"Are you married?" Fei finally piped up, her blue eyes wide as she observed the Minister. "Are you married to a princess?" she clarified. Going someplace with her brother didn't seem to bother her that much anymore, especially since he said they wouldn't get hurt. It would be like a field trip, she told herself. And she wouldn't be alone, Seth was going too, and some of the other mages she had seen around. "And... are we going to come back here?" she added in a smaller voice, an afterthought to her main question.
"A blacksmith? Hah! Forgive me, but I never took you for the type. Nice to know that another can know my work can be appreciated. I probably don't know too much on blacksmithing other than blades and other small...implements." Seth said, a small grin forming as he caught his breath once more.
"Though, I don't expect you to know the fighting style. I know better than to think knowing a weapon means that you are a barbarian like myself!" Seth continued with a chuckle. He glanced about, noting the different people here. Nightshades, Lightdwellers, Pyros, Hydros, Earth, and even Airshifters.
All sorts of people. Interesting times indeed. I wonder what we would even be doing? Magic shows?
The Prime Minister paused. then grinned at Fei as she had actually spoken up. Scratching the back of his head, he gave a small shrug.
"Ah, you mean my better half? Yes, I am indeed married, fortunate that I am. She is a princess for me and in title as well. She has my back, and I couldn't tell you what she was thinking, other than she will have my backside if I don't get back in a week." The Prime Minister said with a grin.
"And you of course can come back if you wish to! I will not be holding you prisoner or anything. You are free to make the choice to come on back here, or perhaps you can be dropped off at your hometown? It isn't as if we are stuck on a single route with flight."
The Prime Minister looked over at Aaron, who gestured at his hand, then held up four fingers. The Prime Minister responded with a small shrug, only to turn his attention back to Fei and Drew.
"I wouldn't call it barbaric, barbaric would mean you lost all control while fighting. It might seem like it, but looks are often deceiving. But I am the son of a blacksmith, and I had begun to work with him when my talents were discovered. We didn't specialize in weapons specifically, wasn't a luxury my family could afford. They would take the jobs they got, weapons, farm tools, you name something made of metal he probably smithed it once. Except for maybe something like what our guests have." Alexander replied. He smiled back a bit, knowing a man like this had an obvious underlying meaning. He knew better than to ask though.
"Ah, general metalworking. Maybe our guests here can teach you a thing or two to take home with ya! Or give you some strange new metals or something, which would still be something. I don't think most people would appreciate my swordwork though. Especially here of all places, don't you think? In fact, in all the times I ended up working at our smithy thing....I don't think I've seen you around. Must be keeping busy doing....light stuffs to not continue your craft." Seth said, standing up and stretching.
"That, or I completely missed you and you were there more often than I was."
After the quick stretch, Seth wove his arms out a few times. Fighting with his fists seemed much more comfortable when he could bring a fireball behind it. While he doubted he would ever have the gloves or hands to do what the soldier did during that fight, he bet that the exploding fireball was something that the soldier wished he had too.
Know what I need? To go on this damn trip. Get out of here like I have wanted to, take a look around, not be known by my robes and instead known for simply being...that one guy. Yeah, that would be nice for a change, with no one breathing down my neck.
Drew took a minute to consider the Prime Minister's offer. It seemed clear that there was something he was needed specifically for. And there wasn't much else he was going to get out of this. He normally would wait and see what else he could learn, but the idea of leaving for this new land, despite how he was acting, did intrigue him. "Fei, what do you think? Do you want to go where this guy lives?"
Fei hesitated, but nodded. "Well... he said we can come back whenever we want... and that we won't be hurt..." she whispered, looking curiously at the Prime Minister. "Um... when would we have to leave... if we did want to go?" She thought maybe she could pay a visit to their parents before they left. We haven't seen them in a while... I'm sure they'll want to know where we're going...
The Prime Minister glanced at Aaron when the question was posed. Aaron sighed, and seemed to count something out on his fingers. After a while, there was finally a response.
