Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#1
Before heading off for class, Hiri took one last look at her new dormitory room. Furnished with little more than a desk, a bed, and a simple closet, along with several crates half-filled with her personal belongings, it was still somewhat plain-looking for the time being. Soon enough, however, she'd learn to call it home. After all, it was where she would live for the next several years as part of her studies to become a full-fledged mage. And all of that began with today. She made her way down the halls of the residential building before taking a step outside onto the campus grounds.

Amongst the various schools of magic, perhaps the most well-known institution in the Kingdom of Elynsor was the prestigious Royal Magic Academy, located near the heart of the capital city. Hiri was to be one of its newest students, one of many who would learn the use of the region's five 'recognized' elements--fire, water, earth, lightning, and also the one with which she was already quite familiar with: wind. There were others that humans could exert control over, which the girl knew of thanks to no small amount of time spent overseas, but as far as those living on the Western Continent were concerned, the standard five were all a given caster ever needed to know. They were the five that were extensively researched by an elite group of Elynsor's mages; the Academy's own faculty and graduates.

Of those, preliminary testing naturally declared her a "Wind Major." Graduates of the Royal Magic Academy were required to be competent in casting basic gates of all five elements while specializing in using one of them, which was determined by their academic advisors. Today, on her first day of class, she'd start the road to learning all of these, as per her mother's wishes. It wasn't the first day for everyone else, but her existing skill in wind magic was recognizable enough that the faculty ruled it acceptable for her to join mid-quarter.

Along with a new school came new clothes. Hiri's outfit, the standard uniform worn by attendees of the Royal Magic Academy, was made up of a white mantle that covered her shoulders, a green top to signify Wind as her specialty element, and a matching tartan-patterned skirt. The last of those articles was rather short by some standards, failing to even cover her knees, but outside of the lack of modesty, it hadn't proved to be too much of a hassle in this case, given how nice the day already proved to be. For as early as it was, the weather was absolutely delightful, with the sun providing its warm light over the campus grounds. Few places were quite as well-maintained as the Academy, and one could tell with a simple glance at its lush gardens and glistening white spires. It was a facility fit for nobles--indeed, the vast majority of those who attended were either possessed of rare, prodigal magical technique, or vast amounts of wealth on their parents side.

When the half-Talean beauty stepped into the classroom, several pairs of eyes could be felt upon her in an instant. She definitely wasn't late, but even then, a handful of students were sitting at their desks already, waiting for class to start. While these early attendees all differed from each other in various ways, such as hair and eye color, height, gender, and so on, they were much more pale in complexion than she was, and this difference earned Hiri her fair share of surprised looks. The only three girls in class thus far sat in a group, and while one of them flashed her a polite smile, none of them made any outstanding efforts to greet the wind mage. Towards the back of the classroom, in the corner opposite the trio, reclined a young man with messy blonde hair and hazel eyes. He sat with a furrowed brow and a noticeably frustrated look on his face as he stared into an open book, trying to make sense of its contents.

And in the front was a considerably softer-faced male student, attractive by many standards and with neatly combed brown hair, although it shined as if it were still wet. While he was almost too neat, the smile he showed Hiri was a most friendly one, and unlike the others, he didn't hesitate to get up from his seat and actually greet her. The brown accents on his attire were characteristic of an Earth Major, and his white outer coat was finely pressed, in contrast to his grumbling classmate seated to the far end of the room.

"Hello," said the stranger. "I'm guessing you're new here? If you're looking for Professor Averill's classroom, then you're in the right place. I did hear a few rumors about a new student possiby coming to join us in the middle of this quarter. It doesn't happen very often, so ah, please pardon the others if you would," he added in a lower voice towards the end. "I'm Alahan, by the way. Welcome to the class."

As he spoke, the small group of girls peered over to Hiri, and none could succeed in hiding the shock upon their faces, as if it were an offense in itself that the newcomer was even interacting with the handsome Earth mage. If it went by looks alone, he was easily out of their league to begin with--though certainly not out of the half-Talean's.

But before she could get too comfortable, several more students began to filter in, giving mixed reactions to Hiri's presence. Besides that of the three girls in the west corner, however, none of those were overwhelmingly negative. Most simply looked surprised, while others gave her curious looks or sheepish, polite smiles at the very least. The classroom filled up over the span of the next few minutes with the other students. A look at the time would tell Hiri that the official class should have had already begun--and yet there was no instructor to be seen. About five seats were empty, so it wasn't quite clear as to where she should sit just yet, or which one was assigned to her. There was a bit of chattering, then confused silence as others began to notice the professor's tardiness.

Then, six minutes after the designated starting time, a woman dressed in teachers' attire made her way into the room. She had short red hair done up in a bun, though not with the amount of care that most women her age typically took, and small, round spectacles, which were seen to be crooked as she hurried in. In her arms were several books stuffed with various papers, and already it became somewhat difficult to imagine her as a particularly organized individual.

"H-Hi," she stammered. "Sorry, I've been, uh, running a bit late," said the woman before dropping her pile of books on the desk, which caused several loose sheets of parchment to fly about before sliding onto the floor. "Oh, s-shucks," she mumbled before stooping down to try and gather them. She took a deep breath after the task was finished, adjusting her glasses and finally looking to the newcomer. "Wait, you're... oh, how rude of me! I'm Professor Averill," she greeted, smiling and nodding her head. "You must be, uhmm, what was it... Hiri?"

Once she gained the Wind Major's confirmation, she would then turn to the rest of the class. "Yes! Uh, this is our newest student, Hiri. As you can tell, her major is Wind, and... um, I don't actually remember the rest..." she trailed off, trying to look through her jumble of notes for data on her updated roster, with little success. "She'll be joining us a little late this quarter, but if... I, remember correctly she does know a thing or two about Wind magic, sooo I'm sure it shouldn't be too difficult. Please do help her with reviewing some of the material if she has any questions, o-okay?" It was something of a wonder how such a disorganized person could be considered a master-level mage, and if Hiri didn't think so, then it was plain to see on some of the students' faces that they still did, despite accepting her as their instructor. "Hiri, why don't you tell the class a little something about yourself?"
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#2
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri looked at her dorm room. It was small and tidy, just how her papa had always had her keep her private cabin on the boat. Everything in its proper place. In that way, aside from the constant rocking of the sea, it would be familiar.

This was in stark contrast to her school uniform. Her parents would never have let her show so much leg in front of the sailors on the vessel. Even though there was a small female presence among the Talean sailors, the women were still required to sleep far apart from the men, and fraternization at sea was strictly forbidden. Throughout most of her childhood, Hiri hadn't been wise to the reasons for this, but as she blossomed into womanhood, she figured it out.

A ship at sea was a world unto itself. Even with the wind on your side, voyages lasted a long time and sexual tensions could cause unnecessary chaos on a ship. On land, you could always go your separate ways, but on a ship, there was no escape. That meant that sexual urges remained pent up, and sailing men didn't do well with temptation. For that reason, Hiri, her mother, and the small number of female sailors dressed like the men, with baggy trousers and loose flowing shirts that hid the body's form. When she inherited her mother's ample bust, she was required to wrap it tight with bandages so that it wouldn't show against her clothing.

This uniform was completely the opposite. Crisp, form-fitting, showing off all her curves. Hiri liked the idea of being found pretty - as most any girl would want - but at the same time, she might have preferred a more conservative look when introducing herself to the first real peers she'd ever have in a foreign land.

She tugged self-consciously at the tartan skirt, but it was already as low as it was going to go. She wore knee-high green tights to match the color of her shirt and tartan. She held her books in front of her, clutched to her chest, as she walked down the hallway, admiring the academy's beautiful architecture before heading into the classroom.

