Seth shifted slightly to the side to let the Earthshaper sit comfortably, tossing the idea in his head around with the rumor that he should do something about that. However, in this crowd, and with this food, it was much better to just sit around and enjoy for the moment. However, the question was still valid, and Fei was kind of taking things from those storybooks again.
"Don't know about you, but I plan on going to this meeting right after this meal. I don't plan on sitting around doing nothing to make sure that things look good. But first, I think I will have some more food. Can't do...whatever we are doing on an empty stomach." Seth said, quickly grabbing some more food and coming back.
"Well Fei....I really couldn't tell ya. He doesn't seem like the married type, but I am by no means an expert. But I would imagine she would look really good, especially if he is who he says he is." Seth continued, having some more bits of bacon.
The Prime Minister continued his meal, which looked innocent enough. For those close enough or paying attention, it seemed that he was possibly more alert than his guards were, his eyes shifting about as he enjoyed his meal, noting some particular faces and quickly going others. He particularly noted the table where many of the people who had been invited to the meeting were seated.
"Sir. I think it may be best to proceed with this as quickly as possible. The dragons will be coming along shortly, and the Masters already expressed their displeasure at their coming along." One of the guards noted, keeping it quite quiet so as to not be heard by other tables.
"No worries. If I have chosen precisely, then we will not have to worry about time, and we will be long gone before our troubles follow us." The Prime Minister replied, setting down some of his food looking it over.
".......Waffles, sir. And bacon." The guard said, which the Prime Minister grinned at the guard and continued to eat.
"Alright then big brother." Alexander replied jokingly.
"Perhaps you'll make me a nice sculpture and I'll end up producing a fire works display for you. Not like my power can't be artistic." He said with a smile.
"Oh yeah... the meeting... I don't want to go to the meeting..." Although her opinions of the foreigners had changed somewhat after she saw the Prime Minister, she was still wary. "Drew, do we have to go? Can't we just pretend we're sick?" She played with a little bit of water in her hands, letting it twirl in and out of her fingers.
"I agree. Let them wait for us anyway, it's not like they're leaving without us and if they did what of it?" Cale said although if that were to happen then he would feel utterly destroyed. Still Cale didn't keep his eyes off the Prime Minister and watched him. Whoever he was, he looked to have power and he looked to be the one to be responsible for arranging the entire thing in the first place. Whatever he had in mind for them reflected on how he treated them and right now Cale watched his every move.
"Damn... why is this food so good..." Cale mumbled.
Felicia was getting annoyed. Everyone was here, doing their best to enjoy the meal that was bigger than any of the usual meals ever had. Even all the Masters, but Felicia knew better. She knew something was brewing under the surface. Marcus had given off a vibe as such. So she sat and waited and watched, until finally she saw the cue. Niklas stood, his booming voice being the best choice for the Mess Hall and all the conversation that happened within it.
"STUDENTS!" Niklas's voice seemed to echo, as the master did not make a habit of talking loudly. Almost instantly, the place became quiet....or quiet enough, with students still keeping to their eating.
"While I know the meal is enjoyable, there is something that must be gone over. As some of you may know, our guests are here for very particular reasons. Negotiations, discussions, and ideas have been coming together these past few days. Ultimately, we have come to a point...." Niklas paused for a moment, looking over the crowd. ".....that needs to be crossed sooner or later. There is a meeting to be had for particular students who are already aware of their plight. It is my understanding that these students are advised to go meet with our visitors. While there hasn't been that many details, there is one thing I will assure you of."
"You will NOT be taken, kidnapped, or violence used against you by our visitors unless you are the one who starts it. This I have been heavily reassured of, and their airships will not be taking off until all is accounted for. Those of you who have been chosen for this meeting....go with care, and without fear. You have been chosen for a reason. That is all. Carry onward with your meals."
And with that, Niklas once again sat down, and began enjoying his meal as if he had simply told everyone what the weather was like outside.
"Sir, was this part of the plan?"