"We would leave tomorrow in the evening. The latest would have to be the next morning. And that is if we are feeling daring and you are not afraid of a few dragons. Not too much to worry about yet, but we really could do without them." Aaron said matter-of-factly.
"So, there you go. We have a short amount of time for you to gather all your things together, and get organized with everyone. Maybe even get to know a few of the people who are possibly coming along for the ride as well. Unless there is something particular you would like to discuss? Don't mean to press you, but there are others who would likely want to get to ask their own stuff as well." The Prime Minister asked, nodding to Aaron.
"I work in the smith when I'm with my family. Once I'm here though it is practicing my magic and studying. You'd be shocked how often lasers come in handy during metalworking. Hopefully I can figure something out to bring back though. As for you process, you would have to explain it first before I passed any kind of judgement, and even then it would just be whether I would use it." Alexander replied
Drew shrugged. "Ok. You got yourself a deal. I'll go with the others." He stood up, heading for the door. "So, should I call in the next guy, or is there someone to do that?" he waited for Fei to follow him.
"I can only imagine, just as my flames tend to do wonders for myself when I go to make my weapons and items. Bringing something back, or learning something would probably be much more valuable than anything I could likely teach you, and I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon. Well, except for out of here. Hopefully." Seth said, glancing over as the guard opened the door.
"Huh....looks like it is time for some new victims. Wonder who they are choosing."
"Excellent. It is good to hear you are willing to come along. I hope you do not get too chatty out there. Would like to make sure that all those here actually want to come along." The Prime Minister said, rising from his seat.
"Don't worry, the guards know who to bring in next, just head on out and do what you please. Just try not to tell everyone everything discussed here. I will explain more once I know who I am going to be bringing along on this trip. It was nice meeting you, and I hope to have more discussions along shortly once we have sorted things out here."
Raven almost didn't notice that a sheep had sat down next to her, supposedly another sacrifice. She was too busy watching Seth's little play fight to notice him at first, but he brought up a good point. Judging from the victims present in the area, she was the only Nightshade to have been chosen for this party. Really? Why me then? I know at least a couple of people above me. Hell that suck up Morgan's always going on about how she can envelop the whole place in darkness. Why isn't she here instead of me?
She turned back to the guy. What should I say to him? Um..... "It matters not...that I am the only Nightshade present at this little meeting. Indeed, it is just a confirmation that my talents are not matched by anyone in my class." The two young ones were called in for a little bit as Seth wound down his fight. No noises could really be heard from the other room, so no new info was available. The guards were soon back out, surely after the next target. Why don't they just pick me and get this charade over with? Put me out of this misery and back into the old ones.
"Talented huh? I wish I could say the same. I'm just glad you responded to me. Most other nighshades would just shrug their shoulders or hiss at me like a cat or something... Sooo what is it that you excel in to be so lucky?" He asked stiffling a yawn.
We might be here for a while, I shouldn't have over ate.
"Luck or skill had nothing to do with our being selected." It wasn't Aden's conversation, but that had never stopped him before. "At least, not directly." He moved closer to the Nightshade and the Earthshaper boy speaking to her. "They want cross sections. Mages at various stages of life and development for their tests. Although I do notice many of those in here are recognized talents. I don't see any of the numerous nose-picking imbeciles like those who populate the majority of my classes."
He stroked his chin, noting a patch of stubble on the unscarred side of his face with some annoyance. He'd forgotten to shave -again-. Damnable distracting studies. Damnable distracting Humans.
"Remember these are Humans. They absolutely cannot be trusted. The only people Mages can trust are other mages...and even that's not universal. As evidenced by the fact that these Humans are here at all, and not already burning."
"I am no cat," Raven answered the young man as another came over, one older and much more heavily scarred than the others around here. While Raven didn't appreciate him butting in on what little conversation there was to be had in this somber waiting room, he was at least making some sense. The humans back home were a miserable lot, and this guy at least saw that fact.
Judging from his wish at the end of his little tirade, Raven put together what class he might be. "I must say I did not expect to share similar views with a Pyro on this matter," she told him, still not raising her voice above an average decibel level. "I know first hand that outsiders are devious creatures, who never play above board on any sort of deal. How deep the deception goes on this batch I guess will remain to be seen however."
