After getting a meal from the buffet, I angrily sat down next to Ciara, away from Aren who shot me an apologetic glance. We ate in awkward silence until someone excitedly called out my name, I turned around just in time to see Lili throw herself at me.
Hugging her, I said, "I am okay, calm down!"
"Oh, Marie! What have you done with her?!" Lili asked me, her voice shaky.
"With who?" I asked, raising my eyebrow.
"With that Argent girl! She is doing some kind of revolution in the dormitory right now!" Lili exclaimed, plopping down next to me.
We received some curious looks from the surrounding students. Lili took a potato from my plate and nervously bit on it, shaking in the seat. I shot her a weird look and continued eating, wondering what Eina was actually doing.
"What kind of revolution?" Ciara asked with a frown.
Coming to her senses, Lili replied, "I think they are throwing her out of the room! They are shouting and arguing but I am not sure who started, I ran to you guys as fast as possible."
"Good call," Tomas said, "But according to Marie she won't be a problem anymore."
Coughing, I said, "Eina told me she was going to end her 'friendship' with these people, we will see her soon."
Aren grimaced and asked me, "You really made up?"
"Yes! You don't know what happened and I don't plan to explain it either," I said and held up a piece of meat to Chopsticks, asking him, "Do you need to eat?"
"No, but I can," He replied and pecked at the meat, swallowing it whole and quivering. "Quite good."
Tomas whistled and asked me, "That's an amazing construct, who made him?"
Chopsticks puffed his chest and replied for me, "Who else but her old man? Don't compare me to these metal imbeciles, I have an artificial soul!"
"What?!" Aren asked, jumping to his feet, "You are sentient!" He exclaimed pointing at Chopsticks.
"Sit down you boor!" Chopsticks berated him and said, "Of course I am."
Tomas and Ciara exchanged gazes, smirking under their noses.
Lili curiously glanced at Chopsticks and asked him, "You will live with us?"
He craned his little neck to look at her and replied, "You are Marie's roommate? Then yes, even if you don't meet my aesthetic requirements. I can make an exception."
Lili looked at me in confusion, Tomas added from the side, "I think he doesn't appreciate your looks, Lili."
I poked Chopsticks and said to him, "You should keep that to yourself, it was very rude." Then I said to Lili, "Don't listen to him, you are totally pretty."
Trying to control her laughter, Ciara added from the side, "Yeah, Lili. Don't listen to the bird, what does he know?"
Embarrassed, Lili muttered some thanks and bit on the potato. I saw Aren look at her and then at me and then fixing his eyes on his food, thinking about something. Lili must have noticed too because she shuffled in her seat and glanced at me, I winked to her and continued eating, offering her a drink.
Suddenly, a tall guy with crazy hair approached us, he said to me "Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice your crow," he also noticed Tomas and said, "Ah, hey Tom."
"Merron, how are you?" Tomas said, standing up and shaking his hand.
Ciara muttered, "Horse exploder."
Wincing, Merron asked her, "Could you not?"
Raising my eyebrow, I asked Merron, "What about him?"
Grinning awkwardly, Merron asked, "Could you tell me who made it?"
Annoyed, Chopsticks squeezed my shoulder and replied, "Her pops did! Now if you excuse us, this is a high-level meeting."
Taken aback Merron looked at him and muttered, "High-level meeting?" Coming to his senses, he asked me, "Who is your father?"
Sticking out his chest, Chopstick proudly said, "None other than Arch-"
I squeezed his beak shut and stared daggers at him before looking at Merron and saying, "Sorry I would rather keep that to myself."
"Ah, I was being rude," Merron apologized and added, "It's just that as an aspiring constructor I was really impressed by this crow, he's even so smart!"
I let go of Chopsticks beak who proceeded to peck me in the ear a few times before looking at Merron and saying, "I am smarter than you kid!"
"Chopsticks!" I said in a disapproving tone.
