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A Gates Short Story (Complete)

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OK IT IS OVER! Legate, can you change the thread name from WIP to complete? Thanks. I'm going to sleep now. haha. Edit: nevermind. I managed to edit it.

Part 19. The Epilogue.

Valentino managed to drag himself back to his room. He had spent all of his energy, and felt that he had aged a few years since yesterday. When he opened the door, he found that Twippy had been waiting for him. She was very pale, but she quickly composed herself, did a curtsy and congratulated him in a very formal way.

"You've done it! You've upheld the Promise! Although one slobin is not enough for us to survive on in the long term, we acknowledge that you have successfully captured one for us, despite having run into... well, let's just say that those beings have killed many of us in our attempts to catch slobins on our own. Humans truly are amazing!

"This one will clean up the room you ruined. We have already restored your other humans here to working order. Naturally they will have no memory of it. It was only a nibble of Fun. We promise. Having recorded your progress, we also acknowledge that you still have a lot of developing left to do, so we will depart today and return in time when you will be able to capture many more slobins for us!

"Thank you, friend."

And with that, Twippy did another curtsy and disappeared. As if she had never been there.

Valentino was grateful. While he was actually pleased that Twippy considered him a friend, it still felt awfully one-sided. Still, if they really were going to leave him alone for a few years, at least he would have a chance to say no, and think up a good way to do it as lightly as possible. In any case it was not a subject to spend brain power on now.

As Valentino sat down on his bed, he let out a massive yawn. His roommates did indeed look as if they hadn't spent half the night lying on the cold floor. In fact, the dorm room was spotless! One less thing to worry about. Ha...

And then he noticed a note on fine parchment. When he touched it to pick it up, a message appeared in beautiful handwriting.


You did good, child.
I wasn't sure you'd make it.
You'll make a fine mage.
We should talk again.

PW

There was also some information about something called 'safe times'. Valentino made sure to memorize those safe times. He wasn't going to see 'PW' at any other time. The parchment then burnt up into nothing. It did so in Valentino's hands, but the flames weren't even hot.

Valentino laid down and closed his eyes. He absolutely deserved a long rest.

Just then, the chimes of the school's PA system came on.

"Attention everyone, Attention! The vampire threat is now officially over! As such, it has been decided that the event of last night was insufficent to cancel classes. The Legate has declared that anyone skipping classes today without his express approval will receive a month of detention."

Valentino groaned.

The Public address continued: "Also, today's bakery sale has been moved to the Great Hall to accomodate the award ceremony planned for later today."

Valentino's roommates woke up, and stretched. They looked like they had a really good night's sleep. They looked at valentino's tattered uniform as he lay there, and laughed.

"Good luck trying to ditch classes by pretending you were fighting vampires, Val." one said.

"Yeah, we all know you wouldn't stand a chance against even a baby vampire." The other said.

Both roommates had a good laugh at Valentino's expense.
--------------------------------------------

Valentino had struggled to stay awake in his classes throughout the day. He had given up trying to learn anything. almost all of his classmates joked about how he had his brains sucked out by a vampire and had become a mummy.

"That doesn't even make sense." Valentino weakly protested.

His classmates laughed at him anyway.

Eventually everyone got herded into the Great hall. Apparently there was an award ceremony that the Legate had insisted be held to shine prestige on everyone who had taken part in the battle against the vampire invasion.

The Legate said a mad Gates mage had been responsible for the vampire incident. According to the professors, this Gates mage was summoning the vampires in a plot to take over the school. There was no mention of the name Mjolnir, nor who he really was, nor any mention of the dreamers, and their goals. Valentino realized that at best, that was only a part of the whole story if not a complete fabrication.

Even so, it wasn't like Valentino was in a position to call them out on it, so he just kept quiet.

Many names were called, and small medals handed out. It was mostly 5th year students who went above and beyond in helping to keep the Academagia safe. Some professors were lauded as well. Especially Professor Samantha Whittaker, who had managed to put a ward over the school, preventing any more vampire summonings.

At that moment something clicked in Valentino's head. That name Whittaker could not have been a coincidence either. His brain was over tired though, and it refused to work any harder.

"...But this ceremony would not be complete, without mentioning Orso Orsi!" The Legate had said in front of everyone.

Apparently, Orso had been extremely busy last night, too. Apart from recovering the book which professor Whittaker had used to locate the dimension the vampires were being drawn from, he had also made deals with a dark fairy court to get help from them to weaken the vampires. He obtained said help by gifting them the famous fae ring 'precious' which he had obtained by tricking an opposing light fairy queen into agreeing to an impossible bet while getting her roaring drunk.

And somewhere in all that craziness, he had also managed to defeat the Gates mage responsible for the vampires in a single wizard duel.

The Cheers were deafening. Even all the professors were clapping. Orso just took it in stride though.

Valentino was impressed. He definitely felt Orso deserved praise for that. He did feel a little jealous, though, because after everything that Orso had done, Valentino felt that he had actually one-upped the legendary, infamous student in terms of crazy deeds for once. It was a shame that there was no way he was ever going to spill the beans on that, though.

The Ceremony ended with an announcement that the Venalicium would be closed at least for a few days, as the lead librarian had fainted when the news broke of the damage it had sustained in the course of the night. Repairs were needed and many books needed to be resorted.

Yup. I am not talking about last night at all. Valentino thought.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Later that night, in Aranaz hall.

A small, shadowy, hooded figure moved a painting to the side of the common room, which revealed a hidden switch, which was quickly pressed. The wall slid away, which revealed a hidden room, which the figure then quickly and quietly entered.

Inside that hidden room, a large congregation of people could be seen in the darkness of the room. One of the figures walked up to the small figure that just entered. "You're late, twerp!" A male voice called out.

"I couldn't help it!" A squeaky female voice cried. "The security was really tight, today."

"Did you get them?" He sternly asked.

"Of course!" The hooded figure removed her hood to reveal the face of one of the first year students, a girl by the name of Leah Brahm. She reached into her pocket and pulled out two items. The first one was a piece of parchment. The other was a necklace with a star shaped stone on it.

The Male took the items, and inspected them.

"OK, you're in. Welcome to the Sphinx Syndicate."

The lights in the room turned on instantly, and everyone but one person cheered softly. "Welcome."

Almost everyone here were wearing robes that identified them as Aranaz students. Leah was sure that at least a few of them were not actually in Aranaz, but held her tongue. This was mostly because of the one who was not wearing such a robe.

The person who was not wearing such a robe, was also the one who had not cheered for her. This was because he was sitting in the position of honor in the room. It was also because he was not a student, but a professor.

The professor spoke. "Yes, Welcome to the Syndicate, Miss Brahm. You have proven yourself to be most resourceful. Unfortunately, other events have put a damper on what would otherwise be a very festive occasion."

Leah quickly was ushered into the ranks of the other students.

This professor, who had only started teaching last year, had developed a reputation for being something of a prima donna. His students had learned, however, that it was almost always a good idea to appease him, and absolutely never a good idea to cross him.

He was in an especially bad mood today, and everyone in the room could feel it. Part of the reason why he was in a bad mood was because he had been personally asked - PERSONALLY ASKED - by the Legate to singlehandedly stop last night's storm from flooding into Lake Ardica. That flood was threatening to ruin large portions of Mineta, and then did not get even a single mention of his name.

"Damn that Palo Cantrell." He muttered under his breath.

What was most insulting to him though was that overpriviliged punk, Orso Orsi, getting all the accolades, but he had Orso's number, at last.

While the official reason for the Venalicium's closure for the next few days was to repair damages caused by the vampire invasion, he had multiple sources confirm that the real reason for the closure was because incredibly high levels of Gates magic had been used inside, which initial investigations could not trace back to any of the vampires' remains found inside. Furthermore, certain vampires were found in a terrible state. Some of them had Gates magic used on them.

The Clincher though, was that he had obtained multiple eyewitness reports of Orso Orsi leaving the Venalicium at about the time these events took place. It was even confirmed that he had been in there to take a book that might or might not have had ties to Gates. The thought of Getting rid of that pest once and for all made his lips curl into somthing resembling a smile.

There was just one thing that he had to do first.

"Now, everyone. You already know why I called you in here tonight. The document that Miss Brahm has obtained will provide the finer details necessary in order to carry out Operation Downfall. I expect you all to perform to the best of your abilities."

The students all cheered in unison. "Yes, Professor Von Rupprecht!"

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