Training Camps and Rumors
This was just his luck. Just when he finally thought he'd get a vacation from babysitting the ill tempted, psychotic magician, his vacation was cut short by the recent turn of events.
"Of all the things to do..."
And now he has to return back to his babysitting duties but this time in a school.
"What on earth made you decide to pick a fight with one of the school's professors?!" Van, an Association magician like Shicmuon and commonly known as [Lanoste's Dog], shouted. "Did you forget what you came here to do in the first place?!"
Unfortunately for him, his conversation partner was paying no attention to him and ignored the older man's scolding.
"Don't ignore me!"
This was why Van didn't want to come here.
"You and your temper..."
Van rubs his head in annoyance.
"I don't know what's going on inside your head, and I don't want to know but don't forget the reason why you're here..." Van reminded his partner. "... Shic."
And as usual, the strong yet crazy magician ignored him or at least gave him the silent treatment.
"Listen to me, you ****!" Van shouted irritated by Shicmuon's rude attitude towards him. "Need I remind you that you're here undercover as a student to investigate the incident from Ishuella..."
"And being undercover means to avoid any unnecessary attention that will hinder your mission as well as maintaining a normal student facade to ensure that no one becomes suspicious of you..."
"Yet what is this I'm hearing about you chasing after some kid."
"Going as far as to worm your way into his classroom and to force him into the same room as you..."
"What were you thinking?!"
While Van reprimands him, Shicmuon tuned out the old man's voice in favor of someone else. He wondered where Rood went. If Van hadn't stopped him, he would have found Rood by now, but instead he had to listen Van's constant nagging.
If it had been someone else, Shicmuon would have charred the poor sap, but this was Van, the only man capable of coming out unscathed from Shicmuon's attacks. His high level of defense allows him to withstand pretty much any attack. For instance, if a small boulder were to hit him the head, at most he would get would be a swollen bump. It's for this reason that Shicmuon doesn't barbecue the man like he would most people that irk him since it would be pointless. Another reason would be that he does some form of respect for the man since he's the closest person to Shicmuon aside from Lanoste although Shicmuon isn't fond of either one. Nonetheless, he treats Van better than he would most people with the exception of the Black Magician who was his prey.
Shicmuon didn't have time for this. He had to hunt (not find since this is Shicmuon) for Rood. The question was where. After Rood ran away from Linus, Shicmuon tried to go after him, but he couldn't when Van showed up the next moment with Professor Kan who restrained Professor Rowell from chasing after Rood like Linus. Because of that, he had lost Rood.
"Are you even listening to me?!" Van noticed that Shicmuon wasn't batting an eyelash since he began talking.
If he couldn't find Rood, it didn't matter. As long as he's in this school, he can't run from him.
"Can you at least have the decency to pay attention to people when they're talking to you?!"
A small grin forms on Shicmuon's face knowing that no matter where his prey will run he can't escape from his grasp.
He's smiling? Van was a bit dumbfounded to see something remotely similar to a smile even if it was a smirk on Shicmuon's face. The man always had on a poker face 24/7 except when it comes to matters related to the Black Magician. Somehow, I've got a bad feeling about this...
Something tells Van that this probably had something to do with the kid Shicmuon is stalking now. He's starting to feel even more sorry for the kid. He didn't know what Rood did to make Shicmuon so interested in him, but he pitied the kid from the bottom of his heart.
This is why I didn't want to come here...
Letting out a breath of relief. It took some time, but Rood finally managed to lose Professor Rowell.
I didn't think I'd run into Professor Rowell like that.
Honestly, he didn't expect to meet the cerulean haired woman on his way to class. Luckily in the middle of the pursuit, a professor happened to pass by and questioned Professor Rowell for her intentions on chasing after an innocent student. Rood made use of the gold opportunity at hand and escaped the scene as the professor was interrogating Professor Rowell for terrorizing a student. Professor Rowell wasn't happy with Rood getting away, but there was little she could have done with the professor preventing her from going after the boy.
For now, I got some time. I can't afford to waste anymore...
Rood's first priority was returning back to class although thanks to Professor Rowell he probably missed one or two more classes because of the woman. Who knows where the rest of his class were? His best bet was returning back to their original classroom and hope to find them there.
Dread starts to fill Rood's body as he hoped that the person calling his name wasn't who he thought it was.
"Where were you? You missed out on class again!"
An arm wrapped its way around Rood's neck.
Rood was relieved to know that it wasn't Linus but rather Dio. He never felt happier to see the dark blue haired Idun.