"Indeed it was. Don't worry so much." The Prime Minister replied, going back to his meal as well after the small speech was done.
"It isn't like he attempted to start a riot against me or anything. Just telling the students what he knows, and assuring them we are not bloodthirsty monsters." The Prime Minister chuckled, not sure how to take his threatening manner here.
The guard gave no sign of how he felt about the information, and continued his scan of the crowd.
Seth gave little heed for the message, as it was pretty much as he expected from the masters at this time. He was much more concerned with finishing early now. If they were supposedly not going to be doing any funny business with this meeting, then what exactly were they after? Was there something that he in particular might know? Or perhaps it was just random chance and he was an error?
Seth quickly finished what was left of his meal, and stood from the table.
"Alright, and I'm off. Best to get rolling before people start finishing their meals and looking for the meeting or something. Rather cut down on the amount of rumors about myself right now." Seth said with a sly grin, and then made his way outside.
Nydia's attention was brought back to the world around her by Master Niklas' booming voice. Nothing in his announcement came as a surprise to her since she didn't suspect their guests of any foul play to begin with. Although his parting words gave her something to ponder for the moment. Chosen for a reason.... I wonder what reason that could possibly be though? I suppose I'll find out soon enough. Nydia thought as she looked around the room.
Suddenly she became increasingly aware of the number of people staring at her, or rather her table more likely. It wasn't all that surprising given who had sat near her, but there gazes made her somewhat uncomfortable. And then she noticed Cale was one of the ones staring. Although, was he staring at their important guest or her? Regardless, she decided it would be best to say hello. She stood up from her seat and gave a bow to the man across from her. "It was a pleasure meeting you here. I suppose I'll be seeing you later. I hope you enjoy the rest of your meal." She said before turning and walking towards the table Cale was at.
"Um... G-good morning Cale! How are you feeling this morning?" She asked, somewhat nervously with her usual warm smile when she got to Cale's table. It was a bit too crowded for her to sit down so she decided to remain standing for the time being.
Drew was sitting near Fei and Seth. He was still wary of the Prime Minister. "So we get to go on a nice little ride..." He sighed I didn't exactly sign up for this. Still, that's just my luck, isn't it? "So Fei... what exactly do you think is going to happen next?" He was taking the moment to get a head count on everyone who was in the room. He knew a couple people, but most of them were strangers to Drew.
"Hmphr?" Fei had just stuffed a pancake in her mouth. "I don't know. I don't want to go to the meeting but... they're making it sound important. Do we really have to go Drew?" She looked up at him with kitty cat eyes. "They don't look too scary... but... but..." With no real idea of what her reasoning would be, she just continued eating.
"I get the feeling we really don't have a choice in the matter." he grunted, taking a couple big bites out of his meal. "Still, you don't need to worry. You know I'd never let anything bad happen to you." He was still rubbing his eyes and seemed a little more grumpy than he would be at any given morning. He wasn't a morning person, and added with the current situation, when he'd normally be cynical and sarcastic, he'd now be grumpy and somewhat confrontational.
Fei nodded, finishing what might have been her third plate. "Okay... I think we need to go to the meeting soon though. Where do we need to go?" She looked around to see if she could make out where Seth had gone, maybe follow him, but he was already gone.
The Prime Minister sighed as he finished his meal, obviously content with what he had eaten. It seemed like the many eyes which never seemed to stop watching him did not even register. Taking one last look around with a grin, he picked up his helmet from his nearby guard, and snapped it back into place, giving him his far more menacing and dark look once more.
"Time to go. Can't be late for our own meeting, even if it is quite early to hold it. I imagine we will have quite a few people watching and trying to get in." The Prime Minister said as he made his way to the exit.
"Sir, the deal with Darnell is not considered strong enough?" The guard asked, keeping in line.
"No. We are going to clean the place out ourselves. Make sure we do not have uninvited guests." The Prime Minister said, stepping outside and heading to the hall to begin the meeting as soon as a decent enough group showed up....and not the ones thinking they were cleverly going to get in past the guards.
