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  #26    
Old April 16th, 2016 (9:40 PM). Edited April 16th, 2016 by doge.
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Nasrin Nouri
Much to Nasrin’s surprise, Wyoming did not match the previews of modern America she had been reading and learning about through the lenses of television and other popular media. Tack on the stories from friends and relatives who had previously visited the States, the young Iranian girl did not expect a constant scenery of lush and thick forest. It was inconvenient. Sensory was a useful skill, one Nasrin used for both practical reasons and to pass time but the vast amount of indistinguishable forest that Nasrin’s field of vision continued to capture just did not mesh well with her attention span.

Now it’s not as if the prospect of starting anew in America bored Nasrin, it was actually quite exciting. But there were few things that could suck the excitement out of the atmosphere better than a silent and bumpy car ride with a relative whose relation to the young girl was probably as shallow as her relationship with Allah. She just wanted the time to pass, and for it to pass quickly.

Soon enough, the waves of forest and road rather abruptly turned into the layout of a town. Houses, stores, among other things, replaced the dull images of trees and bigger trees. Coming into her mental map, far before she or her driver could physically see it, was the school campus. Nasrin’s face lit up. She leaned into the driver’s seat, pushing against her seatbelt, and began obnoxiously shouting directions. Her relative sighed, murmuring a few words to calm her down, and tried to focus on the GPS in front of him.

When the car finally came to a stop, Nasrin hopped out immediately, an offering of thanks and slipping out of her lips. She hurried around back to the trunk, and with her magic, swiftly unloaded her luggage and slipped into her backpack. With a wave goodbye from her relative, the car drove off, marking the beginning of her new life in America, her new life as a mage.

Earlier, when she caught sight of the school, some message about an assembly for new students briefly interrupted her magic. It didn’t take long for Nasrin to realize that included her. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed since she heard it, nor was she sure where she could find the auditorium. Normally, she would just localize it in her head, but there were far too many distractions in the area to get a clear picture. Looking around at the pack of students surrounding her, Nasrin decided to just ask someone, hoping that most of these students were also new.

While she managed to find a guide, surprisingly someone who wasn’t new, she barely made it on time. As soon as her feet stepped onto the auditorium floor, the announcement to move over to the gymnasium was made.

“Oh, okay…” And so she was up and moving again.

Inside the gymnasium, finally settled down, Nasrin realized she was looking a little out of place. A backpack and luggage by her side, she felt like the only student who still had all of their belongings on them. Whatever. She thought to herself, brushing it off.

But when it was time for students to line up and pick out a weapon, she couldn’t really ignore it. She stood out considerably. “This is embarrassing,” she muttered, trying to appear small and unnoticeable.

When Nasrin made it to the front of the line, she walked up to the instructor, wheeling her luggage behind her. The instructor, Mr. Fields, lifted an eyebrow at the sight.

“Hi, I am looking for…” Nasrin paused. She actually hadn’t thought about this at all. She was somewhat familiar with guns since police carried them, but aside from that Nasrin was drawing a blank. She started pondering what weapons would be good with magic, especially the sort of magic she knew. Stereotypically, the first things that came to her mind was a wand or a staff. But Nasrin definitely did not want a wand, she thought they were lame.

“A staff…” The words came out staggered, it was clear the girl hadn’t thought this through at all.

“You’re going to have to tell me more than just that.”

“Oh! This big, this tall, this wide, I think?” Nasrin didn’t really know how to express the idea in words, so to compensate she waved her arms around, trying to communicate the shape and size in her head.

Somehow, the instructor managed to understand at least some of it, and came back shortly. In his hands, and now in Nasrin’s hands, was a fairly large staff. Practically towering over her, the staff was at least six feet in height. Its width varied, increasing as one traveled up the shaft. He handed her a strap too, so she could sling it over her back. As she held the strap in one hand, and staff in the other, Nasrin was almost starting to regret her choice.

Not wanting to hold up the line any longer, Nasrin decided to do the strap later. Holding the staff tilted against her shoulder in one hand, the other wheeling her luggage around, she made way towards a training dummy. She wanted to at least figure out how she was going to use this thing before finding a partner.

For a while, Nasrin just stood there, messing around with her staff. Appearance wise it looked heavy, but she was able to move and swing it around with relative ease. She hadn’t registered how light it felt until now.

Nasrin played around with various stances and movements, but nothing was really clicking with her. “This should enhance my magic, correct?” She asked herself aloud, hoping it would spark some sort of idea. It did.

A grin on her face, Nasrin plopped herself down on one knee, establishing a solid base. She angled the staff over her shoulder, holding it up like someone preparing to shoot. And shoot she did.

Visual from afar, pulses of air momentarily wrapped around the staff, then disappeared as if sucked into it. The outline of a large ball appeared at the end of the shaft, twice the size of Nasrin. When she fired, the recoil nearly knocked her onto her back; that was something she would have to work on. The large sphere of air closed the distance between Nasrin and the training dummy in no time. On impact, gusts of wind blew out from all directions, and neither sphere or dummy remained. Bits and pieces were scattered over the grounds, some lodged into the trees further back. Nasrin’s luggage fell over.

“Oops.”
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  #27    
Old April 17th, 2016 (9:03 PM).
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    "Guess I'm out," Christian sighed. "Wait, how did Allan last longer than me?"

    "What can I say, Chris? I guess Lady Luck likes me more," exclaimed the surfer bro and Emilia's temporary babysitter. She didn't need one. Her parents just wanted someone to make sure nobody bothered her. She was small, and nobody really understood what her magic even did. It didn't help that she actually knew more about the Isles than most of the students. So, to entertain her while the other freshmen went through their orientation, they agreed to play Risk with her. Christian and Allan were losing. Badly.

    "You kept running from my army like a chicken," she replied. "Chris had bad positioning." She went on to confidently explain how Christian had left his home territory of Australia wide open in his attempts to expand, and didn't allocate his units properly. He was an easy target from all directions. It was almost frightening how accurate she was.

    A few unlucky rolls later, and the petite girl of twelve years raised her arms to the sky and cried, "World domination! First order of business: frozen yogurt! Christian's treat."

    “Wait, what? Why do I have to pay for it? Allan’s supposed to be the one watching you.”

    "Yeah, but you lost first." Looking at her widening her big red eyes underneath the gentle shade of her hat visibly pained Christian. A weapon all its own, Emi convinced him to submit. And so, the mismatched trio of student body president, surfer dude and little girl went to the cafeteria to get themselves some froyo.

    "All hail Queen Emilia!" Allan cheered as they left the rec center.

    “Well everyone, it’s been fun," Christian lamented as they acquired their confections of choice, "but I have some student council things I have to attend to. You think you’ll be okay watching Emilia by yourself, Allan?”

    “Dude, don’t worry about it." After he shooed away Christian, he turned back to his charge with a plan. "Hey, I know what we should do. Emi, you wanna go watch the newbies wail on each other? The assembly should be over, so they should be practicing by now.”

    "That sounds like fun!"

    "Then what're we waitin' on? Let's go!" Finishing off their frosty treats, Allan picked her up onto his back, and he carried the laughing child outside through an exit in the cafeteria. Holding her sunhat securely to her head, it was not something she wanted to lose. She was not friends with the sun, but its hats were nice. As they closed the distance between them and the off-white platforms the students trained on, it started getting more difficult for her to see, as well, but at least that was bearable.

    It seemed like many of the students had already finished practicing, but plenty continued to assault the target dummies and the others around them. The rest were either nursing new injuries or showing off their magic to other students. "So cool," she muttered. She knew with her size standing out was impossible to avoid, but seeing so many powers on display cleared many of her worries.

    Someone in particular managed to catch her attention among those showing off to each other. A girl who managed to disappear right in front of her eyes. Allan felt Emi's weight lift in an instant, and no longer were his arms wrapped around her legs to keep her supported.

    He lost her. What a terrible babysitter.
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      #28    
    Old April 18th, 2016 (5:40 AM).
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      After leaving the twins, rather reluctantly, as her cute senses had been going off since meeting them, Fern eventually went to find a seat relatively out of the way of most people. if she got uncomfortable, it would be plenty easy to just walk out and be done with it. Not that she wanted to, this was the start of her big chance. She couldn't mess up.

      As the speaker began a speech that Fern kinda sorta understood and paid attention to and kinda sorta turned off as NPC rambling. They had super magic or something. Risking their life sure seemed like a given, right? If you were chosen for this, you had to be prepared. Then again, she wasn't that prepared. Emotionally, maybe. Nearly dying at the loss of her magic did tend to give a new perspective. Physically though, she was probably screwed.

      Yes, Fie, yes you are.

      She took a few moments to scan about the room. Some of the faces looked naturally friendly. Others did not. Being a Fern, she naturally figured they would all be friendly and beautiful.

      Then, they were led to learn about Ether Weapons. Or to get one. Fie wasn't sure. She knew that she would like knives though. Knives were for food and cutting. Or was that the same thing?

      By the time Fern managed to pick them up, a nice set of knives to throw around, many of the students were already out back practicing and doing related such things. She looked around, watching them all work with each other, and only realized she wasn't watching her step when she tripped over a sexy hunk of man well-built student with curly blond hair.

      Fern could barely hear the long and drawn-out "Uh..." of the student on whom she fell. Her face was directed downward to his lap, not up at his mouth. He seemed unsure of what to do, not willing to make contact to set her upright. "Are you okay? Do you need some help up? Because..."

      Fern made a small noise of surprise. She was still a little disoriented. But, then, realizing where she was, she turned a dark shade of red and popped up. "S-Sorry!" She waved her hands in dramatic defense, now upright and no longer possibly exciting the poor person's crotch area. "I, uh, got distracted watching everyone spar, that's all. Sorry about that, um..." She trailed off with the realization that she didn't know this guy's name.

      "My name's Jack." The guy answered, offering Fern a relaxed smile despite how awkwardly they met. If he was dwelling on it, it didn't show. "What's yours?" His tone was certainly friendy, hopefully not because he was expecting more contact.

      She relaxed at his friendly voice and beamed at him. Jack may want to be concerned that this small girl was just that bouncy despite being not bouncy at all depending on who you asked. "My name is Fern," she said while checking her knives had not fallen out. "You can call me Fie, though!" Everyone she knew did that. She looked him over with care, pausing to rate him on a mental scale of one to Anne-would-eat-him-for-dinner.

      Anne would have made a three-course meal out of him, with a side of Fern.

      "It's nice to meet you!"

      "It's nice to meet you too, Fie," Jack replied, holding out his hand to shake hers. "It's not every day such friendly people just crash right into me, but any way to meet a new friend is a good thing, right?"

      Fie shook his hand. My hands are tiny, she thought absently.

      "New friends are new friends," she agreed. And he wasn't asking silly questions about her magic and stuff. She liked him already. "Did you train already?" she asked, tilting her head in curiosity She hadn't yet of course, but knives required fast people to aim at. It would be rude to ask him to be a practice dummy.

      Jack's hand immediately went to rub the back of his head and he reddened ever so slightly as he recalled his sparring match. "Yeah I did. It was pretty... intense, I guess would be the word. Why do you ask, have you?"

      Fie nodded thoughtfully, hair bouncing about her ears. "Nope. But I did follow the whispers of the teleportation stone earlier." She let out a sheepish laugh. "Dunno why, it just called me over. I guess we both had weird experiences today." She made a face of exasperation. "Magic is weird though, so maybe we had normal experiences. It's like training for the monster of the week... sorry!" She flushed under her hood. "I'm babbling."

      "Doesn't bother me one bit." Jack assured her. "You have a nice voice, and what you're talking about is plenty interesting. I'm glad to listen." His smile never wavered while he spoke. "Teleportation stone huh? I see, that must be how we get to the places where we'll be fighting those 'etherspawn' monsters. I never thought I'd be fighting giant monsters, but I guess who better to do it than mages? Especially the 'best and brightest' going to the esteemed Vale Institute of Magic."

      A nice voice? Well that was an interesting compliment. She blushed a little, head tilted. "Aw, thanks!" She sobered fairly quickly. "Yep, and I landed in a foresty area. At least we're fighting monsters and not each other. That wouldn't build up teams or anything. We would probably get crushed." Fern smothered a giggle. She probably wasn't the best and brightest, but this guy sure seemed to be. He was a bit like the sun. "You sure seem like it," she said without thinking. "You're so calm right now. I'm probably going to freeze up and forget to throw."

      Jack chuckled and waved her words off. "Of course I'm calm. Nothing's happening right now, save a nice girl falling on me, and I don't ever hear anyone complain about that. I'm nothing too special really, I just have a knack for making things."

      Fern tilted her head, feeling her curiosity and interest rise. She tamped it down since it wasn't fair for her to be questioning someone that much when she herself didn't like to be talked about in such a way. But he seemed willing to talk about it."But making things is very special for the people who can't do it," she said with a smile. "Isn't it?" He kept calling her nice. It was very sweet but very weird. Fie didn't get it.

      "I suppose it is, but I think most things are special to most people who can't do them. I definitely think olympic runners or swimmers are special. Or people who can keep quiet when they study...I sure can't. People who cook really good are definitely special! There are only two things I like more than good food. Working on crafts and sh—sharing my hobbies with other people!" Jack started out speaking normally, but near the end he was talking entirely too fast and unfocused, darting his head back and forth as if trying to think of something else to say.

      Fie however was quite fascinated... with his chest, I mean words. 'Good food is good! What hobbies do you have?" Perhaps talking about magic was not safe. He didn't seem very proud of it. "My parents taught me to cook a little bit." They had taught her more than a little, because she had to fend for herself somehow. That would be bragging though. "Crafts? Like swords? Or crochet?" was he one of those people who could embue super powers in weapons or something? Because that was cool. Every guild needed a smith.

      Jack smiled that rare, confident smile of self-assurance saved for when someone asked about his craft. "To be honest I can make a lot of things. My dad's a blacksmith! He taught me the basic uses of tools, like forging swords, carpentry, how to use molten coals safely, how to properly flow liquid-metal that's been superheated into a mold. And I can even-ehehehee! Hey, what? What's-" Jack seemed to be cut off by an uncontrollable fit of giggling until Fern saw a small lump moving up his shirt. She formed several ideas of what it was before it reached his collar, but not a one compared to the truth. Moments later a little tiny metal spartan, complete with armor, hoplite's shield, and spear poked his head out of Jack's shirt from the collar. He was perfect little representation of a hoplite besides his lack of distinctive facil features, and the helmet dangling off of his head, attached by a small plant sprout.

      The lil' spartan silently climbed on Jack's shoulder, then slid down his chest and ran across his legs to stand in front of Fern and wave his spear at her. She couldn't tell if it was a greeting or a threat, but she couldn't bring herself to believe the latter when every movement the little guy made was so jerky, like a silent background character from an old cartoon.

      Fie blinked twice. Then she squeaked. "Oh my god you're so cute! Hi there lil buddy!" Was this guy like his partner or something? Did he make him like his dad made swords?

      "Oh..." Jack muttered. "I guess he doesn't need much energy to suv-WAIT HE'S ALIVE ON HIS OWN?!" His voice rose to a near shout and he scooped up to hold him up like a baboon lifting a lion cub into sunlight. "I've created actual life! He's not just a golem! He's-he's....HE'S BRUNO!" After he finished his little episode he started hugging Bruno and swinging him back and forth babbling various affectionate things, completely failing to notice the repeated jabs from the little spartan's spear that failed to even break his skin. After a good thirty seconds of struggling Bruno managed to wriggle out of Jack's grip and jump into Fern's arms, looking up at her as if pleading for help despite his lack of a face.

      Fern pet the little spartan with puzzled concern. He looked like he wanted help. She wasn't exactly sure what she could do for the lil guy though. She hadn't made him. "I think he wants me to take him home with me..." She thought that was what he wanted and she wouldn't be noisy or anything. Heck, they'd lose her before they lost him. It was the funny thing about being able to disappear and such.

      Jack was still laughing, he could hardly believe he'd done it, even on such a small scale! Even after years Billy and Bojangles couldn't survive on their own! With this, maybe one day he could create real life from nothing! He took a breath, and let himself calm down, to see the predicament Bruno had put Fern in. "It's okay, he just doesn't like being manhandled I don't think. I probably scared him, but I was so excited! It's not me making him move right now! And he has a personality too! The others I make are just fictitious personalities I made up...I think...sometimes I wonder." He held out his hand, and after a moment's hesitation, Bruno jumped back onto it, and then ran up to Jack's shoulder. "There we go, you can hang out with him anytime you want though~" Jack assured her in his most friendly tone. "Bruno's been a hit with everyone he's met so far, that little guy's somethin' special."

      Fern bounced. "Yay!" She paused. "Is it that Bruno is special or that you're special? Or is it both?" Her magic wasn't nearly that useful. It was pretty selfish actually. Oh well. That wasn't precisely a bad thing. She tried to fiddle with her grip of a knife, testing its weight in different grips to occupy her hands. Her Digivice was still quiet now. huh. Who'd have thought?

      "I'd say we're both special. Bruno is amazing! And... Well I don't think about whether I'm special or not too often, but I made Bruno, so I guess I am!" Jack blurted out. "I think all students at Vale must be special in some way though, you definitely stand out already. I have to admit I'm curious. Tell me more about yourself Fie."

      Fern went awkwardly still, playing with her hair beneath her hood. "I... um..." Always those silly questions. What good were questions about yourself if you weren't interested in yourself? Curiosity was bad. That said... Jack seemed harmless... or at least friendly. Maybe he wouldn't prod too much. "Um, well... I... I can't do anything like that." She looked around. There weren't really any walls to climb and using her shadow would just make her kinda sleepy. Probably. So maybe she could just... She shut her eyes and concentrated, slowly disappearing from Jack's field of vision.

      Jack blinked for a few seconds and continued to just look at the spot where Fern had been. She dun vamoosed! "Fern? Fie? Are you still here? Hello?"

      Fern opened her eyes. Oh, it had worked this time. She moved closer to him. The easiest way to break the spell was like... this! She touched his arm and reappeared, smiling sheepishly at him.

      He froze upon the contact, naturally startled by the mere nature of it despite it being predictable what had touched him. "Wow, that's incredible! You can be invisible! And this time you surprised me without crashing into me!" He finished with a chuckle. "Much less awkward this way."

      Fie let out an awkward laugh of her own. "Yeah, kinda..." She could try to do more than that but it would be very hard to see. This was the simplest spell. "Except I can't really use it with other people holding on so it's kind of inconvenient. But I can carry stuff and be invisible. I'm not really the person at the front of the fight." Which was really what she had always wanted but... well, that hadn't happened.

      "What else do you need to justify turning invisible? BEING INVISIBLE IS SUPER COOL BY ITSELF." Jack blurted out. "That's like, number 3 most popular super power after flying and being Batman." He continued. "As long as a pervert doesn't learn how to do it... that would be a bad combination."

      Fern thought about it. That meant her girlfriend shouldn't be able to make herself invisible huh? High schoolers were kind of weird, weren't they?

      "You turned invisible!"

      Appearing out of nowhere and interrupting their conversation was an excited little girl. Somehow smaller than Fern, she wore a light blue dress, a pair of large metal bracelets and shaded herself from the morning light with a sunhat that was clearly a little too big for her head. Was she even supposed to be here? On that note, where did she come from?

      She gleefully sat down right next to Fern, and pleaded with her, "Can you do it again?"

      Fern just kind of stared for a few moments. Who, what—why was this adorable creature in front of her? Plot wasn't this cute, why was she talking to her when she could be doing things like, she didn't know, being friends with someone else. Her body moved before her brain and squeezed the little girl into a hug. "You are so cute!" she squeaked. Then her sentences registered and she paused, immediately releasing and looking back at her.

      "Looks like we have a visitor." Jack said, his smile growing wider.

      Fern stared like a small, puzzled owl. Again? She wanted her to do it again? Was it like being a circus animal? No, on second thought, probably not. She didn't seem to mean any harm. Fie gently moved the little girl (what was her name anyway?) off of her and closed her eyes. Then slowly, she faded from view, and back in when it seemed like the girl was satisfied.

      "I knew it! Can you show me anything else?" The look in her eyes made it seem like she was more than just whimsically curious about Fern's magic. However, while the girls had been speaking, Bruno had crawled off of Jack's shoulder and was now giving his best attempt at climbing up the little girl's leg, apparently in a rush to meet the new person. She quickly found him, picked him up in both hands, and Bruno promptly began tap dancing on her palms.

      "He's a cutie. Did you make him, Miss?"

      Fern rapidly shook her head. "N-Nope! That was Jack!" She smiled a bit, relieved to be turning the conversation as far from her abilities as possible, at least for a few seconds. "He's Jack's creation. He really is cute, isn't he?"

      "Can I keep him?!" The little girl happily watched the golem's dancing in her hands before hugging him tightly. The shock got Bruno to struggle for sweet freedom once again, but she at least let him go sooner than Fern did. "What's his name?"

