Chapter 5 - Team
The next day I went to the team dormitories.
Within the building there were many students walking with envelopes in their hands; they were also looking for the right team dorm. As I walked through the halls looking at the different doors, I could hear other students whispering about me. They were either talking about the way I looked because I still had some bruises on my face or they were talking about the envelope in my hand.
When students saw me they had a slightly shocked look on their faces because they probably didn’t expect me to be invited to a team. Then their eyes would widen once they saw the envelope in my hand and who the invitation was from. Their reactions after that would be of disbelief, envy, or confusion.
After walking the halls and ascending the stairs, I found the door which matched the fox on the letter. Beside the door was a small slit for requests to be given.
I knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer.
There was no answer.
That’s odd. I’m sure there should be someone awake at this time of day. Normally, teams would be composed of five people so, there should be at least one person in the dorm. That is, unless, they are currently doing a request or are on their way back.
I was about to give the door another knock but stopped once I heard Priscilla’s voice.
“Sorry I couldn’t open the door for you. I thought I would come back a little earlier from the hea-,” she cleared her throat and then continued, “I mean from the request I took.”
Nice try but, headmaster and request sound nothing alike. If she had to go to the headmaster because of last night, I really have to apologize for the trouble she has to go through because of me.
“I don’t mind. I wouldn’t be here anyways if it weren’t for you.
“Why, thank you.”
She took out a key to open the door and gestured me into the room.
The room had the shape of a square and was composed of two floors. Near the door was the staircase. The floor we were on had bookshelves lined against the wall and the center of the floor was empty, leaving the sight of the floor below visible. The bottom floor was also lined with bookshelves aside from spaces where there were doors that I assume were the bedrooms. In the center of the bottom floor there was a table which had the map of the continent, Teforis. Beside the table were chairs and a board with a piece of paper posted on it.
We descended the stairs and next to the table we stood.
“If I said you could practice magic, absorb the energy of a magic beast, or even come into contact with your catalyst and still not awaken, would you believe me?”
“No,” I bluntly said, “I’ve never heard of anything like that. If I did, there’s no way I wouldn’t have gone with a plan like that.”
“Do you know the process of sealing an eternum?”
“Somewhat. It requires several silencers in order to do so. But even then, it would-” As I shook my head , I tried to figure out what she was getting at and a thought came to me. “You’re not saying that you could seal the soul and not the body, are you?”
“Yes...and no. Instead of sealing the whole soul, I’ll only seal the soul’s ability to awaken,” she then made a smug smile, “but, that’s not the best part about this method. With my method of sealing, it is still possible for you to figure out who you were in the past.”
That means by practicing magic or using weapons I can figure out my past through my instincts. If I can do that, I could determine whether or not I was an evil eternum and if I’m not, then maybe I can make it through this academy. But...
“If you do this method, who’s going to help you? Sealing an eternum usually requires a group of experienced silencers, but with your method, it seems like it’ll require more because of the control required to do such a thing.”
“Oh that won’t be a problem.”
“What? You have a group already that can do this?”
“No, it’s just me.”
Hmm, from the looks on her face, she isn’t joking...but, now I’m questioning whether or not this was an elaborate trick from the academy. I mean, I don’t even know why she wants to help me in the first place. Actually, I don’t even know her that well or at all. Supposing this was a trick, at least make it sound more believable or at least feasible. Is it wrong of me to doubt her?
“Why, should I trust you?” I asked.
“Doubting the words of a member of the House of Crux,” she said and gasped, hands over her mouth. “I’m hurt.”
She then made a swirling motion with her index fingers, creating a golden glowing thread.
“Convincing you would have been easier if you knew who I was,” she then increased the size of the thread and wrapped it in front of my eyes. “Well then, let’s get this over with before the other guy comes.”
While my eyes were blocked, I could feel a hand on my chest. I then felt something stab into my chest and move towards my heart. My heart then felt as if it was being squeezed as if it were being tied. Once her hand left my chest the blindfold came off.
“There goes some of my power,” she said and placed her hands on the table in order to support herself as she looked dazed.
“Yep. Also, could you do me a favor and keep this a secret.”
“If you say so.”
Once she collected herself, she went to the bookshelves and picked out some books.
