Haleiwa, Hawaii"How's Rirk's outbox come to be so full? I thought he was on holiday."
Brenya Lilibloom, the Mystic Societies and Speech instructor, remarked this on her first day back from maternity leave.
"He came for a short time; looked quite stressed," answered Kano Masanobu, the Introduction to Arcanobiology course instructor. He had the desk across from Brenya, whose comment caused her to look up with a curiosity that lit her blue eyes brightly.
"Stressed, about what?"
"I've been told he got engaged while he was in Ireland; to that woman who's around him all the time," Ogata Kana, the teacher for Advanced Incantations and the rumor mill for the school.
"He got engaged to Jane?"
"No, Jane would never marry anyone, she's not the type."
The door to the teacher's room opened and closed as the two went on. Brenya pressed Kana further, a little out of the loop, "How is Jane these days?"
"Doing work with the Menagerie again. There was some serious buzz the other day."
"There's serious buzz every day now," Kano sighed in exasperation, flicking his pen a couple of times before writing on, "First the realm-gate incident, that alchemist gets hired on along suddenly with his security-constructs, and the school gets attacked. It's no wonder the Menagerie is moving again. The world is getting dangerous again."
Brenya seemed more than alarmed at all of this new information coming at once. A small blonde mop of hair rose in Ruarc's chair, and with it a hand reached up to grab all the papers in his inbox.
"The school was attacked? By who?"
Kano shrugged in a fit of melodrama, and Brenya clenched her eyes tight as he tossed his emptied pen across the room, barely missing the rubbish bin.
"Who knows," the man began to search for another pen, "something happened out in the forest, and something punched through the wards. We got an e-mail about it the day after assuring the staff and students that everything was under control and that measures were in place to prevent it from happening again."
"We have the Menagerie here, what are we worried about?"
"Gone as well," Kana revealed, causing Brenya to gape.
"Probably, most of them look like they've been working long hours."
"Perfect time for a holiday," chipped Kano, finally smiling when he found a fresh pen. "With the viking walking around and the horned imp that's shadowing the gate."
The three of them stopped, finally noticing the mop of blonde hair sitting in Ruarc's chair. A small white-robed creature with a fair face and coke-bottle glasses looked up at them. She arranged the person-sized paperwork in her hands with a curt tap on the table too high for her. While her face seemed neutral, her eyes seemed reproachful as she spoke again.
"Ms. Tanaka do not go running off, sight-seeing will be tomorrow," warned Percival Caxton, instructor of the majority of the Alchemy courses at Safeholme. To the students, Mr. Casson was an unflappable, cold and strangely untiring individual and one of the few teachers at Safeholme that did study hours before and after school hours. He was a strict, by-the-book teacher who was made dryer by his choice of subject. Alchemy. Which was what made the sudden opportunity to take a field trip to Hawaii all the more strange.
"But I want to get a sandwich from the food truck!" protested Chinami, her mouth watering at the colorful stalls that decorated the edge of Kamehameha Highway, a small tourist trap street on the island of Oahu.
"Lunch is at 1:00PM, after the visit to the plantation," reminded Mr. Caxton, in what the students found to be his normal frigidness. This manner was somewhat comical as the man was dressed in a purple, silken shirt with flowering plumeria and hibiscus. "Please keep the schedule in mind for any future questions."
The most heavily dressed of the students reached into her bag, pulling out a small folded schedule with inking she could appreciate. Her three eyes scanned the events, two of which were only visible thanks to some subtle inscription magic on her forehead. The field-trip group had already made the inter-island transit from Kilokilokula on Kuai, the academy that was hosting the students and chaperones from Safeholme. The mages there were more akin to Druids than most other types, and Drysi Maelgwyn had found interacting with the native Hawaiian mages an enlightening start to her training in the new Celtic arts she had engrossed herself in.
She pushed her wide-brimmed sun hat up, her shoulders wreathed in a lacy shawl to obfuscate her new fangs, which were more difficult to hide.
"I never knew the plantations on Hawaii were so diverse," Drysi said idly, looking over at Willow over the plan, speaking of the trip to the Alchemist's Plantation which sat at the heart of the fields on the northern shore. Kilokilokula Alchemists were going to host an exclusive class for the Safeholme group, identifying and mixing some of the unique herbs and fruits of Hawaii into potions.
Despite this, there was an anxious air above Mr. Casson's drone and the whining of the students who were more interesting in seeing the sights. Mixed in with the group of students were several teachers, some of which Drysi recognized as the 'heavy-hitters' of the faculty, with some who weren't even faculty.
It had been a few weeks since the fight in the woods. Everyone who had been there was on the trip, among with some of the other students she didn't recognize. As they walked past tourists, mostly Americans and Japanese, the triclops anxiously grabbed Willow's hand.
"Don't get lost," said Drysi curtly.