Duality

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Druantia's aura flared up the second the wall was breached. She rocketed to her feet and assumed a combative stance, expecting plants to summon forth to aid her. However her seeds did not react nearly as quickly as she would have liked. In the heat of that moment her instincts had forgotten that instantly summoning plant constructs was not something in her ability at the moment. Not with her current understanding of how her powers worked. Her desk and several others were partially levitating, and her body was surrounded by a flamelike green energy. Her eyes were similarly affected, both portraying her shock as well as glowing fiercely with the restrained power inside of her. Her aura slammed against it's restraints violently as it tried to exert more of its power, but it was to no avail. The bonds would not budge. 

Dru wasn't the only one gearing up for a fight from that sudden blast. The Red headed teen she'd been sitting next to had flared both his arms, coating them in fire and building two balls of flame that she could feel feet away from him. He looked absolutely terrified though, which she couldn't blame him for. Her own heart was thumping a mile a minute from the sudden event. However once everyone realized this strange invasion was from a teacher of all things, people gradually began to settle back down in their seats. Dru had to focus on the gift the Proffessor had given her for the second time in less than an hour. This school was not doing her nerves any favors that was for sure. Her Aura died down as she let herself start to breathe again. She had apparently forgotten to when she had been shocked like that. 

Now that she was more settled down she noticed that the teacher was a Pelajae, one that looked far too canine for her liking. This one resembled more of a fox than a wolf, but it did nothing to make her feel an almost irrational dislike for her new instructor. Every Pelajae she had ever known had been from a rival mafia, and it had done nothing to make her have a healthy and normal view of the other species. Her experience with Canine Pelajae especially had left some mental scars better left forgotten. Coupling this pregiduce on top of the fact that this supposed teacher had crashed into class with a TANK of all things had not done Dru's opinion of her any favors. If anything she leered at her instructor with suspicion all the more. 

With a suspicious eye she caught the paper triangle with her magic from the air before it had struck her desk and unfurled it in front of her. What she saw on it only made her nose crinkle in confusion. What were these questions? What were their purpose? What was she assessing? 

What is faster? Hot or Cold? 

How does that make sense? Dru tilted her head at that. Well, heat and coldness are measurements of energy. The less energy in the molecules, the less movement there is, the more cold it becomes as a result. The opposite is true for heat, the faster the molecules vibrate the hotter it gets. So she supposed that heat would be the answer in this case. Unless this was one of those jokes that her Grandpa liked so much, like a cold is slower cause you can CATCH it. She both grimaced and repressed a laugh at that, hating the fact that her grandfathers bad humor was rubbing off on her. 

 

Forwards I am Heavy, backwards I am Not, what am I? 

Dru groaned at that one. She could practically see her grandpa telling this one to his goons to see if they'd get it with that silly grin he always got on his face. The answer was Ton, which was heavy, because if you reversed it, it became Not. She did not know this class was going to make her want to die on the inside. 

What question can you never answer yes to? 

That's stupid! You could answer Yes to any question you want! Even if the answers wrong you can still do it! What kind of stupid question is this! Why would this teacher crash into the class with a tank just to give stupid riddles! agh! 

By the time Dru had worked through all of them, she looked like the definition of nettled mixed with begrudgingly amused. So many puns, so many jokes that her grandfather would love. Some of them he had actually told to her and the goons before. It had brought up memories of the lighter days in the estate when they were just joking around and having a nice time. As annoying as these answers ended up being, they were also something reminding her of home in a way. That wasn't such a bad thing she thought to herself. Didn't stop her from being annoyed with the cheesiness of some of these answers. 

What five letter word has six left when you take two away?

"Sixty...uuuugh..." she grumbled to herself as she put it on the page. Curse this test to oblivion! 

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Rose wasn't phased by the tank, but she reacted to the triangle. She snatched it out of middle air and unfurled it to find what looked like a test. She looked around to see students writing. She started to quickly fill in answers.

Spoiler

1. Hot

2. Ton

3. Are you dead

4.gears

5.hot dog

6. Pen

10. Times table

12. Safe room

19. Clock

20. 1

She stopped on #21, and placed her pencil down and rested her head thinking about it.

Sorxir laid on her bed, listening to music, when she heard the crash. She leaped off her bed and ran to find out what it was. When she got there, she saw a tank sticking out. She turned on a dime and left

Shadow got up and headed to the arena  to practice fighting with his scythe

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@Denim&Venom

"Well... why am I not surprised?" When she watched a freaking TANK drive into the room, she did freak out a little of course like the rest of the class at the onset of it. I mean who wouldn't do so in their place, the students of course. She looked past the tank, or well tried to look past it to look at the structure, she was more concerned that the building would collapse on them, or try to. Not really gonna happen considering that herself being an Earth-bender plus whomever else in the room might be one as well would probably fix the building or stop it from falling on them at least.

Nevertheless, she didn't give it a huge thought, if the teacher thought this was a safe enough idea then so be it she shrugged and the fact there was a tank in the room and started on the little quiz put out by her most "favourite" teacher... 

Her answers for the quiz whereas followed:

Spoiler
  1. hot
  2. I have no idea
  3. "Am I dead?"
  4. Chainsaw
  5. A one missing a mouth?
  6. a bottle
  7. -
  8. -
  9. The floor of my old work, the bakery floor got pretty dirty when it was white with flour
  10. periodic
  11. glowstick
  12. a closed mind
  13. -
  14. E
  15. Bullant
  16. turret? 
  17. -
  18. -
  19. a TV?
  20. 1
  21. fat
  22. No idea
  23. Black and orange stripes
  24. sea water
  25. Gun
  26. No idea
  27. Your name
  28. Life
  29. Mars
  30. Skydiver
  31. -
  32. -
  33. football match
  34. No idea
  35. The statute?
  36. Money
  37. One is transgender
  38.  depends on the stomach
  39. It can't
  40. Walked to the carrots, you didn't mention the rope was tied to anything.
  41. Your right hand 

She set down her completed quiz on her desk ready for Miko to collect it when everyone else was done and she was to collect them, then went back to reading up on an article on her phone as she waited.

