Chapter 8:

Chapter 7. New Friend?

Another Story [Hiatus]

Mia and I finally found the section room within the winding halls of the school. Walking around the halls made me realize how big the structure really is. To think that I am a student here is a feat I would recognize as an achievement. I am in great astonishment to even think that I would even score this high among the other one-hundred-sixty people that took the exams.Bookmark here

I do indeed have some cheat within my sleeves though, some of the questions involved mathematics and topics I have studied not only countlessly with May, but also taught to me in my previous life. I haven't told anyone about this yet, not even May. It is not that they wouldn't understand me, but it is to save myself from being depressed. I do not want to wander off into the past and talk about it as if it is some sad story from a book or something. I want to start a new life independently from all of that. I know it can be a little bit cheating to use the knowledge, but I guess I am just using the cards I was presented with.Bookmark here

[1-3] Bookmark here

It says on the wall, Mia looks at me as if we have found some treasure after a long, tiring, and exhausting journey. Bookmark here

"Here we are! It didn't take that long after all," she says with her enthusiastic smile and over-the-top energy. To which I still can't comprehend after all. How does one have so much energy in such a small body? I long let go of her hand saving me the explanation if I ever stumble into May or someone else during our search. The warmth of her hand is unforgettable though, I kind of wish to hold it once again.Bookmark here

"It did though, we've been out there looking for our section room for about thirty ticks. Any ticks later, we would be late," I answer, trying to stay cool.Bookmark here

We enter the classroom and I am embracing the space as I enter, thinking that this would be the space where I would spend about ninety percent of my time. The room is of considerable size, high-ceilinged, and has the same color scheme as the hallways and previous rooms. I see students I haven't noticed earlier during the examination and a few that seem to be familiar. All in all, we are about sixteen students in section three.Bookmark here

Everyone seems to be silently sitting waiting for the maestro as they should be arriving anytime sooner. Mia appears to have chosen a spot for both of us, unfortunately. I just give in and sit. Bookmark here

Each table has a seat for two students. The tables are then therefore slightly bigger than the tables we had in the examination room. In the section room, there are precisely 8 tables. But when I try to inspect the other tables, one seat seems to be empty.Bookmark here

So, we are fifteen students.Bookmark here

Not going to lie, Mia is beautiful. I am a bit happy that we sit together, but I want to retain a low presence at the moment, to make good first impressions to my fellow students. The other students' gaze starts streaming towards us as we sit down in a manner of familiarity, kind of as if we have sat down next to each other for about a thousand times or so.Bookmark here

I am slightly embarrassed with all these fixed gazes towards me but to my relief, the long-awaited maestro comes in. Blonde hair, medium tall, feminine figure, and her face. Her familiar face. I sit there silent for a minute and with a feeling of shock. I try to comprehend that the maestro of my section is Haila. Her familiar face, indeed. To think that my ninety percent will be spent on being with Haila, I sigh in relief. Thank God.Bookmark here

As Haila enters the classroom, everyone's gaze seems to be fixed on her instead, while she finds her spot in front of the section room. When she finally finds her spot, to my surprise, everyone suddenly stands up. As if reading the proper norms and etiquettes of the kingdom, I quickly stand up as well. Bookmark here

"Good afternoon ma'am!" Said all the other boys and girls from my section in a clear and loud voice. Bookmark here

Taken aback again, I try to squeeze in my little: "good afternoon ma'am." As well. To which doesn't fit at all. Mia looks at me and giggles at my failure. I lose a bit of confidence because of that.Bookmark here

"Good afternoon everyone, please sit down." Haila finally speaks, everyone obeys with alacrity. Haila’s gaze goes from right to left inspecting each and every one of her students. She is probably thinking that she would spend her own ninety percent with us. Disappointment? Pride? I don't know how she feels, but as soon as she catches my presence somewhere in the back sitting beside Mia, she smiles.Bookmark here

"Okay, firstly, I would want to congratulate each and every one of you by making it this high in the rankings. For those who do not know, sections are divided from one to ten, one being the highest and ten being the lowest scoring. Each section has four students of each division. So, each class has sixteen students although I see that we are missing one of them," Haila informs and points at an empty seat a few tables away from Mia and me.Bookmark here

"I would like to inform all of you about our curriculum as not everyone does not necessarily know it right away." Haila continues: "First of all, this classroom is only used every three days, except for the last two days of the week," she informs. Well, my ninety percent dropped to a measly ten percent. "During those meeting days, I would want every one of you to report your studies as the curriculum encourages everyone to perform self-study. I do not possess the power to teach all four strands of Gaia as I, just like you, can only control one. However, I do act as your form-maestro. If you have questions or need help, I am responsible for giving you your proper materials."Bookmark here

