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Chapter 17

Under the evening moonlight, everyone sat outside around the roast pit. The fire flickered under the large boar that spun on top of the fire; half of the boar was already eaten. With smiles on everyone’s faces, everyone laughed as they told each other stories from the past, the present, and their future goals.

“That bastard!~ Give me that drink!” Mizz drank the contents of the large mug. “He was checking me out you know!? The look on his face was so creepy!”

“Bah, you can’t help it can ya?” Krey laughed. “All men adventurer’s are like that aye.”

“Kazu! Have a drink!” Brett slammed his stocky arms around Kazu’s shoulder.

“Ah- no, it’s fine.” Kazu stood up. “I’ll head inside first.”

“Already Kazuuu?” Raym’s flushed face let out a groan, yet a smile of bliss lingered on. She wobbled around just by sitting on the log. Everyone was drunk and it was a happy sight that Kazu could never get used to.

Kazu nodded. Leaving the drunkard’s circle, he twisted the door’s knob, opening it, and saw Sene, Ene, and Lene sitting around the table.

“Sorry Kazu, I hope they didn’t bother you too much.” Sene tilted her head.

“I’m used to it, so it’s fine.” Kazu replied.

Kazu’s eyes turned towards the table under the window beside the front door. A small envelope sat on that table. Walking up to the table, he picked up the envelope. When he looked at it, a sigh escaped his lungs as he took out the contents of the envelope.

To Kazu Tomoe,

The Royal Academy of Austere is honoured to invite you to the Royal Academy of Austere as a special exception student. Your academic studies starts in the 11th moon of the 306th year. Please meet with the principal of the academy a week in advance to be given the included accommodations that accompanies this letter and for the aptitude test.

Regards,
Yuli Aramod, Royal Academy of Austere Dean.


“Brother!” Ene ran to Kazu’s side, forcing a hug. Her head turned up to meet eye to eye with Kazu. “Do you have to go?”

“Ene, you can’t be like that.” Sene pulled Ene away and kneeled down to reach eye level. “You’re starting school too. Besides, Ene, your school is in front of where Kazu is going so you can visit him anytime.”

“What? Really?” Kazu’ blurted out.

“Really… these two.. If there is a school for students above 18, wouldn’t there naturally be one for those under that age?” Sene shook her head. “Ene, much better?”

“Unn!” Ene’s eyes sparkled as she nodded to her mother, Sene.

Meanwhile, Lene pulled on Kazu’s sleeve, looking up at him with an intentful stare. Her face had no distinct facial features, yet Kazu knew that she too was worried about him leaving for a while.

After a little while, Sene giggled, disturbing the ambience. “I raised such worry-ful children haven’t I.”

Kazu also knelt down to face both Lene and Ene. Patting them on the head, he gave off a warm smile. “Ene, Lene, I’ll be here during the weekends. Don’t worry too much okay?”

Ene and Lene nodded in unison.

“Then I’ll head up first.” Kazu said.

“Brother is tired already?” Ene laughed.

Instead of replying, Kazu patted her head once again. After climbing up the stairs, he walked to the door furthest to the right. The room used to be Brett’s study that was never used. Upon opening it, 2 bookshelves beside the window entered his view. The books were kept in an organized manner and they all still looked brand new. Glancing to the bed, a ghost with silver hair wearing a white one piece dress laid on the bed. Her eyes furrowed as she put on a pout when her eyes came across Kazu.

Mel: NYAA! I hate that crimson haired woman! Why’d you shake her hand?!

“That’s what you’re mad about?” Kazu sighed.

Mel: So arrogant! If I wasn’t sealed… I would eat her!

“Don’t tell me you swing that way?” His lips turned to a smirk.

Mel: GYA! You know what I mean!

“Aah, so noisy. Why are you always shouting… At any rate, we need money.”

Mel: Money? Just rob a bank.

“Why does it lead to that?!” Kazu shouted in surprise. Jumping on the bed, he laid himself just beside the ghost of Mel who was still pouting.

Mel: Its the easiest way to earn money. Heehee.

Her expression turned into a more malicious grin. Unlike Kazu’s greed for money, her expression was more akin to a woman who imagined of food in front of her. If she could drool in her ghost appearance, she would’ve, Kazu thought.

Mel: Yaaah! Get out of the bed!

Thud.