Seth had casually made his way to the Grand Hall, not caring too much when he found a guard stationed at the door. His hand settled onto his blade regardless, even though he was somewhat certain the guard would step aside as he went in. It went well enough, but Seth couldn't shake the feeling that perhaps he was here far too early.
Well, not like I was going to do anything anyways. Maybe I'll just do sword practice in here....it is the most private place in the Academy right now....
Pulling his blade free, he looked it over for a time. He had gotten it himself a long time ago. The blade was good and sharp, and it seemed more than strong enough to cut through and stand up to most anything, or at least as far as most monsters in the area where concerned....
Shaking off old thoughts and the weariness from being up somewhat early, he began to swing and cut, moving about as he did so, trying to make sure he was in ready form....just in case. The Masters may have assurances, but that didn't mean he couldn't be assured of his skills as well.
Alexander finished his meal before standing up.
"Well I guess I'll get to the meeting, no sense in putting off the inevitable. Feel free to join me when you're finished." He said before going to place his tray in the proper place. He walked out and started towards the building where the meeting would take place. Hopefully he wouldn't have to prove who he was to the guards, then again they already knew what he looked like.
Raven listened as one of the so called Masters got up to try and soothe the other students fears as to the presence of the "guests". Yeah, that's right. Keep the sheep nice and calm. Don't let them know that the wolf is going to come for them after the first sacrifice has been taken care of.
She finished off the last bite of her meal, and looked down at the plate. Empty. Just like my future. I might as well get this over with. She got up from the table, not bothering to clean her tray, and headed out towards the Main Hall.
Cale was actually a bit taken back when Nydia approached him and he lingered on the awkward silence a bit until he finally spoke up.
"I'm fine, thank you. That was the Prime Minister I take it? It must have been something talking to a man of that stature." Noticing that Nydia was equally standing there awkwardly Cale got up with his tray in hand.
"I'm going to the Halls now so we can finally get this journey started, care to come with me?" Cale asked as he cleaned his tray and placed it where the other dirty trays go to.
After the brief awkward silence, Nydia sighed inwardly in relief when Cale finally spoke. It was only natural that the first thing he asked about was her conversation with the guest, which was sadly the only thing she couldn't really say much about. "I don't know who he was actually, save that he is someone of importance. We didn't talk much, but I think he'll be at the meeting later." Nydia replied as she followed Cale to the Grand Hall.
"So you were invited too, I take it?" Nydia asked as they walked, despite already having suspected he had been. "I wonder why we were chosen. The most likely answer is our fight in the arena yesterday, but that was before the airships landed..." Nydia trailed off, pondering the question. She would find out soon enough, but it was still bothering her.
Seth paused as the guard moved again to let others into the Main Hall, only to see it was more guards and the Prime Minister himself. Slipping his blade back away, he wasn't quite sure what he should do. His experiences with those higher up than him wasn't exactly pleasant, and usually wasn't anything that he knew anything about.
Guess that means that this whole meeting business will start soon.
"Seth Darius, correct?" The Prime Minister spoke suddenly. "Don't look so surprised. I did some very extensive reading for this process. I will be speaking to you later. First, I think I would like to chat with the others. See if I can get a....feel for what is going on. Hope you don't mind."
Seth shrugged, obviously not caring all that much about the Prime Minister for the time being. Instead measuring up the guards that had walked in with the Prime Minister.
"If you would like to test your skills, or perhaps refine them....You. Practice. I have a feeling this meeting won't be too problematic...."
And with that, the Prime Minister wandered into the back room of the Main Hall, closing the door and leaving Seth and the wayward guard, which Seth couldn't help but grin at.
"You know, I might be one of the closest thing to a sword mage around here. So lets see if I can show some teeth." Seth said with a chuckle, bringing his blade to bare once more to battle with the guard, who deftly and effortlessly parried a few blows, then blocked the rest.