"I am just being truthful," Chopsticks said to me and then looked at the stunned Merron, saying, "Listen, if you make me a totally aesthetic companion I will reconsider teaching you a thing or two."
"Aesthetic?" Merron replied, scratching his head in confusion, "I've never built a crow before, this is interesting. Well, sorry for bothering you all. See you around" He said and dashed off before anyone could reply.
Shaking my head in disbelief, I asked Tomas, "Is he always like this?"
He shrugged and replied, "All sorcerers are like this, is your father not?"
I shook my head, "I don't think so." Giving it a second thought, I added, "Maybe a little bit, he does get excited when he shows me his work."
Chuckling, Aren said to me, "Merron didn't even ask for your name, this is going to be hilarious later."
Chopsticks cut in and said, "Because he has cogs for brains! I will eat my own wings if he manages to build anything aesthetic!"
Lilli asked Chopsticks, "Why do you care about aesthetic things?"
He snorted and replied, "Have you seen my phenomenal sculpting? My beautiful ruby-like eyes? The wonderful clockwork within my scarlet core?" He clicked with his beak and said, "I look for things that are as aesthetic as me, like Marie for example."
"Uh, alright," Lili said, giving me a weird look she asked me, "Your dad made him? Do you think he made him like your looks?"
I shrugged, "He was made before I was, uh, born. Right, Chopsticks?"
"Naturally, this is just a coincidence," he replied.
Laughing, Ciara said from the side, "This is the most ridiculous construct I've ever seen, love it."
Chopsticks looked at her and said, "Your fiery hair is aesthetic, I accept your confession."
Tomas frowned and said to Ciara, "I didn't know you like metal birds. I guess it's time for Tom to have a makeover."
"What? Don't you dare to change yer looks!" Ciara replied, jokingly kicking him under the table.
Grinning, Aren asked me, "Are you coming to weapons practice today? General was going crazy when you and Argent were gone, he invented some really weird exercises!"
"I will try to come, depends on Eina. We need to deal with something first," I replied.
"I still can't believe this is happening," Aren said, conflicting emotions in his eyes.
Lili looked at me and nervously asked, "If they throw her out of the room, she will come to us, right?"
Startled, I thought for a moment before replying, "I didn't think about that. It's possible." I seriously looked at her and asked, "Will it be a problem? I wouldn't decide something like this without your agreement."
Grimacing, Lili whispered into my ear, "I am scared of her."
"We'll deal with that, she isn't as bad as you would expect," I whispered back.
Hesitantly, she nodded her head, I could tell she wasn't too happy about it at the moment.
Chopsticks jumped onto Lili's shoulder and pecked her in the ear before saying, "That Eina girl is passably aesthetic, our room will reign supreme in the dormitory."
"If you say so," Lili said in a small voice, she didn't look too comfortable with him sitting on her shoulder.
I stood up and Chopsticks flew back to my shoulder, I said, "I am going to the dormitory, come with me, Lili."
"Okay," She said, sliding off the bench so I could walk out.
Turning to everyone, I waved and said, "See you later at the practice guys, ciao Ciara."
"Bye," She replied, waving back.
The guys also gave us their goodbyes so I grabbed Lili and we dashed off towards dormitory.
"I hope you will be able to forgive her," I said to Lili as we dashed through the castle.
She replied, "Maybe, I don't know what happened but I trust you.' Pouting she added, "Do we need to run?"
Grinning, I replied, "You have longer legs than me, don't complain. I am worried something will happen, we are sharing punishment and I don't want it extended."
"Oh! Alright, let's go!" Lili said and skipped ahead.
We didn't even reach dormitory before running into Eina, she was standing on the bridge, leaning against the railing. The wind whipped her long hair, she looked absentminded, staring into the sea with no expression on her face.
"Hey," I said to her.
Jolted by my voice, she turned to us and replied, "Hey."
