Chapter 36:

Chapter 35 - The Next Day

OmniGrim: Reincarnation with an Omniscient Grimoire

The next day most everyone was about to learn that whatever plans they had for the trimester were about to get shattered.

We woke up to another announcement, ordering the student body to gather in the courtyard, where yesterday’s ceremony was held.

We took place on the already all-too familiar benches. I was seated between Aurelia and Raynard. I took a look around the room, trying to read the atmosphere. In general, everyone was a lot less cheerful than they were the day before. Be it due to the announcement, or due to staying up too late to party.

Most notably the school staff appeared visibly disheveled. Principal Featherhead was fairly composed. Though I might simply not be able to properly interpret their facial expression due to being covered in feathers.

In a corner close to where the teachers were seated, I spotted Shelly to my surprise.

“Look, it’s Shelly,” I whispered towards the other two.

They both took a cautious look in her direction. It’s been a while since I’ve last seen her. However ...

„Her being here can’t be good,” Aurelia deduced.

„Let’s hope this will be the last of any announcements,” Raynard said.

„Attention students,” the principal called out to us. If they didn’t look worn out, then they sure sounded like it, a sigh accompanying their call. „Rumors most likely have made their way throughout the academy overnight, and I am here to ... confirm them.”

It was clear as day, that the principal had a rough night. They spoke of the rumors as if they could only assume what they were about, but the prospect of their confirmation made clear that they knew what the talk of the night had been.

„Unfortunately, it is true, that one of our student body passed away yesterday. Sixth grade’s Nada Zena died as the result of an unknown attack. We will hold a memorial service as soon as possible. Of course, class attendance shall be voluntary for the week. However, we have agreed with the police that it is best to keep the details under utmost discretion. And to ensure the safety of the student body ...”

The principal resolutely spoke over the gasps, sobs, and various other kinds of reactions as they explained everything. As their speech trailed off however, they made way for Shelly to speak in front of us.

„Hello, my name is Shelly Farnsworth and some of you may already know me as chief officer of Ataraxia police.” She paused for a second, her gaze trailing above everyone’s heads. „I guess it’ll be best if I just cut to the chase,” she then continued. „As of now the school will be under lockdown, as well as twenty-four-seven surveillance for an indefinite amount of time.”

Disgruntled murmurs made their way through the courtyard. I tried to catch snippets of conversation to read the general mood. After all, I wasn’t quite sure yet whether what happened was par for the course and thus how to react. I didn’t want to stand out due to an inappropriate reaction.

„For the time being you are not allowed to leave school grounds, nor will visitors be allowed. We will also enforce a curfew, the details of which are yet to be determined. Until a decision has been made you will not be allowed to leave your rooms unless you have a good reason to do so. Stay vigilant and be aware, that you may be questioned by my subordinates at any given time, while we conduct our investigation.”

The chatter has turned increasingly more negative.

„Well sounds like a great first school year,” I joked to Raynard.

„Can’t do much about it, can we?” He shrugged.

In that moment I noticed movement behind me.

Aurelia had stood up from the bench.

„Objection!” she exclaimed.

Shelly, who had taken a few steps back by now, sported a visible frown on her face.

„These restrictions are harsh and unjustified. I believe it is not the first time an incident like this happened at our school, yet there never was a need to put everyone on lockdown and under surveillance on top of that. I refuse to let this spontaneous, ill-considered decision-making dictate our school life. We’re supposed to let ourselves be put through at-will interrogations by your subordinates? I trust you, Shelly, but that doesn’t mean I trust anyone working under you.”

The room had turned awfully quiet, everyone’s eyes directed at the princess. I took a cautious look at Shelly. Her frown had deepened, but still I couldn’t know what she had to be thinking at that moment. To be reprimanded by the princess of all ...

„And what do you hope to accomplish, Princess?” Alpheena, located at a different table, had now stood up as well, facing Aurelia. „You’re royalty, but here you are powerless. You can’t go against a decision made by the faculty and the police on top of that.”

I couldn’t see Alpheena’s face, from where I sat, but imagined her to look real smug, clapping back at the princess like that, after yesterday.

„Believe it or not, Alpheena, you and I, everyone in this room, have something called ‚rights‘.” I let out something like a small chuckle.

Ohh, this bickering will never get old.

„It’s true, that at this moment, the police are the highest instance at work here, but that doesn’t mean their power is absolute. You as student council president should know that, of all people. Your tenure allows you to address a petition to the higher instance, for example if you feel like a certain decision made by faculty has a negative impact on the student body, and if you manage to collect enough signatures of course.”

„Oh, and do you think I’ll make a petition like that?” Alpheena scoffed. „I think I made my stance very clear yesterday. And I know I’m not the only one ...”

„I know exactly what your stance is, you pitiful, racist ... anyway.” Despite talking loudly like she did, Aurelia was very good at maintaining her composure. Even if she almost slipped up, just now. „That’s why I intend to run for president this year,” Aurelia suddenly announced.

Next, she turned away from her adversary, to face the crowd: „Elections are at the end of the month. I hope I can count on your support to take back control over our school!”

With a subtle bow she again took her place on the bench, closing her eyes, and breathing what seemed to me a sigh of relief. She absolutely dominated that room.

When she opened her eyes, she shuddered and meekly asked: „What?”

Everyone at our table had their eyes glued to her.

I looked back at Raynard wide-eyed.

„Does that mean we’ll have to help her?”

Dave Mania