Mel pushed Kazu off the bed causing a loud thud on the floor. Getting up from the floor, Kazu scratched his head in annoyance. Even though Mel was in spiritual form, she still had the ability of touch.

“That’s my bed you know!” Kazu shouted.

Mel: Hmph! That’s what you get for holding that woman’s hands!

“That’s called a handshake. Do you know what a handshake is?!”

Mel: Shaking hands, holding hands, hands touching, all the same thing!

“This stubborn-”

“-Kazu?” Sene knocked on the door before opening it. “Are you talking to anyone?”

Kazu’s eyes glanced at the bed. Seeing Mel’s grin, frustration caused his ears to go bright red. To Sene’s eyes, Kazu was the only one in the room; Mel didn’t appear in her vision. Such situations had happened many times over the past year.

“No, not anyone. Is there anything wrong?” Kazu asked.

“If you could take Ene and Lene to their bedrooms…” Sene tilted her head with her brows furrowed in confusion.

“A-alright. I’ll be right down.” Kazu said.

The door closed right after Kazu replied. His eyes now turned to the woman on the bed beside him. The invisible woman, who was visible to Kazu, had a satisfied smile on her face. Her playful demeanor never changed, he thought.

Kazu got up from the floor and reached for the door. After opening it, he closed it slowly and then whispered, “Old lady.”

Mel: Gah!? I’m not old!

Climbing downstairs with leisure steps, his eyes meet the 2 children he was asked to take care of. Ene scratched her eyes to try to get rid of the sleepiness that took her. On the other hand, Lene laid down on the sofa already fast asleep. Lene’s control over her body of water became much better so she doesn’t soak anything she touches anymore. Thus, the sofa was safe from being wet.

“Ene.” Kazu opened up his arms. At this sign, Ene reached for Kazu and ended up being carried by his right arm. With a bit of difficulty, Kazu carried Lene with his left arm, carefully as to not wake her up.

With care in his steps to not fall over, he climbed up the stairs, then turning right to the furthest room. Ene and Lene’s room was directly in front of his door. Kazu entered their room and first laid Ene on the bed. Beside the bed, a large basin of water sat under the window. Moonlight flowed in from the window, hitting the basin of water.

The basin was Lene’s bed. Water spirits under the moonlight grow much healthier than those water spirits that don’t bathe in moonlight. Sene was the only one to have such consideration, Kazu thought.

“Goodnight Ene.” Kazu kissed Ene on the forehead then Lene. “Goodnight Lene.”

Kazu stood up to prepare to go back to his room. However, Sene stood in his way with a peaceful smile. A mild blush appears on Kazu’s cheeks.

“How are the others?” Kazu asked.

“Well, let’s just say its going to be hard to clean up tomorrow.” Sene giggled.

“I see.” Kazu sighed. “I should go to sleep too.”

“Un. Goodnight.” Sene said.

“Goodnight.” Kazu left the room and entered the room directly in front.

Entering his room, the translucent looking girl, Mel, still had her pout on. She had her eyes furrowed and annoyance lit up in her eyes. Yet her childish anger made Kazu snicker a bit.

Mel: I’m not old! Take it back!

At this response, Kazu put a finger on his mouth. Ene and Lene both slept just at the other side of the door. Arguing with Mel will inevitably lead to shouting. Instead, Kazu sat on the bed beside Mel. His hands reached her hair, stroking it, caressing it. Looking at Kazu, Mel’s cheeks turned red as she tried to avoid eye contact with Kazu.

“Mel.”

Mel: Hm?

“Do you have any idea how we can unseal you?”

Mel: I don’t know. But I just have a feeling with you, we’ll be eventually be able to.

“Puhahaha..” Kazu laughed.

Mel: Why are you laughing?!

“Nothing, nothing. I should’ve expected such an answer. We never really did talk about it this past year haven’t we.”

Mel: Training is more important of course. I can’t have you dying during the adventure. Her joyful nod gave off a fulfilled satisfaction.

“Status.”

