be there, which while admittedly true, would no doubt be interpreted by the nobles as her being excited to be in their presence or something equally stupid. Instead, Yimu made a show of continuing to read even as she got onto the stage, feigning complete indifference to Zeno Mozaru and her fellow biro.

Only once they were all exchanging greetings did Yimu look up from the book to take in her peers, though she didn’t bother to do so herself, considering their names had only just been announced. Yimu found the other girl, Marlijn’s embarrassment at her own greeting to be particularly amusing and took that as her cue to stare at the girl, frown and then quickly avert her gaze as though she’d seen something on Marlijn’s face but didn’t want to say anything. Turning her attention to Vyrik, Yimu felt some sense of relief, she wasn’t going to be stuck in a class entirely comprised of nobility, which based on the student body wouldn’t have been unlikely, and he was asking important questions which suggested he wasn’t entirely useless.
Yimu Pan

Yimu had considered simply not showing up for the entrance ceremony at all, or at least not until it was well underway. From what she’d been able to gather, it sounded like it’d be a massive waste of time, time that could be better spent immersed in one of her new books or practising magic. Still, as tantalising as the idea of just skipping the event entirely to do something more worthwhile was, she hadn’t entertained it for long, it wouldn’t be worth her missing some important announcement after all… probably.

She glanced up at the clouds, wary of how dark the were and hoping it wouldn’t start to rain any time soon. That would only make the ceremony more miserable and she’d brought a couple of the new books she’d aquired through somewhat dubious means with her. In the event it started to rain, she supposed she could simply create something to encase her books, so she wasn’t too worried about the books getting damaged, but it would mean she’d be stuck without anything to read.

Pushing thoughts of the weather aside for the moment, Yimu turned to observe her cohort for the entrance ceremony. As expected the event was divided by class and looking about she noted that there were only a couple dozen other commoners present, insignificant in number when compared to any of the other more elite groups. Even having already had a few weeks to adjust to things it still felt weird being in a place where the social classes, were almost totally reversed from what she was used to, at least in terms of numbers, and Yimu wasn’t quite sure whether she should find the fact that commoners were in fact not all the common amongst students amusing or be annoyed that it meant having to deal with nobility.

The others around her it seemed had mostly already formed up into groups or otherwise seemed content to stand on their own, Yimu noticed more than a few of the students avoided meeting her gaze and the particularly wide gap between where she stood and the nearest of the social groups, but shrugged it off. Most of them had taken the effort to dress up, or at least what passed as dressed up by common standards, and by comparison, Yimu was a dishevelled mess, having left for the entrance ceremony in the exact same state as she’d woken and wearing the same clothes as she’d worn throughout the several days prior. She was clean at least, if only because magic made such things trivial, but any effort beyond that would be a waste of time as far as she was concerned.

Yimu was drawn out of her observations as the ceremony finally began proper, some kind of formalised greeting, Yimu only half-listened to, between the Zenith and someone guy Yimu immediately dismissed as, just another rich kid. As pretentious as the whole thing seemed, Yimu couldn’t help but be impressed by the storm being so easily dispersed, even if she suspected that might also have been planned, and in spite of herself she couldn’t help but be drawn into the excitement a little as the city exploded into festivities.

A smile crept across Yimu’s face as she cracked open one of the books she’d brought. She was going to get an education far exceeding anything she’d ever dreamed of, even if it would come with its own hurdles and annoyances, she planned on making the most of every second of it.

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