Bernard brought the group to a door marked: Office. Other than the nameplate there hadn’t been any other thing setting it apart from any other door in the hall. Bernard lightly knocked on the door and rotated the handle. “Mr. Aidan,” Bernard called out while slowly opening the door, “I have Arslan with me.”
A coughing fit could be heard within the room before everyone heard, “Yes, yes. Let him in.” followed by an obnoxious clearing of a throat. Bernard fully opened the door and shepherded the group inside. When each of them was inside the dean thanked Bernard.
Arslan stood in front of the dean. A young man may be just ten years older than Arslan, he pinned him somewhere around his early thirties. He seemed to keep his appearance in check as a form of professionalism as dean, his hair was black and oiled from the front to the back, and his face was devoid of any beard or mustache.
Arslan looked around the rest of the room; it was bland. Bookshelves, awards, scales, and chairs nothing in here had any bit of personalization.
The dean stood up and offered his hand to Arslan, who shook it. “Aidan, It’s nice to meet you finally.”
“I’d like to say the same, but I just found out about you like a minute ago.”
The dean laughed, “Ah, yes. I’m sorry, should have contacted you sooner.” His smile quickly faded, and the atmosphere suddenly turned direr. “Arslan,” he said then paused then continued, “I’m sorry, to be frank, but I need your research.”
Arslan looked at both two girls, Mandilyn was picking things up around the room and inspecting them. Poor Avelyn had fallen asleep standing up. “That’s why I’m here.”
The dean got up from behind the desk. “Yes, as far as you know, that’s all that you’re here for, but there is more to it that wasn’t in the contract.”
Mandilyn’s ears perked up, and she dropped whatever she had scaring herself and gaining the attention of the dean and Arslan. “Sorry,” she muttered picking up the object.
The dean pulled out his cloth and began having one of his coughing fits.
“Are you okay?” Arslan asked seeing speckles of blood appear on the rag.
Aidan nodded and spoke in between coughs. “Yes, yes I’m fine. It's a minor disease. Non-life threatening. However, this is the reason why I called for you.”
“Oh, you sure? I could probably cook something up to ease the symptoms.”
The dean raised his hand and shook his head, “It’s fine, but the real reason for your employment is that I need your research for my daughter.” The dean leaned on his desk. “She contracted worse symptoms than I have. She’s been bedridden for the last few months. I fear she’s grown weaker and doesn’t have much time left.”
Arslan crossed his arms and disclosed his situation. “I’m sorry Dean, but that’s impossible, my archives are incomplete, I lost them in a recent... fire.”
Aidan sighed, “That’s fine; I was prepared for this situation. I did have my eye on you pretty closely, after all.”
“That's a little creepy,” Mandilyn interjected fully shocked.
“Besides,” Arslan added, “I work with transmutation, I’ve only dabbled in medicines.”
Aidan smiled, “That’s why I’m asking you, Arslan. Modern medicine has failed me and worse, her. I want her to be given a chance at life, to be stronger than what she was before.”
Arslan put his hands folded in front of his face, “I’ve never tried live transmutation before, but either way I’m already contractually obligated to do so.”
The dean laughed, “That’s the spirit, Arslan. Now I’m sure you have the rest of the campus to explore, better not keep Bernard waiting.”
Arslan gave a slight nod, “Thank you for taking the time out to meet with me.” Arslan lightly smacked Avelyn’s face to wake her up to leave.
The last part of the tour had been the lab, Arslan’s lab. It was fully stocked with all items that he could ever want, except for the fact it wasn’t stocked with the things that he needed. The room had a similar layout like any of the college’s science rooms. A straightforward place with a central tower of alchemic items and necessities. The only difference was that this was a random building on the campus that was linked to separate living quarters.
Mandilyn kicked off one of the edges while sitting in a chair that had wheels. She shot from one side to the other. “I don’t think you should help this guy.”
Arslan was rearranging things within the room for his own personal use. “Why?” he asked not turning around to face her.
“Because, screw him,” she said.
“I don’t think that’s a pretty valid answer.”
Mandilyn rolled her eyes. “I’m joking. Everything he’s said just feels...off,” she admitted.
Avelyn slammed open the door from the outside; she was covered in sweat, her clothing was drenched. “I agree with bucktooth,” she commented walking towards the others, “His openness is off-putting.”
Mandilyn visibly started getting red, but she kept her composure. “It’s just too good to be true.”
“I’m glad you two feel this way, but there isn’t anything I can do about it now. I’m under contract.”
Mandilyn exhaled loudly from her nose. “Fine, but I’ll be watching him. I don’t want to find a knife suddenly in my back.”
Arslan placed the cockatrice samples in a tub and sealed it. “Since I can’t really start anything today, we might as well hunt some more monsters parts-” Before he could finish his sentence Avelyn was already close backing him into a wall.
Her breathing was heavy and short. “Hunting?” Her eyes were filled with a high amount of bloodlust. “What are we going to kill!?” She hungrily shouted.
Arslan began to feel the heat from both her body and her breath. Her fight when she was Amandalyn must’ve had an increased influence on her psyche.