This was it. Other kids studying to be mages. She'd met others her age before. Mostly they were her cousins from papa's brothers and sisters. But none of them were going to be mages like her, and none of them were really her friends. She didn't see them often enough to really know them well.

Mama said she'd make friends at the academy. That was one of the main reasons she had wanted Hiri to go to this school. Hiri needed to develop a healthy relationship with girls and boys her age, who shared her interests and could broaden her horizons. Papa had grumbled at having to let Hiri be out of his sight for a period of years, but Mama had a way with him when she really wanted something, and had managed to get him to acquiesce.

So now she was in a classroom, facing her true peers for the very first time. Hiri clutched her books tighter to her chest as she stepped through the threshold and looked around. There were a few girls looking at her. One of them gave her a nervous smile, the upturn of one's lips that people give to strangers when they want to signify acknowledgement. It wasn't a real smile though. There was a blond kid in the back of the room staring uncomprehendingly at a book he'd cracked open. Hiri found the expression on his face amusing, but saw no need to approach him.

Finally there was the soft-faced, handsome boy with the earth-major uniform and -- BY THE FOUR WINDS HE'S COMING RIGHT TOWARDS ME!!!!

That same fake, nervous smile that the other girl had worn now came unbidden to the foreign girl. It took her a moment to actually get over his directness to take in what he was saying. His name was Alahan, he was telling her that he'd been expecting her.

"Uhm... ah, yeah. I'm here for Professor Averill's class," she answered, tugging down on her skirt again. "My name's Hiri. Hiri Lei Tan."

She looked away then and caught the other girls looking at her with shock and some other expression she didn't want to really think about at that moment.

"Do you greet everyone this way, Alahan?" She asked. "Not that I mind, it's just, I wasn't expecting it."

Hiri was prepared to continue the conversation with Alahan. Now that the initial surprise of being approached was over, she was quickly settling down. It wasn't as if she'd never talked to boys before. And some of the sailors she'd known had been handsome - though not in the same 'clean' and 'polished' way that Alahan was. No, her startled words had come from the broken expectation that she would simply take a seat, keep her head down, and eventually make her own introductions to people. Instead, she'd been approached right away, before she'd had time to really think about how she'd go about her own introduction.

Six minutes passed and then the professor arrived looking quite in a rush. After a short sequence involving a quirked eyebrow and then another of those fake smiles, Hiri stood up from her seat and turned to face the class.

"I'm Hiri. I'm from Talea, but I've spent most of my life on my father's trade ship. My mother is a wind mage, she helps keep my father's ship going fast and arrive safely to port. She used to go to school here, so now I am too. That's really all there is to say. I'm looking forward to learning new things."

She then looked to the professor, gave a half-hearted shrug, and sat down and took out her scroll, ink bottle, and quill in preparation for her first official class. Mama had told her she should write everything down, because the other elements were nothing at all like wind, and they wouldn't come naturally to her.
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#3
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Upon learning the girl's name, Alahan couldn't help but allow his existing smile to grow ever so slightly. It was easy to tell that his grin was at least mostly genuine, though whether such was out of sheer friendliness by the youth's nature or due to her beauty was another matter. "Hiri, is it? A pretty name, too, if a bit exotic. Nice to meet you," he replied. The brief motion she made to pull her skirt down just a tad, made so as to cover a bit more of her upper thighs, instinctively drew the Earth Major's gaze--but for only a split second, as he apparently knew better than to stare at such adjustments. "Admittedly, I can't say I greet -everyone- this way, but then again, it's not every day we receive someone from outside of Elynsor," said Alahan with a small shrug. "I mean, if you are, that is. Pardon the assumption."

As several of the students came in, one after another, a few of them would greet the Earth Major with a smile and a wave, others with a brief nod. Most would, out of courtesy, extend similar gestures towards Hiri. It appeared that he wasn't terribly lacking in popularity, at least not compared to the sour-faced one sitting in the corner, who none of the others made an attempt to interact with just yet. Hiri, on the other hand, had already drawn more attention on her first day, so it seemed. When it came time to introduce herself, the brief explanation of the wind mage's history drew a chorus of awe-filled gasps and murmurs from the crowd in front of her.

"Wow! So you've been to the Eastern continent, then?!" asked one green-haired girl near the center of the row of seats.

"Sooo jealous. I've always wanted to go," yet another voice chimed in, while a few others nodded silently in agreement. Technically, Talea was considered part of the other lands, but as Hiri knew, the 'Eastern Continent' generally referred to the large chunk of land across the Gleril Ocean from Elynsor. It was comprised of several nations, including, but not limited to: Honrai, Ayon, and Deun.

"G-Great! It sounds like we'll be able to learn a lot from each other," remarked the teacher, who took another few seconds to dig through her papers before finally locating the seating arrangements.

"Alright, so you are to be seated next to, umm, Cleff, i-in that corner over there," said Professor Averill after taking a prolonged glance at the sheet. "I'm a little late, so we'll just have to get started pretty soon. If there's anything you're, err, lost on... just ask me, or even the people next to you."

The last part of her statement earned a few subdued chuckles from the class, though the bespectacled woman failed to find the humor in it all and proceeded to sort through her lesson plans. Others gave concerned looks. Would the newcomer be alright where she was sitting? Such was the unspoken question that seemed to linger in the air as Hiri took her seat.

'Cleff', the blonde-haired student with a constantly annoyed look upon his visage, was still nose deep in his textbook until Hiri sat down next to him. When she did, he glanced up at her briefly, only to look away and then follow up with a double-take of sorts. "Uh... hi," was all that he could manage to say for the time being. A closer look at his uniform, now that she saw it, would reveal him to be a Lightning Major.

To Hiri's right was another empty seat. There was no mention yet of who might have sat there, but before she could wonder about it for too long, class had already begun. And just after it did, the door to the classroom swung open. A girl with long dark-blue hair staggered in, her face pale and features visibly tired. Dark rings could be seen under her eyes, likely from lack of sleep or something similar, and she'd probably have been considered pretty if it weren't for her unfortunate demeanor. She was breathing heavily, no doubt having rushed to class.

Professor Averill had just started writing on the board when the newcomer made her entrance, though from the flat look upon the instructor's face, it wasn't the first time. She adjusted her glasses as her mouth wrinkled at the lesson's disturbance. "Eilinor, a-are you... late again?" asked the instructor, glancing at the enchanted timekeeping structure upon the wall, as if to make certain that her suspicions were correct.

"I'd have been on time if it weren't for, uh... *sigh*... some 'visitors'," replied the girl, dressed in the red skirt and top of a Fire specialist. Her peculiar excuse triggered a few snickers from the class.

Averill scratched the back of her neck and sighed. "Uhhh... r, right. N-Normally, I wouldn't bother you too much about it, but, I was late too. Also, we did have a new student who already made her introduction today. Well, I -guess- it's alright, since you'll be getting familiar with her soon enough. She's over there, between your seat and Cleff's."

Without further ado, Eilinor shuffled over to her desk, located to Hiri's other side, and gave the half-Talean a nervous yet polite attempt at a smile. "Hello, I'm Eilinor." She made similar adjustments to her skirt as she sat down--in the exact same way that the Wind Major had earlier. "I feel that you... are a good person," she remarked flatly. "Unlike some others around here," added the girl with another sigh.
 
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BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#4
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"Exotic?" She shrugged and looked away. "You say it like it's a bad thing. It was my grandmother's name. A lot of great Talean women have had it, so to me it's quite normal." She looked at him sidelong and then added. "You're the first person named Alahan that I've ever met, and I've been to quite a few places."

Hiri glanced around at the other students as they came in. At first she tried meeting their eyes, feigning a smile, but it became too much work and made her feel awkward, so she eventually dropped her gaze and remained standing near the front of the class, waiting for the professor to arrive.