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Ping. Ping. Ping.

Duality's head jolted up from where it had been resting on the desk. "No, Mother, don't burn the diary! I've stabilised the runes now, I swear!" Woozily returning the rest of the way to consciousness, she massaged her face and frowned down at the crumpled stack of signed-off documents that she'd been using as a makeshift pillow. "Blegh. At least that's done." She mentally conjured a comprehensive Druantia-specific lookup protocol from raw Salem Script in the few seconds she spent downing a bottle of water to soothe her parched lips, reasoning that she'd probably need it frequently enough to justify the effort, and flicked it into the vast runic networks permeating every inch of the school.

Return:

<<3>> high-energy particle experiments from Dru bracelet energy. (<<3>> successful, <<0>> unsuccessful.)

<<0>> high-energy particle experiments from Dru necklace energy. (<<0>> successful, <<0>> unsuccessful.)

Dru location: Block D, Room 237.

Estimated immediate risk level: Low

Top guesses for cause of power fluctuation (sorted by probable emotional impact): <<Miko>>, <<Pop quiz>>, <<Bad puns>>, <<Class ostracism>>, <<Looming adolescence>>, <<Existential terror>>, <<Chilly breeze>>, <<Wall damage>>, <<Soviet tank>>, <<Climate change>>

"Sure, maybe it's a tad thrown-together. So sue me." Duality mumbled, dropping her head back onto the desk with a muted thud. "At least Dr. Tachibana applied for a stunt budget this year."

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@Buck Testa@Denim&Venom@Mentis Soliloquy@dragon4111@reader8363

"Perplexed."

Ley tasted the word with her tongue, examining it from every direction with her mind. It was an unusual set of syllabes, one that she rarely used. And using that unique word in reference to herself was an even less common thing to do. Nevertheless, the dictionary would not give a better example of how to describe how she was feeling right now.

It was in her habit, for better or worse, to be late. Often. After all, back where she came from everyone had to wait for HER, not the other way around. She couldn't imagine this ever changing. Yet, being fashionably late was tremendously different than being actually lost. She was holding a pamphlet, one she acquired near the entrance to the University as she was searching her way to the next class. It presented a map of the campus. Although, in her eyes, the map left much to desire, it was good enough to gain a certain sense of direction and finally find her way through the maze of this blasted building's corridors.

This meant she would only be a few minutes late to her next class. Acceptable outcome.

 

As she strolled past the numerous doors in the hallways, she began distinguishing an alien sound coming over from somewhere outside the walls. It was strangely familiar, although she could quite place it just yet. It grew in power as well, slowly drowning out any different sounds that were surrounding her. Soon, it would come across as unbearable. Ley stopped in her tracks, focusing on the mysterious noise. She could have sworn she's heard it somewhere already... it took her a few seconds to realize it was the TV. The noise was quite similar to the ones she's heard in the movies, particulary ones related to war wher-

*CRASH*

Her contemplations were distrubed as the noise culminated in loud cacophony of falling bricks and failing mortar. The carnage seemed to be taking place behind the third or fourth doors down the hall. She lazily proceeded in the direction the commotion was taking place. It was sheer curiosity that pushed her forward. It subdued the remaining emotions of irritation, mild depression and the calibre. So far, the University looked more like... well, this wasn't even a circus anymore. Even a circus didn't try to constantly annihilate itself during its performances. By now, the Daemoness was beginning to question the concept of the University still, somehow, standing.

As she reached the door handle, she pressed on it and pulled the door slightly ajar. The sudden motion stirred the dust that was settling after the wall gave in and countless particles spiraled out onto the corridor. To say that the sight she witnessed caught her off guard would be an understatement. Ley actually held her breath in disbelief at the sight unveiled in front of her. The room was nothing short of a ruin. Where once stood a wall now a giant hole gaped, letting the fresh air inside. The reason for such gigantic mess was right before her eyes. A tank. Some of her instincts she had developed immediately poked at the aura of the item in front of her, searching for any traces of magical illusions. She couldn't feel anything however, the tank was as realistic and true as herself right now. Leaning against the doorhandle with her other hand resting against the door frame, she could feel her grip giving in in complete resignation.

"Does this University has at least a pinch of common sense and self preservation?" - as she came around, the thoughts stirred in her mind. It seemed as, so far, everything in here was all about strenght and brute, raw power rather than actual academic values and knowledge. - "This is just a giant madhouse." - by now, she had already opened the door wide and was leaning against the door frame, with her head bow down. It was being supported by the thumb and index finger of her right hand, which were gripping the root of her nose tightly. For some reason, she suffered a major headache.

 

A tiny portal opened just under her head. A small, frail arm appeared out of it, holding a small clipboard with a sheet of white paper stuck to it. The scribbles on the sheet clearly represented all of Ley's chosen classes. "Critical Thinking and Independed Living" - she cited quitly under her breath before she began moving her fingers in circular motion over her nasal bridge - "I need to petition to be instantly removed from this one. Honestly, the ego of whoever came up with this idea in comparison to their IQ..." - she muttered to herself as she proceeded in crossing out the name of the class in question from her list - "The difference must be so gigantic that if I was to take a leap from one to another, I would have certainly died of boredom while falling."

