His rough estimate is around four thousand people, though he began to think he got it wrong as more and more people poured into that large hall. On the center of the room are arrays upon arrays of red chairs all lined up neatly facing in a unison towards the stage on the opposite side of the room. Almost all the students sit on those seats, though some important looking Magus and Gardes sits on the front rows seats. Meanwhile, all the other people are taking their seats on the balconies surrounding the center area.

“Please all students hurry up and take your seats, the ceremony is about to begin.” said a woman, an Imitation Doll like Leinna shown by the same weird clothes they wear, guiding the people who have just arrived to their respective areas.

Kayrus can’t help but notice that she has an almost identical face to Leinna, just ever slightly different here and there. Kayrus decided to banish that thought and went for a seat that is free.

Just as he almost reached an empty seat he wanted, a girl’s voice called out to him. To his surprise, the owner of the voice is that waitress girl he met yesterday, Michelle Instars.

“Ah, Kayrus! Nice to see you again.” she said as she approached the young man. Her two friends followed her slowly from behind. One has the same brown armband just like Michelle, the other one has a silver armband like Charleone’s Deputy Emma

“The feeling’s mutual.”

“How are you? How’s you’re-*gasp*” she finally notices the blue armband on Kayrus’ right arm. “You’re in Bea? Wow, that's very good news.”

“How's so?”

“They said the Bea Collegiate has this very nice lady as a Professor. That must be nice, they said mine is a very strict old crone instead. Can we trade Professors, please?”

“Haha, I would if we could. That would be very interesting to see, at the very least.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Both of them are laughing. “Well, it was nice to meet you again. I’ll go back to my seat now. If you come to our cafe next time, I’ll happily give you some discounts. I’ll see you again.” she waves as she runs back to her group.

As Kayrus is looking Michelle leaving, however,

“It’s always nice meeting new people isn’t it?” a voice suddenly spoke to Kayrus from beside him.

It’s another student like him, a Bea student as well. His reddish hair is neatly combed to the side, a smile is formed between his two freckled cheeks, the word “approachable” is screaming from the air around this student.

“Ah, sorry to surprise you. I presume you’re a fellow new Bea student, let me introduce myself, I’m Ilias Walker, nice to meet you.” he let out his hand to shake.

“Kayrus Neumann, nice to meet you as well.”

“Kayrus Neumann….” he muttered, “Yeah, I’ve heard about you. You’re the one who has the Archmagus Augustus Sponsorship. Would you like to join us, they’re also new Bea students as well.” he points at a group of Bea students sitting side by side near them, every single one of them are bright-eyed like the person next to them.

Seeing no reason to refuse, Kayrus accepted the invitation. Besides, this Ilias person might explain to him what the Sponsor thing actually means.

“Hello everyone,” said Ilias to the other Bea students, “I brought to you another one of us. I Introduce to you all, Mister Kayrus...Neumann, right?”

“Yes, Neumann.” answered Kayrus, he began to like saying his fake name.

“Right, Kayrus Neumann. Please give him a warm welcome, everyone.”

The first to stand up is a pair of male and female students, twins, definitely younger than Kayrus. They introduced themselves as Yan Fei and Yui Fei. Their energetic nature can best be described as like a pair of puppies.

“Hey, hey, nice to meet you, how’s it going?” The first one to talk is the brother, Yan.

“How old are you? Where are you from?” ask the sister, Yui.

Their more childish behaviour reminded Kayrus of the children he takes care of back home. He can’t help but smile, hiding the fact that he begins to miss his home and family.

“Yeah, I just had my nineteenth birthday now, and from Redora. Nice to meet you two.” he smiled, none of what he said was actually true. In truth, he’s older than that, and though he did live in a Redoran city, he doesn’t actually know where he came from.

“Ah, a Redoran?” a girl with a pair of noticeable big bosoms stands up next, her long brown hair is tied into a braid she hangs on her left shoulder. “It’s nice to meet another Redoran here, are you from the South or the North?”

“The South, Norrik, actually.”

“Ah, from Norrik? I’m from the North myself, Terriant.”She suddenly clapped her hands. “Ah, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Diana Sweeney, nice to meet you, Kayrus. I hope I won't give you too many problems as a classmate.” she gave a little bow.

A muscular dark skinned student then raised his hand.

“Marcus Hasne, nice to meet you.”

“Likewise.” Kayrus nodded.

Ilias then tapped Kayrus’ shoulder, “C’mon now everyone, let’s get seated before they chewed us out,” to which Kayrus followed by taking a seat beside him.