"You sure missed out big this time. We got to try out the swimming pool and play around. It was so much fun!"
That was probably the first time Dio liked a class and was wide awake the entire time (not including that cooking lesson).
"Swimming?" This piqued Rood's interest. He never would have imagined that there would be swimming classes in Helios but then again they just had a cooking class so it's not that out of it. I guess it was a good thing I missed out. Lidusis would be worried if he saw my arm.
Rood remembered that he received an injury from the Black Thing awhile ago. Although it's only a graze, Lidusis would be worried at the sight of the wound.
"Yeah, it was way better than those boring lessons! Why couldn't the professors make all classes like that?" Dio childishly whined.
Rood just quietly listens to his friend's complaint.
"Oh yeah, Rood." Dio spoke to Rood in a serious tone. "I've been meaning to ask you something."
Rood was a bit surprised by the seriousness of Dio's tone. Did he notice something already? Was it his fight with the Black Thing? No, if it was that, then he would have said something beforehand. Or maybe it was after he ran from Linus. Did something happen while he was gone? Was it related to Lidusis? Did something happen to Lidusis?
The thought of disaster striking Lidusis made him break out in a cold sweat.
"You... You seem a bit different than usual."
"Is that so? Must be your imagination." Rood politely denied.
"No, I know something is different."
It couldn't be he figured it out?
"It's been on my mind for some time, but I just couldn't say it for sure."
Rood had to give Dio credit. He was sharper than he thought.
"Smell even worse than before..." Dio pointed out pinching his nose.
. . .
Feeling refreshed, Rood proceeds back to class.
"You know there's a strange rumor going on." Dio who now had a rather large bump on his noggin informed his friend.
Rumor? Rood was never one to listen to mindless chatter so he hardly knew what people were gossiping over.
It's probably something stupid again...
"Lord Nuadly pulled off a miracle in his practical lesson and obliterated a mana enforced stone wall. His classmates even testified it."
Ghuck! Rood almost choked at the mention of Lapis and his class. This could not be good.
"But still, I never heard of something like that. Not even the Hereis could do something like that. A professor, yes. But a student? This is a first."
"You don't say..." Rood quietly says while slightly avoiding eye contact with Dio who was walking beside Rood like normal.
"Another thing I heard was that he had some help from another Idun he brought to class with him."
Word sure does spread fast.
"Some of them didn't recognize the kid Lord Nuadly brought with him and thought he kidnapped a kid. They were also talking about how he was turning into a pedophile for kidnapping such a young child. Must of been a little kid, but I didn't think we'd have such a young student here."
"There's the princess."
Dio's body instant freezes at the mention of the princess.
Since this was the dense Dio, Rood didn't have to worry about him finding out that it was him who helped Lapis although he was the one who performed the spell in Lapis's place and the mistake of put in too much mana in the spell.
"Rumor has it that whoever is taught by the kid Lord Nuadly found will be able to pull off super high level magic like Lord Nuadly!"
From Rood's perspective, it didn't look like Dio knew it was him.
"You think I'd be able to pass my lessons with him."
Yep, there was no doubt in Rood's mind. Dio had no clue.
"Just a reminder, make sure to have groups ready by the end of this week, because we'll be holding a training camp soon for practical lessons." Orphell instructed his class. "For those of you who are unaware, there is a limit to things you students can learn inside Helios so the school devises special lessons and outdoor study trips like the one coming up soon. I assure you although their main purpose is to further your studies as a student Helios does everything it can to ensure a most enjoyable fun filled trip for you too. So do not feel too distressed over it. The training camp is to provide you both a fun and studious environment."
Whispers and murmurs fill the classroom.
A training camp. This was a first. They didn't think they'd be going somewhere after that incident in Ishuella. This had them a bit uneasy. What if something like with Professor Heil happened again? They didn't want to end up in some far off land filled with demons. And with all the weird things going on in Helios, it wouldn't be surprising if something did happen again even with all the new professors around.
"Can you be sure of it?" Iel spoke up with her usual unwavering resolve. "Can you professors and the school administration guarantee the safety of the students despite all that's happened? Can you guarantee something like what happened with Professor Heil won't happen again? If you can't, then is this training camp really needed?"
Orphell wasn't surprised by Iel's words as he knew that there would be unrest in the students due to the recent events. It was only natural for them to feel that way.
"That's right, professor! Is it safe?" Another student said out loud.
The students start to whisper amongst themselves.
"I don't want to go if something happened." A student whispered to her neighbor.
"I wouldn't mind going if the Black Magician is there."
