As Dyon and Ri walked along the path through the field, they were the subject of a few glances, but, nothing too substantial happened.
Soon, they reached the opening of the large square structure. There wasn't an actual door, the opening led straight into the largest atrium Dyon had ever seen. On top of this, the entire first floor of the massive square shaped structure was nothing but pillars holding up the above 4 floors. Within the inner space, many oddly shaped stairs connected the ground floor to the above ones.
"Oh, there's one last thing I forgot to tell you. The preferred form of currency at Acacia, and the city in general, are intent fruits, so profound stones won't do you much good. Especially since most students who attend this academy are from very well-off families."
Dyon nodded. He didn't mind too much since he had left all the profound stones he hadn't used in training with the orphans anyway.
"doesn't matter too much, anyway, how do I regis –"
A shout reverberated through the atrium. The few students who were walking around were shaken out of their thoughts. Before Dyon could even react, a gust of wind had appeared by his side and Ri was no longer on her two feet.
"headmaster?" the students in the surroundings shook their head when the recognized the one who had called out.
Dyon was stunned. He had no idea how to react…
"I've missed you! Where've you been young lady! You shouldn't let your father worry so much!"
Ri was struggling to respond, but she was being hugged too tightly.
A laugh escaped Dyon, "to witness the fiery Ri as a doted daughter might be the best thing I've ever seen."
Ri struggled to turn her head just so she could give him a scornful look, but Dyon wasn't paying attention to her anymore. His eyes were trained on the tall and lean man beside him. His hair was a deep and dark blue that rivaled even Ri's in length. He was taller than Dyon by an entire head, and his presence was suffocating despite his now childish appearance. His features were sharp, and his eyes matched his hair, but all that paled in comparison to the bright smile his face had when hugging Ri.
"dad… let go," Ri finally coughed out.
Ri finally sighed in relief once her father set her down. Having done so, Ri's father finally looked over to Dyon, "this is?..."
"Ah, yes, I met him while I was with mom. He's hoping to join the academy, I was hoping you'd help him out."
Dyon didn't let his confusion show on his face. He just assumed that this was a story Ri came up with so that those who were listening in wouldn't inquire as to who he was so much. The details of how they met, especially the high level spatial ring Dyon had, might lead to his danger. It wasn't that Dyon liked playing it lowkey at all, but he decided to just let Ri give whatever explanation she wanted.
Ri's father raised an eyebrow, but nodded, "as long as he meets the requirements, no one would complain if he has my recommendation," he aimed a light smile towards Dyon.
'this is what a true expert is… I've never felt this sort of pressure from the other elders.'
"Don't worry dad, there shouldn't be an issue. He has an innate aurora, there's no way he wouldn't meet the mark."
A look of surprise flashed across the headmaster's features, "an innate aurora? I've never seen such a thing before, would you mind showing me?"
Dyon smiled, the curiosity of the headmaster gave him a feeling akin to a kid of Christmas morning. Of course, Dyon had no problems demonstrating.
His eyes flashed in gold as a simple array began to be formed in from of him. Unbeknownst to Dyon, when those around heard Ri say he had an innate aurora, they had already focused their attention onto him. Whispers of astonishment filled the atrium.
The headmaster clapped happily, "the split minds technique! Never would I think that a child as young as you could master it to such a level! The old fogies at the formations guild would bend over backwards to have you as a disciple!"
Dyon smiled lightly. He already had a master, he wasn't in the market for another. But, he didn't ruin the mood by saying something like that.
"Headmaster, do you not have an array alchemy guild?"
A complicated look flashed across the features of Ri's father, "this… It's been a long time since anyone has accepted array alchemy as the true form of those two practices…"
Dyon frowned. He had heard Uncle Ail complain about this on multiple occasions, but, he didn't think it would be such a big problem.
Ri's father, having seemingly read Dyon's mind, continued, "truth is, many are going with the flow of things. Someone from a long time ago decided that the two crafts were better kept separate, and they taught their disciples who then taught their disciples. From your question, I assume you already have a master and that this master appreciates array alchemy in its truest form. Maybe only someone with an innate aurora like you could turn that around," he smiled warmly.
Dyon nodded, appreciating his encouragement, "ah, I'm sorry senior, I haven't learned your name."
Ri's father laughed, "no, no, that's due to my own rudeness. You can call me Uncle Acacia; a friend of my daughter shouldn't be so formal with me."
Dyon smiled, he appreciated seniors who didn't put on airs. And for Uncle Acacia to be so powerful, it spoke to his character.
Ri smiled off to the side, "ALRIGHT! Come on, let's choose a place for you to stay. You can't be following me all the time. Although you'd make an adorable puppy, I'll get tired of you."
Uncle Acacia and Dyon smiled bitterly, fully understanding Ri's personality. Uncle Acacia gave Dyon an apologetic look before tossing him a school badge. It was made of a simple oak and had an acacia carved into it with sprinkled colors of red and yellow, but despite its simplicity, it exuded a strange profoundness.
Dyon waved the headmaster goodbye as he was dragged away by Ri.
Uncle Acacia chuckled, walking away.