Fei jumped out of bed. Or really, off the floor. Since she had gotten back to the room late, her hoarding roommate had taken the opportunity to pile up junk on her bed. She threw the comforter she had been on on top of the mess and quickly changed into her robes.
I wonder where Drew will be... I know! I'll check the cafeteria~
It wasn't too far from where she was, so she went ahead and ran downstairs. She noticed a small crowd at the entrance to the dorms, and glanced over it quickly from the back.
Ugh... I don't want to be stuck cleaning up puddles... maybe I can get something at the competition! That looks like a good way to get attention from the Masters...
She didn't find her brother immediately, but decided to grab something to eat. Her nose led her to some fruit, which she grabbed and wiped on her sleeve. She took a bite out of it.
She took another bite, looking around for something sweeter to eat, then noticed Seth coming in.
Fei bounced over to the Pyromancer, still eating the apple.
Alexander walked through the arena, recognizing a few of the Lightdwellers who were getting ready to fight in the tournament in their own ways. As he walked through he noticed Drew had walked into the arena and went to say hello to him.
As he finished the thought he made it to Drew.
"Hello Drew, fighting in the tournament?" He asked in greeting.
Ezekial slowly opened his eyes, then promptly closed them. Too early... Too early he moaned in his head as he stew he'd out slightly and repositioned himself against his tree, his earlier attempts to climb it the previous night had ended with little succes and a rather bruised face. Couple more hours then I'll spend the rest of the day accomplishing nothing... Need to get a new jug... and alcohol Ezekisl thought slowly before passing quickly into slumber.
"Hello there Fei. Good morning, how are you doing today? I'm guessing you read up on what is going on today?" Seth said, going over to where the food was, and grabbing a few eggs to cook for himself.
Darn chefs never seem to cook them the way I want them to. Good thing I know where the darn stuff is for all this cooking.
"Want some eggs? My treat, and before you ask yes I can cook rather well." Seth said as he brought fires about underneath the pan he began cracking the eggs over. He then went onward to pick up the pan, and start his own fire to get them cooking. He began looking around to see if there was anything else he could have to cook something for himself.
Hmmm....some bacon would hit the spot nicely. Gotta get some of that once I get done cooking these.
Fei giggled as Seth started cooking. "Ok, I want some eggs~ Being a pyromancer must be really handy huh? I wish I could cook food with water... hm... Oh! Maybe I can make ice cream!" She hummed with a smile, making a note to see if there were any Hydromancers that knew how to make ice cream.
"I read that there was going to be a competition! Do you think I could be in it? I think that that's a good way to get to Adept!" she pumped her fist in the air with a grin. "That's the perfect way! Can you help me practice Seth? I don't want to go around trying to get the grounds dry from the rain... it's so boring!"
Aden curled his lip with disgust as he digested the news. They were to put their prowess on display before these outsiders, these...these Humans like they were horses to be bought and sold. Checking our teeth before they make their decisions.
What was done was done, though, and perhaps he could use it to his advantage. Hopefully, he wouldn't be called upon to participate. While he did always enjoy a chance to display his superior prowess, it would distract him, and he didn't believe for a moment that all of the Humans would be engrossed with the display of magical power that they'd forget to cause trouble.
Where was a trustworthy Nightshade when you needed one?
Right now, Aden's mind was fixated on that ship they had brought. That was the only thing keeping his rage in check - lust. The craft was a work of beauty and art, and he could only dream of what could be done with such a device when Mages were at the controls. Pyromancers bringing the boilers to an incredible intensity, the airshifters bending the very skies around the ship...it was a magnificent thought. True, indisputable dominance for Magekind at last.
But how to go about achieving it?
After standing in the crowds he had a good read on the competition or at least the best he could make in a short span of time.
Alot of other mages probably full of suprises, I wonder who has more then -wait is that alex?
Ed yelled cuping his hands while jumping up and down for good mesure.
"OI! Alex! Its me Edward!"
Unsatisfied he ran down to meet him.
It looked like he was talking to someone else.
Great, a new friend
Drew said a quick hello to him before quickly excusing himself to practice. He was an Adept much like him, but happened to be an Aeromancer but they had met at a previous tournament when Alexander had been required to fight and became friends. Both had proven their proficiencies so they had both made it, though Drew was a bit more serious about fighting and had a few rituals that Alexander had forgotten about.