After she'd got done introducing herself, she was a bit taken aback by how much of a collective gasp her foreign heritage produced. She'd never realized that a place like the RMA, one that her mother had wistfully talked about for years and years, would have students who got so worked up simply because she'd been outside of this continent.

"Yeah, I've been to some ports in Honrai and Deun," she answered the green-haired girl. "They're very different from one another, and each are different from Talea too. My father's family is from Caneo, the biggest of the Talean islands, and the big city there is Leganas, where all the trade occurs. My mother though is from right here in Elynsor. So really, half of me is just like you guys."

She produced a tight-lipped smile and rocked her weight back and forth from her heels to the ball of her foot until, mercifully, Professor Averill beckoned her towards her seat in the back corner.

She sat down and looked to her right at the boy, Cleff. She saw his eyes peek over his book at her, disappear, then rise again with a brief greeting.

"Hi." She answered back and watched as the book obscured his annoyed visage once again.

Her parchment and quill were already out and she was just jotting down the date and class notation when the tired looking fire major walked into the classroom. Hiri was left confused when the class snickered so obviously at her reference to having 'visitors.'

Her eyes followed Eilinor as she approached and took a seat to her left.

"Ah, I'm Hiri. It's nice to meet you Eilinor," Hiri added, then listened with a raised brow as out of nowhere the strange girl said that she felt that Hiri was a good person. For a moment, the Talean was silent, not sure how to take this statement. Then, with nothing better to say, she responded with a weak "Uh, thanks. You seem nice too."

Then, with a hint of curiosity in her voice, she leaned over and in a hushed tone asked. "What did you mean by visitors?"
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#5
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Alahan's polite expression cracked for a fraction of a second as his eyebrows crinkled in a worried look. "Oh, no. Didn't mean for it to sound negative in any way! If anything, it's... actually quite nice. Forgive my wording on that," said the youth, overwriting any initial concern with another smile. "You noticed about my own name as well, then. I do realize that it isn't Elynsorian. My father was the one who gave the title, said it was of a man who saved his life while he was overseas in the military. But, that's enough about me," added the Earth Major, earning a few momentary glances from the others in the room. "We don't get a lot of Talean or Honrainese students at the Academy, to be honest, so I couldn't help but notice, is all."

Indeed, it was plain to see that in terms of discernible heritage, the makeup of the class was fairly uniform, especially once everyone had settled in. Despite being half Elynsorian and the child of an Academy alumna, she was certainly different here regardless. Those of Talean descent could be found in other parts of the city, but it appeared that she was one of a kind as far as the Academy's roster went.

However, Hiri's relative uniqueness didn't necessarily mean unpopularity. The green-haired girl, along with the others, continued to look upon the newcomer with curious smiles. Once she took her seat, some of the students sitting nearby could be seen fidgeting often as if internally debating whether or not to approach her. So far, the only ones who had found any success in talking to her directly were Alahan and Eilinor, both very different from each other. The latter was far more aloof, however, and despite her kind words to Hiri, bore a largely flat expression. Perhaps she was always like this--but then again, it was still a bit early to tell.

"Visitors. Do you know of them? Not everyone can see, even with eyes opened," responded Eilinor in a voice slightly louder than the islander girl might have liked, seeing as class had already begun. "Those who have passed on to the other side. There are a few in this school--some friendly, some less so. All are bound in a certain way, kept here. It's... complicated," she added cryptically. While the dark-haired girl looked as though she wanted to add more to her explanation, she quieted down after seeing Professor Averill turn towards her.

"We're starting now! You'll have plenty of time to do whatever later on. Okay, so we're, um, at... yes, let's take a look at page 110 of our text. Today we're going to review, ahm, gate theory a little more, and tomorrow we can actually put what we learned to the t-test at the spell range. Oh! I almost forgot already. Sorry to jump ahead so quickly, Hiri, but it's where we were from yest--err, well, before today. If you have any questions after class, I'll b-be happy to answer them. Now, where were we... oh, right."

And so began the lesson. For a first year student, the principles appeared basic enough. The most difficult detail to pin down for Hiri, if anything, was the terminology. 'Focus points', 'gate pressure', 'transition periods'... none of the terms were things she had heard before. And yet, after some more detailed explanations on the instructor's part, she would find that she actually did know a great deal of them--just not some of the words that the Academy used in particular. She could thank her mother for familiarity with just a basic few, but even then, there were just so... many. If nothing else, the school's newest Wind Major could fall back on knowing that when it came to actually casting, she was certainly no slouch, based on the time she spent on her father's ship. From the looks of how some struggled with the most basic of principles, it wouldn't have been a surprise if she was more experienced than a fair deal of the students here.

Midway through the lesson, Cleff propped the textbook he was reading up onto his desk and released a frustrated sigh, showing that the lecture wasn't quite getting through, even if he did appear to try his hardest to listen beforehand. He looked down at his hand, which was concealed from the teacher's view, and began to focus. She knew at this point that it was an attempt to create a gate, which was typically forbidden in the middle of class without instructor supervision. Slowly, a tiny gate formed, crackling with energy... until one of the arcs of electricity curved into his wrist, giving him a quick jolt and causing the otherworldly aperture he had summoned to rupture before dissipating. "Agh!" he grunted aloud, waving the pain out of his hand. The exclamation caused some of the students around him, as well as Professor Averill, to pause and look in his direction.

"Um, are... you alright?" asked the redheaded woman, adjusting her glasses with a puzzled look. She didn't catch his violation of the rules. If she did, she didn't bother to let it on.

"Yeah," was all that Cleff said before returning to the book and the lesson in progress, clenching and opening his hand intermittently to check if the feeling had returned to it. A short bout of chuckles could be heard all around. Eilinor, sitting off to Hiri's other side, glanced sideways at an empty spot in the room, but said nothing of it.

Several hours later, the day's classroom session had finally concluded. Hiri's arrival hadn't done anything to disrupt the normal routine, so it seemed, despite the initial degree of interest her classmates showed in her background. As the other students began to pack their things, casually chatting with each other, Eilinor wasted no time in standing up and taking her leave, which was made easier by the fact that no one in the class really bothered to communicate with her. Cleff lingered a while afterwards, only to shut his book with a grumble and stuff it into his pack. "See you tomorrow," he said in farewell to Hiri, then left without so much as a word to anyone else.

Once the other two left, the green-haired girl from earlier, who had showed great interest in Hiri's travels, approached her. She wore the colors of a Wind Major, and a smile upon her face. Her shoulder-length hair was styled to perfection, and her soft brown eyes were made to look much sharper than they were with a careful application of mascara.

"Hi! I'm Wenille. I see you're a Wind Major, just like me! How familiar with Elynsor are you? I was going to say, I can only imagine how hard it'd be to just drop in here mid-quarter, especially if you're not really used to the place. Maybe I can help you sometime with a study group of sorts? Doesn't look like you're going to learn much from where you ended up seating-wise. Sorry you had to end up next to all of the weirdoes."
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#6
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri's initial conversation with Alahan died down as she gave him a polite smile, indicative that she had taken no great offense to his terming her 'exotic.' His backpedaling had the effect of making her more at ease, as though she weren't the only one having to worry about seeming awkward or saying the wrong thing.

Later, when Eilinor had given an odd answer to her question about visitors, Hiri was reminded of the extremely superstitious tales of sailors old and young alike on her father's boat. No profession under the sun held more value in old wives tales and far-fetched explanations for obviously mundane occurrences or coincidences. Therefore, Hiri had heard stranger utterances in the past, the only surprising thing being that here was a young mage in training, likely intelligent in many respects, who was adhering to the same mysticism. She didn't hold it against her any more than she held such beliefs against the sailors she knew. In fact, she quite liked listening to their ramblings from time to time, if for nothing else than the amusement.

