[Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

The story unfolds around Osaka, Japan, with the unlocking of one girl's hidden potential, and a gathering of Young mages whom are destined to change the fate of the Earth.
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore »

"I--!" Johann didn't know how that sentence ended, but he sure was miffed that he never got it out. Heat flushed his face, and made him tug at his turban self-consciously, wishing he could yank it over his face and hide for awhile. The turban remained snug and his emotions remained in plain sight.

The key, however, drew him from thoughts of his own predicament to the problem at hand. When Kat finally paused, the German gently extricated himself from her grasp to point. "There!" It was beside Katerina's stone, presumably because she had also seen it. Chuffy had remained on the shore and sat watching Johann like the dutiful beast he was.

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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Katerina paused when a goldenish glint caught her eye in the water. When Johann took his hand away from hers and pointed, she knew he had seen it, as well. She planted herself on the stepping stone, getting into a sort of stance and concentrating. without saying anything, she began to 'pull' at the water with her magic, trying to draw the key upward with the water from the river. "If it comes up, could you grab the key? Moving water is a bit harder to control and I'm not used to this much of it," she told the young man. She was determined to get this key as quickly as she could, and hoped that Johann would continue to be helpful. She could see that he lacked some of the confidence that several of the other students held, and thought that perhaps making sure that his contributions were important would help him feel more confident in himself.

Also, it didn't hurt that she couldn't manipulate the water AND try to grab something at the same time, and thus actually did need his help.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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Ruarc sat pensively in the shade of a maple tree as the sounds of nature mingled and blended around him. Patiently he waited for his students to complete their scavenger hunt and find him. In the meantime he found himself dozing, lulled by the cadence of an afternoon breeze winding its way through the humble little valley. The sound of scratching nails on tree bark drew him back from the edge of slumber. Just to his right, a squirrel had come down from the branches above to rest on the exposed tree root next to the druid. Extending a steady hand, Ruarc invited the creature onto his arm, but the fickle rodent scampered off through the grass. Watching it go, the Irishman arched his back in a stretch that gave off a few audible cracks.

Unsure of how long he had been dozing the druid eavesdropped a little bit through his connection to Laoise, and was pleased to feel that the group was working its way through the river puzzle; or at least part of it was since it seemed the students had split the party at the fork. While not unexpected, it was somewhat inconvenient since he only had one familiar, and thus no way of grading certain aspects of the other group's performance. Thankfully, he was at least able to check on their location so as to not be caught unaware, as it seemed Willow had gone with the other team. Pulling out a rune from his pocket, he felt the smooth slate in his hand before focusing a small amount of energy into it. With what felt like a low thrum, the rune began to pulse, and with a few probing waves of his arm he had Willow's general location figured out. Had Willow been able to figure her own rune out she could have done the same to arrive at Ruarc's hiding spot, as the two runes were Locators and aligned to one another.

Nodding to himself, Ruarc figured Willow, Drysi, and Vrey had finished at the Spring up the hill. Smiling to himself he couldn't help but wonder how the three more eccentric students handled the spirits located there. They would likely reach the final test location first, if he had to venture a guess. The river group had the shorter path, but the druid was particularly proud of his key puzzle. That said, he was surprised that Willow's group had finished with the spirits so quickly.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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"Natürlich," the German affirmed in his native tongue. He slowly knelt on the stone and rolled sleeves up his alabaster arms. Katerina had probably never seen a dead person before, but Johann's thin, white skin have the impression of a creature past its expiration. A dissonant observation seeing as he was clearly alive.

As soon as the key broached the surface, Johann snatched it with one hand while the other steadied him. "Got it!" he declared jovially.

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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Pulling herself out from the lake-turned-map, Vrey's gauntlet'd hands scrubbed across her face - each swipe of her hands devouring the water that clung to her skin. As soon as the bald teen was no longer dripping water onto her own shoulders she collapsed into a cross-legged sitting position and turned to watch the her classmates.

They seemed confident. Vrey nodded to herself as she decided to add her own confidence to her view of their confidence. This way when they decided to leave and Vrey followed they would naturally bring themselves to the correct conclusion of their trip.

The entire problem solved, wordlessly and with no communication from the bald girl to anyone else, Vrey busied herself with poking at the stone she was cradling in the center of her right hand. The fish had given it to her and she wasn't quite sure what to make of its gift.

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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As soon as Johann snatched the key up, Kat let the water fall back into its natural state, causing a bit of a splash that would come up enough to perhaps get the German's clothes a little wet. This, she only noticed after the fact, as she had in fact been a little distracted and somewhat confused by the absolute pallor of the boy's arms, although she mentally chalked that up to him being from a northern European country and also probably tending to be a bit of a shut-in.

