She looks older than Kayrus, about the same age as Charleone if not slightly older, and yet the woman exudes an aura of childish innocence at the same time of the air of maturity she exudes. Her clothes are a weird mixture of normality and flair, she wears a white formal shirt under an untied flowing black robe with wide sleeves full of silvery and golden decorations. Her grey pleated trouser is held by a belt whose buckle has a strange mechanical design, and the ends of its wide legs are tucked inside the tall black boots wrapped around her legs.

The woman whose black hair is tied into a tight bun gave a deep bow to Charleone, with a smile and a pair of eyes that expressed the utmost of hospitality. A formal hospitality.

“Welcome aboard Your Grace, gentlemen, welcome to the Zennardi Magi Academia. Let me introduce myself, my name is Leinna. I trust you had a pleasant flight, Your Grace?” she said in a beautiful voice. Her wide smile made Kayrus focus on the small mole right beside her left eye.

“I guess you can call it that.” said the Archmagus, the tone of his voice is different from the one he used to speak with Kayrus and his two bodyguards. It's much more formal now, full of gravitas.

“I am glad to hear that. We have prepared for your accommodation here, Archamagus Augustus, and I have been tasked as your personal assistant during your tenure in the school. If you wish for anything, please let me know.” She gave another deep bow.

“Thank you, are there any messages for me?”

“Yes there are some messages for you, Your Grace. The Principal asked you to come to his office at the earliest convenience. Professor Shirley also asked you to message her as soon as you have arrived. And your deputy left a message that she has found the things you asked her for.”

“Ah, so Emma is already here, good. Please inform the Archmagus I will meet him after I freshen up. Same with the others.”

“Certainly sir. Please follow me, gentlemen.” said the woman pointing her hand to the corridor.

She led the group through the dockyard and into corridors with metallic walls whose designs Kayrus have never seen before. With just a wave of her hand she then opened an elevator with a see-through door, one among several elevators besides each other. Kayrus noticed there are a dozen and more buttons for the floors and decks, one that reveals to him the sheer size of the place. With another wave of hand Leinna closed the elevator’s door, immediately moving upwards.

The elevator is pulled almost silently except for a faint whirring noise, and as it travels, the former thief is able to witness the floors that they passed by. Floors of workshops, storage, underground garden, and what looked like a neighborhood are passed by them. It was an amazing sight, it's like seeing an actual city inside of an Aeroship. Kayrus managed to count there are about ten floors they passed by before the elevator stopped at the uppermost deck.

And when the young man and his group stepped out of the elevator, he was faced again with a stunning view that left him speechless.

From the topside deck where he is standing, he is looking directly at the bright blue sky above, for the topside deck of the ships is uncovered. And yet, he did not feel any rush of wind and cold as if the deck they’re standing on is as warm as they’re on the ground. He looked left and right, looking at what looked like paved roads and green parks you would see in the nicer part of a city. Nothing would indicate to anyone that the place they’re on is nothing but a gigantic flying ship.

“Incredible…” muttered Kayrus in awe. But he has no time to fully consume that feeling, for the group immediately continue their walk through the deck.

No matter how you try, it's undeniable that the place looks like a normal city would. Men and women in what seems to be staff uniforms, young women with outfits that look like Leinna, and other normal-looking people are walking around what seemed to be a square, doing their own business or talking to each other. It is a peaceful place, thought Kayrus.

A thing that stood out in afar caught his attention, however. Far in the distance he saw a tall but large building dominating the view. Resembling an old but grand building, it stood like the center of the whole area itself, its darker color stood in contrast with the green trees that surrounded it.

“What is that thing over there?” he asked Leinna, who seemed like prepared with the questions.

“That would be the Main Academic Building, Mister Neumann.” said the woman, though hearing her saying his new name gave Kayrus a tug in his heart. “It is part of the Academic Complex, where the academic activities would mainly take place. That would also be where your dormitories are located, Mister Neumann.”


“Yes, of course you are aware that this is a boarding school right, Mister Neumann?”

“R-Right, of course.” lied Kayrus who didn’t know anything about it. He threw a quick glare towards Charleone, who pretended to ignore it though his eyes looked amused.

“Are we still far from the residences?” ask Stefan with the deep stern voice of his, changing the subject.

“Only a few minutes of walking left, Chief Tyren.”

They continue to walk in a direction that seemed to be not that far from the Academic Complex Leinna mentioned, through a grove of trees that grew on either side of the pathway. Soon, they reached a large iron gate connected to stone walls that circles an open space. With a motion of hand by Leinna, the gate is opened without anyone doing it. Beyond that gate stand a complex of classy and luxurious buildings befitted that of noble mansions and residences.

“And this is…” said Kayrus.

“Faculty Residence. For the professors and faculty staff only.” explain the woman.

She then led the four through a road at the center of the complex, passing another paved square, before arriving at a large house made of grey-painted brick walls, white beams and pillars, and dark brown tiled roofs. A red colored flag is planted in front of the house.

“So this is the place?” asked Charleone, finally removing his sunglasses.

“Yes, Your Grace, this is your provided residence in this Academy. If you are unsatisfied with this place, please inform us so we could find a much more suitable residence for your taste.”

