Chapter 13:

The Armory

Y: The Tides Are In Our Hearts


“Well, look who decided to show up.”

Instructor Lamia smirked as she stood in the middle of the armory, arms crossed as she leaned back against a wall as Miieie and Endra entered the room, the last of Class 1-1 to do so.

While Miieie didn’t think much of their arrival, Endra on the other hand was… nervous. The idea that she would get caught with the crumpled piece of paper in her pockets was something that Miieie figured would’ve been embarrassing. Would Instructor Lamia punish them for snooping? It was a thought Miieie considered as Endra struggled to get a word out to explain what took them so long to join the rest of the class.

Not waiting for her cue, Miieie wrapped her arm around her roommate with a big mischievous smile on her face. “Yeah, well, we had to use the little girl’s room. Sorry.”

Endra’s eyes widened at the lie, but looked immediately back to the teacher with her own smile, nervous as it was.

“Y-yes, that’s where we were! I’m so sorry for inconveniencing everyone.”

The older woman raised a brow, “Is that it? Alright.”

As the two ushered into the crowd of students, the noble gave her ‘class rep’ a look of discomfort–and an elbow. Miieie giggled as she jumped to attention, her eyes looking at the room in greater detail as Instructor Lamia uncrossed her arms and moved to the front of the room.

The armory was a large room on the first floor of the academy’s main building, connected to a larger vault of weapons and items needed for instruction in weapon arts. If Miieie had to guess with her eyes the room could fit at least forty students shoulder to shoulder and that was without accounting for the assortment of display cases, tables, and cabinets that littered the room. The most eye-catching thing the green-haired girl could notice was a katana with a silver-edged obsidian blade. It looked too important to be a practice weapon.

In fact, now that she looked around the room she saw a few weapons that were too nice to be weapons intended for practice.

“Okay. Like I was saying…” Instructor Lamia uttered as she grabbed the hilt of the silver-edged sword and held it out.

“Every weapon in this room was created by a master weaponsmith. I’ve been using this sword in the field since I graduated sixteen years ago. You’ll be the same with whatever you pick.”

“So cool…” Miieie muttered under her breath.

“However, weapons are not the end-be-all of a guardian’s kit.” The instructor started before she pointed to one of the students in the crowd. “Alurane. What defines a guardian’s kit?”

A purple-haired girl a head taller than Miieie perked up.

“The most important components are… a weapon, a caster equipped with anima, and a badge.”

Miieie supposed questions from a teacher, even if it was the first day of class, was normal. This was all basic stuff. Guardians, the role people trained for three long years at an academy like Minerva’s, had to be equipped with a weapon and a caster. A caster. Miieie had never seen one outside of a few simple illustrations in textbooks, but she had always been excited to have one of her very own.

“That’s correct.”

Lamia’s eyes moved and landed on another student.

“...Kalo.”

The black-haired boy sighed as he stepped forward. “...yeah, what?”

“What is a caster?”

Miieie looked over to the boy she had seen at the opening ceremony. It was a simple answer. Caster’s were magical devices powered by anima, a processed mineral native to the world they lived in. When used with a weapon…

“A device that when used with or without a weapon can create magical reactions.” He looked at the teacher with an expressionless face. “Like the trigger on your sword.”

Miieie looked back at Lamia’s weapon, and just like Kalo had said she saw it now. A device conjoined with her sword’s hilt with a slot and trigger. It was so subtle on her weapon that she didn’t notice it at first!

“Heh. Good catch.”

The instructor’s fingers pressed against the trigger on the right side of the sword and the device emitted a purple hue as lightning wrapped around the blade in an instant. The sound of the device channeling magical energy was as apparent as the sparkle of the electrical current in the blade.

“Iris!” She shouted, “When were casters invented, and by who?”

The blue-haired girl yawned, “A hundred years ago. Coterie Kassis.”

“Yep. Before the Kassis Dynasty figured it out, our ways of tapping into magical energy was a lot more archaic.”

The instructor’s hand fell from the trigger and the weapon went silent.

“With that little history lesson out of the way, I want you guys to turn around. If you got weapons, find ‘em. For those who don’t, I want you to figure out what you want. At the end of the week I’ll start our first real training exercise, so I want you guys to be familiar with your weapon.”

Miieie turned around as the other students around her moved across the weapon displays. People like Endra immediately sniffed out their weapons and normally Miieie would’ve been enthusiastic about the all sorts of weapons they had brought to school… but that was also in a world where Miieie had already figured out what they were good with.

Her lack of weapon experience made her feel out of place, as it had in the classroom when Instructor Lamia announced they were getting their weapons, at least a little bit. Her tongue wrapped around one of her canines as she wondered about the options. She had no idea how to swing a sword. She could barely swing a stick around and make it look cool. She had never touched a bow, let alone a gun. What did that leave her with? The only thing she was good at fighting with was…

That’s when it hit her.

She knew exactly what to pick.

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