"It's really pretty in the Fortress~" Fei smiled, popping another piece of candy in her mouth. "But I'd still rather stay with you..." she pouted. Before she could continue, a loud voice sounded from outside.
"Can all of the students in the Floating Air Islands please report to the Main Hall. We are having an important meeting, attendance is mandatory."
Fei looked out of the window, trying to see through the fog and clouds. "Who said that...? *turns back to Drew* Drew, we gotta go to the Main Hall! Come on!!! The voice said it's importaaant!" She grabbed his hand, dragging him to the door.
Felicia cracked her knuckles. The other Pyro Master, Marcus, had told her she needed to gather all of the Pyro mages that were in the Caverns of Fire. He was one of the only pyros she respected, and even then it was only sometimes. "Hey assholes! Listen up! We got to get to the Main Hall! Right. Fucking. Now!" She pushed the closest mage towards the exit. "Move it idiots!"
Niklas Hoch stopped immediately, sensing someone coming around the corner. The student nearly ran into him, but they seemed to stop themselves right on time. Looking slightly downward with a small nod, he greeted the student. Cale, if he remembered correctly.
"Greetings, Mage Cale. I am actually here to both check up on everyone and get everyone moving to the Grand Halls. There is going to be an announcement, and we will need everyone present at this meeting in particular. It is of some importance. If you like, you can help me gather some other students to help spread the word while I plan on sending the message through other means." Niklas said, in his usual rumbling of a voice. Glancing around, he figure that perhaps he might as well go for volume in the training area.
"ALL ELEMENTALS ARE TO HEAD FOR THE GRAND HALLS IMMEDIATELY. TELL THOSE YOU MEET ALONG THE WAY." Niklas's voice boomed as he rose it to get his point across. In response, many students quickly dropped what they were doing and hurried to get to the halls.
Cindy Rotunz stood from assisting another mage with their healing when she heard another student approach her. Finishing assisting the student first, giving the boy a reassuring smile, she turned to see Nydia giving her a small bow, which Cindy returned.
"Good morning Nydia. I guess that meeting earlier today actually had some news! Thank you very much for the message. Seems class is going to be cut a little shorter today." Cindy said, rising from her bow to clap her hands. "Attention everyone! Seems that class is going to be a little shorter today. I would like anyone who is not an Adept to please make your way to the Grand Halls, as it seems there is something important happening. Don't worry too much about what you are working on, myself and everyone else will take care of it."
Looking around pleased that everyone was getting started to go, Cindy turned back to Nydia. "Thanks again for the message. Would you mind helping me finish helping clean this up? Can't have a bunch of lightly cut individuals leaving the class, just wouldn't be right in the slightest." Cindy said, moving to a nearby Airshifter volunteer and very quickly going about healing up the small cut on his arm which a student had been practicing on. "There you go!" She said, and then quickly moved to the next volunteer.
Marcus Orallian knew better than to let Felicia run about telling other students to get to the Grand Hall, let alone out in the open. So he had instead told her to get all the students from the Fire Caverns, which would mean at most all the students there getting an earful would be used to it coming from her, and her often foul mouthed and loud language.
Instead, Marcus himself decided that he would be the one to get the students who were either first having breakfast, lunch, or whatever else kind of meal they would need this still somewhat early day. As the wind billowed about him, Marcus took the time to look up, knowing that soon there would likely be a few of the fabled airships flying above them, delivering the cargo that Darnell had made a deal out of. While it still didn't sit nicely with him that Darnell had already promised the arrival, he knew that for the moment he was just going to have to live with it.
Darnell shifted about the shadows quickly, leaving notes, making the message in the shadows, or just outright whispering to students that there was going to be a Grand Hall meeting, and they had best get moving. As he shifted about the darker halls and students, he decided that leaving a note for many of the dorms where he knew students where was simple enough. Approaching one of the rooms where he thought he noted a presence, he made a note of shadows, slid it through the door, then continued on like a ghost. The shadow note quickly began arriving to many students (Namely students who remained in their rooms where the notes of black would be noticeable)
Aden excused himself from the cafeteria shortly, heading down the corridor in the general direction of the Fire Caverns. Before he was able to get very far, an apprentice airshifter approached him. "Sir, we've been ordered to head to the Great Hall."