Status
NameKazu Tomoe
Level98
Strength1637Vitality1392
Wisdom1254Intelligence1303
Agility1656Stamina1588
Endurance1882Luck98
Phys. R38572Mag. R.32363

[/i][/i]
Unique Traits:

  • Hero Stats

  • Artifact "Exended Status" [Active]


Skill list:

  • Hell’s Demon’s swordplay

    • Stealth (9)

    • Sneak (9)

    • Assassinate (8)

    • Awareness (MAX)

    • Identify (Basic)

      • Scan (7)

      • Detailed Scan (2) (5000 MP Mana cost and additional 600 stamina cost)




  • Wanderer’s Thousand Wind Skill Tree Beginner set
    Spoiler :

    • C - Rising Wind Blade (active) Lv. 9

    • B -  Forward Gale (active) Lv. MAX

    • C - Gale's Return (passive) Lv. 5

    • C - Tenth Slice (passive )Lv. 5

    • D - Shockwave (active) Lv. 1

    • A - Fool’s Wind (active) Lv. 9

    • A - Wanderer’s Wind (passive) Lv. MAX

    • A - Dance of the Wind (Beginner)

    • Reach Level 10 (Max) of Fool's Wind to unlock Intermediate set.



  • Wanderer’s Thousand Wind Skill Tree Intermediate set
    Spoiler :

    • A - Wanderer's Thousand Winds Footwork Lv. partial unlock






Mel: Don’t look at the status screen anymore. That’s just numbers, doesn’t mean much skill. Just follow my lessons and you’ll be fine. She smirked.

“Of course.” Kazu closed the dialogue. “Let’s head to sleep. Training still continues tomororw.”

Mel’s translucent figure faded. Tiny light particles scattered out in the room, then floated back to the claymore standing beside the window. The projection’s energy returned back to its container—the giant claymore.

Facing his back against the claymore, a brief smile appeared on Kazu’s lips. Same old blunt and prideful Aiko.

***



Heavy snow fell on scenery and visibility became poor. Pure white blanketed the thick trees of the forest. Each step caused a crunching noise on the snow. Bunnies, foxes, and other wildlife could be seen running around the trees; either to run away or to catch their prey.

Kazu strolled through the thickets of the forest with a fur coat covering his entire body. Behind his back, a giant claymore covered in cloth hung.

Mel: It’s still cold! Go back home and wrap me up with some more cloth!

“Look right here, we’re already imposing on Sene with the amount of blankets we took. How can you expect me to get more?!” Kazu groaned.

Mel: More cloth, more cloth, more cloth!

“Stop acting like a child. Its not like you can get a cold hehe.” Kazu smirked. “Serves you right for taking up my blankets last night!”

Mel: Gyah?!

Crunch… crunch…

Lv. 71 Fire Lizard


A large red lizard appeared in front of Kazu. Its 3 thick sharp claws were the size his arm. Its height reached up to 3 meters and appeared to be over 9 meters long. Heat emanated all over its body, melting all the snow around it. The eyes of the lizard stared at Kazu’s whole body with killing intent.

“Woah, this is one big Fire Lizard.”

Mel: Hurry up and skin it! I’m freezing.

“How much is their skin worth again?” Kazu asked.

Mel: 20 gold per foot. 3 months ago when we captured one, I think.

“Let’s see… 1 meter is around 3 feet so… 18 feet!” Kazu’s glittered with dollar signs. “Money!”

The lizard stared at the man talking to himself. On instinct, it knew that the small human was underestimating it. Even though itself was classified as a lizard, it had some intelligence of its far brothers, the dragons.

“Rooooaaar!” The Fire Lizard’s eyes shone and charged at Kazu.

Mel: Oi Kazu! Don’t mince the skin!

“I know!” Kazu shouted.

In a flash, the battle was over. Kazu seemed to disappear for a brief moment until he appeared below the head of the lizard. The shine of Melcross reflected along the snow as Kazu stood there motionless. Putting back Mel on his back, the lizard's body fell on the soft snow creating a weak thud.

“Inventory”

789/900 slots unused.


A dialogue box appeared in front of Kazu. Then, he lifted up the claw of the fire lizard to touch the dialogue box. Following that, the fire lizard’s body disappeared into thin air. A little lizard icon popped up in Kazu’s inventory took up 1 slot.

Mel: I told you to skin it!

“As if I could skin it! I’ll burn my hands…” Kazu replied. “Alright, let’s head back. Its almost time.”

Kazu headed back to the house through the thick forest. Snow kept falling without end. This year, it was his 2nd experience with the never ending snow. Heat stones must be placed on the outside roads and forest paths in order for people to be able to go through them. They were stones embedded with fire magic, hence the name heat stones.