After a short pause to let everyone sink in the information, she just said: "As some of you already know, all of you are appointed a division house in which your division mates and you will live together for the remainder of the school year." Bookmark here

This bit of information shocks me. My energy would all be depleted at all times if I live with Mia. My ninety percent allocated living with her. I begin to cry inside. Bookmark here

"The next year though, your performance will be judged again through an end of year competition amongst other sections. Your performance in this and the missions you have completed during your year will determine your next section." Haila adds. This last bit of information gave me a goal and my inner tears seem to stop from flowing.Bookmark here

"But before I disperse all of you to your division house, I would want all of you to make a small introduction of yourself!" She says enthusiastically which sparkles the eyes of Mia. Bookmark here

Some moments pass, and one-by-one, few students start introducing themselves.Bookmark here

"Hello, I am Ono Hystiana, sixteen years of age. I come from Dirya and my family line has been luthiers for all they could remember. I am happy to be a Kraeka, just like my other family members. Nice to meet you all!" Ono introduces himself very politely. He is a very frail boy who seems to be wealthy. Despite everything, he wears glasses, has black hair, dark brown eyes, and a very round face. A face that seems to be cute and delicate, in fact. Bookmark here

Another student starts introducing herself: "Hello everyone, I am called Liliana from the family Nolan. Sixteen years of age and am a very proud Indixus manipulator, just like my family for many generations. Glad to be of your assistance," she says in a regal manner, ending with a bow. Unlike Ono, Liliana is far from frail, her body seems to be very stern and possess a natural authoritative power. Just hearing her speak gives goosebumps through my spine. She finally sits down back to her seat. My heart sinks a little from the tense aura.Bookmark here

Lastly, I am called to introduce myself. I am very nervous but then Mia starts to look at me with a very supportive face, and in my embarrassment, she raises two thumbs up on top of that. I slowly make my way to the center of the classroom where Liliana stood, just right in front of the desk where Haila seems to have some papers lying and some pens neatly in a small pouch. Bookmark here

"U-uhm. . . Good afternoon everyone" I say, not a good start, "My name is Aura from Orma" I continue, the gasps of people realizing I am not of nobility become apparent. It must be rare for someone like me to be here. "I am sixteen years of age and-" I try ending it here.Bookmark here

The gasp of people interrupts my introduction. Bookmark here

"Sixteen years! From Orma?" I hear someone say.Bookmark here

"How did someone like you come in?" Asks Liliana in her authoritative voice finally, sitting in front next to another Indixus manipulator. They seem to be friends. Her voice pulls the hairs on my neck again into goosebumps.Bookmark here

"Huh?" I say, not knowing what she meant.Bookmark here

"Well, well students let me explain. I will also explain to you too, Aura." Haila broke through the shock trying to resolve it. "Well, Aura. Peasants often wait a year for admission as students of nobility get priority when the admission starts. Furthermore, since we only accept one-hundred-sixty people per year, we do not guarantee the peasants that waited and come for the queue are given admission. There have been cases where peasants waited for three to four years even!" She explains to me, while the nodding heads of my section mates agree with her. She then reverts her head towards the others and starts explaining my background: "Aura is a special case as he is the adoptive son of a fellow maestro of mine, May Tiyana." The faces of shock have been drawn back again to everyone, so have I. The shock was not because Haila mentioned me to be a special case but because she mentioned the name of May. I am shocked myself because this is the first time I have heard her last name, or to be more precise, the first time I have heard she actually has one. For all I know, we have been living in Orma ever since she found me in a neighboring forest.Bookmark here

May's mysterious background begins to itch in my head. I try to scratch all the information, but I just seem to not get hold of it all. What is she hiding from me? Why is she prevaricating so much? Furthermore, how did she know that I was a Yttrancian manipulator, for Baer Kur is a Yttrancian spell? I have to get to the bottom of this.Bookmark here

After the situation has subsided, I am called back into my seat and Haila back at the center. Mia seems to retain her demure despite all the commotion earlier. Bookmark here

"Well, we have been here for some time now," Haila says. Bookmark here

No, we haven't even been here for 60 ticks. Bookmark here

"That's all we have for today then. Lastly, though, you are expected to make food yourself or buy from outside. We give students a stipend for your expenses here at school and of course, food. The stipend comes from the pay of your missions and club activities,” she said in her informative and enthusiastic manner. "Well then, what are you guys waiting for? Go to your division houses and make yourselves comfortable. I'll see you back in three days in this classroom. Don't hesitate to come to my office, though, located at the teachers' lounge if any of you have questions." Her final words mark the ending of our session. Bookmark here

Mia is waiting for me to take my leave as I am slow to pick my things up, she wants to walk with me to the division house. I kind of want to grow used to her, so I accepted up on her offer. Well, I can't promise but I hope we do make good friends. Bookmark here

I can't wait to see what my room would look like in the division house!Bookmark here

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