As she finished and the portal disappeared, she raised her eyes only to witness yet another 'marvelous' sight. Her eyebrows went up in tired disbelief. The janitor. The omnipresent, accursed janitor, once more pestering someone. There was one word that could describe his current targed. A vixen. Quite literally speaking. Judging by their position in relation to the rest of the class, the vixen must have been a teacher. "But what about the tank?" - Ley used the conflict between the janitor and the supposed teacher to give herself a moment of applying her own 'critical thinking' - "Surely none of the students." - she sweeped her eyes over the faces, but currently failed to spot anyone standing out much - "Janitor? Doubtful. That man was supposed to clean the mess, not create it. Although based on the duel outcome..." - she observed the development in front of her with unconcealed pleasure and a smug smile, her arms crossed on her chest - "Could it be the teacher's doing?..." - she let out a silent sigh as she once more spoke to herself - "This place is filled to the brim with madness."

Deciding she's had enough of the 'performance' taking place in front of her, she shouted towards the one called Ghalan, making sure to raise her voice enough for it to reach even the deepest corners of the class - "Is this what you do in your free time!? First you pick on children and innocent girls, and afterwards you move on to mature women!?" - her smile changed to one of complete disdain as her eyes emanated pity - "How low can you fall, I wonder? Assaulting innocent females on each step. You know, I am certain in many places this is considered a felony." - the pleasure of finally being able to bring this man down, to mock knowing everyone's watching. Oh, the inexplicable rush of joy at that very moment. She lived for this, the untold beauty of sweet revenge. The feeling of superiority when you know you've got your foe in iron grip - "Is this who you truly are? A pitiful, small man chasing after helpless women? I truly commend your soul to whatever God you believe in, if so."

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@Buck Testa @dragon4111 @reader8363 @Mentis Soliloquy 

Miko felt it. Fingers lacing around her bushy tail. Digging through it's fluff to grasp the extension of her very spine. The very part of her anatomy that brought balance to her life. 

Only one sensation. One natural reaction came to the forefront of Miko's thoughts. 

"Oohhhh~...my... Broom Jockey.... I didn't know you swung that way. Who would've pegged you as a furreal guy? And a very forward one at that. Though if you really wanted some tail, you could've waited till after class to ask."

 

"Oh. She's one of those teachers." Ruby thought to herself as she witnessed the assault/ display of affection? "I don't know if that's a good or bad thing."

"Oh and you there Jimmy." she called to Ley. "You are late and you missed most your pop quiz. Now you don't have enough time to finish. Gonna have to doc you points for incomplete class work or keep you after hours. And yes he has moved onto- did you seriously just call me mature? Wow. There is a first time for everything. Anyways, how low? Dunno, but at some point we won't be able to watch as we might disturb Broom Jockey and whatever quarks surround him. He'll be in a state of Schrodinger's custodian.   

Oh and apparently you missed my introduction. I am Dr. Tachibana no Miko-sama. Your sensei. And there is about 91 billion light years between me and the word 'helpless'."

 

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@Denim&Venom

Ghalan's eyes widened at her reaction. Nope nope nope nope nope. Not how he had pictured that reaction. His face went completely red. He turned to the class and said "Well ladies and gentlemen this is the reason why I think Miko is nuts," he said jokingly. He looked at Miko and asked simply "Do you even have a license for that thing?" he sighed as he placed an anti gravity field around Miko just to mess with her. Well that put off his mood. He looked to Miko then to the class. He said "I was going to show off why you shouldn't mess with people with large amounts of mana. But since that happened," he stated as he surrounded the tank in an anti gravitational field lifted it off the ground and proceeded to take it to the parking lot? Where the hell was he going to put this damnable thing?

Edited by dragon4111

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1 minute ago, dragon4111 said:

@Denim&Venom

Ghalan's eyes widened at her reaction. Nope nope nope nope nope. Not how he had pictured that reaction. His face went completely red. He turned to the class and said "Well ladies and gentlemen this is the reason why I think Miko is nuts," he said jokingly. He looked at Miko and asked simply "Do you even have a license for that thing?" he sighed as he placed an anti gravity field around Miko just to mess with her. Well that put off his mood. He looked to Miko then to the class. He said "I was going to show off why you shouldn't mess with people with large amounts of mana. But since that happened," he stated as he surrounded the tank in an anti gravitational field lifted it off the ground and proceeded to take it to the parking lot? Where the hell was he going to put this damnable thing?


"As a matter of fact I do. Renewed it over the Summer. And no, i checked. We don't have a parking lot since nobody ever drives here. Mostly because none of us are sure what 'here' is and none of us can't be bothered enough to give a damn and find out when that very answer changes daily. And believe it or not, that classroom? It's technically employee parking in the school schematics. They haven't updated it since the renovation. And the zoning permit for the parking lot was already filed and is still in effect. So, put it right back where you found it Broom Jockey." Miko said, non-plussed from the anti-grav. 

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@Denim&Venom

Ghalan sighed and said "Yeah no the parking lot where where I park my steam car," he said simply as he shook his head. "Well atleast your beautiful and smart," he said with a grin on his face. "Actually wanted to ask ya want to come with me to the policeman's ball?" he asked simply and plainly. "I asked Ira buuut she's not in her right mind right now," he stated simply as he walked. "Either that or I can ask dear Mindy," he muttered very quietly. He looked behind him with a grin on his face. "I might take you up on that offer little fox unless you can keep up with a battered man," he said with a challenge. He was back to pressing her buttons but more jokingly. He had a job to do....And maybe see about unloading this damned tank. knowing Miko she probably forgot about the live ammo.

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21 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

"Yeah no the parking lot where where I park my steam car,"

"We have another parking lot? There are steam cars? People waste time driving here? People actually know where 'here' is?" she pondered.