When Professor Averill reprimanded them for being too loud, she went back to concentrating on taking notes. Even if she didn't particularly understand what each bit of lexicon meant, she still wrote them down verbetum so that she could go back over it later. Near to the end of the class, she had just about figured out what they were on her own, comparing them to the more instinctual lessons her mother had given to her on the ship at sea. The notes she made would help to clarify the lesson most likely.

Cleff's little outburst seemed ill-advised to Hiri, but she wasn't going to do anything that would make the lightning major feel more awkward than he already was. Personally, she didn't think it was too smart to be trying to teach yourself lightning in a class with other people who weren't paying attention to your casting. He could hurt himself and other - especially herself. When he said goodbye at the end of the class, she didn't respond to him and wondered why he was so insistent upon ignoring the professor.

At the end of class, the green haired girl approached her. Hiri could tell that this girl was really into her looks. The hair, the eyes, the makeup on her face. She was looking quite good. Maybe she was one of the more popular girls?

"Hi Wenille, nice to meet you. I like your hair, it goes well with the uniform. And no, I don't know the city all that well, just the port and a few places that my mother pointed out to me when we arrived."

As Wenille offered to form a study group, Hiri nodded and her face brightened up a bit.

"That'd be great. Since we're both wind majors, we could help each other out. We've already got that much in common at least. Hm hm hm! Weirdos? Yeah... Cleff letting off lightning balls right next to me certainly didn't put me at ease. Eilinor though, well, she doesn't seem that bad. Compared to some sailors I've known, she's actually pretty tame. As long as neither of them set me on fire or electrify me, I'm okay with sitting where I am."

She tilted her head to the side and grinned to herself. "So. Study groups aside, what do students do for fun around here?"
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#7
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"You really think so? Thanks!" Wenille replied cheerfully, tucking a few stray bangs behind her ear as if to acknowledge the attention paid to her hair. "Don't get me wrong, it's not why I became a Wind Major though--just kinda turned out that way thanks to testing. Lucky me, huh? So anyway, erm, yeah... too bad you didn't end up closer to the rest of us. Doesn't mean I can't still show you all the different buildings around campus," she offered, slinging her bag of books over her shoulder. "And even where they hold all of the big parties! Get a little toasted, meet some boys, you know, that sort of thing. Definitely not an experience that you want to miss out on during your time at the Academy!" A giddy grin formed upon her face as she began to make her way out of the classroom and into the halls, making sure that Hiri wasn't too far behind.

Once they were a fair distance from the room, she continued. "I think Professor Averill got so caught up in her own lecture today that she forgot to let us take a lunch. It happens from time to time, but I mean, we get out of homeroom only about two hours after the usual lunchtime anyway, so it's not a big deal. If you're that worried about her doing it again, could always talk to her about it, since I'm sure you have some kinda sway being the special new person that you are. Or, do what some of the others do and sneak some snacks into class! Some Garalin cakes might give you enough energy to make it through some of the more boring lectures. So, why don't I show you to the cafeteria? Definitely not too late to at least get something in your stomach, if you're starving like I am. Come on," she urged, taking the newest student out of the building and back onto the school grounds.

When the two stepped outside the door, Hiri noticed a commotion occurring just several feet from where she stood. Roughly half a dozen male students, wearing the uniforms of various majors, could be seen muttering amongst themselves. A jumble of voices could be heard from within the circular cluster, and the half-Talean could only make out a few sentences of what was being said.

"Hey, one of my pals saw a ghost just over in the mens' restroom! I know that's somethin' you'd wanna check out, right? Heh... come on, we'll show you to where it is. *chuckle*"

"But... no, those sorts of visitors aren't normally visible by... *sigh* People like you..."

"Like us? I think you're thinking of the wrong crowd, hon. We'll just show you real quick, and worst-case scenario, if nothing's there, then hey, nothing's there. The guy who saw it was a pretty reliable source though, and besides... I just thought you were the person to go to for this sorta thing. Come on, it won't be long."

After taking notice of the scene, Wenille made a face and tugged on Hiri's sleeve. "Ugh, c'mon. Let's get outta here. If there's one thing you should learn first about this school, it's not to get involved with guys like those types over there," she warned in a low voice. "Should save you a lot of trouble in the long run."
 
Last edited:

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#8
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"Becoming a wind major for the color matching?" Hiri giggled at the absurd notion, and watched with amused eyes as the wind major talked on.

"I guess I do need a guide to the school. If you're volunteering, then I'm thankful. Are there many parties?" Hiri recalled that mama and papa had both been adamant that she needed to study hard and ignore distractions, but later mama had pulled her aside and in a private, hushed tone told her that she could enjoy herself so long as she used her head and promised not to do anything too reckless.

"You can have fun, Hiri," her mother had told her. "Make friends, meet some boys even. But if you get pregnant, your father will toss himself into the ocean, and then I'll throw you in next. Got it?"

Hiri held her pack of books close to her chest, remembering that conversation. This was to be her first taste of real freedom, but she knew that being on her own meant she had to be responsible for herself. Making friends her age would be a wonderful experience, but she had to make sure she didn't let herself meet the wrong people or get sidetracked from her true goal: to be a fully qualified wind mage.

Wenille was talking about the professor now.

"Is she normally like that? I'm not sure what sway I'd have. I just met her today, and I don't think I'd get any special treatment. My stomach works just like everyone else." She smirked. "And right now, it's telling me I need to eat. Let's go to the cafeteria."

As they walked out of the building, Hiri noticed the group of boys all standing in a circle talking in mocking tones, and then picked out a voice that was different from them.

"Is that Eilinor that they're talking to?" Hiri asked Wenille, slowing her pace down and keeping her eye on the circle. "They sound like they're giving her trouble. Just who are they?"
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
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Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#9
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"Ohh, yes," answered Wenille. "Lots of parties! I can't say that they're all Academy approved, or anything like that, but they're loads of fun regardless. If you wanna know all the good ones, you're talking to the right person," she added with a wink, along with an odd twinkle in her eye.

