A sizable room with a round table in the middle. Currently there were five people in the room including him.
A female gveril, a large human male, a skinny male Kovus, and two human female students.
“I see.” The large male student said after reading the introduction letter.
“I am Philnor Strusaend, 6th year advance student, first chair and head of this small council.” Philnor introduced himself and then turned to the others in the room.
“That is Alexus Vanaragh, 5th chair and a 5th year student. The woman over there is Julesi Haringsilt, 2nd chair and a 6th year also.” Philnor continued undisturbed. “That is Val Reudin, 6th chair and the only 4th year in the council. Currently away on council business are: Willex Qholton 3rd chair, and Dresile Gullivin 4th chair, both 6th years.”
Having introduced everyone in the room, he brought forth Kaidus.
“Everyone, this is Kaidus Paltos. You may have heard the rumors, he is the youngest student ever admitted into any of the academies, and our 7th chair as of today.”
“Don’t forget, he’s a commoner too.” The female student called Val added to Philnor’s introduction.
“He’s a little small…” Alexus gave a gauging remark.
“His height and origin matters not. I’m sure he’s in Zorin on his own merits.” Philnor reprimanded Alexus and Val’s words.
“I didn’t mean that as an insult. What I mean is: don’t forget that he is a commoner with the ability to get into Zorin. I would not dare to insult someone like that. Forgive me if I may have given offense.” A calm and eloquent explanation came out of Val along with an apology toward Kaidus.
“None taken. My commoner status is true, and no secret to anyone.” Kaidus replied in his usual tone.
“Will he be able to handle council business? I understand that only those with sufficient abilities are in the council, but isn’t he too small? Wouldn’t his size hinder his abilities?” Alexus asked, upon evaluating Kaidus further.
“That rumor we were just talking about earlier… the student that faced off against four mast-”
“Him?!” Alexus’s face distorted with disbelief.
“It must be.” Philnor replied back, showing no annoyance at the interruption. “Currently, students are still being evaluated before they are drafted into the council. Rumors of someone fighting the masters last night started flying around this morning, and then he shows up with a letter announcing his position as a first year. This is too much of a coincidence.” Philnor explained.
“Really?!” Val’s eyes lit up. “The rumors say you took on four of the masters single handedly!” she exclaimed.
“No. I was only fighting one of them, and it was just a test.” Kaidus replied, trying not to go into details.
“I see! So that’s why you’re in here!” Her excitement over the topic was obvious.
“If you don’t mind, what exactly is this Council of Magi, and what do we do?” Kaidus quickly asked.
“The council is a selective self-study plus enforcement class made up of 10 students. Besides the head and his second that rolled over from the previous year’s council, everyone else is new and hand-picked by the masters.” Instead of Philnor or Val, Julesi replied to his question.
“With the completion of their studies, older and more experienced students leave the school while new students join. In this new phase, while the students try and sort each other out, troublemakers always appear. It is the job of the Council of Magi to discipline these reckless people and inspire them. Whether it be through sheer display of our magic, or forcing them into submission. Along with various other chores and perks”
‘Great…’ Kaidus quickly recalled the incident with Jorva and Lisin in his mind.
“… Master Drilm also mentioned something about rivalries with other schools?” Kaidus added”.
“Yes. Students frequently get into disputes with other schools during the ryes, so it is also our job to judge and administer proper punishments. When it is brought to our attention, of course. Each of the three councils are responsible for their own students…” Julesi started a string of explanations.
Listening, Kaidus memorized the key points.
-Student related problems go directly to the Council, and are solved by the council–sometimes with help from the masters. These are things such as improper use of magic, mismanagement of funds for those working in the student ran shops, student disputes, or conducts unfit for members of the academy. Punishments ranges from minor services or apologies, to payments if properties were destroyed or broken, to suspensions and expulsion.
-Disputes with other schools are judged via representatives and given a suitable penalty after both parties have had a chance to give their stories. If a punishment is found untasteful, representatives can contest against other school reps to instill their own punishments that they see fit.
-People will keep quiet and leave their issues out, but any that that does come through, is handled to the utmost by the council.
-It is a free study class when there is no problems to mediate or issues to solve. Each student may do as they wish.
-There is no master for the class. Each of those chosen as a member should have the integrity to uphold themselves, and the honor of Zorin.
-Council jobs may excuse members from their other classes.
-Only capable students are recruited to join the Council of Magi.
“What about today?” Kaidus asked, having grasped responsibilities of the council.