“Here,” she said and handed me the books. “I think it’s time you studied the houses.”
“As team leader, I order you to read these books. If you happen to match the descriptions of one of their members, you can get rid of your pessimism. If you don’t, and happen to be an evil eternum, I’ll let you see your family until it is time for you to go. So hurry up, don’t waste the time you have now.”
I eyed the books. If I read these books, I don’t want to regret it later. I’ve been very cautious and to read these books that I told myself I wouldn’t ever read, it was hard.
I looked at her face. She didn’t show any compromise on this.
I sighed. I looked at the books once more. She gave me a chance. She saved my life. The least I could do is listen to her.
I sat at the table and opened the books.
I didn’t get too far in the books before the door was knocked on.
Priscilla went to open the door and led the student into the room.
“Zeff, meet Aldis. The other member of our team.”
The student had a surprised look on his face. As if what he was experiencing was a dream and unreal.
“You were invited to her team as well? Pleased to meet you Zeff, I-I’m Aldis,” he said, still amazed and trying to accept reality. “Isn’t it great that we were acknowledged by Priscilla Velfall?”
“See, now there’s someone who understands the honor of someone like me,” Priscilla said, nodding in approval.
“Nice to meet you too Aldis,” I said and extended a hand towards him.
He shook my hand vigorously and sat at the table. It took me a bit to realize, but I then noticed he looked familiar. He was the one in the first match of the tournament, the one who used fire magic.
“I thought after the tournament, there wouldn’t be anyone who would want me on their team,” he said and then looked at me. “Were you surprised as well when you were invited?”
“Uhh, sort of.”
He seems like a pretty friendly person but, a little bit too friendly I suppose. His eyes were brimming with joy and his friendliness caught me off guard. I thought most people in this academy didn’t like me.
“Now that you’re here,” she said as she took a seat at the table, “let’s go over our objectives for the next few weeks.”
“Wait, is this everybody? Are there other people on your team?”
“You didn’t know? She hasn’t had anybody on her team until now and has been capable of doing requests on her own,” Aldis said.
Priscilla once again, nodded her head in approval of Aldis’ words and his praise.
“It’s best that there are fewer people in the team. It’s a little hard to create a team with exceptional synergy so we’ll stick with this for now,” Priscilla explained. “What we’ll be doing the next few weeks is...”
During the next weeks I was to try out any weapon to find one that suits me and to attend my classes again, this time, practicing magic as well. For Aldis, she just wanted him to keep attending his classes like usual and work on his fire magic. Priscilla wanted us to get ready for the team evaluations. The team evaluations were a series of tests administered by the academy in order to determine the suggested difficulty of requests a team could take.
“That is all,” Priscilla said.
“Could I ask why exactly you chose me to be on your team?” Aldis asked.
“As a silencer, it was possible for me to see what normal magicians couldn’t,” she said and took a piece of paper that was posted on the board. “Create a small fire in front you.”
Aldis did as told and casted a steady flame in front of him.
Priscilla held the paper to the flame and the paper caught on fire. She then looked at me and had a devious smile on her face. Before I could react, she took my hands and put it in the flame.
As I saw my hand enter the fire, I winced, expecting it to burn. But, it didn’t. It felt rather warm and comfortable.
“This is why. You prioritized control over your flames first before brute strength,” Priscilla said. “It was unfortunate though, that you didn’t have enough force put into your fireball to incapacitate your opponent. But with practice, you’ll most likely get there.”
“Thank you for your encouraging words. I’ll try my best not to let this team down,” Aldis replied and bowed.
“Well, that will be all for today’s meeting,” Priscilla said and then handed me and Aldis a key. “Continue your studies and practices, but don’t over do it and end up losing sleep.”
We exited the team dorm and then carried on with their own responsibilities.
During the next few weeks I practiced every magic I could. At first I was really hesitant to cast my first spell in a long while, but I did it anyway. The faster I know my past identity, the better.
Before every professor I had to show them that I was willing to cast magic and once I proved to them that I would, I was let back into the class. One of the first magic I tried to use was spirit magic. There were several reasons for this. While humans have souls, magical beasts have spirits. Spirit magic allows one to enhance their body and senses by making a pact with the spirit of a dead magical beast. These pacts are connected with the soul and thus last until the soul is destroyed. If I can create a pact now with a spirit, I can morph with it and inherit some of its traits. Doing so would help increase my power substantially compared to how weak I am now. Also, creating a pact with a spirit animal early on is a good way to start bonding with the spirit and let me use more of its power.