“No, this is fine,” said the Archmagus. “I’m satisfied.”

“We are glad to hear that, Your Grace. Then please, after you.”

The five climbed through the steps in front of the dark wooden door. When the door is opened, Kayrus finds himself inside a luxurious and comfortable house full of high-end furniture and decoration, which reminds him of some of the rich houses he used to break into once.

“This is a beautiful house. Thank you for your help, miss.”

“Your welcome, Your Grace. I shall leave you for now, but if you need something, please don’t hesitate in informing us.” the woman gave him another bow. “I shall leave you the house’s keys on the table. After that, please excuse me.”

“She seems like a nice person.” comments Kayrus after Leinna left and closed the door.

“Who?” ask Charleone back, dropping his nobler facade.

“She, Leinna.”

“Oh, she’s not a person...”

“I see…Wait, what!?” Kayrus, flabbergasted.

“She’s an ID, Imitation Doll, an Automata.” Explain Maximillian to the dumbfounded young man. “She’s an automatic Machine Doll created with the intention of imitating humans as much as possible, very hard to make. Only a few Sho Magus are able, and allowed, to build them.”

“But why? Why do you want to imitate a human that much? That’s inhumane!”

“Well….let’s just say there was a period of time where some Magus went a bit too far. Either way, IDs have been banned in almost every part of the world, and virtually only this place still allows the usage of them.”

“Just treat them like you would other humans, and you will be fine,” added Stefan nonchalantly.

“What he said.”

“Are you people finished with the lecture yet?” interrupt Charleone who has stepped into the living room and threw himself into a comfy couch there. “Stefan, Max, security check.”


“Consider it done.”

And off the two men go, leaving only Kayrus and the Archmagus behind in the room.

“Now, Rat, listen carefully. School starts tomorrow, I need you to do your best with your act from now on. Here.” Charleone threw a key onto a table between him and Kayrus. “That’s the key to a bedroom in this house, upstairs. As you know you’re going to stay at a dorm, but if you need something, or if I call you, you can stay here.”

“Got it.” said Kayrus picking up the metal key.

“Now, the only people who know about who you really are are the five people with keys to this house. Me, you, Stefan and Max, and my deputy. So what happens in this house, stay within the house. And what the five of us know, stay within the five.”

“Your deputy? I don’t know who they are.”

“Don’t worry, you’re going to meet her soon. Now go to your room, upstairs, and take a rest. There should be some items waiting for you. I’ll call you when I need you again.”


“Oh, and kid…” Charleone stopped him just as he stepped away. “If something happens, and I’m not available to consult, you can do whatever you think is best. I trust your judgement, you have the heart and mind for that, I’m sure.”

“Thank you for the words of trust, Archmagus, very reassuring…”

“I told you to call me Charleone, didn’t I?”

Kayrus grins, and finally walks away from the living room. Taking up a stair near it, he went to the second floor. Consulting the number on the key he’s given, he entered the first room on the left, at the front of the house.

The bedroom is quite large, definitely larger than what he has back home. There’s a large double bed, a wardrobe, two drawers, a tall mirror, and a desk. The former thief dropped his bag on the floor and sat on the bed. The bedding is the most comfortable he has ever felt in his life.

“This is nice, very nice…Perhaps too nice.”

He looked towards the desk, towards an array of items laid on it. A couple of textbooks, a pocket-size book whose covers spell out Rules and Ethics of Zennardi, a writing set and a notebook, and a small brown satchel. The one that catches his attention the most, however, is a set of clothes and shoes beside them.

“This should fit.” he said as he checked the outfit.

After he was done wearing the clothes, he looked at his own reflection in the mirror. Standing is a young man wearing a black blazer with an emblem of an eight-pointed flower on its left breast pocket. The brown leather loafer is also surprisingly easy to walk and move in, the same with his black trouser and white shirt underneath the jacket. It's the uniform for Magus School, a formal uniform, but also a practical one.

“Huh, this is nice actually. How did they know my size though.” he muttered, pleased with what he saw.

A knock on the door is heard when Kayrus is picking up the books.

“Come in.”

The door is swung open, and standing before the young man is Maximillian.

“Oh, I see you’ve tried on your uniform.” the Water Magus said pointing at him.

“Yeah. It is surprisingly fit though. How did you know my size?”

“Emma must have guessed correctly then, as usual.” said Max nonchalantly.

“Emma? Is she the Archmagus' deputy?”

“Yeah, Emma Slayne. She’s a Magus Princeps just like me, but she’s been Augustus’ deputy since before his promotion as an Archmagus.”

“A Bea one like you, or a Gao one like the Archmagus?” asked Kayrus. Gao is the name for the Fire Collegiate, of which Charleone is one of the Archmagus of.

“She’s a-you know what, I have a better idea.” Maximilian smiles. “Why don’t you meet her herself. Me and Stefan are going for lunch with her actually, you want to come with us?”

It took only a few seconds for Kayrus to accept the offer. He, after all, hasn't eaten anything besides some snacks aboard the Aerofloat.

“Great! Come then, I’m so hungry I could eat a whole horse! Let’s go!”


About the author


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