Chapter 17: Factions
Lunch was much like breakfast. I received several stares; but I was slowly getting use to them. I hid out in the separate room while Alivina brought me, chicken nuggets and a chocolate milkshake. After we finished eating, I was escorted to the Tunshaw Mountain.
I was instructed to carry the brown paper package to the lobby. I wanted to peek inside, but I wasn’t sure if I could. We headed over to another reception desk, the woman had lighting blue hair. Her eyes where completely white except for two cat slits. Around her eyes where golden scales when she smiled all her teeth where jagged and sharp.
“Hello, Ms. Chantelle” She showcased her sparkling white teeth.
“Hello.” I gave her a shy smile, at least she wasn’t like the grump from Maraberry.
“Well aren’t you the cutest.” She cooed; I noticed her red forked tongue. I handed her the brown package and she chuckled, “That’s for you sweetie.” She pushed it back towards me and then handed me a red and black gym bag, “This is also for you.”
“Go change.” Alvina instructed as she pointed towards a girl’s bathroom.
Once I was inside a changing stall, I opened the bag. Inside was a black legging with the school logo, medium red tank top, as well as red and black sneakers. I put it on the clothes they fit perfectly, who took my measurements? I admired myself in the mirror, if only I could take off the veil. I tied my hair up into a ponytail, before grinning at myself.
“What do you think, Nyra?” I asked.
“Tie up the tank top.” She responded, it was baggy and loose against my slender figure. I got my mom’s genes, so I didn’t need to exercise to look thin. I knotted the tank top at the hemline.
“Higher.” She commanded.
I felt uncomfortable but I did as I was told. She was satisfied when it was tied just a little above my stomach. I felt my flabby stomach sticking out, since everything was skintight.
I wanted to untie it, “Leave it.” Those two words stopped me from untying it.
When I exited the bathroom, I headed back over with my uniform now stuffed into the gym bag. Kai’s eyes widened as when he noticed me.
“Woah, girlie.” Zephyr’s eyebrows shot up.
I blushed and hid behind Alvina, who was grinning at me.
“Nyra, made me.” I whispered, not taking my eyes off the receptionist, “What do I do about the brown bag?” I asked, hoping to change the topic.
“That’s the Nox Knight uniform, you need to wear it for your combat two class, as well as your shifting and conditioning classes.” Kai responded still staring at me.
“Basically, anytime you are on the fifth floor.” Clementine clarified, she turned towards me with a pout.
“I’m going to go to class now.” I pointed to a staircase, not sure where it goes.
“I’ll walk you up there.” Kai offered.
I really didn’t want to say yes, but I didn’t say no either. I nodded and I waved at the rest of them. Zephyr raised and eyebrow while he did a mockery waved at us. Clementine time pouted and glared at me and Alvina batted her eyes.
“Are you ready for your training in magic.” Kai asked.
“Honestly.” I fiddled with my fingers, “I have wanted nothing more in my whole life to be a part of something bigger and grander. But now that it’s here, I don’t know. I feel like I am not prepared or qualified for it.”
Kai interlocked our finger and gave me a reassuring squeeze, “I think that you will do fine. You just need to believe in yourself.”
Blood rushed to my cheeks and I looked away from his hypnotic blue eyes. We continued up the stairs, with our hands interlocked. When we reached the top of the stairs we stopped.
“This is your level. You got this.” He whispered as he pulled me into a hug.
I reveled in it, it felt safe and warm. I closed my eyes, letting the sensation wash over me. He pulled me tighter towards his chest, and I hugged in back.
“We aren’t shipping her off to war.” A voice causing us to break apart.
I looked at the guy, his dark red hair slicked back. He peered at me with curiosity through orange red eyes. Why are all the students in this school not ugly? This is unfair.
“Alistair, I wasn’t aware you took this class.” Kai said coolly.
“Yeah well it’s not like I had a choice.” Alistair rolled his eyes before narrowing them, “You know the rules.”
“So, I’m not allowed to hug a recruit who admitted to feeling nervous.” Kai shot back.
“Hey!” I exclaimed; Alistair didn’t need to know my business.
“She is safe with us.” Alistair yanked on my arm to pull me away from Kai, “She doesn’t need some water faction looser.”
“Now, wait a minute.” I didn’t realize how separated the magic factions where. The Nox Knights never acted like this.
“Yeah well she doesn’t need a self-righteous prince teaching her anything.” Kai snarled. Glaring at the hand Alistair was holding onto my forearm with.
Before another heated word could be argued over. Oziel appeared at the door entrance, “Would you stop behaving like children? classes are starting.”
Kai grunted at her before walking away.
Alistair replaced his glare with a sly smirk, “Sorry you had to see that side of me.”
