Within the next hour, everyone, spare Luna, had woken up and left their rooms. In a most wonderful time, the prince welcomed the recent graduates using a radiating charisma that wasn’t unlike Lawrence’s. In a home-like environment, which the very awake Luna avoided on account of its artificiality, the members took seats in a small, but cozy room, but the most important thing to come of all of this vain talk was that the Zero Squad hadn’t ever taken in recruits.

In fact, that was the only talk of work, and since slaying darklings was so demanding, no one mentioned it at all. They didn’t go out on weekend nights. Though they couldn’t carry out high-risk operations, several other teams were pulled for those nights. The security of the common man was secured this way, and until someone could think of a kinder plan, it wouldn’t change.

Instead of being properly receiving the people she would soon work with, she found it hard to empathize with them. There were many things she knew they didn’t, and from Eleanor’s retelling of the tourney at Oakwood, she couldn’t believe that they were ready for the task. The first part was understandable, as it was correctable, but adeptness isn’t.
The most suspicious of the group was Theodore, who hadn’t even taken part of the tourney. She had all the faith in the prince’s selection process, but according to Eleanor, Theodore wasn’t as able of a fighter. Strangely, he did demonstrate a high level of physical fitness and resiliency to torture that would’ve made either anyone else shudder.

Laying on her side, she frowned. She welcomed the new faces, but she heavily doubted she could invest any feeling into them. They would be gone in a week, she thought. Sally Blanc was the only one who showed even some inert talent, but it wouldn’t make sense to have her stay and not her brother.

That being done with, there was nothing else for Luna to do. Between questioning Ella’s high-and-mighty judgement and reading, the only things Luna was permitted to do had to be inside. Even the books she held so dear couldn’t be bought for herself. It was much easier to pretend that the books she bought were found on a whim rather than either picked out beforehand or chosen randomly by Lawrence or Prince Nicholas just based on their covers.

As both a sufferer of albinism and an umbra, especially one of the latter who can’t control their appearance very well, she’d only bring suspicion if she wandered outside (The hair was the give-away). Luckily, this also exempt her from some of the boring chores, and her non-human metabolism let her lounge and eat as much as the wanted to.

However, one could only do all of those things so much before they lose their value. Much like Tom, but for more mundane reasons, she also sought a new conversation partner.

She hadn’t investigated much into them, but for the last few days she snuck into Ella’s records. Since those included reports both on personality and academic history, Tom and Theodore appeared to be a merry pair of lamebrains, for their respective reasons she didn’t care about.

If anything, that woman’s prowess at gathering intelligence was ridiculous. At any rate, that left Sally, whom during her first encounter seemed awfully domineering and almost cruelly insincere. As much as she hated it, she could either only rely on that first impression or venture towards the others. It was not so much uneasiness as unwarranted hope that eventually brought her outside; if she really meant what she said, Sally could be a great friend, much better than Ella who always urged her to “relax”.

And the others, maybe they could become bearable. Lawrence definitely seemed that way once. The Tinker, the prince, and surely Eleanor all seemed unapproachable at one time. She knew she looked that way.


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