Y: The Tides Are In Our Hearts
For the last four centuries, Minerva’s Imperial Academy had been a generation defining institution. The most important fixture to the Ieielian Kingdom; more than the standing army, the full might of the artifcer’s guild, and more than the sovereignty of King Midas himself.
That was the quote, at least. The impression.
Whether it was true or not… well, not even Miieie believed it.
The importance of the academy didn’t need to be emphasized by words the greater nobility used to pat itself on the back. In her mind it was all pretty self-explanatory. The place looked like it was out of a fairytale! Perfectly aligned cherry blossoms tucked alongside the unblemished pathways, flawlessly polished walls where she almost could see her own reflection in the marbled stone; it was all so picturesque. It would’ve been another thing to get lost in if Miieie wasn’t already rushing forward, blindly trying to catch up with Endra. She couldn’t miss the opening ceremony.
But which way did she go?
The green-haired girl stopped at a crossroads of four paths and she found her neck craning in every single direction as if she could find some sign which way the auditorium exactly was. But no such luck. Her hands gripped the handles of both pieces of luggage and her brows narrowed in an expression of determination.
“Right.” She mused, “Right is always right.”
Miieie turned on as dime, wasting no time at second guessing herself. She was already more than a few minutes late.
Fortunately, that dumb instinct of hers had been right.
Before the big doors of the auditorium were giant blue banners with gold trim. As her hands pulled the luggage from behind her she could see a giant crowd of students. It wasn’t difficult to see one face she recognized. Well, the back of one to be specific. Endra’s long silver hair stood out among the rest of the students nestled in the back of the first years, though returning the girl’s things to her would have to wait until the assembly was over.
Back on Skilma, speeches and lectures were pretty common. Miieie… always dozed off during them. Even if she did the required reading, she could just never find herself to pay attention for longer than a few minutes. Books were boring, but she didn’t have to hear someone yammer on and on about something important, she could look at the text and understand it. She learned by doing and reading, not by listening. The academy understood that doing was more important, though, right?
Miieie snapped back to reality.
“You should pay attention.” A voice said next to her, to which she immediately looked at the recipient.
A boy. Black hair and blue eyes. A bit taller than her and with his hands buried in his pant's pockets. A first year like she was.
“I heard they expelled someone last year for not showing up to class on time.” His eyes remained on the headmaster at the center, who was going into a spiel about prestige and honor of the institution. “Once. Kind of extreme, right?”
She nodded, looking back to the sight of the podium.
Hopefully none of the teachers attending the opening had seen how late she actually was. Would she get expelled for being late when her ark barely arrived to the city on time? In a place she didn’t know how to navigate? After all of the hard work she put herself through to be accepted into the academy? Would they do that? Her smile dropped and she swallowed her nerves. There were few things that could shake Miieie, that much the people back on Skilma knew, but if there was one thing it was not being allowed a chance to prove herself. She had only applied to this academy and had studied all winter to make sure she had everything down before she mailed the exam back to Rosenfel. What would they do if they just threw her out over a few minutes?
“...eheheh.” She muttered, nervously. “Yeah…”
It took a few more minutes before the old man was done at the podium and the whole affair was over. The students would start classes properly tomorrow morning and the rest of the day was made so first years could get acquainted with their dormmates and the campus grounds.
At the very least, nobody came up to her to tell her that she had to head right back to Skilma.
“Do you know what kind of embarrassment you have endeavored to slight me with?”
Well, no faculty member, anyway.
“Oh, hey Endra! You forgo–”
Her hand swiped the handle of her belongings.
“I would not have forgotten them had you not distracted me!” She exclaimed, “Hmph!”
As Endra stormed off the boy turned, almost surprised by the whole scene.
“That’s nobles for you. Won’t even say thank you.”
The boy’s remark made a lightbulb go on in Miieie’s head almost instantly. With the academy being a prestigious and important fixture in the kingdom it should’ve been no surprise that the huffy, melodramatic girl she had met on her way in was a noble. Truth be told, Miieie had never met any royals or nobles or aristocrats before. Her family were simple adventurers by trade, her childhood friend was from a farmer’s stock, and everyone else she knew on Skilma was some flavor of everyman. She had never met anyone who was from the noble family that ran Skilma. So it just never occurred to her how to ‘spot’ a noble or how to act around them.
“Oh, she’s just, y’know, it’s been a long trip.” Miieie said, hoping to ignore the man’s disenchantment toward the nobility. “Everybody’s a little cranky.”
“Trust me. It’s not going to be much better.”
The green-haired girl shrugged, “So, I guess I’ll be seeing you… uh…”
“Ah! I’m Miieie!”
“Cool. I’ll see you around, Miieie.”
As the two split up, the girl looked at her map once more, looking to see exactly where the dormitories were.
Her bedroom back home was small and cramped, on account of her grandfather’s farm also being small and cramped. Part of it was why she spent time outside with Aric rather than isolating herself in her room. Rooming up with somebody else was certainly going to be a different experience. She wondered how big the rooms exactly were? The academy was the greatest and bestest school in the entire kingdom, so they had to be pretty big. Her imagination went wild thinking about it as she walked the pathway northward, toward the dorms themselves.
When she finally got to her room, she was surprised at what exactly she found.