This may actually help out more than those mercenary groups I have to practice with from time to time.....fun, unless he tries to kill me.
Alexander followed the group from a distance and entered the main hall. He quickly took a spot along the wall. He decided if he was going to be here fro a while he may as well practice. Since he couldn't do anything too powerful for fear it would be seen as an attempted attack or trickery he opted for a more simple endurance exercise. He created a small ball of light in his hand and began to shift it around. He made sure it never got any brighter even as he made the ball itself larger or smaller and moved it around. For him it worked as a decent exercise in concentration. A few times he even changed the color of light emanating from the ball. All the while making sure it never got brighter or dimmer.
Hopefully nobody finds me doing this particularly noticeable or suspicious. He thought as he continued.
Drew had started walking towards the main hall. He noticed Nydia and Cale walking together, chuckling to himself before he turned and saw Alexander by a wall ahead of him. Wonder what's with him? He looked around and saw Raven in front of them, trying to keep some distance between him and her. He then saw Seth in the hall ahead, and arrived just in time to hear the Prime Minister. "Oh great... hopefully we aren't first..." he grumbled to himself.
He walked up to the area near Seth, holding Fei closer to him when he walked past the guards.
Fei watched Seth and the guard with some interest. She had seen him sparring a couple times before, and even tried it once, but it wasn't something she could concentrate on too much. Often her mind wandered off too quickly, and she left to do other, more exciting, things. Their little display made her worried, however, about the guards. What if they attack us? I don't know how to use a sword...
The guards were just as unsettling as they were every time Raven saw them. Perhaps even more so this time, knowing that the rumors have them punching her ticket out of this place. She drew her hood up as far as she could as she approached the one guarding the door to the meeting room. Others from last night were following in behind, which she didn't need. As she entered she saw Seth already there, engaged in some sort of sword battle with one of the guards. "I guess you can't go for a day without having to fight someone, huh Pyro?" she asked rhetorically as she sat down in a chair awaiting the final word on her fate.
"That's correct... maybe we will be some important dignitaries for the Academy or maybe we need to put on a little show for the people of Kerbones. Either way the prospect of seeing the "forbidden" city doesn't bother me the slightest really." Cale said with as much confidence as he could muster. It was good that they were talking about this and not what he had said to her earlier but he could easily see that it was in her nature to be so sincere about those kinds of things.
"And if we become some "play thing" for them then so be it. I've always wanted to perform in front of a large crowd anyway, I hear it's a promising career these days." Cale joked.
Seth laughed as he noted the others coming in. He was enjoying himself too much to worry about appearances now. The guard was obviously beyond his skill for the moment, but didn't crush him like others. He in fact tested him and then pressed harder. If there was one thing that it could be compared to, it was a dance of coordinated death, with one launching a fury of stabs and swings, the other defending them off, and then returning them in kind, sometimes the warriors jumping at one another.
"HAHAH! My good Raven, if you are not willing to keep in fighting shape, what shall you do when a fight comes to visit you?" Seth said still laughing, even though he was somewhat short on breathe as he circled his opponent who did not seem winded in the slightest.
Now that I think about it....does he even need to breathe?
Suddenly, the door to the back swung open, and out stepped Aaron, fully armored and armed this day. Only missing was his helmet as he looked about. After noting with a small chuckle of surprise at Seth swordfighting, he picked out Fei and Drew.
"You two. Fei and Drew, right? The Prime Minister would like to see you both." Aaron said, then with a smirk looking about, he spoke again.
"And the rest of you get to playing nice with one another. This might take a while, and we can't have you killing each other."
With that, Aaron stepped aside to let the pair in.
Fei watched the duel, amused. They reminded her of the spars between mages, only there was the sound of metal against metal, something she only head during a few Earthshaper matches. It amazed her to no end that Seth could hold his own against the other person, or thing.
"You two. Fei and Drew, right? The Prime Minister would like to see you both."