“I must say,” said Ilias next, “I’m surprised that the Archmagus Augustus’ Apprentice would be a Bea, not a Gao like him”

“What do you mean?” Kayrus inches closer.

“What do you mean ‘what do you mean’?”

“Those things…” Kayrus waved his hand, “Apprentice, Sponsor.”

“Oh, you don’t know that?” Ilias seemed surprised. “See, when someone gets appointed as an Archmagus, they have the right to enroll a new student in Zennardi. Those students would, in spirit, become said Archmagus disciple, ward, and hopefully, his successor in the future. Many current high-ranking officials in the Society and the Collegia were Apprentices, even the Archmagus Augustus himself used to be one.”

Ah, now everything makes sense, thought Kayrus, so that’s why he managed to get me enrolled in the first place. Especially on such short notice.

“Oh, and that’s also the reason why you’re somewhat famous now, Kayrus.”

“Wait, really?” his eyes frowning.

“Yeah, since the Archmagus is very famous and popular, especially to students like us, people were wondering what kind of person you are when the Archamaus suddenly announced yesterday he has exercised his right of Sponsorship for a boy named, obviously, Kayrus Neumann. There was actually a bit of somewhat commotion when there’s a rumour abound you were spotted with his subordinates and deputy on this ship yesterday. People are curious, you know, especially since then another rumour started that said your Affinity was unknown at the time. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that?”

“Yesterday, huh?” That would be the time he went to that cafe with the others. If there’s lots of attention given to him because of matters like that, he needs to be even more careful in the future to not attract attention. He doesn’t want people to find out who actually is, after all.

“Indeed, and now people are talking again because as it turns out, your affinity is Bea, not Gao. The Archmagus is one amazing fellow, isn’t he? First he’s not only a strong and smart Magus, but he also had a strange taste in political strategy by appointing Deputy and Apprentice of different Collegiate than he is.” said Ilias. “Since his position as the leader of the Augustus family brought him a lot of power, I wonder what kind of goals he’s actually aiming for.”

“Augustus?” ask Kayrus, “What do you mean?”

“Wait, you actually don’t know about his family? You’re serious?” Ilias looked even more surprised than before. “They’re one of The Ten, some of the richest and most powerful families and clans in the Society. The fact that the Archmagus is the leader of one of them means he’s currently one of the most powerful men in Magus Society.”

“He’s what?!

Suddenly a voice is heard from the stage attracting everyone’s attention and silencing the room, it’s another ID on the stage, though she looked much more…mature, compared to the rest of them. She looked older, with long silky black hair that almost reached the back of her legs, with a white uniform that is much more formal and regal looking.

“Please be seated, Ladies and Gentlemen, the ceremony is about to begin.”

And as suddenly as her appearance, all doors and windows of that hall are closed in quick succession one by one. People who are still not seated are scrambling to return to their seats or grab any that are still empty.

Soon, the entire hall would be dark, but not for long. On small gaps here and there, between the pillars, floors, and balconies, are lit lines upon lines of small spherical Moonlamps. Their warmth light not only brightened up the room, but also gave it a lovely air of grandeur and beauty. But it doesn’t stop there. From the ceiling on the central area, are lowered a large grand chandelier shaped like an eight-pointed flower, adorned by Moonlamps colored in the eight colors of the Collegiate. The shine of its colored lights reminded Kayrus of his eight Affinity. A fact that he remembered should be kept as a very tightly kept secret, even with his life.

The mature ID, still on the stage, then continues with her announcement.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, for those who have just joined us aboard this ship, let me introduce myself. My name is Marisa, an ID with the official designation Marisa-001. I serve on this ship as Zennardi’s First Mate, XO, and Chief ID; and as the Zennardi Magi Academia’s Chief Secretary. With the power bestowed in me by the Ship Captain, I hereby welcome you aboard our beautiful ship and city.”

She continues, “With this I shall hereby declare the start of the new School Year ceremony. To those students who returned from their holiday, I say welcome back. To those who are going to join the families of the academic and student body, I say welcome. We hope you will find this place as your second home.” she gave a quick bow. “And now, please applaud for the man who has served as our beloved Principal of the Zennardi Magi Academia for the last 15 years. Please welcome on the stage, Archmagus Yaguchi.”

And Kayrus could not believe the man who entered the stage. Still retaining his cane and gray stubble, he has traded his metal-grey robe with an Archmagus robe not unlike Charleone’s, but with the red parts of it being colored in orange. Though smiling, each step he took is full of gravita, a stark contrast to the laid-back person he was yesterday.

That man, of course, is Toshizo Yaguchi, the old man that Kayrus met yesterday, and an Archmagus of Dourn, the Earth Collegiate.


About the author


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