"oops! Didn't mean to splash you!" the young woman apologized, seeming a bit embarrassed at her lack of finesse when returning the water to its previous state.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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The necromancer righted himself and shook off some of the water. The motion also set his loose sleeves free, and they tumbled down to his wrists. "Not a problem," he cheerily assured her. His eyes were affixed to the glimmering shape in his hands and applying a fierce scrutiny.

"It doesn't look special," he determined after several seconds.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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Drysi could only stand to stand for so long. Her eyes were still misting over, giving the look that she had been crying. The experience of her third eye overwhelming her senses was washing away, and at seemed to wash off some of the mud on her heart. Her head quickly shot over her shoulder, checking for cottonflies, but there were none immediately upon her. In the passing moment of rest, in the presence of the forest and the tranquil nature about them, she felt unburdened. Something in the back of her mind withdrew, and suddenly she felt ashamed of what she had originally intended with her spark spell.

Her sparkling eyes drooped to her map, her fresh work showing pristine in its replication. Vrey had withdrawn herself from the pool, and it would be high time to get the show on the road, as it were.

The normally fierce looking triclops turned to Willow.

"How are you alright with all of this?" questioned Drysi, clutching her bag as she guided the map into it, using the magical art of her mother to fold it the shape of a small bird. "You were a mundie just a while ago, and now you're surrounded by wild, magical animals. Creatures that might eat each other on the best of days. You're in a mystic forest, on your own. That rune probably won't help if you get in trouble."

She hazarded a glance to the other spirits, their auras still imposing and bright, and then looked back with an expression that looked over all three frames of her glasses, "How are you so brave? Aren't you afraid?"

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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Willow stared at Drysi for a few seconds, processing the question and how to best answer. There were a number of answers she could have given, or ways to dodge them at least. Instead the Brit leaned back on her heels and visibly contemplated her answer. Before to long Willow met Drysi's eyes and said simply and matter-of-factly, "I'm not on my own, though. I have you with me."

Willow stood up straight and because to meander back towards the path, keeping Drysi and Vrey to her back before continuing to speak.

"And who's to say I'm not scared. Even beyond all those things you said, I had my entire life turned on its head within a few weeks. All because someone I'd never met insisted I showed promise in a skill that I've, as of yet, never seen myself use. So, please excuse me for choosing to swim rather than sink, and taking comfort in being around people that know what they are doing," Willow said, her voice sounding a bit strained near the end.

Clearing her throat a bit, she spun and faced the two other girls. "Besides, it's more that I trust Mr. Flynn. This place is a school. I doubt it would last very long if students just disappeared like that. Anyway, come on, finding Mr. Flynn was only one part of this challenge, remember?"

***

Back by the river with Kat and Johann, they had the literal key to their puzzle in their hands. Using it on the rustic little chest would reveal a rolled up piece of parchment with Ruarc's seal. On said parchment, was a simple map with the chest's location, and a spot further along the path marked once more with Ruarc's seal.

"Good show of teamwork, you two," Laoise said with a smile.

***

The map would lead the two students further along the river a bit before winding back into the property. Similarly, the three on the hill would follow their map down into the trees. As they walked the sounds of forest grew steadily deeper, giving the woods a cozy, sheltered feeling to it; and before too long the paths joined, Kat, Johann, and Laoise ending up a short way ahead of the other trio.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 1] A Practical Morning Exercise

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There was something in Willows words that Drysi hated utterly. Deep down something in her felt reviled at the trust, the genuine comfort, and general air she exuded. The Triclops clutched her bag tightly as that little voice in the back of her mind began to demand she reprimand the air head for taking these things so lightly. For being ignorant. For being stupid. For being a druid. That black pit in her chest began to well as it always did when she heard such nonsense, preparing to announce its reproach.

Instead, she smiled.

Something in those words made her realize why she hated it, because it showed her just how out of touch she felt. Willow was right, they were at a school with instructors and other safeguards, and of course the druid would feel safe with her! Drysi was already a skilled mage, with years of (self)study.

Plus, it made her feel a little happy.

The triclops looked lighter and brighter not the sulking mass she was when they started this. Albeit she kept an eye on Vrey to make sure there was no potential physical contact in her future.

"Certainly! We have to disable Mr. Flynn and steal is handkerchief?" mentioned Drysi, remembering now that she had time to go look back at her notes. "How do we plan on doing that? Mr. Flynn is supposed to be on the same level as some of the more well-known mages in Osaka. He's a little odd, but his reputation paints him as being formidable."

The now chipper Drysi saw the others blending in to the path ahead. Being refreshed by the hike, and the reassurance from Willow, "Hello! Have any of you thought of a way of taking something from Mr. Flynn without killing him?"

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