Hey! From this chapter onwards, I'm going to try to experiment with changes in perspective from time to time. Its not something I'm confident in, so feel free to let me know what you think and how I can improve! Though the line-breaks don't always mean a change in perspective, my current plan is never changing perspective without one. Hopefully it wont get confusing.
The whole situation ended with me being granted a week of reprieve from academy.
No investigation was held. Neither were any people put to question surrounding my poisoning. In fact, I was starting to doubt whether or not anyone would remember it happening at all upon my return. The perpetrator most likely only doing it on a whim in the first place, the lack of value my life had to a great deal of people was once again made evident.
It was humbling in a way.
A sad and depressing one that was.
Anyhow, it was a good thing I was allowed physical absence from academy, as my body still felt clunky to operate. The professor which saved me and whom I tentatively established a relationship with told me that the poison had a greater effect on because of my "blessed" status. He left before I inquire as to what he meant exactly, but the irony of suffering more because of a blessing didn't elude me.
I didn't laugh though. No, doing so would only once again cause my body to flare up in pain. It's gotten better over time, and it would probably be completely healed come the morning when I would once again meet up at the academy. Those first few days however… the less said the better.
Regardless of this fact, I wasn't allowed to rest much. My tort- minder Folred saw to that.
Speaking of said slave-driver…
Entering my room through the teleportation pad, he gracefully walked over to my desk, a comically large amount of paperwork held firmly in his hands.
"Here is the next stack of papers."
Were it a week ago, he would have slapped me for uttering such simple answers.
However, I could see his eyes changing over the course of the week, he himself no doubt starting to think the amount of papers brought to me reaching ridiculous levels, likely leading him to pity my position somewhat. His gaze wasn't what I would call compassionate, but it had lost some of the cold aloofness it originally had.
We had evaded the topic of my poisoning until now, but seeing as I would be returning to academy tomorrow, I internally decided to get a better understanding of my circumstances.
Deliberately clearing my throat to get his attention, I spoke up. "What will become off last week's events?"
Folred paused his steps, which were already on their way out again, turning his head slightly to me in the process.
"Look," he started somewhat grumpily. "You should forget everything that transpired, better yet, a public apology would be the best way to appease them, which would help you avoid any similar cases in the future."
This shouldn't surprise me.
"They tried to kill me."
Folred scratched the back of his head.
"The Highborne society were hoping you would look past that."
It really shouldn't.
"On my very first day of the academy."
"They were hoping you would ignore that fact as well going forward."
Yet… it did. On a fundamental level. I felt some part of my waning humanity break.
"They hope too much."
I gave him an impassive look.
Folred let out a dry, bitter sound. I would call it a laugh, but there wasn't a trace of mirth to be found in it. He didn't choose to the continue the conversation, rather, he turned back to the teleportation pad and strode on top of it.
I vaguely registered the loud sound coming from my desk, my head smashing into it, but my thoughts were elsewhere.
Once again, I faced injustice.
Once again, my powerless position left me at the mercy of others.
Sighing, I properly raised my head to get another good look at the paper stack Folred came in with. I blinked repeatedly at it, mind screeching to the halt at the realization that it was… taller than me.
They were breeding, I was sure of it.
Who needed sleep anyway, right?
It was said Sylvia Eloris was born with a diamond spoon in her mouth.
Being the niece of the Grand Magistrix, she was always in the spotlight no matter where she went. From a very young age, she was put through the most painstaking education available.
Great expectations were put on her head.
With a bloodline pure enough to make the send any elite purist Highborne into a frenzy and flawless looks, which wouldn't be found out of place even in an art gallery, her presence alone demanded attention. She had hair like white snow, with fair skin to match. Her eyes as blue as a clear lake, something which blended perfectly with the bright blue robe she liked wearing. With her every blink, a mysterious dazzle of magic power made itself known, enchanting onlookers without fail.
Truly, Sylvia was someone who could be said to be favored by Elune.
It was as if she had been born with all the gifts the world had to offer.
Many a time would other Highborne by 'happenstance' bump into her, trying to leave a positive impression. Her generation, under obvious orders from their parents, would also always desperately try to flatter her, attempting to drown her in their praises.
She didn't think they were wrong in doing so, she was great, after all.
It's so boring.