When Hiri made her response on the topic of their professor, the green-haired student merely gave a slight shrug in return. "Pretty much. Nothing out of the ordinary for as long as I've had her, which is all of half a quarter thus far. I just mean that if you really gotta eat, and you wanna interrupt one of her little run-on explanations that bleed over into our designated lunchtime anyway, I'm pretty sure she won't crucify you or anything."

~~~~~​

"Don't know. They'll mess with just about anyone, if they're an easy enough target," whispered the other Wind Major in reply. She hesitated before elevating herself on her tiptoes for a few seconds in order to get a better look at the group's victim for today. "Mm... yep, that looks like Eilinor to me. Not that it would be the first time anyway. As for those guys, basically, they're a bunch of heirs who didn't want to be enrolled in the Academy for one reason or another. So instead of putting any kind of effort into learning, they just spend their time making everyone else miserable instead and doing whatever they want whenever a monitor isn't around--and sometimes even when they are," continued the green-haired beauty in a hushed tone. "But yeah... lesson one, don't get involved with those guys if you can help it."

Meanwhile, the exchange continued.

"I-I said I... don't want to! Please go already..."

"Hey, no reason for you to get such an attitude with us. We just thought to be doing you a favor by putting you to good use. It's not like anyone would ever talk to you otherwise, so why not enjoy the attention for once?"
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#10
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri frowned at the way Wenille described this group of boys. While it was true that Hiri was by any standard rich, her family hadn't come by their wealth through being land owners, living off the toil of others and not knowing a hard day's work. Mama and papa sailed the world over, taking a hands on approach to the Lei Tan trade fleet. The notion that these boys were actively resisting the tremendous opportunity they had by being at this school was reason enough to dislike them. The fact that they were so obviously bullying a girl right out in the open just made Hiri want to fling them out to sea.

But she couldn't just do that. There were six of them, all of them physically stronger than her.

"Hang on Wenille, I can't just let them do that to her," she said, before walking over to the group and raising her voice.

"Actually guys, Eilinor has a prior engagement. She's got to show me around school." Her tone was kept pleasant, though only barely. When they turned to look at her, Hiri felt a chill run down her spine. She'd never been in a situation where she couldn't rely on someone having her back. She forced herself to smile. "I'd ask one of you maybe, but I'll need to go to the girls' dormitory and none of you are allowed there. Come on Eilinor."

She held out a hand towards the fire major with an expectant look aimed first at Eilinor then at the boys standing between them, waiting for them to get out of the way and let the poor girl pass. Hiri's heart pounded in the next few moments, waiting to see how this would play out.
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#11
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"W-Wait," Wenille tried to say in response, but her objection came too late. She simply stayed where she was, pretending to look elsewhere.

Hiri's interruption caused the group members to stop and turn towards her with a startled look on their faces. However, such expressions didn't last long after they took in the sight of the lovely newcomer. The Wind Major could almost their collective gaze scanning her body in unison, and it looked as if she had become their latest target thanks to her bold comment.

"Ohh~" replied one of the delinquents with no lack of interest. A low whistle could be heard from another next to him, the one who had been talking to Eilinor just earlier. He was a fox-eyed fellow with pale skin and spiked silver hair. The tone of voice he used was certainly friendly, but even that would do little to hide the malice that lay in his speech by way of context.

"She's got FRIENDS? Wow. That's, uh, that's... new. To me, at least. Hmm. Let me guess. Are you new here? Can't say I've seen you around before. But since you're a friend of Eilinor's, I guess it's only right for her to introduce us too, isn't it?" He looked to the timid Fire Major expectantly, and she only seemed to withdraw further as a result. "Would be pretty rude for her to be holding out on us like this, don't you think?" As if feeding off of her distress, his grin grew slightly wider upon seeing the poor girl's distressed look.

"Uuuu..." Eilinor whimpered, her expression sour. Nervously, her eyes shifted from that of the lead delinquent's to those of Hiri's. She was visibly shaking. But Hiri's well-timed command caused the dark-haired Fire Major to come scampering to her side just a few seconds later. "O-Okay," she stuttered, swiftly turning her back to the crowd of troublemakers and attempting to walk off along with the Talean to make distance as casually as possible.

"Huh. A bit rude... well, that's too bad," he remarked audibly when the girls began to walk off. "I guess the two of you will just have to see us later then, won't you?" he asked in a louder voice, so that both of them might hear. It wasn't difficult to tell what he was suggesting with such a parting comment.

But despite Hiri's bold move, none of the six moved to follow or give chase. They simply stood there, with their hands in their pockets, watching their victim and her apparent savior as the distance between the cliques steadily increased.

Wenille caught up with them just moments later, taking a deep breath. "Oh, wow. That was, uh... that took some guts, I'll just say that much. I just hope they don't make too big a deal about it. I've heard stories about how they follow people around and stuff. Not to scare you, or anything. Just saying, be careful, y'know? I try to pretend that they don't even exist, and it's gotten me this far."

Eilinor bit her lower lip, looking as if she was about to cry. "Thank you," she murmured. "I knew you were a good person."

The green-haired girl raised her eyebrows and averted her gaze elsewhere, looking somewhat uncomfortable by the other girl's odd manner of expressing gratitude, but remained at Hiri's side nonetheless. "Aaanyway, how about some food to help forget about all that, like we originally planned on?"

"I guess I'll leave you to it, then," said Eilinor, bowing her head towards the half-Talean before motioning to part from the others.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#12
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri didn't stop holding her breath until Eilinor's hand had entwined with hers, and the ship captain's daughter pulled the fire major to her side. She maintained her smile defiantly in the face of the six boys.

"Yeah, maybe," she said over her shoulder to the delinquents. "See you later, Spikey."

Parting shot delivered, she made her way hand in hand with Eilinor until they were out of sight. Only then did Wenille join them.

"Even if they do make a big deal of it, I'll tell the professor about them," she told Wenille to assuage her concerns. "Or my faculty adviser, Jesika. Someone will know how to get to them. And if not, we'll just study hard to be better at magic than those yahoos. Guys like that, my father says they pick on people who they think can't defend themselves. They'll learn better if we don't show fear."

She nodded to Wenille at the suggestion of getting some grub, but was startled by Eilinor's sudden move to depart.

"Hey," she didn't let go of the fire major's hand. "I'm not going to force you to eat with us if you don't want to, but it might be better if you stuck with me for a while. Wenille, you don't mind right?"

She gave the wind major a knowing look, suggesting that she knew she was asking Wenille to put up with the strange girl. "Last thing we need is for those guys to find you again and insist on showing you the boys' room. Strength in numbers, yeah?"
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#13
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

There was no verbal return fire given from the head delinquent, or at least the one that Hiri presumed to be, as she made off with the frightened Fire Major. It was also the first genuine emotion that she managed to spot from Eilinor, as her appearance earlier in class only showcased a generally flat, monotone expression, with her few dispassionate emotes limited to the occasional sigh. Her hand gripped that of Hiri's tightly until they were a fair distance from the troublemakers, when she noticed how firm her hold was on the half-Talean and seemed to panic a little, instinctively pulling away to little avail. Hiri would find that Eilinor was somewhat on the frail side--that, or she was just strong in comparison. However, the Wind Major's comforting words brought about a stunned look, followed by a soft nod by the other girl and a firm acceptance of her offer marked by a gentle squeeze of the hand.

"Oh, your advisor is Jesika? Neat. Erm, well, I guess," said Wenille with a crinkled mouth and a shrug. "Like I said, usually people don't even try to bother, since that guy Harell has parents are pretty well-connected around here... or something like that. He tries to find any sort of blackmail material on those he picks on, so that they don't have any reason to fight back. A lot of the time he manages to get it too, somehow. Not to scare you or anything--just explaining why I pretty much don't even bother trying to acknowledge his existence in any form. Good job though, even that took a lot more guts than I would have had. Aaaanyway... so. Right, the cafeteria! Don't think you've seen it yet, huh? It's just over this way, let me show you."

Eilinor opted to omit any response she might have had in mind, instead keeping her gaze directly ahead of them with her hand still gripping that of Hiri's. Wenille moved forward a few paces in order to lead them to their destination, though naturally the fledgling fire mage appeared to know the way as well. The guidance from the Wind Major's two classmates was almost unnecessary after they returned towards the center of campus, however, as the cafeteria wasn't a particularly difficult building to spot. A fairly squat but wide structure, clusters of students could be seen filtering into its main entrance. From its orientation and relatively short distance from the central fountain, Hiri wouldn't have trouble finding this place again. After all, the seas themselves were far more treacherous to navigate, as the Academy grounds had many prominent landmarks by which to guide a lost student, despite the sheer number of various buildings scattered about. The ocean, not so much.

After the trio entered, Hiri set eyes upon a truly impressive hall, comparable to those that nobles used for their feasts. Several stations at which one could gather their meal selections stood closest to where they had just stepped in, and just beyond them lay numerous rows of long, rectangular dining tables to the other side. It also proved to be quite the contrast from the galleys of ships, which were often cramped little affairs. This facility served much more in the way of sheer numbers, and not just any 'numbers' at that--these patrons were, for the most part, Elynsor's privileged and talented youth, which the city apparently spared little expense in pampering. This was the kind of place her mother underwent her training as a mage; no shortage of various social nuances and obstacles, yet the basic needs that plagued many a sailor or peasant were more than taken care of.

A large line had already formed, leading to a large window connected to the kitchen, where the Academy's cooks, dressed in uniforms of their own, handed the piping hot orders of food to students looking at them with expectant stares. Even in the middle of the afternoon, it was bustling. Several familiar faces from class, no doubt famished from the professor's extended lecture, could already be seen seated and enjoying their meals. When Hiri finally reached the window to receive her food just minutes later, she'd look up to see a small sign that detailed what the choices for the day were. It read:

~~~~~
"Cutlets of Roast Pig with Rosemary and Mashed Turnips"
"Freshwater Perch with Basil and Steamed Carrots"
"Beef Jellies with Sliced Cucumber"
~~~~~

A noticeable detail about the day's entrees was that they were, for the most part, well-seasoned--usually a mark of 'fine' food around Elynsor and typically reserved for the households of the well-off or used by establishments of the more refined sort. For those living outside the halls of the Academy, salted was about as seasoned as most meats got. Being the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and a well-traveled one at that, the order she selected might not have been the most spectacular of meals that Hiri had ever set eyes upon once it was actually on her plate, but all in all it was still impressive considering the sheer quantity of students that needed to be served in a given day.

After choosing one of the three for her main course (or omitting them, if she wasn't particularly pleased with any of them), there were a few other stations that Hiri could stop at to help sate her appetite. There was a bar with various types of soups available; seafood chowder, onion-ale soup, wheat cooked in milk and broth. Next to it was a selection of sweet, sour and plain breads, divided into small loaves, where a monitor ensured that only two could be taken. Finally, a small area serving dessert waited at the very end, where sweet oplan tart cakes and 'dolcunes', a frozen treat prepared by way of ice magic, could be seen as the options for the day.

Eilinor wordlessly picked the beef jellies and onion-ale soup, taking the plain breads and omitting the dessert altogether, while Wenille chose the roast pig, supplementing her meal with the wheat broth and oplan tart cakes. Once Hiri was ready, they would then find an empty spot at one of the tables, where they could eat at their own pace. Still, it was rather loud in the hall given the plethora of conversations that were all being held at the same time, and Hiri had to raise her voice a little, or lean close to those she was trying to talk to, in order to ensure that her words were heard. As they started, Wenille could be seen digging in heartily while Eilinor resorted to a very orderly, almost ritualistic way of eating her food.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#14
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"Harell huh?" Hiri said with a frown. She didn't like what Wenille was telling her about him. Well-connected and fond of blackmail? He wouldn't be nearly so comfortable out at sea on her papa's ship, that was for sure. "Well there's nothing for him to blackmail me with, so I'm not afraid of him doing it to me. And he's not the only person with money and connections at this school either. Hmmph."

She looked at the forlorn emotion in Eilinor's face and quickly attempted to change the subject. "A-anyways, let's go eat. It's been a while since I've had western food, and I guess I'm going to need to get used to it for a while."

The cafeteria was easy to spot and Hiri doubted that she would have difficulties finding it again. It was large, spacious, and looked amazing from the inside. Granted she had seen some glimpses of opulence in other ports, and her grandfather's residence in Talea was well-decorated and grand compared to most other places in that country, but this was the biggest public dining hall in which she had ever found herself.

"It's quite impressive, isn't it?" She said looking at her surroundings. Architecture aside, Hiri was also duly impressed by the sheer amount of food prepared by the hard-working team of chefs behind the counter. She'd spent a lot of time helping her ship's cook prepare meals on the voyage. Even with the meager fare aboard a sailing vessel, there was a lot of preparation work that went into serving a single dish to a large number of hungry mouths. The operation going on at the RMA was nothing short of astounding.

Completing the trio of orders, Hiri chose the perch dish, having always enjoyed fish. She also grabbed a small bowl of seafood chowder and some bread, but eschewed taking a dessert. She placed her tray in between her two companions and began to eat.

"It's quite nice too. Seasoned with more than just salt. We really do have it good here, huh?"

Hiri ate with gusto, as she'd seen sailors do on the ship, but she knew how to properly use a knife and fork in the western fashion. Mama had been sure to teach her the customs of Elynsor, including table etiquette for a young woman. Hiri thought it all very fussy and humorous, but didn't talk back to her mother. If anything, she was going to the RMA for her mother's sake, to meet up to her high expectations. It seemed that her parents would not be satisfied with anything less than Hiri becoming the greates trade fleet wind mage of a generation. They were loving, she knew, but it could be hard living up to their dreams for her.

"So Wenille, is your family from around here?" Hiri asked curiously.
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#15
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

"Isn't it? Hehe, I think the faculty knows better than to serve subpar food to the sons and daughters of the Elynsor's nobles," replied Wenille. "I mean, sure--they aren't the BEST dishes I've ever tasted, of course. But I'll admit that they do a pretty good job all in all, especially for having to serve this many people on a daily basis. Good to know that the tuition money isn't going to total waste!" she exclaimed before taking another bite before wiping her mouth properly with practiced grace. The green-haired girl kept her gaze fixed on Hiri all the while, and her way of speaking remained fairly casual, showing that such table manners were clearly second nature to her now, likely after years of etiquette training.

"You know, funny you should ask! My family is actually from the house of Wyndlocke, one of Elynsor's oldest clans! They say we've been around for at least six generations, almost from the very beginning. We've seen it all, I guess. So if you ever need help navigating the city outside the Academy gates, don't be afraid to ask! I know it like the back of my hand--well, except for the slums, but I don't think you want to go there anyway. Come to think of it, though, you know, I've never actually stepped foot outside this country. Not even to Brevnia or Grem. Crazy, huh? One day I hope to travel, though, maybe go overseas to Talea or something like that, because I keep hearing about how beautiful it all is. I mean, as long as it's not too smelly on the ship or anything like that, I think I'd do fine!"

In noticeable contrast to Wenille's constant chain of rambling, Eilinor chose to remain silent, focusing more on the task of having her meal rather than paying attention to the other girl's stories. Her table manners were not quite as polished as that of the two Wind Majors sitting next to her, though she didn't seem to pay it any mind regardless. She started with the onion-ale soup, taking somewhat shorter and louder sips than most, but doing so in a very steady rhythm, enough to earn a raised brow from some of the girls sitting nearby.

Still, the Fire Major paid them no mind and moved on to her beef jellies, systematically starting from the top and working her way down to the bottom with carefully measured scoops. While the manner in which she consumed her food was relatively tidy, it was still eccentric enough to be slightly distracting to those who were looking at her, and she didn't pause until she was finished or unless Hiri in particular bothered to stop her.

Even then, Eilinor's peculiar manner of eating was probably one of the less distracting factors in the dining hall as a whole, especially as an escalating chorus of snickers could be heard towads the beginning of the food line. A quick look up would show Hiri that a few rowdy boys had made their way in. Not the exact same ones from Harell's group, but quite similar in the way they carried themselves--like they owned the place.

They were being noisier than most, and oddly enough, Cleff could be seen in line between two of them. However, unlike the delinquents in front of and behind him in the queue, he remained quiet, with his attention on the food being served. Soon enough, the one to Cleff's right, a dark-haired youth wearing the uniform of a second-year specializing in water magic, paused his gabbing in order to follow suit in looking at the various selections of food available.

The second-year's cohort, an Earth Major located just one over, thought it a good idea to play a practical joke of sorts on his own friend once his attention was drawn elsewhere. Once the opportunity arose, he reached over, only to grab the back of the water mage's pants and pull them down by two feet. The results of the stunt didn't take long to attract chuckles from those nearby, with the freshly undressed youth noticing the malfunction far too late.

The culprit, still undetected, retracted his hand stealthily and averted his gaze, causing the victim to look to his left, the assumed source of the mischief... where only Cleff, who had been staring at the menu the entire time, stood. While the Lightning Major was unaware of what had occurred, having had no part in it, he was suddenly faced with a very angry student next to him. The dark-haired recipient of the prank quickly pulled his pants up, and Hiri could see his face redden as he growled a few choice words at Cleff.

"The fuck was that all about?"

Cleff's brow furrowed in confusion. "...What?"

"You think that's funny or something? I don't even know you." The strain of the Water Major's temper could be heard through his voice, and in hindsight it was likely that his friend was aware of his short fuse.