As such, the path Kazu took also had heat stones, placed by himself, yet the snow was still 3 inches thick. Salt was not used to melt snow for one reason: salt is an expensive commodity. Since salt was expensive, magic was used to answer the problem of rising snow levels.

Weaving through the forest, Kazu now entered the familiar realm of being near the house. He had explored this part of the forest many times over the years for his training with Mel. Surprisingly, all the wildlife near Brett’s house were all harmless such as foxes, bunnies, deers. Since he went out further today, he encountered the fire lizard who was at the foot of the small mountain range near the southern gates.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

His eyes turned downwards to observe the blurred footsteps he had left earlier. In just an hour, the ceaseless snow hid the track of his steps—a dangerous trait of the snow. The forest in winter was much less harmless; however, it was much easier to get lost since most of the landmarks are hidden by the snow.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Different sets of feet crunched at the snow in front of him. A women and 2 little girls entered the path he took.

“Kazu, what happened to your jacket?” Sene asked.

Putting his arms in front of himself, Kazu noticed that his jacket was burned. The ends of the fur were charred and parts of the white fur became black.

“Ah, sorry.” Kazu scratched his head. “I’ll be careful next time.”

“Sigh, don’t worry me any further Kazu.” Sene frowned.

“Brother, brother, what did you get?” Ene looked up at Kazu with sparkling eyes. Her eyes hungered for adventure.

“Hehe, it was a giant fire lizard!” Kazu smirked.

Mel: Ha~ You let your jacket get burnt! Still need more training!

“Waaa, that’s so amazing.” Ene eyes widened. “Let me see okay?”

“Once we get home.” Kazu answered.

Ignoring Mel, Kazu lifted Ene up to carry her. Lene also came beside Kazu and took his right hand. She didn’t need to be carried. Her affinity with water let her easily weave through the snow. Instead, she opted to hold Kazu’s hand like a child not wanting to get lost from their parent. All four continued on the path to the house.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

“Kazu, after this, we’ll go to Ene and Lene’s school first then I’ll go with you to your academy alright?” Sene said.

“Un.” Kazu nodded.

Soon enough, they arrived at the house. Upon entering the house, Brett was taking a nap on the sofa with his mouth wide open snoring. Brett’s nature was akin to a bear during the winters. He had no energy doing anything and always wanted to sleep. It was his weakest time of the year.

“Brett.” Sene shook his shoulder. “Brett….”

“Huh.. wha, what? I’m awake. I’m not sleeping. No, I’m awake.” Brett’s eyes blinked back and forth trying to focus.

“Its time to go.”


“Muu, I want to see the lizard brother killed. Muuu!” Ene cried.

“Ene, we’re already late and it's dangerous! Hurry up and change to your uniforms.” Sene squeezed Ene’s cheek. “Lene, you too.”

Lene shook her head, not wanting to wear clothes. Her figure couldn’t be said obscene in public since she had no distinct features. At most, her body was a water silhouette of a little girl. Yet Sene’s stare caused her to shrink a few sizes. Giving up from the pressure, she quickly climbed up the stairs with Ene to change into clothes.

Sene’s stare turned to Kazu who still wore his casual home clothing. A loose fitted shirt, and old fashioned brown denim jeans that looked like military pants back on Earth. Kazu tried to avoid her eye contact, but it was all for naught. The third child of the house climbed up stairs and changed to his own uniform, after putting Mel down beside the window.

“Sene, anything happened?” Scratching his eyes, Brett looked at Sene’s furrowed brows.

“Nothing~” Sene replied with a joyful tone.

***



Inside a huge hall, many children lined up side by side with their parents. All the children had a clueless look on their face while their parents wore proud faces while some were tearing.

A man walked up to the stage of the hall wearing a red coloured dignified suit with white floral patterns. He had dark purple hair worn in a neat combed fashion. His very being permeated intelligence with his effeminate characteristics. Following him, another man with a different coloured suit of blue with no patterns wlaked up to the stage. He held a glass orb on his hand and whispered to the man who came before him.

“Welcome to all parents enrolling their children. I am Elliot Rose, Dean of Roseful Academy. I am joyful to see the amount of children enrolling this year. May this year be a good year for everyone.

“Now, parents on the first row, please walk up to the stadium and escort your children to take the aptitude test.” The man in the red suit finished his speech.