Seeing Lili, Eina took a deep breath and approached her but Lili automatically hid behind me.
Seeing this, Eina's shoulders dropped a little but she still said, "I want to apologize, Lili."
Craning from behind my back, Lili suspiciously asked, "Do you?"
Eina nodded her head, "Please, give me one chance."
Pouting her lips, Lili walked up to her and extended her hand, she muttered, "Just this once."
Overjoyed, Eina grabbed her hand and vigorously shook it, "Thank you! I am really so sorry, especially about what I said to you before. I didn't realize how hurtful it was." Realizing something, she shook her head and said, "No that's wrong, I knew what I was saying."
Taken aback, Lili smiled stiffly and said, "I will try to forget about it, you can thank Marie for that."
Before they could do anything, I placed my hands on their shoulders and pulled them together for a group hug, saying, "So proud of you girls!" Looking up at Eina, I asked, "They threw you out of the room?"
Awkwardly, Eina replied, "I threw myself out in the heat of emotion, I don't know where I will sleep now."
Taking a deep breath Lili said, "In our room of course!"
"The most aesthetic room," Chopsticks added.
"You will take me in? Just like that?" Eina asked, her voice thick with emotion.
Squeezing her tighter, I said, "We already talked about it before coming there, Lili agreed so it's settled."
Biting her lip, Eina nodded her head, she must have been holding back tears because her body was trembling. Lili had a troubled look in her eyes, she awkwardly averted her gaze, I couldn't blame her because this situation was forced by me. Sighing, I told them that we should get to our room and talk for a bit.
We received some weird gazes, especially from Eina's 'friends' and her goons, those were especially venomous but I just ignored them, telling Lili to do the same. Eina didn't need my reminder, she didn't even glance in their direction.
After climbing the stairs, I opened the doors and we let Eina get in first, she hesitantly stepped through the doors and instantly frowned.
Chopsticks flew off my shoulder and landed on Eina's shoulder, he turned to us and asked, "You live like this? Is this a joke?"
My face burning, I said, "It's just some clothes on the ground, cut us some slack."
Lili walked in and awkwardly said, "We are not exactly organized."
Eina crouched and carefully picked up a bra that was lying next to her, she muttered, "This is a disaster."
I closed the door and said, "We will clean that up right now, you can choose any bed except these two."
Crossing eyes with Lili I realized she was as embarrassed as I was so we hurried to gather the random pieces of wardrobe scattered across the room. Eina chose one of the unoccupied beds and settled on it, curiously looking at our feverish attempts at cleaning up.
Snorting, Chopsticks said, "You have wardrobes, use them! This is so unaesthetic, fix your sheets too!" Suddenly he realized something, "If this is the main room... Where is the bathroom?"
Frowning, Eina pointed at the bathroom door and said, "That should be it, I am too scared to open it though."
"I shall brave it!" Chopsticks said, flying up and opening the doors. He landed on the ground and waddled inside, meticulously scanning it, "Surprisingly, it's completely clean."
"That's because bathroom needs to be clean, always!" I said, picking up a dirty shirt, "Clothes are a different matter altogether."
Lili carried a stack of her clothes into the bathroom and said to me, "I will use the washer first."
"Okay," I said, throwing the final piece of clothing onto a mound next to my bed. Sighing, I sat on the bed and asked Eina, "What do you think?"
She awkwardly glanced at the clothes and then at me, saying, "I will help you keep everything organized, that's the least I can offer to this room."
Chopsticks cut in and said, "Also your appearance, don't forget the aesthetic reasons!" He flew up and perched on the head of my bed.
Pouting, Eina replied, "You wouldn't say that if you saw my scars."
"Scars?" Lili asked, walking out of the bathroom with a frown on her face.
I crossed my eyes with Eina, it wasn't my choice to tell anyone about this.
Taking a deep breath Eina rolled up her pants and revealed her scarred calve. She said to Lili, "Like these."
