Chapter one- A bizarre beginning
Linal clenched her fingers into fists as she stood outside the gate to the Cross academy/main building. She had always thought going to school was the same as entering war. A war where she would get teased and talked about behind her back by people who said they were her friends. What had she ever done to them for them to torture her? Maybe she was ugly; maybe she had a bad personality. But she still didn’t deserve to be treated like garbage. Now at last she would begin a new story. She was going to start over again and try not to get too much attention to herself. She looked around to see students walk past her, some of them would look back at her and whisper things to each other. She bit her lip in anger. She really felt like punching something. She felt an arm around her shoulder and looked up to see her annoying friend Rayn.
“The same expression from two years ago” he said with a smirk. “You will never change apart from…” he said looking at her body up and down. She pinched the side of is arm. This made her feel better already. He jumped away from her. “Such a harsh way to treat the one you love” Rayn said raising his eyebrows.
“Idiot” Linal said walking away from him.
“My love, don’t leave me behind” he said running after her.
Linal was used to Rayn acting this way, she knew Rayn loved to tease her. But she also knew that he always made her feel comfortable and forget everything. She would never admit that to him. He was the only friend she had.
“Hey Linal, are you okay” asked Rayn patting her on the head. She nodded. “Did I tell you that I was elected student council head” Rayn asked her. Even though he knew he didn’t.
“You are only a freshman though” Linal asked climbing up the marble stairs of the school.
“Yah, but they said I was good enough” Rayn said proudly.
“You are such a narcissist” Linal said shaking her head. He didn’t say anything but grinned. When they reached the top of the stair case they were met by senior students. She remembered some of them from the opening part yesterday. She was not much of a social person so she sat in a chair till the part ended and went and slept in the room. Rayn on the other hand was a very, very social being. She had watched him dance and talk all night. He asked her couple of times to come and join him but she stubbornly said no each and every time.
The senior students divided them into groups; luckily she and Rayn were in the same group. Their group was taken to be shown the sword training grounds first. The senior that was in charge was them was named Dolan. He was a tall and lanky, with dyed blue hair and rabbit teeth. He wore the school uniform, which was royal blue pants with a white shirt, a maroon tie and a cape that had the emblem of two swords clashing on the back. Since they were freshmen they hadn’t received their uniforms yet. So they wore casual clothes.
“This is the sword fighting grounds. Since you all are freshman, you all will have to take sword fighting. And let me warn you that it’s not as easy as it looks. I actually broke my right arm twice. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience. The teacher is Madam Feather Heart, an Elf sword master and one of the toughest teachers in this place.” Dolan said raising his eyebrows. Some of the students started to complain about how they hated sword fighting and that it was barbaric. Linal on the other hand stood silently next to Rayn watching the some student’s training. The two boys in front of them moved swiftly blocking each others moves. One of the nearly stabbed the other but luckily the other boy had dogged right on time .Inside she was joyous; she couldn’t wait for the sword fighting lessons to begin. She wanted to run into the grounds and grab a sword and start right away.
“You can’t wait can you?” Rayn whispered in her ear. She looked up at him. He was smiling. The group started to move towards their next destination which was dragon riding. The dragon riding ground that was behind the school was massive.
“The real dragon riding begins in spring. Till then you will be studying the dragon structure, what it eats, their mentality, mind games that can be useful while dealing with a smart dragon and all the other interesting stuff. For this class you will either have Sir Zaron, who is very pleasant or Sir Cartel who is will is very strict. I was lucky and got sir Zaron” said Dolan proudly like he accomplished something. “Well that’s the main things that you should know. The rest of the classes you need to find yourself. That is what you will be doing today. Now I must leave you for my class starts.” He disappeared into thin air and scrolls of paper appeared in everyone’s hands. Linal opened her scroll to see:
How do you do, my name is Maron I’ll be your individual teacher for the year. Please meet me in the library. Immediately, I should add.
She looked around her to see everyone heading different directions.
“Individual teachers eh, I guess we won’t be seeing each other that much darling” Rayn said bending over to hug her. She side-stepped quickly and walked away.
“Don’t I even get a bye” Rayn shouted.
Linal kept on walking. She took the way that led pass the sword training grounds. She stood there subconsciously watching them. She didn’t notice but a couple of boys who were practicing saw her there and were glancing at her curiously. On the other hand she was completely engrossed in their movements and was calculating their mistakes in her head. “Bring your sword up now idiot! He’s going to disarm you any minute now” she yelled to the boys in front of her. She placed her hands on her mouth in surprise. The boy who Linal had shouted it at had exactly as she said blocked the move in time. He dropped his sword and jogged towards her. She ran away quickly.
“Hey, I am not going to do anything. I just wanted know your name” he yelled behind her.