Alexander heard Edward's shout then saw him running toward him at the last second.
"Sorry Edward. I was just talking to an old friend, he's a bit superstitious when it comes to these things. Doesn't want to do much more than say hello to friends, thinks it might distract him otherwise. I'm guessing you're also in the tournament? So now I have to make sure two people get proper medical care at the end of this." He said with a laugh. He knew that both of them could handle themselves but he couldn't help making the joke.
Cale had been hard at work on the fields as much as he reluctantly could. Every passing day he knew that the "Tournaments" (The much kinder name they gave for the events in the Arena) would be more and more filled to the brim with other mages with potential that the humans could see. Cale knew that it would be great chance to show them what he could do but his sense of duty called to him because after all Cale was a mage first. The large landing pads were around the newcomers' airship as the instructed and there nothing really to worry about except for light vegetation here and there. There were glow-stones in place for the airships to see at night designating the landing pads even though the pads themselves were nothing more than raised plateaus of rock for the time being. There was much work to be done about perfectly making the landing pads perfectly flat and stable enough to hold the large girth of those airships.
Even though Cale was a mage and knew enough to sculpt decently he was aware that making perfectly flat rock was far out of his league so he volunteered for the clearing teams. As the Masters' shouts signaled the time for a break Cale took a step back to notice the work they had done. The clearing teams had done a good job of making room for a second airship but it was now the much more experienced Earthshapers to carve the rock into the landing pads. Even from the fields the commotion from the Arena could be heard. Many of his peers had attended the Arena and the call to show the foreigners what he could do called out to him. Then a familiar hand grabbed his shoulder.
"You want me to cover for you?" Cale turned to see Deanae's green eyes. Deanae was like an older sister to Cale ever since he had come to the Academy. Deanae was no more than an Adept at the moment but Cale knew that there was much more that she lets on. She was an orphan ,much like Cale, but she had the cruel fate to witness her parents' before her by an angry mob who despised mages like them. She was tall like Cale and as tough as any Earthshaper seeing as Geomancers didn't discriminate and allowed anyone to join in on their training regiments. Even a few mages in the past outside of Earthshaping mastery have been "seen" in undergoing the Earthshaper Calisthenics. Deanae's short dark hair was tied behind her head where one could get a good look at her straight jawline which was one of the trademarks of her. Everything seemed to symmetrical about her but Cale knew better. He's seen her at her worse and vice-versa.
"You don't know how much I want to go there..." Cale sighed.
"I think I do. Cale, I've seen you almost kill yourself to become a Mage. You tried techniques that an Apprentice shouldn't even bother trying and you know what they said?"
"Bloody Amazing!" Deanae took Cale's prized scarf and dabbed some sweat off her forehead. "Cale just go. It's not like Master Hoch or Master Prantose don't want anybody to go to the Arena. We're just the choice few that volunteered to make these buildings. Our newcomers won't even thank -us- for making these things anyway."
"Your disgusting..." Cale said jokingly as he grabbed the scarf back and not even bothering to put it back on. Deanae gave a half-smile back to him. Then she grabbed his ear and began tugging at it
"If you don't go then I will..." She teased. Deanae had a reputation for being a fearsome fighter in and out of the local arenas before and with her skills Deanae could easily attract the attention of the men from Kerbones. Cale pushed her back playfully and rubbed his ear.
"Fine, I'll go but only to avoid the risk of you upstaging me!" Cale said. With that Cale ran back towards the Earth Mountains for a fresh change of clothes and a new hope for being noticed. Deanae smiled affectionately and enjoyed her break right before they were called to work again.
Seth laughed at the though of Fei making ice cream. If he knew anything about the girl, it was that she was always found with some sweets, and if she found a way to make ice cream with her talents, she would always be found with that instead. Though, for the moment, she would have to make due with the eggs he was cooking, as he set down the pan to put a few more in.
"Become an Adept, you say? I'm not sure how much I really could help you in training. I mean, I'm a pyromancer, just because we are trained fighters doesn't mean that we can train everyone in their elements!" Seth replied with a laugh, making sure he didn't overdo it with the flames.
"Besides, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a little more hectic than the usual tournament. Its odd how everyone is going to be coming along all at once. Never really done that before, except for....war games." Seth said the last bit a little quieter than the rest, not sure if Fei had ever seen the open combat that happened there.
