Her mother smiled at her and patted her on the back. "Good job! Try it again!" She said, smiling. The small girl looked annoyed for a second. "Do I have too Mommy?" She asked, sticking out her bottom lip. "No, but believe me, you'll get better." The girl frowned, but concentrated. Slowly a ball of fire arose from the earth. The young child closed her eyes and focused all her energy on the small ball. It lurched forward, hitting the wall with a sickening crack. "Mommy I did it!" The girl exclaimed happily. The woman smiled and put her arm around the child. "You will do so much more in time my little Eve." Eve smiled. "And you'll always be there to help me?" Her mother smiled kindly. "Of course I will be. There's nothing that will ever separate us."
Eve was quiet for a moment, gazing out the window. "Mommy, why are the stars so pretty?" The woman kissed her face gently. "Because they are angels, cheering you on. Everyone in the heavens is watching you Sweetie, waiting for you to become the apprentice you were meant to be." Eve grinned at her. "I'm gonna be a mage too?" She asked hopefully. "Yes. Definitely you are going to be one. And a strong, powerful one too." Eve looked at her mother. "That sounds nice."
"It will be."
"And will you be with me?"
Eve looked away for a second. "Mummy I'm scared. What if I fail?" The woman smiled. "You won't. The stars say it's meant to be. And the stars are never wrong." The woman hugged Eve and gave her a kiss, then began to walk away. "Mummy, where are you going?" Her mother smiled grimly. "I have to fight." Eve sighed. "Again?" The woman held her gently. "Yes little one, this is what being a mage is all about."
"But you'll be okay?" Eve asked, like she did every time. Her mother kissed her lips. "I promise. Be good. I'll be back in a couple days." Eve nodded reluctantly. "Bye Mummy!" The woman's bright green eyes met hers. "See you soon!"
She walked out of the room slowly, stopping to blow Eve a kiss. Eve leaned slowly as she watched the door slowly close with a thud. Then she collapsed on the bed in a heap.
No one would of known that it was the last time mother would see daughter again. That day, Saera Kleuoy disappeared and never returned. That was the last Eve ever saw of her strawberry blonde hair and deep green eyes. Eve was alone.
The small girl was left sleeping on a bed, waiting for her mother's return.
But she never came.
I couldn't say I was a fan of this class.
Sure, some could argue that I was lucky that I was exceptionally good at physical running and jumping and even fighting and I had it easy, and I admit that it was right. Mostly. Look at it this way, most people see me as a quiet Highborn who was great at magic and fighting who didn't want to stand out, but did anyway. I looked at it this way. I was a girl who wanted to crawl in the shadows and hide when someone called my name. I was the girl who stayed quiet and listened to the Masters without question and tried not to be noticed or even seen by anyone else. That was who I was.
Not some talented prodigy who stuck her nose high in the air and basked in her fame. Wait, never mind. That was Priscilla. This is who I am to everyone else.
I am a girl surrounded by a world that is ever to easy for me to deal with.
Everything seems to comes naturally to me and I am that one perfect kid who that random parent brags about to everyone else
I am super talented and skilled at anything that is thrust in my way and can easily beat any person in the Academy in a combat fight, well everybody except for Prince Darren.
Speaking of the Prince, someone was staring at me again.
This time it was our powerful pain caster who had incredible potential but unfortunately often lost control of her magic. She also caught the eye of the Prince, which was surprising because he usually never batted and eye at any type of "Lowborn," let alone her. It was that one girl, Ryiah.
She stared at me, slowly, her gaze flickering over me like a scanner.
Then she smiled an then made a face, pointing next to me. I turned.
Oops. Tapping her foot impatiently waiting was the snobby Highborn Priscilla. She rolled her eyes. "C'mon Eve, hurry up, we don't have all day. Sir Piers is going to notice your little pause." She said, smirking.
I stayed quiet, like usual. I slowly climbed the rope, and once I reached the top my hands were stinging from rope burn. I slid down slowly. "Finally!" Priscilla said in a huff. I didn't admit it, but she was right. If I didn't get moving Sir Piers was going to notice. And he was more of a "punish now, find details later" kind of guy. Or that was how all the masters were supposed to act.
I rolled my eyes and ran over to the next station. Next was the tightrope. I breathed a small sigh of relief. At least that was something that was incredibly easy for me. My mother had taught me to climb the narrowest of ropes when we trained, before she... I stopped my trail of thought abruptly. I didn't want to think about her. I'd tried to stop thinking about her a million times again and again. "I'll be with you in spirit." That was what she had told me. But was she really. Mom, if you really are watching me, please help me get an apprenticeship.
I waited. Nothing happened like usual. I couldn't say I was surprised, but I felt disappointed, like always.
I sprinted over to the tightrope. On it was Ella, a talented Highborn who was great at combat all considered. She walked across the tightrope quickly, not even sweating a drop. Ella allowed a hint of a smile and jumped off, her amber eyes twinkling mischievously.