      "His name's Bruno. Because he's such a big tough man." Jack answered, smiling wider than ever. "And I'm glad you like him, even if he is a bit of a troublemaker, climbing around on his own like that." His smile was corrupted by a seed of doubt, and guilt that he couldn't give such a sweet little girl what she wanted. "Well, I'd love to give you him but... I'm still not sure whether he can survive away from me or not, and either way I need to keep studying him to see if I can make more like him. If I ever learn how to make more though I'd gladly give you one!"

      Thankfully it didn't seem to bother her much that she had to wait. Instead, she was more focused on Jack himself now, or more specifically his face and upper body area. "What happened to you?"

      Jack raised an eyebrow. "What'dya mean?"

      "You have a bruise on your lips."

      "On my?..." He put a finger up to his lips and dabbed a few times, the third time it came a way with a tiny purple stain on it, leaving the small smudge of lipstick on him even smaller and more misshapen. As soon as he saw it he flushed bright crimson and gasped. "That's—Oh! That's, uhm... from my first sparring match."

      "You sparred? Like a fight? That's awesome!" she cheered. "I wish I could, too, but they said I wasn't allowed. Katsu. Did you win?"

      Jack's eyes turned to look at nothing while he recalled just how the match did end. "Well, it was just a tie. But that's good enough for me. Why wouldn't they let you fight?"

      "They said they needed to talk with my parents more before I could do anything fun like that."

      "Oh, I see." Jack pondered how that came about. "So then, are you not old enough to consent on your own?" Before she could answer, he realized that everyone at Vale was at least a teenager and still kicking each other's butts. He switched to ask, "How old are you?"

      She took a moment to recount her age. "Four... no, juuroku—I'm sixteen."

      His pupils widened a bit in surpise and he blurted out, "Sixteen? But you're so... tiny, and cute, and fragile looking, like a porcelain doll. You make me wanna carry you around and never let anything hurt you, like a little kitten."

      The little girl only giggled at his shock. In fact, it was probably why they didn't want her fighting. Nobody would have wanted to see her get hurt.

      Fern blinked at the girl even smaller than her. She wanted to put the girl in her purse with her Digivice. "You're older than me," she said brightly, completely confused and just rolling with it. "Cool!"

      Jack's eye twitched as he resisted to pick the girl up and hug her like he—well, all three of them—had to Bruno so far. "So, what's your name, sweetheart?" he asked the girl, his accent thickening as he fell into his mother's habit of addressing endearing younger people.

      She smiled at Jack and muttered to herself for a moment before answering, "My name's Emilia."

      "Aww, what a lovely name," Jack continued, still drifting in and out of his half-accent. "It's so charming for an adorable little thing like you. It fits perfectly!"

      "Emi! Where'd you go?!" A tall and handsome student with messy brown hair and a surfer's tan was calling for her on the other side of the giant white ether fields, and the little girl perked up. A stark contrast to her snow white skin and hair. She excitedly picked herself up, looked in the direction of the one calling her, and back at Jack and Fern.

      "Onii-cha—sorry, Mister. Thank you for showing me all that fun stuff!" She paused for a moment when she spoke, but quickly recomposed herself. "I hope I can watch you fight some time."

      "Emi!"

      "Coming!" The little girl ran off around the edge of the main building, and she and the older student returned inside, leaving Jack and Fern to their own devices.

      Fern looked up over at Jack for a moment. A small, easy smile full of mirth touched her face as she looked up at Jack. "You're an onii-chan."
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        #29    
      Old April 24th, 2016 (8:54 AM). Edited April 24th, 2016 by Colony.
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        Vale Institute of Magic


        As the clock struck 12:00 P.M. a bell rang through the school. Soon, the bell was followed by the same beep from earlier that day. Another announcement was ready to be made. “So, freshmen, how was the initiation?” It was the student council president again. “Hopefully you found it enjoyable, because it only gets harder going forward. But don’t worry, there are tons of people here to make your journey bearable. And one of the most important ways of doing that is by providing you all with a hot meal whenever you guys need it. If you can’t figure it out, it’s lunch time! So go ahead and go grab a bite to eat. Afterwards, the half day of classes scheduled for today will begin. You hear that sophomores, juniors, and seniors? No more being lazy today.

        “Classes start at 1:30 P.M. and will run until 4 P.M. For all of you new students out there, this will give you an idea of what to expect in the semester. This will also be one of the only times you’ll have a free afternoon after class, since starting tomorrow, you all get to enjoy Vale’s tradition of monster hunting. Exciting, right? Well, enjoy the rest of the day everyone, this is your Student Body President of Awesome, Christian Miles, signing off for the day… Allan, what are you doing over there? Hey! Don’t touch that!” And with that, the announcement was cut short, static momentarily replacing the student council president before the broadcast went silent.

        [OOC: Like our friend, Christian, said, it’s lunch time on Day 0! Go ahead and have your character/s get a bite to eat, then have them report for class. Since classes are typically considered really boring to RP, we’re taking an unconventional method to get the experience from classes without being bored to tears. Basically, you get to choose what class/es your character takes on a given day, but the time period for classes is skipped and it’s up to you to keep up with what your character learned during class. Classes range from your typical math, science, and English courses, as one would expect, but also include elective classes one may not expect. Although none of the classes are magical in nature, magic is expected to be used in class to further a student’s learning. So, have fun with this new way we’re handling classes, and we’ll see you in the afternoon period.]

        Vocational Electives

        • Pharmacology
        • Culinary Arts
        • Metalworking
        • Woodworking
        • Construction & Mechanics

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          #30    
        Old April 26th, 2016 (6:38 PM). Edited April 26th, 2016 by Grif of Hearts.
        Grif of Hearts's Avatar
        Grif of Hearts Grif of Hearts is offline
        Que sera sera~
           
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          Jack Marrick & Morgan Wynne



          Outside and still roaming about looking for a way to occupy himself until school started properly, the young Jack Marrick could be seen strolling about the school campus and whistling to himself a pleasant tune with a joyous smile on his face. Someone called me big brother! Oh she was so sweet and adorable I could just hug her and never let her go.~ And I could teach her to sculpt, and then to build, and then maybe even to forge! And she could teach me what it's like to have a little sister! What kind of magic did she have anyways? In his daydreaming he almost missed the first interesting thing to happen since the assembly; the sound of high-pitched, girlish grunting and then something... glass maybe? Yes, something like glass shattering and the pitter-patter of shards falling against a stone floor.

          He followed the noises eagerly, noting that the longer they went on the more frustrated the voice sounded and the more frequent the shattering grew. They led him towards one of the quieter corners of the campus, which he noticed was very much devoid of people, and completely silent other than the rhythmic clattering of glass against glass, and what he could now hear as the gentle patter of light footsteps. He clung tight to the wall as he peered around it to look upon a small paved area, pleasantly secluded from the rest of campus with trees across one side and a building to the other, and spied a figure standing in the middle of it.

          Small and feminine, lightly curling brown hair to her shoulders and a scarf wrapped loosely around her neck. Jack could only see her from behind as she faced away from him and towards the centre of the open area, having seemingly having approached unnoticed, and watched quietly as she took an aggressive stance, both hands raised as fists. His eyes fell to the bracelets she wore around her wrists and ankles which he distinctly recognised as ether, laced with decorations in some kind of pink crystalline material. Was that her weapon? It must be. I wonder how she—

          His eyes wandered from her form to the small, scattered pink crystals that lay around her feet, some of which had been thrown so far as to settle in the tree line, and he noticed a couple had embedded themselves into the trunks of trees themselves. As she clenched her fists and pulled one of her hands back the shards began to quiver with magical energy, hovering gently in the air as they trembled and drew closer together, pooling about ten feet in front of her. They danced as they hovered upwards, eventually taking a slender, almost skeletal human shape before her. The girl pulled her hand back further and the crystaline shards aligned before a bright, pink flash sealed them together.

          The form was immobile for a moment, a strange, fragile looking humanoid form of rough, jagged edges that stood a good head above its creator. Its hands and feet were indistinct from its arms and legs, instead just left as sharpened, bladed points, and even its head was little more than a jagged point just slightly thinner than its torso, two small depressions where eyes might be on either side of its face. As more energy rushed into its body it took a motion that in a human might have resembled taking in a long, deep breath, as it rolled it shoulders back, letting its arms falling limp to the ground as it took in its surroundings. Jack was sure that, for a moment, it looked at him, before returning its attentions to its tiny creator, and brought its bladed arm back and readied itself to thrust as it lunged forwards wildly. Jack saw no motion or action of the girl herself. Had she granted it a degree of automation? It was slow and clumsy, far below what he could achieve, but it was certainly moving on its own. Another golemsmith!

          The young girl parried the blow, the sharp blade grazing off the side of her bracelet, and watched as she ducked beneath the golem's arm and brought a leg in a sharp kick behind her, slamming her foot into its lower back. It stumbled forwards and reeled around for another swing but the girl was ready for it, touching the stone floor with her palm and taking hold of a small cylindrical stone that manifested from the ground. She wrenched it upwards and the stone exploded into the same, glistening pink crystal that formed the creature before her.

          She gripped what Jack realised to be a half firmly with both hands, ripped the object from the ground and, brought it around to slam the end of the haft into the golem's skull, using the momentum of her spin to make her blow all the more potent. The golem clattered to the ground, still mobile but now with half of its face clearly missing.

          The girl paced away from it as the construct regained its composure and held the unrefined, ragged staff of crystal in front of her. It was taller than she was, with an unsmooth, scratched surface. She slowly rested her hand at the base and let it glide up the shaft gently. The surface smoothed out, the ragged crystal staff transforming until it almost looked like clear, pale pink glass, decorated with faint, dark indentations that resembled vines. Finally she smoothed the tip out into a pointed, razor sharp spear head, and turned to face her foe finally well armed with her impressively ornate weapon.

          The fight was distinctly one-sided. Jack watched as she parried every attack and responded with her own counters, slowly chipping away pieces of the crystal golem. Her skill with a spear was impressive, using its reach to great effect to compensate for her small frame, and he was even more amazed when the spear broke. She brought it up to block an overhead swing from the golem that came in faster and more forceful than she must have expected. The spear snapped clean in two but that did not stop her assault, as she gripped the ends of each and swung them in a slashing motion. They glistened with magical energy again, the rounded shafts becoming flat and razor sharp, transforming into equally beautiful swords in the blink of an eye.

          The girl's stance changed from a defensive one to an offensive one now, and she became a blur of lethal sword strikes moving faster than Jack could follow. Huge shards were cleaved from the golem, first half of an arm, then a piece of its shoulder, another fragment from its face and a huge chunk out of its right thigh. The undelicate golem was left in shambles, and it brought an arm up weakly as if to beg its aggressor to stop, but the girl planned on using her momentum to her advantage and had no intention of letting up. She brought the two swords together and fused them, gathering more and more mass from the fragments of crystal she tore from the golem, until the blade was a greatsword taller and almost as wide as she was. She hefted it over her shoulder and brought it around, the immensely heavy blade dragging along the floor and sparks erupting from where it cut through the ground, and brought it in an uppercut that would cleave the poor creature in two.

          "Wow! A crystal golem?! That's awesome!" A voice blurted out, revealing the curly-haired blonde guy in plaid watching the girl.

          The girl almost screamed in surprise. She let go of the blade mid-swing and it slipped from her hands, sailing overhead and narrowly missing the top of Jack's own head. It flew through the air and embedded itself in the ground some few metres away, an impressive throw for one so small, Jack might have thought, if he had not been too busy throwing himself to the ground in fear of having his entire head removed. He heard another yelp, this time as his eyes wandered upwards from the ground beneath him to the girl ahead of him. The golem slammed the back of his crystalline arm into the girl's face, throwing her back several feet and her legs giving out on her until she toppled to the floor.

          A huge, panicked gasp announced the boy's shock. He sprinted straight to the girl and lifted her head up to examine her injury. "I'm so sorry! I was watching you practice, and you were impressive and that crystal golem was so cool and are you okay?" He brushed a bit of soft hair out of her face to see if there were any bad bumps or bruises.

          "Look out!" she yelled, bringing a hand to Jack's shoulder and shoving him away from her and to the side with surprising strength.

          She slammed her hand into the ground and the stone before her erupted, a pillar of crystal bursting from it and spiralling ten feet into the sky. The crystal golem was now held in mid air, a spear of crystal piercing through its chest and holding it aloft several feet above their heads. Although broken it was still active, and flailed wildly as if in pain with its one working arm, seeking desperately for something to attack. The twinkle of life in its eye faded soon afterwards, and the loose bonds that held it together crumbled, the crystal form clattering to the ground like raindrops.

          "Wait..." The boy muttered from his place on the floor. "That thing keeps trying after it knocks you down? Would it have killed you!?" He pushed himself up and jogged back over to the girl as if she'd never shoved him. "And you never told me if you're okay!"

          "You scared me!" she yelled back, clutching her hands to her chest as if trying to keep some distance from Jack. "Of course I'm not going to be able to control my magic if you scare me!"

          She brought her hands up to her lips, seemingly in surprise, and the moment she did Jack saw almost every inch of her begin to tremble. Was she... scared? She had so confidently demolished her own creation, the only thing that actually threatened her, so what was wrong now? Her eyes wandered downwards to Jack's feet and she immediately fell silent, pulling her legs up to her chest protectively.

          The girl looked so vulnerable at that moment Jack unconsciously reached his hand out and had to stop himself from grabbing her shoulder. "Hey, you never told me if you're alright." He leaned down and turned his head so he could look up at her face - as challenging as that was with their height difference - you're not seriously hurt are you? I'm sorry I got in your way."

          "I..." the girl's lips held still for a moment as she sat there in silence. "I'm fine..." she murmured, quiet enough that Jack hardly heard it. She repeated herself, a little louder this time. "I'm fine... thank you."

          "I'm glad to hear it!" Jack confirmed, straightening up so he didn't invade her personal space anymore than he may have already. "That magic of yours is pretty amazing. Are you an earth mage?"

          She nodded slowly and raised her hand. Jack caught sight as her bracelet glistened, either from catching the sunlight against its silvery surface or from more of her magic, and the crystal receeded back into the ground, golem, spear, and weapons all, until all that was left was the huge hole in the otherwised paved ground, and even that slowly began to reform until there was no evidence the fight had ever occured, other than the growing bruise that slowly appeared on the side of her face. He noticed a faint, but certainly existent, second bruise on the other side of her face too. How long had she been fighting these creations of hers?

          "Thank you. I- I am, yes." She dusted off her clothes with one hand and nursed the new wound upon her eye with the other. She winced at the touch, clearly finding it sore. "I'm... I'm Morgan," she said, and he noticed a small, albeit brief smile appear across her lips, as if proud of herself for managing to form the words she spoke.

          As soon as he saw her smile Jack couldn't help smiling himself. Next he took her hand, golding it between both of his and shaking it softly. "It's nice to meet you Morgan, I'm really glad you - wait you aren't okay! Look at you!" Without even a thought crossing his mind about it he released Morgan's hand and put a finger just above her fresh bruise, then saw the other one when he tilted his head a bit more. She winced at the touch. "You are hurt. Oh no...Hold on I'm prepared for this." Before Morgan had a chance to reply - or stop reeling from someone grabbing her hand and then touching her face so abruptly - Jack snapped his fingers, opening all the zippers of his backpack at once, and began to dig through it.

          Shortly Jack pulled out a small cloth and a water bottle. He poured some water on the cloth and dabbed at Morgan's bruises and a few other places on her face, wiping off the dirt from her practice and cooling the bruises off to make them throb less. "There we go, how's that? My mom was always a stickler for dealing with injuries right away, even small ones."

          Morgan just sat there, wide eyed and trembling, like a terrified puppy. "...Thank you," she repeated, staying still as she felt cool water press against the side of her face for the second time that day.

          Her arms fell down to support herself and, uneasily, she began to rise to her feet. Too uneasily, in fact, as she shifted her weight forwards too far and lost balance completely. She threw her arms out to catch herself as she tumbled forwards, her eyes shut in panic and a girlish yelp escaping her lips. She clutched onto the first thing she could, wrapping her arms around it tightly in an attempt to keep herself steady.

          Jack blinked as he felt slender arms coil around his neck and shoulders, holding him close to her, and it was enough to make even him blush. “Are… are you okay?” he asked.

          Morgan’s shriek was even louder this time as she realised what she had done. Her eyes shot wide open, her hands against Jack’s shoulders and pushing herself as far away from him as possible, and she almost jumped back towards the building, only stopping when she felt her back bump against the stonework. Her cheeks burned red in embarrassment and she could not bring herself to look up at the blond haired man before her, instead just trying to focus on her trembling hands and keeping them still.

          "Morgan?" Jack questioned, taking a step forward. "Your balance is off. Maybe I should take you to the nurse's office, you might have a concussion." Don't think about how nice that was or if it might happen again on the way. After a moment another possibility clicked in his head and a bit more red crept into his cheeks. "Oh! I'm sorry if I was in your personal space, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I just feel so bad, it's my fault you got hurt."

          "No, n-" Morgan replied, stammering all the while. She paused and took a deep breath, only to swallow hard. "It's not your- not your fault, I promise. I tripped, I-"

          Jack could see she was already almost on the edge of tears. "Please don't feel bad because I'm clumsy."

          "Oh don't worry, it's fine! I'm just glad you're okay," Jack said warmly, making sure to stay where he was and give her plenty of space. "Come on now, looking so sad like that makes me want to hug you better like my dad would, and considering your other reactions I doubt you want that. Buck up." He said, smiling. "Why don't you tell me a bit more about your magic? All that stuff was really impressive. I've never met anyone else who makes golems! Especially out of crystal! Your magic must be really cool."

          "Well, I-" Morgan spent a moment in contemplation, and then spoke with a little more confidence than Jack had expected considering her most recent display. "I'm not really too good at golemcrafting, really, but they make for good practice. It did help me learn how to make this little guy though."

          The girl raised her arm and flicked her wrist a little as she held her hand outstretched, palm facing upwards, as tiny crystals danced from the ground beneath her feet and coiled around her arm slowly, eventually collecting along her forearm into the vague shape of a dragon, craggy and sharp in form like the golem but crystal clear and quite delightful in its imperfect way. The dragon shook its form, crystalline dust falling from its hide, before it looked up to the blond man beside it and chirped a small, melodic birdsong.

          Jack stared in awe at the creature before him. "Wow! That's incredible!" He blurted out, reaching forward slowly and cautiously to see if he could pet the dragon. It responded playfully, nipping at the tip of Jack's finger only to nuzzle against his hand as he was pet. It jumped playfully from Morgan's arm to his, walking up his arm and resting on his shoulder to nudge gently at the man's cheek. "You really are amazing Morgan."

          He played with the tiny crystal dragon for a moment until he realised he heard no response from his new friend. "Morgan?"

          Jack looked around but saw nobody. Morgan had completely vanished, and as a moment past he felt the crystal dragon crumble and break apart, falling into nothingness on the ground. He could almost cry at the loss of the sweet little dragon, let alone the disappearance of Morgan who had left without a single word. He sighed, peering around the side of the wall to see if he could spot her escape, but she had vanished completely into thin air. He seemed to have made her feel bad again, and his eyes fell to the gorund in disappointment. So, instead of following her, he headed for the main building to explore until class, burning with guilt for whatever he'd done to make Morgan run away.
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            #31    
          Old May 1st, 2016 (7:27 PM).
          Fen-kun's Avatar
          Fen-kun Fen-kun is offline
          An RP Hermit
             
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            Violet Violett Fürst-Shaw & Iris Aldridge


            Iris shook off that encounter from the larger Latino boy by focusing on practice with her new spear, learning the ins and outs of the ether polearm, and she found it came quite naturally to her. She was pleasantly surprised, and the only thing that drew her from her practice was the bellowing ring of a clock that struck twelve times, indicating that it was midday. The voice of the Student Council President, the same speaker from this morning, Christian something, spoke again, echoed across Vale in a second-wide announcement, hoping everyone had a great time on their first day and that classes would be starting proper in just under an hour. First, however, he announced that lunch was being served, and Iris' stomach growled a bit in response. She had not noticed just how hungry she was, and noted that this practice was an easy way to work up an appetite.

            Slinging her spear on a strap over her let shoulder and hanging her shield on her back on a latch just above her backpack, she walked towards the cafeteria and joined the massing crowds that flocked in that direction. After walking to the eastern side of campus, Iris arrived at the expansive cafeteria, which in size, selection and scope, was more akin to an oversized food court than a mall. Of the all the things she expected, she had not thought she would find kiosks with Subway, Pizza Hut and McDonald's on offer in the middle of a secret academy for mages, but it only made the comparison to a mall food court all the more fitting. While everyone else was busy socialising with each other as they waited in line for their turn at the kiosks, Iris opted for a wholesome option of hummus, pita bread, and a salad. As per usual, she sat by herself, silently enjoying her lunch, looking distantly at no one in particular as she ate, and reflected on the day so far. She had expected Vale to be unfamiliar waters, but it had been stranger than she had ever imagined, and the pit in her stomach told her that she had hardly scratched the surface.