She ran into the building breathing heavily. That was embarrassing she thought as she walked down the corridor of the first floor. She looked to see if there was any map that said where the library was. She found one at the end of the corridor next to a door. The map said that the library was in the basement of the building. She opened the door and it was black there was nothing there. She had encountered this kind of door before in her old school. She shut the door and knocked on it and said “Library, Linal” she opened the door to find a luxuriously furnished room with silk curtains on the large windows, the floor was covered with a thick royal blue carpet with an emblem of the academy in the centre. There were hundreds of book shelves. How was she going to find him she pondered. There were a couple of student here and there who looked her way and went back to their books. She walked to the centre of the room where the emblem was. She sat there in the chair thinking of a way to find this teacher. Since he was a teacher he should be easy to identify, because all them wore red capes with small shoulder spikes. She knew this from the introduction book she had been given in the dormitory yesterday. She stood up and decided to scan the right side of the library first; she strolled looking between all the shelves. She saw something red turn around the corner on the other side. Maybe it was the teacher’s cape. She ran after it and grabbed it. She looked up to see that she had grabbed the skirt of a girl. She let go with her cheeks turning to a flaming red.
She walked away. The girl grabbed her by the shoulder and turned Linal around to face her. Linal put on a blank face. “What’s your problem?” the girl asked pursing her plump lips.
“Nothing” Linal said taking the girls arms off her shoulder.
“Are not you supposed to say something?” she asked placing her hand on her hips.
“Sorry” Linal said seriously.
“Haven’t you ever learned anything called manners? I mean which world are you from kid?” she asked irritated
“Look, I am in a hurry at the moment and I have to find someone. Please can we deal with this later? My name is Linal Winna, now you can find me easily” said Linal looking around to see which way to go.
“Who are you looking for?” asked the girl curiously.
“Maron Seldon” Linal said looking back at the girl.
“Oh Sir Maron is at the end of these shelves in his work room” she said pointing towards the end of the shelves.
“Thanks” Linal replied jogging towards the end. She reached the end and opened the blue door that seemed out of place. A man sat at a desk with glasses on reading.
“You are ten minutes late Miss Winna” he said looking up from his desk.
“I got a bit off track” Linal said taking in her surroundings. The room was dimply lit by candles. The only thing she was able to clearly see was Maron with his desk and papers, everything else was black. Apart from a dark shadow which seemed out of place.
“Well I’ll let you off the hook for now. Take a seat. I’m going to brief you with school rules and other important issues.” Linal took her seat and nodded.
“First, areas that are off limit are the eleven and tenth floors. Everything else is for you to explore. Also in this school students are given necklaces which help the teachers and the principal to keep track of the students. They will not allow you to go off school grounds. They also alert you when a teacher needs you. They help keep you from having magic power surges, at least until you know how to control your powers. You will not be able to remove it, again only a teacher or the principal may remove it.” Maron said passing her a necklace which looked pretty stylish with a black leather thread with a white crystal in the middle. “You can use magic and make it fade away to become invisible, which many boys choose to do or you can make it appear in a way you would like”
“Do I just tie it around my neck?” Linal said holding it in her palm.
“Allow me” Maron said pointing towards the necklace with his finger. It started to levitate towards Linal’s neck and tied a knot at the back of her neck. “Perfect” Maron said smiling. She fingered it and made a puzzled look. “Yah I know it feels weird at first. Your body will get used to it. It just feels uncomfortable because the powers in your body are being strung together by the magic in the necklace” Maron said folding his arms across his chest and leaning back in his chair. “Okay now you know the rules. Now I have to tell you how this individual teacher process works. Well basically only a couple of students receive special attention in this school. You will be given training to further the strong talents we see in you”
“So do the other student know about this. I mean all the ones who don’t receive training”
“No, they will not find out because you will be taking these classes after school, you will tell them you have detention” Maron said taking his glasses off.
“I don’t see any talent in me” Linal said shrugging. “The only thing I am good at is being weird”
“You are more than that and you know it” Maron said calmly.
“Look, I know more about myself than you do” Linal is sorely.
“Don’t play games with me Miss Winna; do you really think you can really cut all your ties with your family?” Maron said bending foreword, meeting her gaze and holding it unwaveringly. She turned her head sideways. “How much you try you will never be able to escape the truth of your birth. She looked at him shocked, insulted, and afraid, all at the same time.
“How… how did you know?” Linal asked her amber eyes blazing.
“I have my ways so you better not try to hide those powers of yours anymore” Maron said threateningly. “If not you know what I can do with this information”
“Whatever” she said standing up. Even though she knew that she was a piece under his control now.
“Well see you tomorrow” Maron said grinning.
“Tell that ghost trying to use his pathetic invisible spell standing in the dark behind you to give up” Linal said closing the door behind her.
“Very sharp indeed” Maron whispered to himself.
“Maron was my spell that horrible” said a fat ghost coming out of the shadows behind him.
“No, it’s just that she’s too powerful Jaco” Maron said spinning a pencil on the table.
“I think you were a bit too harsh with her” said Jaco scratching his pale head.
“Sometimes we have to be the evil guys to help people open their eyes Jaco” Maron said crushing the pencil into ashes in the palm of his hand.