Chapter 19: Proclamation
Xyrus Academy, an Academy hailed as the most exalted Sanctuary for any of the would-be-mages privileged enough to have both the background and talent to enter. There are a couple more academies scattered throughout the Kingdom of Sapin, but needless to say, the level between those second-rate schools and Xyrus is insurmountable.
That was the kind of titan Xyrus Academy was. Those who qualify to graduate from this academy were guaranteed a prosperous future and life. It was rumored that the top graduates can even become honored guards, instructors or military leaders for the Royal Family, for the King of the entire race of humans on this continent. Of course, some chose to go the more humble route and may focus on research by joining one of the mage guilds. However, it is an understatement to say that students of Xyrus Academy are hailed as the true elites, even among nobles.
Now, here I am, standing in front of said Academy’s Director. Normally, any eight-year-old, hell, any person would be ecstatic to be in the presence of someone so affluent, but I just scratch my head in annoyance at the unexpected guest.
She was a very tall lady, standing around 1.7 meters, well above the average for the females here. She held herself in a very upright, noble manner. She wore a simple, yet elegant robe that was navy blue, laced with gold threading. She sported a conjurer’s hat, an accessory that looked like an over-sized witch hat that amplified the absorption rate of the surrounding mana but oftentimes came with other functions. Strapped to the side of her robe was a wand that was a crystalline white color with a fluorescent gem attached. Even my ignorant eyes could tell that this wand was extremely valuable. Surprisingly, her face had very soft features that reminded me more of a friendly grandmother next door than an all-important figure of power but the aura she had around her made her seem fairy-like. Her wrinkles couldn’t mask the attractive face that she had. The crow’s feet etched on the outer ends of her brown eyes actually amplified the attractiveness of her smile when she introduced herself.
“Nice to finally meet you Arthur.” She said, with her hand held out.
What was I supposed to do in this situation? Do I just shake it or is someone of power like her expecting me to kiss her hand or something?
I just go with the safe route and shake it.
“Err… Nice to meet you too Director.”
The Director seemed a little surprised at my introduction.
“Arthur! You’re being rude! I’m so sorry for my son Director Goodsky. He just returned home and is ignorant about formal customs.” My mother pushes my head down with her hand while bowing herself, getting on one knee.
Apparently, when meeting someone of high standing, it is customary to get on one knee and shake the hand, while bowing.
“Kukuku, no it is quite all right. No offense taken at all. And please, Arthur, call me Cynthia.” She just laughs with her free hand covering her mouth.
“I’m sorry to intrude on you at such a late time but unfortunately, the only free time I could make was after my meeting tonight. I hope you don’t mind.” She said, looking at my parents.
“Nonono~ we’re thankful that you’d be willing to take the time out just to visit our son.” My father is the one to speak this time.
By the amount of complimenting I start wondering if this granny can compare to Grandpa Virion.
Director Cynthia nods at this. “True, it isn’t very often that I take a house trip to visit a potential student. Otherwise, even with a hundred bodies, I wouldn’t be able to fit the time hoho.”
“However, Vincent is a good friend and a very reliable business partner that I couldn’t refuse when he excitedly came up to me about a prodigy that is living in his home. I must say that my curiosity got the best of me. Do you mind leading me to an open space so I can see a demonstration?” She continues on, her gaze fixed at me in an assessing manner.
“Can I at least eat din…Ouch!” My mother slaps me in the butt before I could finish my sentence.
“Of course! Please follow us Director Cynthia.” My mother ushers me, leading Director Cynthia while the rest followed.
Sylvie, who was hiding underneath the dinner table from the unfamiliar human, trots behind me causing Director Cynthia to raise an eyebrow.
“Oh my… What a lovely mana beast. I assume it is your contracted beast right Arthur?” She asks me inquisitively while kneeling down to get a closer view at Sylvie.
“Yeah, she hatched a couple of months ago. Her name is Sylvie.” I just respond, with my mother’s hand still grabbing onto the back of my shirt to keep me from escaping.
“I have to say, while it is common for nobles to buy beasts to contract, I have never seen a mana beast like yours.”
Shrugging my shoulders, I just respond, “I’m not exactly sure what she is either. Her mother seemed to be some sort of scaled wolf like creature. She was already gravely wounded when I stumbled into her nest. She was protecting her egg.”
She reaches to pet Sylvie but she scampers away and climbs unto the top of my head.
“Sorry, she’s a bit shy around strangers.”