            She wrapped up in her thoughts as she opened a book about Minnesota law, given to her a few years back by an uncle in Duluth, and read it quitely as she finished her meal, readying herself for her first class of the year, Law.

            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            As Iris wrapped up her lunch, canvas bag, spear and shield in tow, she walked briskly towards her first class on the other side of campus. Although Vale was as new to her as it was to any other freshman, who all seemed to stumble about like lost lambs, unlike them she walked confidently and with purpose, taking in every inch of the school with a cool expression as she passed it by. She arrived at the classroom soon enough and took in the sights of the well-manicured, expensive-looking classroom. They clearly spared no expense here, and Iris absentmindedly wondered how they could afford this level of quality while still offering so many students tuition free of charge. She sighed as she passed through the doorway, seeing her teacher sitting at his desk to the right of the door, but taking note that most of the other seats remained empty. She was early, it seemed. The teacher, a tall black man with a grey, grizzled beard sat at his desk casually, welcoming students as they came in with a content smile upon his face. Iris took her own seat along the front row of desks and gave a token wave to the professor as he smiled and waved at her, and pulled free her stationary from her bag to ready herself for the start of class. As she settled in the other seats that made up the classroom were slowly filled, some with faces from the assembly that she recognised, but mostly a sea of strangers she had yet to speak to. They kept their distance, mostly, but she noticed a few wary eyes directed at the stern-faced blonde as she prepared her paper and reading materials.

            One student eyed her with intrigue though. Iris saw a flash of raven hair and ivory skin as a feminine figure settled in at the desk beside her, one leg crossed gracefully over the other, and a flick of her hair out of her face revealed those emerald eyes that watched her so curiously. "Good afternoon," she said, pleasantly enough, as she placed her things beside her and looked at what little information had been scrawled upon the board before her. It was only a cursory glance before her attentions settled back upon Iris, a sly smile across her face.

            "Afternoon," Iris replied, reaching around her backpack to get some books, namely the Minnesota law book. Her tone was neutral enough, disinterested in carrying on a conversation as it so often was, and she turned away from the stranger just as swiftly as she had looked at her. This was clearly not enough to discourage the stranger, who Iris could see from the corner of her eye examining the younger blonde girl. "Yes?" Iris asked, turning to meet the emerald eyes of the woman beside her.

            She smiled and held out a delicate hand to shake. "Violett," she said. "Violett Fürst-Shaw. A pleasure, I'm sure."

            The blonde haired mage shook the hand with a terse gesture and replied with, "Iris. Iris Aldridge. Anything else?" The blunt question was marked with a soft, if unenthused tone. She treated this interaction more with detached coldness than with genuine engagement, and her expression held little warmth.

            "Oh, I'm sorry," the woman replied. Iris could not tell if she were being genuine or sarca- "Clearly I'm taking up much of your precious time. I shan't keep you any longer than I have to."

            That was certainly sarcasm.

            Brushing it off as best she could, Iris attempted to pick up where she left off in the book. She groaned as she tried to find her lost place, eager to return to her solitude that she craved so much. Of course, luck would never be so favourable to Iris, and once again from the corner of her eye she spied Violett whose eyes had yet to leave Iris' form.

            In response, Iris reasserted herself, her voice a little less amused this time. "May I help you?" She met her fellow student with a sterner look. This earned more wary glances from nearby students, who all silently took note not to pester the poor blonde girl, but Violett hardly paid it any notice. She was unwavering in her actions, and that only made Iris grit her teeth.

            "No, no. I'll be fine, but thank you for your concern," she replied.

            Iris could have sworn she saw the faintest quiver of a smirk on her face before it vanished. Shaking her head, moreso in confusion than anything at the woman's attitude. Please just leave me alone. Iris crossed her arms across her chest, and tapped her fingers on her arm, with a visible glare on her face that she directed towards Violet, expecting to catch sight of her plotting and scheming agaiin. Violett simply faced the front of the classroom as the teacher began to speak, introducing himself to the class, and she seemed to pay no mind to Iris at all.

            Mr. Hawkins, as their new law teacher introduced himself as, scrawled his name on the board at the front of the class and began by announcing what they could expect to be learning in the class over the next year. Law, in the simplest terms, and a lot of it.

            "I definitely see some familiar faces from last year but this is your first day at Vale for a lot of you and I don't want to throw you into the lion's den so soon," Hawkins announced. "I'm sure you've all had a chance to meet some of your fellow students but with luck you'll all be in this class by the end of the year, so I want you to get to know your classmates since you're going to be spending so much time together. Spend a few minutes talking amongst yourself. If you're a returning student, tell some of the newcomers what they can expect in their first year here, and if you're new, just try and make some friends. The connections you'll make here will carry you through the year, I promise."

            Iris, who had been somewhat distracted writing down notes about the overview of what the law course would entail, astutely taking notes on the aspects of the different types of law that would be discussed, blinked once as she just caught the end of what her teacher was saying. She turned her head slowly to the left in half an attempt to follow her teacher's suggestion, but was met only with the side wall of the classroom, with no other student to her left. Slowly she panned her sight to the right, and-

            "Hello again," said Violett, who sat there with an increasingly familiar smile across her face, coiling a lock of her hair betwixt her slender fingers. Once again, an almost perfect replica of her previous introduction, she held out her hand to shake, although her smile was distinctly more playful. "Violett. Violett Für-"

            "I know," Iris interjected.

            "My, my, I'm just trying to be friendly," she replied. "I don't know about you but this is my first day of proper studies here, and I was looking forward to meeting some new people and settling in proper. I thought it might be wise to make at least a few friends, but it's perfectly fine that you don't share the same priorities."

            Iris, only wanting to only be on the best terms with her teachers, played along with the notion that Iris needed to know her new classmates. She would much rather bury her nose in a book, but as she caught the eye of the teacher wander in her direction, her sullen frown turned into a distinctly fake smile.

            "Thanks for the compliment, then. I indeed have other..." She scowled. "Priorities."

            Iris steeled her face as she looked around the class, already desperate to get this over with as soon as possible and return to her books. "So, what is it that you want to do here then? I don't know about you, but I prefer my peace and quiet." She emphasized the last remark with a deadpan tone, obviously in contrast to the forced situation in which she could certainly not be in that very same peace and quiet she desired.

            "Oh no, I completely understand," Violett replied.

            Wait, what?

            "But you'll hardly find it in a school like this, sweetheart. Have you seen how many people are here? If you're looking for solitude then you've come to the wrong school." She motioned towards the rest of the class who chat quietly amongst themselves. "But to answer your question, I suppose I am here for the same reason anyone else is. Because I was offered one of the finest educations in the world alongside a chance to practice my magic alongside my fellow mages."

            Cinders and ash danced playfully across her fingertips as she spoke as if in demonstration. "But if you are truly interested in why that is important to me, and I can tell you're hanging onto every little word that passes my lips with rapturous fascination, I have a family business to inherit and it is important to me that I do them proud."

            She smiled, although Iris could only groan at the display. Oh good, a stuck-up rich girl who's used to having the world wrapped around her finger. That explains a lot. Bluntly, Iris rebuted, "I was not interested at all, actually. Nor am I interested in talking much about myself. All you need to know is that I did very well for myself at school as a matter a fact, even without the burden of wealth."

            Iris gave a new, fouler glance at Violett. She expected some shock or some surprise to her reply for the desired result of pushing her away, but nothing came, and Violett stared back at her unflinching. "Oh, it has its ups and down, as I'm sure you can guess, but we're all a far cry away from home now, aren't we? We're all equals at Vale, made distinct only by our skill both academically and magically, are we not?"

            The cinders that danced across her fingers pooled in her open, upturned palm, and briefly erupted into a roaring, fist-sized flame before extinguishing just as quickly. "Fire, as you may have noticed. What of yourself, Iris? Let me guess. An air mage? A free-spirited, charming individual such as yourself? How could you be anything else?" She brought a finger up to her lips as if in thought. "Or perhaps you're one of those enigmatic light mages I've been hearing so much about since I arrived here? I've certainly found them... entertaining so far."

            Iris sighed and decided not to humor the irritating, snide fire mage any further. She merely said she was an earth mage and propped her head on her right hand, looked to the left, and searched for any opportunity to go back to the comfort of her books. She sighed heavily, her vision slowly wandering towards the teacher, who was sitting at his desk, looking back and forth through the exchanges that the other students were having. Iris turned back and looked at Violett, who sat quite patiently, a small simper across her lips as she watched Iris in turn.

            "Well, you have the pleasure of being the second earth mage I have spoken to since I have arrived here, and in fact the second earth mage I have ever spoken to proper. The family on my mother's side are fire mages much like myself, but my father is a water mage, the first in his family. What of yours? Are you the first mage in the Aldridge clan or do they have any magic themselves? I know magic is at least partially genetic so I suspect either your mother or father-"

            "Stop."

            "Oh?" Violett said in a questioning tone. "Is something wrong? I was just trying to make conversation."

            "I do not wish to talk about my parents, thank you very much," Iris snapped, her voice raised just so, the first time it had done since they had started talking. It was enough to catch the attention of a few students who stared in silence. Her expression remained mostly the same, but her steeled countenance was not perfect, and Violett smirked at the way she twitched in frustration.

            "A sore spot?" Violett replied as if in realisation, an eyebrow cocked in curiousity. Her satisfied smile grew a little more pronounced, and she turned her head slowly back towards the front of the class. "A pleasure to meet you, Iris. I wish you the best of the luck with the rest of the year."

            "...You'll need it."
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              #32    
            Old May 5th, 2016 (7:09 PM). Edited May 5th, 2016 by Sephear.
            Sephear's Avatar
            Sephear Sephear is offline
            Believe in the you that believes in cheese
             
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            Jack Marrick, Zane Emerson, and Shion pizza pie Kavanagh: So it begins.



            "... so I ended up with two vastly different golems. And one day when I was done practicing I could swear Bojangles nodded at me with respect before I sent them away, but maybe that was just a magical reaction to my subconscious. I tend to overthink these—h, hey Shion! Over here! Want to sit with m—us?"

            “Thanks for remembering me, Jack,” Zane quipped. Turning his attention to the fiery-haired girl, he began again, “Please, Shion. He hasn’t stopped talking about his golems for the last ten minutes. Maybe you could bring something a bit less repetitive to the table?”

            "But we haven't even been here ten minutes." Jack mumbled a complaint.

            "Really? Well, it felt even longer, if that makes a difference. You know, a person can only hear about Bobby and Popeye so much?"

            "Billy and Bojangles?" she asked as she sat down with her lunch.

            "Don't tell me he put you through his spiel, too."

            "It's not that bad. His delivery is good for a laugh when you need it." To initiate her meal, Shion took a sizable bite out of her sub, although she still wasn't able to get all the way around the girth of the thing. Roast beef, turkey and ham. Meat lover, evidently.

            Zane nearly choked out of surprise from Shion's demeanor, but quickly reclaimed his own. "As true as it may be that Jack possesses a talent for delivery, hearing about the same thing over and over... and over, is a little tiresome. I mean, there are so many topics to talk about. You know, like anything that doesn't involve a moving rock creature?"

            Jack found himself staring a bit longer than could be subtle at Shion's lips while she bit into her food, but he quickly recovered and rejoined the conversation. "Well I could always talk about weapons, or forging weapons, or plants, or how awesome this school is so far!" After realize he'd raised his voice Jack cleared his throat before continuing. "But personally, I'd rather hear about you guys. What have you been up to, Shion?"

            And so, for the next slightly-less-than-ten minutes, Shion shared with them a story of her own training over the summer. A brief reminiscence of learning that punching something did not, in fact, solve all of her magical problems. With it, she'd given them a good idea about the rest of her family; how her parents ran a small pizza shop on the west coast, and what her cousin was like. (Hint: adorable.)

            In the end, she demonstrated her experience and created a small force field around her hand. "Able to repel anything and everything," she described, although she refrained from mentioning that she was very literal in that explanation. It was the same technique she'd used to protect herself from Zane's hardlight, making sure to note to him specifically, "Just like the rest of my magic, what I used against you was a lot weaker."

            "We'll just have to see how impenetrable it is when we have our rematch," Zane blandly rebutted, taking a bite of the orange chicken bowl he'd gotten for lunch.

            "That match was cool. You've both got really interesting magic," Jack said, a small tinge of excitement in his tone. "I still can't do that much, but at least I didn't let that girl completely have her way with me," he said, completely missing what it sounded like. He took another bite of his rather plain turkey-and-swiss sandwich, and blinked when he felt something pop out of his pocket. There was Bruno, proud and strong, standing on the table and trying to nab Jack's sandwich. "Hey, back off, tough guy. You don't even have a mouth, or internal organs... or internals."

            "Right, right. You just made out with her in the open," Shion nonchalantly added.

            Jack froze at the reminder of how the match ended and his face flushed right away. "I-I did not! Our lips barely touched... and I didn't do anything at all; it was all her."

            "What, you were kissed today, too?"

            Jack's eyebrow raised quizzically, and his embarrassment was momentarily forgotten. "You did? Wow that was fast."

            "Yeah, but I'm gorgeous. Her name was Violett, and we've already got a date for this weekend. What about you; who'd you kiss?"

            "I told you, I didn't kiss anyone." Jack muttered, looking down at the table. "But... Violett was the one who kissed me."

            "What?" Zane's mood immediately soured, forcing him to lay down his chopsticks. "Did you just say that Violett kissed you? As in Violett Fürst-Shaw?"

            "Well," Shion interrupted after she swallowed down the last of her meaty sub and stood to leave, "I think I'm gonna get out of here, and let you two work out your little problem. See ya." Really, she just didn't want to be on the sidelines for this. Or on the field. Or anywhere near the mess.

            Jack continued to stare at the table for a few seconds until he saw Shion grabbing her trash. "Why would she do that? No, wait, Shion, don't go!" He didn't quite understand why she was in such a hurry to leave, he didn't have any claim to Violett.

            Zane barely even noticed Shion’s departure, his undivided attention now solely on his perceived competition. He tried to fake a smile, but his displeasure clearly shone through. “So, you’re going to explain everything that happened, then I’m gonna make a decision, okay? And I’ll be sure to inform you of that decision.”

            "What's there to explain?" Jack asked. "We sparred, she got way too close for comfort a few times, and then at the end... she just barely, slightly SORT OF... kissed me. Only enough to smudge me with her lipstick, though."

            “Is that so?” Zane examined Jack with a certain level of scrutiny, attempting to gleam any hint of deceit or desire in his words. He was astonished by how honest Jack appeared, and considering his interactions with the young man thus far, Zane had a hard time pinning him as a liar. “Fine. I believe you, but only because I've seen how she acts. Word of advice, though, I suggest you try not to let it happen again.” With that said, he returned to his meal, picking at some chow mein.

            Jack shrugged and took another bite of his sandwich. "I try not to tell people what to do. But if she's your girlfriend or something I'll stay away, might want to talk to her about it instead of me though. I can control myself, even if she's one of the two most beautiful women I've ever seen." He didn't miss the threat, but he had better things to worry about than some cocky guy picking a fight with him over some loose girl.

            “I’m only saying this in your best interest. She’s probably only doing it to mess with you; maybe even mess with me. Still, I’m fine with making sure you don’t talk to her. Even if it means through force.” Zane took the last bite of the orange chicken from his bowl, then raising his gaze back to Jack. “And that goes for anyone else who wants to test my patience. So, don’t take it personally.”

            "Makes sense." Jack commented before taking his last bite, and starting to speak again before he finished chewing. "But if you guys had a date scheduled already, it makes it seem a lot more likely she's messing with you than me. Don't worry about forcing me to do anything, I've got no intentions of putting you through that mess, isn't worth your trouble. If I talk to her it will be just that, talking."

            "See, no reason to make this any more complicated. As long as you actually do what you say you will, then I'm sure we'll have no issues, and we can just act like this whole thing never happened," Zane said, oddly sincere in his words. Now finished with his meal, Zane packed up his trash, preparing to head to class. "Well, Jack, I'm sorry things took such an unnecessary turn. Next time, we'll have to discuss something more entertaining. Maybe show off some of our magic? But now, I think it's about time I get going. Later," the young light mage said, bidding Jack farewell before heading off towards the exit, throwing away his garbage on the way.

            "Bye." Jack called after Zane while he left, waving. As soon as he was alone at the table again he dropped his forehead to it's surface and sighed. "I've been here one day, and it's already one thing after another. Have I been thrown into some bad romcom? Dammit, Mom.... This is exactly the kind of school drama you hoped I'd deal with, wasn't it?"
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              #33    
            Old May 6th, 2016 (10:46 PM).
            Fen-kun's Avatar
            Fen-kun Fen-kun is offline
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              Iris Aldridge & Zane Emerson: A Catfight to Remember



              After her run in with Violett in Law class, Iris quietly resigned herself back to her original state of solitude and concentration for the class after the social exercise was over. Although not much was said for the remainder of the class, Iris was sure to attentively take notes, adding the bits of knowledge to keep on the back of her mind and blot out the irritating fire mage from her mind.

              Among the group of students, Iris, as per usual, distanced herself from the groups of students chatting amongst themselves and instead opted to walk with no one but herself and her thoughts, looking to no one in particular as she pondered her class that she had attended, Business Management. She wondered what that would entail, being a subject that would be a bit out of her comfort zone of history and other related subjects, but having the added bonus of giving her more things to think about. After all, barring involvement with magic, she wasn't really sure in what to do with her life, only that she wished to live in the comfort of solitude and the satisfaction of working hard to meet an end, as she felt that she had done so far.

              Looking straight ahead, Iris noticed a taller blonde boy, meandering through the halls, seemingly distracted with a game he was playing on his phone. Of course, she gave no bigger consideration for him than any other person walking through the halls, instead opting to continue on her path, going back to her thoughts. And then it hit her. Literally.

              The same blondie Iris had seen just moments ago was now upon her, crashing into her, nearly knocking away her book. Glancing over her, the youth’s mood clearly changed to agitation. “You know, you should probably watch where you’re going. It’s hard enough to not step on a mouse like you. So do everyone a favor and watch it.” The boy loomed over Iris, standing about half a foot taller than her. His appearance wasn’t particularly menacing, in fact, even Iris couldn’t deny the pretty boy’s looks. But there was still that air about him, one that reeked of the aristocracy. Without it, he may have been serviceable, but he was arrogant, and it was clear to her just what this man was.

              Indignant at his arrogance and his snide remarks about “her” carelessness and her more diminutive height, she shot back, dusting off her pants, “ I should watch myself? Maybe if you would just put your damn phone away, you could have seen me.” Looking back up with a steely gaze, irritated at his attitude towards the accident, she added, “How about you watch it, you pompous idiot?”

              The young man simply looked down at her and laughed, “Nice language. Parents never taught you tact growing up? Wait a second…” Another appraising gaze over Iris and the boy started back up, “Hmm, judging from your clothes, I’d say you’re middle class, but basing things off your demeanor I’d say… lower-middle class? And to think, you’re trying to tell me what to do. How hilarious.”

              Irked by the comment regarding her parents and tact, she shot Zane a glare and coldly snapped, voice remaining level, “Like hell you have the temerity to judge me and my family. Life is more than how much you have in the bank or how many garish clothes you can buy. I’d know.”

              He noticed the change in her tone, spurred on by what seemed to be his mention of her parents. And as much as he would’ve liked to explore the reasons behind her shifting tone, he was more concerned with establishing his superiority. “Hah, you know what life’s all about? That’s funny. You’ve probably never even been able to experience a fraction of the things I’ve done in a single summer in your entire life. Not that it’s your fault you were born into a lower class. After all, people like me need somebody to stand over and lead, even if it is an ungrateful mutt.”

              Reverting back to her more neutral icy voice, Iris responded, “You act as if I’m supposed to be cowed, intimidated or impressed by all of this. That’s nice. I’ll let you live your deluded, elitist fantasy. Even a spoiled brat has to have his dreams, I guess.” The shorter blonde mage gave an aside glance, punctuating her abrasive stance on the pompous mage. Iris shook off what was supposed to be a verbal gaffe to keep her “in line” and merely rolled her eyes mentally at the thought that he was supposed to be the superior one. Typical.

              Caught in between the urge to laugh and the urge to demonstrate the lowly girl’s worthlessness, Zane couldn’t help but further embrace in the conversation’s dissension. “How adorable. So, you’re a fighter and a fool? How am I not surprised? Look here, you low-born scum, there’s no delusion about just how much influence I can have on your, or anyone’s, life. Ever seen Ducktales and Scrooge McDuck’s pool of money? Yeah, my family actually has one of those. If I really wanted to, I could ruin your day in the most vicious way possible, but it would be unseemly for me to do so without giving you a chance to learn your place. Oh, and if you’re wondering who I am to be making these claims, then just know that I’m the heir to one of the most powerful hydroelectric energy empires in Washington.”

              His inane tirade about him being so powerful and influential as some business magnate’s kid made Iris all the more justified in her criticisms of his bratty behavior and made the connection of his behavior and that of any spoiled rich girl from Mendota Heights. With the similarities, Iris snarkily replied, "Whiny, spoiled, entitled, talks about how strong their parents are? Well aren't you just an heiress?"