That was the plan, but as I sat in the spirit circle that allowed me to connect with the spirits, none approached me. There were all kinds of spirits. There were spirits of bears, wolves, hares, foxes, and many more and each had their own elemental magic as I could see the ice that lined their claws or fire that escaped their mouth. But, I could only observe them. Most of the spirits just glanced at me and then walked away. After a while, the spirit circle closed and I could no longer see the spirits.
“Maybe some other time you can make a pact with a spirit. But I believe the most likely case is that you have already made a pact with one in your previous life. You’ll have to wait and awaken to find out then,” was what the professor said to me.
Next, I tried elemental magic. Elemental magic was easy to learn but hard to master. Before I stopped practicing magic, elemental magic was what I used before. Back then I could only create a small gust of wind or small rock. Trying it now, I could see that this has still not changed.
The leaf in front of me barely moved and the pebble I could create would crumble in mere seconds. This was the sacrifice I chose so I can’t really complain. I don’t know how long it would take me before I could even cast a rock that could damage something. But from this alone, I can tell that my affinity with magic most likely likely didn’t lie with elemental magic. I don’t know how strong I was in the past, but if he were to look at me now, he’d probably be laughing his heart out. There was only one more magic left for me to try, and it was conjuring magic.
I got up from the tree on the cliff from which I was laying down and went to the class for conjuring magic.
“So I’ve heard that you’re willing to practice magic now? Will you participate in this class as well now?” the professor asked as I entered the door.
“Yes, sorry for my actions in the past,” I said and took my seat.
The teacher, still as eccentric, taught the class and showed examples of what one could do with conjuring magic.
Conjuring magic was one of the harder disciplines of magic to learn. It was hard to learn and harder to master. I’ve never tried conjuring magic before and so it would be my first time using it. If it turns out that I’m good at conjuring magic, then I can find which eternum used or specialised in conjuring magic. There was no need for me to try out silencing magic because it is unique in that it is the only discipline of magic where you can’t practice any other magic, even if you are a reborn. By sacrificing the chance to use other magic, students may choose to learn silencing magic because of its power. It is said that the amateur silencer can beat the amateur magician. Because of that, silencing magic is primarily used for cancelling magic, but there are other ways to use it given one is skilled enough in it like Priscilla.
“Now is the time for practice,” the professor said. “Zeff, let’s see what you’re capable of.”
I held out my hands and looked at one of the blades in the room. With the object in mind, I started to create it and in a glowing light, the blade appeared before my eyes.
“If there was any you could call talented, it would be you,” the professor said with a look of awe on their face. “Now, let’s test the durability of this weapon.”
The professor held the sword and created a sword of their own. The professor then swung their sword at mine and once they clashed, my sword had shattered almost instantly.
“The durability may need some work,” the professor said.
“But marvelous conjuring speed and clear focus of mind. I look forward to teaching you, Zeff.”
Later in the day I went back to the tree on a cliff and started to practice creating weapons. Each time I created a weapon, a single tap would shatter it.
Is there a certain weapon I need to create or...is this just it? When I went to the training grounds to practice with a weapon, I couldn’t point towards a single weapon that suited me. They all felt equal and I didn’t know which one I would’ve used in the past. However, there was one thing that I felt I wouldn’t use. A shield.
I tried to conjure something again, this time a shield. I held out my hands and I could see a glowing light taking form and then nothing. The light dissipated and nothing was created.
I sighed. What kind of fool was I in the past to have made a weapon this fragile. And even worse, I can’t even conjure a shield for protection. Maybe I just lack practice but, at this rate, it might be hard for me to figure out my identity.
The rest of that day I spent practicing my conjuring magic and elemental magic in between until I had fallen asleep.
The next weeks were the same. In between classes I would create a small object and then tap on it to see if it’ll break. After all my classes I would go back to the tree and try again. I spent every day practicing and practicing until I could no longer. The days passed and then the time of the team evaluation came.