Aaron had awakened early in the morning to see that the masters of this place had indeed heeded his advice, and had begun to reshape the land. Many of the students ran about, working on all the land around him, which made Aaron shake his head.
That many just to smooth out some land? Maybe they are not as masterful as we want....unless these are all trainees, which would make sense.
"Men, I want you to watch the ship, and see that these students don't make these places too small. I'm going to go take a look around. Alone." Aaron said, donning his cloak to cover the more obvious armor. He quietly noted that the weather had been swept away, which in itself was impressive enough for the moment, and got to walking about the Academy. Making sure to not attract the attention of the students that himself being a newcomer seemed to bring, he decided to go to what he figured to be an arena.
Probably the reason they are holding it anyways is for myself to watch. Might as well humor them.
As he moved about, he saw himself pausing to look to an individual who seemed transfixed with the airship. He looked the fellow over for a time, noting that he was finely dressed for some reason, which he figured meant either some sort of royalty, or just a pompous bastard. In either case, Aaron knew it was a good idea to leave most of the troops with the airship, just in case.
"But you could give me pointers? Pleeease? Or we could spar? You could teach me how to fight something... or how to defend. I don't really fight so I'm not very good... will you be joining the tournament too?" she paused for a second. "What's war games?" she asked curiously, tilting her head.
Drew nodded towards Edward. Alex was one of the few mages Drew respected around the academy, so he was a little happy that someone he knew was entering the tournament. He didn't know Edward, but he didn't seem that bad. He tipped his head forward. "Gentlemen, it was nice seeing both of you. I wish we could catch up, but I think I should be getting ready. Best of luck to you, Alex. You too, Edward." He walked forward, focusing on whatever might happen next, a small air current flowing around him. "Need to loosen up a little... hopefully I'm up late in the first round..."
"Shit I'm awake" Ezekial complained as he slowly stood up. Leaning against the tree, a throbbing pain pulsed in his head and he felt thirsty. "Better get a drink and a jug" Ezekial said prodding Sir Taco gently with his foot, "And what happened to that girl and the guards, damn whole nights a blur" Ezekial breathed in hard and let it out slowly before walking over to the cafeteria. Hell of a commotion for so early... Or is it late can't really tell Entering the cafeteria he quickly found one of the cooks "Hey I need a drink and what do you have in the way if jugs or bottles of some sort"
Seth sighed as he finished up the eggs, and put them on the nearby plates that were always handy for the usual group of students. He neatly split them for himself and Fei, and then proceeded to grab a few pieces of bacon and placed it on the pan as well to get it cooked rather quickly.
"Eat you. And didn't I tell you before not so many questions at once?" Seth said with a grin as he cooked the food.
"First of all, I don't think you want to practice with me, because fire isn't picky when you fight with it. It burns, and it doesn't really care. I can give you a few pointers, but I will be going to the tournament. Need to get some energy out of myself. Now war games....I'll explain another time. Right now, I'll just tell you they are messy."
The cook, a hydromancer, shook his head at the familiar face, and gestured towards the still ice block of container that sat in the mess hall.
"Look at that! See what that is? Its your jug sitting in the middle of my damned hall. Guess what else I heard? I'm not supposed to do anything with it, cause its your responsibility, so all you are getting from here are glasses of water." The cook said with a scoff, not all that happy that he had new responsibilities because of Ezekial.
Marcus looked over the crowd of individuals who had already arrived for the tournament. He wasn't sure how he felt about this whole 'free for all' nonsense that Felicia, Dominique, AND Nine had told him to deal with. But the decision wasn't only up to him, so he had to inform the students.
"Alright students! LISTEN CLOSELY!" Marcus shouted, his voice carrying nicely within the arena. "There was a decision to make today's battles a 'free-for-all'. This means that instead of the usual one to one duels, there will be eight of you at a time. All fighting each other. However, since I find that particularly distasteful, I would rather have it so you will pair up with one another so there will be four teams! Each team will fight each other, and the victors will continue to the next round! You will of course be healed after each round is completed, and if you do indeed fall for a prolonged amount of time, our nearby Earthshapers will burrow you out of there to a Lightdweller to be healed immediately." Marcus took the time to gaze over the many faces looking at him.