“I see. Well enough about her. Let us see if what Vincent wasn’t just exaggeration. He didn’t tell me much except that you’re an Augmenter, saying it was a surprise.” She just shakes her head.
We arrived at the backyard and everyone was seated a couple meters away, Sylvie struggling to escape the grasp of my little sister, whom I entrusted her with.
“You’re not going to use your wand?” I start stretching.
“It isn’t very fair of me to be using a weapon when you yourself are empty handed as well, right?” She gives me a wink.
I guess she’s right.
I stomp my right foot into the ground and a piece of the ground, the size of my body thrusts up. My hands are lazily in my pocket so I kick the rock at Director Cynthia’s direction.
A wind wall that appeared instantly in front of her knocked up the rock I just kicked.
*Whistle* Oh. Insta-casting.
I guess she’s not the Director for nothing.
I see her face visibly shocked by the sudden attack I threw at her. She wasn’t expecting an elemental attack from a child, even if she knew was an Augmenter.
I wonder who’s better at controlling wind.
I will a gust of wind underneath my feet and propel myself to her.
“D-dual Elemental…” Before she even had the chance to finish her sentence, I jump up three meters into the air with the help of my wind attribute skill and focus a condensed whirlwind into my right fist that starts glowing a faint silver color. Using the piece of earth that was knocked up by the Director, I use it as a foothold to lunge myself into her.
The collision of her wind wall and my whirlwind fist creates chaotic streams of wind that forces the audience to cover their faces.
The collision blows me back as she also takes a few steps to steady herself. Before I get the chance to balance myself, I see four twisters the size of small trees form around her and she wills it towards my direction.
I gather the wind element around my body as well, making a small cyclone form around me spinning the opposite direction of Director Goodsky’s. Using the centrifugal force generated by my cyclone, I start spinning along with it, using my hands to create blades of wind.
The clash between the four twisters and my cyclone creates a small crater but otherwise doesn’t do me any harm besides me being a bit dizzy.
Instantly I’m knocked back, my ears ringing and my vision unsteady.
A Sound user! She was a deviant!
I steady myself, taking a glance at my opponent and she’s staring at me with an awestruck face that makes her seem like a tacky tourist in a foreign country, her right arm still raised from the last attack.
I sit back down. Damn. Couldn’t win.
“That should be enough for a demonstration right Director?” I rub my temples.
“Y-yes… That is quite sufficient.” Her voice doesn’t sound like the voice of the winner’s but someone who was thoroughly beaten.
She regains her composure and starts walking towards me when I hear my father’s voice.
“A-Arthur… You know how to use Earth and Wind attribute skills as well?”
“What do you mean, ‘as well’” Director Cynthia’s composed look turns into a look of confusion.
My mother continues on for my baffled father.
“H-he, my son, we thought he was a Fire Elemental. He’s a deviant as well that can use Lightning!”
I can hear Director Cynthia’s breath turn short as she’s still trying to take in what my mother has told her.
“S-surely you jest… you can not mean to say that he is capable of controlling three elements…”
“Four actually. I can control all four.” I interrupt. Everyone was going to find out anyway. This wasn’t something that I could, nor wanted to hide.
“Earth and Wind are my weakest elements. I’m a lot more adept in controlling Fire and Water. I also happen to be deviants in both those elements, although I just started training in them.” I get up now, recovering from the previous attack. I wasn’t expecting a Sound user so I didn’t bother to enhance my ears.
No one responded back to what I said and the only thing I hear are the clichéd sounds of crickets chirping. I hope that this is the last time that they get surprised like this.
The noble figure that controls the most prominent school in the continent falls to her behind in a less than elegant fashion, and she’s just muttering something to herself.
Finally, facing me, she says, “Arthur, you mean to tell me that you are a Quadra Elemental capable of controlling two higher elements?”
I’m also a Dragon Tamer, but that’s about it. I wonder how they would react if I told them that.
“Correct. This is probably all a big surprise to everyone because this is the first time I’m revealing this fact, but yeah.” I scratch my head.
“Please demonstrate.” Director Cynthia’s eyes grew menacing and the once friendly grandmother now had the look of a veteran killer as she raised her hand, the mana around her fluctuating.
Suddenly, a vacuum of wind sucked me in towards her as her other hand was preparing a visible ball of wind.
I will water into my right palm and a condensed ball of fire in my left palm. She wanted to see so badly; I’ll just have to show her.