              That was first thing since arriving at Vale that actually grated at Zane’s sense of self. Who was she to insult him? She was just another plebian dog who had no claim on high society, scratching and clawing at those better than her. His eyes twitched at the girl’s defiant ignorance, feigned smile disappearing into a scowl. “You impetuous b***h. You really don’t get it, do you? It’s not just my family you should fear. I alone could ruin you, so why don’t you stop for a second and carefully consider the next few words that come out of your impertinent mouth?”

              Sensing his seething anger after prodding his brittle masculinity, Iris, purposefully ignoring the undertones that promised some form of violence for the sake of remaining cool and level-headed, said in a dry, unimpressed tone, “I thought about it and I say we just end this charade and get on with our lives. Even if some of us take longer than others.” This pointed remark was in reference to the angered mage and his ruffled feathers. With that, Iris walked off, towards the direction of the library, where Iris was sure to find great company with all the books she would want to read. Away from a lot of people, and especially away from that blonde kid.
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                #34    
              Old May 9th, 2016 (3:54 PM).
              Geras's Avatar
              Geras Geras is offline
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                Domingo Hernández and Carson Welles: Lunch With a Ladykiller



                Domingo never ended up finding someone to practice with, much to his dismay. Those he approached either already had someone to practice with, were way too eager to fight a tough-looking guy like him, or were simply afraid of him. None of those were very good, in his opinion. After numerous failed attempts, the time for them to practice had concluded and they were sent to lunch. At the very least Domingo didn't need the practice that badly, since he'd used his magic in combat plenty and he figured his weapons were self explanatory.

                Sighing at his misfortune, he took his gloves off, carrying them by a sling that was wrapped around them, and followed the crowd of students to the dining hall. Upon entering, Domingo couldn't help but stare in awe at the massive room, filled with a mixture of scents from countless different foods. He was particularly surprised to see the familiar logos of popular fast food empires proudly displayed over various kiosks. The other students walked right past the boy as he tried to take in his surroundings, the scene seeming a bit less incredible to most of them.

                Despite the scene before him, Domingo frowned. As eager as he was to grab everything he could and chow down, he had been warned by the nurse about refeeding syndrome, and knew that he would have to start small. It would be difficult considering that he hadn't eaten any real food for the past week or so, but he knew he would have to do it if he wanted to avoid problems. His mind began to wander to the past, but he shook those thoughts out of his head, determined to leave that part of his life behind. After wandering around the dining hall several times trying to figure out what he wanted to try, he finally settled on a plate of spaghetti with a glass of orange juice. He made sure to cut the mound of noodles into smaller portions with the small knife he'd been given.

                Domingo made his way to an empty part of the dining hall, but just as he was about to sit down it occurred to him that it was kind of pathetic sitting alone like that. He looked around for someone to sit next to. Hopefully he'd have better luck with his interactions here when the fear of brutal magical combat wasn't lurking in everyone's minds.

                Thankfully, Lady Luck smiled down upon him, as he found a tall and slender young woman a rather cute one at that who also seemed to be looking for a place to seat herself. She reminded Domingo a bit of the thin blonde from before. While that one was kind of an asshole, she was at least willing to have an actual conversation with him. Maybe this one would too, though ideally this one would be a bit nicer. He got up and walked over to her, running through his mind the different ways he could introduce himself without scaring her but also without looking stupid. “Hey, you, uh, mind if I sit with you?” He managed to ask. He scowled mentally, unsatisfied with his approach but figuring it could have been worse.

                Hearing a male voice call out to him, Carson felt a pang of disappointment run through him. He had hoped to spend his lunch time in the accompaniment of a young lady, but alas he was not one to turn down a request. Turning around to face his new lunch mate, he found a rather muscular Hispanic male, standing at about the same height. "Of course, I'd be glad to have some company with my meal." Trying his best to cover up any signs of the letdown that he felt, the effeminate young man, flashed his signature smile. "Why don't you lead the way?"

                Domingo nodded and led the way over to a group of empty seats. He sat down and began eating a small portion he’d set apart from the rest of his food, wondering what to say next. He realized that the weapon practice had offered a much easier subject to talk to people about. As he scoured his brain for a topic of conversation, eating in awkward silence all the while, he glanced over at the girl. He could easily ask basic things out of nowhere like her name, or hobbies, or abilities, but he was honestly curious about something entirely different.

                With a sigh, Domingo recalled the brief look of disappointment he noticed from her. “Hey, tell me honestly. What do you think when you look at me?” He held his arms out to show off his tattoos. All the reactions people had been giving him were really getting on his nerves, but he wanted to be completely sure that they were for the reasons he suspected. He wanted to actually hear it.

                After looking over the man's exposed arms, Carson paused for a moment. He made direct eye contact with the much more muscular young man before speaking. "When I look at you, I see a classmate, a peer, a fellow student, a potential brother in arms, and perhaps even a friend. I've always thought first impressions based off of appearances were overrated, but even if were to take that into consideration you just look like a pretty strong guy." Giving him another heartwarming smile, the blonde formally introduced himself. "I'm Carson by the way, what's your name?"

                After what seemed like the hundredth sigh of the day, Domingo looked down at his food. “****…” he muttered before looking back at Carson. He gave a smile of his own, and while it wasn’t the brightest one around it was genuine. “Sorry for acting all weird like that. It’s just been a rough day. I don’t think people like you are the majority in this place. I’m Domingo.” He held out his hand for a handshake. “Hey, isn’t Carson a dude’s name?”

                Taking Domingo's hand, Carson gave it a shake while responding to the former's question. "Indeed it is. However, as of late it seems that it's become quite the popular girl's name." He stopped to take a bite out of his chicken sandwich. "Not to be racist or anything, but are you from here in the states or elsewhere? I can't really place the accent to any specific place in particular."

                “Soy Salvadoreño,” Domingo responded in Spanish. “My accent prolly sounds weird ‘cause I was in Mexico so long.” His face took on a wistful look. “But let’s not talk about that. What sorts of powers do you have anyway? So far I’ve seen a guy who could bring rocks to life and a girl who could make diamonds.” He pulled Iris' diamond flower out of his pocket as he spoke, placing it in front of Carson. "Some pretty cool stuff at this school."

                "Wow that's quite the beautiful creation." Carson gave an impressed whistle as he gingerly picked up the diamond flower. He placed it back upon the table before rubbing his hands together. "My magic isn't all that impressive, but it serves its purpose well." He created a small explosion of air within his palm, before giving Domingo a sheepish grin. "Like I said, not all that impressive, but I'm much more handy with this thing." He said, patting the sword that was leaning on his chair. "So, what about you? What type of magic do you wield?"

                “Explosion powers… Nice,” Domingo muttered, wide-eyed as he watched Carson’s demonstration. He blinked a few times as the conversation suddenly turned to him. “Me? I turn metal and I dig underground, I guess.” He held out his arm and it slowly began to take on a metallic luster. He knocked on it hard with his other hand and it let out a clang. “It’s not as cool, but kept me alive.” He turned back to his food but frowned as he noticed he had already finished his allotted portion. He pushed the plate aside and took a sip of his juice.

                Finishing off the last of his lunch, Carson gave the other boy's display a short applause. "That's incredible. You can turn tougher than steel on a whim!" Taking a quick glance at his phone, he noticed that it was nearing the end of the lunch period. "Have you decided on what classes you want to take yet?"

                Domingo tried to tame a grin after Carson’s applause, but his expression seemed to sour at the mention of classes. “To be honest, I don’t know if I can handle any of them. Haven’t been to school since I was a little kid. I’ll probably just try what looks interesting, and switch if I can’t do it.”

                Realizing that the subject was obviously something that bothered Domingo, Carson gave the young man opposite of him a reassuring smile. "Just do whatever sounds fun! And if it gets boring you can always use that period to sleep," he added with a wink. Checking his phone again, he decided that it was time for him to take head to class. "Well, I believe that it's time for me to be taking my leave." Before getting up from the table, he pulled out a small notepad and pen, quickly scribbling something down before tearing it off and laying it in front of Domingo. "That's my phone number if you ever want to hang out or talk again. It was nice getting to know you, my friend." And with one more heartwrenchingly adorable grin, he stood up from the table and was off to class.

                Domingo pocketed the piece of paper with a smile, glad to have a friend in this strange new world, and waved after Carson. “Hey, thanks for the talk! You’re a cool girl!” He promptly cleaned up after himself and went his own way.

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                  #35    
                Old May 18th, 2016 (7:43 AM).
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                Fuyu Fuyu is offline
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                  Fern and Iris! Roommate Buddies... Or Not?

                  Fern tested the bed one more time. Yes, bouncy. Verrryyyy bouncy. Yay. She wasn't sure if that would mean anything for her shiny new roommate, but it would be very helpful for her so she didn't hurt her butt when she sat down. Yes. She leaned back on the bed, looking at her work from the day and imagining weapons in her hands. Knives. Lots of knives. You learned dexterity from cooking and chopping and all. So it was important. She had a nice foundation.

                  Fie sat up again. "Wonder where my roommate is..." Maybe they were studying. But it was just the start of the year. No matter how smart and well-read they were, they would have trouble understanding everything by themselves. Maybe she could help. Fie had spent a lot of time with books and all. Of course they had to get here first. Sigh. They were going to burn lots of midnight oil, huh?

                  As Iris approached the dorm room, having just come back for holing herself up library after the encounter with the arrogant blonde mage. She had read up on some law, and promptly been in the zone for a few hours. When the library approached closing time, a librarian notified her to wrap up her studying and to leave. Gathering her things, she made her way to where her dorm room was. She of course had no idea who her roommate was, only hoping it wasn't Violett. She approached the door, took out the school issued key for the dorm and swiped it. When she opened the door, she immediately saw who her roommate was, a small, chocolate skinned girl who was sitting on one of the beds. Iris ignored her for the time being as she sought to put her stuff down and get it organized.

                  Fie sat up at the sound of the door. Seeing the blond girl enter, she smiled. "Hello!" she greeted. She went ignored. Fie tilted her head. Funny, she wasn't using her magic. She didn't think she was anyway. Hmm... maybe she didn't want to talk yet. Well, that was fine but they ought to talk pretty soon so they knew how not to bother each other.

                  The girl's posture seemed a little stiff. Anne would think she was cute, but the posture seemed too prepared for attack somehow. Maybe she got lots of annoying questions. Hm. Fie would have to watch herself. She didn't like those either. She sat back and went back to playing with invisible knives between her fingers.

                  Placing her spear and shield down by the wall closest to her bed, Iris proceeded to grab her luggage, packed in a few black suitcases, and began to unzip the contents, revealing some neatly folded clothes and other miscellaneous items. Grateful that the other girl left her alone for the time being, Iris continued until she sifted through the items for her toiletries to place in the restroom. After placing them in their appropriate places, Iris turned to face the other girl, who appeared to be playing with her hands. She wasn't really sure what to think of her new roommate, given her disinterest in the matter, so she decided to return to her bed to do some nightly reading, trying to hold off on interacting with her roommate.

                  Fie peered at her through her fingers. "Should I worry about waking you miss...?" She was clearly older than her, so she could be kinda sorta polite, right? She didn't say much more, but still regarded her with mild interest. Not much else. She didn't seem talkative, or friendly, or, well... workable. How was she going to fight with people?

                  In reply to the query by the other girl, Iris simply said, without looking up from a book she was reading, "No, I can wake up just fine." She flipped a page and was only half paying attention to the girl. Her focus was mainly on the book, which revolved around metallurgy. As she looked from the corner of her eye, Iris figured that she should at least give her name, since they were going to be together for an extended period of time, along with her Looking up from her book, leaving her index finger where she left off, and stated, with a hint of ice to her otherwise disinterested voice, "Well, since we are going to live together, I should at least tell you that my name is Iris Aldridge. Yours?"

                  Fie smiled gently and waved a bit, picking at her fingers when she lowered her hands. "I'm Fern Elise," she greeted, still observing Iris with her bright eyes. Still, she wouldn't pry if she didn't have to. She knew what curiosity felt like. "Fie is shorter if you want to call me that." Such standoffish behavior. She wasn't doing herself any favors either. "You're reading something tough so don't stay up too late, okay?" She sat back after those peacefully spoken words. If she had pressed any buttons, Fie didn't know, but she had to look after her roommate. She would be her responsibility for a while after all.

                  In response to Fern's apparent concern for Iris' ardent study habits, she replied unenthusedly
                  "I'll be fine, thanks." She returned to reading her book, getting sucked into it as per usual. Of course, it was a good way of blotting out the world for Iris, and it also helped her not interact with people outside of necessities and business. She didn't realize how rude she was being to poor Fern, who seemed to try her best to try and be polite and get to know people.

                  Fern smiled again. While bothered by the dismissiveness, it was a breath of fresh air in a way. "Saying that with such finality won't stop me from being worried," she said with that cheerful voice that was probably bothersome to anyone without resistance to friendship. "You are my classmate and roommate. So I can't help but warn you, seeing as we're going to hunt tomorrow. You should be in optimal condition for that." She watched Iris over the girl's book, too small for much else. Was she going to get ice for that? Probably, but Fern didn't mind. She was set on doing everything she could to help. If that went nowhere, then Iris would have no one to blame but herself for her condition tomorrow.

                  Noticing that Fern was watching her read, Iris merely continued to ignore the young girl, knowing that she should be fine for tomorrow. After all, some reading couldn't hurt, especially for how voraciously Iris could consume books. However, her drowsiness was starting to get to her, with the day wearing her out a bit. She let out a stifled yawn, hoping that she could have the energy to stay up just a little longer.

                  Fern, seeing her yawn, nodded to herself. Good. That was enough. "Going to take a shower," she said, picking up her pajamas and skipping to the bathroom. This would be a very quiet week together. Anne would love messing with her, she could tell. Something about her being super wound-up.

                  With the cheery girl out of her hair for the time being, Iris was now free to read in peace. After reading a few pages, the drowsiness once again returned, with more vigor. She continued to read on for a bit, waiting for Fern to get out of the shower so she too could bathe. However, a wave of drowsiness returned with greater vigor, threatening to seduce Iris into a sleep as she didn't realize how taxing the day was for her emotionally, since she bottled it up and shoved away to the deepest recesses of her mind. At last, her eyes shut and she succumbed to sleep with her nice clothes on and book against her flat chest.

                  Fern came out of the shower shortly after and smiled a little. How cute. She tiptoed over and fiddled with the blanket to cover the sleeping Iris as carefully as she could. Then she turned out the light and burrowed under her own covers. She watched the sky outside until she too, fell asleep.
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                    #36    
                  Old May 20th, 2016 (11:30 AM).
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                  Sweet Dreams Sweet Dreams is offline
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                  Julie Nguyen (Air)


                  There's the Rub

                  Julie kind of felt like throwing up, and not just from nerves anymore. She sat, clutching at her arms and staring unseeingly at the back of the seat directly in front of her. To be honest, she'd been feeling a lot better after Jack had started talking to her, enough so that she didn't completely freak out when another girl had joined them. Well, she'd still spent most of that conversation first agonising about not having anything to say and then screaming internally when she realised halfway through that she'd never even caught the other girl's name. Jack's stories were a pretty good distraction, however, and she'd managed to follow and laugh along like a normal human being, so… success!

                  No, what had her stomach turning itself inside out was in fact the speech from the headmistress that had kicked off their assembly. It had started; “our world is under siege”, and ended; “know that you are risking your lives”, along with the tiny and brief bubble of hope that perhaps everything would work out okay after all. Julie had stared at the headmistress in shock, certain that she'd misheard, and then stared at all the other students in even greater shock when most of them barely reacted.

                  Monsters!

                  It wasn't as though Julie hadn't anticipated the existence of monsters (since, well, magic school), but she'd always assumed that they would be protected from them the same way normal high schoolers would be protected from things like bears. But no, apparently the school was going to just toss a bunch of teenagers at the monsters to… to “drive them back” or something insane. And even more crazy was that all these teenagers were apparently fine with it.

                  Julie had never signed up for this. She couldn't become a—a soldier, fighting some kind of war for the good of mankind. There was no way that she was strong or brave or skilled enough. They wanted amazing, talented mages who could shoulder such a huge responsibility and laugh in the face of danger, not some pathetic Asian girl from Texas whose biggest claim to fame was the ability to make people sleepy sometimes.

                  No, Julie would just get herself killed if she stayed here. She would just have to pick up her things and go home and tell her parents that—

                  Her breath caught. Tell her parents… what? It wasn't like she could just tell them that giant monsters were apparently threatening the world and school kids were being sent there to fight them. They'd just think that she'd cracked under the pressure of such an academically intense school and be mad that she was throwing away such a huge opportunity. Even worse, she could picture the disappointment on her parents' faces, and nothing that she could say or do would be enough to make up for it. It was the one thing Julie feared above all else, and Julie was a coward.

                  She slumped in defeat, letting out a small hiss when her hands relaxed and a sharp pain finally registered in her mind. She hadn't even noticed, but while she'd been internally freaking out she'd dug her fingernails so deep into her arms that they'd left stinging crescent-shaped marks in their wake. Luckily they were still hidden by her long sleeves, so she just hoped that she hadn't broken skin.

                  When Jack and the girl—she absently made a note to try to get her name from Jack if she ever saw either of them again—stood up to move to the gymnasium as the headmistress had instructed, Julie stood on autopilot and moved with them. In her daze she ended up losing them in the crowd, but that was okay. This just meant it was less likely that the first people to be nice to her here would see her either vomit all over the floor or curl into a ball and cry.

                  Monsters!

                  It was ridiculous and terrifying and Julie hadn't even been here for more than an hour and she was already yearning for the comforting familiarity of home. If only she had her own pair of ruby slippers, maybe she would wake up and it would all have been just a dream.

                  ...If only these problems could be overcome by a simple bucket of water.

                  (Julie had never actually watched Wizard of Oz but she'd heard enough pop culture references to feel like she probably didn't even need to.)

                  So many thoughts ran around Julie's head that she was surprised to suddenly find herself near the front of a line in the gymnasium with very little recollection of how she actually got there. At the head of the line a large man dressed like a cowboy was quite brusquely handing out weapons. Julie frowned. While there wasn't much question of which weapon she was most proficient in (sharp edged weapons unnerved her, and the close quarters of unarmed combat made her very self conscious—she did well at those in solo practise but always ended up holding back when sparring), she wasn't sure how effective it would be to use a côn when facing… non-human opponents. Still, arming herself with a weapon she wasn't comfortable with was just going to disadvantage her even further.

                  A huge part of her didn't believe she was going through with this.

                  “I-I'd like a côn please,” Julie blurted out as soon as the person in front of her finished picking their weapon. Then she remembered that most people didn't know what that was and tried to hurriedly correct herself. “It's a type of—”

                  “Staff, I know,” the cowboy said, wholly unimpressed. “I've been doing this for a while, kid. Ain't much I don't know about weapons.”

                  Julie's whole face heated up in mortification. “Sorry,” she said, hands twisting together anxiously.

                  “Well, got any specs in mind?” he asked.

                  “A bit over head height please,” Julie mumbled, sheepishly raising her arm slightly over her own head. “Even diameter all the way through. Something flexible with a bit of heft.”

                  Like magic (which, hey, it could have been), the man produced something that matched her description pretty well. The ends were both painted white, like they'd been dipped in a bucket of white paint, and underneath it still looked basically like regular old wood. It was a bit lighter than what she was used to so she worried it wouldn't pack as much of a punch, but it was actually the perfect length. She hadn't bought a new côn in a while, since her parents thought it would be a waste of money if she hit another growth spurt, so her current one was almost half a head shorter than she was.

                  She headed off to the side of the gymnasium a little bit away from where most people were now sparring or testing their new weapons out on practise dummies. Everything else aside, she was actually eager to try out her new côn, and the first order of business was to familiarise herself with it.

                  Closing her eyes and holding the côn upright, Julie bowed forward slightly to nobody in particular with her right palm over her heart. Steel hand over kind heart. An integral part of Vovinam was the importance of fighting only for the right reasons; to protect, and to pass on to the new generation. Help yourself so that you may help others. Live to serve humanity.

                  Though those words were almost alarmingly apt to her current situation, she had the feeling that fighting honest-to-goodness monsters wasn't actually what the founding father had in mind when he created Vovinam.

                  Julie straightened and, operating almost entirely on muscle memory, tapped the stick with the outside of her foot, swung it in a circle and tapped it again with the inside of her foot before beginning to do some basic spins with the côn. It really was lighter than her old one. She transitioned into different spins and it felt almost effortless, even though she felt like she was moving as quickly as her old côn would have allowed. Curious, she sped up a little bit, and then when she still didn't feel very strained, a little bit more. Her new côn was just a blur in the air, and Julie grinned a bit. She'd found her new limit on speed, but it wasn't held back by the weight of the côn but rather because she wasn't used to the movement and she knew she would slip up if she pushed herself too far.