"This will be a real test for you. You will be fighting, possibly for the first time, against many students of different abilities. Prove yourself here, and you will be recognized how you choose to be. Perhaps a chance to become a Weaver, maybe money, armor, weapons, jewels....or even a meeting with our guests, if you so choose. But you will have to make it first. Get organized, and the tournament may begin!"
As Nydia entered the arena, she heard Marcus' announcement. A chance to become a Weaver was most appealing to her, but then again she felt as though she could do that anytime if she applied herself hard enough. A chance to meet their guests from another land was a once in a lifetime opportunity though. Of course, fighting would have to come before all that. A free for all between 4 teams of 2 huh... Well, I'll do better with a partner than on my own. But who will I pair up with? I hardly know anybody around here... I should really start being less reclusive.
After considering her options, Nydia decided to see if anyone else was without a partner and go from there. "Um, excuse me everyone! Would any of you like to pair up with a LightDweller Adept? My healing is quite excellent, which could be useful in mid battle and my lasers are nothing to scoff at either!" She announced, hopefully, loud enough for people to hear and looked around to see if anyone would join up with her.
Cale had arrived just in time to hear Marcus' announcement about the free-for-all that now took place of the duels. Cale knew this was his chance to show his guests just what he could do but now he had to have a partner as well. A partner could make or break his chances and Cale was reluctant to conform to the fact that someone else could be getting the limelight except for him that he wasn't fighting but Cale had to swallow his pride. Cale looked around for a partner that he tried to find suitable for his talents. Cale was a good Earthshaper but he leaned to his defensive side than his offense although the Masters did train Earthshaper to be flexible in any combat scenario. Cale soon heard the calls of other students advertising their skills in hopes that others would come to them. Cale observed but he made himself visible for the others to see.
"Of all the places you could be Deanae, it had to be paving fields instead of fighting in a tournament..." Cale humbly said underneath his breath as he looked out in the throng of students for a suitable partner.
Much to her dismay, no one answered Nydia's call. She would have to be more aggressive and approach those who looked worthy individually it seemed. As she scanned the crowd, one man caught her eye. How could he not? He was practically a giant and an Earthshaper by the color of his robes. He answered nobodies calls but he did not appear to be with anybody either. Before she missed her chance and someone else approached him, Nydia decided to go talk to him and began pushing her way through the crowd.
"Um, excuse me?" She said once she got close enough, and gave her usual polite smile and bow. "Nydia Freecs, Lightdweller Adept at your service. And might I have the pleasure of knowing your name, good sir?" It would be best to know his name and rank if possible and if he were even interested in talking to her, rather than bluntly asking for a partnership.
Cale saw the lightdweller out of the corner of his eye and by the time he had turned to meet her she had politely bowed to him.
"Hello lightdweller, my name is Cale Jioni, Earthshaper Mage my lady." Cale bowed back as well but it was then that he truly noticed her height. It was something to consider as Cale quickly weighed the odds with Nydia. Lightdwellers are invaluable in general but healing during combat would even the odds in most fights. But that would mean that Cale would have to focus more offensively but at least he would be healed in the process.
"I am guessing that you would like to be my partner in this tournament and I am very flattered. There are a few types that I would partner with but a lightdweller is high on my list. I would be grateful to have a person like you by my side, Nydia Freecs. Are there any other skills you can offer besides the lightdwelling arts?" Cale said curiosly.
Nydia's smile broadened as she listened to Cale, who had guessed her intent and told her almost exactly what she had hoped to hear. Being a Mage meant they were likely to be close in skill level and being an Earthshaper would mean they both would be fairly well protected in the battle."Well, I'd like to think I'm clever, so you wouldn't have to worry about me doing anything foolish that would cost us the match. And I've already had a few ideas of ways we could combine our elements in battle. And I don't mean to brag but my lightdwelling arts are quite potent for my rank. In addition to healing, my lasers are fairly powerful. I've been practicing 100 lasers a day every morning for years now."
Nydia paused to make sure she wasn't missing anything before finally asking Cale about himself. "And what of you Cale? Tell me of your abilities if you would?"