She slinked behind her brother, hiding in his shadow. The armor Aaron was wearing made him look rather unfriendly and inhuman. She fiddled nervously with her sleeves, following Drew inside. Part of her was still wondering how all the foreigners knew their names, and what they wanted with them.
Aden was seated in the grand hall, drumming his fingers on his thigh. "Doo doo da doo..." They always made him wait. Finally, after what felt like weeks of tedium, they started trickling in like an infection. He shook his head. Children. These Kerbones - these Human scum obviously were up to no good. It was curious they'd want to take him, but then again he'd killed their agents, so it stood to reason.
That said...what were they up to?
Drew was half asleep when the guard spoke to him. He noticed how nervous Fei was. "Relax.... this isn't going to be that bad. They just want to talk. I'm not gonna let anything bad happen to you, ok?" He went to where they were directed to go. "So here we are..."
The Prime Minister nodded at the two as the entered, with Aaron following behind and closing the door behind them. The room was made for meetings, with multiple chairs and a table there. In the room was the Prime Minister, a guard, and Aaron. The Minister and Aaron both had no helmets on, and the Prime Minister gestured to the chairs.
"Fei and Drew Kyraa. Nice to make both of your acquaintance. Please, take a seat, no need to be shy or formal. I think first it would be best if we started on the right foot." The Prime Minister said with a smile, obviously pleased.
"I am sure you have many questions which can be answered in due time. However, first and foremost, I want to know....would you like to come back with me to Kerbones to help me with a particular task? While I don't wish to go into details at the moment until I am sure some of the others outside, I would like to have an idea who would be willing to come along for the ride at least."
"Before we go any further, I'd like to know a couple things myself." Drew said, taking a seat. "Like why us? Me, I could kinda understand, but why my sister? And why the others out there?" That was the big lingering question he had. He wasn't going to answer until he got that figured out. He turned to Fei, hoping she wouldn't panic or say something regrettable.
"Ah, yes I'm sure you'd make an excellent performer. Especially in a place where your talents are practically unheard of. Perhaps even if that's not what they have in mind for us, it's something you should still look into afterwards." Nydia replied, smiling at Cale's joke. She was glad that they had seemingly gotten over a bit of the awkwardness that had been present earlier and that neither of them had mentioned yesterday, especially since she had been unable to find a suitable answer for him.
Upon arriving at the Main Hall, Nydia was only somewhat surprised to see Seth already there. The true surprise was seeing him locked in a sword fight with one of their guests. It was the first time she had seen a mage using a physical weapon and the sight was somewhat... odd. Her first instinct was to help Seth, but then she noticed that Seth was not using his Pyromancy at all. He was only fighting with his sword. If it were a real fight he probably wouldn't be holding back like that. "A battle for fun perhaps? Or practice? How intriguing." Nydia muttered as she took a seat and watched the duel.
The Prime Minister grinned as the questions began to come out.
"Well, I imagine you wouldn't want to leave your sister here all alone around here. I understand you came together, so I would hate to break the chain by splitting you up..." The Prime Minister said, leaning back as if it were casual.
"And them out there? That is somewhat intrusive....or perhaps cautious. Regardless, I chose to interview those people out there because there is only so much information that can be gathered from paper. Need to see and meet you for myself....for example, your sister is even more shy than the notes spoke of."
Seth slid backwards, making sure the quick swing at him was just short. He was so engrossed in the battle now he didn't even realize more people had come and seen him while he was using a weapon. More to the point was that perhaps he didn't even care right now, as he was just having too much fun.
Seth stepped forward again, and proceeded to attempt to swing his blade faster, and perhaps bring it dangerously close to scraping the ground or appear off balance. His opponent was still leagues better than him, he was sure of it now. The guard again deflected the blows, and then finally grabbed Seth's blade. Seth, clearly in the moment, ignited his fist and then slammed it into the face of his opponent. The guard stepped backwards, releasing the blade, just as Seth stepped back to see the reaction wearily.