I yanked my hand away from his grip, “Uh huh.” He didn’t sound apologetic.
“Already causing problem, young one.” Oziel sighed, “Class, we have a new student.” She placed her claw like hand on my shoulder and turned me around, “Say hello.”
Unenthusiastic greeting echoed the room. The large room was pretty basic. There where matts on the floor, a teacher’s desk crammed into the side. As I surveyed the students, I was glad I still had the veil on my face. They all looked like rich supermodels; the air oozed with over pompous confidence. The girls looked so pretty as if they came straight out of a fashion shoot. The boys confirmed my suspicions. There wasn’t a single ugly or mildly unattractive student in the lot. It left me gaping at them like a fish.
“Well Miss. Chantelle, first thing is first. You need to choose a ring.” Oziel said as we walked over to her desk.
“I’m sorry.” Why on earth would I need a ring? I don’t need to get married or something equally weird, right?
She let out an exasperated sigh, “All new magic users use a ring. For fire it is placed on your ring finger, to help with the magic circulation.”
“It’s for babies.” Someone called out causing a chorus of giggles.
“Shush up, Jake.” Oziel snapped and the room once again fell silent.
She didn’t deny it, I guess it must be true. Humiliation stained my cheeks.
“So, we have three ring gems; citrine, ruby or topaz. Citrine.” She held up a simple yellow ring, “helps aid in imagination and personal will. Ruby,” She picked up a dark red and flashy ring, “Helps with passion, protection, and prosperity. But I think you might like, Topaz.” She held up two small blue gems held together by a simple silver ring, “It’s good for soothing, healing, stimulating, and recharging. Not to mention it changes color to fit the need of its user.”
“Um…” I looked at the three rings in her hand. Definitely not ruby, it’s to flashy. Maybe Topaz but Citrine also looks good too.
“Hurry up, this isn’t a jeweler. We haven’t got all day.” She snapped and I quickly picked up the Topaz ring and slid it onto my right ring finger.
She clapped her hand, “On your feet everyone. Alistair, since you where so helpful before. Why don’t you help out our newest trainee? The rest of you, we are going to conjure up a fire wall”
“Yeah, Lady Oziel.” He gave Oziel a mocked salute before walking over to me.
“Didn’t we create a fire wall, today?” I thought to Nyra.
“No way. That was all you.” Nyra ruffled her feathers at the center of my back.
“So, you aren’t going to help me?” I thought back to her.
“You are on your own for that. I’m going to take a nap.” She sent me back before huddling into my shoulder blade.
“You there.” Alistair waved a hand in my face. I shoved it away and gave him a look. But I realized he couldn’t see my face.
“The fire faction is the best faction to be apart of. But it is also the hardest to master.” Alistair said, his whole demeanor changed. “I want you to try to conjure a small flame at the center of your palm.”
What? I can’t do that. If I could, wouldn’t I have known I could do this before. Or accidentally set something on fire.
As if hearing my thoughts, he said, “Remember when you got bitten by the rainbow snake.” How could I forget, “It help activate your demonic side, no matter how dormant it might be?” That actually made sense.
“Now close your eyes.” I did as I was told, “Now open them.” I opened my eyes and there Alistair was making a weird face.
He was way to close and I let out an, “ah.” And almost tripped backwards.
He chuckled, “I wanted to see how you would react. I think you and I are going to be good friends. But, seriously, close your eyes.”
I wasn’t sure if I should trust him, but I closed them anyways, “Now picture deep in your core a flame burning.”
Where was my core? How would I find it, it’s not exactly in the human antimony? Maybe it’s in demon anatomy, I wonder if there is a class.
“Focus.” Right, I need to focus. I closed my eyes and tried to find a flame in my mind eyes. But I couldn’t. This was stupid.
I opened my eyes, “I’m not going to find a fire inside my core or whatever. I want to try another way.”
“This is how everyone learns. How do you suggest, then?” He asked as he folded his arms.
“Give me a second.” I placed my hand up. I tried to imagine, the heat I felt earlier when I was strangling that Angel. I hope he’s okay. Suddenly I felt the heat shoot through my arm. It was tingling and numbing all at the same time. I opened my eyes to see a small spark before it disappeared.
“What did you just do?” His eyebrows shot up.
“I don’t know.” I shrugged.
“Well, whatever it was. Do it again.”
We spent the rest of the class trying to create a flame in my palm. By the end of class, the closest thing to a flame, where a couple of sparks. The looked like fireworks rather than a consecutive flame.
When class was dismissed, Alistair said, “If you want, on your free time we could practice a bit more.”
“I would love that.” I said.
“Sorry, she’s busy.” Another voice said from the entrance of the door.