22 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

"Well atleast your beautiful and smart,"

"Ah, I see that you are a man of culture." 

22 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

"Actually wanted to ask ya want to come with me to the policeman's ball?

"And here's the pitch. Barley off home base and your trying to score on second are we? Sounds fancy. I just might."

25 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

I asked Ira buuut she's not in her right mind right now,"

" Until you said that. First off A. When was she ever? Geologists are still trying to carbonate evidence from that time period. And second, you didn't come to me first? I get the dubious distinction of being your second stringer?"

27 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

"Either that or I can ask dear Mindy,"

"I heard that. And Mindy? Pffft. Forget it. She is beyond the whimsy of mortal men. Reach for the stars bruh. They're more within your grasp then Mindy will be." 

32 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

"I might take you up on that offer little fox unless you can keep up with a battered man,

"Little? I'm taller than you and probably weigh more too. And might? Might you say? Well if you are as battered as you say, then you might know how to take a real lashing. And maybe dish one out too..." Miko said as she crossed her legs in mid air. 

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39 minutes ago, dragon4111 said:

@Denim&Venom

. I might take you up on that offer little fox unless you can keep up with a battered man," he said with a challenge.  

"DO YOU MIND!" Pipped up Druantia's surprisingly strangled voice, sounding even higher pitched and slightly squeakier than usual. 

Up to this point Druantia had been growing a deeper and deeper shade of red as she sank into her seat. From the second that stupid Janitor had came in the whole situation had become beyond embarrassing to watch. Seeing them actually flirt and make such crass remarks at each other made her ears almost sizzle with how hot they had gotten. Her expression was a mixture of disgust, embarrassment, anger, and a dash of worry in the mix. Not that you could see most of it, as her hands were covering most of her face in mortification. She had not expected to see such a display front and center in front of the class and it was making her want to throw herself out the nearest window for safety. It certainly did nothing to improve her opinion of either her new teacher or the Janitor. 

"For real, there are kids here man."  The red head spoke up, surprising Druantia a bit. He wasn't looking her direction, but she had a cynical feeling he was trying to get in her good graces so she wouldn't use her magic on him again. At the moment she didn't particularly care about that. She just wanted WHATEVER this was to cease immediately so she could get back to whatever this class was supposed to be. BadPunRiddlesAnomics 101 or something. 

If she had the ability, she'd have smited the both of them with horrifying plant monsters the likes of which they had never seen for mortifying her that much. 

@Denim&Venom @dragon4111

Edited by Buck Testa
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@dragon4111@Denim&Venom@Buck Testa@Mentis Soliloquy

image2.png.059a1094feb8d9ee81d1de6e84615cf5.pngSoon. Anytime now. She would hear the sparks of conflict. She would hear the angry voices, muffled whispers, laughter and disapproving shouts. This would be an adequate revenge for her previous humiliation. And even though Ley would never forgive the Janitor for what he's done, she would have at least settled the score. It was only a matter of time now before the voices break out, before everyone begin disapproving of his very persona, before -

"Oh and you there Jimmy." - Ley's eyebrows have risen ever so slightly as her smile faded. - "You are late and you missed most your pop quiz. Now you don't have enough time to finish. Gonna have to doc you points for incomplete class work or keep you after hours." - was this plebeian speaking to her? With her arms still crossed Ley risked a glance behind over her shoulder, but the nearest vicinity of hallway was empty. It meant that...

~A few bright sparks appeared in her heart~

...this ridiculous knockoff of a fox was actually speaking to her. Omitting any and all sorts of proper etiquette. Not only did she dare to treat Ley on the same level as all these subpar creatures which, quite amusingly, called themselves magicians, but she also thought she could order Ley around? It went without saying in Daemoness eyes that her arrival, although silent, was still announced to the entirety of staff. Ley gritted her teeth with her eyes closed as she attempted to digest this person... no, this ENTIRE University altogether. Ever since she arrived she had been witness to most childish and reckless behaviours. Why did she even decide to attend it in the first place? There surely must have been better ways and places for gaining the knowledge she needed! Staying anywhere near this bunch of insignificant flies would be a grave mistake for her family's name. In the best case scenario, that is.

The girl turned her head towards the faculty in front of her in order to address them, only to find that interest in her presence completely disappeared. And, what was even worse, upon hearing their exchange Ley quickly realized these two were actually mingling with each other. Publicly. In front of everyone. In front of her. Ignoring one of the... no, most certainly THE most important studend that could have ever stepped across the threshold of this pathetic University!

~The sparks ignited a flame~

A compelling feeling of rage was beginning to build up inside of her. How many times yet would she have to suffer all these fools? Why was it SO HARD for others to pay her the respect she deserved? How many times more would she have to force them into submiss- "No." - that single word she whispered to herself helped her regain control - "You have been taking part in signing of economic deals ever since you were thirteen, you have dealt with top-class guest representatives of prominent families, you had to quell civi-" - her train of thought derailed. Some memories were not to be brought back - "You CAN handle a bunch of peasants. The way they deserve it."