"Will we really be safe?"
Seeing his students concerned about the matter, Orphell had to maintain order before things got worse.
"Please calm down. I understand your concerns."
The whispers died out as Orphell spoke.
"With all that has occurred lately, I do not blame you for feeling so. Although the main purpose of this trip is to clear away the terrible memories that have happened so far, if any of you do not wish to go, then you do not have to go. Attendance is only voluntary. The decision to go relies solely on yourself."
Listening to their professor, the students' worries start to dissipate as they feel secure by Orphell's presence.
"The training camp will take place at Xatyre, an area well known for its wildlife and plants. You'll find rare and exotic animals living as well as all kinds of plants there. They will be the main focus of your studies. You'll be learning about various animals and how to handle them. Helios has made reservations at an inn for you students to reside in. Is there any questions?"
"Xatyre!" A student shouted out. "Are you serious?"
"I am completely serious. The training camp will be held at Xatyre." Orphell assured his student.
"Isn't that place really famous for its natural beauty?"
"And aren't there natural hot springs that are really good for your skin?" A female student asked her friend.
"I want to see the animals!"
"I heard the botanical garden there is gorgeous!"
"It's also a famous dating spot too!"
The previous tense atmosphere in the classroom was completely gone replaced by cheerfulness and merry making.
"You may also use the time to bond with your group or form groups if you haven't done so." Orphell added.
Bond with group members!
This caught Iel's attention.
If that's the case, then she wouldn't mind going if it meant deepening her bonds with her group members. The only issue was that it still has been made clear on whether Iel is part of the same group as Rood, Dio, and Lidusis. Lidusis didn't mind. Iel doubts Dio would complain. The problems lies with Rood. He said he'd think about it when Iel offered to join them and he has yet to give her a reply. This could be the perfect opportunity to hear Rood's answer.
Training camp... Rood didn't like the idea of leaving Lidusis alone. If the gray haired Idun didn't want to go, then he wouldn't either. And if he does want to go, then he'll join him. He couldn't leave Lidusis alone as long as that Black Thing was out for him. He had the duty of protecting him.
But the training camp does seem like a good idea. If Lidusis went, he could have fun there and easily socialize with his classmates. Plus, like Professor Orphell said, it would be a good opportunity to wash away those bad memories. With all that's happened, Rood wouldn't find it strange if Lidusis was traumatized by the recent incidents. This might prove to be a useful experience. Some fresh air is good for the body.
Fun... Lidusis hardly ever went to such places with companions before.
The idea made Lidusis a bit nervous. This was his first time going out to a place with his friends. He was a bit excited thinking about what to do with Rood and Dio there.
A female student raises her hand.
"Professor, is this trip exclusively for the Idun?" A female student asks while blushing when she glanced over her shoulder to see Shicmuon. "W-Will Baldwin be joining too?"
A majority of the girls with the exception of Iel, Lin, and Carmille wanted to know the answer to that very question too. Despite his rough attitude, Shicmuon's charming looks captivated nearly every girl that saw him.
"No, Baldwin will remain at Helios. During the training camp, he'll be taking classes with the rest of the Hereis. This training camp is mainly for you Idun so Baldwin will be staying behind."
He'll be staying behind? Shicmuon didn't like this.
Shicmuon will be staying behind... That settled it. Rood is definitely going on that training camp. At last, he'll finally be free from that crazy man.
However Rood's happiness was interrupted when he heard something next to him.
"You're staying." Shicmuon stated to his prey. "If I'm not going, then neither are you."
Like I care, as if I'm going to pass up this chance.
"I have one more announcement to make." Orphell disclosed to his students.
What else could there be?
The students' question was soon answered in a few moments when they saw someone unexpected.
"Hello~" Linus waved to his soon to be classmates.
What was this?
The students were dumbstruck at the sight of Linus, a Hereis, in their classroom.
"Starting today, Linus En Grium will be part of our class. Like Baldwin, he will be taking classes with you but exempt from several classes. Seeing as how Baldwin is smoothly fitting in, it shouldn't be a problem if another Hereis joined. Do try to deepen your bonds with him and feel free to interact with him outside of classes." Orphell started off. "Your seat will be..."
Before Orphell could finish, Linus's legs guided him towards the one place he wanted to sit. He refused sit anywhere else.
Each step the Hereis took sent a wave of unease towards Rood.
And then when Linus came to a complete stop, his first action was to hug the object of his desires.
"Here!" Linus said while clinging onto Rood who was uncomfortable being in the man's arms.