Next up was Ryiah. She barely hesitated as she stepped onto the rope. Her face seemed concentrated, yet sure of herself as she took wobbly steps on the rope slowly. A raindrop hit the slick rope and Ryiah almost slipped, but she managed to turn her stumble into a small jump. She grinned, obviously proud of herself.
A knife whizzed by, inches from her face. She glowered at the surrounding areas. Some servant had probably seen her sign of happiness, and the Academy had zero tolerance for enjoyment. Ryiah scanned the trees for a couple seconds, but then she gave up and ran to join Ella.
It was my turn. I daintily walked across the tightrope, feeling accomplished as I allowed myself to do jumps on the slickest places. I raised an eyebrow as Priscilla rolled her eyes, but barely noticed as I sprinted to the next station, Basic Exercise. I took a spot next to Prince Darren and began to do some pushups.
"Hello, Eve." Prince Darren said. "Hello." I replied. "Are you training for the trials?" Darren asked. I shook my head. "Not really. But I am trying to work harder then usual." I said quietly. "Care to join me in the library tonight?" I gave him a wistful look. "Sorry, I'm practicing in the armory tonight." The Prince frowned, but nodded. "Alright. Good luck to you." I allowed a small smile. "You too." With that, Prince Darren ran to the next station, fencing. I continued my exercise for a couple more minutes, then followed his trail.
Fencing. As usual, no one wanted to face me. They were afraid that they would lose. I waited for a couple seconds. Then Priscilla bounded over. She smiled slyly at me. "Bring it." She said. I frowned, but picked up a sword. Priscilla did the same.
She took the first move. I easily defended. The swords hit each other with a loud clang. I swept my blade towards Priscilla's leg. She barely dodged, the point grazing her thigh. She glared at me and took a giant swing at my head. I jumped to the left easily, then put my sword right in front of Priscilla's neck. She glowered at me, furious. She narrowed her eyes and slowly said, "I yield." I nodded and lowered my blade. Then Priscilla marched off. I smiled.
Nearby, Darren had won his match too. He held his sword to Clayton's stomach. Clayton gave him a wry smile. "I yield." He said. The Prince lowered his sword. Clayton did the same. Darren saw me watching and nodded too me. Good job, probably. I nodded. Darren opened his mouth as if to speak when Sir Piers called out loudly, "GET OUT OF HERE FIRST YEARS, IT'S TIME FOR MASTER CEDRIC'S CLASS!" Sir Piers grimaced. "It's Cedric's turn to suffer." He muttered under his breath. I frowned, but followed the others through the door.
* * * * * * * * *
After Master Cedric's class it was dinner. One person had quit during the class, pushed far beyond the limits of their magic in the class. Only seventy of us left. I shoved my bowl to the side and began nibbling at a piece of hard bread. The servants apparently didn't want to waste their food on "First Years," so all we usually got was stale bread, porridge, and leftovers. Not that I minded. It was better then the food on the streets.
No one complained about lack of food, of course, I guess they were just afraid that they wouldn't get any food at all. The Academy had that sort of feel to it. It wasn't exactly the most welcoming place.
During lunch the Masters had something to announce. "There are only around 80 first years left." Master Barclae said. He sounded disappointed, like he wished that more of us would drop out. "We are going to separate mage groups into their respective choice, Combat, Restoration, or Alchemy. This means that all of these students will be put in these groups." He pointed to at three mages. "Master Tera will lead Alchemy. Master Cedric will lead Restoration." He signaled to a tall and burly man at his side. "And Master Nahari will lead Combat." The man hardly gave any notice to the near 40 of us staring at him. He simply stared straight ahead, emotionless and still.
"Classes will start tomorrow." Master Barclae said. "These mages will teach you, but don't think you can get out of your fitness training class by participating with your respective group most of the time. Magical History and Fitness class will still be held, but will only be two times a week." He stared at us, shooting bullets into the crowd. "This doesn't mean you can get out of doing homework, either." A few people let out a sigh.
"Get some rest, First Years. Remember your mage section tomorrow. Breakfast will be a half an hour late. Goodbye." He stalked off, the other Masters trailing behind him.
The Dining Hall burst into whispers and yells. I covered my ears and walked to the barracks. I needed some rest.
The next morning came sooner then I expected. The sun streamed through the windows, a winter breeze drifting into the barracks.
I yawned and jumped out of bed, looking sideways as my bunker Maya stretched her arms. "Lovely day, Eve." She murmured under her breath, half asleep. I smiled wryly at her. She looked at me and instantly went back to sleep. I sighed, shaking her lightly. Her bright eyes opened immediately. She blinked at me, but then climbed down the ladder slowly. "Morning Eve!" She said calmly. I rolled my eyes but forced a smile. "Good morning to you, too!" I said.
She glanced at the clock on the wall. Maya glanced at me nervously. "This is not a good day to be late! Let's hurry!" I nodded and quickly combed my hair and followed Maya as she rushed to the Dining Hall.
The hall was strangely empty and quiet. "Hello?" Maya called out. I joined in, louder. "Anyone?" No one responded. I turned to Maya as she began to speak. "Maybe we're too late-"