Soon after, the parents in the first row escorted their children to line up for the test. One by one, the parent’s children put up their hand to the glass orb. The orb would shine in varying a brightness of varying degrees. Each child will also have a different colour.

“Child, your name please.” Elliot said in a soft tone.

“Mark Osgoode.”


Following the child’s reply, Elliot held out the orb in his hand to the child. Elliot nodded which signaled the child to reach his hand out to the orb. The orb glowed green and its brightness was average compared to the children before him.

“Earth beginner, aptitude 6. Well done Mark Osgoode.”  

The child smiled happily and went off the stage with his parents. Both parents wore a proud look on their eyes and their posture.

“May the next child proceed.”


The child wore her hair in a bun. With a slight push from behind, the mother nodded to her child with caring eyes.

“May I know this cute girl’s name?”

“... Lily Witmeadow.”

Elliot raised up his hand again with the glass orb. With a slight nod, the child put her hand on the orb. Slowly, the orb’s light glowed red. Its glow grew brighter than the last child. The mother sighed in relief upon seeing this.

“Fire beginner, aptitude 8. Very good Lily Witmeadow.”

The child came off the stage with her parents. They joined the rest of the parents whose children had completed the aptitude test too. There was a low murmur among them throughout the test, but it wasn’t enough to disturb the ceremony.

“Next child please… perhaps 2 will take the test?”

“Yes, being a spirit should pose no problem I hope?” Sene asked.

“Of course not. Then please, child, your name?” Elliot first looked at Ene.

“Ene Hseit.” Her eyes were wide, nervous to not make any mistakes.

Following Ene’s response, Elliot again lifted up the orb. Ene took her palm up to touch the orb. After a few seconds, the orb started glowing. First, it was a mild blue colour; however, its brightness continued to grow in strength. Soon enough, the growing glow stopped at a certain interval much brighter than the rest of the children who took the test so far. Elliot’s eyes widened as he saw this.

*ahem*

Hesitating to say the results, a cough from a certain direction came—Brett. Brett avoided eye contact with Elliot while Sene stared at him intently. Kazu also stared at the orb with curiosity in his eyes.

“Water adept, aptitude 4. Surprising Ene Hseit.” Elliot’s gaze turned to the water spirit beside Ene, “And this one’s name is?”


“Lene Hseit.” Sene spoke for Lene. In response, Lene nodded when her name was said.

“I see.”

Elliot again lifted up the orb. Without hesitation, Lene’s palm touched the orb. The orb’s glow grew at a rapid pace. It grew until the blue almost looked like white, stopping just at that interval.

“Thi-this. Water Intermediate, aptitude 9. As expected of a water spirit.” Elliot stood up and signaled the Hseit family to exit the stage. They were the last ones to take the test. After the family exited the stage, Elliot took back the podium and inhaled for a short speech.

“The aptitude tests have ended. Exploring the school is allowed to everyone until next week. All classes start next week. Thus concludes our opening ceremony. May everyone have a good week until then.” Elliot climbed down the stage and exited the hall through the door beside the stage.

All the parents dispersed to the corridors of the school. Most parents were lead by their child who hungered for exploration. Even Brett and Sene were lead by Ene to explore the school. Lene also had her eyes wide to see the inner rooms of the school. As they conversed, they were lead by Ene and Lene through the corridors.

“Ah, what was that thing about adept and beginner about?” Kazu blurted out.

“Oi oi, Kazu, don’t tell me you don’t know? Didn’t you have some rough fights with some adventurers before?” Brett scratched his head.

“What’s that got to do with me knowing what those are?” Kazu interjected.

“Aptitude is the current strength of your element. Once it reaches 10, it breaks through the next rank. There are 8 ranks overall. Beginner, adept, intermediate, advanced, master, sky, heavenly, and god.” Sene sighed. “I thought I told you to read the books in the shelves…”

“Ah- books are boring.” Kazu said.

“That’s right! Books are boring!” Brett followed up.

“Huh? Then why’d you have a study?!” Kazu poked.

“Tha-that’s because!”

“Because you’re a closet book lover.” Sene smirked.

“Shhh! We’re in public!” Brett shouted.

“You know that then why are you shouting…” Kazu sighed.

“Kazu, you should head over to your academy.” Sene said.

“Ah, that’s right. Almost forgot.” Kazu stopped his walk.

“Brother is going already?” Ene asked.