“We got words that one of the newer student’s got into a minor feud with another from Tiokin over the ryes. I’ve already assigned Willex and Dresile to get his statement.” Philnor replied. “I’m pairing you with Val. Go with her and watch how things are done to get a feel for the job. First up, is extracting an offender from his class.”
Walking through the academy grounds with Val, he had to quicken his steps to keep up with her longer strides. Seeing it, Val slowed down to keep pace with him.
“So you’ve awoken?” She asked, amazement in her voice.
“A couple years ago…” Kaidus gave a vague answer.
“Amazing. I’ve never heard of anyone awaking before they are at least in their teens. You must be some kind of genius. Who taught you how to control your mana?”
“I… my magic is self-taught…” It wasn’t really a lie. He had taught himself ever since moving to Ferrent using his old memories.
“Yea… my parents couldn’t afford a teacher, so I just kind of practiced on my own, getting a feel for the magic.” He left out the truth, but gave an explanation that would help explain his unusual circumstance.
“… I don’t know what to say, but if that’s the case, you really are a genius. I’ve heard of people learning magic on their own, but never to the potential of those with a teacher or here at the academy.” She replied, smiling at him.
Having appeased Val somewhat,
“So, who are we after and what did they do?” Kaidus questioned, before Val could inquire any more about him.
“Bastus Granilt. A student reported yesterday that there was water coming out of the room next to his. When Alexus went to investigate, he found that half of the room was burnt, and the floor soaked. We questioned Bastus, the owner of the room, and he confessed to having burnt the room trying out one of his new incantation. We’ve moved him, but Alexus has been logging the cost of the damage.”
“So now that Alexus is done, this summon is to finalize the fees?” Kaidus finished.
“You got it. We’re going to call on him to get some paper work filled out, and make sure that he knows what he’s being penalized for.”
“You said he confessed, what happens when people don’t confess?”
“Well, then they risk expulsion when we find out the truth.”
“By bringing in the masters. A few of them can concoct some nasty potions that make people quite talkative. With a little bit of goading, the truth always comes out.” Val gave Kaidus a sinister grin.
Following Val and observing, it turns out, the council’s job was quite mediocre and mundane. There were lots of tedious processes, and a whole lot of going back and forth between the council room and other practical buildings. So far, it was nothing as enthralling as he had been made to believe.
‘Please let it continue like this.’ Kaidus thought to himself as the class came to an end.
Making sure his shoes were tied, his clothes were buttoned, and anything that would impede his movements were in safe hands, he was currently preparing to enter the arena with his partners.
It has been seven days since he first started the new schedule, and the ryes was tomorrow. The plan was to go back home to spend time with his family.
But first, it was group combat.
“Alright! Since you are the first groups, I’ll go over the rules again.
NO LETHAL MAGIC! Got it?! Begin when ready!” the master quickly shouted out as the participants entered the arena.
Kaidus sighed. He had not wanted to participate and had used various menial jobs as a council member to excuse himself. With the consent of the combat master, the ruse had worked for a short while, but those who learned about it were boldly speaking up against his inactivity in the class. With many eager students waiting to see the abilities of a child who rose to advance in his first year, and many questioning those abilities, he was left with no options but to join in.
Walking to their respective sides, the two groups waved to each other signaling readiness.
“Since this is your first mock battle, you can support from the rear.” An older student called Eryne told him as they started. With mana enhanced legs, the student quickly dashed toward their opponents.
“Asiran! Velo tashine oray-” His other teammate was casting a mana shield for the one that was charging.
Kaidus watched the inevitable clash.
An opponent in the back finished casting and shot forth a bolt of lightning to stop his charging teammate. The other two finished shortly after, and blew forth a combination of wind and water to impede the charge also.
The lightning bolt struck first, but was absorbed by the mana shield, while the water and wind blasted Eryne, halting his progress. With the shield protecting him, Eryne edged toward the left to escape the surge of wind and water, conjuring a mana shield of his own to reinforce him.
As soon as he was close enough to the edge, the ground distorted and softened, swallowing his legs and stopping his movements—the mage who casted the bolt had changed magic.
Suddenly the mud underneath solidified and pushed his legs out of the ground. Eryne quickly moved away from the torrent.
Seeing him escape, the three opponents stopped sustaining their magic. One moved out to engage while the other two supported him from the rear.
“Frost-Field!” One of the opponents shouted an immobilization spell. The area around Eryne started growing colder, and his body began slowing down.
“Flames of life!” Kaidus’s other partner countered with an invigoration spell.