"My abilities are what you expect from a student coming from the likes of Master Hoch and Master Prantose. As for my geomastery, I have been known to... take certain risks in order to differentiate myself from the competition but nothing I can't handle. I can do whatever the situation calls for to the extent of my abilities. If need be I can raise earth walls that can block most attacks and likewise I can hurl boulders at my enemy. There are other techniques in my geomastery armory as well because the Earth Masters have made it so that we be flexible in the heat of combat. I hope I haven't bored you with my yapping, Nydia." Cale said. In his mind they would make a good team and at the very least they would be average among the throng of other students wishing to prove themselves as well.
"Not at all Cale, not at all." Nydia replied, processing all the information he'd given her. "In fact, I think the two of us will do quite well together. So what do you say? Shall we team up?" She asked, silently hoping he'd agree.
Grana sighed as he stalked through the woods, waiting for some beast to leap out at him. Again. While walking, Grana began to reflect back to last night. "He wasn't really drunk, was he? Way to make an ass of myself." Grana sighed and shook his head. Grana heard a low growling behind him.Ever so slowly, Grana turned around to find himself face to face with a huge black bear with two red stripes running down its back. "godsdammit... A Geo-Bear? Really?" Geo-bears were an unfortunate experiment by the Geomancers to breed loyal and strong pets. Unfortunately, all they managed to breed were killing machines with near-impenetrable pelts that bred like rabbits. The Geobear lashed out at Grana with a paw bigger than the pyromancer's head, only just missing as Grana slid under the fell beast. To avoid getting trampled, Grana rolled out from under the Geobear and tried to retaliate with a fireball, only managing to anger the beast. "You have got to be kidding me! Its fur isn't even singed!" The bear charged forward as Grana turned and ran. "Fuck, fuck, fuck fuck fuck!" Grana yelled as he crashed through the underbrush, getting whipped by branches left and right. Grana heard a waterfall and immediately ran towards it. Grana then felt the earth disappear beneath him. His arm reached out and managed to snag a tree branch by the tips of his fingers. Grana heard the Geobear behind him and quickly flung his body into the caress of the tree above. The heavy bear, too stupid to look, to massive to stop, hurtled at full speed over the cliff to its death waiting below. Grana slid out of the tree and spat over the cliff before heading back to the academy. "Screw this. I'm joining the tournament. Some other unlucky Pyro can get stuck with the Geobears."
Grana arrived on the scene just in time to hear Master Marcus give the rules for combat in this tournament. Grana looked around, wondering if he could find a partner anywhere. "Grana Rei, Pyromancer Mage! Anyone care to team up?" Grana saw a few disgusted looks from other Mages. The name of the Acrobat travelled fast, and few wanted to be friends with a Magus that had spent more than half his life in the realm of humans. Still, Grana was determined to find a partner somewhere.
Cale stuck out his hand for Nydia to shake. "Team up then we shall. Is there anything else I should know about you before we sign up?" Cale said making some last minute assurances before Cale would go up with Nydia into the tournaments. It would be a difficult tournament indeed but Cale thought it would be worth it and with Nydia on his side things started to look up from such a daunting tournament.
"Goddamn it he knows I can't I use ice" Ezekial quickly strode over and grabbed his frozen jug and quickly returned to his tree, he set the jug in his lap. Water is the most free flowing element Hydromancer's exist to impose their will on it and force it to abide by our rules, Ice is mearly water forced into a cold solid state therefore a release of ice requires the solid to be forced to move again causing the ice to break apart and revert to a natural water state Ezekial knew that though this explanation may work the actually process would require deep concentration and willpower. He set the ice block on his lap and closed his eyes trying to feel the ice and force it to move.
Drew sighed. Teaming up? Seriously? I suppose I have no choice in the matter now. He started lookin around, trying to find a Hydromaster. If I can use lightning, this things will be much easier. Then again, it's not a basic Hydro technique. The only reason Fei knows how is because we trained in that specifically for quite a while. I might have to try my luck with someone else. Might as well wait. No need to rush. He sat down near the entrance, still practicing with the air current, a couple sparks flying from his fingertips.
She twitched her nose at the smell of the bacon as she stuffed her mouth with eggs. "I don't usually fight by myself. I help Drew most of the time, so..." she chewed and swallowed. "You're going to fight too huh? Do you think they'll regulate the ranks of mages that they let fight?" she got up and started to get ready to go. It was getting late in the morning and she figured they would start soon. "That was good~"
Seth quickly finished the bacon and eggs, giving a few parts to Fei as well. He figured he was late, since the Mess Hall was looking particularly empty. As he began walking with Fei, he thought for a moment.