 

"DO YOU MIND!" - a highly pitched voice pierced the commotion which was slowly raising in volume inside the room. It was all too familiar. As if under the touch of a magic wand, Ley had instantly postponed the fiery thoughts for a few seconds. She grabbed the door frame and used it as a support to lean deeper inside the class. And there she was. Hidden from Ley's sight, the little child which had already caused so much commotion in the University. The two didn't see themselves ever since the unfortunate meeting with the Janitor, therefore finding her here now was at least surprising. The reason, however, was a little bit different than one could expect. "Why didn't I sense her?" - the thought which appeared in her mind raised all the alarms - "Why didn't I sense her? Why? Her magical aura was monstrous before, HOW did she manage to hide it completely in just one day?" - Ley face stiffened in a strict, inquisitve expression as she probed Druantia with her eyes. The tendrils of Ley's mind reached out in search of the aura that was now missing. "This is just im- no. Hang on." - she frowned deeply as she felt the slightest touch of a familiar, prime force. - "It's still there. I can barely feel it, but it's still there. Just at the edge of sensing. But why?" - her stern face turned into an expression of confused disappointment - "Have I overestimated her? Did she lose all of her strenght after such a lousy duel of theirs?" - this conclusion stung. She hoped that was not the case as the kid had shown promise. A promise to be a source of pure fun in this dusty place they found themselves in.

The answer to this question would have to wait, however, as Ley remembered she actually had different issues to tend to at the moment. She turned towards Miko, as the vixen was called. This was not the place nor the time to get herself provoked by the events that transpired, she had to keep her cool. "A gracious offer, however I must reject with heavy heart. Independent living is not an issue that afflicts people of my position." - Ley once more sweeped the class with her eyes while speaking - "Unlike these underprivileged peasants I am never short of servants ready to fulfill my needs. Unlike them, my upbringing was strict, harsh and focused on understanding mechanics of this world many of them never even dreamed about..." - she could nearly sense a few stares of indignation piercing her across. Good. These ants should know their place. Ley refocused her attention on the female fox in front of her - "...what I believe would cover for the 'critical thinking' part. Unless there is anything else you would like to waste our precious time with, Doctor Tachibana, I shall take my leave. I must search for a replacement class that I believe will fit my needs better, while you are probably most anxious to commence with your lecture." - with these words, Ley presented a shallow but distinguished bow. She afterwards turned around on her heel, with full intentions to leave this entire mess behind. Case was closed. She had already made the choice of forgetting about nearly everything that has happened behind these doors. Oh, how much she'd give to reach a secluded area, away from all these... annoying bugs.

 

 

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@Denim&Venom

Ghalan said  with a grin on his face "Hmm the only lashing your going to get is well there are students here and I'm sure their innocent ears don't need to hear anymore,. But yeah I'm battered and scarred," Ghalan stated as he shrugged. "I also didn't really ask her. But anyway look we'll talk after your class....And I drive my steam car yes...Do you even have the schol map?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. He heard the poor embarrassed Dru."But you'll have to find out if you can keep up with me only if you take up my offer Miko," he said as he levitated the tank towards the parking lot. now this blasted thing was going to be a pain in the ass to find a parking spot for. He shook his head. He sighed as he walked as he started to chuckle as he had saw Dru's face. He began to hum as he found a spot after getting to the parking lot.

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Duality had succumbed to her morbid curiosity enough to check the visual feed from Miko's classroom. This turned out to be a mistake that would have left weaker minds rocking back and forth on the floor crooning garbled lullabies. "Haaurghhaaa," she moaned indistinctly, face buried into desk. "Maths. Philosophy. Particle physics. Dr. Tachibana sobbing for the mercy of death. Happy thoughts." The professor twisted her head to face the miniature purple potted plant next to her and gingerly picked a peach from it. "All of the happy thoughts," she repeated faintly, nibbling on the tiny fruit. "Just because I know every mess that goes down in this entire school doesn't mean I'm obligated to fix them all."

Letting herself lie prone on her workspace for several minutes more to brood over the disaster that Miko had wrought against diplomatic relations with Ley and Dru, Duality eventually lifted herself off the desk with some effort and stomped through the engraved portal-door at the back of her office. Its runes rippled as she went through, the magical mechanism realigning its destination from her home to her laboratory in accordance with her intentions. "Bah! I'm going to take a holiday one of these days just to see what they do without me." Did somebody say retirement? "You hush!" the professor snapped at her mental voice, perusing some loose printouts on her research desk. "I won't be that old for, uh - Stop sniggering! I won't be that old for over a decade yet!" You of all people should know how a decade flies by. 'Twas a full ten years ago that you dated that nice physics doctorate, was it not? "No, it was most certainly not! I went out with that chap in... wait. That was during - no, hold on - fermion, must you always be correct?" Only when you're wrong.

Duality huffed indignantly but fell silent as she approached a rectangular sheet of pale material resting against one wall of her laboratory office, featureless but for a stark blue circle inset halfway up its height. Concentrating intensely, she flicked the Stylus across the circle's interior in a pattern of exquisite detail, its tip setting alight lines of runework buried deep into the indeterminate substance to reveal a labyrinthine inscription of energy that glowed brighter and brighter until she completed the final stroke with a flourish, causing the confined power to pulse outwards in a vivid sapphire ripple that torqued and twisted the surface of the door like a reflection in a pool before it finally gave way to reveal utter abyss beyond. The professor stepped through onto a floor made of nothing and took a seat that wasn't there, the portal fading into oblivion behind her to perfect the void in which she was immersed. Soothed by the calm darkness, she released the breath she had been holding and closed her unseeing eyes. Memory: You were overwhelmed one night. Tired, stressed, discouraged; the government had been grilling you all evening about the usefulness of the research they were funding and you'd been forced into attending a huge formal social event for most of the afternoon before that. Gabriel found you crying, hugged you, asked you what was wrong. "Everything just gets to be so much for me sometimes. All these experiences demanding you experience them, all these sensations demanding you sense them - I can't handle it sometimes. It's so much. So much. I wish I could have a place that didn't demand anything of me." Three months later, he gave you this place for your birthday. A door to a place that didn't demand anything of you. Nothing there except what you brought in. Nothing there except you.

