Emanuella didn’t know what was louder – the roar of the zary’andu in her mind or the ringing in her ears.
Ker Torvan had just inspected her.
All week, he had tormented her, tailing her, searching for some instance of inadequacy. Having found none, not even in her swordplay, had especially infuriated him. She had wondered – was it that she was female, or that she appeared to be Kin'keska?
Today, in fall-in, she had stood rigid, waiting for him to move on.
Instead, he finally found a slack curl, too short to plait, hanging loose, and, with a bracered fist, belted her across the face.
Tasting blood on the inside of her mouth, Emanuella still endeavored to stand straight immediately, hating the tear that threatened to trickle from her eye. Or was that blood as well? She stood as if he had not even passed her.
Satisfied, Ker Torvan moved on. Emanuella, not daring to move, explored her teeth with her tongue, hoping they were all still in place. She found them still in place but a cut on her tongue and inner cheek, tasting of salt.
Today was Fifthday. She was supposed to meet Ander and Fiorra and all her other comrades tomorrow at the Sword and Stag., but as black as her eye was like to turn, there was no way she could make it now. She couldn’t – wouldn’t – allow Dar to go hunting Ker Torvan after all. She would have to send her excuses.
She flopped on her thin mattress gratefully, her books sliding from her arms to the worn wooden planks beneath her from sheer exhaustion. She knew she took a harder thrashing in her Weaponry class just for the sake of being female, and her classmates – or were they adversaries – had more strength than she – and for the sake that beating up on the Kin’keska whore seemed to curry favor with the Armsmaster. The bruises she felt purpling her skin already far outclassed anything she’d ever received at Dar or Gabriella’s hands in practice. Wistfully, she thought of her comrades – she had to admit she felt naked without them. If Dar had seen how she had been treated today, he would have used a real sword on them, that huge broadsword. But and she screwed her eyes shut, he never would find out, for she would never tell him. She heaved a sigh and rolled over, wincing as the motion brought pain both to her bruised ribs and a fresh lump on her head. Emanuella hoped her comrades had fared better than she in her classes.
Some time later, Emanuella awoke. Amused at the thought of having fallen asleep, she saw through the shutters of her window that it was nearly curfew. Frustration furrowed her brow. If tonight was going to be anything like last night, then it was going to be cold and the shutters that covered her window were badly in need of repair. And it was too late for Ander to join her here and help her with the lacking comforts of home. Her eye fell on her books. Kyor’Rashni Essentials Cycle Two had proven interesting if a bit more stale than Gabriella’s lessons. Also, her k’yor classmates had been far more accepting of her supposed Kin’keska status. Emmanuella reached out and picked up her book.
She found, after flipping through it, that much of it she was familiar with already. She admitted she did not have a firm grasp on some of it but charms and spells in the fourth chapter such as Palm of Light she knew easily whereas basic levitation spells in the first chapter she had never tried nor heard of. Certainly Gabriella spent the bulk of her time with Ander and undoubtedly he knew all of this, she mused as she let dusty pages flutter through her fingers.
Then a phrase caught her eye. Emanuella flipped back until she found it.
Dampening Spells are contrary to Enhancement, Augmentation, Intensity Spells and the Like, and are Generally used for reduction purposes, noise, calming effects, decreasing in size and intensity. Proper care should be employed when applying to life forms.
Emanuella looked up thoughtfully. That dreadful bell… if she could Dampen it, then repair her shutters, she would have the perfect room. They probably thought they’d given her the worst of all rooms available, but on the contrary… it was as far away as she could get from everyone, and none of them wanted to be seen with her, much less hike all the way up these stairs. She frowned at the spell, wondering how hard it was.