“Mhmm. He’ll be back before dinner.” Sene commented.

“Okay! Brother, see you at home!” Ene shouted.

Lene waved goodbye to Kazu, but without hestiation, Ene and Lene continued to drag Brett and Sene around the corridors; leaving Kazu.

***



A large gate towering over 3 stories tall, and 5 meters wide, blocked his entry. The letters in the gate read “Royal Academy of Austere.” Complex patterns of both floral and geometrical patterns formed the rails of the gate. Its metal was made of black iron that seemed to radiate heat.

“You, over there. What’s your business?” A guard walked up to Kazu.

“I’m supposed to go to the principal’s office. How do I get in?” Kazu asked.

“You don’t. You’re not fooling me even with that uniform!” The guard readied his sword. “Die demon!”

Lv 31. Guard


To Kazu’s eyes, the swing of the sword was extremely slow. Watching paint dry would be faster than watching the guard’s sword slice through the air. With expert precision, Kazu moved out of the sword’s path.

He had dodged the sword just by a hairline. However, he remembered his mission. One of the key points of the mission was to not let himself stand out. With this in mind, he pretended to stumble backwards and fall flat on his butt.

“You almost killed me!” Kazu shouted.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.

A girl with straight flowing blond hair walked up to the scene. Her face didn’t emanate any kind of emotional response when both the guard and Kazu stared at her. She wore a dress like coat made of cloth, yet looked warm enough to be superior to fur. Her lightless blue eyes and perfectly shaped facial structures made her look to be a doll.

“Guard, is there any reason to cause a commotion?” The girl spoke.

“Lady Riona, this man is a demon pretending to be a student of this academy. As such, I engaged him in a battle.” The guard spoke.

“Fool. Have you no eyes to see he has no horns?” Riona clicked her tongue. “You are merely bullying the weak. Open the gate and begone, guard.”

The guard’s face distorted into a frown. Anger swelled up inside him, causing his face to become red. His eyes turned to the man lying on his butt on the snow, yet he didn’t dare speak another word. With a snap of a finger, the gate opened.

With no hesitation in her steps, Riona trotted forward to the academy. Kazu followed suit, leaving a few steps between their distance. The sounds of the crunching noise became loud as the silence between them grew. Numerous coniferous trees surrounded the path, making the path look like a forest path. It continued like this until they encountered a fork in the path.

“...Excuse me?” Kazu said.


“Don’t talk to me.” Riona commanded.

Kazu sighed. “...Do you know the way to the principal’s office?”

“I said don’t talk to me!” Riona stopped her feet, then turned her posture to meet eye to eye with Kazu. “I didn’t stop you from getting killed because I care about you. I merely stopped the guard from killing you because I did not want to see the act of killing in front of myself. I am not your friend nor am I someone you should talk to. Begone.”

She drew her steps faster to get away from Kazu. Soon enough, the falling snow blurred her figure until Kazu couldn’t see her anymore.

Tch, this is the girl I’m supposed to be protecting!? What a bitch!

Kazu observed his surroundings to look for a clue as to where he should go. Spotting a sign covered in snow, he brushed off the snow to reveal the letters.

“Identify.”

North Path: Main building
East Path: Residential Area
North West Path: Academic Facilities
West Path: Practical Application Facilities


The north path is my best bet…

Continuing to follow the path, appearances of students became more frequent. None of them payed attention to him. However, students would glance at him for a second and then revert back to what they were doing.

After a while, Kazu managed to find the front door to the main building. Upon entering it, numerous students strolled around with merry conversations. The men wore dark blue suits fit for indoor winter wear while the women wore dark red blazers that complimented their skirts; all the women wore thigh high socks.

The wall in front of the main door read “<- Main office”

Kazu followed the sign. Some students stared at him, but their stares didn’t last long as well. After a couple of more doors, a sign on a door read “Main Office.”


Without knocking, he came in through the door as he saw numerous teachers sitting in front of their desks.

“Excuse me.” Kazu said.

“Yes?” The nearest teacher answered. The male teacher wore glasses that complimented his complexion. Even though he wore his hair backwards in a neat manner, it would seemed he used his hands to comb it; it made his hair look messier than when brushed with an actual comb. He wore a more relaxed tunic than the suits that students wore; a distinguished look.

“I’m looking for the principal’s office. I don’t know where it is.” Kazu said in a low tone.