Duality relaxed her sense of bodily existence and extended her being through the null-realm around her. "Any universe with you in it is a beautiful one." He always was a flirt. Never let on how he made the place, though, not even to me. I often doubt he made it. A space between universes, perhaps. Fabric of reality left unwoven. Maths an undefined concept. Her mind created a dimension that did not exist on Earth simply because she felt like looking in that direction, ruffling through planes of nonexistence like she'd done with the printouts on her desk a few minutes before. An aeon before. Time unbinding, unbound. Ah, here it is. She plucked yet another minuscule fruit from the potted tree on her desk. Universe is an overstatement. Monoverse, perhaps. She had spent many, many years figuring out how to impart any form of permanence to her thoughts in this place. No lasting forms meant no concepts could be bound in the manner of runes. When she had first laid hands on the Stylus, though, she had realised. You could not have form unless it was Written. It is fortunate that realities as strong as Earth's do not permit intrusions from weaker realities. That level of responsibility would have utterly drained my enjoyment of the blank canvas Gabriel gave me. A peek into the monoverse. A light-limned tree within the fruit. Roots of axioms, leaves of theorems. Even as she scrutinised its structure, new buds slowly sprouted and branches strengthened. Yes, that follows. Obviously. A trivial proof. That twig is worth investigating further. Maybe tomorrow I'll give it a closer look. The consciousness placed the sapling she called 'Peano arithmetic' back into its cosmic substrate, and focussed herself onto the Stylus still in her hand as she reasserted her physical identity.

Duality yawned and stretched her back as her body became manifest on the other side of the portal once again, so soon after her entrance into the door in Earth time that she felt the breeze of her prior passing. "Dematerialisation into raw thought really does it for me. Who would think it?" Me, because I'm not senile. "Hah, you're just as senile as the rest of my mind is. Funny how that works." Objection. A system can be damaged without every individual part of it being damaged. Evidence for this particular part being less damaged than the system as a whole: the logical fallacy you just committed. "You wound me, truly you - Timothy, do be a dear and stop tampering with my equipment." A weedy undergraduate wearing a labcoat and paisley socks startled at the sound of her raised voice and guiltily scuttled out of the testing room adjacent to her research office, avoiding eye contact. "Don't let me catch you at it again," she snapped as he left. "These experiments are even more unstable than your fashion sense." Debatable. Our experiments don't have half the risk of summoning elder gods.

Edited by Duality

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(Given the circumstances, I’m going to try and just get a start in here, hope this is okay! I didn’t want to interject to some action sequences already established!)

 

The longest trip in the history of mankind perhaps, maybe even longer. What had it been? Days? Weeks? Months? The concept of time was lost on a young woman who sat on a steel moving death trap that the common people of the city referred to as “a bus”. It’s purpose? To transport people from A to B, as she was told, whatever that meant. The destination? Unknown, or rather known, but relatively unseen and likely to be still a mystery even when arrival happened. Such was the way for one whose eyes could not take in the light directly in front of them.

This ride was a pilgrimage, a rite of passage in a way for the young woman. A journey from the unknown to make it known. A journey that would culminate the start of a brave new world to a not-so-brave girl. Her long silvery-white hair cascaded over her, moving gently with the light breeze that blew in from the open window near her seat, as she sat cautiously with her hands in her lap, gripping the hem of her black skirt. It was clothing she was not used to, clothing that she had no understanding of, but was told she must wear it. It made no sense to her, it seemed to serve no practical purpose at all. When she was a girl she recalled having to wear similar outfits, but never thought much of them. After nearly a decade of wearing pelts and fur that she had fashioned herself, she was taking a bit longer than she thought to adjust back to “traditional” clothing.

Her name was Cynthia Lynette. At one point, that name would be spoken with excitement as her birth was announced to the family, but eventually was spoken with disappointment when her ailment became known to her parents. She was born impure, worthless, a defect. The Lynette family had remained isolated from most of the world, but they held their lineage to high regard, and Cynthia was a stain on that lineage. Born blind, she was a genetic imperfection, a nuisance kept around out of obligation until she was discovered to be capable of magic. After that, she was not even kept around, but sent away to go live in an orphanage so that her brother would not be challenged as the heir to the family. Such practices were frowned upon by the outside world, but the Lynette family moved to the beat of their own drum. Cynthia, however, didn’t know any better. Her entire life had been sheltered by her family or eventually by living in the woods when she fled the orphanage.

At her side, peeking over her shoulder, Snow, her trusted fox companion, ever vigilant and ever careful. In a way, he was like a father to the girl that he seemed to see as his own child. Despite protests from the bus driver, he was permitted to stay with her on the bus. The two came in a pair, where one went, the other followed.

The invitation to come to Salem University had come as a surprise to Cynthia. On a trip into town, she utilized her magic to heal someone, and rumors quickly spread of a girl from the woods with magic powers. It wasn’t long before someone had written a letter to the school and had gotten a response. That response eventually reached Cynthia’s hands, though her eyes could not read it. It was dictated to her and she was given instructions and means to get to the school. It had taken so long and she had forgotten when and why she had even agreed to all of this.

Being out in the “real” world again felt alien to her. Truthfully, she had never stepped foot in it in the first place. When the bus came to a stop, Cynthia felt the harsh breaks and yelped, clenching to Snow with concern. The sly fox poked his head around and noted that no danger seemed present.

”Alright, off the bus, kid. The school is down that road to to the left, you can’t miss it, it’s a huge building. I was told that a facility member will meet you and take you where you need to go. You’re a bit late to start, but they said they’d bring you up to speed quickly.” The driver grunted, drawing a cigarette from their pocket and ushering for her to go.

