Chapter 48: Reminisce
It only took a couple of moments for the vines to completely encase Jack. As he struggled to break free, the vines twisted around tighter, making his face turn an ugly shade.
While most were confused, Charles seemed to know exactly what was going on as his face paled and he immediately stepped away from the commotion he created. Elijah was a bit surprised as well, his head turning left and right to see who used the spell, but the person responsible had yet to show herself.
Standing up, I face the suffocating Jack, who gave up on struggling against the vines. The atmosphere in the dining hall turned tense as no one spoke, everyone waiting for the perpetrator of the spell to show up. Giving Elijah a meaningful glance, I silently lift my arm, placing my palm on the vines as I release the spell.
Holding back on the amount of mana used on the spell, I will a gale of sharp winds from my palm.
The Ravenpor groupies behind Jack all covered themselves against the sharp gale as they got caught in the spell as well. With the spell, I so graciously freed Jack from the vines that were choking him, but in the process shredded his clothes as well, leaving him the same way he came out from his unfortunate mother’s womb.
“COUGH COUGH!” Jack plops to his knees, his junior that looked a bit too petite compared to his large body dangling for everyone to see. Without either a word or a change in expression, I turn and walk towards Charles, who was still trying to discreetly make his way out of the dining hall. He was by the wall, and was almost in front of the main doors when I unsheathed the Disciplinary Committee knife I received from the Director, and threw it, imbuing wind mana into it.
“AAHH! What the hell?” As the knife cut through the air and pierced through his blazer, pinning him against the wall, I came face to face with him.
“Maybe it’s just me but I find it pathetic when brats like you who come from a noble family beat your chest for something that you never even earned. Before bragging about how powerful your family is, be competent enough to at least not embarrass them.” I pull out the knife he was struggling to remove in one swift swipe and leave through the door, not looking back.
The brisk autumn air greeted me as I closed the door, my breath becoming visible in a cloud in front of me.
‘It’s mama!’ Sylvie’s head shoots up from on top of my head.
I ignore my bond, looking up at the night sky illuminated by countless star as I speak out loud. “You know, you could’ve killed him if I didn’t disrupt the spell.”
“I was going to cancel it once he passed out. Besides, I know you were going to handle it.” From besides me a few meters away, the familiar voice responded.
“Pfft~ NOW you leave it up to me? What stopped you from doing the same this morning after the ceremony?” I snickered.
I walk towards the figure that was leaning against the wall of the building, her face and other recognizable features masked by the shadow of the starry night.
By her silence, I could already picture what sort of troubled expression she had on her face. I stood in front of the figure, I was close enough to see her face but she was looking down so I could only see the crown of her silvery gunmetal hair that seemed to shimmer.
“Ahem~” I awkwardly cough, covering my mouth with a fist as the silence between us felt like an eternity. Finally, she glanced up, revealing her face as she was fiddling with her hands behind her back.
We instantly destroyed the awkward atmosphere as we head-butted each other by bowing in apology at the same time.
“PFFT~ Hahahaha! I guess we both wanted to apologize huh?” I couldn’t help but smile as I rubbed my slightly throbbing head.
“I guess so…” Tess was massaging her head too as she continued to look down.
I squat down so I could see my childhood friend’s face. “Tess. Are you crying?” I tease, gently wiping her tears with the inside of my sleeve.
*Sniff* “It’s because it hurts…” Her eyes continue to avoid mine as she lets me wipe her face.
“Did it hurt that much?” My voice turns tender as I stand back up, gently patting the place where my head hit her.
“YES! It hurt a lot!” Smacking my hand away, she buried her face in my chest, wrapping her arms around my waist as she began crying.
The seconds seemed to elongate as I felt her body tremble from her erratic breaths and hiccups. I couldn’t help but smile as I hugged her back, patting her head comfortingly.
*Sniff* “I thought you hated me.” *Sniff* I could barely make out what she was saying in between her sniffles and the fact that her voice was muffled from speaking while her face was still buried in my chest.
“Even if there are times I get mad at you, I would never hate you, Tess.” I spoke gently.
“I don’t want that.” *Sniff*
“Don’t want what?”
“I don’t want you to get mad at me either!” She mumbled while her face still glued to my chest.