                  Feeling more confident now, Julie shifted smoothly into one of her training regimens. The way that she flowed seamlessly from thrust to parry to uppercut made it almost seem like she was running through a choreographed dance. It wasn't until she struck her côn against the floor with a loud clack and a strong gust of wind knocked a nearby student off their feet that Julie remembered that her new weapon wasn't just a fancy stick.

                  She would have spent more time experimenting with the newfound knowledge, but she was too busy anxiously apologising and worrying about having another mishap around so many people. Instead she vowed to try it by herself sometime and continued practising normally, careful not to repeat the incident.

                  It didn't feel like much time had passed when the bell rang and another announcement was broadcast on the school intercoms instructing them to get lunch and go to their scheduled classes. Julie remembered choosing three elective classes beforehand; Pharmacology (since her end goal was, of course, to become a doctor), Music Theory, and French. She was pretty confident that at least academically she wouldn't fall behind. If there was nothing else, she was disciplined and studious.

                  Then, of course, the voice of the student council president cheerfully informed them that “monster hunting” would begin the next day after classes.

                  Monster hunting!

                  The slightly calming effect that the practise had had on her state of mind immediately dissipated. She robotically repeated her earlier motion of kicking the stick into a spin and tapping it on the other side of her foot, after which she straightened up and made a complicated gesture with her free hand. When she was done, she brought her hand back to her chest and bowed once more to end her practise.

                  Julie's stomach roiled rebelliously and she decided that eating anything was probably just inviting disaster. Her nerves meant that she was too restless to simply sit around, however, so she decided to use this opportunity to find a quiet, isolated spot somewhere and see what new things she could do with the côn.

                  And hey, if a Vietnamese-American girl throws up in a field but nobody sees, would it really have happened at all?

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                    #37    
                  Old May 20th, 2016 (6:39 PM). Edited May 28th, 2016 by Colony.
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                  Colony Colony is offline
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                    Vale Institute of Magic
                    Tuesday, September 8th, 2015: Missions Are a Go


                    Rise and shiiiiiiiine, Vale!” boomed from the intercoms, “If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s your Student Body President, Christian Miles, speaking. Since classes are in full swing today, we’re coming at you a little bit earlier today, ringing true at 7:00 A.M. It’s a nippy 50° F right now, but oh so nice for starting the day off with some training, like I’m sure some of you already know.

                    “With all the opening ceremonies done, the real fun can begin. And by that, I mean classes start at 9:00 A.M. Heh, although classes do start at 9, that’s not what I’m talking when I say ‘fun.’ No, today’s the day missions start for the semester. For the sophomores and up, this is the same old routine as last year, so don’t let the excitement kill you before 5 P.M. Of course, all the freshmen who haven’t experienced the Isles will be in for a treat, and maybe a reality check, today.

                    “As for how missions will be set up this week, we’ll be starting the freshmen off with a traditional four-man team, as well as an observing supervisor from Vale's seniors and staff to make sure nothing goes wrong. Can’t have them getting in over their heads this early in the semester. Team compositions will be announced right before lunch, so be sure to go greet your comrades around lunch so you can start building up some chemistry with your allies in arms. And with that, there’s nothing left in the morning announcements, so this is your Student Body President bidding you farewell for now.”

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                      #38    
                    Old May 23rd, 2016 (10:19 AM). Edited May 23rd, 2016 by Songbird.
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                    Songbird Songbird is offline
                    Is Unicorn a good girl?
                       
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                      6:00 A.M.

                      Eyes open.

                      6:01 A.M.

                      Wakes up. Tries to go back to sleep.

                      6:03 A.M.

                      Gets impatient. Sits up. Needed to finish unpacking anyway.

                      6:05 A.M.

                      Pulls a change of clothes out of the dresser. Goes to clean up, and brush her hair.

                      6:21 A.M.

                      Emerges from the bathroom, clean and awake.

                      A typical early morning for little Emilia, now dressed in a cute white halter top with detached sleeves, and a frilly blue skirt. This time around, rather than her mother or father or even their coworkers, the only companion she had around to greet was her dormmate, a pretty girl boy named Morgan. Unfortunately, Morgan was still thoroughly unconscious. No greetings to be had.

                      It didn't bother her. Honest. She just wasn't used to it. In fact, it might have been a good thing that Morgan was dead asleep. She could unpack quicker. So, after a little concentration, a large black cloth shaped like an arm rose from the strap of her shirt, and she pulled her suitcases out from underneath her bed to get to work. With the help of the third limb she made short work of the contents, even taking a little extra time gleefully hugging a stuffed panda half her height before setting it next to her pillow.

                      Emilia glanced at the clock on her nightstand. Just after 6:40. She didn't want to go get breakfast without her roommate, who'd just caught her attention with a quiet groan. She kneeled down next to Morgan's bed, and very gently prodded his sleeping cheek, giggling and whispering to herself.

                      「えへへ。可愛い。~」
                      Ehehe. So cute.~


                      He was such a deep sleeper, but Emi couldn't blame him. Hopefully he could rest better tonight.

                      After another minute of watching him enjoy whatever dreams he was having, Emilia decided to look through Morgan's small library on their bookshelf. She recognized a few of the titles being ones her parents called classics and kept at home. She looked back at Morgan's bed, finding a book fallen under the mattress titled "The Rogue Prince". The cover of a beautiful woman in the arm of a man with tattered black garments and a sizable sword gave off the feeling that it was a romance.

                      Interested enough in what Morgan fell asleep reading, she flipped the book open to somewhere around the fiftieth page, her eyes rolling along the text and translating everything she could in her head. A time with no interruptions was the best time for practicing, after all. However, Emi very quickly slammed the book shut, and slid it back where she found it. Perhaps it was best to not pry into Morgan's things from now on.

                      Or so she says. She'd totally do it again if she was bored.

                      Another check of the clock. 6:53. The faint sound of a few other girls in the dorm started filling the halls as they left for their morning meal. Emilia felt herself getting hungry, too, but she still didn't want to leave Morgan behind. So, she did her best to nudge him out of his sleep.

                      「おはよう、お兄ちゃん!」
                      Good morning, Morgan!


                      She tried to shove his shoulders, but to no avail. The moving of Morgan's various limbs lasted for a few minutes, and at some point Emi straddled him on the bed to try applying more pressure.

                      "Come on, it's time for breakfast!"

                      Emi almost resorted to poking at Morgan's cheeks again, but in his sleep he pulled her down on top of him in a comforting hug instead. Moments passed, and the smaller of the two remained silent until the loud announcement over the school's P.A. system finally jolted Morgan out of his dreams.

                      "Rise and shiiiiiiiine, Vale!"

                      "... Emi?"
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                        #39    
                      Old May 23rd, 2016 (10:23 AM). Edited May 24th, 2016 by Grif of Hearts.
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                      Grif of Hearts Grif of Hearts is offline
                      Que sera sera~
                         
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                        Morgan Wynne & The Cuddliest Imouto

                        The dashing ex-noble defeated her darling's captors in but a few movements. She'd already slain dragons to get this far, and the devious scoundrels were a match for neither her skill nor devotion. She wore black leather armor, in her hand was a longsword she'd carried with the greatest of ease, and circling her body was an empowering fire. She rushed to the aid of her love, a slender figure tied to the mast of the pirate's ship, dressed in the finest forest green dress and prettier than any princess. Only, when her hands moved to deal with the ropes binding him, the lithe prisoner called out.

                        "Diana, behind you!"

                        She turned to face the foe marking the finale of this farce: Dread Pirate Jack, and his mighty first mate Bruno! The flames of the crimson-haired rogue's passion erupted, shaping and solidifying into pointed red fox ears and three blazing tails. Jack and his guard were strong, and the Dread Pirate's swordsmanship was respectable, but her agility made short work of both the captain and his minion, and in the same swings she released her love from his ropes.

                        She recomposed herself, having taken command of the ship and its remaining crew, and approached him for a true reunion. Taking hold of Morgan's hand, her fingers interlocking with his, she pulled him close with her other arm coiled around his waist, and overcome with joy and relief his arms wrapped around her neck. She whispered, her breath tickling his ear, "So, where do you want to go, my love? All the world is within our reach."

                        Morgan's cheeks flushed bright red, his voice stammering and catching in his throat, and a tear falling from his eye. "I... I don't know. I don't care. I'm just happy you're okay."

                        She smiled as she faced him directly, her lips closing in on his, and the sheer embarrassment silenced him. Diana's grip on his waist grew firmer, pulling him less than an inch away, and she...


                        “Rise and shiiiiiiiine, Vale!”

                        "Mn..." The familiar voice of the student body president rang in his ears, and convinced his brain to wake up.

                        “…Emi?” Morgan questioned, as his eyes slowly opened and struggled to adjust to the early morning light.

                        He was in his room again, the haziness of his dream replaced with the clarity of the waking world, and a small, white haired figure sat on his lap, clutched tightly to his chest. His eyes slowly fell upon his arms, that wrapped tightly around the young girl, holding her close to him, embracing her as tightly but carefully as a child would their favourite stuffed toy, enjoying the warmth of herself against him but delicate enough not to harm her fragile form.

                        “Emi, what’re you...”

                        Only then did it really set in what he was doing, clutching the young, white-haired girl quite so tightly. He immediately let go, pulling both of his arms back as quickly as he possibly could until they found the bed frame, which he gripped tightly and used to pull himself up into a sitting position, so swiftly that it almost knocked Emi completely off of the bed itself. “Emi, I’m sorry, I didn’t—I was just... I—”

                        Morgan feared what the situation could have looked like from an outside perspective, the little girl splayed out over his bed, and him leaning over trying to help her back up. He would have been thankful nobody could see them, if not for the fact he was too consumed by panic to think about much at the moment. He stammered again, trying to speak but failing.

                        "Morgan's a really heavy sleeper," she muttered, reseating herself at the edge of his bed. In the meantime, the president's voice explained the day's events in the background, and the loud noise so early in the morning made Morgan wince and fumble for his alarm clock, the announcement bellowing out from the clock's radio alarm.

                        "Y-yeah," Morgan replied, the blush crystal clear across his reddened face. "G-good morning, Emi. I'm s-sorry, I was still sleeping, I didn't know, I—"

                        He paused and took a deep breath. "...Morning, Emi."

                        "Good morning." Emilia smiled, having already forgiven whatever he thought he did wrong, and whatever it was she wasn't quite sure. "You should get ready. People are already getting breakfast."

                        Morgan's stomach grumbled in response as he slowly dragged himself out of bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes with the sleeve of his oversized pyjamas. He brought his arms down to the hem of his shirt and prepared to lift it over his head, the start of his morning routine to get undressed and head into the shower, but he spied a pair of cardinal red eyes watching him intently (albeit with an embarrassed pink in her cheeks not unlike Morgan's own), and he immediately stopped.

                        "I'm..." Morgan never even bothered finishing his sentence. Instead he grabbed his neatly prepared clothes laid out the night before in both hands, and scurried off towards the adjoining bathroom, locking the door behind him.

                        It didn't take long for him to calm down and shower, all in all coming back out refreshed in maybe fifteen minutes, and Morgan found his roommate patiently waiting for him.

                        "You ready?"

                        "Mhm."

                        Emilia hopped to her feet, grabbing her favorite hat off the wall, and the pair made their way out. The walk to the cafeteria was at least relatively peaceful, both of them trying to avoid the crowd of girls (and eventually boys) who were much more abruptly awakened by Christian's dulcet tones. Laughing together at their success, they managed to get their breakfast and a table miraculously undisturbed.
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                          #40    
                        Old May 26th, 2016 (6:29 PM).
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                        Sephear Sephear is offline
                        Believe in the you that believes in cheese
                         
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                        A not-so chance encounter while breaking fasts



                        After an instantaneous, dreamless sleep, Iris awoke with a blanket around her and with her clothes from the previous day still on. Of course, she remembered reading her book, which lay next to her and then closing her eyes for a brief moment before falling asleep. Throwing the blankets off of her, she reached the nightstand and checked the alarm clock. It read "6:09 am" Just a good as time as any to get going.

                        Gingerly walking over to her belongings, Iris took out some clothes and went into the restroom to prepare herself for a shower. After spending twenty minutes taking her shower, mulling over what possible thing about magic that she could be learning today, Iris emerged freshly bathed from the restroom, dressed in jeans, a white undershirt and a blue flannel shirt, all worn out through years of use. From there, Iris turned on a lamp on the desk to have some reading light while she studied. After what seemed like a few minutes, a loud, cheery voice erupted from the loudspeaker, shouting, "Rise and shiiiiiiiine, Vale!" The voice startled the blonde mage, causing her to scoot her chair back slightly. As the announcer, Christian - Milo was it?- went on to detail the fact that classes would start again and that teams would be announced with the expectation of building chemistry with her teammates. Socializing, my favorite thing to do.

                        Whilst Fern cowered under the covers, reluctant to get up, Iris decided to head over and get breakfast. Without so much as a word, Iris left, taking her books with her and walked over to the cafeteria. En route, since everyone else was more than likely still getting ready after waking up to that alarm by the Student Council president, traffic was very light on the way to breakfast.

                        When she arrived at the cafeteria, breakfast was just getting started in getting set up, leaving Iris with the best pickings of an already superb meal selection at Vale. After getting her plate, consisting of eggs, pancakes and bacon, she sat at a table in the corner, where she silently read her books while eating.

                        Iris' peace didn't last nearly as long as she would have hoped before she heard the scraping of a chair on the opposite side of her table being shifted to allow an occupant room to sit. She reluctantly lowered her book to see a young man sitting across from her with a plate of scrambled eggs covered in melted cheese, with some orange slices and a bowl of pineapple on the side. He noticed her looking at him right away, and set his fork aside, smiling and holding his hand out to her across the table. "Hey there, sorry to interrupt your reading, but nobody else in our year is here yet, and eating alone is an awful waste of potential for conversation isn't it? My name is Jack, and it's a pleasure to meet you."

                        In response, she replied with a terse shake of his hand, and simply said, unenthused, "Iris Aldridge." After doing that, she raised her book back up, hoping to avoid conversation, much to the detriment of a stubborn Jack Marrick.

                        Jack stared at his shunned hand for a moment, brow mildly furrowed before he pulled it back and took a bite of food. He chewed thoroughly, swallowed, and then took another bite before he spoke again. "I see I've had the luck to meet a fellow plaid enthusiast today, you've got good taste Iris." He said, still friendly as ever and reminding her how similarly he was dressed to her, though his green and white plaid shirt was in much better condition than hers. "It looks nice on you."

                        Despite the compliment in her fashion sense, the cold mage continued to rebuff her fellow student, while she stated, without looking back up from her book, "Thanks, but I'm not here to look nice, I'm here to read in peace."

                        "Don't you mean to eat?" The boy questioned. "The library is for reading. I mean, what if you were to get food on your book? That would be a travesty, right? Wouldn't it be nicer to just enjoy your food and have a chat?" His expression was still friendly, curious, not mocking.

                        Even with Jack's friendly demeanor and good-natured spirit, Iris wasn't taken to him more than anyone else and looked back up at him with an expression with little warmth, continuing, "I don't like a chat, I prefer breakfast and my books, thank you very much." She steeled her gaze, hoping that it got through that she wanted to be left alone.

                        Jack took a quiet sip of the drink he'd brought with him, then continued to eat in companionable silence. Eventually, though, he broke the silence once again much to Iris' irritation. "It must be a good book if you're so engrossed in it. What are you reading about?" He didn't want to seem like he was staring, so he hadn't really looked at the cover of the book on his own.

                        "None of your business. Just some study material." She coolly shook off most of Jack's route for pleasant conversation, given her general disdain for socializing outside of what is necessary, which this "pointless" conversation was not.

                        "Ah, that's very commendable, I've never been very good at studying," Jack said. "I can't seem to throw my mind into something unless it's already captivated my interest. It's pretty impressive that you can just look at that kinda stuff on your own time to improve yourself."

                        Unsure how to react, not having been complimented this directly on her most prized asset, her intellect, her voice softened in tone and her gaze softened. "Um, thanks." Trying to get back to her usual icy self, she buried herself back into her book, to avoid explaining her shift in demeanor.

                        Jack nodded, then took his time biting into an orange slice, smiling sweetly at the rush of flavor before he said anything else. "So, how do you feel about mythology? I love it and find there's a lot to learn from it, and it's all so much fun! Greek is my favorite pantheon."

                        "Mythology..." Iris let the word hang on her lips for a moment as she collected her thoughts about what she thought of it. "It certainly is interesting, gives a feel for the events and culture that shape a group of people."

                        "Not only the group who believe it but any others who learn of it, especially those who come long afterward like ourselves." Jack agreed. "I love the nice little twist that despite mythological origins being fictional as far as we know, we can still learn so much from them and they influence the world as much as real history would. I've always been interested in mythology, even more so than regular history, and I always love opportunities to learn more about ancient epics, old gods, and great heroes."

                        Trying to sound nonchalant, Iris sighed and said, "Of course, the real meat lies in the big picture of history and that sort of thing, with everything put together." Little did Iris know that she had been softened by Jack and his patient kindness. Reflecting the lack of conscious intent behind her behavior, she continued to appear cold and disinterested.

                        Jack nodded enthusiastically while he was finishing another bite of his food. "I agree completely, it's all learning opportunities. All the way from what the greatest leader did, to what some looney tramp nobody cared ranting on the streets matters because every little bit of it helped shape the world into what it is today. Ideals, morals, and stories are all too often overlooked for people to focus on the actions that were taken in the past."

                        "Learning certainly is something of value. I'm quite taken with it unlike dealing with...", she scowled, adding, "...other people," unaware that she had just been coaxed into an entire conversation with the person she was sitting across from.

                        "Yup, learning is pretty great. But I suppose we of all people should appreciate learning, after all, we get to learn about something only a tiny fraction of the world will ever have the chance to even know exists!" Jack's voice rose a bit more in his excitement. "And we're at Vale of all places, the best place in the world to do it!.... Honestly, I still can't believe I'm here."

                        Of course, Iris also was taken to the idea of attending this prestigious school that lay before them but did not share in the pleasure of learning with others. Putting her attention back on her books while taking a bite out of a pancake, she went back to the subject she knew best: history.

                        Jack took advantage of the break in conversation to finish up the last few pieces of pineapple and wipe his face off, then slide his tray to the edge of the table. "So, what's your favorite subject, Iris? I'm sure there's a ton a genuine academic could teach someone like me." Coming from most people such a statement would sound patronizing, but when Iris reluctantly tilted her book again she saw nothing but friendliness and excitement glittering in those deep pools of green that were the boy's eyes.

                        Even Iris couldn't quite deny the other blond mage's earnest appeal to her greatest strength, despite how she would otherwise find the statement irritably patronizing. She replied simply, "History." Despite how genuine he was, Iris couldn't help but decline his offer, still not up for fraternizing. She added, "But I'm not up for t-teaching at the moment I, uh er-" She paused as she looked back at Jack, unable to quite finish for some indiscernible reason. It was far from Iris to run out of things to say or appear overly flustered like she was now. As such, Iris appeared uncomfortable at these developments, along with the earlier developments when she was complimented.

                        "Oh, that's alright," Jack assured her. "We can always talk about history some other time, it looks like breakfast is on its way to being finished." He stood up with his tray and smiled at Iris while he got ready to make his way out. "It was really nice meeting you Iris, we should talk again sometime."

                        Again unsure of how to respond, Iris stood up with her own tray, avoiding looking at the others in her year and the upperclassmen, and left, trying to get back to her own state of mind that she had so peacefully been indulged in. Putting her tray where it belonged, and walking over to the library to pass the time until classes start, Iris pushed that unconventional interaction out of her mind as she prepped herself for what she anticipated to be a productive day. Even given that, she couldn't quite shake what had happened between her and Jack, thinking that it was quite strange that anyone would share a happy little chat with her.
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                        "Ever looking forward, ever thinking back. Everywhere you've been, everyone you've met was another step on your path, shaping your future even as they become part of your past. One must never discount the pieces that have made up your journey until now but to lose yourself in them would be equally great folly, instead let them hoist you up, carry you on until you find the strength to walk for yourself. So it is that I continue towards that endless horizon. Ever thinking back, ever marching forward, inexorable as the history that brought me down this road. This Lonesome Road."
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                          #41    
                        Old May 29th, 2016 (3:59 PM).
                        Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
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                        Carson Welles - We're Gonna Need A Montage!


                        5:35 A.M.

                        The morning chill whipped across Carson's face as he started to jog forward. He shivered and pulled his hoodie tight, trying keep his body warmth from escaping its grasp. He'd certainly faced mornings colder than this during the harsh Montana winters, but to him cold was cold regardless. From experience he knew that it probably wouldn't be until the end of the first mile that his body numbed itself to the frigid temperatures. One started to learn these things after going through them over and over again.

