Another Story [Hiatus]
As I walk towards the hallway where the examination hall would be. I take a last glance at May and Haila as they are watching me walk off. They soon look at each other and seem to be talking about something. May then seems to look troubled as if she forgot something.
"Wait!" May yells, trying to catch my attention. I stop walking, seeing the urgency of the matter. "I forgot something. Your uniform!" She paces herself towards my position and hands me a small sack that doesn't weigh much, unlike the one I have on my back. "Change into these. Give me your sack for now. It is not allowed to enter without the school uniform in the examination hall." She points at the sack. I then give her my sack and giggle a bit. Her sudden clumsiness is funny. "Don't laugh, just go to the toilet and change already," she ordered finally. She then points towards the direction of the toilet.
I walk towards the toilet to change. Whilst changing into the uniform, I notice that my clothing is dusty and a little bit muddy. I didn't know that I am this dirty. But good thing I have the uniform now. The color scheme of the uniform is blue and white just like the coat of arms of the kingdom. The uniform is simple but yet elegant. It seems to be a vest, a shirt, matching pants, and black formal shoes to top it all off. I wonder what the girls' uniforms are like. It must be very cute.
When I am all changed and good to go, I feel a little bit uncomfortable to wear the uniform. It is my first time wearing a uniform in this lifetime. Although I think it is better to wear this than my dirty farmer's clothes. I do not know the proper etiquette nor how to present myself. I hope I won't embarrass myself in front of others. I pace myself back to the hallway from the toilet. Trying to lift my head up and filling myself with confidence, I walk with a fast pace towards the place May and Haila are. I suddenly bumped. Bumped into something that seems to be a person. We fall on the floor.
"Ouch!" a light voice shrieks, a voice from this person. A girl?
I realize that this person is a girl and that she is wearing the school uniform. My eyes are in awe. Inspecting the beautiful blue-white dress with a similar textile pattern as our shirt. The dress has buttons on the front, secured with a black leather belt with a golden buckle on the waist. The shoes have flat soles and the socks are white which seems to flow all the way up the knees.
The girl suddenly stands up, looking at me disgustedly. "What are your eyes goggling at!?" She says, feeling offended.
"Ah, I am so sorry!" I try to apologize as I stand up, this is when I notice her face. She has a fine face with grey-green eyes, pink lips that seems to be smacked with lipstick as well as a fine nose. Her hair that cascades all the way to her waist compliments her eyes as they are also of grey color. To my disappointment, she walks away angrily. I begin walking my way back to May and Haila as originally planned, as well as trying to forget what just happened.
As I arrive at the place where Haila and May are, I show them my uniform and hand May my old clothes. She offers to wash it for me, which I happily accepted. "What do you think?" I ask while looking at May.
"Well, it fits you!" Says Haila. She smiles. May seems to agree as well. "The examination is starting soon; you should go now! May and I have things to attend to as well. Just follow those students over there." She points at the direction of a hallway which seems to have a queue of students wearing the school uniform. "Good luck!"
"Thank you!" I say enthusiastically.
Once I arrive inside the examination hall, I am surprised at the size of it. I never have seen a room this big in this lifetime. All students are behaving in a proper manner. Everyone can just sit wherever they would want to sit. Each table is of decent size, the tables are then fashioned to be around four steps away from the next table. I decide to sit on a table that seems to be by the entrance and, which is to my surprise, still unoccupied.
A man that seems to be on his prime, around thirty years of age, enters the room. His hair is black and has a black suit with a blue-white tie in a vertical stripe pattern. The vibe he emits when he comes in, walking past me, is of authority. Everyone suddenly goes silent as they stare at the man that just came in. He begins to write his name as well as other information on the board which is on the front wall of the hall.
"My name is Laero Yggnis." He points at the board where his name is written. "I am the examiner for today." His voice is clear and loud as he introduces himself.
"You are expected to answer all of the questions of the exam within sixty ticks." He points at the board again, where he wrote the first point.
"You are also expected to be silent during the duration of the exam. I will cast an incantation that will make your voice silent during the sixty ticks." He points at the second point.
"Questions are not allowed. If you do not understand the question, then just skip it." He points at the third point.
"Results of the examination will be on the result board later this afternoon. Good luck. Time starts now." As he set a timer to sixty ticks. He then murmurs a slow but strong incantation which seems to be the incantation which he mentioned earlier. My throat starts to feel funny.
I try speaking, but my voice won't come out. A moment later, I realize that I should start with the exam which seems to magically just appear on the table. I probably didn't notice, but there might be a compartment under the table that stored the paper, a weird contraption.
The test seems to be simple, a few questions about the foundation of mana manipulation. The questions seem to be asking about knowledge about mathematics, linguistics, and basic chemistry. A question that caught my eye is: How does one manipulate mana flow? This question reminds me of the encounter with the potter earlier. I quickly answer this question with:
Every person has a certain mana flow that is attached to them, this can be one out of the four main strands of Gaia, the source of all mana. The four strands include Kraeka, the crafting strand. Indixus, the fighting strand. Yttrancia, the enchanting strand. lastly, Fiara, the healing strand.