Cynthia gulped and wobbly came to a stand. Her legs managed to hold her up as she carefully felt her way about, using the gentle cues from Snow to guide herself. He tapped her shoulders that he rested on carefully, instructing her of the right way until she found the raining of the bus and made her way off. Once her feet touched the ground, she awkwardly stood with her new shoes, but thankful to be back on earth again. She was used to sound telling her where to go, but the echoes of the metal bus were foreign to her. This all seemed like it would take so much getting used to. She took a deep breath and walked down the path, paying attention to the sounds and vibrations of her feet, telling her where she was in comparison to nearby buildings. With that, and the aid of her fox, she eventually would find her way to the school, realizing that she had no idea how to spot any facility members since she could not see them, and they probably had no idea what she looked like. She could hear the sound of tons of people frequenting around the building, but nothing that indicated where to go.

It was at that moment that Cynthia realized: she hated the city. She hated anywhere with so many people, it made it too difficult to figure out where she was or where she was going. All the sounds of people walking, talking, and doing virtually anything and everything was overwhelming.

The girl covered her ears and crouched to the ground, trying to drown out the sounds, trying to find some kind of peace. Panic overtook her as she realized that she likely made a terrible mistake in coming to this place. How would she find a teacher or facility member to guide her? How would she even find her way around this place after that? What was she to do? She wanted to go back to the forest, back to where it was quiet, back to where there were no people.

”What do I do, Snow?” She asked, knowing that he likely didn’t have any answers either, as he peered back and forth through the bustling crowds.

The white fox kept his guard up, sensing his protected in fear.

 

(I’m years out of practice! So here’s hoping I’m not too rusty!)

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@Key Sharkz

Ghalan walked  through the school. He sighed to himself as he found a decent spot in the parking lot for this damn able tank. "Seriously Miko why did you just bring a tank," he said to himself. He pulled out his cellphone and looked through the cameras feed. A strange girl looking like she was panicking. A late comer? a week late...Hmm how strange. He began to walk to where the teenager was. Maybe he could help her. And he soon arrived in no time thanks to his abilities of anti gravity and telekinesis. He landed loudly for the girl to hear him. "Are you alright miss?" Ghalan asked gently to the frightened girl. He rubbed the back of his head slightly. He'll have to bring this one to Duality so that she could help her. He raised an eyebrow as he waited for the girl to answer him. "Are you perchance a late comer to thee Salem University?" he asked gently.

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@dragon4111

The sound startled the girl, who flinched and fell backward, landing on her rear as the fox on her shoulders caught himself and leaned out to get a sniff of the custodian. Once he caught a whif of him, he backed off a bit, but remained ready to bite if need be. Humans were odd things, and seldom could they be trusted, especially around his daughter, who was about as fragile as they come in many regards. While the wilderness had toughened her up, she was still gullible and not very worldly. Humans were crafty and capable of anything, he had to be on his guard.

Cynthia blinked as she turned her head, trying to find the direction of the voice. “Hello? Who is there? Ummmm... Yes... I was brought here on request... I have this paper in my bag that I was supposed to present that proves I’m supposed to be here...” She spoke, reaching into her pocket and offering him the letter. She hadn’t a clue what it said.

 

To Whom it may concern,

This girl is Cynthia Lynette. She is to be one of the newest students at Salem University. She is blind, and will require special accommodations. This letter was prepared as proof of this, and we ask that any facility that see her assist her in finding her way about. We thank all for their cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

The Staff of Salem University.

The letter had some kind of official seal on it, that Cynthia could only make out slightly by its texture. “I apologize for being so late... It took me a while to get here...”

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@Key Sharkz

"Hmm I may have a trick," Ghalan stated as he gently placed a hand onto her shoulder gentle. "My name is Ghalan Chromwell the Janitor of Salem University. Miss Cynthia, Hold onto my coat," he stated with a gentle tone of voice. "But I want you to concentrate your mana into and around your eyes. It should give you a slight blurred effect to your lack of vision but it helped my out in my line of work," he said as he looked at her. "but for now let me escort you to Duality," Ghalan said as he placed her hand onto his well made dress coat. "It's alright I'm righthere to guide you and answer any questions you may have Cynthia," Ghalan stated with a smile on his face. Well today is a good day he guessed but he still had that policeman's ball to get to after work but first this little lass needed help.

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She flinched at the touch, and Snow readied himself, but relaxed as Cynthia reached forward and grabbed the tail end of his coat. Pulling herself to a stand she listened to his words. “Mana? What’s that?” She asked, unsure of his wording. She expected people to utilize words she was unfamiliar with, but this was a word she had almost no knowledge of.

”How did you... Know my name?” She then added, not realizing it must have been written in the letter.

Standing close enough, she could concentrate. Water in the air, echoes around her, she was able to focus on just this man. While the appearance was muffled, she was able to create a picture of him in her mind. The water in his body could be sensed by her, it would make a general shape, and the echoes of sounds bouncing off of his form gave that shape slightly more details. Colors were naturally inaccessible to her, but she had a vague idea of what this man was shaped like after a few seconds.

