Awyn was pressing his palms together. His eyes were boring into Eina at the moment, she looked terrified. "Now then, explain to me what happened," he said to her.
"We had a little argument, Principal," Eina said, her voice trembling.
Awyn's face was expressionless, he looked at me, "Marie?"
Doing my best to not sound smug, I said, "I was minding my own business when she jumped me with her goons and an older male student. She also bullied my roommate yesterday and even tried to cast a spell on me."
Eina shot me a hateful glance but there was helplessness in her eyes, there was no way she could talk herself out of this situation. Awyn reclined in his chair and sighed, he looked really tired, we waited for his decision in silence.
"Eina, if not for your potential and the fact that I am friends with your father, I would have expelled you on the spot." He said, slowly.
I felt a little bit disappointed that the alpha bitch would stay. Eina heaved a sigh of relief but her face froze after hearing the punishment.
"From now on you have two hours of free time for eating or homework, other than that, you are allowed seven hours of sleep. Any moment outside of class, you will work around the island." Awyn said to her. He turned to me and smiled, "Marie, you did nothing wrong but rules are rules, I am sure your father would do the same. As a punishment, you will do additional practice with Teacher Gand, an hour daily for a week."
This was supposed to be detention but he was actually helping me, this was the best 'punishment' I have ever received in a school. I shot a smug grin at Eina, she looked miserable and if looks could kill then her eyes would have murdered both of us.
Awyn cleared his throat and said, "I will notify your father, Eina. You can go, your punishment starts tomorrow and will last three months, you will report to General Solba."
This probably couldn't get any better, I felt like flying. Eina grated her teeth so hard I could hear it from where I was standing. She excused herself and stormed off angry princess style, but not before giving me that last venomous glance.
The sound of slamming doors jolted me, grimacing I took a deep breath to calm myself.
"Marie, Jean told me that you threw a lightning bolt. Is that true?" Awyn asked me.
I nodded my head, "I didn't want to but I can't summon my light without that silver card thing."
Awyn nodded his head and snapped his fingers, black flames ignited and softly danced around his fingers. Shooting him a quizzical glance, I tried to do the same but nothing happened.
He chuckled and said, "You will need more practice before you can do that. Anyway, tell me what do you feel when you look at these flames."
After thinking for a moment, I replied, "Quiet and cold, maybe slow, I am not sure."
"Composed is the word you are looking for. That's the state of mind required to summon my shadows," Awyn explained.
"Shadows?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"Indeed, I have a shadow element with flame transformation. The reason I am telling you this is simple, your emotions are the catalyst." Awyn snapped his fingers again and the flame disappeared. "The silver card only showed you how to draw out your energy, it had nothing to do with the element that appeared."
Frowning, I muttered under my nose, "State of mind? Emotions?"
"Yes, we don't know what kind of transformation your light has but it appears to be a very gentle one. Lightning, on the other hand, is volatile, as is your current state of mind." Awyn explained.
"But lightning is my secondary element?" I was feeling disappointed.
"Indeed, that's why you need a good environment to heal your wounds and balance them out. I saw that you made some friends, that's a good first step. You can go." He said to me.
I nodded my head and started to walk out, freezing before the door and turning around. "Did the crow return?"
Awyn shook his head, "I expect that it will take weeks if not months, the world is big."
"I see, I really want to see him," I muttered and walked out.
Jean was still waiting outside, he shot me a curious glance and asked, "Argent was fuming, what punishment did she get?"
Grinning, I explained everything to him, including the differences in detention. Jean shook his head in disbelief, in his eyes, I got personal tutoring instead of proper punishment.
"Whatever, be careful. I doubt she will let it go," Jean said to me and waved goodbye, going back to whatever he was doing before this fight.
After waving him goodbye it was time for dinner so I headed to the canteen, Lili was already waiting there. She perked up when I walked in and sluggishly approached me.
"Why are you so tired?" I asked her.
"Some kind of glue exploded in one of the alchemy labs. It was very hard to scrub down and I was alone." Lili explained, massaging her fingers.
"How much did you get?" I asked her.
"Ten silver Leos," She muttered, avoiding my eyes.
That was only ten custom meals, ridiculous. Trying not to get angry, I took a few deep breaths when we walked towards the buffet.
"I don't think you should do these jobs anymore, it's a waste of time," I said to Lili.
"I've told you, I am tight on money," She whispered to me, afraid that other students would hear her.
"Free or custom?" The cook asked us, not giving me a chance to rebut her.
After some persuasion, I managed to get her another custom meal and we seated ourselves in a corner. There was no one near us so I wasn't afraid of eavesdroppers or anything like that.
"Lili, I really mean it about these jobs. You could do so much studying during that time, I bet you could have multiple stars and a single stripe by the end of the year if not for this." I said to her and took a sip of water.
She puffed her cheeks and replied, "I can't rely on you, that would be unfair."
I thought for a moment before saying, "How about this, you will pay me back after you pay back to your dad. This way you can focus on studying instead of doing menial tasks."
Lili looked at me as if she were about to cry, she sniffed and nodded her head before focusing on the food. Finally, this took a load off my mind, I felt really bad seeing Lili waste her time like this. We ate in silence, this gave her time to calm down.
"Do you have anything else today?" I asked her after the meal.
"No, I don't. Why?" Lili replied.
Smiling, I said, "We are going to Miss Sado and don't try to deny me this!"