                        It was a ritual that started the day of his twelfth birthday. Every morning, he'd wake at five-thirty sharp, throw on some clothes, grab the ol' broadsword, and speed out the door. A nice distance run, strength training, and then swordwork. It wasn't forced upon him by his mother, but she quite heartily approved of the boy's dedication. Once after one of these training sessions they were having breakfast together and she asked him why he put himself through such a regiment day after day. He responded with a quick smile and an answer typical of himself. "How can I be a knight to my princess, if I can't even protect her?"

                        While of course that was a major motivation for him, there was more to it than that, he wanted to make his mother proud, he had to keep himself in shape for athletics, he wanted to become stronger. It was all these factors combined together that pushed Carson out the door day after day after day. And today there was something even more, today would mark his first time experiencing the Isles.

                        As good natured and kind as the young man was, there had always been a deep seeded hatred within him for the Isles and all that resided in them. It stemmed back to a lie that his mother had told him back when he was a child. The lie that his father was killed by the monsters within the Isles'. The lie that his father had valiantly saved his mother's life. The lie that his father hadn't abandoned her, the moment that he found out she was pregnant with him. Eventually, he found out that his vaunted hero was just a dead beat who abandoned his family. But still deep down inside he wanted to blame the Etherspawn for his father's absence.

                        That bit of extra motivation also worked as a double edged sword, as Carson was unable to sleep the entire night. He had returned to his dorm room late, after dinner some upperclassmen invited him over for a game of basketball that lasted quite some time. Also, on the way to his room, he introduced himself to every female student that he came across. Needless to say, he didn't get back for a while. When he entered the room, his roommate was already sound asleep in his bed. It was almost disappointing, as he wanted to meet the person that he'd be sharing the room with, but there was nothing he could do about it. He quickly finished brushing his teeth and washing up before hopping in bed... and laying there wide awake until the clock hit five thirty.

                        As soon as he saw the numbers on his digital clock switch over from twenty nine to thirty, he laced up his pair of Nike Free Runs, tied his hair back, and was out the door. He had already dressed in his running tights and Livingston Central High Hoodie before crawling into bed, as the outfit served as both sleep wear and training gear.

                        After mile ten, Carson looped back around to one of Vale's sports fields, residing directly east of the school. It seemed like the ideal place to go about his training, with open space and a rather small chance anyone would be there. It certainly was different than training in the empty fields outside of Livingston, but then again nothing could quite compare to practicing swordplay at the base of a mountain range... other than doing it at the top of a mountain range, but that was besides the point.

                        Once he arrived at the field, push ups, burpees, sit ups, toe touches, squats, and the rest of the whole deal, were repeated over and over again. Soon enough it was time for arguably the most important part of the regiment, swordplay.

                        He slowly went through the motions that his mother had made him repeat over and over again. Visualizing her strikes in slow motion, he would gracefully parry each imaginary blow, eventually taking on his own offensive. A strike to the midsection, followed by two downward slashes on his make believe target's shoulders. Carson jumped back, knowing that a smart opponent would take the opportunity to take advantage of his openings. He continued this measured, almost dance-like, routine for quite sometime. After finishing up, he took the chance to take a quick break.

                        Laying down in the grass, Carson could see the very beginnings of the day's sunrise on the horizon. It was quite beautiful, no Montana of course, but rather breathtaking none the less. He became so enraptured with the view that he almost felt relieved of all the worries that plagued him. Before coming to Vale he believed himself to be ready of anything that lay in wait at the Isles, but his first day had given him a reality check. If he couldn't even best a delicate girl during a training battle, how could he ever stand to defeat an Etherspawn?

                        Thinking back to yesterday's spar brought upon a feeling of great frustration within him. He could count at least ten mistakes within that short skirmish he could've corrected. Absolutely sloppy The frustration turned to something akin to disgust, prompting him to scramble up on his feet. Such form was a spit in the face of his mother's tutelage. She had spent so much time teaching him the in's and out's of swordplay that his form yesterday was a disgrace.

                        There wasn't much that made the young man take himself so seriously, but the teachings of his mother, who sacrificed so much for him, was one such thing he believed that he had to honor.

                        The feeling within him boiled over into a series of strikes and slashes with his broadsword, sending a long slice of razor sharp wind into the morning sky. Carson breathed out slowly. This wasn't like him, and he needed to calm down. The spell had almost been sent off into the trees which would've caused a bit of damage. Closing his eyes, he found relief in going back through his routine, speeding it up while mixing in different moves and parries to simulate various situations.

                        It wasn't until after the student president's quite boisterous announcement that Carson wrapped up his training. Following a quick two mile cool down run, he was back in the dormroom, only to find that his roommate had already left. He hopped in the shower and brushed his teeth, before dressing himself. For his outfit he picked out a maroon and black checkered flannel shirt, paired nicely with dark beige scarf. And he also wore some rather tight blue jeans along with a pair of white converses. (Reference)

                        With that, he made his way to the cafeteria for breakfast, taking some pancakes, eggs, bacon and a quality cup of black coffee from the Dunkin Donuts kiosk. He scanned the area, looking for anyof the girlsone that he had met the previous day, but came up empty handed. Not one to be discouraged, he found himself a table of beautiful female students near the center of the dining hall.

                        With his signature smile in place, he approached the group. "Excuse me, ladies. Is there room for one more?"
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                          #42    
                        Old June 1st, 2016 (10:47 AM).
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                        Nasrin Nouri
                        Naturally an early riser, Nasrin awoke with little to no difficulties, bursting with energy in fact. She was excited before she arrived at Vale, and she was excited now still. Taking a look at the time, Nasrin realized that it would still be awhile until her morning classes.

                        She considered what could be done to pass the time, but there weren’t many options. Unpacking had been done the night prior and the current state of her room satisfied Nasrin plenty. She didn’t take much to personalizing and as long as things were in order, there were no complaints. While taking care of her morning hygiene, Nasrin did realize she still needed to familiarize herself with the campus grounds, inside and out. In between classes, familiarizing herself with seemingly impressive students and teachers, and practicing her staff blasting fundamentals, she didn’t get to explore much. That was another thing she considered to pass the morning hours, practicing her magic. But being such a novice to it all, Nasrin wasn’t sure what exactly to work on, especially when everything needed improvement and fine-tuning. Dressed, she quietly slipped out of her room, taking care not to not wake her roommate, whoever it was.

                        Nasrin hadn’t made much ground by the time the morning announcement sounded. She was still exploring, but couldn’t really commit much to memory. Her mind was too focused on trying to figure out what the announcement meant. While far from incompetent in the English language, the concept of the word team sort of flew right over her head. She couldn’t envision it, and didn’t really understand what working in a team would entail, except that she would be in a group. She was also hanging on a bit too much on a certain phrase “reality check.”

                        “What is there to check? Reality?” She muttered to herself, more so to keep her state of mind thinking in English than anything else.

                        “Reality… real. Checking if real?” For the most part, Nasrin understood the announcement. In the evening, she would be working with some of her peers, but the task hadn’t been mentioned. Whatever it was, it was supposedly going to be a “treat,” a good thing. Nasrin had never experienced participating in a group project before. She was excited to try and wondered what sort of personalities and especially magic she’d come to meet and see.

                        By the time Nasrin snapped out of her train of thought, she realized she had no idea where she’d wandered off to. After a quick look around, Nasrin saw it was mostly forest. For a moment, the girl wondered if she actually managed to walk that far from campus grounds. That question was suddenly displaced by the desire to test out some magic, the explosive kind. After all the fun she experienced yesterday blasting exploding balls of air around, Nasrin had been thinking of alternative ways she could utilize the spell.

                        Thinking back on her limited knowledge of explosives, the mage recalled a friend once casually mentioning how her father worked making landmines. While not too familiar with them, Nasrin knew that if one applied pressure, it was blowing up. She knew for a fact that it would’ve been safer and better to test it out on some sort of school approved training ground, but she was already here, so why not?

                        The first application Nasrin tried was standard, just plopping it on the ground. From afar, Nasrin activated the mine and watched as she indirectly committed an act of minor deforestation. Her eyes bugged. What was that word that captured exactly what she was missing at that very moment she laid down the bomb? “Hindsight…” she mouthed to herself.

                        “No one will know… right?”

                        Despite the damage she caused, somewhat comparable to accidently giving someone the equivalent of a miniature tonsure, Nasrin wanted to try it again. But this time not on the ground.

                        “The air, maybe?” she pondered to herself.

                        First aerial try and second overall, Nasrin took off the head of a few nearby trees.

                        The third try, no trees were harmed. “Higher equals better.” Nasrin nodded, delighted with her little process of trial and error. She was starting to wake up the potential techniques she could employ with her magic.

                        Her stomach seemed to wake up as well, the lack of breakfast becoming apparent. Normally, Nasrin didn’t need to eat breakfast, but then again she rarely ever used as much magic and energy as she did yesterday, and to an extent this morning. It was something that the young girl would have to accustom herself to while at Vale.

                        “Where is the cafeteria again?” Using her Sensory to find her way back to campus, Nasrin caught another glimpse of the mess she just caused. Conveniently ignoring it, Nasrin set off for a morning meal. “What is even eaten at breakfast?”
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                          #43    
                        Old June 6th, 2016 (8:52 AM).
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                          Violett Fürst-Shaw & Zane Emerson

                          Rise and shiiiiiiiine, Vale!” Those were the first words Zane heard that day. As usual, his phone, the one he relied on for several reasons, such as navigation and entertainment, proved unsuccessful at waking him at his intended time. Sure, it wasn’t unusual for Zane to sleep in like that, but it still irked him, if only because it affected his own plans. Grabbing his phone and checking the time, it was just a little past 7 A.M. and he knew he was going to be pressed for time if he didn’t get moving.

                          Zane cast off his covers, sliding out of bed and on to his feet. His roommate seemed to still be sleeping, miraculously through such a startling wake up call. Instead of paying his roomie any mind, Zane simply went on to take his shower, spending about thirty minutes going through his routine to prepare. For his attire, he settled on a pair of jeans, pairing his pants with a golden yellow V-neck and an ashen-colored plaid button up, unceremoniously left unbuttoned to show off his vibrant undershirt. Then he slipped on his black low tops, rounding out his clothing choices. He finished up by grabbing a pair of his iconic lime green headphones, resting them around his neck, adjusting them to look just right with his outfit. After all, he needed to look good before heading out for breakfast.

                          Tracing his steps from yesterday, Zane found his way back to the cafeteria. Breakfast was already in full force, serving all sorts of food and drink to his fellow classmates. Perusing the various options, Zane went back and forth between picking up some pancakes or waffles. After a few moments of serious contemplation, he knew there was only one true option: it had to be waffles. Like, who actually picks pancakes over the way better awesomeness that is the waffle? Not Zane, that’s for sure. Of course, he needed some syrup to go with his waffle, so he grabbed a few packets and headed off to locate something good to drink. With the variety of juices on display, Zane went a little unconventional, picking up a glass of pineapple juice. Though he did have half a mind to make an apple julep, minus the lemon sprits.

                          With food in tow, Zane set out to find a good place to sit. Considering his general attitude in the morning, he wasn’t particularly in the mood to meet new people, so he looked around for an empty table. It didn’t take him long, maybe all of a minute, maybe two, to find what he was looking for. He sat himself at the barren table, placing his juice, food and utensils down, preparing for his meal. Of course, he couldn’t just start digging into his waffle in front of him yet. After all, nobody likes eating a dry waffle. And as he started to pour his syrup on the waffle, he noticed a very particular person’s arrival, first by the gentle steps of small heels, and then the soft smell of flowers that wafted over the smell of cooked food.

                          "Good morning, sweetheart," Violett said as she sat herself comfortably on the small seat opposite of Zane's, resting her tray on the table. "Sleep well, I hope?".

                          She settled into her meal of sausage and eggs, of which Zane decided not to make a poorly worded joke about, as she waited for her response. "Hello?" she asked, snapping Zane out of his morning daydream.

                          “Hmm? Oh, what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here this morning, Miss Violett? Couldn’t stay away?” he said with a wink.

                          "In a way," she replied, impossibly cryptic, something which Zane suspected would be a recurring theme with the strange would-be seductress. "What's more interesting to me, though, is that a little birdy told me that you and my good friend Jack had a little lover's quarrel yesterday. I heard it was positively adorable."

                          "'Good friend,' you say?" Zane took a sip of his juice, letting the tart flavor sick in for a moment. "Yeah, you could say we had a bit of a discussion, but I think we settled it fairly well. Did your birdy tell you anything else? Perhaps about who we were talking about?"

                          "Of course, and I'm flattered you two got so emotional over little ole' me. Did I really leave that much of an impression on you two? I knew I was good, but even I was surprised when I saw it all unfold." She took a single bite of her food and then paused, eventually looking back up to Zane. "I suppose that ruined my ruse. You two were so riled up that you must have not noticed me there at all. I was only a few tables over, darling."

                          "Hah, 'good' you say. Kissing two guys, maybe more, on the first day of school? Honestly, I'm a little saddened that you need such an unimaginative ploy to get a rise out of me. I was hoping you'd be a bit more creative." Taking a bite of his syrup-coated waffle, he switched his approach to the topic. "Though, I guess it was effective, as you've seen. Was it everything you'd hope it'd be? Or were you left wanting more?"

                          "It was hardly even a ploy, sweetie. Just particularly amusing happenstance. How was I to know you two would stumble into each other so perfectly? As such, I expected very little, but I was pleasantly entertained regardless." She winked, and after swallowing a small bite of her breakfast she leant in just so. "Trust me, hon, if I had planned this then I'm not sure you and Jack would have left in quite such a civil manner."

                          She smiled and rested her phone on the table beside her tray, then with one slender finger scrolled through the planner that she had set on it. "So what is your first day looking like, Zane? Looking forward to finding out what Vale has to offer first hand, I hope?"

                          He wasn't exactly appreciative of Violett's change in subject matter, but he also didn't really want to push her into a difficult situation, knowing that it'd only make things worse going forward. At the same time, he didn't buy her excuse for a second. Zane knew that she probably had some idea that something like what happened was going to occur, or else she wouldn't have kissed him and Jack. "Sigh, fine. I'll let it go for now."

                          While cutting up his food, he pondered on what exactly he expected for the day. Looking back up at Violett, he said, "Honestly, I don't have many plans. I looked around the school a decent bit after classes yesterday, so I don't really need to do more of that. From what I know, I suppose there are missions we have to do, but that's something I'll have a better idea of later. Other than that, I guess it's just classes and the like. I'll probably train some later, too. What about you? Have any fun plans?"

                          "Other than our date?" she asked, that familiar, playful smile on her lips. "I suppose not. I think I've gotten a steady grasp on the academy's layout and I might appreciate some free time to reflect on everything after the first day. If you do decide to train though I might have to join you. You should be flattered. Just one taste of Zane was not enough for me, it seems." She smiled again, catching her lower lip gently in her teeth in a playful bite.

                          "Rumour has it there'll be a pool party for the first years in a few days. An unofficial welcoming for the newcomers, I suppose, organised by one of the older students. I suspect it'll take place over the weekend once everyone's settled a little. I take it you're interested in going? It would be pleasant to have a familiar face to spend time with, that is, if you can cope with the heat."

                          Something told Zane that she was not talking about the warm summer weather forecast for the weekend. "I'm not exactly worried about it getting too hot. After all, my endurance is one of my good traits. But, yeah, I'm sure I can find some time to go. Not like I have anything better to do than to spend time with a lovely lady."

                          Taking another bite of his waffle, followed by a swig of juice, Zane's demeanor seemed to have finally settled back in from his earlier irritation. "You know, if you want another taste, I'm happy to oblige. Last time was just a small example of what I can show you. However, I didn't want to overexcite you during our first time, but if you want more, who am I to say no?" By now, Zane's own smirk was in full bloom, enraptured in their game.

                          "I'm glad. If that was all you really had to offer then you would have been such a disappointment... As long as you're not too intimidated knowing I have a few other surprises locked away for just such an occasion myself. I am, however, very interested in seeing just what your light magic can achieve. At the risk of flattering your ego a little too much, I do find it intriguing."

                          She paused. "What? Disappointed I stopped teasing about how long you can last. I'm not obsessed with you, darling... Not yet."

                          "For now. We'll see how long that lasts, though," pausing to sip some juice. "But going back to what you were talking about, if it's my magic you want to know more about, then ask away. We still have time before class."

                          Violett brought a finger to her purple lips in thought, as she spent a moment to think. Her eyes never left Zane as she did so, examining him intently. "I know a little about light magic, and I won't lie, I did a little research last night to see what juicy details I could dig up... What kind of magic did you cast before your light magic manifested, and how old were you when it happened?"

                          The questions posed by Violett caught Zane slightly off guard, resulting in him cocking an eyebrow. "Well, when I was around ten, I became an ice mage, which isn't too surprising, considering my family's pedigree in water and ice magic. It wasn't until I was about fourteen that I lost my magic, and I guess it took about a half year for my light magic to show up. So, I guess it's been about two years that I've been practicing light magic. That give you something to work with?"

                          "A little," she replied. "If it's any consolation you seem to have taken to it quite well for someone of only two years practice. I never would have guessed you had only had it for such a short amount of time, although I imagine your previous experience with water magic must have helped."

                          Violett paused to think for a second time. "Were you self-taught or did you have someone to teach you how to handle it? Did you incorporate anything you had learned as a water mage into your magic style?"

                          Zane took in all of Violett's words, mulling them over for just a bit. He noticed her inquiries were all relatively clinical in their approach, something he wasn't quite sure of what to make of. "As far as water and ice magic were concerned, I was raised and trained in it by my family ever since I was a kid, but once I got my light magic, I kept it a bit of a secret from my family, so all of that was self-taught. And, oddly enough, I applied more ice magic theory than water magic theory when I started to really experiment. I'd say that's one of the main reasons I started crafting hardlight spells."

                          "I wondered," she replied. "I imagined light to be a fluid type of magic not unlike water, but drawing on your experience with ice magic it is no wonder you favoured hardlight constructs."

                          "You would think, but the more direct nature of light magic proved to be a bit more of a barrier than anticipated. Here," he said, stretching out his hand in a presenting manner, a small translucent golden octahedron of light appeared, floating slightly above Zane's palm. "This is just one of the many examples of hardlight that I ended up developing, and this particular one serves a rather unique purpose in my arsenal. You saw another one of my hardlight spells yesterday, too. Oh, but I guess the crazy spell is Vector Shift. Honestly, trying to explain that spell is way more trouble than it's worth, but let's just say it's basically a small teleportation or blink. Figured that one out while messing around with general light theory. Not the magical kind or anything like that, but just learning more about how light works and what not. It's also what led me to a more casual spell where I can mess with how a person percieves light, but it's really only useful for changing something's perceived color and the like. Hmm, that's about all for now, unless you want to hear more about my experiments, but I've shared quite a lot about my magic, so how about you share a little about yours first?"

                          With only a glance the tiny little hardlight construct that appeared in Zane's hand caught fire, a seemingly impossible feat, but it burned a soft, warm light, orange flames with the slightest pink tinge to them. It extinguished as Violett glanced back to Zane, although thankfully he himself did not catch fire.

                          "Mother and father were both mages, although I did not manifest my magic proper until I was almost a teenager. I took after my mother, a fire mage, and was trained by both her and a personal tutor. I learned a few tricks from my father but there are few similarities between the styles of water and fire, as much as I tried to blend the two. There's hardly much more to tell other than that. I spent most of my teenage years learning to properly harness my skills and it caught the attention of Vale, evidently, and I took the long trip from my home in France to Vale in America." She brushed a lock of hair from her face. "But I suppose you asked about my magic, not my home life, didn't you? I usually fight by channeling magic through my blade, or by using flame magic to enhance my physical abilities. Rarely do I create genuine flames, instead favouring- Well, perhaps I won't spoil all of my tricks."

                          "That's fair. It wouldn't be fun if I couldn't personally expose your most private secrets. And I'm sure our date will be a much better place to explore some of those topics than out here in the open." His mind wavered to her weapon of choice, something she had before they divvied out weapons at the assembly yesterday. "Hmm, so you've had that whip sword for a while, haven't you? It'd only make sense you'd use it as a conduit for a lot of your spells, seeing how it's so unpredictable. Clever, if I'm being honest. Then again, cqb isn't exactly what I like to focus on. Give me a little room and I'm happy to riddle a target full of holes. Hit 'em hard, fast and from a distance, and do it with style. But I understand that it's good to not rely too heavily on any one style, so I try to mix things up. Hopefully my weak side wasn't too deceiving yesterday." Zane flashed a knowing smile to his companion, finally dissipating the hedron. "Oh, and for future reference, I would be careful of messing with those little constructs if I were you."

                          "Interesting choice to limit your ranged potential during our fight when it's your preferred style. Perhaps there is more to you than I first thought, so willing to cripple yourself for the sake of a fair fight... or perhaps you simply sought to test your limits, or maybe just hide your true skills from me." She smiled. "Oh? And why's that? You seem awfully confident you could take me, but for all I know your hardlight is... delicate."

                          Zane's smirk only widened at her attempted jab. "For all you know, my hardlight could be the single most robust thing you've ever seen. Those swords aren't really meant to be used one by one, and they're by far the simplest tool in my arsenal. And let's just say I like a challenge. Makes everything that much more interesting, if you know what I mean."