“Ah, you must be the invited student. Such a rare occurrence. My name is Jay Oswald” Jay patted Kazu’s shoulder. “Come, follow me… uh…”

“Kazu Tomoe.”

“Kazu. Strange name huh.” Jay commented.

Opening the door, they left the main office and walked further along the corridor. Jay’s posture seemed to be great as he walked with a certain amount of dignity. Yet there was a slight relaxed expression in his stance. He would be that cool-teacher, Kazu thought.

“Alright, we’re here.” Jay said.

A wooden double door blocked his path. The door knobs were made of gold, and a metal plate in front of the door was also made of gold. The plate read, “Principal’s Office.” Turning the knob, Jay signaled Kazu to come in.

“Hohoho, I see. Boy, do you have the letter?” The old man laughed. His hair turned white from old age. On his desk, his name etched into a triangular wooden name plate. It read “Alfred Cobb.”

Kazu searched for the envelope in his pocket, almost forgetting about it. Handing over the letter with 2 hands, the old man named Alfred took it in a gentle manner. Immediately, Alfred took out its contents and unfolded the paper.

“I see, you are Kazu Tomoe, and you already know my name I hope.” Alfred said without turning his head. “Then shall we have a little tour?”

***



3 men gathered the attention of the students wandering around the halls as they toured the main building. Kazu walked beside Alfred and

“As you already know, this is the main office.” Alfred declared. Teachers could be seen through the windows of the main office. They spoke to students who came in and out of the front door. Some had worried faces, but most had a stern expression.

“Its best to keep the main office at the front of the school. This is just a security method to protect the students whenever a crisis happens such as an intruder. Alright let’s move on.” Alfred continued walking.

Soon, they reached a set of grand stairs. “Most of the classes are held upstairs in the main building. However, there’s also a building further in the northwest path for academic facilities. About more than half of the lessons take place in the main building and the rest are held in the academic facilities.

“There is also the practical application facilities. Most students that use that are in the knight course route. Now, let’s move along.”

“Question” Kazu stated.

“Yes?” Alfred replied.

“What do you mean by Knight Route?”

“Oh, hohoho.” Alfred chuckled. “There are 2 routes students can choose. Sorcery and Knight… but for you, you have to choose the sorcery. I’ve already been informed of your situation. hohoho.”

Jay’s brows furrowed at the remark.

“Ah, that’s fine then.” Kazu commented. “Should we continue?”

“Yes, we shall.” Alfred said. “Oh, supposed you have questions in the future, ask old Jay here if I am not available. However, he may not be able to help with that. If you know what I mean.”

“Un, that’s fine.” Kazu answered.

“So now, here we are at the cafeteria.” Alfred’s eyes widened.

It was a large hall where hundreds of students sat at different tables. Each students had their own clique. All their meals looked luxurious and varied. From fish, to beef, to poultry, they were all dipped in just enough sauce to meet the quality standards of the school’s reputation. Of course, all were cooked perfectly. However, what caught Alfred’s eye was not that.

Numerous students were lined up to take their plates from the lunch lady; all of them had a look of discomfort with frowns on their faces. Usually, lineups in the cafeteria never happened. It only happened in special occasions such as a troublesome student or a wrong order. Neither of those applied to this situation.

A woman with flowing hair all the way down to her waist, standing at 164cm tall, blocked the students from getting their plates. Her eyes illuminated of gold with a purple haze and her facial features were delicate. She wore a white one piece dress with its frills fluttering each time she moved.

“Nyaah! Lady I asked for 4 plates!”

“Student… we can only give you one plate per meal period…” The lady behind the counter had a worried look on her face. Her eyes darted around the room to look for help while her brows furrowed.

“This is too little! How can you expect me to be full from this?!”

“Excuse me, little miss.” Walking up to the scene, Alfred initiated a conversation with the supposed student.

“Yah, old man. She won’t give me more plates. What’s wrong with this?”

“Little miss, it's best not to be greedy with food.” Alfred commanded. “I don’t think I’ve seen your face around here…”

“I do not think she is a student from here, Principal Alfred.” Jay commented.


“Mel…” Kazu whispered.

“Puu, of course not. I’m not a student! Oh, Kazu! Come here! Take a plate and give it to me kay?” Mel put on an excited expression.

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Thanks for reading. Criticisms, comments, proofreading, feedback are all welcomed!
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fumiyu

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