Aden nodded to the boy, his brow furrowed in puzzlement. This was abrupt. "Thank you." He turned the corner, walking into the Great Hall and glancing around. Only a handful of people were already there, he appeared to be early. He tugged his coat around himself and leaned against the wall, pulling out a book and finding his bookmark, wondering what the hell the Council was on about this time. Some trivial drivel, no doubt.
"Nothing to drink, this is bullshit" Ezekiel complained as he entered the main hall. A fair number of people from all elements had arrived at this point most standing idly about talking quietly to each other. "Come Sir Taco" Ezekial said as he placed the chicken on the ground and motioned for it to follow him. He quickly pasted a rather relaxed looking Mage reading a book. Ezekial headed for the corner of the room to finish off the last of his jug and relax on peace.
Drew heard the announcement and got up walking outside. "Damn... whatever this is, it better be really important." He shrugged, trying taking his time to look around the streets to see what the people were saying, but nobody where he was going seemed to know why they were being called there. Well at least I'm not the only one in the dark about this...
Fei skipped beside her brother, smiling despite the storm. She tried to walk straight, the strong winds billowing her robe around her. "Of course it's important! I don't even remember the last time they had all the mages come together in the Main Hall... I'm so excited~" she looked around trying to find someone else she knew. "Do you know a lot of other mages Drew?"
Edward sat down looking around in a bit of a daze.
His thinking was still too fuzzy for his liking.
They can fit EVERY student in here, amazing
"I think you can go awhile without a drink."
"Just guessing but you probably do that every day."
Nydia nodded and immediately got to work healing everyone's wounds. "Yes, I agree. That wouldn't be right at all. So I'd be more than happy to help!" Since the wounds were rather light it wasn't long before they had all been treated between the two of them.
After finishing with her last patient, Nydia sent the volunteer on his way with a smile and turned back to Master Rotunz. "Well, looks like that's the last of them. So I suppose I'd better get to the Grand Hall myself. It would a shame to miss out on such an important event." Nydia bowed once more to Master before turning to head to the Grand Hall.
Raven had remained in the cafeteria, contemplating the uselessness of the lives of everyone around her the shouts came from the hall way. Then one of the older Weavers came in, shouting, "All students are to report to the Main Hall immediately! By order of the Masters! No dawdling! Move it!"
Stuck up jerk. Thinks he's so high and mighty because he get's to be the Master's lap dog? Conformist punk. Enjoy a lifetime of sucking up to people who won't even care about you. People only care about themselves. Their own ideals. This populace is terrible. Fine. I'll go along with your wishes. Give you a small shred of misplaced satisfaction while you slowly die.
Raven slowly rose from the table, making sure her face was covered up as much as possible by her hood as she joined the bewildered students in filing out of the cafeteria towards the Main Hall.
"I don't know that many other mages. Nobody here worth the effort of getting to know. I know a few, but they don't really seem to remember me." The Grand Hall was in view now, and Drew picked up the pace, noticing there wasn't that big a crowd at the front yet. "Last thing we need is to be standing in a line to get seated..."
Seth rose from where he was leaning up against the wall, the announcement now made apparent by a Weaver coming and announcing that a meeting in the Grand Halls were being held.
Odd....I do not remember anything like this being scheduled. Something is obviously going on...
As Seth made his way quickly past many other individuals, he spied Marcus Orallian keeping watch over the many students leaving, no doubt here to make sure everyone was going. This reaffirmed Seth's suspicions that something very important was going on, something that apparently affected most, if not all, the Academy.
Making his way into the halls, Seth grinned as he saw Aden had already arrived before him, and had gotten to doing his usual aloofness of this 'special' meeting. Making his way over to the Weaver, Seth sat next to him.
"Greetings Aden. What do you imagine brought this out? World domination time? A new meal plan? The rooms are dirty and need to be cleaned? Personally I vote for the new meal plan, it would be nice to have something new for dinner this evening." Seth said with a grin.
Meanwhile, a larger group of people, either awakened from their slumbers, brought in from classes, or now coming from the meal hall, were starting to steam into the Grand Hall, and while the Grand Halls could fit everyone easily enough, the groups that people preferred to stay in made it seem to get more crowded in areas than others.
