“Tetravalent: The Power of Four.”
The Perfectionist, the Powerhouse, the Prankster, & the Loner
The girl was running hard through the station, doing her best to not to plow into the innocent people who were too close to her. Praying that her old, tattered suitcase would stay latched, she leaped down a flight of stairs, hitting the concrete hard just as the train gave its final shrill whistle, starting to pull away from the station.
“Hurry you silly girl! The train is leaving!”
“I can make it!!” she promised as she took off again.
Fortunately the people were now further away from her as she kicked her body into high gear, chasing after the gradually accelerating locomotive. The other loitering patrons were standing back and watching the young girl with wild copper hair sprint for the train, being closely followed a floating book that was barking at her to hurry. She took her suitcase in both hands and gave a risky swing, tossing it into the air. With a loud sound, it landed on the caboose’s platform and she gave a wide grin in victory.
“What are you smiling for? It does you no good if your belongings are on the train and you’re not!” scolded the floating book. “Hurry up now!”
Ignoring the scolding from her book, she focused on running faster now that her body was lighter. She started to reach out toward the train, running very close to the station platform’s precipice. There was a small window of opportunity to make the jump before the train gained too much speed for her to keep up. Her book was now floating over the back of the train, flapping its covers to stay afloat. All it would take would be one miniscule miscalculation and she would crash horribly onto the tracks below. Her depth perception wasn’t exactly reliable.
With one great leap of faith, her boots left the ground as she reached out for the glistening railing.
My name is Meryl Feu, and I’m a Mage.
Her hand gripped the railing as tightly as possible and she used all of her strength to swing the rest of her body onto the train, other hand clamoring for a hold, back arching to complete the rotation. When her feet found the platform, her knees buckled and she promptly landed on her backside, safely on the floor of the platform. She gave a great sigh of relief.
Well…a Mage-in-training anyway…
Pushing herself back onto her knees, she twisted around to catch the last glimpse of her small village vanishing steadily into the horizon. There were the puffs of smoke from the houses that were nothing more than blurs to her, and the next moment she blinked, she could no longer see them.
“Honestly, I have never seen anything so unprofessional!” berated the book. Getting to her feet, she leaned against the rail, letting the wind have its way with her hair as she watched her home becoming nothing more than a dot.
“Jumping aboard a moving train! Never, in all my years!”
Meryl could only give a sheepish smile to the flustered text.
This is a Grimoire. A magic book containing spells and vast array of magical knowledge. Not all Grimoires can talk, but fortunately, this one can. Certainly makes things more fun, to me anyway. Though I’m afraid all of this running around has seemed to upset him.
“Just trying to keep things exciting,” she laughed. Her body was still shaky with the adrenaline of the dramatic chase and leap. She hadn’t let go of the rail either and certainly didn’t plan on it anytime soon.
“Exciting?!” yelped the Grimoire. “My pages are already aging with stress!”
“Come on now, this can’t be the first time someone’s nearly been late,” she said. “After all, you only arrived at my home not even an hour ago!”
The Grimoire fluttered its pages as if flustered. “Well—I hardly think it’s necessary to be pointing fingers now.”
Meryl couldn’t help but giggle at the ironic expression and its pages fluttered quickly again, the golden crest of the Academia glinting in the sunlight.
“You know perfectly well what I meant!”
This Grimoire arrived at my home just a short moment ago, claiming that I had been invited to attend the Academia, an institute for Mages, and that I had to quickly pack a bag and rush off to catch the last train of the day. There was no time for questions or even a proper celebration. Just had to grab my things and run. I don’t mind though.
“Sorry, sorry!” she half apologized, half laughed as she lowered herself back onto the floor.
“What—what are you doing now?” asked the Grimoire, confused by her action. She adjusted her suitcase so that it was within arm’s reach and she leaned against the railing with her other arm easily looped around.
“Hmm? What do you mean?” she asked.
“We should take our seats now,” explained the Grimoire. “We are due to arrive in just about an hour, I believe.”
Meryl gave another laugh and smile. “Why? I’ve already got the best seat!”
The enchanted book seemed to sputter for a moment. “I-It’s completely unsafe! Riding the back of a train like some sort of ragamuffin!”
The girl smiled and leaned against the railing as she stared out at the passing scenery as the book prattled on about safety, etiquette and other concerns. The trees and passing homes were nothing more than structured blurs to her but she enjoyed the sight nonetheless. It felt good to have the wind rush against her freckled skin, no matter how messy it made her already rambunctious hair. It was soothing and it did help quiet her nerves somewhat.
“I’m finally going to Academia…” she couldn’t help but whisper to herself. It was all so surreal.
The Academia is the only source of magical instruction, at least in this part of the world. They only accepted the very best Mages, the ones who have the most potential. You can apply but in most cases, they invite you because they already know who you are. The sheer fact that they’ve even noticed a country girl like me is far more than I could ever ask for...
To be with other magic users, aspiring Mages, would be a completely new experience to her. Finally, there would be others who would know the thrill and joy of magic, and proper Mages to teach her new things and help her become the best she can be. In her small village, she was the only one with any magical ability and she was so excited to meet others like her.
Maybe I’ll even make friends…?
The Grimoire observed his new charge with some healthy concern. He had been assigned to Meryl Feu, his first student ever, and he was fairly concerned if he was the right crafted Grimoire for the job. There were plenty of other Grimoires with far more experience than he in the grand library and archives, and much better suited for the role. Headmaster Regulus had assigned him to her and he wasn’t sure if his nervous disposition was up for the task. Already they’ve had too much excitement with running after the departing train and if that was a sign of what was to come, then he was surely going to lose pages due to stress. It was expressed that he would be vital in the girl’s ability to study and therefore learn magic, which was a momentous amount of pressure and responsibility.
He had quieted his ravings about safety and proper protocol as the girl continued to watch the passing sights, completely unconcerned with her place at the back of the rattling train. To be quite frank, he had no idea what expect of this girl and she hadn’t expressed any of her magical ability (unless it was for dramatic train chases, so Merlin help him). So far she was all smiles, wild copper hair, and energetic for certain. When he was told that she was losing her vision, and quite rapidly too, this certainly wasn’t how he imagined her acting.
Life at the Academia was going to be far more interesting now that he was out of the archives that was for certain.