Miss' Sado workshop was still a chaotic mess, she was currently sewing something that looked like a bag. Lili curiously took in everything around us, she previously told me that this would be her second visit since she joined.
"What is it?" Miss Sado asked without turning around.
"I would like to make an order for my friend, " I said, Lili's fingers wrapped around my forearm.
Miss Sado paused and turned around, she perked up after seeing me and smiled. "Ah, if it isn't my favorite client. The delivery girl sang high praises about you, what do you want this time?"
I smiled back and said, "My friend needs more uniforms, the same amount as me."
Miss Sado nodded and asked Lili, "Anything else? You can get things like underwear and such in price, I can even sell a bag of holding for a discounted price."
Intrigued, I asked, "What's the details on the bag?"
"Three by three meters inside, small and shapely. A perfect accessory for any lady, only fifty gold Leos too." She said, shooting a meaningful glance at Lili.
"T-that's expensive," Lili stammered, pulling on my arm.
"We'll get that too," I said and took out a stack of money.
Lili's eyes almost fell out of her eye sockets when she saw how much I casually gave away, Miss Sado only smirked and counted the money. She forced Lili to strip and took new measurements, fixing up her current uniform for free.
"I don't think I will ever make that much money," Lili muttered under her nose.
"Don't be silly, anyway, do you know where that currency exchange machine is?" I asked her.
She perked up and nodded her head, pulling me towards the main hall and then to a nearby room. The currency exchange was done by a robust golem-like thing, it had a really wide face and deep-set red eyes. Its entire body was made of some shiny green metal and it looked like a fat robo-merchant.
"Exchange?" It asked us in a deep scratchy voice.
"Who made you?" I curiously asked, knocking on its metallic body.
"Master Divinus. Don't touch me." It said before adding, "What currency?"
I pulled out some Lemurian coins and presented them to the golem. It's head spun around in a freaky way, its entire body rattling. Scared that he would explode, I pulled Lili behind me and took a step back.
Suddenly, it stopped and said, "Principal warned me, so its young Miss, didn't notice the eyes. How much does Miss want to exchange?"
Lili looked at me and said, "Weird, he is known for being rude."
"I want a thousand Leos," I said to the golem and shrugged to Lili.
The golem opened his mouth and said, "Fifty Drachmas."
"Alright," I said and threw fifty large gold coins into its mouth.
It rattled again and spewed out a sack full of money, satisfied I picked it up and quickly checked it.
"Whoa, your homeland uses these coins?" Lili asked me, wide-eyed.
"You could say that," I said to her and turned to the golem, "See you around."
"Goodbye, Miss," The golem replied and went dormant.
"I am going to practice, what about you?" I asked Lili.
"Normally I would go work but now I am not sure. Can I go with you?" She excitedly asked me.
"Of course! You didn't even have to ask," I said to her, poking her nose.
Because it no longer rained, we decided on going to a little lea under the mountain, it was a place Lili recommended. She told me that it was hidden in the forest and was a place where she usually hid when she wanted to be alone. On our way there, we met Aren who was returning from an outside lesson.
He dashed up to me and said, "Hello, Marie." Seeing my squinted eyes he glanced at Lili and added, "And, uh, sorry what was your name?"
Honestly, I was debating strangling him on the spot but a deep breath and clenched jaw calmed me down enough to not do it. He already heard her name so I was genuinely angry, in the end, I only stared daggers at him.
Lili craned from behind me and red-faced she squeaked out, "Lili, Lili Abel."
Aren stuck out his to her and said, "I am really embarrassed about this, we somehow didn't have a proper introduction. I am Aren Vuolo."
Lili shyly shook his hand, I could tell she was on the verge of hyperventilating. After the handshake, she hid behind me and only stole short glances at Aren.
"Did you see Tom? Or Ciara?" I asked him, still annoyed.
Aren shook his head and said, "Not today, we did some catching up yesterday though."
"You joined the same year, right?" I pointed at the three stripes on his shoulder.
"Same day, actually. It was a really big coincidence." He said before asking, "You two have lessons under the mountain?"
I shook my head, "I am going to practice with Lili, see you around."
Disappointment flashed through his face, "Ah, good luck and see you."
Sighing, I grabbed Lili and dashed off with her, she stole a longing glance at Aren but quickly regained her wit. I could tell that something was bothering her so I asked what was going on.
Deflated, she replied, "He didn't even remember my name."
"Then you shouldn't bother with him, not to mention that he is from a noble family," I said to her.
"But he looks so cool, did you see his eyes?" Lili said to me in a small voice.
Chuckling, I replied, "Sure, he looks good but so what? You don't know his personality, neither do I."
"I am jealous of you, Marie," Lili revealed, squeezing my arm harder. "You already made so many friends."
I put my arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, "You are my only friend, the others are acquaintances."
"Okay," She muttered, unconvinced.
Changing topic I asked, "So where is that lea?"
Lili perked up and pointed at a line of trees that we were approaching, "We need to go through this little forest, let's go!"
She squeezed my hand and pulled me into the forest, sure enough, a nice lea opened up before us in no time. I pulled out two sheets of material to serve as blankets and gave one to Lili, we spread them a bit apart as to not disturb each other.
I sat down cross-legged on mine and said, "Good luck with your practice, Lili."
She giggled and replied, "You too, Marie."
I closed my eyes and tried to relax. Little light, I know you are somewhere there, hiding from me.