"And I don't know what you're talking about, so that makes us even," muttered Cleff dismissively before retrieving a piece of bread to set on his plate. He appeared content to just ignore whatever demands this stranger had for him and go on his merry way... until the other student placed a hand under the edge of his wooden tray and flipped it over, causing the ceramics to shatter upon the floor.

This was enough to set Cleff off, and within seconds the two had engaged in a messy fistfight. Each student had a firm grip on the other's collar while their free hands did the punching, though at some point the dark-haired delinquent's friends joined in to turn the tide against the lone Cleff. What started as a fairly even scuffle was slowly developing into a one-sided beating as four teamed up on one, though the Lightning Major wasn't to be intimidated, swinging away regardless of the odds. He was losing though, and already there were marks on his face from the repeated punches delivered by the opposition.

However, the beating wouldn't continue for long, as a 'monitor' from halfway across the hall--a member of the faculty designed to supervise students and keep the peace--knocked the lot of them apart and to the ground with a large, well-placed burst of ice-cold water from a quickly summoned gate spell. Monitors were graduates of the Royal Magic Academy themselves, and as such, were well-equipped to deal with most disruptive students... provided they were around to witness a given offense.

"Uuuggh," groaned the blonde Lightning Major, shaking the cobwebs off as his opposition came to. Another monitor arrived at the scene as the two sides were separated from each other.

"His dumb ass started it," snapped the dark-haired delinquent accusingly.

"Yeah, I saw him beating up on my boy and I just came in to help," said the one who initiated the prank in the first place.

"Sh... shut up!" was the only response Cleff could manage. He was promptly restrained by the first monitor, while the second stood in front of the clique to keep them from acting on any temptations to continue the fight.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#16
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri cut apart her fish using a spoon and fork, rather than a knife, as was Talean custom. She did not play with her food nor have any ritual way of eating it like the fire major beside her, but she was slightly more cavalier with her method of eating than the prim and proper Wenille. A life around sailors, even dignified ones like papa, was bound to make her slack on the habits of nobles. Mostly it added up to her taking big, greedy bites and having her cheeks at times holding more food than they should. She had enough grace though to use a napkin when necessary.

She let the conversation be driven by Wenille. Hiri didn't mind the wind major carrying on about her family, and even offered smiles and nods of interest at those times when the girl was looking up to see if her story had produced any reaction from the foreigner.

"If you've never been on a ship at sea before, I advise you to take a few short voyages before traveling to distant lands. It takes a while for some people to get their sea legs. Even big tough guys end up going green for some time if they're not prepared for the motion of the open water."
Hiri only wanted to be fair to her new friend. The sea was romantic to poets and dreamers on all shores who'd never had to deal with a month long ocean voyage. "The destinations though can be eye opening. My mother grew up here, but says that she never made a better decision than to see the world for herself, rather than reading about it in books like her fellow students."

At a lull in the conversation, Hiri looked sidelong at Eilinor and asked "How's your food, Eilinor?"

She was hoping that she could prompt some kind of normal conversation out of the strange girl.

Not too much later, the disturbance with Cleff broke out and though there had been some injustice done to the lightning major, he certainly hadn't made the situation easier on himself by fighting so stubbornly against both guys.

"Are all the guys at this school such jerks?" Hiri said, thinking of how papa would have dealt with this level of unruliness aboard his ship. There was a harsh code of conduct at sea, and those who got out of line received lashings. The public display of the penalty was enough to remind men to settle their differences quietly and without roughhousing.

"What sort of punishment does the academy have for students who get out of hand?" She asked Wenille.
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#17
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Neither of the girls sitting next to Hiri paid her eating habits any mind. Even when Wenille's manners seemed slightly more refined in comparison, the difference wasn't anything significant enough to warrant even subtle attentions from anyone around. If there was anyone drawing extra attention in such a way, it was Eilinor, whose style of eating was far higher on the peculiarity scale than anyone else at the table.

The attention she received was limited to a few students sitting nearby, however, as Wenille's interest lay with Hiri and her talk about travel.

"Oh, my... is it that bad?"

While the Talean girl's warning came with only the most friendly of intentions, she could almost see her fellow Wind Major's flowery expectations of sea travel shatter by the way her expression changed from a hopeful to a worried one. "I never imagined it to be the sickening sort of deal," Wenille commented. It was easy enough to tell that her idea of an ocean voyage was far separated from the reality that Hiri knew all too well. "I mean, I've gotten sick a few times, but never really had anything that was life-threatening, I don't think. I do remember being ill for an entire week when I was young, though," she explained somewhat grimly, as if it were no small deal, before moving on to her dessert. "Good point, though. If the destinations are that nice, I'm sure it's all worth it! I wonder how all those different explorers felt when they first set foot upon those new lands," she mused aloud, her thoughts shifting back to the world of the romantic and the ideal.

Interrupted from her odd ritual, Eilinor looked up with slightly widened eyes at Hiri, as if surprised that the other girl showed any interest in her at all. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but her glance met Wenille's face for just a moment, and she hesitated. It was possible that she was uncomfortable in the presence of the other girl, or found herself unwilling to interrupt Wenille's more natural sounding mode of conversation.

"Uh! It's... it's good," was all that she managed to blurt out at first in terms of a reply. She swallowed hard, then scrambled for her napkin in order to finally wipe her mouth. Hiri's choice to not allow Eilinor to be a third wheel entirely didn't go unappreciated, however, as the Fire Major offered her a small smile for once.

However, any chance for additional interaction with the strange girl was cut off by the rowdy display made between Cleff and the group of four delinquents. Both sides were kept separate by the monitors, but continued to take turns blurting out their excuses to the faculty.

Wenille, like the others, couldn't help but look over to the scene and heave a deep sigh, shaking her head. "That's kind of a problem in this school, I guess. Nobody really gets hurt or beaten as punishment, since the majority of the people attending here have connections of some sort. So instead, the Academy records the incident and relays it back to their families to let them deal with it. Some parents are too busy to bother though, so delinquents like those guys tend to get away with a slap on the wrist and a warning--or sentenced to some kind of cleanup duty, which they end up slacking off on anyway. I think there's only a few times you can get in trouble like that before they expel you, though. Never really kept track since I don't get involved in those kinds of things myself," she explained. "But don't worry about it too much. Normally these kinds of things don't happen when monitors are around, so I wouldn't be too concerned. Only the biggest idiots do that kind of thing in public."

When Hiri brought her attention back to the scene, Cleff was trying to explain himself to the stern-looking water mage serving as a monitor. "You didn't see this asshole flip my tray? He's the one who tried to start something."

The monitor looked unconvinced. "No, I didn't. I looked across the hall and all I saw were the five of you fighting like drunken barbarians. Have you forgotten that this is an institution of learning and rational thought? Besides, look at everyone around you. I, too, would be shocked to find Academy students brawling like stupid, filthy commoners at some second-rate tavern in the slums. The five of you are coming with us to see the Headmaster," he ordered.

Even the other four weren't to argue with the decree. As hardened as they thought themselves to be, any resistance on their part would eventually just result in a team of monitors against them to restrain the boys in the most embarrassing manner possible. However, the one who started it all by playing the prank on his friend didn't look too fussed about the seriousness of the matter, folding his arms behind his head with a smug look upon his face. Perhaps he was used to getting away with it? Regardless, they would all be taken away in short order unless Hiri had anything to contribute on the matter.

