189. Office and Library
And just like that, the first week of class passed like it was nothing.
They said time passed quickly when you were having fun. I disagreed: time passed quickly when I was staring at rocks for days— or was it weeks? Maybe even months?— in the Netherworld, and I wasn’t having fun. Rocks were boring and dull, and I wish I found the original rock!
Anyway, I continued to go through the daily routine of my classes. I didn’t sleep. Not even once. Each time, I’d force myself through the day, gradually growing more and more tired until I could return to being myself at night. Then in my little Lair, I’d sift my way through the various books, taking notes, reading into things I didn’t understand for my classes and labs.
Daniel and Edithe liked to believe that I had a short attention span; that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I cared or wanted to, I could focus on something for hours— or days or weeks or months. The reason why they might’ve believed I was too energetic probably came from the fact that I was still quite new to the Mortal Realm.
Almost everything I experienced was new.
Whatever the case was, I studied through the night, only transforming into a Human with [Partial Mortality] during the day. I’d feel refreshed— comparatively to before I reached the Lair in the middle of the night. When I returned from Mavos Academy, I would be ready to pass out. When I became a Human for the first time, I simply felt drowsy.
That was the nature of how my [Partial Mortality] Skill worked. When I first got the Skill, the moment I became a mortal, I had to set my sleep schedule. Which was why I often passed out instantly, if I wasn’t prepared to be hit by an intense desire to fall over and close my eyes.
My need to sleep didn’t accumulate over the course of me being outside of my Human form. That wouldn’t make sense. I didn’t need to sleep: that wasn’t the nature of my Species— or at least, my Subspecies. Apparently, some Species of Demons had to sleep. Like Succubi.
I was glad I never became a Succubi, because apparently they not only had to sleep, but they had to sleep with Human men!
However, now that the General Skill had leveled, and if the transformations were timed right, I could elude sleep entirely. The only problem was that my actions were drawing suspicion from Saffron. She’d ask me questions with narrowed eyes, inquiring about where I was going.
I’d lie, of course.
“Oh, I’m going to the library—”
“It’s closed at night, Salvos.”
“Um, I go out after it closes to study in peace!”
“Where do you study?”
She would tilt her head, puzzled. I hurriedly thought up an excuse.
“Just in the parks?”
“The parks close at—”
“Outside of Mavos Academy! Anyway, I gotta run—”
That was always how it happened. But she was prodding me more and more. I had to keep up my facade somehow. I’d think about it later. For now, there was something else that drew my attention.
I reached Mavos Academy, hurrying through its streets as students lackadaisically exchanged conversation and wandered around the campus. They weren’t rushing to their classes, because most of them had no classes today. It was a weekend. And they took this time to relax.
Why? I didn’t know!
I had no idea why their days were classified this way. It was weird to me, but it was what it was.
I was in Mavos Academy because I had a meeting. Nolan was going to be tutoring me in the library at Central Square. When I arrived, he greeted me at the entryway, dressed in a fancy suit with his blond hair slicked back.
“Hello Ms Salvos.”
I crossed my arms.
“I told you the last time, it’s just Salvos!”
He chuckled, leading the way into the library. It, like any other library, full of books. But for whatever reason, its shelves were so extremely tall, an ordinary person couldn’t reach the top. It was an entire domed chamber, reaching high up to over ten floors, and the walls were filled with books all the way to the top.
The thing was, there were these platforms which floated up and down, letting people reach for the books they liked.
“Come now, if I called you Salvos, you wouldn’t be giving me such an amusing reaction.”
I scowled, then I laughed. Doing things on purpose to tease others was definitely entertaining.
We found ourselves a booth which oversaw the main domed chamber of the library. There was a glass panel which peeked through the bookshelves, where we occasionally found ourselves meeting the gaze of those who passed by on their floating platforms. Nevertheless, we focused mostly on learning different alchemical formulae. He taught me a lot of the basics— things which I never would’ve learned from taking just the Advanced Alchemical Composition class. But things which would’ve helped me in said class.
“I’ve meant to ask, Salvos—”
He used my proper name now that we were actually studying.
“What reason do you have for choosing a Potion of Regeneration as your final project?”
I cocked my head.
“It’s because I want to.”
“Well, yes. But it is one of the hardest ‘greater’ tiered potions to brew, yes?”
I nodded, and Nolan continued.
“And you are a, well, rookie in terms of alchemy, correct?”
He leant back on his chair, raising a brow.
“So, wouldn’t it be more prudent for you to choose an easier greater-tiered potion to brew, such as a Potion of Greater Curse resistance?”
I definitely agreed with what he was saying. His logic was sound.
“Then why did you choose a Potion of Regeneration as your project rather than a Potion of Greater Curse Resistance?”
“Because I want to.”
Nolan furrowed his brows, and I tilted my head to the side; I didn’t understand why he seemed confused.
“I… see. Well, if you really do wish on proceeding with that, I guess I may be able to procure some study materials that would aid you towards that goal.”
“You would do that?”
I perked up, and he smiled.
“Of course. I just ask that you allow me to treat you to a night of dinner, in return.”
I didn’t really like food. Not most Human foods. But Saffron was already growing suspicious of me. I couldn’t have another person prying into me and possibly discovering that I wasn’t a Human!
I might get expelled.
“Oh, that was unexpected. Well, when are you available?”
“Um… how about next week?”
Oh no, I had to train myself to eat proper food without throwing up. That was going to be annoying.
“Very well. Next week. Let us head out for a meal after one of our study sessions. Sounds good?”
