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   Chapter 2 Past~Arina

Gilded Cage By butterfly_effect Characters: 5520

Updated: 2018-12-17 17:04


"Arrived, " I replied while raising my hand. I saw the slight nod from the tutor and let out a breath. Luckily the tutor could hear my voice amid this noisy environment. I didn't feel comfortable shouting out.

Today was the day where seniors graduated from the Manor's academy and those who were six years old or above entered the academy. From this day onward, the batch I was in became the oldest in the academy. We might even start receiving missions. Not that it'd fall to me, as I was neither the best nor the worst. Because of this, most tutors would not even remember my name.

Some might celebrate the fact that they became the oldest in the academy as they could begin doing missions and earning money, but for apprentices like me it's not such a good situation. We'd seldom be given missions, but we also began to have more roles. Roles such as taking care of the newly arrived apprentices or managing our dormitory. In essence, it's the older you got, the more responsibilities you had.

The tutor, Master Fu, began to assign roles to us seniors.

Please don't be babysitting, please don't be babysitting. I chanted silently. I guaranteed I was not someone Master Fu would remember amid the hundreds of apprentices he taught. That's why the best jobs would certainly not go to me, I just hope he didn't assign me to babysitting those newly arrived. People said that I looked angry when I didn't smile, so that certainly didn't bode well for babysitting young children.

"Arina... treasurer for Mirror Court."

All hail to getting a good mark for arithmetic! Mirror Court was not the dormitory I originally stayed in. I had stayed in Luna Court since I entered the academy. Luna Court and Mirror Court were located in opposite directions. I seldom went to that area. Mirror Court was located closer to the living area of Ivory Manor's head family. But at least it's not babysitting duty.

After assigning roles for us seniors, we began our daily routine. We first studied in the schoolroom for subjects such as literature, arithmetic and politics. Then we moved onto the lesson I dreaded most, swordsmanship.

Each sect or manor mastered in a certain skill. But everyone knew that the current two most powerful manors in Cregan mastered in swordsmanship. The future Duke of Cregan would probably come from either of the two manors. Ivory Manor was one of the two, the other was Orion Manor. When choosing apprentices, masters usually chose applicants with powers that were suitable or could embellish on the techniques taught by Ivory Manor. Such as the ability to manipulate fire, thus during fighting the sword could be coated in fire. Or the ability to teleport, thus giving the apprentice an advantage while fighting.

But that's not the case for me. To add insult to injury, turned out I was not that gifted in using a sword too. I was average, not the worst nor the best. But as my mother said average was a good life attitude. You would neither be envied by your peers nor would you be picked on. I did agree with that, but the downside of being average was that you'd be forgotten. Both by your masters and your peers.

I was sparring with my partner using all the standard Ivory Manor techniques when I noticed with my enhanced eyesight (one of the perks of my power), jumping sparks on my partner's wooden sword. I jumped back just in time to avoid the last strike of my partner, a strike with swirling fire like a snake.

"Hey! Care to send me a note before unleashing your new fire swirling sword technique?" I complained.

"You'll be fine! I controlled the fire intensity! You won't be burnt or even feel anything!" my partner, Lilian, said pouting. "What do you think of my new technique? The swirling fire acts like a rope and snared the opponent."

"That's a nice idea." I tried to catch my breath after intense sparring. "Give your opponent a final blow even if your sword cannot nick him."

"Exactly! Wait... what you're saying is based on the assumption that my sword could not harm my opponent... Hey! Don't think I didn't catch that!" She threw the towel she's holding at me.

"If. I said 'If your sword cannot nick him'. If. Conditional. There is always such a chance." I shrugged nonchalantly.

It's nearly the end of the practice session, I began to tidy up and pack my belongings. I seldom stayed after to practice my swordsmanship, unlike some of my classmates. Maybe that's the reason why my skills stayed average.

"Wait a moment, Arina, what gave me away? It's a new technique so you shouldn't have seen it coming!"

I tried to formulate an answer in my mind and then said, "Instinct. You suddenly looked more determined and focused."

"I see, I see. For one second, I thought there were hints giving me away. That won't do, my new technique should be impeccable!"

I nodded while I cleaned my practice sword with a cloth. It's hard to pretend sometimes. But I was not allowed to tell others my real power. All my peers thought I had voice imitation power, even though I just imitated bird chirping once. I did not plan to correct them.

"Arina, I will go first. I am helping Georgia to move to Dew Court. She is assigned to be the Deputy. The two of us are going to stay in the same Hall!" With a wave, Lilian was gone.

I picked up all my belongings and left the practice ground. I had to move to Mirror Hall as well, even though no one was helping me. After a few steps, I decided packing and moving alone was better.

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