After Hiri was finished with her food, she was free to drop off her tray and dirty dishes to a window at the other end of the hall before exiting the building. What was supposed to be a day with only a simple 6-hour session of homeroom still turned out to be a relatively eventful one as far as social incidents went. She remembered what her schedule read. Tomorrow, in addition to the mandatory homeroom class, came a two-hour 'Spell Application' course roughly an hour afterwards. Eilinor, as if in sync with Hiri's thoughts, was the first to mention as much.

"Spell Application is tomorrow," she said flatly, looking down at her palm.

Wenille, of course, didn't hesitate to lead the conversation once more. "Oh, right! Are you ready for that? That's when we put theory into practice. It's so odd to think that you've joined in the middle of the quarter, when everyone already has a bit of experience. The Academy must have some faith in you or something. So I'm guessing you already know how to cast a little, maybe? At least you didn't have to see the rest of us on the first day, when we were all botching our gates really badly. That was so embarrassing! The only thing that made it feel better for me was that everyone else was messing up too."
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#18
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri could only curl her lips in a knowing smile as Wenille quickly resumed her romantic ideals of travel. It's not that Hiri was jaded or lacked the qualities to appreciate distant lands or the sea. In fact, she enjoyed the sea quite a lot, but she enjoyed it for the familiarity, the independence, and the camaraderie aboard the ship. She had been born into a seafaring family, and so it was what she knew. The good bits and the bad too were like old friends to her. Blisters from the ropes, sun burn on her cheeks, nose, and shoulders, high waves and choppy waters, hardtack bread, and daily chores didn't bother her the way they might aggravate a land-sider like Wenille.

Hiri's attention shifted to Eilinor for a little while, trying to include the strange girl in conversation, but of course, the trouble with Cleff and the delinquents interrupted her efforts. Hiri listened to Wenille's explanation without feeling the need to reply. If the school didn't do enough to deter the high paying students, then it really would be an unpleasant experience being picked on by such idiots. Better to rise above it if she could.

When she had finished her meal she deposited her tray back at the appropriate station and then walked with her two classmates out into the yard. It was strange how Eilinor practically read her mind as she thought about her schedule.

"Y-yeah, I was just thinking about that. Hrmmm..." Hiri put her hand to her chin, musing about what might be expected of her. Wenille immediately piped up again, it wasn't exactly making the half-Talean feel better.

"*sigh* I have no theory to back up anything. I've only got what my mother taught me and what I've learned through trial and error. And ah... I'm afraid I'll be completely useless in anything besides summoning winds. Here, I'll show you."

Stepping out into a green away from anyone else, Hiri turned towards Wenille and Eilinor and raised her hands, palm side up. Closing her eyes, she made contact with the great force that always seemed to be just at the edge of her senses. She pictured herself grabbing ahold of it, pinching a tiny part of it and untying its edge as though it were one of the sailor's knots aboard her papa's ship. Her mother said that what Hiri was actually doing at this point was creating a 'gate' between this world and the dimension of Wind, but to Hiri that was just semantics. She did what she knew felt right and once the 'knot' unraveled...

A whoosh of wind spiraled out around Hiri, fanning outward from her feet, causing the blades of grass to fold away and flicker like thousands of tiny green pennants in a strong gale. Hiri's uniform, as well as those of Eilinor and Wenille would flutter and their capes would kick up from the mild force.

Keeping things under her control, Hiri put the arcane tethers back into place, sealing her instinctive gate and letting the spell's effects die away.

"To be honest, I don't exactly know how I do it. I just can. It's the main reason my mother sent me here. So that I could understand magic better and reach my potential. She tried showing me the other elements. Basic fire, water, lightning, and earth gates. Some of them she hadn't practiced for so long that they weren't that impressive, but she knew some water spells quite well and no matter what I did, I couldn't do the simplest gate."

Hiri shrugged. "So I think everyone will have plenty to laugh at when it's my turn tomorrow."
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#19
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

In contrast to Hiri's somewhat downbeat assessment of her own abilities, Wenille's face lit up with genuine interest. "Really? Ooh, are you kidding me?! We're still working on our own assigned elements, or at least we were last week. It's not like we improved THAT much over the course of a month or anything like that. Most of us still can't do it reliably, and some not at all, still. If I remember the summary right, we're supposed to be able to make a gate of each element and a large one of our selected major by the time we graduate. I mean, it sounds simple enough, until you actually try and do it. But if you can summon winds already, I'm sure you'll be fin--e..." she trailed off, going silent when the Talean began to open her Wind gate.

What resulted was nothing less than astonishing, at least to the other Wind Major. The green-haired girl kept her gaze fixed upon Hiri's demonstration, unable to look away until after its conclusion. For someone who didn't appear to have much confidence in the way she spoke, it was more than impressive for those witnessing the spectacle. Even Eilinor looked on with as much wonder as her expression would allow, though it still seemed like less of a surprise to her than it did for Wenille. Some of the boys in the background could also be seen staring at Hiri's example, though it might have been for reasons other than the impressive magical demonstration. Eilinor frowned in response to the strangers' gawking, and tried to push her skirt down against the gust with her hands in an attempt to obscure any nice 'views' the boys might have gotten.

"That's, um, pretty ah... pretty good! To say the least. It's pretty much anyone there could ask for, considering where we're at in the curriculum. If I have to be honest, I'm actually pretty jealous! Having someone to raise you like that from the get-go. It takes me way longer to do it when I try." remarked the other Wind Major. "If only you knew how to teach me, that would just be grand. But like I said, I don't think you've got anything to worry about. No one's going to be laughing at you tomorrow," added Wenille reassuringly. Eilinor simply nodded in agreement with the other girl, a rare sight up until now.

"So your mother was a Water Major here? I wouldn't have expected that. Well, now that we've actually gotten something to eat, we could always check out the range if you wanted to get a little practice in. To make sure you're ready for tomorrow and such," she suggested. "But if you're tired and just want to go back, I understand, since it has been a pretty long first day for you. I mean, geez... of COURSE we have to run into all of the delinquents when I was hoping that you'd be wowed over what a nice-looking school we have."

Eilinor remained quiet and seemingly indifferent about either choice, allowing Hiri to make the decision for herself. Some practice might ease the half-Talean's concerns and give her a good idea of where she stood amongst the other students, but on the other hand, she still had quite a bit to unpack back at her dorm...
 
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BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#20
Re: Thought is the Wind, Knowledge the Sail (BlueSlime) GMed by Takimaru

Hiri closed the gate the moment she became aware of the boys gawking. Wenille's pushing down of her skirt had caused Hiri to have the mental break through of what she'd inadvertently done and decided that she disapproved of the uniform she'd been forced to wear, despite its fancy design. The wind settled down as soon as she'd tied off the mental knot that bottled up the wind gate and she smoothed over her clothes before grinning a little at Wenille's compliments. It was nice to hear it from a fellow Wind Major.

"Thanks. At least that's a relief. Maybe once I figure out the proper methods for it I could teach it to you in terms that'd make sense."

She looked over her shoulder at the people still staring at her and with a roll of her eyes waved towards Eilinor and Wenille.

"Let's start walking. I don't think any more practice is going to prepare me better for tomorrow, so why don't you show me around the dormitories? It's no big deal about those boys. I'm not going to judge everyone here by that standard, but it's still a bit disturbing that they have such leeway.

"As for my mother, no, she was a Wind Major, like me. But her best friend was a Water Major, and they shared notes."


Hiri let Wenille lead Eilinor and herself onward. It had been an interesting first day, but hopefully tomorrow would begin to give her insight into magical theory. At least she'd be among other kids who were just doing their best to master the basics. It would make the whole process less frustrating if she saw others having difficulty too, she reasoned. Still, she knew for a fact that her other elements were going to be a disaster, and she hoped she wouldn't be made fun of for it.