The pyro had a good point even if his phrasing of the word "tests" brough some nasty images into his head.
"Well..." pinching the bridge of his nose.
"... I will have to agree with the ca-WAIT I never caught your name?" He threw his hand out like a gag reflex for a hand shake not expecting her to take it.
"My names Ed." He laughed the stress away along with his almost very poor choice of words.
NOT a cat. NOT!
With Fei and Drew ushered out of the room by Aaron, the man looked around the room, noting that Aden had arrived with a small nod of his head. It seemed he was carefully looking for someone, but then shook his head as if he didn't spot them around the area.
"Alright, seems a few didn't want to show up on time, but we will have to do something about that later." Aaron said, seeming slightly annoyed.
"Next up we are taking a pair of volunteers!.....Or Aden and Seth. So unless someone wants a meeting first, Seth and Aden are up for play. Any takers?"
Aaron seemed to be grinning now, as it seemed he was now having fun with the whole task.
Seth, who seemed to be largely not paying attention, shrugged his shoulders and looked around. If he didn't have to go yet, he wouldn't go. If he did though...well, that was fine too. But it seemed that both Fei and Drew were not leaving right yet, so getting in and out of there quickly didn't seem to mean much more than a longer wait.
Fei skipped up and hugged Seth briefly, barely coming up to his shoulders. "Seth, we're going to see where the Prime Minister lives!" she giggled, much more excited and happier now that they were out of the room. Experiments and torture were the last thing on her naive mind after the man said that they weren't going to happen. "Oh, did you win?" was her second question, as she looked around for the other guard he had been fighting.
"Looks like they are taking you next. I'll hope your answer matches my own. Would be a shame to possibly not see that blade again. Truly a thing of beauty that." Alexander said as he watched the girl skip over and hug him. He thought nothing of it and didn't comment. He wasn't going to make assumptions or force himself into a conversation he wasn't a part of.
Seth was mostly surprised as Fei jumped out of the room and gave him a quick hug, which he happily returned. It was kind of strange to him still to get hugs like that, but it was still nice to happen regardless.
"Win?....Uh, I guess I kind of did that. I didn't lose at least. Nice to hear you going to visit people! I hope I will be able to come along as well, and since there are not all that many volunteers, I guess it is my turn to go chat." Seth said with a grin. He then turned his attention back to Alexander.
"Indeed it does. We will see if my answers match up to why they couldn't just ask us in the first place. You'll see the blade again I'm sure. Have fun."
Detaching Fei from himself, Seth casually got to walking into the room, nodding to Aaron as he did so. The room seemed basic enough, and the Prime Minister well prepared.
Well, here we go. Lets do this dance.
Aden scowled at the request, but stood up anyway, gathering his coat around himself. He breathed slowly, gathering the fire in his belly. Somehow, he could sense that it would be of use soon. He stepped forward, following Seth into the other room. He came along side the other Pyromancer and murmured into his ear, "Keep your flames ready...they won't try anything until we're in the air at the earliest, but be prepared all the same."
He slid into one of the chairs and folded his hands in his lap, staring at the Prime Minister with an even expression that concealed the boiling hate in his heart. How many of our kind have you murdered, Minister?
Seth glanced at Aden as he sat down, not sure if he was willing to try his flames in here of all places. He understood all too well the history of mages before, who were rumored to use blades. Just because he could make a flaming tornado didn't mean he couldn't be stabbed through them.
"Aden Ignaeus, and Seth Darius. Two pyromancers with a very interesting history, and that is just talking about one of you." The Prime Minister said, shifting his gaze between the two pyromancers.
"Upon hearing of you, my guards stated that I would need them in this room in order to make sure you didn't attempt anything dangerous. But I know you are not some uncivilized monsters that scorch the earth clean. You are just as mortal and human as myself and my people are. So, I start with a very simple question, and the same that I will extend to all the others. Would you be willing to come along with me to my city to assist with some tasks?"