“Well this time, I was in the wrong. I shouldn’t have lashed out at you like that.” I realized that I don’t really treat Tess like everyone else. While most people don’t come off to me as worthwhile to get mad over, besides my family and Elijah, Tess would probably be the only one capable of making me be genuine, even if that was sometimes being immature.
“NO! I was wrong too! I-I shouldn’t have called you out like that in front of all of those people! B-but it was because I have to be the strict Student Council President in front of everyone, you know?” Her face looked desperate as she finally looked up, her concerned eyes red and a little puffy from crying.
“ARTTT!!!! You should’ve seen the faces of everyone after you…OH!” Elijah, who only saw the shaded outline of my back, came running towards me until he spotted who was with me.
Realizing that Tess was still wrapped tightly around me, I couldn’t help but give him an embarrassed look.
“I-I’ll see you b-back at our dorm…” He stammered out before darting off, almost tripping over his own feet from how fast he was running.
“Haha. Tess, I think it’s about time to let go of me.” I smiled as her face turned bright red from realizing how long she’s been clinging to me.
“O-oh right…” She immediately let go of me, taking a step back as her eyes looked down, too embarrassed to look at me.
I couldn’t help but let out a soft laugh at how my childhood friend really hasn’t changed. “Do you want to take a little walk with me?” I give her a smile as Sylvie jumps off from on top of my head unto her arms.
“Kyu!” ‘Long time no see mama!’
TESSIA ERALITH’S POV:
Each of his steps were light and confident as if he was always certain his direction and purpose. Was it the way he walked?
Those eyes that looked calm and poised, yet still a little playful… Was it his gaze?
The way it glowed even when it was this dark outside? Was it his smile?
What made me this stupidly attracted to him? He’s just another boy! Another, rather talented, rather well mannered and slightly better looking boy. That was it!
What was it about him that makes me become so foolish around him and why do I keep doing things to embarrass myself only in front of him?
“Is something wrong?” He looks at me in concern as his gentle voice makes shivers go down my spine.
“N-no! Nothing’s wrong haha!” I feel my face get red again so I pet Sylvie faster as a distraction. GOSH DANGIT!
I could feel his eyes studying me as we walked along the marble path, the only source of light from the moon that peeked in between the trees that arched the walkway. The last time we met earlier today, we barely spent a couple seconds before things got bad so it’s been almost 4 years since we’ve last seen each other. I would stare at him too but I know I was going to turn bright red so I just keep my gaze down.
I wonder if he looks at any other girl like this. I want his attention all to myself just like now. I stop myself before I almost sigh out loud again.
We started talking about what we’ve both been doing these past couple of years. His time as an adventurer was really exciting but I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that he was with that girl named Jasmine the whole time.
“Pfft!” The corner of Art’s eyes crinkled as he revealed his bright smile.
“W-what!” I couldn’t help but hold Sylvie up defensively.
“It’s just that I’m enjoying the different expressions you’re showing me while I tell you my story.” I catch a glimpse of his eyes making me turn red again. This is getting ridiculous.
I would’ve been pretty cold if I didn’t have Sylvie as a heating pack, but Art doesn’t look cold at all. I wonder if being a beast tamer makes his body stronger in these situations too. I start getting embarrassed as I remember hugging him for so long.
He was really warm though.
I got a little less tense as we kept talking. I told him a bit about my training with Grandpa but I focused more on when Grandma Cynthia was my teacher.
“You call her Grandma?” His head tilts a little in curiosity.
Nodding, I reply, “She told me to call her that since I was her only disciple and since she doesn’t have any children.”
“I see…” He ponders
I continue on about the strict training I had to go through and how it was hard for my plant attribute magic to improve because of the lack of reliable teachers. Although there weren’t any other races that could manipulate plant attribute mana, even amongst elves, there were very few people that were adequate in plant magic. While some noble lineages do have the capacity to learn it, they end up focusing on another element instead because of how hard it was for them to learn plant magic.
“So you ended up becoming a dual specialist in plant and wind huh? Wow, I knew you’d be a talented mage.” His genuine look makes me feel proud. I get embellished praises from all sorts of different important figures but just a simple compliment from him makes me this happy.
He continues, “It makes sense that Director Goodsky should be teaching you then.”
I wanted time to stop as we reached the front of where the dorms were. Why was the dorms built so close to the dining hall? It should’ve been on the other side of the school…
“We should both get some sleep. It’s getting late and tomorrow is a big day.” He pats my head. I would enjoy it a lot more if it didn’t make me feel like he was treating me like a kid.