I combine the two opposing skills together and a massive cloud of steam was produced, completely enshrouding the both of us from everyone else’s sight.
Moments passed and everyone outside of the cloud had no idea what was happening, only sounds of battle being heard until a strong torrent of wind completely blows away the cloud. I was in a lot worse shape than her, but I did manage to wound her a bit, even drawing blood.
“Whew! I must say that I’m thoroughly convinced! You pass Arthur Leywin.” She pats my shoulder but it felt more like my shoulder was sucked into her palm.
The scarce wounds that I did manage to draw on her were already disappearing and so were mine, leaving the audience dumbfounded at what just happened.
“Sorry Mom, sorry Dad for hiding this from you guys.” I became a little worried that my parents might be angry that I had so many secrets from them, but fortunately, my fater took it pretty well.
“BAHAHAHA My son is the first ever Quadra Elemental!” He picks me up by my armpits and swings me around like he did when I was an infant.
Ooh, the traumatic memories are popping back up.
“Please Art, no more secrets.” My mother just wryly smiled, concern still etched unto her face.
I couldn’t promise her that, but I’d like to believe it was for her protection, not my benefit.
“Forget a Quadra Elemental, in this continent, there aren’t even any Tri Elementals but you Art…” She doesn’t finish her sentence, just shaking her head again.
“Is Brother strong?” My sister chimes in, still clutching unto Sylvie.
Patting her head, the Director nods, “Your brother is very strong little one.”
“Heehee!” She has a proud look on her face, as if she’s the one getting complimented.
Vincent’s face is still a picture of disbelief as he’s still processing everything, as Lilia is making sure he’s all right. She’s looking towards my direction with a mixture of astonishment and a little fear in her face.
I don’t blame her.
My father sets me down and I turn to Director Cynthia, giving her a stern gaze, a gaze that doesn’t fit an eight-year-old.
“Director Goodsky. There’s actually a reason I didn’t hide my capabilities today.”
Picking up on the seriousness in my voice, she nods in understanding. “I had a hunch that you weren’t just brazenly showing off your skills Arthur. You seem too sharp for that.”
Agreeing with her, I respond, “There are only a few benefits I can gain from attending your school. One is learning how to utilize my Lightning and Ice elements. However, that is something I can learn on my own with due time. No. The main reason I would attend your academy is for protection. Right now, I’m not strong enough to protect everyone. However, you hold a position of power and influence that can provide safety for my family and I, at least until I gain the strength to protect them myself.”
“Arthur! You’re being rude to Director Cynthia! How can you…”
“Kukuku! No it’s fine Alice. I completely agree with Arthur.” The Director interrupts my scolding mother.
“I don’t plan on flaunting my abilities to gain everyone’s attention but I also can’t abide to hide and cower in front of anyone who disrespects me or my family. I also am striving to become someone of great power. For that, I need your protection from those who would do me harm until I accomplish what I aim for. If you can provide that for me, I am more than willing to attend your academy and have you as my benefactor.” I finish off, getting the crying Sylvie from my sister.
“Hahaha! I never thought that in my years of being a Director as well as a Silver Stage Conjurer, someone would audaciously propose such a one sided deal to me. There are nobles that beg me for a spot in my academy for their children but you speak as if it would be my honor for you to attend. Kukuku I accept! I accept your proposal 100%!” She continues laughing.
“I apologize for sounding so conceited but this matter is of upmost importance to me so I do not wish to hide anything from you.” I just scratch my cheek.
My parents just shake their head in defeat, as if saying, ‘what are we going to do with our child.’
Giving her a sincere smile, I continue, “Of course, this matter will not officially start until I choose to enroll at your academy.”
“Oh? Were you not planning on enrolling into my Academy anytime soon?” This time, the Director as well as every other adult had looks of puzzlement on their faces.
“I don’t plan on entering Xyrus Academy until I would be of a normal age to actually attend. No. I’ve decided to enter your academy on my twelfth birthday, a very average age for one to enter your Academy. I assume that would be no problem?” I just tilt my head.
“Goodness! That’s in a little over three years. Arthur, do you have any plans on what to do until then?” I figured Director Goodsky wouldn’t be so accepting on prolonging my education for over three years.
I turn to face my parents this time, since it was up to them to allow me or not.
I look up at the night sky, stars shining. Unlike my old world, the lack of bright lights truly makes the nighttime beautiful. Turning my gaze back to where my family was, I answer.
“I’d like to become an Adventurer.”