Seth watched the Prime Minister carefully, his gaze as even as Aden's as he did so. Upon hearing the question, he shrugged indifferently. His heart probably would have done a couple backflips to finally be out of this place, but he knew better than to play his hand.
"I would be willing to come along, but I make no promises regarding your....tasks." Seth said simply, not bothering with niceties or formalities, which was as close to usual behavior for Seth as one could get.
"I'll come along. If only because you've managed to persuade or force these others to come. But I'll be watching you, Minister. Every step of the way. One step out of line, and you'll see what we really can do."
Not very subtle, but it got the point across. Aden was in no mood for playing games.
"Was there something else, Minister?" He rose to his feet, a display intended to put the Minister in his place. He was not the one in power here, not the superior. He was a supplicant.
Fei put her hands behind her back as Seth went off. She hoped that he could come on the trip so she would have someone else other than her brother to talk to. Not that there was anything wrong with that.
Upon closer inspection of the other mages Fei recognized Raven. She wrinkled her nose and stepped to the other side of her brother. The Nightshade was not high on her list, and Fei hoped that she wouldn't be on the trip. Hopefully the fact that -she- was on it would discourage her. The light mage looked like a far better companion.
"Are you going to go on the trip too?" she asked Alexander, noting that he had been talking to Seth before he was called in.
The Prime Minister rose as well, and appeared to be ever so slightly taller than Aden, though looking at the two men it would appear they would be at the exact same height with two different types of power existing between them. Seth seemed to not even notice the display, standing rather quickly, somewhat surprised that it was so effortless to get out of the city.
"That is all I needed to hear, Pyromancer Aden. It is great that this actually went so smoothly. I will be honest in that I was sure that you would be giving me problems over even suggesting people to come with me." The Prime Minister said, a odd grin on his face.
"Thanks for the offer, Minister. Looking forward to the flight. Sure it will be interesting...." Seth said, and with that took a quick few steps outside of the room with Aaron opening the door with a similar grin on his face.
"Alright, so, how many we got left out there?" Aaron asked as Seth stepped out of the room. "Ah, I know. You, you, and you, for good measure. I want you three to try this out next. We will see how this works out and if you will get this done as quickly as the Pyros."
Aaron had pointed at Nydia, Raven, and Cale as he had spoken, hoping that it would continue as quickly as possible. Delays were something he didn't like in another land, and this pyromancer moving rather quickly raised his hopes he wouldn't be here all day like he might have thought.
"Possibly, would really just depend on if they will let me keep in touch with my family. If they do I don't see any reason to not go really." Alexander replied honestly.
"Though with the rate everyone is going through the interviews, I guess they don't have many restrictions."
Aden stepped out quickly, eager to be out of the presence of the Minister. He rubbed his hands together as he left the room, feeling a rather intense desire to immolate the whole place and be done with it. Bastards have children here, though. He seethed silently, every bit of his focus for several seconds on not setting something or someone on fire. He took a seat and rested his hands on the armrests, gripping them so tightly his knuckles turned white.
"They probably already had us specially picked out." Fei whistled, sitting down. "Maybe they think we're all super mages!" She put her arms out for emphasis. "Or maybe they just picked us randomly..."
She looked at the two exiting Pyromancers, waving to Seth. "Are you coming with us? Are you? Did you say yes?"
Seth couldn't help but grin big as Fei took off faster than any flame he could create. He nodded as he walked back over to his old spot next to Fei and Alexander.
"Well, of course I am coming along, couldn't let you go off and be a super mage without me. That just wouldn't be any fair or any fun." Seth said, sitting down with a sigh.
"Went a lot faster than I thought it would. Why did it take you guys a bit longer? I mean, seemed I walked in, went yeah, and then stepped out in half a second."
Maybe I had missed something in particular? Or they were more inquisitive and unwilling to leave here....that might be the trick. Haha...Now that I think about it, maybe I should have raised more concerns than "I hope this task isn't stupid."
