She introduces herself as being as old as Charleone, but she looks as young as the students sitting in front of her, which explains why they feel at ease with her. Her bronze-like skin shows her Nusa roots, although she admits she was born and raised mostly on Harna. The blue suit with wide sleeves she wears, coupled with her short black hair, is an attempt to look professional, smart, and yet still approachable.

That woman is the Professor of the Bea Collegiate and also the Homeroom Teacher for the Bea Year 1 students, Vice-Magus Irinna Shirley.

Kayrus and all the other Bea Year 1 students are now attending their first Homeroom Class in a place that will soon be another home for them, a classroom in Bea's Collegiate Azure Sanctuary. That place, which resembles a garden full of canals and waterways, is located on the Port Quarter corner of the Academic Complex, flanked by the Gao Collegiate's Bonfire Palace to its inboard and the Faun Collegiate's Emerald Garden to its front.

Including himself, Kayrus counts that there are currently thirty-five students sitting at their desks in that classroom, although a single extra desk is empty. Twelve boys and twenty-three girls, all of whom are either younger or as old as Kayrus' real age of twenty one. Besides him and Diana, there are seven other Redoran students, none of whom recognize his lie. The rest of the class are composed of people from all over the world; some even come from as far as Zakura, Sara, or Nelgar, showing to Kayrus just how far-reaching the influences of Magus Society actually are.

“Now that you all know who I am, I hope all of us can have wonderful and fruitful years together.” says the professor, standing in front of a large greenish blackboard with a large wooden lectern separating her and the students sitting at their rows of desks and chairs. “As this is our first class, I want to start with a few simple questions. How many of you know about Magic?”

Everyone raises their hands.

“Good, now how many of you know about the principles and basics of Magic?”

Half of the class, including Kayrus, raises their hands.

“Now, how many of you have ever used Magic before?”

Only a handful of the students raise their hands, half of them being Diana, Ilias, and the Fei twins. The other half are people who Kayrus doesn’t know; two girls and a boy.

“That’s less than I expected, but that’s okay. This whole school aims to teach you how to use Magic, after all.” says Irinna. “Now then, everyone, stand up please, we’re going to do a practical lesson.”

Once everyone stands up from their seats, the Bea Professor takes out a wooden wand from inside her suit, a wand in the shape of a dark wood twig. The Magus speaks a soft incantation and waves her wand in a single circular motion. Suddenly, like a den of snakes slithering, lines of water slime away from the ground where she is standing towards the students’ desks. Those “water snakes” then climb on top of each and every desk, before coiling themselves into a ball of water. Irinna then swiftly swings down her wand, and in that instant, the ball of water transforms into an iron bowl full of water.

Whispers of amazement are coming from some of the students.

“That is what people call a ‘Replacement Spell’, but that’s years ahead of your year.” says the professor, knowing that some of her students are clearly interested in that stunt of hers. “But for today, we are going to learn about the utmost basics of Water Magic, Liquid Manipulation.”

Irinna picks up a chalk and begins writing and drawing on the blackboard.

"For those who don't know, the basic principle of Magic is the manipulation of energy into magic. Typically, the energy used is our own body's energy, or Lifeforce so to speak. Although other energies are sometimes used, that is way beyond the scope of your current level, so you can ignore that for now." She teaches the class.

"Magic itself, based on its level of complexity, can be categorized into three types: General Manipulation, General Application, and General Spells. General Manipulation means the manipulation of objects or elements related to your Affinity. Meanwhile, the General Application is the process of incorporating Magic-manipulated objects into a system, or applying Magics to objects. Lastly, General Spells means, well, casting Spells. Spells themselves can be considered as complex frameworks of Magic that are built from the combination of either, or both of, the previous categories."

The professor suddenly takes out a round metallic container from behind the lectern and shows it around the class. The rattling sound it makes as she moves it around demonstrates that the container is currently empty.

"What I did before is actually a combination of all three categories of Magic. First, I used General Manipulation on the water inside the tank to make it move and change its shape. Then, using the General Application, I 'duplicated' the amount of water to make it enough for each desk in this class. This also allows me to prepare the water for the last part, General Spells. With a spell I cast, I replaced the water on your desks with the bowls I have prepared elsewhere. The waters themselves are now located where the bowls used to be, hence why the spell is named 'Replacement Spell'."

"As members of Bea Collegiate, it is imperative for all of you to first learn how to use General Manipulation, which is the aim of this class today. Note, however, that Water Magic's General Manipulation, General Application, and General Spells work for most types of liquid. But it is easiest to do it with water, especially pure ones, the reason for which we will definitely cover in future classes." She continues. "As of now, the aim for today's class is to manipulate the water in the bowl in front of you, to move and change its shape like I demonstrated before. Please take out your personal Conduit."