"They might regulate a little bit. Tournaments will usually not be that picky though, so students can prove themselves. Even if you lose against a Weaver, if you show that you could stand up to them, you can still be considered for reward. Fighting against that which is supposedly losing odds shows something of yourself." Seth explained as they entered the arena where he spotted Drew.
"Speaking of the tournament, why don't you ask your brother to practice? Seems he is here to prove himself as well!" Seth said waving to the waiting Airshifter. "Hey Drew! Why aren't you in there winning yet?"
Wonder why he hasn't started yet? Something go wrong?
"Meh. Still a little sleepy." He cracked his knuckles, sitting up when Seth and Fei walked up to him. "They recommended teaming up with someone, and I'll be frank, everyone who I'd want to partner up with has someone, and everyone else... well, I don't feel like going with them. Figured there's no need to rush things. So I missed the first round. I can get in the next one." He was now in front of them. "So what brings you two here?"
Fei ran over to her brother and hugged him. "Are you going to fight too Drew?" she smiled up at him. "We're going to need partners? Do you want to team up? I can help you!~" It would be a lot easier if she had a partner, except she wasn't really an offensive fighter unless she had lightning.
Seth nodded to Drew, hearing that partners was being implemented. It wasn't exactly unheard of, but if the tournament was an invite everyone deal, then that would mean it was probably one of those bigger group things than he was familiar with.
"Guess I'm here to let off some flames. Maybe win something from someone, or send a guy to the infirmary. In any case, I wasn't really appealed with going to the forests and helping clear out the things in there while the Earthshapers did their work." Seth said with an odd grin.
"Not sure who exactly I would partner up with, but I imagine it would just happen naturally. That is how it usually does work out. Besides, if my odd Earthshaper is here, I'll just light myself on fire and he'll show up. We're odd like that."
Meanwhile, at the edge of the island, an airship landed. It was a small, brittle craft, which was made much more apparent as the two individuals jumped off, and lit it aflame, destroying the craft so no others would be able to use it. By their calculations the Academy would not be far, and they would locate all they needed to in order to complete the bargains they had planned.
Silently nodding to one another, they proceeded towards the Academy, covered with heavy looking cloaks which was somewhat unusual with the bright weather, but it covered their features, which was much more important. As the Academy drifted into view, the two split up, planning on entering from different locations so to keep visitors confused about keeping track of the similarly cloaked individuals.
"If you want to." He nodded. He trusted Fei more than anyone in the academy, so he was glad to have her enter. "It'll certainly make the tournament much easier..." He nodded to Seth. "Best of luck to you. And good luck finding a partner." He got up, motioning for Fei to walk in ahead of him.
Fei squealed in joy and skipped ahead with a big grin. She pulled out her water reserves, getting a little warmed up. She was glad that there was a stream in the arena that they used just for Hydromancers. But what if there's another hydro that we fight... She wasn't paying attention to Drew as she went ahead, looking for some sort of registration.
Nydia shook Cale's hand enthusiastically, happy to have found a partner that seemed so reliable. "Well... I imagine I'm not as physically fit as you. Also shielding is Master-level for LightDwellers and I'm nowhere near good enough yet. I can probably dodge my fair share of attacks, but I may need to rely on you to shield me occasionally. I've already come up with a few ways to combine our powers to make up for any weaknesses I might have though if you'd like to hear them. I can think of nothing else relevant to this tournament though."
"Great, now we may need to jump into the middle of a battle if something goes wrong. Hopefully the Earthshifter tunnels will work. Well I guess the best I can do is wish you good luck at this point. I'm a dedicated healer so I can't exactly fight with you Edward." Alexander said after hearing the announcement.
First they allow outsiders and are trading some of us off, then suddenly they change the rules of the duel. What in the world is going on here?
"That's good to hear. I always like a little variation here and there. I can defend you if need be and maybe you can help me if the time comes. Since we are ready to go I suggest we make our way to the tournament floor and prepare ourselves." Cale said while looking around checking out the competition. Maybe it had been good that Cale had found a Lightdweller to be his partner but Cale dreaded at the thought that maybe they might have to fight each other when the time comes in the upper echelons of the tournament, if they get there.