Aden chuckled. "More likely one of the Masters would like to announce that one of their 'pet students' is getting elevated to Weaver for their 'outstanding carnal performance.'" He shook his head. The Masters had a way of drawing his scorn. He glanced over the room, eying the other Mages as they trickled in. He couldn't wait to see what boneheaded decision they had made this time.
Fei and Drew managed to get into the Main Hall before the crowd came, which was pretty good. She made him sit down near one of the steams so that she could wantonly splash about with it. She spied Seth come in, and pulled her brother's sleeve. "Hey Drew look, it's Seth! I'm going to say hi!~" she sped off away from him without giving him a chance to reply. She almost barreled into him when she noticed Aden sitting next to him, someone she never quite warmed up to. Trying to stay out Aden's line of sight she pulled on Seth's sleeve. "Hi Seth!~"
Alexander decided to see what was going on. He knew that he could skip it if he really wanted to, but class being cancelled was certainly unusual for such a thing. As soon as he stepped outside and saw all of the Lightdwellers walking through the halls it piqued his interest even more.
What in the world? Why would every class be cancelled all of a sudden and everyone be told to report to the hall. Alexander quickly joined up with the other Adepts who were attending the meeting.
"Does anyone know what is going on?" He asked the group, to which he got immediate responses that indicated nobody knew what was happening.
"Well then I guess we will have to find out." He said as they all headed into the Grand Hall.
Raven filed in amongst the general populace heading into the Main Hall. She opted to go to the back corner, where the shadows were strongest. There were muffled murmurs amongst her fellow Nightshade brethren. Rumor had it that Darnell had gone and made a move behind the other masters back. What that move might have been was unknown, not even the Weavers had any info other than that Darnell may be involved.
She settled into a seat and watched the other students of the Academy pour in. Look at the sheep march, lockstep behind their supposed shepherds. Pathetic.
Nina was in her room at the time and heard the announcement from other students. "Well I guess I need to cut my planing short and head to the great hall... wait. Nat will try to get out of this thing so I better go get her my self. Even if I have to drag her there. Nina ran to Nat's room pushing past other students and pounded on her door.
"NAT! We need to go." she said loudly pounding on her door again.
Nat got up angrily and growled. "What the hell do you want Nina? How the hell can I get away from you?" she said opening her door to a smiling Nina.
"We need to go to the Great Hall and I don't care if you want to learn Necromancy and I don't care if it's getting in the way of your reading. We need to go and I'm taking you with me no matter what." Nina said grabbing Nat's arm and started pulling.
"Fine fine for gods sake I'll go with you just as long as you don't pull me along like a rag doll." Nat said ripping her arm out of Nina's hand and started walking with her.
Soon enough they were in the Great Hall and took a set in the middle of the giant room and both women looked around. Nina saw Aden and run over to him. "ADEN!" she said hugging him yet again.
Drew sat in one of the more isolated areas. He smiled as Fei walked over to Seth. "Nice to see her getting along with some of the other mages." He looked over and noticed a couple Nightshades. He moved a few seats over. Drew had a bias against Nightshades. He just found them creepy. Plus they have a reputation for backstabbing.... It wasn't necessarily true, but he had a few bad personal experiences, and was still very bitter against them.
He looked forward, only half interested in what might happen. Wonder what bullshit they called us out for this time. Maybe we have some new special prodigy is getting advanced to Weaver and can dualcast light and darkness... he laughed, knowing that any announcement like that would just give him someone new to hate. Probably just going to be some stupid little pep talk from the Masters or just some event that amounts to them just stroking their egos...
Seth chuckled along with Aden's joke, sharing in the distaste of the Master's sometimes questionable raising practices. However, his mirth was slightly interrupted by someone tugging at his arm.
Now, there are very few people who do that...
Seth turned to see Fei happily, but almost sneakily, trying to get his attention. For an instant it was spun back to Aden as suddenly he heard the shout of "ADEN!" and a body fly at Aden giving him a hug, which Seth couldn't help but laugh at.
Today.....just got a hell of a lot better. At Aden's expense, but better his than mine!
Now bringing his full attention to Fei, Seth grinned.
"Hello Fei! How are you doing today? Taking care of Drew?" Seth said, taking a small glance to see if the wayward Airshifter was about, to not see him and just enjoy his new company, as well as Aden's reaction to his....overzealous student.