It was all the same. No matter where she went, everyone only showed her the same kind of face. There were no deviations.
However, as she had been raised with impeccable upbringing, she never let any of these thoughts surface, always being able to keep her graceful and magnanimous front up in front of other people.
She was starting her study at the academy this week. Being occupied, she arrived late for the academy, not being able to show up on the first day.
She didn't believe arriving at the academy would give her any new experiences. She had socialized well enough with people her own age to know there wouldn't be a difference meeting her own age group. Rather, it became a hobby of hers to compare and see how much of a clone the younger generation ended up being when set up against the parents. The likeness was disturbing in many cases, even for her.
She was right.
Of course, she was.
The days of boredom began anew, something which she thought would continue up until she graduated.
Imagine her surprise then, when he showed up.
He walked into the classroom apprehensive and quiet, golden eyes on full display.
He briefly glanced at her before sitting down behind her, in the only chair left open in the classroom. She would later learn that the seat she took, was the one he had earlier. Before he was poisoned.
She had heard about the news as soon as she arrived, it was exchanged jokingly while laughing, the Highborne admitting he had done it, explaining it in a way he no doubt hoped would impress her.
If she were to be honest, she didn't care much either way.
Some upstart first generation Highborne stepped out line?
What did that matter to her?
If he should have been suffered as he did or not, she gave no thought, nor care.
She noted that he didn't open conversation with her immediately. Probably too in awe of her presence to approach her, no doubt. She didn't really see any value in the whatever conversation they would have, so she saw no point to rush it. It was only a matter of time after all, before he took the initiative. Be it her appearance or political potential, they all came running.
The class moved on.
They were learning basic mana transformation today, as was expected for the beginning courses of this subject. They were starting with the elements of fire and ice, where they were given the option to chose which one they wanted to apply themselves to first.
She was well versed in them both, naturally. She didn't hesitate to display both excellent control over temperature manipulation, and showing off some extra with conjuring both small embers and shards of ice. This, as she predicted, easily earned her the adoration and praises of the class and professor.
She absentmindedly noted the silence coming from behind her.
She watched the rest of her classmates halfheartedly attempt their transformations.
Most of them ended up giving up, not bothering to give it the time of they day after the third try.
She wasn't surprised, most of the Highborne, adults and children alike saw magic as nothing more than a past-time activity, something to lord over the common folk, fueling their own sense of superiority.
It was different for her though. She had to grind hard and long, only for her efforts to be viewed as a matter of course.
Truth be told, she had a love-hate relationship with magic.
It was tedious, and she didn't much care about exercising her culminating power, but it was her ticket out.
Ticket out of what?
But that was a matter for another time.
Silently shaking her head to disperse the thoughts, she couldn't help but notice her rapidly cooling backside, which kept getting colder despite the magical enchantments adorning her robe.
Turning her gaze to find the cause, she found the fierce golden gaze of the student she earlier dismissed silently observing his own hand. It was said hand which made her mind freeze up.
It seemed as if a miniature galaxy of white fog surrounded it. His hair blew back softly from the pressure it was emanating. She noticed the sweat drooling down his forehead, dropping down to the floor, already transformed into small shards of ice, exposing the frigid temperature currently surrounding his figure.
She could probably do the same, if she were to exert herself. Nevertheless, it was highly impressive to be able to do. Even more so if his learning curve were to be taken into account. Having observed him from the start of class, she knew he appeared to have next to no practical experience with the exercise. To reach this level in just a scant hour…
She didn't buy into his act. Manifesting an element for the first time took her weeks. As in several. He may have studied more, and therefore had a better theoretical foundation before beginning, but that didn't explain the impossible speed of execution displayed before her.
If it was real?
Then she was within touching distance of a monster.
What she thought far more likely however, was the possibility of him faking his learning curve in an attempt to impress her. Hoping to win her favour.
Though maybe an insult to her intellect, thinking her susceptible to fall for the obvious show, she did find his level of proficiency impressive, even by her standard. There weren't many Highborne who bothered to exert themselves properly to the art, and his level spoke of a commitment similar to hers. Perhaps they would be able to exchange pointers? She had scouted the rest of the class already, and none of them were near their league.