“Y-yeah, you’re right. Congratulations on becoming a Disciplinary Committee member Art.” I try my best to smile but I start overthinking about how I look.
Fortunately, he just grins back as Sylvie hops back on top of his head. “Thanks.” I stare at his back as he starts heading to his dorm when he turns back around, surprising me.
“I almost forgot!” He takes my hand and brings it up, placing something from his pocket into my palm.
“Here! This will probably help you a lot.” Letting go of my hand, he gives me a playful wink before turning back around as Sylvie waves her small paw at me.
He didn’t even give me the chance to thank him.
Looking down, I study the small, dull green orb. It didn’t seem pretty special but it did mean a lot to me just because it came from Art. Knowing him though, this isn’t just some sort of decoration he wanted me to have.
“I wonder…” I will a bit of mana into the orb and I almost drop it from surprise, my hands trembling uncontrollably.
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
‘Papa you’re really happy. Is it because you made up with Mama? ’ Sylvie teases me as I walk up the stairs back to my dorm room.
‘Can it Sylv. And can you stop calling her Mama?’ I pinch my dragon bond’s ear, making her squirm.
“Room 394! Finally…” We walked pretty slowly and stopped in between while we talked so it was pretty late into the night. I opened the door carefully just in case Elijah was asleep but I almost jump in surprise to see him sitting cross-legged facing the door, his eyes bloodshot from staying up so late compared to when he usually sleeps.
“Err… I see you’re still awake.” I wave awkwardly.
“Hell yes I’m awake.” He crosses his arms and uses his chin to point at my bed, signaling me to sit.
“Haa…Go on.” I sigh helplessly as I let my best friend release his barrage of questions.
It was almost 4 A.M. when he was finished, the two of us sprawled out on our beds, tired both physically and mentally while Sylvie fell asleep a while ago.
“I can’t believe you were h-hugging her.” I see him shake his head while he was lying down on his back.
“I told you I’ve known her since she was 5. It’s not surprising that she’d be more comfortable around me.” I simply state.
He shakes head again. “After you left, some of the students knew that it was the President that used the vine spell since she’s the only one that could use it to that degree. Do you know all of the things the students called her?” He gets up and looks at me.
“What do they call her?” I ask, a bit interested.
“There were two I heard the most.” He leans in closer. “One. The Untouchable Princess.” He states.
“Untouchable? Why? Is she that much stronger than everyone else?” I ask.
Ignoring me, he says the other. “Lunar Goddess.”
“Huh? Why Lunar Goddess?” I chortle at the juvenile nicknames.
“Because she’s like the moon Art. The Moon looks so close that you can grab but no matter how much you try, you’ll never touch the Moon. But you! You t-touched the MOON! You HUGGED the Moon!” He flails his arm in defeat and plops back into bed.
“Go to sleep.” I retort. Both of us too tired to even try and wash up. My head is already hurting at the thought of how tired I would be in the morning.
Thoughts about what happened tonight kept me up. I kept imagining if I did the right thing at the dining hall. It was a habit I acquired from being a King to overthink my past actions and always plan my future actions. To my side, I could hear Elijah fast asleep, mumbling something about the Moon again.
“Wake up!” I smack Elijah on the stomach as I finish fastening on the shoulder strap for the knife that represented that I was a part of the Disciplinary Committee.
“OOF!” Elijah bolts up in surprise but groans once he realizes how tired and in pain he was. “I can see why you don’t like being woken up like this.” He mumbles as he rubs his stomach.
Smirking at my friend, I walk to the door. “I’m leaving now so hurry up and get ready. I’ll see you in first period.” Without looking back, I give him a wave and head towards the auditorium. I was supposed to formally meet all the other members of the Disciplinary Committee in the small waiting room inside the auditorium so I was a bit excited as to what kind of people they might be.
Sylvie “Kyu-ed” in excitement as well as she was swaying her head from side to side. After today, everyone will know that I’m part of the Disciplinary Committee. I grinned at myself after imagining what the Ravenpor group’s face would look like after becoming aware today what my different uniform meant to them.
Arriving at the back entrance to the auditorium, I straightened up my shirt, vest and strap and opened the door, feeling tired, sleepy and very curious.