                          "Well, at least we're both clear you know how to handle your sword."

                          "In more ways than one, I assure you."

                          "I suppose we'll see, won't we? Assuming your little dalliance with Jack hasn't spoiled our plans for this weekend? I would hate for such petty squabbles to ruin perfectly good plans. Perhaps we could schedule it for right after the party this weekend? Then we can dedicate the evening to just the two of us."

                          "I suppose we will. But, you know, for a woman whom claims she isn't obsessed with me, you certainly seem quite interested. So why would I let a petty situation like Jack's interfere with giving you what you seem to crave? And if you want to schedule it for after the party, that's fine with me. Like I said, I'm perfectly fine with fulfilling your desires."

                          "What can I say? I know what I like," she replied, a sly smile appeared on her lips as it so often did. "Just don't mistake it for anything more than it is, sweetheart. I'm sorry to disappoint you but an interest is very different from an obsession, and if you thought you'd have me wrapped around your finger so easily you'll be sorely mistaken."

                          "True, but obsession starts somewhere. And it wouldn't be very fun for me if you didn't give at least a little resistance. Makes those moments alone together taste all the sweeter."

                          As Violett finished the last bite of her breakfast she settled her cutlery down on the tray and slowly rose to her feet. She leant just so over the table and smiled, watching Zane intently with those large, emerald green eyes. There was a moment where she did nothing, just watching him quite intently, before she slipped out of her seat, circled around the table, and then settled into the one right beside Zane. She let one leg cross over the other, and brushed a curl of black hair out of her eyes. Violett brought her hand up to the table counter, her fingertips briefly brushing against his.

                          "I didn't expect you to be the type to want someone to play hard to get. Here I was, worried my little game with Jack would have gotten you all too jealous."

                          Zane tried his best to veil any form of reaction to her light touch, choosing to simply stare into Violett's eyes, although she caught the tiniest flinch as he almost pulled his hand back, reacting to the inhumanly warm touch of her skin. "So you do admit you had this all planned," he said with a wink. "Of course, if you really are worth my time, why wouldn't I want to work for it? After all, the best things in life require some effort to truly enjoy. So, I guess the question is: are you worth the effort?"

                          "I already told you, darling, I don't plan these things. They just always seem to fall perfectly into place." She let her hand wander a little more confidently this time, fingertips brushing against the top of Zane's hand, and eventually wandering up so that her hand rested against his forearm. With her other she brought it up and played with a few strands of Zane's messy blond hair for a moment. She leaned in close, her lips almost touching Zane's, and for a moment he was sure she was going to give him the same treatment that she had apparently given Jack. The same finger that played with his hair wandered downwards, briefly brushing against Zane's own lower lip before resting properly on his collar. That seemingly endless smile never left her face. "Well then, if that's the case, I can't wait to see you chasing after me like an adorable lost puppy."

                          She winked and pulled away, her nail catching very briefly against Zane's lip as she did so. She took her tray and left the table, walking away in what would have been silence if it were not for the gentle tap of her heels against the hard cafeteria floor. Although Zane could not see her face, the playful bounce to her step and sway to her hips told him all he needed to know; she was still smiling wide.

                          Their games were clearly just beginning, and Zane knew it was only just a matter of time before one of them would crack. He assured himself that he wouldn't be the "lost puppy" in the relationship, that she'd be coming to his every beck and call sooner than later. As he finished off his breakfast, he couldn't help but focus on the faint remnants of her flowery perfume hanging in the air. Yeah, he won't be the one to break.
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                            #44    
                          Old June 21st, 2016 (7:57 PM).
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                          Fuyu Fuyu is offline
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                            Alarms stink!

                            At the sound of the very loud blaring, Fern let out a heartbroken noise and curled back under her covers with her head under the pillow. Couldn't blame her really. Fern loved to sleep and loud announcements never helped. Not even the idea of monster hunting today would get her out of bed this early. She didn't even hear Iris get up and leave. She was bound and determined to sleep through everything until she absolutely had to.

                            This of course meant her alarm startled her out of bed to hit the floor with an undignified yelp. Not too surprising. Well, at least Iris hadn't seen that.

                            Fern let out a sleepy sigh and rubbed her eyes, tottering to the bathroom to get ready. Within the span of ten minutes she was dressed, hair lazily brushed into a loose ponytail. Then, she went to her bag and supplies and picked up what she needed. Food came first of course, but her half out of it brain vaguely remembered she was using the stone today! Well... again! She had already done it once. Would that give her an advantage? Maybe due to terrain but... maybe not! It was kind of hard to say.

                            Finished packing, Fern hurried to clip on her Digivice toy and make sure her sweater was loosely zipped. Then, she bounced off the bed and hurried out, locking it behind her. Food food food food!~

                            Reaching the cafeteria in record time (which was a bit shocking considering how late she had slept), she happily snagged a muffin and some tea, wandered to a table. Everyone was already up and chatting. Silly Fern, tomorrow, you had to get up on time.

                            (A proof I am not dead post)
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                            Old June 21st, 2016 (8:29 PM).
                            Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
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                            Carson Welles & Kylie Byrd - Notice Me Senpai!


                            Breakfast turned out to be quite the successful endeavor for Carson, highlighted by some amazing pancakes and even better company. He somehow even managed to secure the cell phone numbers of the girls that he had sat with. If this was an indication of how the rest of his day was gonna go, he knew he'd enjoy it quite a bit.

                            With class starting in about fifteen minutes, he reluctantly said his goodbyes to his meal partners in order to get to English Composition 101 ahead of time. As a model student, Carson always tried to arrive to class at least five minutes before it started so that he could have some time to both socialize with his classmates and get himself situated. And considering that this would be his first time in the class, he'd also have to introduce himself, which would take a good chunk of time.

                            As he strode down the surprisingly sparse hall, he noticed a figure walking in the opposite direction of him. With her dazzling blue eyes, fiery red hair, and curvy figure it'd have been hard for him not to notice the girl. As she passed by him, he stopped in his tracks. In that brief moment, a battle waged in his mind. To go straight to class, or to stop and speak with this girl. As important as being an exemplary student was, there were somethings that took precedence.

                            Turning around, he caught up to the beautiful red head and tapped her on the shoulder. "Hello there! I don't think I've ever seen you around before."

                            After having her attention caught by a tap on the shoulder, Kylie was surprised to find a tall young lady greeting her. In response, Kylie extended a firm hand, offering a handshake to the other girl, "Greetings, mate! How ya doing this fine day?" Her voice, robust and lively, pierced through the clamor of the hallways.

                            Taking her hand and giving it a delicate shake, Carson flashed her his signature smile. Her accent was absolutely adorable, giving an air of slight sophistication, but when paired with her bright and lively voice made her seem quite warm and open. One sentence in and he was already enamored with the girl. "I'm doing just fine! How about yourself? I love your accent by the way, I'm guessing you're from England?"

                            She thought about this as she replied, "Well, yes, I'm from England. But..." She paused for emphasis, and gestured with a dramatic pose, "No place is too small for Kylie Byrd! From the Himalayas to the Serengeti, it's all my home!"

                            "Himalayas to the Serengeti... I still haven't even left the Mid-West yet." Carson gave a sheepish laugh before introducing himself. "I'm Carson Welles, Montana born and raised. I haven't traveled very far, but I'd say that one of the most beautiful sights in the world is standing right in front of me right now."

                            Kylie chuckled at the flirtatious line, and exclaimed, ignoring its romantic intent, "Why thank you! Alas, it's not about looking good in the end. Hard to look fresh when you're busy shambling through the dunes of Wadi Rum, reminiscing about the struggle that T.E. Lawrence faced those many years ago..." Hopefully, Carson would reel her back in before she got to far in her travel ramblings, lest they be standing there all day.

                            "I'm sure that no matter what sort of adventures you undertake that you always look stunning, my dear." Carson paused for a moment before continuing. "If you don't mind me asking, what is a girl from the UK doing over in an American school?"

                            She pursed her lips in thought as she explained, "Well, going abroad is second nature for a grand adventurer such as myself, so coming to this school in the great expanses of the wild part of the US seemed like a perfect fit." She grinned with her eyes closed and crossed her arms in an air self satisfaction, though in a jolly, easygoing and friendly way.

                            Her smile almost made Carson clutch at his heart. If there were ever a perfect girl in this world she was it. "Ah that makes perfect sense. I'm kinda curious as to how you got into the whole adventuring thing. Are your parents explorers or did you get into it yourself?"

                            Happy to tell her little spiel of how she came to love adventure, Kylie went on to explain, "My parents are travel journalists. We get to travel to all sorts of locales to get a good feel where we are, to experience." Adopting a voice more injected with the suave mannerisms of some lone adventurer narrating for a non-existent movie audience, "But don't mistake me for a tourist, m'dear. Between travelling the great reaches of the world and being a mage, I am no ordinary adventuress!" She added a wink for emphasis.

                            Entranced by every one of Kylie's words, Carson found himself yearning to go on an adventure himself. "Even though I've never been out of the Mid-West, some day I'd love to go and see the rest of the world. Travelling seems rather romantic, although since I never travel I wouldn't know myself." He paused to look her in the eyes with an almost timid smile. "Whenever that day comes I could probably use someone with experience to show me the ropes."

                            Eager to see someone who might be interested in travelling endeavors, especially someone who looked happy to do it, Kylie couldn't help but be enthusiastic and beamed, "Ooh, a prospective adventurer I see! Truly, the best way of travelling the world. Wise choice!" She was really enjoying herself with Carson. "Hey mate, you ever been to Yellowstone?" She frowned slightly and crossed her arms as she continued, "I've always wanted to go, but I've never really been in this part of the US. Not since I was a little lass anyways."

                            Hearing the name of the national park he basically grew up in, Carson's face lit up. "Ever been to Yellowstone? I practically lived there, my dear. My ma would always take me out there to practice our magic together." Hardly able to contain himself, he almost blurted out. "If you wanted, I could take you there sometime! I know the in's and out's of that place like the back of my hand." Even though he acted like this with every girl, he surprisingly found a slight blush start to form upon his cheeks.

                            "That'd be great~. It'd be a different change of pace to have a student here show me something in the world for once. I've heard so many great things about the park." She sighed contentedly as she thought about visiting Yellowstone. "Haven't traveled to a conventional place in a while. Been busy adventuring in the Isles. Now that is one hell of an adventure on your hands there!" She posed with a hand on her hip, contemplating her time at the academy while a new face was ready to see the world in his own way.

                            "Ah the Isles..." Carson's brows furrowed at the mention of the place. He was silent for a moment, before a thought hit him. "Wait, if you've already been to the Isles, does that mean you're not a first year student?"

                            "Nope. I'm a third year student now. You don't have to be shy though, I won't bite." She chuckled a bit at her own humor, probably being more friendly and open then any of the other upperclassmen would be to a first year.

                            "Oh wow... this whole idea that grade levels aren't really based off of age has been throwing me off quite a bit." He gave his own sheepish laugh, but not before the sound of the school bell signaled to the students they had five minutes to get to class. The noise made Carson's heart sink, knowing that he'd have to part from such a lovely girl brought about a feeling of insurmountable sadness. "Alas, I suppose that it's time for us to head to class... Although I'd really like to see you again." As he was about to ask for Kylie's number, the words became caught in his throat. With his face colored a bright shade of red, and an uncharacteristic embarrassment enveloping him, he was for the first time in his life, speechless.

                            Regretting having to go to class now that she had found a great first year student to talk to, she sighed before her face lit up. "Wait, don't go yet! Give me a second." She pulled out a notepad and pen from her inner jacket pocket and scrawled something on it and handed it to Carson. "I don't want to lose contact with a budding adventurer. What better way to learn the ropes than from yours truly?" She smiled at that and added, "There's my phone number. We ought to have a chat some time, yes?"

                            Still silent, Carson took Kylie's number and carefully placed it in his back pocket. Trying to hide the feeling of absolute elation within him, he gave her a truly heartfelt smile. "I'd love that! It was nice meeting you Kylie." And with that he walked towards his class at a rather brisk pace, ready to celebrate the day's first great victory.
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                              #46    
                            Old June 28th, 2016 (8:00 PM).
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                            DLMuerte DLMuerte is offline
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                              Nychta DeMuere and Domingo Hernández


                              Remmy had always told his son that the most efficient way to do anything was the best way to do anything. He explained it in two factors: the amount of time put into it and the amount of effort put into it. "If you could multiply the two, like uh, say the amount of power multiplied by the amount of time, you'd take the lowest possible number. And the amount of power should correspond with the amount of time that..." That would be around when he'd drone off, and then say that "well, you get how it works, right?" And at that point, Nychta would simply nod and prepare himself to learn how to do chores which he had never anticipated he would have to do himself.

                              It was this philosophy that carried Nychta into putting away all the clothes he had to deal with once he'd arrived in his room. The bag he carried around was by no means a suitcase-- and indeed, some of his... heavier things, like his crossbows, were already left off in his room. He didn't bother closing the door once he had entered [consciously running against his instinct to close the door to keep his magic from any sort of visitor or secretary] and conjured up several extra pairs of icy hands to keep him company as he folded and hung the clothes left in his bag. There was the usual worry about the clothes getting wet, so he made sure to keep the hands themselves constantly frozen-- leaving him with less hands to use and less things to be conscious off. Either way, he still zoned out a bit as he did, which left him-- and his hands-- ill-prepared to receive anyone.

                              The universe, cheeky as ever, chose this exact moment to send Domingo stomping into the room, slamming the door behind him with enough force that it was a miracle it didn’t break. He wore a bitter expression and carried a rather large stack of textbooks in one arm. The first day of classes at the elite Vale Institute had not been a good one for the boy who never even finished the fifth grade, and his attempt at a study session after class had not gone much better.

                              After the door let out a boom from the impact, Domingo flinched, not having intended to close it so hard. “****…” He muttered before finally spotting Nychta. At first he froze, not sure what he should be saying. Within moments though he seemingly forgot about the need to introduce himself as his gaze fixed itself onto the many frozen hands folding clothes. “Woah…”

                              Nychta, having been startled by the door already, felt himself tense up for a moment. The hands dropped the clothes as well, and when Nychta spun around the image in front of him only disoriented him before it actually calmed him. "A-are you a customer...? Remington's over in... Wait..." It took him a moment to remember not only where he was, but the fact that this guy was holding books and was likely his roommate. Not a customer, not someone he had to redirect out of his room. In fact, the more Nychta thought about it, the more he was fairly certain he'd never seen anyone quite like the guy who had just burst into his room before. He relaxed quite quickly then, and smiled. "Oh! Sorry, you must be my roommate. Still not used to being here yet." Gesturing to the hands, Nychta continued. "I guess not everyone at this school has seen a lot of magic, huh?"

                              Any fear that Nychta might have felt was nearly immediately gone with the ego boost provided by the boy's clear fascination. "Ice magic-- and water magic-- those are things I do." Nychta eagerly made the hands wave as he extended his own, not frozen hand for a handshake. "The name's Nychta. Yours?"

                              “Huh?” Was the first thing out of his mouth as he pried his focus from Nychta’s magic. “Oh, I’m Domingo,” He answered, his accent especially clear when he said his name. His expression brightened at the fact that there was another person besides Carson willing to be nice to him. “Man, everyone here can do so much cool **** with their powers,” He thought out loud as he glanced back at the hands one last time.

                              He shook Nychta’s hand before raising an eyebrow. “Hey, what did you mean, customer?” He was used to people’s first impressions of him being generally negative or otherwise undesirable, but this was definitely new. “You sellin’ something?”

                              "Oh, no, no, I'm not selling anything." ...Yet. Nychta grinned sheepishly. "My father's a... he runs a business of sorts." Now wasn't the time to tell Domingo that he was casually the heir to lots and lots of money. "Sometimes people would come into his office to speak with him, but they'd regularly get lost on the way to the bathroom, or even his office..." He sighed. "Long story short, it wasn't unusual for people to barge in. You came into the room, and I think a part of my mind, upon seeing someone I didn't know, just said 'well, he's gotta be a customer!' Even though, you clearly aren't.

                              "A-anyway!" Nychta quickly searched for a conversation changer. "Cool ****, eh? What can you do? I've seen pretty little so far, outside of classes and glimpses at lunch."

                              “I can dig underground and turn into metal,” He said, repeating the demonstration he did for Carson and knocking on a newly metallic arm. “Not super cool or anything but it’s actually pretty good.” His smile then grew much larger. “But man, you should see some of these other guys! There was this guy who could make rocks come to life, and this girl who could make actual ****in’ diamonds!” He pulled out Iris’ diamond flower yet again to show off to Nychta. “Then there was another girl with explosion powers!” Excitement filled his voice as he recounted what he’d seen, as if he were a child in a toy store.

                              "I can sorta make things explode... wait, did you say diamonds?" Nychta's eyes lit up immediately as he realized it. What was this girl doing with her talent? Why wasn't she bringing the market to its knees right now? Nychta could already envision the money pouring in, a constant stream of income, of wealth... "Dude, that's so cool! Where can I find her?" Joint ventures already began to materialize themselves in Nychta's mind. How could he profit off of this? How did she even do it? Diamond flowers... It looked so delicate, yet it was made out of some of the strongest stuff out there. He'd need to procure some more business cards immediately. "Man, I need to get out more! Think of all the opportunities out there...."

                              “Pretty ****in’ sweet, right?” Domingo agreed with a grin. “But ****, man, I don’t ****in’ know where to find her.” He looked over to the side and tossed the books in his arms onto an empty bed. Thanks to the softness of the bed, they landed with barely a thump. He also tossed aside his giant gloves, that had been hanging from their strap on his waist until then. As he did so, he spotted what looked like a large block of stone that looked uncomfortably familiar, as well as looking very out of place in the otherwise very nice room. He shoved it out of his mind for the moment and turned back to Nychta.

                              “She’s a skinny white girl. I think she said her name was Iris.” Domingo furrowed his brow as he tried to reach back into his memories, that time in the gym seeming so far away after how long the day had felt. “She’s blonde and dresses kinda fancy-ish. She was also wearing a… ****, what was it?” He thought for a moment, turning his eyes upward before continuing. “Boina, whatever the **** that weird hat is called in English. She’s kind of a ***** but I guess she’s not all that bad. Hell, she gave me this sweet flower to keep after all. It's a school, so you'll probably see her around eventually. Maybe she was in one of your classes, even.”

                              "My classes, eh...?" And with that, Nychta was suddenly lost in thought. He could hardly remember his classes... He did somewhat remember business law including a blonde girl, but blondes in America weren't an uncommon thing, nor were fancily-dressed girls-- besides, it was the first day of school, so the latter might not even matter. Still... If he could even split the profits 75/25, he could have an easy life...

                              Domingo turned his attention back to the block of stone. “You know,” he continued to Nychta as he walked towards it. “I like you. You seem like a pretty chill dude. Today I was so distracted I didn’t even think about the possibility I’d have a roommate, so the moment I saw you in here I got all worried, like ‘Is this guy gonna be like all the others?’ I thought, but nah.”

                              Before coming any closer, Domingo used his Seismic Sense to examine it a bit more thoroughly. What he saw brought forth a frown. He held out a hand to its rough surface, and within moments the stone block broke apart into a pile of sand. Sticking out from the pile, various things could be seen, including what looked like a destroyed cell phone, the warped remains of some bullets, and a thick black sleeve, which after being pulled out, was confirmed to be attached to Domingo’s missing black hoodie, completely caked with dirt. Nychta, who watched quietly, felt his face scrunch up as he saw the dirt. That wouldn't make a mess, right? And the bullets... they also bothered him, but he could trust the school's decision, right? ...Right?

                              He recalled the hazy memories of the nurse’s office just after he’d woken up, of the nurse telling him that he’d claimed this block was his luggage. That definitely seemed to be the case. Sifting through the rest, he was able to remember further back, to when he was still in the desert. That surprised him, considering the state he was in at the time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something he really wanted to remember.

                              After glancing back at Nychta for an instant, Domingo pulled out all his things from the sand pile before geokinetically gathering every grain into a single spot, compressing it so it could return to its former state. The bullets were also placed back inside the block, out of sight and hopefully out of mind. He stared at the block a bit longer before letting out a sigh and turning to Nychta. “Hey man, you mind if I keep this here?”

                              Nychta looked over and grinned. "Don't worry, I'm a simple man. Put whatever you want wherever, just keep it to the side so we can walk. Although..." He looked over at the hoodie again. "You might wanna get that washed."

                              Domingo stared at his hoodie, running his fingers over the gritty surface. “Yeah, prob-” he started as he thought about if he might be able to just geokinetically remove all the dirt from it. However, upon closer inspection, he noticed that it was also covered in sweat and dried blood, along with small blotches of vomit. His face twisted in disgust and he tossed the sweater on top of the stone block, where his magic allowed the block to swallow the piece of clothing, imprisoning it where it could assail his nostrils no longer.