As ordered, all of the students take out and prepare the Conduits they have, all coming in various shapes and forms. Most of them use wand-like items like their professor, although some use more unique items such as a staff, a tome, or even an iron ladle. Kayrus himself puts on the pair of gloves given to him by Maximillian, beginning to feel attached to them

“Everyone ready? Good. Now to accomplish the task I gave you, you need to put your Conduit over the bowl of water. Concentrate your mind, and imagine the shape of the water you want it to be. If you feel something weird, like an energy flowing through your body, just let it pass. Don’t fight it, just let it happen, it’s just the Magic happening. The more you cast magic, the more you will get used to that sensation. Any questions? No? Good, then you may begin now.” Irinna clasps her hand, signalling to the students they may start with their task at hand.

Before he puts his gloved hands over his assigned bowl, the young man instead decides to observe his classmates first. The students that already knew how to use Magic immediately finished their task, just as expected. However, others are already done with theirs as well, transforming the water in their bowls into various shapes. Some even form it into intricate shapes, like a flower.

“Huh, so it’s that easy huh?” He mutters as he sees more and more of his classmates finish their task.

The former thief then puts his hand above the bow of water. After a deep breath, Kayrus closes his eyes, focusing on the shape of water he wants: a simple ball of water spinning in the air. Doing the same thing as he did yesterday during his Elemental Trial, Kayrus then focuses his mind on both the shape of water and his idea of ‘power’, hoping to summon the same energy as he did back then.

“Come on, come on…” whispers Kayrus, “Come on…”

…And nothing happens.

Kayrus opens his eyes, the water in the bowl still in its original shape, still and undisturbed. He tries again to cast the magic, but after a while, he fails again at the task. Meanwhile, most of his classmates are already done with theirs. So he tries again, again, and again. Yet he is always met with failure.

“Damn it, why won't it work?!" He’s grabbing the edges of this desk, his face staring at its own reflection in the water. “What did I do wrong…”

Kayrus takes several deep breaths again, trying to calm himself. He’s trying to remember the instructions given by Irinna again. Concentrate, imagine, and just let the magic happen. That’s all he had to do, and yet he fails at each attempt. He’s looking around the class again, hoping that he’s not the only one that also meets this hurdle. Unfortunately, except for him and a handful of others, all of the class managed to finish this task just fine.

The young man is racking his brain, trying to find his mistake and a solution to it. Since the instructions are clear and almost everyone is able to follow them, the problem might be with him, he thinks. He must be doing something wrong, but what is it?

In that moment of puzzlement and desperation, the former thief suddenly remembers the night he was caught back in the city by Maximillian and Stefan. Back then, Kayrus saw Max only using the slightest of movements to control the water tentacle he used. Is Kayrus wrong to ‘force’ the magic to happen, and should have ‘let’ the magic appear by itself? Don’t ‘control’ it, but ‘direct’ it instead.

With this theory, Kayrus then puts his right hand over the bowl again, this time with a calmer head than before. He concentrates on the shape that he wants, on the water in the bowl, dismissing any other thoughts besides the magic and magic alone.

Do not rush, just wait…

Then, just as with what happened with him yesterday, Kayrus feels a flow of energy flowing through his body into his right hand. Humming little by little, it flows out of his hand, and the sensation turns into that of flowing water.

“Open your eyes,” says a woman’s voice.

As soon as Kayrus opens his eyes, he is greeted by the sight of a ball of water spinning in the air. Its speed and ripples are like those of a rough sea.

“See, you can do it,” says the voice again.

Kayrus looks up, and finds that the voice belongs to his professor, Irinna. She is standing beside him, watching over his progress.

“Just like a body of water, Water Magic can never be fully controlled. The only thing you can do is to direct it, shape it in the form you want, just like water follows the form of its container.” She lectures him. “So never rush it, don’t force it, be patient with it, and you shall be rewarded with the full power of the Flow.”

“The Flow, what’s that?”

The Professor makes an enigmatic smile. “Ask Charleone for that, Kayrus. If you do ask him, say hi to him for me, will you?" She says before walking away from his desk.

“Charle-Wait, what do you mean by that?”

Right at that moment, the door to the classroom swings open. The bright light of the sun enters the room and shadows the person who is currently standing in front of it.

“Can I help you?" asks Irinna to the stranger.

“Terribly sorry, Professor Shirley, there was a bit of a problem, so I missed the Ceremony and..”

“Ah,” Irinna claps her hands. “So you’re our thirty-sixth student. Miss Nelsy, right? Welcome, welcome, we’re just having the first class.”

The stranger with the same last name as Maximillian makes a small bow. “Sorry, Professor, excuse me.”

The moment she walks into the room, Kayrus becomes even more shocked by said stranger, for she looks just like the girl Kayrus left at home, Kara.

To say the resemblances are striking would be huge understatement; she is a spitting image of Kara. From her height to her skin and hair color, everything about her is identical except for the stranger’s short hair instead of Kara’s long hair.

“Kara?” says Kayrus to her in a moment of shock and confusion.

The girl, looking at Kayrus, then answers, “Yes? Do I know you?”



About the author


Bio: If you have some questions, criticism, or just want to talk, my DM is always open

Log in to comment
Log In