Grana yawned as the announcement to meet in the Main Hall. He looked longingly at his plate and sighed. "Maybe I'll actually get to eat lunch today." He grumbled, annoyed at the announcement that had stopped him from eating his meal. Grana seized the loaf of bread on his plate and began to tear into it as he headed toward the Main Hall, his annoyance disappearing as his agitation grew. Grana paid special attention to the Masters who wandered through the building. His insights were better than that of most people at the Academy, having spent 15 years carefully watching what the viewer wanted to see in a show. "Something's... Not right here. This feels a little bigger than someone being promoted to Weaver. There's something the Masters aren't telling us..." Grana hurried down the halls, his doubt growing with every step he took. He finally arrived in the Main Hall and slowly made his way to where his fellow Pyromancers were. He then had to choke down a laugh as he saw Nina. "Oh gods. I'll have to remember to stop by the hospital ward later with some burn salve. And perhaps a fireproof dress." Grana walked over to the group when he saw Seth. Grana grinned, as the man had helped Grana on more than one occasion when he was having difficulty controlling his flames, due to his late start. Grana made his way over. "G'morning, Seth. What do you think all this is about? All the Masters are rather on edge. It seems as if something big is going down."
"Yes-aaah!" He grunted as a small woman leapt onto him and latched on like a barnacle. He pushed on her shoulders.
"Yes, hello, Nina! Calm yourself! Fire and Blood, girl, you need to gain control." He shook his head. "Most Pyromancers have emotional imbalances in their training, but while you're a refreshing change from the enraged brats I deal with on a daily basis, you need to tone it down." He shook his head. That other girl, Nat, had to put up with this one on a daily basis. Still, Nina must be quite an impressive mage to be at her ranks. He had a hard time imagining the girl calm and focused, but he supposed it had to happen sometime.
The Grand Hall was already quite crowded as Nydia entered. It was hardly a surprise since she had taken the time to heal all those volunteers back in the class. Good, I'm glad I didn't miss out. This seems important... Or at least I hope it is since I'm missing out some valuable studying time for it. Nydia thought to herself as she took a seat with few people around. It wasn't that she disliked her fellow magi, but for some reason she just felt more comfortable alone. So alone she sat, and waited patiently for the assembly to get started.
"I'm fine~" she whistled, more relaxed now that Aden's attention was elsewhere. "Do you know why there's this important meeting? I'm so excited I can't wait to find out~" Fei held out a lollipop for Seth, grinning as she went on. "I'm turning 18 soon, and I'm going to try and test for Adept! Do you know what I can do to impress the Hydromasters? I can almost freeze water now but... aha! Maybe I need to work on my healing skills! Do you think that working in the infirmary will help me? Or maybe I should just concentrate on my offensive skills? How did you become a Adept Seth?" The words just bubbled out of her mouth as she took out a piece of candy for herself.
Cale arrived in the worst of it as he waded through the throngs of people in the crowded walkway trying to get to an open seat. In the Great Halls he could see mages of all sizes, shapes, and elements trying to get themselves onto a seat. Cale wasn't worried that there would be no seats. He worried that the throng of people would not allow him to get a seat in time for whatever announcement in plan.
By the Gods...
No one in the crowded mass stood out to Raven, and that was the way she preferred it. She had no need to learn any names at this place. Who would want to remember anything about the ghosts trotting through their routines like nothing was wrong with the world. The only person she did pick out was once of her teachers. Nat was walking to some other guy, who had this weirdly energetic woman hanging off of him. Why would she want to consort with the likes of them? That is just weird.
Seth's grin almost seemed as if it would split his face as Aden tried to reason with his energetic and overtly personal student. Seeing Aden in such a position absolutely destroyed any assumptions that Seth tended to hold to Aden and his personal space. However, he was being greeted himself.
Well, there was no way that Aden was going to attract everyone without bringing along some additional company.
"Greetings Grana. Your guess is as good as mine. Seems that the Nightshades don't seem as smug as usual, so I don't think even they know what is going on." Seth said, glancing over at the sections Nightshades tended to group in.....except one. Seth mentally noted the oddity before turning his attention to his other friend who was just overflowing with questions, as usual. He obviously needed to speak with her more often if missing a day meant all this!