"This is horrible!" Lili blurted out, running up to her and crouching to take a better look. Looking up, she asked Eina, "How did this happen?!"
Holding my breath, I clenched my teeth. Even Chopsticks didn't say anything, knowing better than to spout nonsense at the moment.
In a shaky voice, Eina said to Lili, "Remember what I said about your father? I am so terribly sorry, I-I was just projecting."
"No!" Lili blurted out, collapsing down onto the ground. She looked at me and asked, "You knew?"
After seeing Eina nod her head, I replied, "Only recently, when we were stuck together."
Absentmindedly, Lili touched Eina's scarred skin. Jolted by her touch, Eina jumped off the bad and took a step back, panic evident in her eyes.
"S-sorry!" Lili said, she turned to me and asked, "Do you not have any potion that can heal her? Like you did Aren?"
Frowning, Eina shakily said to me, "So it really was you, I've heard rumors."
I nodded my head and said, "If you want we can try some potions, some should be stronger than the enchantment."
Eina hesitated, heaving she replied, "No. I need them. As a reminder."
"But they are hideous!" Lili blurted out, instantly regretting it and covering her mouth.
Smiling sourly, Eina said to her, "Yes, so is my personality. Perfect match, isn't it?"
"Don't let the scars define you, Eina," I said to her.
She froze and looked at me, "Did you just say my name?"
Smiling, I replied, "Yes, Eina. What else would I call you?"
Shaking, she sat back on the bed and muttered, "I don't know. Thank you."
"Remember, I don't care about your scars, just who you are under them. I believe that there is a beautiful person waiting to be unearthed, just keep on keeping on," I seriously said to her.
Not sure where that came from but I even inspired myself, damn I am good.
Lili looked at me in amazement and said, "I've already told you this, Marie but you are the nicest person out there, really."
"I agree," Eina said, wiping her eyes.
Feeling stupid, I averted my gaze and muttered, "I don't know about that, I am just trying to be a good person, that's all."
"You've got that from your old man, I believe," Chopsticks said, clicking with his beak.
Fixing my eyes on the carpet, I thought that it would be great if that were true. Deep down I understood that there might have been another, more selfish reason for me to act like that.
"Who even is your dad?" Lili asked me, sitting next to Eina.
Eina frowned and asked her, "She never told you?"
Shaking her head, Lili squinted her eyes and shot me a suspicious glace, "You told Eina but not me?"
Before I could reply, Eina said, "She didn't want to tell me either, I just met him by chance."
"Oh," Lili pouted and asked me, "Is it a secret?"
Taking a deep breath, I replied, "No, it's complicated."
Chopsticks couldn't take it anymore and he screeched out, "It's the Archmagus Divinus of course!" He flew up and started to violently but lightly peck my head, "I can't take it! You keep hiding it! You should start flaunting who you are! Your mother taught you to be humble or something?!"
Annoyed, I slapped him off my shoulder and grumbled, "Do this again and I will ask him to weld your beak shut!"
Freezing, Chopsticks chirped and in an apologetic tone said, "Alright, my bad."
Slack-jawed, Lili looked at me in, unable to get a word out. Finally, she got a hold of herself and said, "No wonder you are so talented! Why keep it secret though?"
Pouting, I said, "Because I am me, not my father. I trust you to keep this to yourselves."
"You already know my stance," Eina said, fixing her pants and covering the scars.
Lili stood up and with a hand on her heart, she declared, "I would never betray you! Never ever!"
Laughing, I sprang to my feet and tackled them onto Eina's bed, they exclaimed in surprise but didn't do anything to stop me. Eina stiffened, probably embarrassed, while Lili giggled and returned the hug.
Huggin them tightly, I muttered into the sheets, "It just feels good hearing you two say it."
"Aesthetic! Pure!" Chopsticks screeched out, jumping onto my back.
Having roommates was great but having friends was even better, at this moment I really felt that life was worth living.