A person who is compatible with one of the strands of Gaia can manipulate the mana surrounding the corresponding objects.
Kraeka strand is related to crafting, this strand can is connected to the inanimate objects, crafters are able to change the shape of the object as well as move the objects with relative ease than carrying it, an example of this is when Kraeka manipulators hurl rocks.
Indixus strand is the strand fighters use. This strand lets fighters increase their strength as well as harden their bodies to increase their defenses. An Indixus strand user can use the strand to make themselves be stronger than what they appear to be.
Yttrancia strand is knowledge, a strand deeply rooted with enchanters where they use this strand to manipulate the state of an object or being. They are able to inflict mental attacks as well as help allies with mental defenses. Furthermore, they are also able to add protection to objects, for example, a Yttrancia manipulator can make a rock momentarily unbreakable as long as the manipulator does not exhaust, Yttrancia manipulation requires a lot of stamina.
Finally, Fiara the healing strand is used by healers to heal animals and people of sickness or wounds. An application of this is when the Fiara strand is used to change the flow of blood as well as aid blood clots. . . .
I finished the test within the sixty ticks. I believe I did relatively well, the discussions I had with May did indeed pay off. May and I often discussed mana manipulation for the last month just for this exam. She has told me a lot about it and gave me crucial information about the foundations of Gaia, which seemed, fortunately, to appear on the exam.
After the tests are all given to Laero, everyone is able to talk again. People start to discuss the test briefly before Laero instructs us to move to the aptitude test.
"Alright, I have all of them; One-hundred-sixty of them to be exact. Now you should go to the next room over for your aptitude test. Maestro Haila should be waiting." The last bit of information gives me a sense of relief. I am now done with this intimidating examiner who literally and magically forces people to shut up.
I hurried over to the next room, afraid to be caught in the stampede of one-hundred-sixty people. I indeed see Haila waiting for us. She smiles when she catches the glimpse of me out of the whole crowd. She starts instructing everyone to take a badge of what seems to fit rightfully on the left chest area of our vest. Hexagonal shaped badge that appears to be clear white at the moment.
"Does everybody have a badge?" Haila asks everyone with a smile, the same smile that competes with May's. While the boys admire her smile and the girls look how lovely she is, she said: "Okay! The badge I handed you is our school badge. I know, I know. It is clear but I will teach you, how you, yourself, can see which division you are. It is quite simple and fast."
Everyone is ecstatic about which division they are. As if relieving all their stress from the examination, everyone seems to be in high mood. It looks like that almost everyone knows which division they are in; it appears to be hereditary. Students that appear to be nobles are proud to show off their knowledge as well as the division they believe they will get. I hear: "Ah, the Idnes family has been a line of successful Indixus manipulators. I will surely be one of them soon!"
"Alright, I will teach you how now," Haila said finally, she is trying to catch the attention of all the students. The students who seemed to be ecstatic at first, soon again regain their focus at Haila. She continued: "I want you all to close your eyes and concentrate on yourself. Concentrate on your breathing. After a while, you will see a string. A string of particular colors." Her voice is hypnotic, making one feel at ease. I soon close my eyes and try to breathe in a slow manner. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Doing this a few times, I catch a glimpse of a purple string. A beautiful string. "I want you all to concentrate and try to grab onto that string and don't let go," she says. Following her instructions, I try grabing hold onto the string which appears to be going further and further away from me. When I am finally able to, I grab onto the string and hold it close towards my chest.
A moment passes by.
And another moment passes.
Haila finally says: "Open your eyes, everyone got it!"
I look at the badge on my left chest area, where I put it, which seemed to be clear-white at the beginning. Now, the badge seems to be changing to a color of purple, the color of the string. I look around as if in shock to check whether everyone has gotten the same, but not exactly. Everyone has gotten different colors, four colors in fact. green, red, purple, and finally yellow.
"Everyone must have noticed that all of your badges changed into one of the four colors. These colors correspond to the four divisions from the strands of Gaia. Red being Indixus, Green being Kraeka, Yellow being Fiara, and finally, Purple being Yttrancia," Haila said with enthusiasm. I soon realize that I am a Yttrancia manipulator. I am very happy, but I have lots to learn about this. Yttrancia is a strand that involves knowing the surroundings. I do not call myself a very attentive person, although some might disagree.
Saying our thanks to Haila, I leave outside the hall as we are told to eat some lunch while waiting for the results. In the hallway, I see May who appears to be waiting for me, with my sack, as well as the dirty clothes that already are sparkling clean now. She invites me to go to lunch. I tell her what happened and she is very pleased. We go out for lunch at the market to celebrate and hope for the best of the results.