I nodded, not really knowing what else to say. I didn’t want to think about eating; I hated it. Unless they served bugs. But I highly doubted that they did. I quickly changed the subject.
“So, what’s your second Class anyway, Nolan?”
“My second Class?”
He tapped a finger on his chin, a little put-off by the sudden shift in conversation, but otherwise open to talk about it.
“Well, I have told you that I have the Title of Mighty Warrior, yes?”
“You did, I think.”
“And while I find my combat proficiency at close range to be quite superb, at long range, I was lacking. So I decided I would like to bridge that gap to become a [Mage].”
“I see. And how did you choose your first advancement after?”
“It was only a matter of specialization once I became a [Mage]. I saw what fit me the most and decided from there.”
“What did you become?”
“A [Cryomancer of the Rime].”
Was it really that simple? That Class didn’t sound too special, which made sense, since it was only a first Class advancement, right?
Although, apparently a lot of people never reached their first Class advancement, content with simply living their day-to-day lives.
I bade Nolan farewell once the noon bell rang, heading out to study a different subject— space magic theory. But I didn’t stay in the library at Central Square. Instead, I headed over to the faculty’s office, in search of lecturer Claudia. Her office hours were held today, and I had a few questions I wanted to ask her.
But as I was walking through the office for the department on space magic, I ran into Veronica Adash. I blinked, peering at her.
“Hi, Veronica. What are you doing here?”
She was gathering her notes as she exited a small office. She smiled at me.
“Greetings, Salvos. I am simply gathering my belongings before heading out for lunch.”
“Gathering your things?”
I narrowed my eyes as I caught sight of the name plate of the room she came from.
Office of Veronica Adash - Space 141: Theoretical Effects on the Fabric of Space from Summonings / Basic Dimension Theory
“Wait, you’re a lecturer?”
“A professor, but yes. Does this surprise you?”
“It does! I mean, aren’t you a student?”
“A student of the School of Aspiring Elites. But that does not bar me from being a professor for those in the College of Aspirations.”
“Is something the matter?”
She cocked a brow, and I shook my head, just surprised.
I paused. A thought crossed my mind.
“Wait, actually could you give me some help?”
“If it is within my abilities, I will offer you some aid.”
I sighed in relief.
“Alright, so you know how you’re supposed to have a second Class which reached its first advancement to apply for the School of Aspiring Elites?”
“I am aware of that stipulation.”
Veronica nodded. I hesitated.
“Well, you see, I haven’t really made my decision yet… so, I’m currently still at my base Class.”
“Why have you not chosen an advancement yet?”
“I’m not sure what to choose!”
I wanted to throw my hands into the air. Veronica glanced around the hallway, then she ushered me into her office.
“Come, let’s speak about this inside.”
I followed after her, feeling my shoulder sag slightly.
“I just… I think they’re all so good! I don’t know what to choose!”
She shut the door and took a seat across from me, behind a desk.
“That is quite the dilemma others would be envious of, but one that is more common than you’d otherwise think for those at our positions.”
Veronica gave me a hint of a smile, almost chuckling at her own joke. I rubbed at my temples.
“They all help me get what I want… I think? At least, they all sound like it.”
“They sound like it?”
“Yep! Their descriptions are all so similar— but so different at the same time! I almost want to choose the safest option, even though I know it is probably the worst option...?”
“That’s certainly how it often is.”
“That the safest is the worst option?”
“No— well, yes. But the fact that all your Class options are unique yet similar.”
She rubbed her chin.
“Let me tell you something, Salvos. There is one thing you should know that comes with being at our levels and having the experiences we do. We are inherently specialized. If there is something you strive to achieve, it will be something you eventually achieve at one point or another.”
I pursed my lips.
“Um, what does that mean?”
“The both of us are… special— perhaps you more than I. But we are still more special than the average person. Not because we are simply born better, but because of where are in our life. We have reached levels that many will never see, and at our stage, we have to consider the accumulation of everything we’ve been through.”
I was still confused, and she could tell. So, she explained.
“There is a reason underlying your desire for a specific Class, am I right?”
“And is this goal… a fancy of yours? Is it a fleeting desire? Or is it something which you truly want? You will vie for it, even if it means working for the rest of your days towards it?”
“It’s the last bit, not the first or second one.”
“We are both similar in that regard.”
Veronica touched a locket hanging around her neck. There was a sigil inscribed onto it— the letter ‘A’ written in cursive, with a shield behind it. Her country. Or former country, since it was destroyed.
“So, if this is something which you are striving for and will continue to work towards, naturally, your experiences— what you go through and what you learn— will relate to this goal of yours. And as long as you stick to it, eventually, your Class will tailor itself to your liking. To reaching your goal.”
I paused. Veronica raised a hand, a cup of tea suddenly appearing.
“Even if your first advancement does not offer you the options you seek out, that doesn’t mean you will never be able to find what you’re searching for. You just have to be persistent, determined. It will all work out in the end.”
My eyes widened, and she smiled.
“Essentially, what I’m saying is: do not fret. Choose the Class advancement which you wish. You have a goal in mind, and you will reach it, even if not now. Trust that it will be so.”
I nodded slowly.
“Thank you, Veronica. You’re very smart, aren’t you?”
“It was no trouble. I would hope to be able to teach someone half my age some wisdom, considering all that I’ve been through.”
She chuckled, and I laughed too. Mostly because I wasn’t actually half her age. After we split ways, I headed to lecturer Claudia’s to ask the questions I had— get the clarification that I needed.
Still, I closed my eyes, relaxed, knowing that it was finally time for me to choose my advancement.
[Dimensional Mage]. [Fairy Maiden]. [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus].