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In Magic, We Trust

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In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Sat May 22, 2010 11:59 am

not 40k based or anything, but I believe its good enough that I should share with people. Very Happy

In Magic, We Trust
I stepped onto the platform and sighed. Busy, busy, busy. So many people, just like every year. Hundreds, if not a few thousands were always gathered here this time of the year. Parents, children, and those who were being shipped out. I craned my neck back and looked up at the sign above me: Metro Hub-Station 13. What a lovely day for this too. I'd just been fired from my new summer job for not giving my boss a reason to be taking the time off. It's not like I was a student... or something like that.
I chuckled to myself and glowered at some random women who looked at me strangely. Stupid people. If only they knew just what I was going through... I then resituated my bag onto my back and stepped into the luxurious train and began searching for a spot for myself. The trains were always nice and fancy, had a lot of nice food and drinks, great seating, and even beds for those of us who would undoubtedly get tired.
I was walking down the central aisle when I bumped into someone, who spun around and just about took my chin off with his elbow, "Oh, ho! If it isn't Raine, my good buddy."
"Oh... you," I growled.
"So, what do you have for me this time?" Brody Reass questioned as he wrapped an arm around my shoulder, waving a hand out in front of me, indicating that I was supposed to fill it with something. I merely filled his gut with my fist.
He grunted and doubled over, "Oh, I'll get you for..."
I grabbed his chin and yanked his head upright, "For what? Nothing happened."
He scowled at me, and I could see it coming. He took a swing at me, a low one, just above my belt, but I caught his wrist and twisted, yanking him off balance and put my knee into his chest, flipping him over onto his back. There were a couple other people watching, but most were smiling. No one liked Brody. He was a typical jerk and for the most part, a bully when he could be, using his renown as a rather proficient magic user to get some of the underclassmen to give him some money or some such. Even after I passed him up in skill and power last year he hasn't gotten a clue that he's no match for me.
I turned around, throwing my bag back over my shoulder and opened a door to one of the little rooms, which was, thankfully, empty. I dropped my bag onto the ground and kicked it under the couch and sat down, turning on the TV that the room was conveniently equipped with. I just got an introduction channel that said that full access to the TVs would only be available after the train departed and then proceeded to give me a detailed list of various items and information on the upcoming year at the Academy.
I groaned, and then there was a knock on the door, and then a moment later it opened and a girl poked her head in, and then the rest of her body followed.
"Hello!" she squeaked in a ridiculously beautiful sing-song voice. "Mind if I join you?"
She was a young girl, likely a Freshman. She was quite cute though, I had to hand it to her, and I probably wouldn't mind having her in the room with me, if she wasn't too annoying. She was slim and dainty, with a very frail-appearing figure concealed beneath the academy uniform she wore. I'd definitely give her a plus for having one of the best bodies I'd seen in attendance at the Academy, and that is quite a few. Her face wasn't that bad either. It was narrow, and had all the features in the right places, with the right shape and the right tone that it was hard not to admire her, I could only imagine what she'd look like in a few years. She'd probably have every guy on campus catering to her every whim. Strangest thing though was her silvery white hair. I almost mistook her for an albino at first, but she had soft lavender eyes, which also seemed strange to me but threw the albino idea out the window. I always wanted to meet one of those...
"Yeah, go ahead," I said, trying to look confident, cool, and definitely as attractive as I could. I may be a couple years older than her, but, it never hurt to have a cute girl in your presence here and there.
"Thank you!" She said and pulled a little suitcase on wheels in behind her that had a small duffle bag flopped on top of it and then curtsied to me. "I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran, it's nice to meet you."
My mouth dropped open, or at least it should have if it didn't. Whose parents would honestly name their child something like that! Then I realized, I had no idea what she had said so I was about to ask her to repeat it but she read my mind or something, and told me I could just call her Nel for short which was like a godsend because if I had to go around repeating that like some idiot I wouldn't care how cute she was, it'd be out the door for her!
"So, what is your name?" she asked me as she plopped her luggage down onto her couch.
"Raine Vallarfax," I responded, nonchalantly, trying to look like a bit of a tough guy, because that's what girls like. Or so I've heard.
"It's very nice to meet you... Raine." She chuckled. I realize my name is kind of funny at times, but people seem to think it is more funny than it really is, and then she stuck her hand out to me and at first I thought she wanted to shake hands, but the way she held her hand out, not with her hand vertically like usual, but horizontally almost caught me off guard at first until I realized what it was she wanted. The curtsy should have made it obvious.
I took her hand in mine, gently and was almost shocked at how small her hands were, but judging from the rest of her, having small hands sort of made sense. I leaned forward and raised her hand and kissed it gently. Her skin was soft, really soft, and she smelled amazing too. I had to stop myself from actually sniffing her further. I released her hand, and she pulled it back, holding it to her chest and blushing brightly, her pale skin flushing in an exceedingly attractive manner. I noted I might just have to kick her out anyway if she was going to be a problem by being too cute.
Then she grinned and winked at me, "Haha! What a gentleman, and a fine looking one at that!"
I found myself almost blushing at the compliment and averted my gaze downward as I lounged back on the couch. I was trying quite hard to stare at the ground and then I saw her shoes and stocking-clad legs enter my field of vision, and then her face appeared inches from mine. I jumped backwards, thoroughly creeped out for a moment.
"I know you, Raine Vallarfax," She commented as she stood back up straight.
"Oh yeah? You just met me, so I would hope so," I responded with a shrug and a bit of sarcasm.
"No, no," she giggled cutely. "You're quite the legend among the lower grades, you know. They say that you were just an average student, doing an average job, and then you had some sort of epiphany or something and began studying and taking schooling really seriously and excelled greatly! You're supposed to be really, really powerful too!"
She seemed... overly excited about the whole thing. Maybe she was delusional? I had never heard of such things before. Then the door opened again and a head poked in. The instant I saw who it was I about lunged at them.
"Raine!" he shouted gleefully as if he had just founded a great treasure. He probably had, in his mind. Probably searched room to room to find me. "You'd never believe the weird looks you get when you go room to room opening doors looking for someone."
"Heh..." He hadn't changed.
He turned and stood shoulder to face with Nel and looked down at her, then at me. "Who is the girl?"
Nel grinned mischievously, and then put her hands on her hips, stuck her chest out proudly, which was a little awkward, and then she did it all again. "I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran."
"You're wha...?"
"You can just call me Nel for short," she asked. "What is your name?
"Verest Mordyntai."
"It's nice to meet you Verest Mordyntai," she responded cheerfully and then proffered her hand as she had done to me and Verest wasted no time taking it, giving it one big shake, and then releasing it and completely ignoring her as he sat down. The look on Nel's face was priceless as she just glowered at him. She made some sound of disgust and sat down opposite of me, crossing her legs and arms and just shook her head at him.
"So, what is she, your new girlfriend?" Verest asked as he sat down next to me. "She's a cutie, eh, eh?"
He elbowed me a couple times and then I elbowed him back a good one, getting a satisfied grunt from him before he backed off.
"I take it she's not, but speaking of girlfriends, Elizabeth is up front with her brother."
"Shh, we do not speak of her when she is not in our presence, and even then not without good reason!" I warned, holding up my hands defensively, as if warding off evil.
"Who is Elizabeth?" Nel asked
"Ellie is the scariest person you'll ever meet," I replied. "She's one hell of a powerful mage, and she's not afraid to throw down on idiots like Verest."
"Hey... but yeah, she's like an ogre," Verest commented, acting hurt at my verbal jab.
"VEREST!"
I instantly curled up defensively, huddling back into the corner of the couch as far as I could as the door nearly flew off its hinges and Elizabeth burst in, and in an instant had Verest's throat in her hand, her foot pressed firmly against his groin.
"Ellie..." Verest whimpered.
"I come back here looking for you two, and I finally catch wind of your voice and I hear... no, I don't want to even repeat such things," she said as she repeatedly jerked Verest's collar, shaking his head back and forth. "You should be thankful I don't kill you right here and now!"
"Hello Ellie," I say out of nowhere, trying to distract her and cover for my pal.
She released him, but still had her foot planted firmly upon him, not ready to let him go just yet, "Hello Raine, how's your mother?"
"Oh, she's good. Much better actually. Things are finally starting to clear up for her," I say with a shrug.
"That's good to hear."
My mother had been quite sick for the last year or so. No one really knew what it was, then we found out it was cancer, but thankfully we caught it soon enough that it could be taken care of and she was on the road to recovery now. Elizabeth and my mother had developed a nice relationship a while back, back when I was still a sophomore.
Then Nel appeared out of nowhere again, positioning herself between me and Ellie and performing an expert curtsy, "Hello, I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran, but you can call me Nel. What is your name?"
Elizabeth was caught off guard by the name, as was everyone else, and somehow it distracted her enough that she released Verest from the death-stomp, who proceeded immediately into the fetal position to nurse his wounds, so that she could try and curtsy back, but it was much sloppier and I can imagine she had never done it before, but it made Nel smile, "I am Elizabeth Taithan, it is nice to meet you."
"It is nice to meet you too," Nel replied as she sat down again.
Elizabeth turned to me and smiled, "I'll be back up front in case you're looking for me. Otherwise, I'll see you at orientation again."
With that, Elizabeth took her leave and Verest groaned with satisfaction. Poor guy, I felt bad for him sometimes. Ellie seemed to take it out on him much more than she needed to, but he deserved most of it.
"Hey, Verest. I ran into Brody already," I commented as the train began moving, finally.
"Oh yeah, how'd that go?" he moaned as he tried to sit up.
"Went well I think. He's about as lame as ever."
"Who is Brody?" Nel asked.
I looked over at her, sitting there, hands above her head tying a ridiculously large blue bow into her hair that matched the academy uniform. For a girl, their hair was one of the only ways they could individualize themselves, and Nel was obviously going for the extreme with that bow. I'd never complained about the uniforms like some people did, I actually kind of liked them.
For us men, it was like a cross between casual and formal with a nice button up cream colored dress shirt, a blue coat that was like a cross between tuxedo coat and a sports coat, being quite comfortable and light enough that it wouldn't get too warm. It also came with a pair of dressy blue slacks, a pair of nice black multi-purpose shoes that looked more formal than casual but had the durability and practicality of a general wear shoe. I had to admit, when I first got here though, I wasn't a huge fan of the blue and cream color combination, but it had grown on me and I would like to say, I looked pretty snappy in it.
On the other hand, for girls like Nel, their uniforms were a little more complex, but that's just the nature of everything for females. It consisted of a three quarter sleeve cream colored shirt made of a light, nearly opaque material that fitted quite closely to their bodies, if not being skin-tight on most of them, over which they wore a nice looking blue sleeveless vest, that seemed to accentuate any curves that the girl might have, and in Nel's case, there weren't many yet, but boy were they coming in. It was an often debated matter between the men of the Academy as to whether having the neck of the vest and shirt cut lower than they already were, which was just enough to show a little bit of skin beneath the neck and most of their collarbones, which I found well enough. It wasn't as distracting as some other uniforms I had seen for girls.
Continuing on, their uniforms had a nice blue pleated skirt with the soft cream color hidden inside the cloth folds that really gave it a nice effect, or so I thought. I do believe though, that the designers of the uniform sacrificed cleavage for leg, which I will not argue with, as the skirts were rather short, most of the time only making it half way down their thighs. Like I said, not going to complain. The uniform was then complimented by a snazzy pair of cream colored stockings that left a centimeter or two between the skirt for some skin to show, which gave reason to my earlier deduction, and then were topped off with a bit of lace on the top of the stockings and the end of the shirt sleeves as well as a pair of brown buckled shoes.
Nel worked that uniform like a pro though, for how young and with how much more growth she would probably put into it, but, at first, I thought the big bow looked a bit ridiculous, but then she smiled and it just made her look even cuter, "Well, Brody is this guy in our class who has been a regular bully for as long as we can remember. He was gifted with a lot of natural talent, so he doesn't have to work hard like some people, and tends to be rather rude and mean to underclassmen."
"Sounds terrible," she replied with a frown as she pulled on the edges of the bow ,making sure it was as near to perfectly symmetrical as she could get it. "I'm not a huge fan of bullies."
"Not many people are," Verest commented before switching through a few channels on the television and then gave up when he didn't find anything he liked. "This sucks."
I looked out the window, and so far there wasn't anything to see but the stone walls of the tunnel. Eventually though, we'd break through the world barrier and enter the city-state world of Lasarranissima. It is a strange concept, but there are apparently tons of different worlds, all situated along a long chain of portals and gateways that could send a person to anyone of them if they didn't know which one they were going through.
As far as we knew, and were taught at the academy, each world like Earth in the physical realm of the universe had a large set of alternate worlds, one of which, like Lasarranissima, served as the capital and housed a large portion of the alternate world denizens as well as the magic academies. In conjunction with these city-state worlds, were a mass of other worlds called continents, most of them were small, but some were larger, and sometimes someone would come across one that was monstrously huge, but most of these other worlds, which could only be accessed by what we called Hub-Stations, were connected directly to the city-state worlds like Lasarranissima, which was then connected to the parent world like Earth.
I had seen a rather interesting design at one point that explained it all, having a galaxy as a core, serving as the inner circle, with the city-state worlds as the second ring, all connected to each other by a mass of lines, these city-state worlds then had stacks of continents above them, some of which were accessed by other continents from other stacks. It was basically a world map.
I looked out the windows. It was still Earth, still the stony interior of the rail system. How depressing, but then I noticed the walls began to change slightly, stretching, blurring, and I groaned as my stomach began to churn and my head began to hurt.
"Oh! My favorite part!" Nel shouted gleefully.
"What, are you insane?" I growled as the entire world outside was enveloped in a bright white light that shone through the windows like a glaring sun, and then was gone, replaced by a swirling mist of colorful clouds outside.
I took the time to honor the paper bag I had brought with me for just this occasion and Nel seemed to be seriously concerned about me, which Verest found funny.
"Don't worry, he just gets a little motion sickness from astral travel."
"A little?" Nel asked and patted my back.
Astral travel was never my favorite, and my body agreed with me on that. I don't recall a time that I hadn't gotten sick in the inter-dimensional travel. It was probably the most twisted and complex thing I had ever had the opportunity to experience. In the class I had taken my first year at the Academy a long time ago, they taught us about astral travelling, which then lead us to a good history lesson on Lasarranissima and the rest of the worlds.
During astral travel, as we had just performed, every substance is broken down immediately into pure energy which is sort of what we are at the moment. In this dimension we currently occupy on the train, there is no such thing as elements, matter, mass, time, or anything else that we are normally restricted to. If I really wanted to, I could put my hand right through Nel, as long as I knew she was merely energy, but if I was ignoring that fact, my hand would be stopped as if she were real, solid mass, which really doesn't seem to make sense to me. I guess it's the old mind over matter theology but it's nice because it allows us to perceive each other.
Upon exiting, which we will be doing in a few hours, we will be unleashed on the world of Lasarranissima, where upon we will be rebuilt into our material selves. Only problem, we're not exactly the same. Earth and Lasarranissima and the other worlds, have varying elements, so, where iron is iron on Earth, in Lasarranissima, it might not be quite the same, but will be taken up by similar, durable metallic element.
I remember asking some of the people in Lasarranissima's military why their technology seemed so behind earth. Most of the world did resemble something akin to the seventeen hundreds, or maybe even further back towards the renaissance period. It all had this old English feel to it which I really liked because a lot of the houses were like the old Victorian houses that we all wish we could have but can't afford, and in a lot of the outer towns that I had ventured to on various occasions, they seemed to be even further back.
They had explained to me, due to the elemental differences, as well as the ability to rely on magic instead of technology, as well as the inexhaustible resources provided by Lasarranissima and the other worlds, things were not as advanced. They still wielded old medieval weaponry too, though it was much more complex and useful I would imagine, but they could not manufacture guns or any sort of weapon like that because the closest thing to gunpowder in Lasarranissima was a white powder which combusted when exposed to water, not fire, and as such was extremely dangerous because even high humidity could cause it to explode.
There were countless little details like that that made up Lasarranissima, but, I will say, I almost enjoy it more than living back on Earth, which is probably why so many people live here as opposed to back on our parent world when given a choice.
After my little astral travel debacle there, I took a moment to dispose of the rather unpleasant paper bag, I had returned to the little room to find Nel sleeping soundly and Verest reading a book, which I found strange, because I didn't think he actually read books.
"I thought you were allergic to books?" I asked him as I sat down.
"I am, but I'm currently entirely made of energy and so is this book, so I don't have my typical life threatening encounter with studying. Besides, it's a book on weapon magic techniques," he commented without looking up, and I did notice that it was a book on weapon magic, which was the only thing he would ever be caught studying.
Weapon magic isn't really a form of magic like all the others, but is a way of channeling magic in destructive forces that are typically much more difficult to do. We are taught early on that to utilize magic, it is much easier to use motion to direct the energy into the direction or target that we want it to go towards or interact with than it is to merely will it there, and weapons magic is a very popular form of doing so.
When you match me and Verest up, really the only thing he beats me in is weapon magic and item focus, otherwise my studying and ability to pay attention in class has really put me beyond his reach at the moment, but he should not be underestimated. I've seen him do some pretty crazy things.
"Is it any good?" I asked
"Hroan Yyrmir was an exceptional weapon master. This is probably the most useful book I've read on the subject," he replied. "Besides, it's a very rare copy and a first edition hard cover at that."
I laughed at him. He was easily enticed by expensive things. If there was a book like that for a thousand Kronins he'd by it as opposed to the much cheaper variation for probably a small fraction of that.
Speaking of Kronins and the like, one of the first things Lasarranissima had to accomplish was a wealth transfer between worlds, and they had settled upon Kronins, named after Alfred Kronin, after it was decided that purchasing gold at Earth could then be brought over and sold as a precious metal in Lasarranissima which also held up the money standard in this world with its highly abundant stock of gold's alternate metal, which allowed Lasarranissima's government to easily maintain a static currency exchange and rate. The Kronin was the basic unit of currency, having then being divided in half to amount to a Kromir, then down to a fourth of a Kronin at a Kromic, and then finally, one one-hundredth of a Kronin at a Kromen, being a rather unusual thing, the Kromen was not often used, but was useful when buying very small portions or very cheap items.
You didn't actually have to purchase gold on Earth and bring it to Lasarranissima, the exchange people over on the other side would work out the equivalent of your amassed wealth on Earth and transfer it into Kronins, but spending it here would allow them to take it out of your account on the other side and purchase useful things over there and bring it back to Lasarranissima, so, it couldn't be dealt with lightly. It was often speculated that the exchange workers could steal the money from Earth, but you were not allowed to have any ties what so ever with Earth when an exchange worker so that helped them avoid any illegal activities.
There were many ways to amass a wealth in Lasarranissima and very few people actually went down into a poverty class. I rarely ever saw any, and those that were there were there merely because they were lazy. At least sixty percent of the population of Lasarranissima sat comfortably in the middle class, with another twenty five percent in the upper class, and maybe three percent in the filthy rich category, but those people only came from families with many generations in Lasarranissima.
"I've already figured out a few new additions to my style that will be very useful, especially some of these distance cutting techniques that will allow me to strike from further away. Hroan was definitely a genius!"
I smiled and sighed, "No doubt."
I remembered one thing though from our conversation that would be very useful for me, and that was I did have to pick up a weapon from one of the shops in town this time through. I had been eyeballing a particular sword by a rather competent weapon smith on the main drag up to the academy and asked him to save it for me, which he had agreed to, but would charge me quite a bit extra if I didn't pick it up when I got in town. I silently said my thanks to Verest, not actually wanting to physically thank him.
Verest had a nice collection of weapons. He was definitely obsessed with them. He had a bladed staff that probably cost the price of a house, but boy did it look nice. Not only did it look good, I'd seen him cut right through some other weapons with it. I knew he had at least seven weapons stashed away somewhere and was one of the only people I knew that could store a weapon or item in astral space, much like a portable locker.
"When we get in town, want to stop by Gunter's with me?" I asked
"Sure, what are you getting?"
"I'm picking up that one sword I was looking at last year."
He nodded, "Fine piece of work there, one of his best. Could probably go blade-to-blade with my Alanis.
Alanis was what he named his staff. He named all his weapons like children. It was, in a manner of speaking, somewhat creepy. But he had told me that to effectively call forth an item from the astral world it needed a name, otherwise you might get something similar and not the same, which made sense if several people stashed a bunch of the same thing there.
"Alright, we'll need to head there right away."
"Sounds good, now be quiet. I'm getting to the good stuff."
I laughed and looked out the window at the amazing sights of the swirling, colorful clouds of energy and sighed. The rest of the ride was very, very uneventful, at least up until we were ready to leave astral space, where I lovingly patted my second paper bag and made ready for the worst.

We had exited the astral plane and entered the world of Lasarranissima in a flash of light, just like we had entered, and I was actually surprised I didn't have any motion sickness from it, but, I guess I get lucky sometimes. Usually the emergence isn't as bad as going in.
I looked out of the window, while Verest tried to fight Nel for the other viewport, a battle that he lost quite quickly. Lasarranissima was the land of dreams. Beautiful beyond belief. The lands were constantly expanding through some unknown means, with massive cliffs that never seemed to end soaring into the sky and blocking travel beyond a certain point, but always moving back and giving more room to supply the people coming into the world.
Everywhere I looked was green and blue, be it wondrous trees, stunning lakes and rivers, the beautiful sky, or the cliché rolling plains, the endless splendor never ceased to amaze me. Then Lasarranissima itself came into view, surrounding us with hundreds and thousands of buildings, and so many people! It was wonderful being back.
"Welcome to... Lasarranissima!" Verest groaned behind me.
Chapter change? Prologue/Chapter 1 = 10 pages?

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Fairemont
Veteran Seargent

Posts : 283
Join date : 2010-04-11
Age : 27
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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Sat May 22, 2010 12:00 pm

Forwarded Section
"Isn't this amazing?!" Nel exclaimed with glee.
She had never been to the 'high school' opening banquet, and I must say, for an inexperienced person it could easily overwhelm some people. Really, it wasn't high school, but in a sense, it took place of high school. Generally most students start their learning at Kjaryk Academy around fifth or sixth grade, being first year students. Fifth year students, like Nel, finally get to join us older students in the main classes as well as get to come in the weekend prior to classes for all the festivities.
"Yes, it is very amazing," I told her as I pushed her forward. It seemed to me like she was just going to stand and stare at the huge tables laden with tons of different dishes that had been set up in the central hall. "The food is even more amazing, and we can't enjoy it until we go and sit down."
"Well," Verest began as he stretched out, and then wandered off towards the tables. "I'm starving, so don't expect me to wait for you guys."
Nel looked thoroughly disgruntled at how rude he was being, and chased after him, waving her arms and shouting at him, once more, telling him how big of a fool he was. Elizabeth laughed. She had taken a liking to Nel so fast that I was shocked, the two would definitely be friends for a long time if things kept going like they did. Ellie would probably drag Nel into her anti-Verest schemes too if I know her like I think I do.
She nodded at me and we followed the others towards the tables and found a spot that was open where we could all sit together and took our seats on the benches, with Verest on my right, Nel on my left, and Elizabeth next to Nel on the other side. It'd probably be the way we'd sit for ever as long as we were all grouped like this. Nel seemed intent on always being near me, and Ellie and Nel were just as inseparable and Verest was as far from her as possible, which was likely to give him a head start should anything happen.
I picked my way through a bowl of fruit-stuff and managed to find something that looked decent enough, very similar to a pear. I liked pears. I took a bite off it, and looked around at everyone else. People were certainly having a good time and despite learning of the murders around town I probably would be having a good night myself, but I just felt... like something was wrong. I don't know what, but I was uneasy.
Nel was happily munching away on some hot buns that had just been delivered when I felt a hand on my shoulder which sort of made me jump a bit, having not expected it. I was about to turn, but the hand jerked me the other way and I almost fell off the bench and the motion made me bump Verest pretty hard who swore in some foreign language, probably French, when he spilled his drink all over the table and somewhat on himself.
I recomposed myself and turned got off the bench and stood face-to-face with Brody again, "What do you want now Brody? Want me to kick your ass here in front of everyone?"
"Not this time Raine, this time you're going down."
I noticed he probably wasn't joking. He had taken the time to group up with a bunch of his buddies and they were slowly surrounding the four of us. I had no doubt that we could take them down, but I wanted to avoid an overt fight which would get us all in trouble on the first day back. He was about to take a swing at me when Nel stepped between us.
"Knock it off Brody," Nel squeaked. "Go play elsewhere."
She caught Brody off guard and he pulled back, not necessarily knowing what to do, but he had to make a stupid comment, knowing him, "Whoa, Raine! This your new girl friend? Always knew you were a bit weird, but a pedophile?"
Nel growled at him and I just shook my head and turned back to the table, ready to resume my seat.
"Not even going to say anything? Stupid pervert. Pickin' up little girls," Brody shouted.
People started to look at us, but it was a fairly common sight, so other than new people, most just ignored us. Ellie and Verest had stepped up beside me and we were faced off like some old street gang back on Earth who were ready to duke it out to the last man. I was quite pleased with the reaction Ellie got from Brody when she wrapped her arm around my shoulder and leaned against me, glaring at him.
He cringed back, but soon regained his confidence, "How about we take this outside where we can settle this like men and not get in trouble?"
I was about to agree, but then I saw Nel had scrambled off to the side and was jumping up and down waving one of the contest posters that was advertising the president's tournament and I grinned, "Nah, how about we settle this officially... in front of everyone. Tomorrow at the competition for President."
He raised his eyebrow, probably suspecting some form of treachery, but he agreed to it and walked away, telling me he looked forward to embarrassing me in front of my friends. I almost made a childish quip about having true friends, but I was so angry that it wasn't worth the attempt at a witty comment that I'd likely botch anyway.
"Well, that went great," Ellie commented sarcastically, releasing me from a rather painful grip she had applied to my shoulder to keep me in check. Thank god Brody didn't notice it. I rubbed my shoulder and looked back at the table where Verest had already resumed eating and Ellie was preparing to join him.
"Are you alright?" Nel asked.
I nodded, "Fine, I just don't feel like eating right now. I'm going to go get some air and head to sleep. I've got a big day tomorrow I guess."
"You're not going to eat?" Verest asked as if I had just committed a sin.
"Later," I responded while I grabbed another one of the fruits plus the one I had half eaten and pocketed the full one before leaving the great hall. I knew Nel hadn't moved yet and probably was frowning at me and blaming herself for my poor mood, but she didn't truly understand the relationship Brody and I had. It went way back to when we first got here for year one and has continued as a war since then.
Once outside on a balcony I looked out at the night sky and sighed. It was so much more beautiful to look at the stars from here than on Earth. There was so much more color swirling around in the sky, likely something to do with the magic all over the place, but it gave the sky above me a very appealing atmosphere. I sighed once more, trying to relieve my stress and headed back towards my room and turned in for the night.

Chapter change? Chapter 2/3?
The next morning I was awoken by loud pounding on the door to my room that I unfortunately allowed Verest to share with me. He was still snoring, despite the loud knocking. I'd have to kick him or something to wake him up. I got up and quickly got dressed, leaving my coat hanging up before I opened the door.
"Gooooood Morning!" Nel called sweetly, hands clasped behind her back, body bent slightly forward and smiling brightly. Too cute! Thankfully Ellie was there to tone down the cuteness with her overwhelming presence of doom.
I sighed and rubbed at my eyes with the back of my hands and looked over at the clock. It was already about ten O'clock, which was far later than I had intended to sleep. My match was in a half hour. Thank who-ever created magic that it didn't require warming up like a sport or something, besides, I could probably beat Brody in my sleep, if I was even matched up against him.
"Ugh... I can't believe you talked me into this," I groaned and looked at Ellie who yawned, and then back at Nel. "I don't know how you're this lively this early..."
"Oh, this is nothing!" Nel admitted. "And I didn't talk you into it anyway, you chose to do it yourself."
"Whatever."
"Yeah... she got me up earlier than you, so no complaining," Ellie interjected and glared at Nel who backed away a few steps and chuckled softly.
I turned around and grabbed my coat and my newly purchased sword which I figured would come in handy today, and then threw Verest's shoes at him, which surprisingly woke him up. He groaned, rolled over and looked like he was about to go back to sleep but he must have remembered what today was, and sprung up out of the bed practically naked. Thankfully I shut the door behind me before he embarrassed himself in front of the girls.
"Alright, let's get this over with."

The arena was set up outside of the boys dorm on the west platform, a goodly walk from the north dorms where Verest and I lived. Basically they served as dorms for upper classmen like college level students or those who wanted to pay for them like us. Ellie still lived in the girls dorm over in the east, where I assume Nel lived also, but no one was sure about anything when it came to Nel's specifics.
A platform had been raised in the center and very nice bleachers had been put up around it. The west platform served as the ultimate sports center, where anything can be speedily constructed via magic by the platform's faculty and staff as the arena had been.
The crowd was already huge, since there had been a couple matches already and the one before mine was just finishing up. I walked down the pathway between the bleachers and took up a position near the front in an attempt to see who I was against, and thankfully, it was Brody. I'd get to mop the floors with him right away.
"So, you ready to lose?" Brody asked as he walked up next to me and cracked his knuckles in an attempt to look tough.
I rolled my eyes at him and turned to talk to Ellie and Verest and noticed that Nel had disappeared. Oh well, Ellie probably knew where she was anyway.
"Hah! No response? Too scared I bet," he continued, sounding overly confident in himself. "I'll just wipe you of the face of the planet here and then take the presidency as a bonus, how does that sound?"
"I think the school is better off without you as a student, much less the president," I spat over my shoulder.
Brody began fumigating immediately. He had such a short fuse, and I loved to light it. There really wasn't a reason behind it anymore other than it was purely habit. In the past, there may have been rhyme or reason to our fighting, but it had long since devolved from something complex into a pure rivalry and an unshakable hatred for each other. It was a war he was certainly confident he was going to win.
"You always talk like you know everything," Brody countered. "But we'll see how much you really know inside that ring."
I turned slightly, looking back at him with a smile, and paused, letting his comment sit in the air, "Well Brody, I'm not valedictorian because I am stupid you know, unlike you. What are you, rank two-hundred sixty three or something? Worse?"
It had been the perfect ammunition. I don't know where he got the idea that he was the least bit intelligent. Or maybe I was just being biased and he did have a brain in there somewhere and it was just non-functioning. Who knows? Maybe I could crack his skull open in the match and find out.
"Looks like it's about time for you and me to get down to business," he stated after observing the current match.
I looked up in time to see a senior girl get hammered by a condensed wave of air that sent her careening across the ring to land hard on her back. She didn't look like she was going to get back up. After her opponent, a junior male checked her for any response and proclaimed her unfit to fight, the match was called.
Brody laughed and walked away, wishing me a lot of sarcastic luck.
"He's like a cheerful sunny morning on a weekend," Verest groaned.
"What's that even supposed to mean?" Ellie asked, her expression indicating that Verest was low on the intelligence scale.
"Means he gets me excited."
Ellie laughed. What a couple of weirdoes. I certainly know how to pick good friends, and even better enemies in some cases. Ellie and Verest were always there for me, like they had been just the last few minutes when Brody showed up. They stand behind me, glaring menacingly, or in Verest's case, making funny faces, but they never interrupt or step in on my fights unless they need to.
"Well," I said, turning to them and handing my sword to Ellie momentarily so I could take off my coat and give it to Verest to hold. "Looks like I should get going."
Ellie smiled and Verest started ranting on about different weapon techniques which went completely ignored as I handed him my jacket and took the sword, leaving the scabbard with Ellie.
"By the way, where is Nel?" I asked.
"No idea," Ellie shrugged.
I wonder where she went... It's not like her to just disappear like that without a word. I figured she'd at least tell Elizabeth. But then again, I hadn't known her that long so maybe there were things I didn't know about her.
I found my way around to the other side of the ring where the stairs lead up onto the platform and ascended to a wild round of cheers and whistles. I didn't think I was that popular really, but... I suppose anyone about to throttle Brody would get a ton of encouragement. He had previously received a great deal of booing and what not.
"The next match will be between the senior valedictorian, Raine Vallarfax and his opponent, senior Brody Reass!" the announcer shouted. It sounded like my old evocation instructor. He was a pretty cool guy. "You may begin on my mark."
"Ready for this Raine?" Brody asked as he began circling me like a predator.
To keep him in line, I began circling as well, "Of course. I've been looking forward to putting you in your place for quite a while."
"Ready!" The announcer yelled.
"We'll see about that..."
"Go!"
Brody rushed forward, conjuring a rather wild burst of energy in his hand which he threw at me, hoping to distract me as he rushed in with his sword, which, thankfully, would be dulled in the arena just in case he hit me.
I instantly created a shield, which blocked the raging magical energy that had been so poorly constructed I figure a first year student could do better, but then again... its Brody we're talking about. Upon contact, I angled the shield, letting the energy ride its surface and slam into the ground off to my side as we connected, sword to sword.
He tried to overpower me, and nearly did so, but as he started to push me backwards I kicked him in the stomach, putting him off balance and giving me enough room to swing my sword, backing up the slash with a hardened line of magical energy which slammed into Brody's chest, breaking through the meager shield he had tried to put up.
He landed on his ass and rolled backwards, and not because he chose to, but because I hit him that hard. I rushed forward, two-handing my sword and bringing it down to cut him in half, which, unfortunately would be impossible in this arena.
"I'm going to damn well kill you!" I screamed as my sword tore up a massive chunk of the arena where he had previously been standing.
Brody had managed to scramble away and was again trying to prepare some spell. He unleashed it on me, but a mere wave of my hand erected another shield and the energy exploded outwards, nearly engulfing him in his own magic.
He turned and ran away again, then stopped and threw another sloppy ball of magic at me. It seemed to be all he could do. The only thing he had going for him was his innate ability to churn out a lot of energy at one time, but magic was about finesse, not brute strength. Well, in most cases it was, and to demonstrate that, my spear of magic which I had converted into electricity exploded through the air, lancing through his blob and pounding into his chest, flopping him over backwards again.
Brody lay on the ground, twitching from the electrical charge that had just hit him as I walked over, ready to end it with one final spell. The cheers of the crowd were overwhelming, and I looked over to see Verest cheering his heart out, screaming 'Kill that son-of-a-bitch!" repeatedly. Ellie looked no less enthusiastic.
I smiled and turned to face Brody, who had managed to get to one knee. I was about to deliver the final blow when he underhanded another one of his blobs of energy at me. It caught me off guard a little and I barely manifested a shield in time. It was sloppy, much like his spell, and when they connected with each other, they both exploded, putting me back a step and allowing Brody to get up and run away.
He ran, I followed. He kept launching sloppy spell after sloppy spell at me, and I kept deflecting them, following after him as he grew more and more tired from running and keeping his distance. Soon he'd be out of energy and I'd beat him senseless with my sword. I didn't want to finish this with magic. I wanted to be up close and personal, fist to face.
There was no way someone like him could beat me. Like I said, magic is about finesse, and someone like Brody Reass has none. Our teachers used a very simple analogy to explain the methods of channeling energy to us when we were back in the first two years of schooling.
Your soul has a hole in it, they told us. It really doesn't, but we didn't know better. Through this hole, which is a different size for everyone, you can pull your magical energy. It is like a filter, and it can manipulate that energy into whatever you desire it to be. But this hole is not merely a hole, it is a hole created by a rubber band. This rubber band is already stretched out, but can be stretched further with patience, increasing the amount of energy you can channel at once, and closing the gap between those ahead of you.
When channeling your energy, be careful not to overdo it, they warned us. If you go too far and try and pull too much energy, your rubber band could snap, and you'd be out for a while, until it can mend. It was like breaking a bone. It overstressed it and breaks, leaving you powerless for a while, and it probably hurt too, but, with enough work, if you nudged at the rubber bands limits, you could increase it slowly, like building muscle, and I had worked very hard at doing this.
It takes patience, like they said. You can't rush it, and if you do, you'll just screw up and waste time, or hurt yourself, or worse. You have to stay dedicated, like me. I had realized that a long time ago, and that's why I am valedictorian here at Kjaryk Academy. Because I take things here very seriously. I have pushed my limits time and time again to improve myself, and some slug like Brody Reass was not going to stand in my way!
To vent my frustration I brought my sword down, gouging another massive chunk of the arena out from beneath Brody's legs, before I threw it to the side and leapt on him, slamming my knee down into his sternum, grabbing his collar in my left hand and slamming my other first into his cheek, wrenching his head over to the side before I shook him back to consciousness and punched him again, and again.
When he stopped struggling, I let go of him and climbed off.
As the medical staff rushed forward, I spat on him. The crowd had gone silent. I had been screaming and venting all the pent up hatred on him as I rained punches down upon him. They had been listening to me shouting about all the various things I wanted revenge for. At the moment, I didn't care what they thought. I was satisfied.
"Raine! Raine Vallarfax for president!" someone yelled.
There was silence as everyone looked at Verest, and then Ellie repeated it, and others began shouting and cheering as well. I smiled and walked to the edge of the ring and hopped down to let the medical staff treat my bruised and busted knuckles.
"Wow... what a fight!" Verest exclaimed as he rushed to my side.
I chuckled.
"If Brody ever shows his face around here again, I'll be shocked," Elizabeth commented.
I nodded and rubbed my newly repaired hand, "All in a day's work."
"Too bad Nel wasn't here to see that. It was amazing!" Verest said, with more enthusiasm than really necessary.
"No, it's fine. I wouldn't have wanted her to see that."
I had been an animal there the entire time. Lost it. Lost my cool. Lost my mind. I had been in for a grudge. I had taken my revenge, and it felt good. The adrenaline was still pumping through my veins and my heartbeat was just starting to simmer down, but there was no way I would ever want to subject Nel to seeing something like that. She seemed so innocent, and the last thing I wanted her to think was that I was a monster.
I told them that I was going to go get a drink, and they agreed, saying I probably needed one after all that work and trailed behind me as I looked for the nearest concessions stand.
"Didn't you think it was amazing how fast Raine got those shields up?" Verest asked Ellie.
"Sure."
"Did you see the way he cracked up the ring out there? He must have been really pissed. Don't even think you could do that."
"Sure."
"Did you see the way he popped Brody's spell like a balloon?"
"Yes!" She screamed and swatted him upside the head. "I was watching the same fight as you, from the same angle, I saw everything you did."
Verest cowered away and rubbed his wound, "You don't need to be so violent."
She raised her hand to hit him again and he covered his head with his arms, "Okay, okay, okay!"
I shook my head and leaned against the counter at the concession stand and ordered a water. It'd feel good to get something cold. When the man working behind the counter handed me the cup of water I asked him how much it was and he laughed and told me it was just water in a little paper cup, so it was free. I thanked him and turned back to Ellie and Verest.
"Well, next I have to fight that junior, who probably won't be that hard, and then whoever is up from the first string."
"Yeah, we don't know who that is though," Verest reminded me.
That was true. We had no idea who my opponent would be from the first fights. They would be fighting right now, but before we could get back into sight the fight was already over and it was apparently my turn again. I didn't really feel ready for another fight already.
"Raine!" someone yelled in a rather familiar voice, and we all turned to see Nel who looked like she had just run a marathon.
"Nel!" Ellie shouted and hugged her.
Those two were certainly strange. Nel giggled excitedly, and told Elizabeth to put her down, but she didn't right away, so Nel started to struggle against her and she was finally released. She rearranged her clothing and then took up her usual regal posture.
"How'd your fight go?" she asked.
"OH!!!!" Verest shouted immediately. "It was so amaaaaazing! I can't believe you missed it!"
"What?! Really?" she responded, almost horrified.
"Yeah, it was so awesome! The way he punched Brody, and the way he threw those spells around and broke up the ar..."
"Shut up!" Ellie yelled and hit him again.
Verest whimpered and hid behind me, hoping I would protect him, but I merely stepped out of the way.
"Its too bad I missed it, but you're up again right now, aren't you?" Nel inquired
"Yup, I should probably get going."
I was almost to the platform again when the announcer chimed in again, "I have just been informed that our contestant, who would be Raine Vallarfax's opponent has just dropped out of the competition, so, finalists, proceed to the platform!"
"Oh... what a surprise," Verest groaned.
I shrugged and made my way to stairs and climbed up onto the ring to a wild round of cheers and applause. I smiled and waved to my new, adoring fans and looked for my opponent who had not yet appeared. Maybe they dropped out too?
"This match, the final round before the president is forced to defend her position, will be between senior valedictorian... Raine Vallarfax!" another wild round of applause and then I saw my opponent, and I was so dumbfounded that my jaw dropped open. "And Freshman Nelrynonangray Nydelanarran!"
She stepped up onto the arena and smiled at me, "Hello Raine!"
"Hi... Nel"
"You may begin on my mark!"
"Surprised to see me?" She said as she stuck her arm straight out to her side and a sword that appeared to be of an old Japanese make appeared out of nowhere. I knew that was the form of astral calling that Verest used to store his weapons. Obviously Nel was no slouch.
"Uh... yeah."
"Reaaaadddyy!!!!"
She got down into some crazy stance that I had seen some old samurai people use in movies and even seen on some video games back home, like Mitsurugi from Soul Caliber and smiled. I hefted my own sword. I had no idea what to expect from Nel. I had never seen her use magic before, and I was sort of disappointed that I missed the previous fights. It would have been nice to see what she was capable of, then it struck me... she had beaten her previous opponent in less time than it took me to get to the concession stand and back, with enough time to get from the...
"Go!"
Oh shit...
Before I could even blink, she had practically teleported to my side, and in an instant drawn her sword and smashed it into me like a massive club. I was lifted up off the ground and plopped on my back some feet away and proceeded to slide across the ring until my head and shoulders were hanging over the side.
This was bad...
I fortified my body with my own magic, hoping that I would be able to keep up with her. Many weapon mages like Verest, and apparently Nel, could use their magic to give their bodies inhuman bursts of speed, strength and agility that were very impressive, as I had just witness first hand. I had practiced the technique a bit, but I doubt it was quite this refined.
She had sheathed her sword and resumed her stance, prepared to fly at me again, but I was ready this time. She was fast, I had to admit it. She barely took a step before she was to me, sword drawn almost as fast as I could get mine between my body and her blade, but thankfully I spun and dodged the attack and moved into the ring further, reducing my risk of being ringed out immediately.
She spun, two handing the sword and clubbing me again, lifting me off my feet and sending me sprawling across the arena again. I got to my feet and channeled as much energy as I dared into a field of electricity, hoping to stun her if I could hit her, and unleashed it, not using any motion indicators and just letting the spell fly wild, hoping that the desired spray effect I had put into it would manage to get her, which it did.
She shook slightly, but only enough to get me in close enough to take a swing at her, empowering my weapon with as much magic as I could to hopefully ring her out, but then she smiled and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.
Mokku!
The freakin' demon unleashed a torrent of wind at me, and then it was over. I felt Nel's sword slam into my abdomen again and I slid across the ring and flopped out into the dirt and landed on my neck and shoulders. Boy would I feel that in the morning...

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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by 13loodRaven on Sun May 23, 2010 8:19 am

I read a bit, and the stuff I had time to read was pretty dandy. But there was just a few grammar and spelling errors. A hot tip from me, for I enjoy writing my own fiction: Read your story to yourself out loud. It may sound silly, but it helps quite a bit in finding errors such as repitition.

Good luck, if you plan on being an author in the future Smile

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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Grass Hopper on Sun May 30, 2010 1:42 am

ive only read the first post so far XD its late and i need sleep.

its pretty good! good job Very Happy
my only issue is that the transisions from narative to supplying background information sometimes seem a little off. i would work on smoothing those out.
hope you know what im talking about Razz

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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:45 pm

READ THE REST!

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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:35 pm

Chapter 1 - Hello, Hello, Hello...
I stepped onto the platform and sighed. Busy, busy, busy. So many people, just like every year. Hundreds, if not a few thousands were always gathered here this time of the year. Parents, children, and those who were being shipped out. I craned my neck back and looked up at the sign above me: Metro Hub-Station 13. What a lovely day for this too. I'd just been fired from my new summer job for not giving my boss a reason to be taking the time off. It's not like I was a student... or something like that.
I chuckled to myself and glowered at some random women who looked at me strangely. Stupid people. If only they knew just what I was going through... I then resituated my bag onto my back and stepped into the luxurious train and began searching for a spot for myself. The trains were always nice and fancy, had a lot of nice food and drinks, great seating, and even beds for those of us who would undoubtedly get tired.
I was walking down the central aisle when I bumped into someone, who spun around and just about took my chin off with his elbow, "Oh, ho! If it isn't Raine, my good buddy."
"Oh... you," I growled.
"So, what do you have for me this time?" Brody Reass questioned as he wrapped an arm around my shoulder, waving a hand out in front of me, indicating that I was supposed to fill it with something. I merely filled his gut with my fist.
He grunted and doubled over, "Oh, I'll get you for..."
I grabbed his chin and yanked his head upright, "For what? Nothing happened."
He scowled at me, and I could see it coming. He took a swing at me, a low one, just above my belt, but I caught his wrist and twisted, yanking him off balance and put my knee into his chest, flipping him over onto his back. There were a couple other people watching, but most were smiling. No one liked Brody. He was a typical jerk and for the most part, a bully when he could be, using his renown as a rather proficient magic user to get some of the underclassmen to give him some money or some such. Even after I passed him up in skill and power last year he hasn't gotten a clue that he's no match for me.
I turned around, throwing my bag back over my shoulder and opened a door to one of the little rooms, which was, thankfully, empty. I dropped my bag onto the ground and kicked it under the couch and sat down, turning on the TV that the room was conveniently equipped with. I just got an introduction channel that said that full access to the TVs would only be available after the train departed and then proceeded to give me a detailed list of various items and information on the upcoming year at the Academy.
I groaned, and then there was a knock on the door, and then a moment later it opened and a girl poked her head in, and then the rest of her body followed.
"Hello!" she squeaked in a ridiculously beautiful sing-song voice. "Mind if I join you?"
She was a young girl, likely a Freshman. She was quite cute though, I had to hand it to her, and I probably wouldn't mind having her in the room with me, if she wasn't too annoying. She was slim and dainty, with a very frail-appearing figure concealed beneath the academy uniform she wore. I'd definitely give her a plus for having one of the best bodies I'd seen in attendance at the Academy, and that is quite a few. Her face wasn't that bad either. It was narrow, and had all the features in the right places, with the right shape and the right tone that it was hard not to admire her, I could only imagine what she'd look like in a few years. She'd probably have every guy on campus catering to her every whim. Strangest thing though was her silvery white hair. I almost mistook her for an albino at first, but she had soft lavender eyes, which also seemed strange to me but threw the albino idea out the window. I always wanted to meet one of those...
"Yeah, go ahead," I said, trying to look confident, cool, and definitely as attractive as I could. I may be a couple years older than her, but, it never hurt to have a cute girl in your presence here and there and I didn't want to screw it up and give off a bad first impression as a slob.
"Thank you!" She said and pulled a little suitcase on wheels in behind her that had a small duffle bag flopped on top of it and then curtsied to me. "I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran, it's nice to meet you."
My mouth dropped open, or at least it should have if it didn't. Whose parents would honestly name their child something like that! Then I realized, I had no idea what she had said so I was about to ask her to repeat it but she read my mind or something, and told me I could just call her Nel for short which was like a godsend because if I had to go around repeating that like some idiot I wouldn't care how cute she was, it'd be out the door for her!
"So, what is your name?" she asked me as she plopped her luggage down onto her couch.
"Raine Vallarfax," I responded, nonchalantly, trying to look like a bit of a tough guy, because that's what girls like. Or so I've heard.
"It's very nice to meet you... Raine." She chuckled. I realize my name is kind of funny at times, but people seem to think it is more funny than it really is, and then she stuck her hand out to me and at first I thought she wanted to shake hands, but the way she held her hand out, not with her hand vertically like usual, but horizontally almost caught me off guard at first until I realized what it was she wanted. The curtsy should have made it obvious.
I took her hand in mine, gently and was almost shocked at how small her hands were, but judging from the rest of her, having small hands sort of made sense. I leaned forward and raised her hand and kissed it gently. Her skin was soft, really soft, and she smelled amazing too. I had to stop myself from actually sniffing her further. I released her hand, and she pulled it back, holding it to her chest and blushing brightly, her pale skin flushing in an exceedingly attractive manner. I noted I might just have to kick her out anyway if she was going to be a problem by being too cute.
Then she grinned and winked at me, "Haha! What a gentleman, and a fine looking one at that!"
I found myself almost blushing at the compliment and averted my gaze downward as I lounged back on the couch. I was trying quite hard to stare at the ground and then I saw her shoes and stocking-clad legs enter my field of vision, and then her face appeared inches from mine. I jumped backwards, thoroughly creeped out for a moment.
"I know you, Raine Vallarfax," She commented as she stood back up straight.
"Oh yeah? You just met me, so I would hope so," I responded with a shrug and a bit of sarcasm.
"No, no," she giggled cutely. "You're quite the legend among the lower grades, you know. They say that you were just an average student, doing an average job, and then you had some sort of epiphany or something and began studying and taking schooling really seriously and excelled greatly! You're supposed to be really, really powerful too!"
She seemed... overly excited about the whole thing. Maybe she was delusional? I had never heard of such things before. Then the door opened again and a head poked in. The instant I saw who it was I about lunged at them.
"Raine!" he shouted gleefully as if he had just founded a great treasure. He probably had, in his mind. Probably searched room to room to find me. "You'd never believe the weird looks you get when you go room to room opening doors looking for someone."
"Heh..." He hadn't changed.
He turned and stood shoulder to face with Nel and looked down at her, then at me. "Who is the girl?"
Nel grinned mischievously, and then put her hands on her hips, stuck her chest out proudly, which was a little awkward, and then she did it all again. "I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran."
"You're wha...?"
"You can just call me Nel for short," she asked. "What is your name?
"Verest Mordyntai."
"It's nice to meet you Verest Mordyntai," she responded cheerfully and then proffered her hand as she had done to me and Verest wasted no time taking it, giving it one big shake, and then releasing it and completely ignoring her as he sat down. The look on Nel's face was priceless as she just glowered at him. She made some sound of disgust and sat down opposite of me, crossing her legs and arms and just shook her head at him.
"So, what is she, your new girlfriend?" Verest asked as he sat down next to me. "She's a cutie, eh, eh?"
He elbowed me a couple times and then I elbowed him back a good one, getting a satisfied grunt from him before he backed off.
"I take it she's not, but speaking of girlfriends, Elizabeth is up front with her brother."
"Shh, we do not speak of her when she is not in our presence, and even then not without good reason!" I warned, holding up my hands defensively, as if warding off evil.
"Who is Elizabeth?" Nel asked
"Ellie is the scariest person you'll ever meet," I replied. "She's one hell of a powerful mage, and she's not afraid to throw down on idiots like Verest."
"Hey... but yeah, she's like an ogre," Verest commented, acting hurt at my verbal jab.
"VEREST!"
I instantly curled up defensively, huddling back into the corner of the couch as far as I could as the door nearly flew off its hinges and Elizabeth burst in, and in an instant had Verest's throat in her hand, her foot pressed firmly against his groin.
"Ellie..." Verest whimpered.
"I come back here looking for you two, and I finally catch wind of your voice and I hear... no, I don't want to even repeat such things," she said as she repeatedly jerked Verest's collar, shaking his head back and forth. "You should be thankful I don't kill you right here and now!"
"Hello Ellie," I say out of nowhere, trying to distract her and cover for my pal.
She released him, but still had her foot planted firmly upon him, not ready to let him go just yet, "Hello Raine, how's your mother?"
"Oh, she's good. Much better actually. Things are finally starting to clear up for her," I say with a shrug.
"That's good to hear."
My mother had been quite sick for the last year or so. No one really knew what it was, then we found out it was cancer, but thankfully we caught it soon enough that it could be taken care of and she was on the road to recovery now. Elizabeth and my mother had developed a nice relationship a while back, back when I was still a sophomore.
Then Nel appeared out of nowhere again, positioning herself between me and Ellie and performing an expert curtsy, "Hello, I am Nelrynonangray Mosandarili Nydelanarran, but you can call me Nel. What is your name?"
Elizabeth was caught off guard by the name, as was everyone else seemed to be, and somehow it distracted her enough that she released Verest from the death-stomp, who proceeded immediately into the fetal position to nurse his wounds, so that she could try and curtsy back, but it was much sloppier and I can imagine she had never done it before, but it made Nel smile, "I am Elizabeth Taithan, it is nice to meet you."
"It is nice to meet you too," Nel replied as she sat down again.
Elizabeth turned to me and smiled, "I'll be back up front in case you're looking for me. Otherwise, I'll see you at orientation again."
With that, Elizabeth took her leave and Verest groaned with satisfaction. Poor guy, I felt bad for him sometimes. Ellie seemed to take it out on him much more than she needed to, but he deserved most of it.
"Hey, Verest. I ran into Brody already," I commented as the train began moving, finally.
"Oh yeah, how'd that go?" he moaned as he tried to sit up.
"Went well I think. He's about as lame as ever."
"Who is Brody?" Nel asked.
I looked over at her, sitting there, hands above her head tying a ridiculously large blue bow into her hair that matched the academy uniform. For a girl, their hair was one of the only ways they could individualize themselves, and Nel was obviously going for the extreme with that bow. I'd never complained about the uniforms like some people did, I actually kind of liked them.
For us men, it was like a mix between casual and formal with a nice button up cream colored dress shirt, a blue coat that was like a cross between tuxedo coat and a sports coat, being quite comfortable and light enough that it wouldn't get too warm. It also came with a pair of dressy blue slacks, a pair of nice black multi-purpose shoes that looked more formal than casual but had the durability and practicality of a general wear shoe. I had to admit, when I first got here though, I wasn't a huge fan of the blue and cream color combination, but it had grown on me and I would like to say, I looked pretty snappy in it.
On the other hand, for girls like Nel, their uniforms were a little more complex, but that's just the nature of everything for females. It consisted of a three quarter sleeve cream colored shirt made of a light, nearly opaque material that fitted quite closely to their bodies, if not being skin-tight on most of them, over which they wore a nice looking blue sleeveless vest, that seemed to accentuate any curves that the girl might have, and in Nel's case, there weren't many yet, but boy were they coming in. It was an often debated matter between the men of the Academy as to whether having the neck of the vest and shirt cut lower than they already were, which was just enough to show a little bit of skin beneath the neck and most of their collarbones, which I found well enough. It wasn't as distracting as some other uniforms I had seen for girls.
Continuing on, their uniforms had a nice blue pleated skirt with the soft cream color hidden inside the cloth folds that really gave it a nice effect, or so I thought. I do believe though, that the designers of the uniform sacrificed cleavage for leg, which I will not argue with, as the skirts were rather short, most of the time only making it half way down their thighs. Like I said, not going to complain. The uniform was then complimented by a snazzy pair of cream colored stockings that left a centimeter or two between the skirt for some skin to show, which gave reason to my earlier deduction, and then were topped off with a bit of lace on the top of the stockings and the end of the shirt sleeves as well as a pair of brown buckled shoes.
Nel worked that uniform like a pro though, for how young and with how much more growth she would probably put into it, but, at first, I thought the big bow looked a bit ridiculous, but then she smiled and it just made her look even cuter, "Well, Brody is this guy in our class who has been a regular bully for as long as we can remember. He was gifted with a lot of natural talent, so he doesn't have to work hard like some people, and tends to be rather rude and mean to underclassmen."
"Sounds terrible," she replied with a frown as she pulled on the edges of the bow ,making sure it was as near to perfectly symmetrical as she could get it. "I'm not a huge fan of bullies."
"Not many people are," Verest commented before switching through a few channels on the television and then gave up when he didn't find anything he liked. "This sucks."
I looked out the window, and so far there wasn't anything to see but the stone walls of the tunnel. Eventually though, we'd break through the world barrier and enter the city-state world of Lasarranissima. It is a strange concept, but there are apparently tons of different worlds, all situated along a long chain of portals and gateways that could send a person to anyone of them if they didn't know which one they were going through.
As far as we knew, and were taught at the academy, each world like Earth in the physical realm of the universe had a large set of alternate worlds, one of which, like Lasarranissima, served as the capital and housed a large portion of the alternate world denizens as well as the magic academies. In conjunction with these city-state worlds, were a mass of other worlds called continents, most of them were small, but some were larger, and sometimes someone would come across one that was monstrously huge, but most of these other worlds, which could only be accessed by what we called Hub-Stations, were connected directly to the city-state worlds like Lasarranissima, which was then connected to the parent world like Earth.
I had seen a rather interesting design at one point that explained it all, having a galaxy as a core, serving as the inner circle, with the city-state worlds as the second ring, all connected to each other by a mass of lines, these city-state worlds then had stacks of continents above them, some of which were accessed by other continents from other stacks. It was basically a world map.
I looked out the windows. It was still Earth, still the stony interior of the rail system. How depressing, but then I noticed the walls began to change slightly, stretching, blurring, and I groaned as my stomach began to churn and my head began to hurt.
"Oh! My favorite part!" Nel shouted gleefully.
"What, are you insane?" I growled as the entire world outside was enveloped in a bright white light that shone through the windows like a glaring sun, and then was gone, replaced by a swirling mist of colorful clouds outside.
I took the time to honor the paper bag I had brought with me for just this occasion and Nel seemed to be seriously concerned about me, which Verest found funny.
"Don't worry, he just gets a little motion sickness from astral travel."
"A little?" Nel asked and patted my back.
Astral travel was never my favorite, and my body agreed with me on that. I don't recall a time that I hadn't gotten sick in the inter-dimensional travel. It was probably the most twisted and complex thing I had ever had the opportunity to experience. In the class I had taken my first year at the Academy a long time ago, they taught us about astral travelling, which then lead us to a good history lesson on Lasarranissima and the rest of the worlds.
During astral travel, as we had just performed, every substance is broken down immediately into pure energy which is sort of what we are at the moment. In this dimension we currently occupy on the train, there is no such thing as elements, matter, mass, time, or anything else that we are normally restricted to. If I really wanted to, I could put my hand right through Nel, as long as I knew she was merely energy, but if I was ignoring that fact, my hand would be stopped as if she were real, solid mass, which really doesn't seem to make sense to me. I guess it's the old mind over matter theology but it's nice because it allows us to perceive each other.
Upon exiting, which we will be doing in a few hours, we will be unleashed on the world of Lasarranissima, where upon we will be rebuilt into our material selves. Only problem, we're not exactly the same. Earth and Lasarranissima and the other worlds, have varying elements, so, where iron is iron on Earth, in Lasarranissima, it might not be quite the same, but will be taken up by similar, durable metallic element.
I remember asking some of the people in Lasarranissima's military why their technology seemed so behind earth. Most of the world did resemble something akin to the seventeen hundreds, or maybe even further back towards the renaissance period. It all had this old English feel to it which I really liked because a lot of the houses were like the old Victorian houses that we all wish we could have but can't afford, and in a lot of the outer towns that I had ventured to on various occasions, they seemed to be even further back.
They had explained to me, due to the elemental differences, as well as the ability to rely on magic instead of technology, as well as the inexhaustible resources provided by Lasarranissima and the other worlds, things were not as advanced. They still wielded old medieval weaponry too, though it was much more complex and useful I would imagine, but they could not manufacture guns or any sort of weapon like that because the closest thing to gunpowder in Lasarranissima was a white powder which combusted when exposed to water, not fire, and as such was extremely dangerous because even high humidity could cause it to explode.
There were countless little details like that that made up Lasarranissima, but, I will say, I almost enjoy it more than living back on Earth, which is probably why so many people live here as opposed to back on our parent world when given a choice.
After my little astral travel debacle there, I took a moment to dispose of the rather unpleasant paper bag, I had returned to the little room to find Nel sleeping soundly and Verest reading a book, which I found strange, because I didn't think he actually read books.
"I thought you were allergic to books?" I asked him as I sat down.
"I am, but I'm currently entirely made of energy and so is this book, so I don't have my typical life threatening encounter with studying. Besides, it's a book on weapon magic techniques," he commented without looking up, and I did notice that it was a book on weapon magic, which was the only thing he would ever be caught studying.
Weapon magic isn't really a form of magic like all the others, but is a way of channeling magic in destructive forces that are typically much more difficult to do. We are taught early on that to utilize magic, it is much easier to use motion to direct the energy into the direction or target that we want it to go towards or interact with than it is to merely will it there, and weapons magic is a very popular form of doing so.
When you match me and Verest up, really the only thing he beats me in is weapon magic and item focus, otherwise my studying and ability to pay attention in class has really put me beyond his reach at the moment, but he should not be underestimated. I've seen him do some pretty crazy things.
"Is it any good?" I asked
"Hroan Yyrmir was an exceptional weapon master. This is probably the most useful book I've read on the subject," he replied. "Besides, it's a very rare copy and a first edition hard cover at that."
I laughed at him. He was easily enticed by expensive things. If there was a book like that for a thousand Kronins he'd by it as opposed to the much cheaper variation for probably a small fraction of that.
Speaking of Kronins and the like, one of the first things Lasarranissima had to accomplish was a wealth transfer between worlds, and they had settled upon Kronins, named after Alfred Kronin, after it was decided that purchasing gold at Earth could then be brought over and sold as a precious metal in Lasarranissima which also held up the money standard in this world with its highly abundant stock of gold's alternate metal, which allowed Lasarranissima's government to easily maintain a static currency exchange and rate. The Kronin was the basic unit of currency, having then being divided in half to amount to a Kromir, then down to a fourth of a Kronin at a Kromic, and then finally, one one-hundredth of a Kronin at a Kromen, being a rather unusual thing, the Kromen was not often used, but was useful when buying very small portions or very cheap items.
You didn't actually have to purchase gold on Earth and bring it to Lasarranissima, the exchange people over on the other side would work out the equivalent of your amassed wealth on Earth and transfer it into Kronins, but spending it here would allow them to take it out of your account on the other side and purchase useful things over there and bring it back to Lasarranissima, so, it couldn't be dealt with lightly. It was often speculated that the exchange workers could steal the money from Earth, but you were not allowed to have any ties what so ever with Earth when an exchange worker so that helped them avoid any illegal activities.
There were many ways to amass a wealth in Lasarranissima and very few people actually went down into a poverty class. I rarely ever saw any, and those that were there were there merely because they were lazy. At least sixty percent of the population of Lasarranissima sat comfortably in the middle class, with another twenty five percent in the upper class, and maybe three percent in the filthy rich category, but those people only came from families with many generations in Lasarranissima.
"I've already figured out a few new additions to my style that will be very useful, especially some of these distance cutting techniques that will allow me to strike from further away. Hroan was definitely a genius!"
I smiled and sighed, "No doubt."
I remembered one thing though from our conversation that would be very useful for me, and that was I did have to pick up a weapon from one of the shops in town this time through. I had been eyeballing a particular sword by a rather competent weapon smith on the main drag up to the academy and asked him to save it for me, which he had agreed to, but would charge me quite a bit extra if I didn't pick it up when I got in town. I silently said my thanks to Verest, not actually wanting to physically thank him.
Verest had a nice collection of weapons. He was definitely obsessed with them. He had a bladed staff that probably cost the price of a house, but boy did it look nice. Not only did it look good, I'd seen him cut right through some other weapons with it. I knew he had at least seven weapons stashed away somewhere and was one of the only people I knew that could store a weapon or item in astral space, much like a portable locker.
"When we get in town, want to stop by Gunter's with me?" I asked
"Sure, what are you getting?"
"I'm picking up that one sword I was looking at last year."
He nodded, "Fine piece of work there, one of his best. Could probably go blade-to-blade with my Alanis.
Alanis was what he named his staff. He named all his weapons like children. It was, in a manner of speaking, somewhat creepy. But he had told me that to effectively call forth an item from the astral world it needed a name, otherwise you might get something similar and not the same, which made sense if several people stashed a bunch of the same thing there.
"Alright, we'll need to head there right away."
"Sounds good, now be quiet. I'm getting to the good stuff."
I laughed and looked out the window at the amazing sights of the swirling, colorful clouds of energy and sighed. The rest of the ride was very, very uneventful, at least up until we were ready to leave astral space, where I lovingly patted my second paper bag and made ready for the worst.

We had exited the astral plane and entered the world of Lasarranissima in a flash of light, just like we had entered, and I was actually surprised I didn't have any motion sickness from it, but, I guess I get lucky sometimes. Usually the emergence isn't as bad as going in.
I looked out of the window, while Verest tried to fight Nel for the other viewport, a battle that he lost quite quickly. Lasarranissima was the land of dreams. Beautiful beyond belief. The lands were constantly expanding through some unknown means, with massive cliffs that never seemed to end soaring into the sky and blocking travel beyond a certain point, but always moving back and giving more room to supply the people coming into the world.
Everywhere I looked was green and blue, be it wondrous trees, stunning lakes and rivers, the beautiful sky, or the cliché rolling plains, the endless splendor never ceased to amaze me. Then Lasarranissima itself came into view, surrounding us with hundreds and thousands of buildings, and so many people! It was wonderful being back.
"Welcome to... Lasarranissima!" Verest groaned behind me.

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Fairemont
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Posts : 283
Join date : 2010-04-11
Age : 27
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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:37 pm

Chapter 2 - Welcome to Lasarranissima!
The streets of Lasarranissima where absolutely packed full of people. Right outside of the station and for at least three hundred meters was nothing but push and shove and we even almost lost Nel in the confusion, but her big bow bouncing around in the crowd was enough of a help that we eventually located her. She followed along, quite cheerfully in fact, pulling her little suitcase which likely had nothing more than a change of clothes and her duffle bag which I had noted held some of her equipment for magical practices.
We stopped right away at a vendor that had been set up on the side of the street amidst hundreds of his comrades, all trying to take advantage of the huge influx of students coming to the academy to sell their wares. We bought some food and waited an overly long time while Nel went to the bathroom. I think she stalled in there just so that I would have to stand outside with Verest guarding her ridiculous pink suitcase. I will admit, it was pretty embarrassing.
"Hey Raine, is that your new suitcase?"
I looked up from the sidewalk to see Elizabeth approaching us. I laughed and shook my head, explaining that Nel had left me to guard it while she used the restrooms. Elizabeth made the same comment as everyone else and asked if she was my girlfriend, to which I said no. She merely shrugged and leaned against the wall next to me and smiled wickedly at Verest who moved over further, munching on his sandwich.
"It's nice to be back, isn't it?" Elizabeth stated with a sigh, rather nostalgically.
We both nodded our agreement. It always felt good to be back from Earth, where we magical users had much less available 'mana' as the common term for magical flow went, which had inadvertently gotten mixed into Earth's terms as well at one point in time. There might be some reason that Earth lacked mana flow like Lasarranissima or other worlds, but if there was, I didn't know what it would be.
"As soon as Nel gets done, I'm headed over to pick up a sword I purchased last year, then we should probably get back up to the Academy for the festivities tonight, it's already getting pretty late," I commented, randomly letting everyone know my plans.
"Oh, you're finally replacing that old junker of yours?" Ellie quipped.
I frowned, the old junker she spoke of was my lovely, or not-so-much, sword that I had purchased back at the beginning of my school career for a very low price, and was practically falling apart already, "Yeah, unfortunately."
"Unfortunately? If you actually had to use that old trashy thing in a real exercise, it'd probably break just knowing there was some stress coming."
"Psshh, that thing has more strength in it that you give it credit for."
"Not really," Verest interjected. "It's low quality make, materials, and care it has received make your sword almost totally worthless. I'd rather take a butter knife into combat than that thing."
We both looked at him in silence, the comment had been sort of the conversation curb stomp and put an end to the argument immediately, or maybe we were so shocked because Verest had actually displayed some sort of intelligence.
"OKay! I'm ready to go!" Nel squeaked as she came out of the bathroom behind us.
"What took you so blasted long?" Verest asked angrily.
Ellie was on him in an instant, glaring at him with deadly intent, "You do not question girls on such things you barbarian!"
I laughed so loudly that people around us looked over at me, and I was forced to do a cliché cough-into-the-hand-like-nothing-happened. Nel rushed past me and clung to Elizabeth from the side, "Ellie! I'm so happy that you're here!"
She turned and looked down at her, "Why is that? And oh my gosh! What a cute bow!"
Nel let go of her and smiled proudly, "I know! You like it?"
"Well, of course!" Ellie responded as she tugged at the bow, evening it out a little better. "So, why are you so happy that I am here?"
Nel grabbed her hand and pulled her off into the crowd, stopping for a moment to run back and grab her suitcase before leaving again, "We're going shopping!"
"Alright," I replied, less than enthusiastically. "Meet us at the dining hall at eight thirty."
She nodded and they waved at us and disappeared into the crowd.
"They are insane..." Verest commented.
I couldn't help but agree.

It didn't take us very long to find Gunter's. It was a favorite location of Verest's, and it was on the main street up to Kjaryk Academy. Out this far from the station the streets weren't as badly packed, but there was still a lot of commotion. Many of the vendors who really knew what it was about set up back here. Usually people would rush to get out of the crowd and would be more likely to browse out this far.
Unlike the street Vendors, Gunter had his own shop. We first noticed the big over-hanging sign with the hammer and anvil signifying he was a smith, as well as the sword and shield denoting his profession as a weapon and armor salesman. His shop was very large, one of the biggest buildings around, and consisted of his shop on the bottom level, and his home on the top and out back, as well as a large open-faced section for his smithy where he worked and could see the road.
Unlike usual, he had one of his assistants working a couple stations outside the building in the street where he was advertising some of his works, hoping to catch the eye of some of the students or even some of the guards, policing force, or soldiers who happened to be walking around trying to keep the peace.
I followed Verest up the stalls where he instantly began examining every weapon with an experts eye.
"Oh, you like that one?" The assistant asked.
"Aye, it's not too bad. It certainly isn't the best of his work though, but a good deal for the price," Verest commented, trying to act much more... sophisticated than he really was. It was like watching some really bad actor try and take on the role of an older style English noble. It was... very poor.
"Well, it is good to hear praise like that, and I am certain Master Gunter will be pleased to hear of it as well," the assistant picked up another item, a fine looking sword that looked more geared towards the use by females, being more slender and graceful in its make than more of the male-orientated weapons that tended to be larger and made to be used by the hands of strong men.
Verest took it in his hands and then quickly spun the sword with his fingers before flicking it into the air and catching the hilt, giving it a couple of quick swishes and a stab that was directed over my shoulder, which I didn't appreciate very much.
"Very high quality, someone will be very pleased with it if they purchase it."
"You have a very good eye for quality weapons," the assistant complimented. "Master Gunter would probably enjoy having a conversation with you Mr....?"
"Verest, Verest Mordyntai."
Oh... the James Bond impersonation. Verest almost always introduced himself in that manner, figuring it made him cool or something. Who knows how idiots think?
I walked past them both and entered the store, leaving them to their conversations while I went in search of my own weapon. Inside, the shop was rather dark and smelled of an light incense, leather and metal. Probably what most places like this might smell like.
"Welcome, is there anything I can help you with?"
I turned around and found Master Gunter himself, dressed in sleeveless black shirt, an smiths apron, dark pants that appeared to be made of a leather-like material, and completely covered in black dust which he was wiping from his hands and arms with a once-white cloth.
"Yes, I purchased a sword last year and I am supposed to pick it up today. My name is Raine Vallarfax."
"Ah, yes, I know what one you are talking about. One of my finest pieces of work," He said and disappeared into a back room and reappeared again a moment later with a fine looking sword and scabbard. "It's not the most ornate or fanciful item I have worked on, usually those go towards the girls who are worried about appearances, but this sword has an edge like no other, and I personally think it looks plenty fine enough."
I chuckled a bit at his comment, but had to agree, despite being rather simple, the sword was astonishing. It came in a primarily black scabbard that looked almost to be made of obsidian with two silver rings spaced out in the center, likely as reinforcement as well as a three inch silver tip at the end, each of the dark sections was delicately detailed with beautiful scrollwork that had been filled with silver.
The sword itself had a long, fairly thin, single cross guard, a long hilt made from the same black material that the scabbard appeared to be made from with a single silver ring in the center as well as a large, ornately crafted silver pommel that didn't really seem to have any particular design to it, but looked very good in my opinion.
He handed it to me and I took it gently, as if he handed me a baby. The black material he had used, despite what I had suspected, wasn't slippery, but almost stuck to my hand. I knew that there was some property about it that kept my hands from slipping, but I wasn't an expert in such things, so I couldn't figure it out if I tried.
I looked at him and he nodded, so I wrapped my hand around the hilt and pulled the sword free from the scabbard with an audible, musical ring. I actually laughed. I don't know why, but it was what happened. The sword was astonishingly simple, yet so wonderful.
The blade had obviously been folded countless times, and once the process had been finished, it had been inscribed with light scrollwork around the cross guard. There was a dip in the center of the blade, very slight, but with the silver metal it looked very prominent and spanned the length of the blade which had both edges sharpened to an unbelievable degree. The sword was primarily designed for cutting and slashing, but the point of the blade looked as if it had been made for stabbing as well, though was wider than most swords designed entirely for piercing, thus I figured it was made to penetrate armor.
"Holy shit..." Verest breathed behind me. "Don't tell me that is yours?!"
I turned around, "Of course, after that... old junker, as you guys so boldly put it, I felt I deserved something of high quality."
"High quality, my ass!" Verest shouted. "I've never seen anything like it!"
He reached for it, ready to examine it, but I pulled it away from him and shook my head at him, giving him a good tisk tisk for his efforts, but then placed it back in the scabbard and handed it to him. If I didn't give it to him willingly he'd probably wait until I was sleeping and go wild with it. I remember when he got Alanis, he whipped it out in our room for whatever reason and chopped his bed in half. I had asked him why he did it and he said the adrenaline got to his head.
Idiot.
"Wooooooww..." Verest whispered and began examining the sword.
"Hm, well, I don't doubt you will be pleased with the sword," Master Gunter stated.
I nodded, "I am already more than happy. If only you had seen my old weapon, it was in a sorry state and needed to be replaced really badly."
"I think I remember selling it to you, it was one of my starter swords for little kids. I was actually shocked when you bought it."
I chuckled, "It was cheap."
"That it was, anyway, I need to warn you two, there is some dangerous stuff going on out there even though it doesn't seem like it, you need to be careful. I recommend getting to the academy grounds as soon as you are done here."
"Why, what's up?" I asked.
"Five people were murdered since the students began arriving," Gunter stated solemnly.
"What? Really? Why?"
"No one knows, they were all students at the academy too. All female at that, and seem to be connected."
"That's terrible, but I guess it makes sense. With all the people around, someone is likely to cause trouble or take advantage of all the students."
"Yeah, be careful though, whoever is doing this, killed them with magic."
I nodded and turned to Verest, "Verest, we better find the girls, even though Ellie can take care of herself, I don't want to feel responsible if anything happens."
"Something happening to the ogre? Like hell that'd happen, they'd get their ass kicked in a heartbeat."
"Regardless..."
"Alright, let's go," He agreed and handed me my sword.
As we headed towards the door I turned back to Master Gunter and gave him a quick wave.
"You two be safe, and take care of that sword and it will take care of you. Remember, if you need anything, come see me."
I nodded and we exited the building in search of the girls.
It didn't really take us that long to find them, it had actually been more by chance that we ran into them as they were store hopping along the main street. We hooked up with them, and after we insisted quite adamantly that we quit shopping and head to the academy, they agreed. Even though we were leaving town a bit early, I felt it was for the best. Besides, there were parties and what-not to attend tonight.

"Isn't this amazing?!" Nel exclaimed with glee.
She had never been to the 'high school' opening banquet, and I must say, for an inexperienced person it could easily overwhelm some people. Really, it wasn't high school, but in a sense, it took place of high school. Generally most students start their learning at Kjaryk Academy around fifth or sixth grade, being first year students. Fifth year students, like Nel, finally get to join us older students in the main classes as well as get to come in the weekend prior to classes for all the festivities.
"Yes, it is very amazing," I told her as I pushed her forward. It seemed to me like she was just going to stand and stare at the huge tables laden with tons of different dishes that had been set up in the central hall. "The food is even more amazing, and we can't enjoy it until we go and sit down."
"Well," Verest began as he stretched out, and then wandered off towards the tables. "I'm starving, so don't expect me to wait for you guys."
Nel looked thoroughly disgruntled at how rude he was being, and chased after him, waving her arms and shouting at him, once more
, telling him how big of a fool he was. Elizabeth laughed. She had taken a liking to Nel so fast that I was shocked, the two would definitely be friends for a long time if things kept going like they did. Ellie would probably drag Nel into her anti-Verest schemes too if I know her like I think I do.
She nodded at me and we followed the others towards the tables and found a spot that was open where we could all sit together and took our seats on the benches, with Verest on my right, Nel on my left, and Elizabeth next to Nel on the other side. It'd probably be the way we'd sit for ever as long as we were all grouped like this. Nel seemed intent on always being near me, and Ellie and Nel were just as inseparable and Verest was as far from her as possible, which was likely to give him a head start should anything happen.
I picked my way through a bowl of fruit-stuff and managed to find something that looked decent enough, very similar to a pear. I liked pears. I took a bite off it, and looked around at everyone else. People were certainly having a good time and despite learning of the murders around town I probably would be having a good night myself, but I just felt... like something was wrong. I don't know what, but I was uneasy.
Nel was happily munching away on some hot buns that had just been delivered when I felt a hand on my shoulder which sort of made me jump a bit, having not expected it. I was about to turn, but the hand jerked me the other way and I almost fell off the bench and the motion made me bump Verest pretty hard who swore in some foreign language, probably French, when he spilled his drink all over the table and somewhat on himself.
I recomposed myself and turned got off the bench and stood face-to-face with Brody again, "What do you want now Brody? Want me to kick your ass here in front of everyone?"
"Not this time Raine, this time you're going down."
I noticed he probably wasn't joking. He had taken the time to group up with a bunch of his buddies and they were slowly surrounding the four of us. I had no doubt that we could take them down, but I wanted to avoid an overt fight which would get us all in trouble on the first day back. He was about to take a swing at me when Nel stepped between us.
"Knock it off Brody," Nel squeaked. "Go play elsewhere."
She caught Brody off guard and he pulled back, not necessarily knowing what to do, but he had to make a stupid comment, knowing him, "Whoa, Raine! This your new girl friend? Always knew you were a bit weird, but a pedophile?"
Nel growled at him and I just shook my head and turned back to the table, ready to resume my seat.
"Not even going to say anything? Stupid pervert. Pickin' up little girls," Brody shouted.
People started to look at us, but it was a fairly common sight, so other than new people, most just ignored us. Ellie and Verest had stepped up beside me and we were faced off like some old street gang back on Earth who were ready to duke it out to the last man. I was quite pleased with the reaction Ellie got from Brody when she wrapped her arm around my shoulder and leaned against me, glaring at him.
He cringed back, but soon regained his confidence, "How about we take this outside where we can settle this like men and not get in trouble?"
I was about to agree, but then I saw Nel had scrambled off to the side and was jumping up and down waving one of the contest posters that was advertising the president's tournament and I grinned, "Nah, how about we settle this officially... in front of everyone. Tomorrow at the competition for President."
He raised his eyebrow, probably suspecting some form of treachery, but he agreed to it and walked away, telling me he looked forward to embarrassing me in front of my friends. I almost made a childish quip about having true friends, but I was so angry that it wasn't worth the attempt at a witty comment that I'd likely botch anyway.
"Well, that went great," Ellie commented sarcastically, releasing me from a rather painful grip she had applied to my shoulder to keep me in check. Thank god Brody didn't notice it. I rubbed my shoulder and looked back at the table where Verest had already resumed eating and Ellie was preparing to join him.
"Are you alright?" Nel asked.
I nodded, "Fine, I just don't feel like eating right now. I'm going to go get some air and head to sleep. I've got a big day tomorrow I guess."
"You're not going to eat?" Verest asked as if I had just committed a sin.
"Later," I responded while I grabbed another one of the fruits plus the one I had half eaten and pocketed the full one before leaving the great hall. I knew Nel hadn't moved yet and probably was frowning at me and blaming herself for my poor mood, but she didn't truly understand the relationship Brody and I had. It went way back to when we first got here for year one and has continued as a war since then.
Once outside on a balcony I looked out at the night sky and sighed. It was so much more beautiful to look at the stars from here than on Earth. There was so much more color swirling around in the sky, likely something to do with the magic all over the place, but it gave the sky above me a very appealing atmosphere. I sighed once more, trying to relieve my stress and headed back towards my room and turned in for the night.

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Re: In Magic, We Trust

Post by Fairemont on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:38 pm

Chapter 3 - Settling the Score
The next morning I was awoken by loud pounding on the door to my room that I unfortunately allowed Verest to share with me. He was still snoring, despite the loud knocking. I'd have to kick him or something to wake him up. I got up and quickly got dressed, leaving my coat hanging up before I opened the door.
"Gooooood Morning!" Nel called sweetly, hands clasped behind her back, body bent slightly forward and smiling brightly. Too cute! Thankfully Ellie was there to tone down the cuteness with her overwhelming presence of doom.
I sighed and rubbed at my eyes with the back of my hands and looked over at the clock. It was already about ten O'clock, which was far later than I had intended to sleep. My match was in a half hour. Thank who-ever created magic that it didn't require warming up like a sport or something, besides, I could probably beat Brody in my sleep, if I was even matched up against him.
"Ugh... I can't believe you talked me into this," I groaned and looked at Ellie who yawned, and then back at Nel. "I don't know how you're this lively this early..."
"Oh, this is nothing!" Nel admitted. "And I didn't talk you into it anyway, you chose to do it yourself."
"Whatever."
"Yeah... she got me up earlier than you, so no complaining," Ellie interjected and glared at Nel who backed away a few steps and chuckled softly.
I turned around and grabbed my coat and my newly purchased sword which I figured would come in handy today, and then threw Verest's shoes at him, which surprisingly woke him up. He groaned, rolled over and looked like he was about to go back to sleep but he must have remembered what today was, and sprung up out of the bed practically naked. Thankfully I shut the door behind me before he embarrassed himself in front of the girls.
"Alright, let's get this over with."

The arena was set up outside of the boys dorm on the west platform, a goodly walk from the north dorms where Verest and I lived. Basically they served as dorms for upper classmen like college level students or those who wanted to pay for them like us. Ellie still lived in the girls dorm over in the east, where I assume Nel lived also, but no one was sure about anything when it came to Nel's specifics.
A platform had been raised in the center and very nice bleachers had been put up around it. The west platform served as the ultimate sports center, where anything can be speedily constructed via magic by the platform's faculty and staff as the arena had been.
The crowd was already huge, since there had been a couple matches already and the one before mine was just finishing up. I walked down the pathway between the bleachers and took up a position near the front in an attempt to see who I was against, and thankfully, it was Brody. I'd get to mop the floors with him right away.
"So, you ready to lose?" Brody asked as he walked up next to me and cracked his knuckles in an attempt to look tough.
I rolled my eyes at him and turned to talk to Ellie and Verest and noticed that Nel had disappeared. Oh well, Ellie probably knew where she was anyway.
"Hah! No response? Too scared I bet," he continued, sounding overly confident in himself. "I'll just wipe you of the face of the planet here and then take the presidency as a bonus, how does that sound?"
"I think the school is better off without you as a student, much less the president," I spat over my shoulder.
Brody began fumigating immediately. He had such a short fuse, and I loved to light it. There really wasn't a reason behind it anymore other than it was purely habit. In the past, there may have been rhyme or reason to our fighting, but it had long since devolved from something complex into a pure rivalry and an unshakable hatred for each other. It was a war he was certainly confident he was going to win.
"You always talk like you know everything," Brody countered. "But we'll see how much you really know inside that ring."
I turned slightly, looking back at him with a smile, and paused, letting his comment sit in the air, "Well Brody, I'm not valedictorian because I am stupid you know, unlike you. What are you, rank two-hundred sixty three or something? Worse?"
It had been the perfect ammunition. I don't know where he got the idea that he was the least bit intelligent. Or maybe I was just being biased and he did have a brain in there somewhere and it was just non-functioning. Who knows? Maybe I could crack his skull open in the match and find out.
"Looks like it's about time for you and me to get down to business," he stated after observing the current match.
I looked up in time to see a senior girl get hammered by a condensed wave of air that sent her careening across the ring to land hard on her back. She didn't look like she was going to get back up. After her opponent, a junior male checked her for any response and proclaimed her unfit to fight, the match was called.
Brody laughed and walked away, wishing me a lot of sarcastic luck.
"He's like a cheerful sunny morning on a weekend," Verest groaned.
"What's that even supposed to mean?" Ellie asked, her expression indicating that Verest was low on the intelligence scale.
"Means he gets me excited."
Ellie laughed. What a couple of weirdoes. I certainly know how to pick good friends, and even better enemies in some cases. Ellie and Verest were always there for me, like they had been just the last few minutes when Brody showed up. They stand behind me, glaring menacingly, or in Verest's case, making funny faces, but they never interrupt or step in on my fights unless they need to.
"Well," I said, turning to them and handing my sword to Ellie momentarily so I could take off my coat and give it to Verest to hold. "Looks like I should get going."
Ellie smiled and Verest started ranting on about different weapon techniques which went completely ignored as I handed him my jacket and took the sword, leaving the scabbard with Ellie.
"By the way, where is Nel?" I asked.
"No idea," Ellie shrugged.
I wonder where she went... It's not like her to just disappear like that without a word. I figured she'd at least tell Elizabeth. But then again, I hadn't known her that long so maybe there were things I didn't know about her.
I found my way around to the other side of the ring where the stairs lead up onto the platform and ascended to a wild round of cheers and whistles. I didn't think I was that popular really, but... I suppose anyone about to throttle Brody would get a ton of encouragement. He had previously received a great deal of booing and what not.
"The next match will be between the senior valedictorian, Raine Vallarfax and his opponent, senior Brody Reass!" the announcer shouted. It sounded like my old evocation instructor. He was a pretty cool guy. "You may begin on my mark."
"Ready for this Raine?" Brody asked as he began circling me like a predator.
To keep him in line, I began circling as well, "Of course. I've been looking forward to putting you in your place for quite a while."
"Ready!" The announcer yelled.
"We'll see about that..."
"Go!"
Brody rushed forward, conjuring a rather wild burst of energy in his hand which he threw at me, hoping to distract me as he rushed in with his sword, which, thankfully, would be dulled in the arena just in case he hit me.
I instantly created a shield, which blocked the raging magical energy that had been so poorly constructed I figure a first year student could do better, but then again... its Brody we're talking about. Upon contact, I angled the shield, letting the energy ride its surface and slam into the ground off to my side as we connected, sword to sword.
He tried to overpower me, and nearly did so, but as he started to push me backwards I kicked him in the stomach, putting him off balance and giving me enough room to swing my sword, backing up the slash with a hardened line of magical energy which slammed into Brody's chest, breaking through the meager shield he had tried to put up.
He landed on his ass and rolled backwards, and not because he chose to, but because I hit him that hard. I rushed forward, two-handing my sword and bringing it down to cut him in half, which, unfortunately would be impossible in this arena.
"I'm going to damn well kill you!" I screamed as my sword tore up a massive chunk of the arena where he had previously been standing.
Brody had managed to scramble away and was again trying to prepare some spell. He unleashed it on me, but a mere wave of my hand erected another shield and the energy exploded outwards, nearly engulfing him in his own magic.
He turned and ran away again, then stopped and threw another sloppy ball of magic at me. It seemed to be all he could do. The only thing he had going for him was his innate ability to churn out a lot of energy at one time, but magic was about finesse, not brute strength. Well, in most cases it was, and to demonstrate that, my spear of magic which I had converted into electricity exploded through the air, lancing through his blob and pounding into his chest, flopping him over backwards again.
Brody lay on the ground, twitching from the electrical charge that had just hit him as I walked over, ready to end it with one final spell. The cheers of the crowd were overwhelming, and I looked over to see Verest cheering his heart out, screaming 'Kill that son-of-a-bitch!" repeatedly. Ellie looked no less enthusiastic.
I smiled and turned to face Brody, who had managed to get to one knee. I was about to deliver the final blow when he underhanded another one of his blobs of energy at me. It caught me off guard a little and I barely manifested a shield in time. It was sloppy, much like his spell, and when they connected with each other, they both exploded, putting me back a step and allowing Brody to get up and run away.
He ran, I followed. He kept launching sloppy spell after sloppy spell at me, and I kept deflecting them, following after him as he grew more and more tired from running and keeping his distance. Soon he'd be out of energy and I'd beat him senseless with my sword. I didn't want to finish this with magic. I wanted to be up close and personal, fist to face.
There was no way someone like him could beat me. Like I said, magic is about finesse, and someone like Brody Reass has none. Our teachers used a very simple analogy to explain the methods of channeling energy to us when we were back in the first two years of schooling.
Your soul has a hole in it, they told us. It really doesn't, but we didn't know better. Through this hole, which is a different size for everyone, you can pull your magical energy. It is like a filter, and it can manipulate that energy into whatever you desire it to be. But this hole is not merely a hole, it is a hole created by a rubber band. This rubber band is already stretched out, but can be stretched further with patience, increasing the amount of energy you can channel at once, and closing the gap between those ahead of you.
When channeling your energy, be careful not to overdo it, they warned us. If you go too far and try and pull too much energy, your rubber band could snap, and you'd be out for a while, until it can mend. It was like breaking a bone. It overstressed it and breaks, leaving you powerless for a while, and it probably hurt too, but, with enough work, if you nudged at the rubber bands limits, you could increase it slowly, like building muscle, and I had worked very hard at doing this.
It takes patience, like they said. You can't rush it, and if you do, you'll just screw up and waste time, or hurt yourself, or worse. You have to stay dedicated, like me. I had realized that a long time ago, and that's why I am valedictorian here at Kjaryk Academy. Because I take things here very seriously. I have pushed my limits time and time again to improve myself, and some slug like Brody Reass was not going to stand in my way!
To vent my frustration I brought my sword down, gouging another massive chunk of the arena out from beneath Brody's legs, before I threw it to the side and leapt on him, slamming my knee down into his sternum, grabbing his collar in my left hand and slamming my other first into his cheek, wrenching his head over to the side before I shook him back to consciousness and punched him again, and again.
When he stopped struggling, I let go of him and climbed off.
As the medical staff rushed forward, I spat on him. The crowd had gone silent. I had been screaming and venting all the pent up hatred on him as I rained punches down upon him. They had been listening to me shouting about all the various things I wanted revenge for. At the moment, I didn't care what they thought. I was satisfied.
"Raine! Raine Vallarfax for president!" someone yelled.
There was silence as everyone looked at Verest, and then Ellie repeated it, and others began shouting and cheering as well. I smiled and walked to the edge of the ring and hopped down to let the medical staff treat my bruised and busted knuckles.
"Wow... what a fight!" Verest exclaimed as he rushed to my side.
I chuckled.
"If Brody ever shows his face around here again, I'll be shocked," Elizabeth commented.
I nodded and rubbed my newly repaired hand, "All in a day's work."
"Too bad Nel wasn't here to see that. It was amazing!" Verest said, with more enthusiasm than really necessary.
"No, it's fine. I wouldn't have wanted her to see that."
I had been an animal there the entire time. Lost it. Lost my cool. Lost my mind. I had been in for a grudge. I had taken my revenge, and it felt good. The adrenaline was still pumping through my veins and my heartbeat was just starting to simmer down, but there was no way I would ever want to subject Nel to seeing something like that. She seemed so innocent, and the last thing I wanted her to think was that I was a monster.
I told them that I was going to go get a drink, and they agreed, saying I probably needed one after all that work and trailed behind me as I looked for the nearest concessions stand.
"Didn't you think it was amazing how fast Raine got those shields up?" Verest asked Ellie.
"Sure."
"Did you see the way he cracked up the ring out there? He must have been really pissed. Don't even think you could do that."
"Sure."
"Did you see the way he popped Brody's spell like a balloon?"
"Yes!" She screamed and swatted him upside the head. "I was watching the same fight as you, from the same angle, I saw everything you did."
Verest cowered away and rubbed his wound, "You don't need to be so violent."
She raised her hand to hit him again and he covered his head with his arms, "Okay, okay, okay!"
I shook my head and leaned against the counter at the concession stand and ordered a water. It'd feel good to get something cold. When the man working behind the counter handed me the cup of water I asked him how much it was and he laughed and told me it was just water in a little paper cup, so it was free. I thanked him and turned back to Ellie and Verest.
"Well, next I have to fight that junior, who probably won't be that hard, and then whoever is up from the first string."
"Yeah, we don't know who that is though," Verest reminded me.
That was true. We had no idea who my opponent would be from the first fights. They would be fighting right now, but before we could get back into sight the fight was already over and it was apparently my turn again. I didn't really feel ready for another fight already.
"Raine!" someone yelled in a rather familiar voice, and we all turned to see Nel who looked like she had just run a marathon.
"Nel!" Ellie shouted and hugged her.
Those two were certainly strange. Nel giggled excitedly, and told Elizabeth to put her down, but she didn't right away, so Nel started to struggle against her and she was finally released. She rearranged her clothing and then took up her usual regal posture.
"How'd your fight go?" she asked.
"OH!!!!" Verest shouted immediately. "It was so amaaaaazing! I can't believe you missed it!"
"What?! Really?" she responded, almost horrified.
"Yeah, it was so awesome! The way he punched Brody, and the way he threw those spells around and broke up the ar..."
"Shut up!" Ellie yelled and hit him again.
Verest whimpered and hid behind me, hoping I would protect him, but I merely stepped out of the way.
"Its too bad I missed it, but you're up again right now, aren't you?" Nel inquired
"Yup, I should probably get going."
I was almost to the platform again when the announcer chimed in again, "I have just been informed that our contestant, who would be Raine Vallarfax's opponent has just dropped out of the competition, so, finalists, proceed to the platform!"
"Oh... what a surprise," Verest groaned.
I shrugged and made my way to stairs and climbed up onto the ring to a wild round of cheers and applause. I smiled and waved to my new, adoring fans and looked for my opponent who had not yet appeared. Maybe they dropped out too?
"This match, the final round before the president is forced to defend her position, will be between senior valedictorian... Raine Vallarfax!" another wild round of applause and then I saw my opponent, and I was so dumbfounded that my jaw dropped open. "And Freshman Nelrynonangray Nydelanarran!"
She stepped up onto the arena and smiled at me, "Hello Raine!"
"Hi... Nel"
"You may begin on my mark!"
"Surprised to see me?" She said as she stuck her arm straight out to her side and a sword that appeared to be of an old Japanese make appeared out of nowhere. I knew that was the form of astral calling that Verest used to store his weapons. Obviously Nel was no slouch.
"Uh... yeah."
"Reaaaadddyy!!!!"
She got down into some crazy stance that I had seen some old samurai people use in movies and even seen on some video games back home, like Mitsurugi from Soul Caliber and smiled. I hefted my own sword. I had no idea what to expect from Nel. I had never seen her use magic before, and I was sort of disappointed that I missed the previous fights. It would have been nice to see what she was capable of, then it struck me... she had beaten her previous opponent in less time than it took me to get to the concession stand and back, with enough time to get from the...
"Go!"
Oh shit...
Before I could even blink, she had practically teleported to my side, and in an instant drawn her sword and smashed it into me like a massive club. I was lifted up off the ground and plopped on my back some feet away and proceeded to slide across the ring until my head and shoulders were hanging over the side.
This was bad...
I fortified my body with my own magic, hoping that I would be able to keep up with her. Many weapon mages like Verest, and apparently Nel, could use their magic to give their bodies inhuman bursts of speed, strength and agility that were very impressive, as I had just witness first hand. I had practiced the technique a bit, but I doubt it was quite this refined.
She had sheathed her sword and resumed her stance, prepared to fly at me again, but I was ready this time. She was fast, I had to admit it. She barely took a step before she was to me, sword drawn almost as fast as I could get mine between my body and her blade, but thankfully I spun and dodged the attack and moved into the ring further, reducing my risk of being ringed out immediately.
She spun, two handing the sword and clubbing me again, lifting me off my feet and sending me sprawling across the arena again. I got to my feet and channeled as much energy as I dared into a field of electricity, hoping to stun her if I could hit her, and unleashed it, not using any motion indicators and just letting the spell fly wild, hoping that the desired spray effect I had put into it would manage to get her, which it did.
She shook slightly, but only enough to get me in close enough to take a swing at her, empowering my weapon with as much magic as I could to hopefully ring her out, but then she smiled and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.
A demon!?
The demon unleashed a torrent of wind at me, and then it was over. I felt Nel's sword slam into my abdomen again and I slid across the ring and flopped out into the dirt and landed on my neck and shoulders. Stupid Demonologists... Boy would I feel that in the morning...

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Rogue Primaris Psyker: Aeos Valerin
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