"He told us about his wife~ He said she's a princess! I want to meet her." Fei's eyes were starry as she imagined something out of a fairy tale. "He also said that we could leave whenever we wanted, and Drew asked him some questions, something about how much he knew about us, and then the Prime Minister said that he had files on us, and that we were different than what our files said so he wanted to meet us, just to make sure and to get to know us, but I'm sure they don't know everything about us, like everything we can do, but he knew our parents were merchants, and he said we could even visit them before we left!" She would have talked more had she not run out of air. Theoretically she could have breathed through the water she had in her body, but things like that tended to slip her mind. "I'm glad you're coming to be super mages with me and Drew!"
Aden looked at Fei, thought about rebuking her, then thought better of it. She was a child. An idealist. She'd never seen the petty cruelty of Humankind before. He managed to even his voice, restrain his anger.
"Just don't get too excited. Remember this won't all be fun and games."
Seth thought he had caught all that Fei had just said. It had been kind of fast for him, but apparently there was information on them all, and that the Minister had a wife. He thought that was everything. Then Aden spoke up.
"Come now Aden. What would we have her do to prepare for what is coming? I don't know what to expect any more than you or anyone else does. Maybe we will get a chance to do some tricks and then get paid for the work, and then go were we want." Seth said, looking over at Aden.
"Maybe you should go out and let some flames off. I know that my fight was quite enjoyable, maybe head to the arena or something and let some heat off."
Seth was not totally blind to everything. He was well enough aware as many other pyros that Aden couldn't stand "people", and that he was probably going to start torching things any minute if the oppertunity presented itself.
Here is to hoping he doesn't do something stupid and get himself in trouble. Or try to start something with the guards, cause I bet they won't care what he does, they will probably grab him and throw him against a wall or something....
"Right! Not all fun and games." she puffed her cheeks out. "I bet it will be a lot harder there. I'll have to practice before we go! And... oh... the other guard... he mentioned dragons..." It just hit her what dragons meant. "They aren't going to make us fight dragons are they!?" The Academy was alive with legends of how the Masters had fought things like dragons, and the masters before them. It was no stretch for her to think of dangerous beasts that ate young mages like popcorn. "I'm not that strong yet! I can't fight a dragon!"
Seth scratched his head at that. Fighting dragons did not sound like a particularly good idea. If that was the problem they wanted some help with...well, he wasn't sure what to think of that. Having not fought any dragons himself, he wasn't sure what to expect but.....it would be something.
"I would certainly hope that dragons are not what they are up to. In that case, they have much bigger problems to be grabbing all sorts of students apparently at random." Seth said with a shrug.
"But I'm sure you could handle yourself well enough against a dragon Fei. I mean, I think I might be able to handle it, so you could probably do it too!" Seth continued reassuringly. He wasn't quite sure how effective water would be against something like a dragon, but....it was probably still great defensively, if it was a fire breathing dragon.
"But you don't worry about dragons. Sure they have a plan against them if they are here. Would be kind of late waiting this long to fight dragons."
"I don't think they have that in mind for us. If they did they would have just asked the masters for help. No, they probably have something else in mind for us. What I have no idea." Alexander replied to Fei.
While she was waiting for her turn for... Whatever was going on in the other room, Nydia had closed her eyes and meditated for a bit. With all the had happened the past few days, her mind was in a bit of turmoil and the peace that emptying it even for a moment brought was incredibly helpful. The conversations around her were little more than background noise, but after a bit one voice in particular stuck out to her. "Ah, I know. You, you, and you, for good measure. I want you three to try this out next. We will see how this works out and if you will get this done as quickly as the Pyros."
Nydia opened her eyes to find a man with a mechanical arm gesturing towards her, Cale and a Nightshade girl. It seemed that he wanted them to enter the room Seth and the other Pyromancer had just left so Nydia quickly got up and went in. She found the man she had conversed with briefly at breakfast. "Ah, a pleasure to see you again!" She said with her usual polite smile and bow before taking a seat in one of the chairs in the room. "I suppose this is what you meant when you said we would be talking somewhere a little less crowded?"