Chapter 1:

Magic? What's that?

Six Bells

I was walking home from my part-time job.Bookmark here

"HEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!"Bookmark here

I looked back and saw a familiar face. Not familiar enough to remember her name but I knew her face from somewhere.Bookmark here

" Hey, are you Luke from high school? I saw you on your job and wanted to talk to you, but you were already packing up, so I waited for you."Bookmark here

I was a little confused as to why she didn't just talk to me at the café, but I didn't really care that much.Bookmark here

"Hi. Yes, that's me! Unfortunately, my very feeble and lacking brain did not store your name. Would you mind enlightening this peanut about your name?" Bookmark here

I said with a joking tone as to not make this quick chat awkward.Bookmark here

She instantly let out a chuckle "How dare you not remember the mighty Lily?!"Bookmark here

Lily? I don't know any Lily. Was it a nickname?Bookmark here

"Sorry, I can't remember any Lily, are you sure you aren't mistaking me for another handsome boy?"Bookmark here

She then took out a little flower from her pocket and placed it on her hair.Bookmark here

"Better now?"Bookmark here

The memories were flowing through my head like they never had.Bookmark here

"Ouhhh... I remember you now... Ellen. No, your name is Elleanor."Bookmark here

"W-what?" She let out a minor stutter.Bookmark here

The girl talking to me was Ellie, one year older than me that I met in my first year of Highschool.Bookmark here

"How's it going Ellie?" I quickly said.Bookmark here

"Ah-ha, I knew you could never forget me.”Bookmark here

Ellie was my crush throughout first and second year even though I never had the courage to tell her how I felt. Her nickname was Lily because I met her when a flower fell on her head, near her ear.Bookmark here

The flower was not even a Lily, but I just spurted “Lily!” and she started laughing, making me blush and "befriending" her. To this day I have no idea how it happened but, honestly, that is how most of my friendships start.Bookmark here

“I was headed home but since you’re here, do you want to stop somewhere?”Bookmark here

Ellie nodded in agreement. We quickly decided on a local pub. I never really enjoyed pubs, but most cafés were already closed. Bookmark here

Ellie recommended “The Six Bells”, saying it had opened just a few weeks before and was quite popular already. She also mentioned that the owner was a college graduate who had been her upperclasswoman.Bookmark here

As we walked to the pub, I got the feeling that every path leaded to the pub, which I could already see. That would be normal if the pub was on the main street, but it wasn’t. It was in the newest part of town, which wasn’t yet very populated. All the roads lead either to the front of the pub or to the street in which the pub is located. I thought it was weird, but I quickly disregarded it since I didn’t know this part of the city all that well.Bookmark here

The pub was indeed extremely popular. Rush hour had not come yet but the pub was almost full. Fortunately, there was a vacant little round table that we quickly occupied.Bookmark here

We talked about a lot of things. About how she was pursuing a biology degree. How she loved the agrobiology class but completely hated other classes relating to human biology.Bookmark here

It was a breath of fresh air. I told her about my gap year, how I still had no idea what degree I really wanted.Bookmark here

“You just got to go with the flow. You’ll eventually find something your passion. You know what they say – everyone has their own special “affinity”. Ellie was good at encouraging.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know. Honestly, working at the café is pretty cool! More than I ever imagined. You know, I almost have that aura, you know? The elegant boy aura.”Bookmark here

Ellie giggled “You wish!” Her face changed to quite a serious one. “But I can see quite a rare aura being emitted from your heart.”Bookmark here

“What? You’re a witch now?” I said while being half-drunk already.Bookmark here

“How did you know?! I sense a strong “idiot” aura coming from your heart. Maybe you’re a mage!” Ellie could hold her drink well but even her was a little tipsy already.Bookmark here

It was already late, so I decided it was time to go.Bookmark here

“Hey Ellie, it’s getting late, we should go.”Bookmark here

“Hear me out Luke, the best part is from now on. Would you mind giving me your hand?”Bookmark here

I wasn’t really getting it, but when drunk you don’t think that much about anything, so I just did it. As soon as my hand touched her everybody disappeared.Bookmark here

“W-what happened? Where did everyone go?”Bookmark here

“Welcome to Six Bells. Six Bells is how we call The Secret Institute of Magic. Y-you know, Secret Institute X Bells” Ellie was really drunk at this point and was making an X with her hands. “Bells is the president’s last name and the X is like a link between the words. Pretty cringy, right?”Bookmark here

Drunk as I was, I couldn’t possibly get what was happening. I sat down but since we teleported, there wasn’t a chair anymore. I fell.Bookmark here

I stayed on the floor as I wasn’t in a good condition to get up.Bookmark here

I let out a sigh “Tomorrow I gotta work and here I am drunk on the floor.”Bookmark here

“Work? That’s not a problem. Just don’t go.” It was a male voice, so I think it wasn’t Ellie.Bookmark here

“W-What? Are you kidding? I have to work tom-…” I fell asleep after that.Bookmark here

I woke up laying on a bed. When I was getting up, I saw that Ellie had a water bucket and was walking towards me.Bookmark here

“Wait! Waaai- “ - I tried in vain.Bookmark here

I was soaked and Ellie had some explanations to give. Surprisingly, I wasn’t drunk anymore or at least, I didn’t feel like I was.Bookmark here

“So… what is happening? Where are we? Whose house is this?” I asked, very confused.Bookmark here

“As I was saying before you fell, we are at the Six Bells. S stands for si-“Bookmark here

“Yeah, I heard that part. How did we get here? What did you mean when it was a magic institute? Is this a magic school? Do those famous tricksters and magicians attend this school?”Bookmark here

The door opened abruptly, a man in a white suit entered the room.Bookmark here

“Your questions will be answered, but first you have to answer one single question of mine. This one is particularly important.” It was the same voice as when I was on the floor.Bookmark here

“What is it?” I said.Bookmark here

“Do you need magic in your life?”Bookmark here

Six Bells

You can resume reading from this paragraph.