Before the invigoration spell could take effect, the opponent who had moved to the front quickly moved toward Eryne. With his hand in a fist, the student was going for a stomach blow but was suddenly thrown backwards.
With the invigoration spell kicking in, Eryne easily escaped the frost field and got into range of the opponent that was thrown backwards. He went for a fast kick to the side, but the opponent was already up and guarded the kick.
Roots shot out of the dirt field and grabbed onto Eryne’s legs and left arm.
“Water lance!” A spray of sharp water attacked the opponents who had conjured the roots and bound Eryne.
But the spell was a little too late, and the opening gave their foe an opportunity to throw a punch back at Eryne, squaring him in the chest.
*UAH!* Eryne grunted as the opponent charged him to the ground after the punch and started blasting him with air magic, keeping him down.
“I’m going in. Keep Zirl off of Eryne before he passes out.” Kaidus instructed his teammate as he ran in, avoiding incoming spells and missiles headed their way.
“Alright!” The partner yelled back.
Dashing toward their opponents, Kaidus enhanced his small body with mana. “Earth Grave!” his partner shouted from behind. Eryne’s whole body was sucked into the ground. The spell was a capture skill, but in this situation, it would protect Eryne in his downed state.
Closing in on the opponents, a small dagger of flame materialized in his hand, and Kaidus threw the weapon.
His opponents saw the projectile and attempted to shoot it down, but was unable to.
The spectators gasp as they watched the flaming dagger sail through the air, heading toward one of the three participants. It was surely to impale one of them. The combat master started invoking a shield.
Like lightning, Kaidus materialized before the impact. His hands on the handle of the fiery weapon, his hair streaking silver briefly before quickly turning black again.
Having used ‘Sonis’ to close the distance, he blasted the opponent with a wall of mud, knocking the opposing student down. With a thought, he hardened the thick mud to restrain the opponent on the ground.
Two roots shot forth to restrain him, but with a quick slash of the dagger, the roots burned up. With a swift dash, he closed in on the second opponent. *WHOOOSH* a powerful wind blew at him as he approached, threatening to knock him off his feet. “Earth wall!” his partner yelled out, making a wall to shield him.
Within seconds, *BAM!* the wall cracked, and through it, a fist came flying. Using wind and earth magic, Zirl had broken through the wall. Kaidus saw his chance and quickly reformed the wall, catching Zirl in it. With his own earth magic, he sunk both Zirl and the wall into the ground.
As he was getting ready to take down the last opponent, his partner’s earth grave opened up and Eryne came out.
“I ALMOST DIED DOWN THERE!” Eryne yelled. After taking a second to grasp what was going on, instead of complaining further, he charged the remaining opponent.
The practice had become a one-sided match once he joined the fight.
Having finished, he stepped out of the arena to a drastic change in his fellow students. Everyone was looking at him differently, their eyes filled with awe and veneration at what they had just witnessed. No one was complaining now.
Naught about his lack of skills, why he is in the council, and not a mention about being a child. Even the complaints about why a first year is in the advance course was shut off completely.
They wanted proof of his abilities, and he had given them a glimpse of it.
At the eatery, he was having a meal before heading home.
“Mind if we join you?” A voice called out to him.
Looking up, a beautiful girl with emerald hair and eyes was looking at him while another hid behind her.
“Of course not, please go ahead.” Kaidus replied back to Prim. A look of surprise on his face. The three ate in silence until he finished his meal, and was about to leave.
“I’m very sorry…” Prim finally spoke, standing up from her seat, “Without Jorva and Lisin, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on my actions, and about what you said. Thinking about it, I was jealous… with my lineage, I had believed myself a skillful mage easily capable of surpassing others. Yet there you were, someone far beyond my reach, rising even faster than I could ever hope to. I was angry at my own lack of strength, so I responded poorly, intending to humiliate you.” Prim lowered her head. “All to give myself a sense of superiority, and to feed my vanity.”
Another surprise. He had not expected to talk to Prim ever again, but here she was, giving him a formal apology.
“I know that a mere apology would be unable to compensate for our actions, but I am very sorry for what we’ve done.” Prim gave him a low apologetic bow.
To the side, Lisin also stood up and gave an apologetic bow. She had been silent the whole time and unwilling to look at him.
“Thank you. I too apologize for my childish behavior, and any grief it may have caused.” Kaidus gave a curt bow back. “If you will please excuse me, I must be on my way before it gets any later.”
“Thank you…” Prim replied as he left.