Standing there for a moment as the steam from the strike slowly faded away, the guard sheathed his blade, and then came to attention, gave a bow with his hands on his blade. In response, Seth slipped his blade back into it's sheath, and bowed as well, then stepping forward to shake the guards hand, who obliged him with a tight grip.
"Thanks. Apologies for the last part, but you did it first. Thanks." Seth said, only for the guard to make no sound as they released their grip, and the guard walked back to the door.
"Now THAT was fun." Seth announced, seemingly mostly to himself.
Shifting nervously in her seat, Fei eyed the other guards and the Prime Minister. She eyed them suspiciously, trusting her brother to do most of the talking. The fact that there were "notes" on them made her wonder what else these people knew. Of course they would choose Drew, but I'm not that far behind him! He even let me win sometimes when we practice... It then occurred to her that the notes might have mentioned their lightning experiments. Maybe that's what they really want both of us for...
"It was interesting to watch. You wield a blade well, and the work on it doesn't seem too bad either. I have to ask who forged it?" Alexander said from his position to Seth. He didn't stop his exercise even as he spoke. He wanted to see how long he could continue this, so far it was decent enough training.
"You have notes on us? I take it you got it from the Masters..." he growled, but calmed down. The Minister didn't seem all that bad, so he would try and be a little nicer to them. "I appreciate you not separating us. So what exactly do you need both of us for? Why the two of us?" he tried to sound a little less hostile. Part of him was a little flattered about the concept of being chosen to go to a far away land, and it did seem a little exciting.
Slipping past the doors he could see already a couple people already waiting for whatever the Prime Minister had planned.
Still carting one last muffin in hand he bit off the top gazing at the small group.
I thought I was coming here early, well late is fashionable too.
He picked out alex easily talking to a rather sweaty pyromancer.
with a seath? thats certainly new. His face seems fimiliar. I wouldn't forget meeting a blademage would I?
And then last a person cloaked in black on the bench.
is that a man or a woman? definitly a nightshade
Between the two the silent one peeked his interest a little more.
When talking to all the other mages he learned there was a certain aproach to certain people.
Sitting down next to Raven keeping a seats distance he asked without looking her way.
"So you were chossen too? Must suck not having another nightshade share the suffering."
Seth sighed as he sat down, tired, but happy after fighting an opponent who was easily his better.
"Hah! My good Lightdweller, I slowed him down in the art. It might have better if I had more practice..." Seth said, sighing quietly.
"But you have good eyes to note my blade. It was actually made by myself. And an old recipe that I was taught a long time ago. Certain quenching techniques and steel folding. It is tougher than it should be. Surprised you show interest."
Seth didn't seem to worry too much about his appearance now, as he was planning on getting out of here....well, hopefully. He had better be able to get the hell out of here, otherwise he might actually have to start threatening all these people.
The Prime Minister shook his head, noting the tone that Drew seemed to be using quite often. Hostility was to be expected though. These mages were a quiet and often paranoid sort. Kind of like themselves, oddly enough.
"My notes come from a variety of places. Some has come from a Master or two, but most of it came from other sources. But the where I got the information is not all that important." The Prime Minister said, leaning back in his seat.
"Need is a funny thing though. I don't really need you. It would just be a very welcome addition to something I am going to attempt. However, I cannot risk telling you what the need is until I have the agreement from the rest of the people who I plan on interviewing. That, and you are quite unique in your talent setup, as well as familiar with how a merchant city might work, with your family and all...Regardless, I will need an answer if you are willing to come along with me to the city, and assist in the tasks I need to complete. I can promise you myself that harm will not befall you from...whatever experiments you think we would be doing. Or whatever it is you fear."
The Prime Minister waved his hands about, not really sure what it was that the mages feared of people, but was generally dismissive about it.
"I'm the first of my family to not be a blacksmith. That was only once my magic was discovered, before that I was being groomed to follow in the family footsteps. So I know a well made blade when I see it. Yours is obviously better than most. You are obviously skilled with a forge." Alexander replied from where he stood.
"As for your fighting style, I wouldn't know as much about it."