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@Key Sharkz

"Hmm well it said it on the letter," Ghalan stated with a gentle tone of voice. "Scared of the big city are ya?" he asked slightly. "Your magical energy," Ghalan said as he walked with her. "What a cute little fox you have there," he stated with a grin on his face."Well don't be your gonna be among those that are like you," he stated with a grin on his face. "Though it's going to be a challenge for you but I think we have quite a few students that have your type of disability. so we'll have books in braille," he stated as he looked at the blind little girl holding onto his coat. But then he decided to ask "Can you read braille?" he tilted his head slightly as they walked towards the building that housed Duality's classroom. "Hmm if you can't I can sort of read it. I can teach you it,"

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@Denim&Venom @Arid_Blitz @Buck Testa @Passion @Key Sharkz @dragon4111 @reader8363 @Skylord Nexus  [yay first post for the main plot]

 

<start call>

<waiting for response>

<waiting for response>

<connection successful>

"I p-planted the t-transceiver, suh-suh-sir. While she was in that weird void p-p-portal, like you suh-said." Timothy swallowed audibly, glancing away momentarily from the device in his grasp to triple-check that his dorm door was locked. "She almost c-caught m-m-me when she c-came out, b-but I don't think she suh-suh-spected anything; she j-just told me not to t-t-tamper. I suh-swear she has some suh-sort of suh-suh-sixth sense."

"She does," replied the man on the screen. "You did good, Tim. As agreed, I'll be pulling you out in a few days. Hand in your dropout paperwork on Friday; tell them your family decided against any further magical education and called you home after they heard about that plant-monstrosity incident. I'll arrange things from when you leave the Washington portal."

"Th-thanks, Mr Blackrose. Are w-we moving into the next suh-suh-stage once I-I'm out?"

"Yes. Lucius is lined up for a part-time teacher position - he'll be in the school by tomorrow. Once he's there we'll start preparing for our final move. By the by, did those elocution classes I arranged for you help at all with your stutter?"

"Suh-suh-sort of, sir," the gangly student mumbled abashedly. "They suh-said they'd n-never seen someone whose m-m-magic caused stammering, but the t-techniques helped a b-b-bit. Thanks again for everything, suh-sir."

"You're welcome, Timothy. Thank you for your loyalty."

<end call>

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Cynthis listened quietly at first, unsure of what to make of anything he was saying. She followed along as best as she could before giving a reply. “I guess that’s what humans call it? Mana? We didn’t have a name for it in the forest, we never questioned where this power came from...” She explained. Talking about the forest made her frown, missing home.

Braille? What was that? Must have been another human term. “What’s braille? When I was young, I was never taught to read... When I was a kid, my brother read to me sometimes, but that was about it...” Her British accent became more evident the more she allowed words to flow from her mouth. It had been so long since she had heard her own voice so extensively, it was almost frightening.

She reached her free hand up and let Snow at the mention of the creature. “Snow? He’s more than just a fox, he’s my father... Sort of anyway...”

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@Key Sharkz

Ghalan raised an eyebrow and said "Ah raised by animals I take it?" he asked at the last part. "Braille is what the blind use to read literature," he said as he looked at the fox. "Ah so your from Britain hmm but what of your human family Cynthia?" Ghalan asked as the two walked. "So tell me of your home in the wild's must be quite the nice place if the look of longing is evident upon your frowning face," Ghalan stated simply as he looked at the growling fox. "I wonder can you see my mana?" he asked the fox with a raised eyebrow. He chuckled slightly and said "Nevermind that any how. I can teach you what I kno but you'll need to also help yourself for when I'm not around Cynthia," Ghalan said gently. "Do you have a place to live?" he asked as they walked into the building slowly.

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@dragon4111

The young girl nodded politely. "Y-yes... I was raised in the forest mostly... I lived with humans when I was small, but the majority of my life so far has been being raised by animals... Snow here has taken care of me for as long as I can remember..." She reached up to pet the fox, who leaned into her hand affectionately, though his eyes still watched Ghalan carefully. Even at such a tender moment, Snow would not let his guard down, not in such a foreign place. Like his daughter, he too was far away from his natural environment, so he had to be twice as vigilant here. Humans were far more dangerous than the other creatures of the forest.

"I-is it that obvious?" She blushed as he mentioned her evident feelings toward her home. It was true though, she wished she was at home right at that moment, in the comfort of the trees, in the solitude of her den. "It is... A unique place... I've loved the forest for all my life... In the forest... I am far away from people... I am with animals all day..." She smiled and closed her useless eyes as the memories came to her. Memories of the other foxes that would see her as a big sister, of the other creatures that came to her for healing. "I understand animals, I trust them and they trust me... Humans... I don't understand... To be honest, you're the first person I've talked to more than a few minutes in maybe... Ten years?" She opened her eyes and thought about it. "Bloody hell, has it been that long...?"

Turning her head in his direction she focused. "I can see you because of the water in your body... I can sense it... Feel it. On top of that, I can hear echoes bouncing off of your form, it's sort of how a worthless bling girl like me finds her way around without walking into trees all the time... Thank you for wasting your time on me, you must have more important things to do, I promise I won't take up too much of your time..." She frowned, realizing she was likely keeping this man from tasks that required his attention.

"As for a place to live... Not really... I don't really have any money, I've never needed it. So long as there's a forest nearby, I guess I could just migrate there... Though these clothes probably aren't the best suited for that..." She reached her hand down and felt her skirt and blouse that was given to her as part of a package from the school. "Why do humans wear this stuff?"

Edited by Key Sharkz

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@Key Sharkz

"Hmm a form of echolocation magic?" Ghalan asked slightly. "Not a problem I would gladly help out anyone. Plus You looked like you were having an anxiety attack," he said gently. "Humans are well we make mistakes. we stumble but we continue forward," Ghalan stated. "We can be of unbelievable kindness or cruelty," he said as he turnrf gently. "Watch for the steps we're going up my dear," he said gently. "Ah I see well we can place you in the dorms for those are free," he said gently. "And I'm here to help anyone Cynthia," he said with a  gentle tone of voice. They walked up the stairs with Ghalan helping her up. "Of course. Hmm the clothes to protect our decency," he said with a grin on his face. He looked at her and said "Careful now if you need something sturdier my arm is infront of you,"

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