"Whoa whoa whoa! Slow down there Fei! I can only speak so fast to answer questions! I imagine you want a gift for your birthday? What would you like?" Seth began, only to find himself being cut off by the booming sound of a master.
"STUDENTS! TIME TO QUIET DOWN AND GET TO YOUR SEAT, THE MEETING WILL BEGIN SHORTLY!" The Airshifter Nine shouted, using his powers to amplify his voice over everyone's own chatter and the noise of the last people coming in. There was now more urgency in everyone's movements as they all sought a place to sit quickly, less one of the masters call them out on it.
Seth sighed, beginning again with Fei. "Well, if you plan on sitting with your brother you might want to hurry! I can answer all your questions after this meeting!"
Marcus shook his head as he knew he was in charge of speaking at this meeting because it was his particular time to be head speaker of the council. He was almost certain that Darnell had done this during his particular time on purpose to annoy him. However, he wasn't going to let Darnell force him to announce everything, especially when it wasn't his doing in the first place.
".....Prepared, Master Marcus? The announcement will begin shortly." Darnell, as usual, ghosted over to Marcus, but the man was unruffled by the shadow's approach.
"Unlike you, Master Darnell, we pyromancers do quite well on the move. You just be prepared as well." Marcus replied, steel in his voice. Tossing the hood on his robes over his head, Marcus took one more look over the many students inside the Grand Halls.
And we are going to send some of these out into a world which fears, and possibly hates them. Let alone at the most technologically and distant place from the Academy. Blood and fire, I don't like this.
Glancing about at all the masters, Marcus, and all the other masters in tow, began to walk to the main platform.
"Odd, it doesn't seem like they are about to announce anything happy with their hoods up." Alexander said to nobody in particular.
"Probably because they aren't." A woman next to him said.
"I think you might be right, even though I kind of hope you aren't. If only for our own sakes." He replied.
"But Aden I can't just walk around being an ass like you and Nat. Yea I may be bubbly but better then being an ass. Besides I'm part pyro." Nina said looked at the platform seeing the masters walk up. "Oh well I guess I better get to my set and tugged at Aden's arm. "Come on, that also means you need a set as well. Might as well sit with another weaver." Nina smirked trying to pulled on Aden's arm more.
Nat crossed her legs and waited eying the master and shook her head. "What are they up to?" she said to her self.
"Oh, right! Well, I'll see you later then Seth!" Fei quickly made her way back to her brother, almost tripping over her long robes as she plopped down next to him. She tried to be quiet and listen as the Masters started to talk, but quickly found herself bored. Trying to be discreet, she took a fistful of water from the stream and played with it, forming various figures as she kept her ears open to whatever they might say.
As the masters all arrived and sat except Marcus, who was designated speaker this particular time, the Pyromaster looked around the room. Some had not gotten to their seats yet, and he wanted to get this done and over with. Noon was almost too quickly approaching, and he really didn't feel like messing with this nonsense today. Turning to look at Nine, who was always up to cause some form of problems, he nodded.
Almost as if expecting his skills to be needed, the Airmaster turned to Durant, the Hydromaster sitting next to him, and got to work. Focusing their elements, a string of thunderbolts lanced out from the stage, which got everyone's attention instantly, and people to their seats even faster. With a hushed silence all over the hall, Marcus took a deep breath before beginning.
"Students, you have been gathered here this late morning because of news which very recently came to our attention as a whole. Something that the Academy has never experienced before is taking place, and we want to make sure that everyone is prepared. And by everyone, we mean everyone." Marcus began, his gaze and booming voice sweeping through the entire hall.
"With that said....We are going to be receiving guests. Very important, and very powerful guests. The Prime Minister of Kerbones is coming here, to this Academy. For those of you not keeping up on your classes, this is a city of isolation and amazing technology. So amazing that....." Marcus paused, turning openly to look to Darnell. "....that it was deemed an equal trade to send any and all information that we had about the students to this man. Not only that, but there are additional prices to pay. Darnell, it is your turn. Tell the students to their faces what you have done, and what you plan."
In an almost stunned silence, Marcus turned, and went to his seat. There came some uncomfortable mutterings from the rest of the masters, as a Speaker had never simply shifted their position to another. After a few moments which seemed to take minutes, Darnell rose, and went to the front.