He probably would be ecstatic by any form of relation between them, after all. She would be doing him a favour too by associating with him, helping his rock bottom reputation leap to a safe level. She heard a rumour he was connected to an infamous professor in the academy but, regardless of its validity her presence would no doubt be a godsend for him.
Thinking such she animatedly entered his line of sight, making sure to make enough voice to get his attention while speaking.
As was expected of a Highborne of her station, she had already long since memorized all the names of the people in her class, even the initially worthless ones without any apparent prestige. She didn't think it would become too important, but she patted herself on the back for her effort, which enabled her in this situation.
"Excuse me, Lith Yilfir, right?"
He cancelled his focus on his magic, temperature reaching a cool moderate level once again. Lifting his gaze, his glorious golden eyes focused on h-
"Yes. Can I help you?"
Gone as quick as it came, his initial glance turned amiable in a split second.
"A-Ah… yes, w-well..."
Thrown off guard by the completely unexpected response, her speech ended up faltering for a second. Her emotions rushed and convulsed all through-out her body, never settling. Being the first form of rejection she could remember, she didn't know what to feel.
Was she seeing things?
No, it was too palpable for that to be the case.
Ah, damnit, she was taking too long. What did she want to say again?
"Erh, I just wanted to commend you for your effort towards magic! I couldn't help but eye your progress during class and I found it really impressive!"
Playing along with the script she imagined him originally making wasn't bad, right?
But then why did he look at her like-
Could it be… that he didn't take her into account at all? Was she naught but an extra in his vision?
But if he didn't do anything with the intent to impress her, did that mean that he actually…
"Ah, thank you."
"Truth be told, I think that the word effort is too light."
His eyes lost focus then, yet the golden glow seemed to increase.
He nodded to himself, seemingly satisfied, ignoring her frozen frame.
"That sounds more accurate."
Nights in Suramar were never quiet.
You couldn't contain thousands upon thousands of elves into a single city and expect quiet.
Mountain marching songs from my hometown could be heard sung from several bars surrounding the city, and the clash of blades could be heard echoed in the less reputable corners of city without pause.
Not to forget the cries of widowed spouses, nightmare-wracked veterans or grief-stricken mothers and sisters. Couple that together with the drunken seafarers and you have the chorus- nay, the national anthem of Suramar.
No, let me repeat, nights in Suramar were never quiet.
This part in particular was quiet, deathly so, even.
The street I stood in was an older, wealthier district of Suramar, even by Highborne standards. One couldn't simply live here because one wanted to, they were distributed by the Grand Magistrix Elisande herself, based on connections and contributions towards the empire. It was unremarkable in its appearance, its paving an irregular mess and the buildings containing several cracks along their massive, white frames. Truth be told, it looked like it belonged in a museum, as the lifestyle it spread was one of preservation, not one of selfish indulgence which Highborne often preferred in my experience.
If there was one part of the properties I could confidently say lived up to its prestige, it would be the gardens. Massive in size and elegant in aesthetic, that would be the best way to describe them. Though the gardens being extravagant wasn't much of a surprise.
As I've found out since coming to this world, in the circle of nobility, the front yard represented the face of a noble house whereas the backyard was a reflection of their decorum. One of the ways how nobles determine if a noble house was declining was through looking at their backyard.
In this world, gardening was viewed as an art form practiced exclusively by nobles. Nobles rarely engaged in physical activities, choosing instead to focus their efforts on nurturing plants and flowers to raise the aesthetics of their yards. Some of the richer nobles would even renovate their yards every season in order to uphold their distinguished image.
Arriving at one of the bigger buildings, I stopped briefly while looking towards the entry.
This was where I was staying for the night, at my professor's house, learning whatever it is he wants to teach me.
Whom I've had next to no interaction with.
Why did I agree to this again?
Ay! Another chapter!
A bit smaller than usual, but I don't really feel that tied down by numbers. When I write a chapter, I know everything I want included in it from the start, and however long it takes to get that down into words, is however long its gonna end up. =)
Wouldn't write without the great response from you guys, so once again, thank you for the reviews, follows and favorites!
They are all greatly appreciated.
As I mentioned in the upper AN, let me know how you think I handled the swap of perspective, and how I can improve. Its not something I'm confident in.
Still looking for a beta and people that I can bounce ideas with and read over my chapters, whenever they may come.
Send me a pm and we can talk about it!
Much love, until next time.