                              “Where’s the washing machine?” He said with a sigh. Domingo stood up straight and turned to the door, only to find himself promptly facing the ceiling. He felt himself falling, and barely managed to catch himself before he hit the ground. Even after finding his footing, his head still spun and had to put a hand on his bed for support. “****…” he muttered. He felt fine coming out of the nurse’s office, but now that the day had taken its toll on him he could tell that he still had more recovering to do.

                              He looked over to his bed and moved all the things he’d tossed onto it to one of the room’s two desks, “Man, I still have like a million questions,” he told Nychta, “but I’m really ****in’ tired.”

                              Nychta had just about finished folding his clothes and was beginning to put them away. "Hey man, questions can wait. Just don't strain yourself. You're going to have a long day tomorrow. Or at least..." He sighed. He'd never been up against anything like a monster, had he? "At least I know I will."

                              Domingo threw himself onto his bed and looked over at Nychta. “Well, good luck then, man. I’m sure you’ll be fine.” He wasn’t entirely sure what Nychta meant, but he wanted to show some support anyway. He wrapped his covers around himself and closed his eyes, feeling the unbelievable softness of the bed all around him. He’d felt this way at the nurse’s office as well, but it still wasn’t something he was used to. For that matter, nothing here was really quite what he was used to.

                              He didn’t get to think on that for long, as within seconds his exhaustion got the better of him and he fell into a deep slumber.

                              Nychta looked over after a while to see Domingo out cold, and then quietly began to shuffle through his business cards. There was still some time until he went to bed, and thus, he'd wager, he'd want to get them finished before the next day. As he worked, however, the small brown notebook Oscar had given him caught Nychta's eye from inside his bag. Nychta blinked, and lifted it, before putting on the corner of his desk and continuing. And yet, only a bit later, as Nychta set his alarm for the early morning and fell asleep to ignore the stack of mostly-finished business cards on his desk, it still penetrated his mind.

                              It'd be a shame if he had any bad ideas.

                              Nychta's alarm went off at precisely 6 AM, leaving him up an hour earlier than the rest of the school. This led to him quietly showering [an ordeal which, for him, was quicker than for most] and otherwise changing out of pajamas and getting ready for a new day. As he changed, he looked over and noticed that no one was in the other bed in the room. This surprised him; he didn't expect to have woken up later than Domingo-- especially because he had seemed exhausted. And not only that, but he started to realize that in his politeness, he might've overlooked the fact that maybe the reason that Domingo was tired, and the reason he was covered in so many tattoos, coincided greatly. Just what was that guy up to before he got here? Just what was he up to right now?

                              Still, Domingo didn't seem like a bad person. Maybe he was off being responsible somewhere? Maybe he even had his life very much in order, and was off working out or getting a head start on his studies or something. Yeah. You know, what, Nychta said to himself, that's probably it. Or so he hoped.
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                                #47    
                              Old July 3rd, 2016 (7:02 AM). Edited July 10th, 2016 by Colony.
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                              Colony Colony is offline
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                                Vale Institute of Magic


                                Unlike the previous announcements, this one started with a loud cracking noise. Already, the less than professional nature of the day’s second announcement was clearly different than those the Student Council President had previously given. “Yo, Bryan, this thing’s on, right?” asked a voice clearly not belonging to the Stuco President. “Huh, you’re saying the mic’s not muted? Ooooooh, my bad.

                                "Uh, well, how’s it going everyone? I think most of y’all know me, but the newbies probably need a crash course. For all those who don’t know me, I’m Allan. I guess I’m kinda the VP now, or something, but yeah, back to what’s important, I guess. Chris is a bit too busy to give the announcement right now, so he asked me to do instead, so here we are, and I guess it’s time to talk about all the fun stuff for the week.

                                “So, first thing’s first, y’all know that this announcement is for giving everyone a bit of a heads up for this week’s missions. I’m sure some of you guys heard about this from your family if they’ve ever been students here, but first years are placed on teams for safety reasons, since we don’t know how well your magic translates to fighting etherspawn. Or, you know, whether or not you’ll panic at seeing a bug the size of a house. Oh, I probably shouldn’t have said that, but hey, you’re all gonna find out eventually, right? So, yeah, teams. First, we’ll start the freshmen off as teams of four with either a senior or teacher supervising. Sophomores through seniors will be teamed up based on mission difficulty, though most are going solo for a while, so enjoy the time alone. Just a heads up for the newbies, these teams change every week, since it helps promote adaptability. This week’s teams are…”

                                [OOC: The current IC week’s teams and mission focus days are: IC Day 1: Carson, Fern, Morgan and Nychta; IC Day 2: Domingo, Jack, Nasrin and Zane; IC Day 3: Iris, Lauren, Lily and Violett.]

                                “Alright, now that all that listing nonsense is out of the way, it’s time to socialize. Now that everyone has their assignments, we suggest that everyone in teams meet up with their new comrades. It’s great for team building, and it gives you something to do during an otherwise boring lunch period. If nothing else, it’s a good meet and greet. Oh, and good luck to all the freshmen this week who will be visiting the islands for the first time ever. Do your best and you’ll surely be rewarded. With that, later, bros.

                                "Hey, Bryan, how do I turn this thing off?” After a few fidgeting noises, the intercom system made a swift click, signaling the end of the broadcast.

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                                  #48    
                                Old July 5th, 2016 (9:44 PM). Edited July 5th, 2016 by Sephear.
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                                Sephear Sephear is offline
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                                Jack Marrick and Shion Kavanagh


                                Wandering around Vale's campus without much direction or even a real goal in mind was quickly becoming a regular thing for Jack Marrick, who'd been left with a bad taste in his mouth after lunch and was in the middle of trying to think of something pleasant when an announcement blared in his ears. After the... student council vice president's awkward announcement was finished the young earth mage felt even less sure of what to do. After all, that Zane kid was on his team, and so far he didn't seem too pleasant, and Jack especially didn't want to see him just then. Prospects did brighten up considerably, however, when Jack happened to see a nice pair of legs dangling from the school's roof. It was his favorite pair of legs, in fact, which is honestly much more innocent than it sounds.

                                Indescribably grateful for something he liked to focus on, Jack snapped his fingers and smiled while rocks, dirt, and various sediments all rushed into each other until a crude, rounded facsimile of a rock man formed next to him. He leaped up into the air a short distance and curled his body up before landing in the stoneman's huge hand and shouted, "Fastball special!" then was promptly tossed up just high enough to do a single somersault - more from the curving momentum than because he wanted to - and land proudly on the roof to gaze down at its other occupant. "Ha, nailed it! Howdy there, what's up?"

                                "Slick moves, stranger." Shion grabbed a handful of nuts from among the last of her lunch, and tossed them into her mouth before she added, "You practice that?"

                                "Nope!" Jack answered happily and plopped down next to her, lazily kicking his feet in the open air. "In fact, I was pretty worried I was gonna land on my head when I started to tip over. I didn't realize how hard it can be to reorient yourself when a golem throws you, you'll have to help me practice aerial maneuvers sometime." Having no food of his own left to munch on, Jack simply looked around, and tried not to let his eyes linger on the redhead too often or for too long.

                                "If that's without practice, I don't think you need to be taught how to get thrown."

                                Jack couldn't help chuckling a bit at her answer. "I'm sure it was just a lucky break. Getting thrown is easy, but I wouldn't mind learning how to jump better, and that's definitely something you've got down."

                                "Hope you're a quick learner about landing, too." She quietly returned to finishing her meal, and tossed the paper containers in the nearest trash can when she did. Returning to Jack's side at the edge of the roof, Shion let out an exasperated sigh. "I suppose I'll have to meet my teammates eventually."

                                "Yeah, it might be prudent." He felt his smile shrink a bit and tried to shrug off the disappointment. "I'm always excited to meet new people! But that Zane guy is on my team too... And so far he's, well..."

                                "No point dwelling on possibly not liking them," she added. "If I don't, then maybe I can just punch them until I can handle seeing their face." To show off she raised one arm, and pressed her remaining hand to her bicep, but she quickly clarified it to be a joke. A relief to Jack, who was considering it himself.

                                A dull thud signaled the boy next to her dropping unceremoniously backwards to lay on the roof while his legs dangled in the empty air and he huffed audibly. "Somehow I don't think solving my problems could possibly be that simple. I wish I could just punch my worries away, but I'm not that strong, the few times I've done it it either got me nowhere or left me unsatisfied even if I won." His gaze wandered over Shion's back and settled on her hair, that lovely hair that had stood out to him so much the very first day they met, and still turned his thoughts to her beauty on occasion. "You know, I really admire the way you just push forward through it all, I never feel like I know what to do unless it's about making something's structure, or the problem's so in my face I have to make a decision in an instant."

                                She looked over her shoulder at him with a confident grin and told him, "Waiting around just isn't any fun." She hopped back to her feet once again, demonstrating herself after helping Jack to his. "On that note, first lesson."

                                "Lesson?" Jack queried, cocking an eyebrow and smiling inquisitively. "I'm game, try me."

                                "Don't break your legs when you hit the ground." Shion leaned back, letting gravity pull her off the back lip of the main building, and unceremoniously fell three tall stories to ground level. Jack quickly bent his torso and neck over the edge to watch her descent, Shion having spun and reoriented herself to face feet-down. Reaching the bottom, Jack heard not a thud, but a gust of wind, a single wave visibly spreading the grass in all directions, and her arms wrapped around her body like a ballerina. She was probably a couple inches off the dirt. Looking up to him, she signalled him a brief two-fingered salute to designate his turn.

                                Nut up or shut up, I guess. Jack only stared over the edge for a moment before leaping. Having a golem catch him was too simple, and could still hurt pretty bad, so... no time to think! With the ground drawing closer alarmingly fast, a rock shot out of the ground towards Jack and he found himself quickly grabbing it with an arm and swinging himself to divert his momentum. Sailing through the air brought a thrilled smile to his face and next all the purer minerals ripped themselves out from the rock he'd left behind and some of the other earth nearby and formed a metal slide beneath him. He landed feet-first and slid down like he was surfing until he looped around and a small scoop at the end launched him a short distance to land and skid a few feet, stopping next to Shion and smiling proudly at her. "That was pretty fun! If a bit scary."

                                "Flashy," she snickered, offhandedly mentioning that a straightforward solution wasn't really his forté. She didn't seem to mind. "Maybe next time we'll find something taller to jump from. How do you feel about obstacle courses?"

                                "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?" Jack said, maintaining his smile.

                                "I like to think it isn't trying hard enough."

                                "All the better for us then."

                                Come to think of it, mages probably don't fail nearly as much as regular people. They should make up new sayings for superhumans.

                                Agreeing to have some more fun with increasingly high leaps and dives, Shion and Jack wished each other good luck with their new teammates, gratefully knowing they'll only last for a week before swapping to new ones, and left on a high note to meet them.

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                                "Ever looking forward, ever thinking back. Everywhere you've been, everyone you've met was another step on your path, shaping your future even as they become part of your past. One must never discount the pieces that have made up your journey until now but to lose yourself in them would be equally great folly, instead let them hoist you up, carry you on until you find the strength to walk for yourself. So it is that I continue towards that endless horizon. Ever thinking back, ever marching forward, inexorable as the history that brought me down this road. This Lonesome Road."
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                                  #49    
                                Old July 10th, 2016 (1:57 PM).
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                                Geras Geras is offline
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                                  Domingo Hernández



                                  Domingo’s eyes snapped open. His body felt like it was made of lead. There was a suffocating heat over his sweaty body, and he felt like he was sinking. In a panic, he flailed around, throwing his covers off of himself. He looked around and saw only darkness, so his first reaction was to press his hand against the ground beside him and use his Seismic Sense. He was unable to sense anything, but that outcome was obvious to him the moment he felt his hand dip into the soft mattress underneath him.

                                  He pushed against the bed a few more times, just to be sure he wasn’t imagining things. Soon enough, his eyes adjusted to the dark and he saw that he was in a room. His room. The memory of the previous day returned to him slowly but surely. However, now that his situation was clear he could only frown.

                                  For an instant, in the dark and under the covers, he’d thought he was back in the desert, suffocating underground while he hid. His body had left to safety, but he wondered if his mind was actually still trapped in Mexico. He began to fear he might never be able to really escape it.

                                  Although… He looked over to the block of stone from before. His “luggage”. Domingo realized that if he wanted to completely forget his old life it would probably be best to get rid of it, and he wondered if he should do so now. But just as before, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He carried that block around for a long time in the desert, and for that time it was his only companion. Embarrassingly enough, at the time he even talked with it. After all they’d been through together, he just couldn’t throw it away. He knew how stupid it was, knowing that it wasn’t like rocks had feelings, but it didn’t change how he felt. Though, after having seen that little rock guy at the assembly, he wasn’t so sure about the feelings thing anymore.

                                  Domingo turned his attention elsewhere, spotting Nychta sleeping soundly in his own bed. On the stand next to his bed was a digital clock that read 3:27. He realized that it was far too early to be troubling himself with things like that, and that he would likely need to be well rested for the following day. Especially after hearing Nychta’s foreboding words the previous night. With that in mind, he wrapped himself in his covers once more and tried to go back to sleep.

                                  Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be as easy as it was earlier. It was hot and stuffy under the covers despite the room’s potent air conditioning, and he worried that if he stayed under too long he’d drown in his own sweat. He threw them off again, but he didn’t find himself much more comfortable as he tossed and turned in a futile search for a good position. This proceeded for what felt like an eternity before he sat back up in frustration. He glanced at Nychta’s clock again only to see it read 3:31. He scowled.

                                  Conceding the fact that he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep any time soon, Domingo instead decided to look back through his things. He would need to get them in order eventually, and maybe he would tire again afterwards. He got off his bed and tiptoed over to the desk where he’d put his things, trying his best to keep from waking Nychta. The sight of the items in front of him made him furrow his brow. Most of them were things he certainly could throw away without a second thought, having kept them only out of perceived necessity.

                                  Domingo picked up one of the bullets, warped by heat and force, and still stained with blood from when it was pulled out of his body. He remembered that he’d kept them to avoid leaving a trail of any sort. He could have just as easily buried them deep underground, but at the time he feared the cartel might dig them up and maybe use dogs or some sort of special technology to trace them to him. Thinking about it now it sounded sort of ridiculous, especially knowing he never did that sort of thing when he had to find a target, but back then he wasn’t exactly thinking straight.

                                  The shattered cellphone shared a similar story. Having been the one given to him by the cartel, he feared they might have placed a tracker within it or been able to use GPS to follow it to him, so he smashed it to pieces, then smashed the pieces. Then he took them with him for the same reasons he carried the bullets. Thinking of the phone, he remembered the paper with Carson’s number, still in his pocket, and briefly lamented his phonelessness.

                                  Other items included several scraps of cloth covered in dried blood, formerly known as Domingo’s shirt, a crushed plastic water bottle, his earring, and of course, his hoodie. Domingo decided that the only thing worth keeping was the hoodie and prepared to throw everything else away. Though he didn’t want these things sitting there in the trash can when Nychta woke up, so he wrapped everything up in his hoodie and quietly left the room in search of a dumpster.

                                  Domingo wandered the school and eventually found what he was looking for, returning to his room once his junk had been disposed of. There he tried to sleep again, with no more success than the last time. He eventually decided to just take a walk around the school’s perimeter, eventually ending up relaxing under a tree where he took the time to reflect on just what kind of life was now his.




                                  In the end, Domingo was only able to sleep again while underground, something he found strange considering that believing he was still underground was what made him panic when he first woke up. It was something he tried out of desperation for some rest so he could handle whatever crazy things the school had planned the following day, but once he was buried it wasn’t long before he was fast asleep. He thought over the reason why that might be, but while he could manage some guesses he wasn’t able to think of anything certain. Maybe he was simply too used to it.

                                  Regardless of the reason why, Domingo had woken up feeling well rested. He went to his dorm to clean up and grab his things, then he headed to the cafeteria. After a meager breakfast of a muffin and some milk, he headed to class, hoping this day would be better than the last.

                                  Unfortunately, it was not to be. He exited his morning classes with the bright attitude he started the day with completely gone. Even Metalworking, something he expected to be simple for a Geomancer like himself, was full of complicated tools and machines, and precise measurements and calculations that he had difficulty with.

                                  It seemed that next would be lunch time, and Domingo appreciated the chance to recharge. Within moments, an announcement rang throughout the school that replaced that bit of comfort with nervousness. Apparently he was to meet his monster-fighting team. Fortunately, this time he had his hoodie to hide the majority of his tattoos, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. And even if he didn’t have it, there were bound to be more people like Carson and Nychta in the school. Thus, after taking the time to psych himself up, Domingo made his way to the cafeteria to meet his teammates.

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                                    #50    
                                  Old July 15th, 2016 (8:48 AM).
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                                  doge doge is offline
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                                  Nasrin Nouri | Lauren & Lily Fera
                                  Nasrin exited the classroom, but not by her own accord. Textbooks in hand, questions frothed from the Iranian girl’s mouth while being pushed out of the classroom.

                                  “I appreciate the enthusiasm, but please save it for next class!” With a forceful shove, Nasrin was suddenly back in the hallway, and losing her footing. Realizing she was about to fall, the young girl quickly used her air magic to readjust her balance. Firmly standing on her feet, Nasrin spun around with a smile, but was cut off before she could even speak. “If you excuse me, I have another class to prepare for.” Her professor started to shut the door.

                                  Nasrin paused for a moment to take that in, a puzzled look on her face. “Is it not lunch?” she asked. Her question was answered by the slam of the door. “Ah.”

                                  So there she stood, books in hand and staff hovering in the air, in front of a shut door. With students walking past, glances and stares included, and the fact that her teacher had just shut the door on her, it was needless to say Nasrin felt awkward. It wasn’t a regular occurrence, but every now and then the Iranian girl could feel embarrassed.

                                  She ducked her head and made way for the cafeteria. But with her head down and her eagerness to get out of the hallway, Nasrin wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings. Something moved, a little abruptly at that. Then she heard a thud, and there was a sudden lightness to her. Hearing a cry around her back, Nasrin turned around. Her staff was on the ground, and someone had tripped over it. “Oh,” she commented. “Sorry?”

                                  "Ow ow ow ow ow," the girl complained, sitting up and rubbing her hands together.

                                  Watching the girl get back onto her feet, a puzzled look came over Nasrin's face. "Did you just tri—"

                                  "Lily, I warned you about running." A doppelgänger! Wait, those don't exist. They were incredibly alike, though. Lily groaned, asking if her sister didn't expect it anyways. "You could at least try to listen next time. You probably didn't hear the announcement, either."

                                  "I heard it! He was really unprofessional; it was hard to not listen to it."

                                  "Then name who our teammates are this week." A challenge Lily managed to answer after a few seconds, although Nasrin was left confused by it. She'd heard something earlier, but most of it was just incoherent chatter to her. There were teams?

                                  The more composed of the two then picked up Nasrin's staff, both she and it having clearly been neglected by them up to now. "I'm sorry if my sister got in your way."

                                  Nasrin's puzzled look switched to a blank stare. "Ah, no problem," she muttered, brushing aside the apology. Her gaze shifted from the girl named Lily and the other, unsure of what she was seeing. Reaching out for her staff, Nasrin's eyes widened with realization. The Iranian girl's excitement was clear to see.

                                  "Twi..." she cut herself off, unable to remember the remaining letters of the English word. She paced around the two, tapping her cheek to remind herself. "Twins!" she shouted in excitement, possibly getting a bit too close in terms of personal space, trying to examine their similarities.

                                  It wasn't easy—the likeness was impeccable—but she finally noticed something, staring into their eyes from inches away. The as-of-yet unnamed twin with blue eyes looked understandably uncomfortable that someone was in her space, but Nasrin let her gaze linger for a few extra moments just in case something was off. When she tried her hand at the green-eyed Lily the latter just stared back, and cracked up after a moment.

                                  Soon enough she pulled back, and grinned at both of them, sort of remembering her manners. "Hi, I'm Nasrin!" That was the one contraction she managed to learn before moving to the U.S.

                                  As if instantly forgetting all of the awkwardness that Nasrin just caused, as well, Lily excitedly introduced herself in return. Lauren followed suit, asking if Nasrin was foreign. She definitely must have stood out, in more ways than one.

                                  "Lily, Lauren," Nasrin said to herself, committing the names to memory before answering Lauren's question. "Yes, from Iran." It was very matter-of-fact, but she retained her smile despite an evident lack of fondness for her home country.

                                  Though Lily seemed to miss her distaste, Lauren expressed the hope that Nasrin could enjoy herself at Vale. "Would you like to join us for lunch?"

                                  "Sure," she answered happily. After eating alone yesterday and this morning, Nasrin thought it would be a nice change of pace. She started off, but suddenly realized something. If both she and the twins were originally headed for lunch, and Lauren had come from the opposite direction, then somebody had to be wrong. Normally, she would have been using her internal map, but she was trying to memorize the actual layout of the school.

                                  Nasrin turned back to the twins, and asked, "Can you lead the way? And what was that about an announcement earlier?"
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