"Students. In trade for the information, it was also agreed upon that a number of students would be going back with Prime Minister Cabal. He will choose out these students after the transaction of technology and weaponry has been made. You should be prepared to gather any particular belongings that you might want to take on the trip, and be prepared to leave for an extended period of time. Also, because there are likely going to be a number of airships coming with the Prime Minister, it will be necessary to prepare the land around us for their arrival and landing. Each respective master knows exactly what to inform their students to do in this particular task." Darnell said, their tone never altering.
"A warning, as for those who like to cause mischief or perhaps attempt to stow away or attempt to steal or tamper with the soldiers. They will not hesitate to shoot or stab you on sight. If you are found too close to a soldier, or within the perimeter, your death will occur, and there will be no repercussions for it. This is your first and last warning. Be aware that they do not need to trade with us, and tampering with these guests in any way will not be met softly." With that, Darnell went to their seat, which again brought Marcus forth.
"Students, you are to be giving the next few days off from classes to prepare for the arrival of these very important guests. That means you will be washed up, cleaned up, sober, healed, fed, and damn well prepared for the guests. Perhaps Master Darnell didn't make it clear, so I will. YOU WILL BE PREPARED AND LOOK YOUR DAMN BEST FOR THESE GUESTS OR I WILL PERSONALLY TIE YOU TO A STICK, TREAT YOU LIKE A COMMON THIEF, AND THEN ROAST YOU. Now, go enjoy this change in plans today, because tomorrow you will find your instructions on the announcement boards at each particular elemental area. That is all for this meeting. Go, and be ready."
With that, the Masters rose from where they sat, and walked out of the Grand Halls once more, and afterwords each going their separate ways to the elemental areas in which each belonged before the students even had a chance to rise.
"Sober?!" Ezekial exclaimed "That's not happening" He laughed pushing himself off the floor and stumbling through the crowd of people. "Let's go Sir Taco" Ezekial said quickly as the chicken quickly flapped his wings and jumped onto Ezekials outstretched arm and quickly climbed onto his shoulder. "Let's go take nap, Sir Taco, yes yes and let's go get you some water" Ezekial whispered sweetly to his chicken.
Fei burst out crying, hugging her brother. "I DON'T WANT TO BE ROOOASSSTEEED" She had to wonder if the soldiers would be mean. Maybe they have two heads... or eight legs... I heard they use -weapons-... so scary... The last thing she wanted to do was be taken off the island by some monsters. She couldn't remember how the outside world was, and honestly, she didn't want to.
Oh great. We have to get all prim and proper to try and impress a bunch of guests who think they're better than us and get to completely bypass any laws all so that we can make the Masters look good. he hugged Fei as she cried. "It'll be ok... you don't need to worry. Just stay out of their way." He sighed. "Besides, what are the odds of them deciding that one of us has to go on that stupid little trip?" He looked around, observing the other student's reactions.
You've got to be kidding me. They expect us to behave like cows? To just stand and be judged by the outside assholes and the winners get taken away somewhere? Pfft. No way. I'm not joining up with all these wanna be preppy conformists. To be prettied up and made to look good in the eyes of some government guy who's probably only looking for the next piece of ass he can grope. No thank you. I don't care what you said Darnell. I'm not participating in this charade.
Raven quickly joined the growing number of students heading for the exits. She didn't want to be around in the afterglow of this opportunity for the goodie-goodies to puff themselves up anymore.
"Promise?~" she smiled and jumped up. "Yay! I won't have to worry about anything~... but what am I going to do without classes? How am I going to practice to become an Adept???" The little piece of news about visitors was quickly forgotten as she poured over the details of how she what she could do to catch the Hydromasters' attention.
Cale had to stand in the back along with many other students were not so lucky in obtaining a seat but he was as swept up in the Masters' words as any other mage around him. Visitors from Kerbones? Those words were hard to combine nowadays. It was not hard to hear talk about the isolated city that was Kerbones, a city that kept the secrets to their technologies to themselves, a city that refuses to turn over and meet the outside world, a city that enchanted many with its tempting technology and advancements that made the kings that ruled today look like peasants in comparison. Whatever Kerbones held behind its walls Cale's sense of curiosity got the better of him and overtook his thoughts. They made him want to see the astounding mysteries that Kerbones held, they made him rush back to his room and prepare for the days ahead were the thoughts of Kerbones intoxicated Cale's very mind.